By timothy from Slashdot's marketplace-of-ideas department
writes "Mozilla has been experimenting with an interesting idea called Boot 2 Gecko. Essentially, B2G (as it's called) is a mobile operating system based on the Web, as opposed to what the project's wiki calls 'proprietary, single-vendor stacks.' Mozilla has something here. Open Web technologies provide an intriguing platform for lots of things, mobile and otherwise. The B2G project is still pretty new, but according to the project roadmap, testing has already begun and will continue through the rest of 2011. Messaging, telephony, and battery management aspects of the OS are underway, and contacts, screen/power management, and settings are scheduled. A product demo is scheduled for sometime in the first quarter of 2012."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's your-war-stories-below department
writes "Christopher Drew writes that President Obama and industry groups have called on colleges to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year and 100,000 new teachers with majors in science, technology, engineering and math but studies find that roughly 40 percent of students planning engineering and science majors end up switching to other subjects or failing to get any degree — 60 percent when pre-medical students are included. Middle and high school students are having most of the fun, building their erector sets and dropping eggs into water to test the first law of motion, but the excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg calls 'the math-science death march' as freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students where many wash out. 'Treating the freshman year as a "sink or swim" experience and accepting attrition as inevitable,' says a report by the National Academy of Engineering, 'is both unfair to students and wasteful of resources and faculty time.' But help is on the way. In September, the Association of American Universities announced a five-year initiative to encourage faculty members in the STEM fields to use more interactive teaching techniques (PDF)."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's you-must-have-some-steak-with-the-sizzle department
An anonymous reader writes "Why are Android device commercials showing giant robots and lightning bolts and not advertising features? Here is an interesting blog post of things Android device manufacturers could be doing to get ahead of Apple, but aren't."
On a similar front, as a mostly happy Android user, I must admit envy for the jillions of accessories marketed for the iPhone, especially ones that take advantage of that Apple-only accessory port
; maybe the Android Open Accessory
project will help.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's drag-out-your-cliches department
AlexDomo writes to point out this statistical breakdown of the programming languages represented at StackOverflow
One of the attached comments makes an interesting point about the difficulty in divining meaning from such statistics
, though.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's well-it's-just-a-theory department
esocid writes with excerpts from a piece written by Ben Goldacre of The Guardian: "Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of pharmacology at Oxford, apparently announced that computer games are causing dementia in children. ... Two months ago the same professor linked internet use with the rise in autism diagnoses (not for the first time), then pulled back when autism charities and an Oxford professor of psychology raised concerns. ... When I raised concerns, she said I was like the epidemiologists who denied that smoking caused cancer. Other critics find themselves derided as sexist in the media. If a scientist sidesteps their scientific peers, and chooses to take an apparently changeable, frightening, and technical scientific case directly to the public, then that is a deliberate decision, and one that can't realistically go unnoticed. ... I think these serious scientific concerns belong, at least once, in a clear scientific paper. I don't see how this suggestion is inappropriate, or impudent, and in all seriousness, I can't see an argument against it."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's paywalls-are-a-disease department
First time accepted submitter ecorona writes "This Google Maps mashup was published in Science (paywall warning) this week. It shows genetic risk for multiple diseases distributed across the globe. It's easy to follow the migration path and see which diseases increase/decrease in risk along human migration paths. Click on the populations to see the relative risk of the selected disease for each population. You can pick your a disease and see which populations are more susceptible. The article is behind a paywall, but the website is free to use."
On a similar note, an anonymous reader points out
a British research project that "used Twitter to track and map flu-like illnesses across the U.K. to determine if epidemics were emerging. The research culminated into an online visual tool, the Flu Detector
, that maps tweeted flu rates in several regions across the U.K.
"Read Replies (0)