By kdawson from Slashdot's transparency-wins deptartment
jamie found a story up on Daily Kos revealing that the polling firm they had contracted with for 18 months, Research 2000 or R2K, apparently made up or at least manually tweaked its polling results
. The blog published a preliminary report
by a team of statistics gurus (Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman), and it is an exemplar of clarity and concision. The team reports, "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls." Daily Kos will be filing a lawsuit against its former pollster. "For the past year and a half, Daily Kos has been featuring weekly poll results from the Research 2000 (R2K) organization. These polls were often praised for their 'transparency,' since they included detailed cross-tabs on sub-populations and a clear description of the random dialing technique. However, on June 6, 2010, FiveThirtyEight.com rated R2K as among the least accurate pollsters in predicting election results. Daily Kos then terminated the relationship. One of us (MG) wondered if odd patterns he had noticed in R2K's reports might be connected with R2K's mediocre track record, prompting our investigation of whether the reports could represent proper random polling. ... This posting is a careful initial report of our findings, not intended to be a full formal analysis but rather to alert people not to rely on R2K's results."Read Replies (0)
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's good-luck-with-that deptartment
shmG writes "Google Inc. has announced a 'new approach' in China after the government said the company could no longer automatically redirect users to the unfiltered Hong Kong site. This gives Baidu Inc., which already has a greater than 60% share in Internet search in China, a chance to expand. It has announced new plans to hire US engineers to enhance its technical skills and propel its growth globally."
Update: 06/29 18:27 GMT by S
: Changed the headline to more accurately reflect what Google is doing
. They're ending the redirect and applying for a license renewal, so it's still in question whether they'll actually go dark in China. However, they say they're also looking for ways to continue allowing uncensored search, such as putting a high-profile link to their Hong Kong site on the google.cn landing page
.Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's rewriting-the-foundations-of-western-civ deptartment
Reader eldavojohn tips the news of a researcher in the UK, Jay Kennedy, who has uncovered a hidden code in the writings of Plato
. From the University of Manchester press release: "[Dr. Kennedy said] 'I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato. This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.' ... The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. ... Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure — it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own teacher [Aristotle] had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death."
Here is the paper
(PDF), which was published in the journal Apeiron
: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science.Read Replies (0)