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Female-Run Companies Often do Better Than Male-Run Ones (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 01:16 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's sometimes-the-best-man-for-the-job-is-a-woman department:
Today's interviewee, Viktoria Tsukanov, is one of the executives at predictive marketing company Mintigo who did a study in January, 2015 that seemed to show that large companies with female CEOs "achieve up to 18% higher revenue per employee than male CEOs." The study, titled "She’s the CEO and She’s Sensational," used financial data Mintigo collected on 20 million companies, and determined CEOs' genders by analyzing first names, so it was not subject to survey vagaries but was a straight data analysis job. Could this be a case of correlation and causation being unrelated? It's possible. It's also possible that the revenue per employee figures are affected by the fact that female CEOs are more common in healthcare and non-profit organizations, while men dominate manufacturing and construction -- and, as Viktoria pointed out in a blog post headlined "Women Just Raised the Bar. Big Time." there may be other factors at work as well.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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TP-82: The Gun Cosmonauts Carried On Space Missions
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shoot-first department:
HughPickens.com writes James Simpson has an interesting story about the TP-82 survival pistol that Russian cosmonauts carried into space with them on missions between 1982 and 2006. But calling it a pistol is slightly misleading—the TP-82 was essentially a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun with a short-barreled rifle added onto it. Having a gun inside a thin-walled spacecraft filled with oxygen sounds crazy, but the Soviets had their reasons. Much of Russia is desolate wilderness. A single mishap during descent could strand cosmonauts in the middle of nowhere. In March 1965, cosmonaut Alexey Leonov landed a mechanically-faulty Voskhod space capsule in the snowy forests of the western Urals 600 miles from his planned landing site. For protection, Leonov had a nine-millimeter pistol. He feared the bears and wolves that prowled the forest—though he never encountered any. But the fear stayed with him. Later in his career, Leonov made sure the Soviet military provided all its cosmonauts with a survival weapon. For the Soviets, the weapon was a case of "better safe than sorry," and from 1986, it was a permanent fixture in the portable survival kits of every Soyuz mission. "Astronauts of all nationalities—including Americans—have trained with the TP-82," writes Simpson. "And still today, before they ride the Soyuz to space, they must complete a Russian survival training course in the Black Sea and the Siberian forest."

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Georgia State Univ. Art Project Causes 2nd Evacuation & Bomb Squad Call
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's so-nice-they-did-it-twice department:
McGruber writes The same Georgia State University art project responsible for Monday's shutdown of Atlanta's Downtown Connector (Interstates 75 & 85), caused authorities in the south Fulton County, Georgia town of Hapeville to evacuate businesses and call in a bomb squad Tuesday.

According to Georgia State University spokesman Don Hale, the devices are pinhole camera being used in a solargraphy project to track the rising and setting of the sun over a three-month period. "Students were instructed to take their cameras home and to place them in locations that would provide interesting scenes with bright sunlight," Hale said. "The locations were selected by the students."

It was up to each of the 18 students in the class to find a spot for their own project, the university said. The university was made aware of the art project Tuesday morning and, through its police department, immediately informed the Atlanta Police Department, Hale said.


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Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-second-thought department:
An anonymous reader writes Last month, there were several Canadian
media reports
on how the work of Ian Fleming, the creator of
James Bond, had entered the public domain. While this was oddly
described as a "copyright quirk", it was no quirk. The term of
copyright in Canada (alongside TPP countries such as Japan and New
Zealand) is presently life of the author plus an additional 50
years, a term that meets the international standard set by the Berne
Convention. Those countries now appear to have caved
to U.S. pressure
as there are reports that they have agreed to
extend to life plus 70 years as part of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership.


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Executive Director Andrew Lewman Answers Your Questions About Tor and Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-it-is department:
A while ago you had a chance to ask Executive Director of the Tor project Andrew Lewman about fighting laws and technology that threaten anonymity and the importance of privacy. Below you'll find his answers to your questions.

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Ask Slashdot: Gaining Control of My Mobile Browser?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lagging-utility department:
An anonymous reader writes: I run Firefox with NoScript and FlashBlock at home. Browsing is easy, and I only have to enable scripts on a few sites. If they have 20+ scripts, I just surf somewhere else. Fast forward to the mobile experience. I had an Android device, but now I have an iPhone. In addition to the popup problem, and the fake "X" on ads, the iPhone browsers (Safari, Chrome, Opera) will start to show a site, then they will lock up for 10-30 seconds before finally becoming responsive. If I switch back to another app and then return to the browser, Safari and Chrome have a little delay, but Opera delays 20+ seconds before becoming responsive again.

Firefox is not available on the iPhone, so I can't simply run NoScript. Chrome does not appear to have a NoScript equivalent for mobile. What solutions are you using to make mobile browsing work?


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Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's talking-sense department:
An anonymous reader writes: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has published an op-ed explaining how and why the FCC will "use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open internet protections." He says, "These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone's permission. ... To preserve incentives for broadband operators to invest in their networks, my proposal will modernize Title II, tailoring it for the 21st century, in order to provide returns necessary to construct competitive networks. For example, there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling. Over the last 21 years, the wireless industry has invested almost $300 billion under similar rules, proving that modernized Title II regulation can encourage investment and competition."

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Too Much Exercise May Not Be Better Than a Sedentary Lifestyle
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's everything-in-moderation department:
jones_supa writes: The importance of exercise has been arriving in spades for geek culture. However, when approaching extremes, a point is reached where vigorous jogging erodes some of the benefits light jogging has over a sedentary lifestyle. "Long-term excessive exercise may be associated with coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction and large artery wall stiffening," wrote lead author Peter Schnohr of Copenhagen's Frederiksberg Hospital in a Danish study (abstract). Although previous research has found that physically active people have at least a 30% lower risk of death compared with inactive people, the ideal amount of exercise remains somewhat uncertain. In this study, strenuous joggers — people who ran faster than 11 km/h for more than 4 hours a week; or who ran faster than 11 km/h for more than 2.5 hours a week with a frequency of more than three times a week — had a mortality rate that is not statistically different from that of the sedentary group.
Medical journalist Larry Husten notes that this study, while interesting, should not be taken as the final word on the subject.

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One-Atom-Thick Silicene Transistors May Lead To Dramatically Faster Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ever-smaller-ever-faster department:
Zothecula writes: As recently as 2010, human-made silicene – an atom-thin form of silicon – was purely theoretical. But now the exotic material has been used to make transistors, and researchers have found that silicene's electrical properties lend it extraordinary potential in powering the next generation of computer chips. The new method (abstract) of creating the silicene reduces its exposure to air. "To start, the researchers let a hot vapor of silicon atoms condense onto a crystalline block of silver in a vacuum chamber. They then formed a silicene sheet on a thin layer of silver and added a nanometer-thick layer of alumina on top. Because of these protective layers, the team could safely peel it of its base and transfer it silver-side-up to an oxidized-silicon substrate. They were then able to gently scrape some of the silver to leave behind two islands of metal as electrodes, with a strip of silicene between them."

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Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
An anonymous reader writes: Today Staples announced plans to buy Office Depot in a deal worth $6.3 billion. This is a huge consolidation within the office supply industry. Office Depot and OfficeMax were the second- and third-biggest suppliers when they merged in 2013. Adding those to the enormity of Staples would effectively bring the U.S. under a single office supply chain. "The move is expected to draw scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, though regulators have been increasingly willing to approve retail mergers in light of burgeoning e-commerce competition. ... This isn't the first time Staples has tried to buy Office Depot. In 1997, the FTC derailed Staples' acquisition of its rival as anticompetitive. By 2013, though, the agency's view had shifted. When the FTC allowed Office Depot to buy OfficeMax, it said the advent of online retailing ensured competition in the market for office supplies. Consumers today also rely more heavily on big-box chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for office products, the commission said."

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Testosterone Increasingly Being Used To Fight Aging In Men
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's performance-enhancing-drugs-will-invalidate-your-snow-shoveling-records department:
An anonymous reader writes: In this time of advanced technology, our battle against aging isn't going well. Lifespan has been improved quite a bit through halting numerous diseases and improving nutrition, but medical science is struggling to slow the gradual wear and tear that builds up as we get older. Cutting edge treatment theories are all hellishly complex, so many men are turning to a solution that's been with us for 80 years: testosterone. Clinics are popping up around the U.S. that prescribe no actual medicine, but instead hand out testosterone and supplements. "In 2013, 14,000 kilograms of testosterone were sold in the United States. That might not sound like much, but a typical adult male has just 0.000000035 kilograms of testosterone floating around in his bloodstream. There is a lot of extra T in the hormonal composition of the country—and it only accounts for the legal sales."

John Hoberman, professor and author, calls this new medical model "client-centered libertarian medicine." He says, "Once upon a time, respectable society feared contamination by illegal and disreputable drugs that were consumed by social deviants. Now regulators are concerned about a growing demand for legal drugs that serve socially sanctioned goals such as productivity, physical attractiveness, and sexual viability. The 'threat' posed by such drugs originates in the very system of values that sanctions their use, and it is a paradox that has put regulators in an untenable position."


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New Fiber Optic Signal Processing Technique Doubles Communication Distance
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-can't-reach-the-moon department:
hypnosec writes: Researchers at University College London (UCL) have demonstrated a new technique for fiber optic signal processing that doubles the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The UCL research, published in Scientific Reports, has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fiber communications as signals wouldn't need to be electronically boosted during their journey, which is important when the cables are buried underground or at the bottom of the ocean. The study reports a new way of improving the transmission distance, by undoing the interactions that occur between different optical channels as they travel side-by-side over an optical cable. By eliminating the interactions between the optical channels, researchers increase distance signals can be transmitted error-free from 3190km to 5890km, which is the largest increase ever reported for this system architecture.

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Alibaba Tests Drone Delivery Service In China
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-population-density-work-for-you department:
An anonymous reader writes: Following the lead of online retail giant Amazon, Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba has today tested its first drone delivery service. Asia's largest e-retailer promises to deliver ginger tea within an hour to customers across its flagship consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao, which holds an estimated 90 per cent market share in the country. The remote-controlled black and silver drones are helicopter-like in design and carry a white box containing the product. For now the service is limited to a three-day test in three of China's largest mega-cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and confined to just one tea brand from one merchant. The trial will be applied up to a limit of 450 tea deliveries.

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British MPs Approve 3-Parent Babies
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who's-your-mitochondrial-mommy department:
An anonymous reader writes: A vote of 382-128 in the UK's House of Commons gave approval for a procedure that allows the creation of babies using DNA from three parents. If the measure passes the House of Lords and gets licensed by the fertility regulator, the UK would be the first country to allow such genetic engineering. The medical procedure was designed to help conception when genetic diseases could be passed through mitochondrial DNA. A child inherits mitochondria only from its mother, and these mitochondria have their own DNA, which doesn't affect things like the child's appearance.

The purpose of the procedure is to replace the mother's mitochondria, and that can happen in two different ways. In one method, doctors take eggs from the mother and from a donor, removing the nucleus of both. The mother's nucleus is then implanted in the donor's egg, which can then be fertilized by the father's sperm. The other method is similar, but both eggs are fertilized before the nucleus swap takes place.

There has been lively debate about this issue, with critics raising ethical concerns and questioning the procedure's success rate. They also bring up the slippery slope argument that this will lead to further genetic modification of children. Proponents point out that less than 0.1% of the child's DNA will come from the donor, and it won't affect anything other than the child's health.


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Microsoft Open Sources CoreCLR, the .NET Execution Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's following-through department:
An anonymous reader writes: As part of Microsoft's continuing project to open source the .NET framework, the company has announced that CoreCLR, the execution engine for .NET Core, is now available on GitHub. CoreCLR handles things like garbage collection, compilation to machine code, and IL byte code loading. The .NET team said, "We have released the complete and up-to-date CoreCLR implementation, which includes RyuJIT, the .NET GC, native interop and many other .NET runtime components. ... We will be adding Linux and Mac implementations of platform-specific components over the next few months. We already have some Linux-specific code in .NET Core, but we're really just getting started on our ports. We wanted to open up the code first, so that we could all enjoy the cross-platform journey from the outset."

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Major Record Labels Keep 73% of Spotify Payouts
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '15 at 01:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
journovampire sends this report:
New record company figures out of France suggest that artists are being paid just 68 cents from every €9.99 monthly music streaming subscription – as major labels keep hold of 73% of payouts from the likes of Spotify. They’re followed by writers/publishers with a 16% share, and then artists – mostly paid by their labels – who get 11%.

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Pilot's Selfies Could Have Caused Deadly Air Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '15 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's reasons-selfies-will-cause-the-fall-of-civilization department:
alphadogg writes: A deadly air crash that killed a pilot and passenger in Colorado last year was likely due to a loss of spatial awareness brought on in part by taking of selfies while in flight, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded. An examination of the aircraft revealed no apparent problems that would have caused the accident so, based on the previous patterns of behavior, the NTSB concluded that "it is likely that cell phone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control."

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Lowering the Cost of Biofuel Production
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '15 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's baby-steps department:
sciencehabit writes: 2014 was a banner year for making automotive fuel from nonfood crops, with a series of major new production plants opening in the United States. However, producing this so-called cellulosic ethanol remains considerably more expensive than gasoline. So researchers are always on the lookout for new ways to trim costs. Now they have a new lead: a microbe that can use abundant nitrogen gas as the fertilizer it needs to produce ethanol from plants. The discovery (abstract) is "a major commercial accomplishment for biofuel production," says microbiologist Steven Ricke.

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Alan Turing's Notes Found After Being Used As Insulation At Bletchley Park
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '15 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's winning-a-war-and-keeping-people-warm department:
An anonymous reader writes: In 2013, a restoration project for Hut 6 of Bletchley Park uncovered a collection of papers being used as roof insulation. The papers were frozen to preserve them while they were inspected and repaired. Now they're on display at an exhibition showing items found during the restoration process. "The documents also included the only known examples of Banbury sheets, a technique devised by [Turing] to accelerate the process of decrypting Nazi messages. No other examples have ever been found. All the findings are unique as all documentary evidence from the codebreaking process was supposed to be destroyed under wartime security rules."

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Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '15 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's parent-teacher-conferences-are-a-cinch department:
VorpalRodent writes: I went to a private school for about 6 years, then completed my education at the local public school, going on to get a couple undergraduate degrees and a postgraduate degree. My wife dropped out of high school and got her equivalency many years later. Now, she wants to homeschool our son.

There is a significant body of literature which indicates that homeschoolers outperform their traditionally schooled counterparts academically, regardless of the level of education of the parent, and she certainly cares more now that she's older. I don't like anecdotes, but I certainly haven't seen the research borne out in any of the people that I know who were homeschooled. More importantly, it seems like the only reason my wife wants to homeschool is because she doesn't want to let go.

Our son would be going into Kindergarten this coming year. I'm interested in some rational discussion on this, since it seems like the only viewpoints I've ever seen on the matter are "Better academics" vs. "Social interaction," both of which are gross oversimplifications. It doesn't help that I can't find any statistical information on post-schooling outcomes.


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