By timothy from Slashdot's people-like-to-ridicule department
sciencehabit writes: In 2014, a poll showed that just 49% of Americans agreed with the statement: "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." But it's difficult to tell whether those numbers measure ignorance about science, because belief in human evolution is closely tied to religious belief, especially in the United States. Yesterday, researchers at the annual meeting of AAAS, previewed data from a recent poll showing that when the word "human" is replaced with "elephant" in the evolution question, 75% of Americans agree — about 25 percentage points higher than before. Plus, the new elephant question does a better job of predicting general science knowledge than the human question, especially among those who say they don't believe in evolution. So it seems that America's dismal performance on past evolution polls can be blamed at least partially on this disbelief, rather than a lack of knowledge.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's will-make-sxsw-interesting department
AcidPenguin9873 writes: This past fall, the Austin City Council drafted regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft requiring drivers to submit to fingerprint-based background checks, similar to other taxi services in Austin. Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin market if the fingerprint-based background checks were passed. After lots of heated public comments and debate from both sides, the fingerprint requirements were passed by the council in December. Shortly thereafter, a PAC called Ridesharing Works for Austin was formed, and, with financial backing from Uber and Lyft, delivered a petition with over 25,000 valid signatures to the City that seeks to remove the fingerprint requirement. According to Austin city code, since the petition had enough valid signatures, the City Council was required to either adopt the language in the petition and remove the fingerprint requirement, or hold a referendum election on the issue. This past Thursday, the council declined to adopt the petition, so Austin voters will go to the polls in May to decide how Uber and Lyft should be regulated.
This case is quite interesting and raises a lot of questions. Uber and Lyft have said that their electronic tracking makes them safer than traditional taxi services, and so they shouldn't be subject to the same regulations. However, some citizens and council members don't like corporations strong-arming local government and effectively writing their own regulations. On the other, one of the council members who introduced the fingerprinting requirement had received campaign donations from at least one local taxi company, leading some to question her motives for introducing the stricter regulations for Uber and Lyft, and even going so far as to start a separate petition campaign to recall that council member. What does Slashdot think Austin should do?Read Replies (0)
What Bell Labs Was Like C.1967
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '16 at 09:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Bell-Labs department
New submitter niittyniemi writes: There's a rather interesting photo-gallery over at The Guardian
which gives an indication of what life was like at Bell Labs c.1967.
This was the year that Dennis
Ritchie joined Bell Labs and went on to produce a body of work which has
been pretty much unrivaled in its influence on the modern computing
landscape, even some 50 years later.
What's noticeable about the pictures, is that they are of woman. I don't
think this is a result of the photographer just photographing "eye candy". I
think it's because he was surrounded by women, whom from his comments he
very much respected and hence photographed.
In those times, wrangling with a computer was very much seen as "clerical
work" and therefore the domain of woman. This can be seen as far back as
Bletchley Park and before that Ada Lovelace.
Yet 50 years later, the IT industry has turned full-circle. Look at any IT
company and the percentage of women doing software development or similar is
woeful. Why and how has this happened? Discuss.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's open-source department
The Linux Foundation is announcing FD.io ("Fido"), a Linux Foundation Project. FD.io is an open source project to provide an IO services framework for the next wave of network and storage software. Early support for FD.io comes from founding members 6WIND, Brocade, Cavium, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Huawei, Inocybe Technologies, Intel Corporation, Mesophere, Metaswitch Networks (Project Calico), PLUMgrid and Red Hat. Architected as a collection of sub-projects, FD.io provides a modular, extensible user space IO services framework that supports rapid development of high-throughput, low-latency and resource-efficient IO services. The design of FD.io is hardware, kernel, and deployment (bare metal, VM, container) agnostic.Read Replies (0)