node created 2012/06/25
 2 y ago
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/19/arctic-stronghold-of-worlds-seeds-flooded-after-permafrost-melts
When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.
 2 y ago

motherfucker.

Currently, the predominant business model for commercial search engines is advertising. The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users. For example, in our prototype search engine one of the top results for cellular phone is "The Effect of Cellular Phone Use Upon Driver Attention", a study which explains in great detail the distractions and risk associated with conversing on a cell phone while driving. This search result came up first because of its high importance as judged by the PageRank algorithm, an approximation of citation importance on the web [Page, 98]. It is clear that a search engine which was taking money for showing cellular phone ads would have difficulty justifying the page that our system returned to its paying advertisers. For this type of reason and historical experience with other media [Bagdikian 83], we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.

Since it is very difficult even for experts to evaluate search engines, search engine bias is particularly insidious. A good example was OpenText, which was reported to be selling companies the right to be listed at the top of the search results for particular queries [Marchiori 97]. This type of bias is much more insidious than advertising, because it is not clear who "deserves" to be there, and who is willing to pay money to be listed. This business model resulted in an uproar, and OpenText has ceased to be a viable search engine. But less blatant bias are likely to be tolerated by the market. For example, a search engine could add a small factor to search results from "friendly" companies, and subtract a factor from results from competitors. This type of bias is very difficult to detect but could still have a significant effect on the market. Furthermore, advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results. For example, we noticed a major search engine would not return a large airline's homepage when the airline's name was given as a query. It so happened that the airline had placed an expensive ad, linked to the query that was its name. A better search engine would not have required this ad, and possibly resulted in the loss of the revenue from the airline to the search engine. In general, it could be argued from the consumer point of view that the better the search engine is, the fewer advertisements will be needed for the consumer to find what they want. This of course erodes the advertising supported business model of the existing search engines. However, there will always be money from advertisers who want a customer to switch products, or have something that is genuinely new. But we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm.
 2 y ago

US Bombing of Cambodia during Vietnam War

(click thumbnail to load video)
 2 y ago

lovely.

A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester's Department of Mathematics, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world's oceans of around six degrees Celsius -- which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 -- could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151201094120.htm
 2 y ago

You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)

by The White Stripes
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In some respects I suspect you've got a respectable side
When pushed and pulled and pressured, you still don't hide
But it's for someone else's benefit, not for what you wanna do
Until I realize that you've realized, I'm gonna say these words to you

Yeah, you don't know what love is, you do as you're told
Just as a child of ten might act, but you're far too old
You're not hopeless or helpless, and I hate to sound cold
But you don't know what love is, you just do as you're told

I can see a man can't help but win any problems that may arise
But in his mind there can be no sin if you never criticize
You just keep on repeating all those empty "I love yous"
Until you see you deserve better, I'm gonna lay right in to you

Yeah, you don't know what love is, you do as you're told
Just as a child of ten might act, but you're far too old
You're not hopeless or helpless, and I hate to sound cold
But you don't know what love is
No, you don't know what love is
No, you don't know what love is, you just do as you're told

Yeah, do as you're told
Yeah