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September 05, 2007

Software seeks to detect unreliable info in Wikipedia

Software seeks to detect unreliable info in Wikipedia

Interesting. It uses a reputation system to determine trthfulness.

Researchers at U-C Santa Cruz have developed software that aims to give users a way of detecting unreliable Wikipedia entries.

The software colors text some gradation of orange if there is reason to doubt its content. Developers explained that the deeper the orange, the more likely the information is malarkey.

The software determines the reliability of each new addition by analyzing the reputations of the contributors responsible for each line.

The program establishes contributors' trustworthiness by looking at how often their work survives subsequent edits by other people.

For now, the software is in demonstration mode. But researchers hoped to work with Wikipedia to make it a real-time option on the site.

Nukes mistakenly transported across America

AFP: B-52 carried nuclear armed cruise missiles by mistake: US

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A B-52 bomber flew the length of the United States last week loaded with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles in a major security breach, US military officials said Wednesday.

The lapse was reported to President George W. Bush after the nuclear warheads were discovered when the aircraft landed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, a military official said on condition of anonymity.

An air force official, who also asked to remain unnamed, said the B-52, which originated at Minot Air Base in North Dakota, had six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads loaded on pylons under its wings.

(via)

No time saved by eating pre-packaged foods

Accidental Hedonist - No Time Saved with Prepackaged food

With almost all of the home-cooked meals, families served some sort of packaged convenience food. Frozen entrees (such as stir-fry mixes, potstickers, chicken dishes and barbecued ribs) were the most popular products, followed by vegetables (canned or frozen), specialty breads (ready-to-eat, parbaked or from mix), canned soup and commercial pasta sauce. Beck did not consider dried pasta and tortillas to be convenience foods, but she did count bagged salads and hot dogs.

Surprisingly, dinner didn’t get on the table any faster in homes that favored convenience foods. Meals took an average of 52 minutes in total time to prepare. The difference in the total amount of time expended was not statistically significant between meals involving extensive use of convenience foods (with such foods making up 50% or more of a meal) and more limited use of such items (between 20 and 50%).

In fact, families saved only when it came to the amount of hands-on time spent preparing dishes — and the savings were relatively modest.

September 04, 2007

Microwave popcorn causes permanent lung damage! Ahhhh!

Really Guilty Pleasures: Microwave Popcorn May Cause Lung Damage - Consumerist

You probably thought the new, digitally zombified Orville Redenbacher was the most disturbing popcorn-related thing you'd see in 2007, but CNN is reporting (warning: video) that the butter flavoring in microwave popcorn causes permanent, debilitating asthma-like effects in popcorn factory workers.

The chemical, diacetyl (pronounced DIE-ASS-UH-TEAL) has been known to be dangerous for some time. In 2004, a worker was awarded 18 million in damages, according to the CNN video. The EPA has been working on a draft study of the dangers of the chemical to consumers, but hasn't finalized it yet.

So far one manufacturer, Pop Weaver, has announced that it has stopped using the chemical. ConAgra, the company behind the Orville Redenbacher and Act II brands, says it won't comment on the final report of the EPA draft until blah blah blah but it will remove diacetyl "in the near future." Until then, you eat ConAgra popcorn at your own peril.

Is this the most offensive meat commercial ever?

Feministing

Men's group asking men to leave money to men's rights groups, not their wives

MND: News and Commentary Since 2001 � Are American Men Leaving Money in Their Wills to Men’s Rights Causes?

This is pretty awful.

We hear all the time how a rich widow just died and left untold millions to foundations which are well known for then parceling out serious funding to feminist organizations. We also often hear how a given woman had been married to a conservative billionaire or millionaire who died before she did and left her 100% of his money. Too often we hear how, like Theresa Heinz, she then turned into a lefty and devoted the rest of her life to supporting worthless left wing causes like John Kerry.

Now I want to ask a simple question without showing too much disrespect for the dearly departed: is this irresponsible of the corpse or what?

Let me talk directly to older wealthy American married males: give us other men a break. Don’t assume that your wife is as conservative as you. Don’t die and leave her all of your money.

(via)