Saturday, May 2, 2015
Are psychological science studies reproducible? Reproducibility is a key aspect of the scientific method – if a scientist discovers something experimentally, then other scientists should be able to run the same experiment and get the same results. In recent years, many irreproducible psychological studies have been in the news, and in response over 250 psychologists made a concerted effort to reproduce studies – most especially, those studies that have been often cited. The first results are coming in. How do they look? Not so good...
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY BENCH MARKThis is the sort of marker used by the Geological Survey to make an altitude benchmark – a reference for local surveyors.
FOR INFORMATION WRITE DIRECTOR WASHINGTON D.C.
COOPERATION WITH THE STATE
ELEVATION ABOVE SEA LEVEL 4840 FEET
31 WF 1954
Today comes the news that Boeing is advising all owners of 787 Dreamliners to “reboot” their aircraft at least once every 248 days – power it down and back up. I don't think they have a CTL-ALT-DEL function on those planes ... but it sounds like maybe they need one! Oh, and Boeing is also based near Seattle.
For the geeks: the problem was traced to a 32-bit integer overflow. There's a counter that tracks 1/100ths of a second since power up, and 2^31 1/100ths of a second is ... ta da! ... about 248 days.
One wonders whether the programmer was simply ignorant about integer overflow (unfortunately, a common issue) or whether they simply didn't think it was possible an aircraft could be powered up that long. Boeing noted that this hasn't actually occurred to any aircraft – they caught it in testing...