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Comment Re:Half right (Score 1) 286

It didn't 'decide' to do anything of the kind. The Beeb has always been far from perfect, but it was compelled to do all those things by successive governments obsessed with supposed free market policies that only ended up sacrificing the creative and technical integrity of the corporation for what ended up being the enrichment of a very privileged few who were in the right place at the right time.

Comment Re:EGW (Score 1) 118

Horses may be monogastric but they have caeca, i.e. a highly developed hind-gut fermentation system. Although they don't need to and indeed cannot eructate (the main source of methane emissions in cattle), they still contribute their fair share. And don't forget decomposition products from manure. The best thing you can say about any form of agricultural methane emission is that the animals involved are on a relatively short carbon cycle - they release carbon that has only recently been fixed from the atmosphere; it's the logistics and infrastructure that goes with supporting, say, intensively produced feedlot cattle (gas for tractors and shipping, intensive feed production etc.) that is damaging.

Comment Re:Realpolitik (Score 3, Informative) 261

The ECHR to which the parent refers is not simply an international treaty obligation. The articles and protocols it creates are explicitly enshrined in British law via the 1998 Human Rights Act, an instrument which while hated by our far right parties is IMHO one of the shining achievements of recent times (though not without flaws). The draconian environment you'll undoubtedly find at UK border control is quite a different issue, but it's one that you'll find familiar the world over.

Comment Re:It's almost as though cars need winterizing (Score 1) 476

Just to back up the surprise, my experience of NZ (as a Brit) is pretty similar to yours, and having spent a fair bit of time in both countries I'd broadly validate your assumption about the similarity of Aussie and Kiwi travel habits. If nothing else, the Interislander between Wellington and Picton works pretty well, it's only 90-odd km on the water and you can pretty much get the train straight through!

Firefox 4 Beta 9 Out, Now With IndexedDB and Tabs On Titlebar 537

surveyork writes "''Mozilla today officially released Firefox 4 Beta 9 and it's a big improvement over previous betas and a parsec beyond the Firefox 3.6.x experience. At this stage, after months of development, Mozilla developers are clearly nearing the end of this development marathon.' After Firefox beta 9, a beta 10 and a single RC are scheduled (this road map can change, of course). The main features of Firefox beta 9 are IndexedDB and tabs on titlebar (just like Chrome and Opera). IndexedDB allows sites to store data on your computer (with your prior authorization). Tabs on titlebar is self-explanatory. Old-schoolers can always turn on the 'show menu bar' to get their familiar GUI back. Oh, and Fx beta 9 is fast and starts fast. Firefox beta 9 available here and in lots of official mirrors."

Comment Re:Apple is flailing. (Score 1) 263

Dude, that's just flamebait. I'm neither a Google nor an Apple fanboy. I've had two iphones and a couple of Android devices too. Early on in the game your criticism may have had some substance but my current handset, the HTC Desire, is without a doubt the best phone I've ever had. It Just Works in the way that Apple are usually so proud of.

You can prise my Macbook Pro out of my cold dead hands but on the mobile front I'm not a lover of the iphone our-way-or-the-highway approach.

The good news is there's room for all these companies in the ecosystem. Healthy competition breeds innovation from all comers.

"The combination of modern ordnance and outdated tactics had, as ever, created enormous casualties on both sides." - seemed like an apt Banks quote (from Excession) considering the state of the mobile arms race...


Project Management For Beginners? 168

lawpoop writes "At my current workplace, I'm tasked with creating a rather complicated and metastasizing web-database application. I've mostly been the sole 'IT guy' at my workplaces in the past, so I've never had to, nor taken the time, to learn proper project management routines — code comments mostly got me through it. Now for this project, it's getting somewhat hairy and I'm sensing that I need to start doing things in a more organized manner. What resources would you direct me to? Books? (I wouldn't mind buying one good one.) Websites? What do proper 'specs' look like? Must I use UML (seems complicated and unintuitive) or a simpler ER diagram? For this job, I just need to provide better estimates for completing features, but what will I need if/when I would be working with a team?"

Fermilab Not Dead Yet, Discovers Rare Single Top Quark 194

Several sources are reporting that in spite of LHC hype, Fermilab's Tevatron has produced another feat for scientific discovery. Currently the world's most powerful operating particle accelerator, the Tevatron has allowed researchers to observe a rare single Top Quark. "Previously, top quarks had only been observed when produced by the strong nuclear force. That interaction leads to the production of pairs of top quarks. The production of single top quarks, which involves the weak nuclear force and is harder to identify experimentally, has now been observed, almost 14 years to the day of the top quark discovery in 1995."
Hardware Hacking

An Open Source Coffee Machine 99

An anonymous reader writes "The Open Source Coffee Machine [video link] is a recycled coffee machine, controlled by a PC running Beremiz, and using some MicroMod CANopen I/O nodes from Peak-System. This machine have been prepared by Peak-System and Lolitech for SCS-Paris-08 exhibition. It served free coffee during four days at Peak-System's booth, and has been donated to IUT of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France, so that students can have fun practicing automation."

What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines 737

jamie tips an article in The Guardian's "Bad Science" column which highlights recent media coverage of the MMR vaccine. A story circulated in the past week about the death of a young child, which the parents blamed on the vaccine. When the coroner later found that it had nothing to do with the child's death, there was a followup in only one of the six papers who had covered the story. "Does it stop there? No. Amateur physicians have long enjoyed speculating that MMR and other vaccinations are somehow 'harmful to the immune system' and responsible for the rise in conditions such as asthma and hay fever. Doubtless they must have been waiting some time for evidence to appear. ... Measles cases are rising. Middle class parents are not to blame, even if they do lack rhetorical panache when you try to have a discussion with them about it. They have been systematically and vigorously misled by the media, the people with access to all the information, who still choose, collectively, between themselves, so robustly that it might almost be a conspiracy, to give you only half the facts."

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray