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Comment: Re:My question is: (Score 1) 68

by Anenome (#40809447) Attached to: Space Fish: ISS Aquatic Habitat Delivered By HTV-3

"Likewise, so could a fish flap its fins and propel itself slowly through air, in the absence of gravity to cancel out the tiny force imparted on flapping fins against air."

However, fish are used to flapping against water, something with far more mass. It's likely that should they find themselves in air they'd rapidly flop around and achieve virtually no propulsion at all.

+ - Blio Reader Site Hijacked 1

Submitted by Anenome
Anenome (1250374) writes "Tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th, is the official release date of the Ray Kurzweil-sponsored Blio Reader, a next generation e-reader software platform. However it looks like someone's trying to spoil the party.

I hit up the Blio Reader site just now to see if the reader is available yet, but it keeps trying to redirect to "64.202.189.170" instead, which it turns out is a known malicious site associated with the Conficker worm and other nastiness. This redirect did not happen just a few hours ago when I had checked the site, though it was having a lot of trouble loading then and was behaving strangely (tried to download the page to me rather than load in browser).

I'm thinking the site's been hacked, hijacked, and redirected in anticipation of the flood of people about to go there tomorrow morning to get the reader, following the timely press it's gotten anticipating the release. I hope I'm wrong and it's a false positive or something, but wanted to get the word out.

Do we have any security pros up in here who can check it out and weigh in? (I'm certainly not a security pro) I can't find any google references to the site being hacked either. Something must be done!"
Movies

Mass Effect To Invade the Big Screen 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the seth-green-seems-like-a-lock dept.
UgLyPuNk writes "This could be a good thing or a bad thing: EA has just confirmed that it's making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, which is best known for its co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen, and, um, The Hangover, as part of a co-financing agreement with Warner Bros."
Biotech

Foldit Player May Have Created a Useful Protein 144

Posted by kdawson
from the know-when-to-hold-'em dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The organizers of the game Foldit, where you fold proteins for scientific research, announced that a user has found a protein that may be able to bind influenza viruses. Researchers plan to test the protein in a lab over the next few weeks to see if it might be medically useful."
PC Games (Games)

How PC Game Modders Are Evolving 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the longer-beaks-for-breaking-shells dept.
Lanxon writes "Wired has a lengthy investigation into the state of PC game mods, and the amateurs keeping the scene exciting in the wake of draconian DRM placed on many PC titles by major studios. It highlights a number of creative modders, such as Scott Reismanis, founder and editor of Mod DB, and his community-driven alternative to Valve's Steam — Desura — which is 'a distribution system, and, like Steam, will sell games and champion indie titles. But the way it handles mods makes it even more exciting.'"

Comment: Silly (Score 1, Insightful) 673

by Anenome (#31972558) Attached to: Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

"This does look like a perfect excuse for already greedy airlines to try and get more money ..."

That's ridiculous. If the government forced them to stop flying and was wrong, then the airlines should be compensated. Otherwise, let them do what they want. Who's hurt more by a plane falling out of the sky, a company or a government. They know when to ground their own.

Comment: Re:Lysenkoism makes your argument look foolish. (Score 1) 213

by Anenome (#31854110) Attached to: New Russian Science City Modeled On Silicon Valley

"Does that not also apply to employees in private organisations? If a machine breaks in a company owned by the worker, he fixes it. If the farm is owned by a hedge fund, he has no incentive to fix it. By your own logic, socialism is the better option. The farmer with a direct stake in his farm will run it better than a farmer who's merely an employee."

- The difference is, the decision makers in the organization--the executives--have a direct interest in the outcome of the business.

That is to say that the incentive structure is direct. Failure results in executives being removed from pay and position. Success means both reputation increase and financial reward.

Employees don't have a ton of incentive, true, they've traded share in success or failure for stability.

But the situation is far worse in a government run corporation. When you have politicians in the executive position you have people who've been elected or appointed there and whom do not share in the success or failure of the enterprise. They simply don't care either way, because success or failure has no impact on them.

For reference, might I suggest the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both QUANGOs.

Comment: Re:Lysenkoism makes your argument look foolish. (Score 5, Informative) 213

by Anenome (#31842584) Attached to: New Russian Science City Modeled On Silicon Valley

Yes, there is an answer for why communism in the farm fails.

Read the eminent economist and commentator Thomas Sowell's book, "Knowledge and Decisions" for an explanation of why socialism/communism failed in the farms, and why the same reasons it failed there cause it to fail or be continually less efficient than capitalism in every other enterprise.

If you think a publicly-owned anything can do better than a private organization, you have to explain how it will use coercion to do that, because public org's ability to coerce is the only difference between them. Both public and private companies are simply groups of people. People denigrate private orgs for having personal stakes in the outcome, but what turns out to be worse is the indifference of those with no stake in an enterprises outcome such as we find in communal/public organizations.

Ultimately, what Sowell's thesis comes down to is that communal organizations face a distortion of incentive structures. If something breaks on a farm that's owned by the farmer he fixes it. If a machine breaks on a communist farm he expects someone else to fix it--he doesn't own it. He neither profits by fixing it nor loses by not fixing. Thus, the owner has incentive to do what maximizes efficiency. The communal farmer does not, and could actually be punished for trying.

But farming doesn't have a lot of room for error. And if you're drastically inefficient enough people start starving. See China and Mao's "Great Leap Forward" (into starvation apparently) which resulted in the deaths of some 20+ million Chinese.

Comment: Unagi = Delicious (Score 1) 204

by Anenome (#31798646) Attached to: Completely Farm-Bred Unagi, a World First

Hell yeah, unagi is my absolute favorite sushi of all time. If you've never had it, find a good sushi place and try it (emphasis on 'good'). And since it's actually served cooked, you wussies can't complain :P It's also served with an absolutely delicious teriyaki sauce.

Close behind that one: ama ebi ^_^

Comment: Non-issue (Score 4, Interesting) 776

by Anenome (#31728934) Attached to: Toyota Accelerator Data Skewed Toward Elderly

What it means is that there's likely zero problem with Toyota's cars and there never was.

What's happening is that people are missing the brake pedal and hitting the gas pedal without realizing it. Their car then speeds up, shocking them, and since they think they're foot is on the brake they slam it all the way down, stomp on it, etc., and it just keeps going.

The elderly do this all the time.

Toyota's are just really popular cars, and some lawyer out there smelled blood.

And right now is a really good time to buy a Toyota. You'll get the deal of a lifetime :)

Censorship

Venezuela Bans Hostile Videogames and Toys 335

Posted by timothy
from the hostile-autocrats-still-ok dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an effort to 'help improve child education and prevent misconduct,' the Venezuelan government began enforcing a law on March 3rd banning war videogames and toys, imposing a fine and 2.5 years in prison on the production, distribution, sale, hiring and use of video games and toys inciting violent behavior. Alberto Federico Ravell, former director of opposing news network Globovision, has already come on twitter denouncing the authorities for seizing imported Gameboy, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, due to considering them violent."
Microsoft

Microsoft Facing Class-Action Suit Over Xbox Live Points 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the demo-suit-is-free dept.
An anonymous reader tips news that a lawyer in Pennsylvania has filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company's handling of Xbox Live transactions is, in some cases, fraudulent. "Samuel Lassoff, of Horsham, PA, said an invoice he received earlier this month from Microsoft included charges for purchases he couldn't complete due to a balky download system — and he claimed it wasn't an accident. Microsoft 'engaged in a scheme to unjustly enrich itself through their fraudulent handling' of his account, Lassoff charged in papers filed earlier this week in US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. ... 'Microsoft breached that contract by collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided,' Lassoff said in his lawsuit."
PlayStation (Games)

Gran Turismo 5 Delayed 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the running-on-fumes dept.
RogueyWon writes "The Times is reporting that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5, likely to prove a key title for the PlayStation 3, has been delayed indefinitely, despite an expectation that it would be released relatively early in 2010. The delay seems likely to impact Sony's plans to bundle the game with the PlayStation 3 console in time for the important spring sales period in Japan."

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