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Comment: Re:Sounds improbable (Score 1) 513

by Anspen (#42031475) Attached to: Dutch Cold Case Murder Solved After 8000 People Gave Their DNA
The DNA evidence came from more than one sample. Some was retrieved from the body, but at least one sample came from a lighter found inside the bag of the victim. While the homogeneity in the area the crime happened is quite high, the DNA testing accounts for this (not to mention that there's still al lot of variation even between parent and children or siblings, let alone stranger, even from the same ethnic group.

Comment: Re:Sounds improbable (Score 1) 513

by Anspen (#42031373) Attached to: Dutch Cold Case Murder Solved After 8000 People Gave Their DNA
True, however they also have test results from both his father and his son which would eliminate "simple" false positives such as mislabelling his sample. Beyond that, they ran a second test after he was arrested, presumably more accurate, Finally, they DNA evidence on its own isn't sufficient, that will have to get a confession or a more evidence. Which should be a lot easier now they have specific suspect.

Comment: Re:Sounds improbable (Score 1) 513

by Anspen (#42031265) Attached to: Dutch Cold Case Murder Solved After 8000 People Gave Their DNA

I also wonder what Dutch law is as to the admission of DNA evidence in trial is. Is it enough to provide grounds for arrest, but not usable in court?

According to the media/the prosecutor, the DNA evidence (which was rerun after the accused was arrested) is not sufficient on its own, they will need either a confession or strong circumstantial evidence (proof he was near the scene of the murder for example).

Comment: Re:It only requires the will (Score 1) 473

That doesn't mean renewable became any more viable economically, or that other poorer countries have any chance of replicating this feat.

Actually it sort of does. The massive investment by Germany (and a few other nations) has resulted in a dramatic lowering of the price of renewables.

Comment: Re:EU wide? (Score 1) 290

It's not "rubberstamping", which would imply it's simply the same (translated) text in each country. The implementation of the directives is done by creating a new law which depends on the constitution and existing laws in the specific country. The goal is to have laws which work the same way, but may differ in foundation and/or details. The sovereignty bit come in early when the actual decision about the directive is made, at that point each country gets to vote, sometimes with a veto.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 596

by Anspen (#38990323) Attached to: US Approves Two New Nuclear Reactors

Germany itself is desperate for power because they decided to shut down power plants without building replacements, but they are apparently still better off than France.

The problem in Germany is mainly grid related; there's a lot of power in the north, but insufficient North-South grid capacity. This combined with the extreme cold of the last few weeks had lead to them powering up their reserve power plants (mostly old, unprofitable oil and coal power stations).

And just for clarities sake, because it's something that has mislead a lot of people: they didn't decide to shut down their power plants without building any replacement, they first decided to keep open plats which where scheduled to be shut down and then reversed again.

The Internet

New Online Dictionaries Automate Away the Linguistic Middleman 60

Posted by timothy
from the boncha-porftis-hworkin dept.
An article in The New York Times highlights two growing collections of words online that effectively bypass the traditional dictionary publishing system of slow aggregation and curation. Wordnik is a private venture that has already raised more than $12 million in capital, while the Corpus of Contemporary American English is a project started by Brigham Young professor Mark Davies. These sources differ from both conventional dictionary publishers and crowd-sourced efforts like the excellent Wiktionary for their emphasis on avoiding human intervention rather than fostering it. Says founder Erin McKean in the linked article, 'Language changes every day, and the lexicographer should get out of the way. ... You can type in anything, and we'll show you what data we have.'

Comment: Re:Oy Vey! (Score 1) 709

by Anspen (#38184964) Attached to: California Going Ahead With Bullet Train

This again? This train will *never* be built. And it's a stupid thing to build. Passenger rail hasn't made money since the mid 1800's, going faster won't make it any more viable.

Perhaps not in the US (though even there the ACELA semi-high speed is by all account quite profitable) but the almost all high speed lines are profitable en there a quite a few systems that are profitable, especially if you count the revenue from high speed lines.

Comment: Re:US. vs China (Score 1) 386

by Anspen (#37799830) Attached to: US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year

The US (or more correctly the Allies) also won because the Soviet Union kept fighting, even after losing a shitload of soldiers (to say nothing of civilians) in fighting the Axis forces. Arguably they couldn't have done it without US industrial support (especially trucks), but that is what actually broke the German war machine.

(Yes, not the point of the comment, and somewhat informed people will know this, but the shorted version: "The US singlehandedly won WW II" is a pet peeve of mine.)

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam