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Comment: Re:Conjecture (Score 1) 299

by BritneySP2 (#38673956) Attached to: Should Science Rethink the Definition of "Life"?
Forget life, try defining something simpler, like what constitutes being a person, for example; you will immediately face hard questions of when an embryo becomes a person, whether the notion should include a brain-damaged individual, etc. Unfortunately, it seems as though the most a definition can do is give an idea of two topologically separated open sets (one, in the case of trying to define "life", containing "an animal", and the other containing "a rock"); the boundary between these sets remains undefined.

Comment: Re:Its a good thing (Score 1) 133

by BritneySP2 (#33844928) Attached to: Watch the 1st American Newsreel of Sputnik Launch

It is hard to believe that Eisenhower would worry so much about international norms as to let the Soviets win the space race, especially given the fact that the US had been violating their airspace using high-altitude U-2s on a regular basis for quite a while by then (until the Soviets shot one down in early 60s).

Comment: Re:Missing the Point (Score 1) 394

by BritneySP2 (#30801508) Attached to: Programming With Proportional Fonts?

Bullshit. The whole topic reminds me of heated discussions 40 years ago of how interactive programming using terminals was somehow inferior to batch programming using punch cards; or, later, how using graphical displays for text editing (as opposed to using VI on a dumb terminal) was a perversion.

Grow up people. Leave the character cell mentality in the past - together with dumb terminals and typewriters, and realize already that programs are just that - human readable text. The fact that a program can be fed to a computer is secondary.

And remember: mathematical formulas are not "regular text", either. And yet, fixed-width fonts are never used in typesetting them.

Comment: Re:USA!! USA! (Score 1) 136

by BritneySP2 (#28791129) Attached to: Forty Years of <em>Lunar Lander</em>
A failure upon impact at 2.68 km/s cold not prove anything, only an actual landing of an unmanned probe could. I am surprised, actually, that NASA gave the green light to the Apollo 11 mission without trying to send an exact copy of the lander on an unmanned landing mission first and, instead, simply trusted the information obtained by the Soviets who landed a probe of a completely different design and who, I am sure, were not eager to share with NASA all the details of how things went.

Comment: Re:USA!! USA! (Score 1) 136

by BritneySP2 (#28764287) Attached to: Forty Years of <em>Lunar Lander</em>
Other things aside, it just seems that NASA and the media make it all too easy to forget that it was the Soviets who made a major contribution to this success by having landed their Luna 10 there three years earlier and thus proving that it was physically possible to land on the Moon's surface at all. I wonder if the US would send people to the Moon without being reasonably sure if the surface was firm enough to support a lander.

Here is the complete timeline of the Luna missions: Luna Missions.

Software

+ - Jake looking for developers->

Submitted by
buchner.johannes
buchner.johannes writes "Jake is the new kid on the block for team collaboration. Developed by students in Vienna, this serverless, open-source, cross-platform versioning tool is aimed for non-developers. What makes Jake unique is that the communication is done over XMPP, and that the look-and-feel is very native (unlike most Java apps).
We turn to Slashdot as we look for developers interested in picking up the work, forking it, contributing or reusing concepts in other projects. Slashdot already discussed the need for a painless, easy-to-use tool once. About Jake shows a small comparison to other tools."

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Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

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