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Comment Re:Pedestrian problems? (Score 1) 1173

That whole "pedestrians have the right of way" thing should take care of that. I was in Zurich earlier this year, and the thing that surprised me the most as a pedestrian is how much the cars stop for you. At unsignaled crosswalks, and even at random places on the street that would be considered jaywalking, if I were to stand at the curb and look like I might want to cross, without fail traffic would stop for me. If I *didn't* cross, and motioned for them to pass (as is the norm in L.A.), they would either stay stopped and insist I cross, or give me a confused, slightly irritated look.

Big Buzz For $60,000 Electric Flight Prize 78

gilgsn writes "Electric Light Sport Aircraft are sprouting up all over. Now that the Experimental Aircraft Association is offering a 60,000 prize for the best ones, manufacturers are gearing up for the competition to be held the last week in July, at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, 'The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.' Airplanes will be tested for endurance, speed and time-to-climb. Pilots, charge up your batteries.."

Comment Debt != Deficit (Score 2, Insightful) 311

Debt is how much you owe, like how much your credit card balance is.
Deficit is how much you're borrowing/losing/hemorrhaging in a given time, like how much your credit card balance increases in a year.
Cutting the deficit by 1 trillion dollars would save TEN TRILLION DOLLARS in ten years.

I guess, technically, the summary could be valid if we're talking about a ten-year budget, but the national budget is something that's settled upon on an annual basis. Cutting the deficit by "an average of 100 billion dollars per year" would be more accurate.


The Gulf's Great Turtle Relocation Project 104

An anonymous reader writes "All along the Gulf Coast's beaches it's turtle-hatching season. Conservationists knew the poor hatchlings wouldn't have a chance if they swam out into the oily waters of the Gulf, so they came up with an incredibly ambitious plan: they would dig up 70,000 turtle eggs, carefully raise them in a climate-controlled hanger at the Kennedy Space Center, and release the hatchlings into the clean Atlantic waters off Florida's east coast. Now that project is well underway, and Discover Magazine has pictures of the first batch of hatchlings crawling toward the welcoming waves. But there's a chance all this do-gooding won't do any good. New Scientist found experts who argue that releasing them into the Atlantic rather than into the Gulf will screw up the turtles' navigation systems, which will prevent them from following their normal migratory routes."

Comment In other news... (Score 1) 356

In other news, the Business Software Alliance has proposed new standards on compassionate treatment in animal shelters with a clause forbidding use of pirated software in their administration.

Seriously, what business does an organization that claims to be for animal rights have sticking its nose in software development?

Comment Re:To hell with CORN (Score 1) 542

Just because you can grow it, doesn't mean anyone actually wants to buy it.

But that's just the case with corn. There's been so much of it, and it's so darn cheap to grow, that people figured "well, crap, we have all this corn, let's figure out something else to do with it!" and thus the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup, and of using corn as the primary feed for a bunch of animals that had previously eaten grasses and such. Hell, I recall hearing they're feeding corn to FISH now.

Comment Language shouldn't push you past the limit (Score 5, Interesting) 407

Having competed in a handful of collegiate programming contests about 10 years ago, the CPU time limit was never even a passing concern. Granted, we were coding in C++, but even in Python, any solution that hits the CPU limit on these contests is quite likely an unnecessarily complex algorithm. I always considered the CPU limit to be a safeguard against programs with infinite loops or REALLY slow solutions, so that the teams wouldn't claim "no, really, it works!" and drag the contest on for hours insisting that the right answer will reveal itself shortly. If your solution works, but has complexity of O(n!), I'd have a hard time calling it acceptable.

If one of our entries was rejected due to exceeding the CPU limit, it was always due to a problem in our logic that the sample data hadn't triggered, but that the actual test data had.

75% of Enterprises Have Suffered Cyber Attacks, Costing $2M+ On Average 81

coomaria writes "OK, even allowing for the fact this comes from a newly published study (PDF) from a security company, that's still one heck of a statistic. The fact that it's Symantec, and so has access to perhaps more enterprises than most, makes it a double-heck with knobs on. Or how about this one for size: 'every enterprise, yes, 100 percent, experienced cyber losses in 2009.'"

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley