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Comment: Query (Score 1) 285

by EvilElk (#40654935) Attached to: What Is an Astronaut's Life Worth?
Not really being a troll, promise, but I don't even really understand what the question being posed is here: Military test pilots (or all military really), oil rig workers, deep sea divers, trawlermen etc etc are all paid a bit more because there is a very real chance they will die in the progress of their work. So, don't we measure this "value of human life" all the time? Why are astronauts so much more special? Is it just that they're more visible in the media? Because they are somehow, by default, treated as "heroes"? Or is the question just: "We've done enough to make it safe enough, can we stop already and send people into space some more?"

+ - How the inventors of Dragon speech recogniton technology lost everything.-> 5

Submitted by cjsm
cjsm (804001) writes "James and Janet Baker were the inventors of Dragon Systems speech recogintion software, and after years of work, they created a multimillion dollar company. At the height of the tech boom, with investment offers rolling in, they turned to Goldman Sachs for financial advice. For a five million dollar fee, Goldman hooked them up with Lernout & Hauspie, the Belgium speech recognition company. After consultations with Goldman Sachs, the Bakers traded their company for $580 million in Lernout & Hauspie stock. But it turned out Lernout & Hauspie was involved in cooking their books and went bankrupt. Dragon was sold in a bankruptcy auction to Scansoft, and the Bakers lost everything. Goldman and Sachs itself had decided against investing in Lernout & Hauspie two years previous to this because they were lying about their Asian sales. The Bakers are suing for one billions dollars."
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Comment: Recommendations (Score 1) 726

by EvilElk (#40389157) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?
Anything by Diana Wynne Jones is an absolute must - she does both Sci Fi and Fantasy, and all are very original and started my love for the two genres. I cannot recommend her enough. There's tons out there, probably 20 books or more, and it I would even recommend for adults. Other ones I remember from when I was 9 to 11 are Nicholas Fisk, Anthony Horowitz, which are more sci fi IIRC. There's the Redwall books by Brian Jacques and Deptford Mice by Robin Jarvis - these last two series are quite dark & grim though, so maybe wait till a bit later (I read them when I was 10, but I was always weird like that). Also, you can't really beat Enid Blyton's "Wishing Chair" and "Magic Faraway Tree" books, I believe they're available in an omnibus now. I think someone's already mentioned Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series, and of course the Narnia books.

Comment: Re:Yeah, so what? (Score 2) 484

And a kill list that includes everyone else is not? The difference here is really that it's not unconstitutional to have a kill list with 5 billion people on it as long as they're not american, the tyrannical or amoral or just plain-ridiculous-as-expected-from-politics are determined by entirely different criteria than a text that pretends to be a law of nature in some book that is selectively ignored for most of the time.

It's easy, it's a little bit like a Jihad.

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