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Comment: Meh, not this guy again. (Score 5, Informative) 289

Horgan has been going on about stuff like this for years. He wrote a book in 1997 called "The End of Science" which I read and thought was completely ridiculous. My recollection (possibly faulty as it's been quite a few years) is that he came across as very anti-science and wandered off into religion later in that book. It feels to me as though he WANTS science to fail at some point.

I don't know why he seems hell-bent on convincing everyone that we're going to run out of things to discover, but I just don't buy it.

Even if we manage to get to the "bottom" of Physics some day that's cool and all but it's hardly the end of much. The biology of even simple cells is fantastically complex and there's lifetimes worth of discovery left there. Also even if some day we we know most or all of the "rules", the possible applications of these simple rules are virtually infinite, so no scientists or technologists or explorers are likely to be unemployed any time soon.

Every time humanity thinks it knows everything, someone thinks up a clever new idea for measuring things and boom, a whole new world of complexity opens up. There might be an end to the turtles at some point, but I'm not worried :)


+ - James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""A lot of investment in green technology has been a giant scam, if well intentioned."

The quote, and entire interview, are significant for two reasons. First, the interview is seeped with many skeptical opinions about human caused global warming, is very critical of that movement's effort to politicize science, and the person being interviewed is James Lovelock, the founder of of the concept of Gaia, a former strong advocate of global warming but now a skeptic.

Most significant however is where the interview is published. It is in Nature, one of the most important and influential science journals, which previously has been aggressively pushing global warming politics for years. That they allowed these politically incorrect opinions within their walls and then broadcast them to their readers signals a major cultural shift within the science community. It is beginning to be acceptable to be a skeptic again!"

Link to Original Source

+ - Morse code test requirement to be reinstated for Amateur Radio License-> 1

Submitted by H0ek
H0ek (86256) writes "One of the standards of excellence required to possess an Amateur Radio License was to pass a test of Morse Code sending and receiving capabilities. At the beginning of 1991 this requirement was removed for Technician Class licenses, and finally in 2007 this requirement was removed for General and Amateur Extra Classes. This will now be reversed and all new applicants will be required to submit to the Morse Code test again. Also, all previous no-code licensees will have a specific length of time to renew their license with the new code test requirements. This can either been seen as restoring a badge of honor to the venerable amateur radio license system, or the death knell for a crotchety old system fading away in a world of community-wide wifi and mobile communications."
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+ - Minecraft cancels Oculus Rift released due to Facebook->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "When Facebook bought Whatsapp a huge number of users migrated to much more open alternative Telegram and I was curious if we will see the same ‘Facebook’ effect on Oculus and that’s exactly what has happened. Minecraft has canceled their version for the virtual reality device as soon as they got the news of this acquisition. Markus Persson aka notch of Minecraft tweeted, “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”"
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Comment: Re:How can they be certain no one survived? (Score 1) 491

by Gavin Scott (#46565645) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

Yes, that could be. But it seems clear that the plane was not being controlled by anyone who wanted the plane or its passengers to be rescued, so "oh, I've just flown the plane as far away from civilization as possible and I've just run out of fuel, yet I think I'll try at the last moment to make a successful water landing so as many people as possible can be saved" just does not seem likely. Either the plane was not under control, or those in control were not trying to save anyone.

And more specifically I strongly suspect the life-rafts were equipped with EPIRB satellite transmitters, none of which were activated. So that sort of suggests there aren't a bunch of people floating in a raft somewhere (which likely would have shown up during the satellite debris search I suspect).

Even having a rough idea of where it went down might still mean that the wreckage is not found for a long time. There's a lotta damn ocean out there, and I don't think the range of the "pingers" on the data recorders is that huge.

One thing I've been curious about is the cockpit voice recorder on the 777, specifically what the recording duration is (is it just a 30m circular buffer) and can the pilots disable it and/or the flight data recorder by pulling circuit breakers?


Comment: How do I get what I want, not what Google wants? (Score 2) 341

by Gavin Scott (#46282689) Attached to: Google Tells Glass Users Not To Be 'Creepy Or Rude'

Google with their insistence on a camera-based social-media augmented-reality creepy-invasive experience is going to set back the cause of direct human-computer interaction by years.

Honestly I don't want a camera in my "glass". I want a link to something like my desktop computing resources. It's an intimate experience between me and the computer, not between my computer and the environment around me. Sure there are some cute apps you can do with the camera, but the creepy factor is going to make people as self-conscious and obvious as a Segway rider (and we know how that turned out).

When I can PAY for a device that has MY interests at heart rather than the latest data power grab by Google then I'll be interested.

Connect me with the Internet then get the fuck out of the way. I don't need you to mediate every interaction I have, not only with information from the net but with the real world around me.


+ - YouTube to Remove Scientist's Account who Debunked AIDS Deniers Movie ->

Submitted by EwanPalmer
EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "YouTube is threatening to remove the account of a scientist who made a series of videos debunking claims made in an Aids denialist movie over copyright infringement disagreement.

Myles Power is claiming the producers of controversial 2009 documentary House of Numbers are attempting to censor him by submitting bogus DMCA claims against him. He says his movies do not breach copyright laws because his films are educational and therefore fair use. The 'AIDS denialist' documentary makers say they instead amounted to “propaganda”."

Link to Original Source

+ - Community-sourced news site,, goes live 18

Submitted by umafuckit
umafuckit (2980809) writes " is the new way of taking the pulse of the nerd community. Soylentnews is a grassroots-based platform with the content feeds are powered by readers like you. The objective is to highlight news stories of general importance to everyone, but especially nerds. News about technology, art, science and politics: it's all there. Soylentnews is the new kid on the block and will adapt quickly to satisfy our community's needs and and push boundaries like never before. This is a real community site: no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Stop by and see what you think of the freshly-launched site."

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"