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Science

Inhabited Island Vanishes Forever Underwater 408

Posted by Zonk
from the seeya-later-island-guy dept.
PhreakOfTime writes "For the first time the rising ocean levels have washed away an inhabited island. Lohachara island was at one point home to some 10,000 people. It, along with several other spits of land near the Indian mainland, is now permanently underwater. From the article: ' As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities. Eight years ago ... the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.'"
Microsoft

Get on the 'Gates for President' Bandwagon 654

Posted by Zonk
from the jobs-for-vice-president dept.
netbuzz writes "Dilbert's Scott Adams kicked off the idea in his November 19th blog post, saying there isn't anything wrong with this country that President Bill Gates couldn't cure in less time than it takes to get a new operating system out the door. Today, the idea is moving forward with a brand-new 'Bill Gates for President' Web site. Adams is also back on the campaign trail, flogging the site and Gates' candidacy." A blog post at Network World includes a lot of eye-rolling about this idea, but neither Adams nor the folks at the 'Gates for President' website seem to be taking this lightly.

Global Warming Debunker Debunked 676

Posted by kdawson
from the you're-getting-warmer dept.
Earlier this month we ran an article linking Christopher Monckton's attempt to discredit global warming. The submitter asked plaintively, "Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong?" George Monbiot has now done so. From the article: "This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong... In keeping with most of the articles about climate change in [the Sunday Telegraph], it is a mixture of cherry-picking, downright misrepresentation, and pseudo-scientific gibberish. But it has the virtue of being incomprehensible to anyone who is not an atmospheric physicist... As for James Hansen, he did not tell the US Congress that temperatures would rise by 0.3C by the end of the past century. He presented three possible scenarios to the US Senate — high, medium, and low. Both the high and low scenarios, he explained, were unlikely to materialise. The middle one was 'the most plausible.' As it happens, the middle scenario was almost exactly right. He did not claim, under any scenario, that sea levels would rise by several feet by 2000." And on the political front, the only major ally for Pres. Bush's stand on global warming, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard, is now willing to look at carbon trading.

Robot Identifies Human Flesh As Bacon 312

Posted by Zonk
from the tastes-like-chicken-or-so-i've-heard dept.
Jearil writes "Wired's 'Table of Malcontents' blog links to an article about a wine-tasting robot that thinks humans taste like bacon. The Japanese robot is intended to act as a personal sommelier, suggesting wines, cheeses, and hors d'oeuvres based on its owners personal tastes. It also apparently thinks humans would be tasty as part of a sandwich." From the article: "Let the robot holocaust commence: robots think we taste like bacon ... Upon being given a sample, he will speak up in a childlike voice and identify what he has just been fed. The idea is that wineries can tell if a wine is authentic without even opening the bottle, amongst other more obscure uses ... like 'tell me what this strange grayish lump at the back of my freezer is/was.' But when some smart aleck reporter placed his hand in the robot's omnivorous clanking jaw, he was identified as bacon. A cameraman then tried and was identified as prosciutto." This is most distressing.

A Hands-On Zune Review 279

Posted by Zonk
from the zunetastic dept.
jayintune writes "2old2play.com got the chance to sit down with Microsoft's new media player, the Zune, to give some comments and insight into the players User Interface, Video Playback, Music Sharing, as well as software and setup." From the article: "I had expected the player to be fairly heavy, but after holding the Zune in my hand it was clear that I was wrong. It is not as light as the latest video iPod, but compared to my fourth-generation iPod, the Zune was lighter. The top of the Zune had a clear glass layer while the exterior had a tactile feel to it, nothing like the hard metal and plastic of the iPod devices. The 'skin' of the Zune was a 'rubberized' material that had a smooth seductive feel to it. I found myself unable to stop stroking the device, so much that the demo assistant asked me to put it down."

EVE Online Rocked by 700 Billon ISK Scam 154

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-lot-of-space-tobacco dept.
Martin Spamer writes "The space MMOG EVE Online, where mining rock plays a big part of the economy, has recently been hit by a huge in-game scam. The aftermath of the EIB scam... was 700 Billion ISK, which might raise some $119,000 USD if sold on Ebay. (The current conversion rate is 100M ISK to 18 USD.) These events have prompted claims of player deaths, death threats, and speculation about What Would You Do With 700 Billion ISK?"

Open Source Point-of-Sale - What's Out There? 61

Posted by Cliff
from the open-source-tools-for-commercial-endeavors. dept.
aztektum asks: "I have taken on the task of designing a building a networked Point-of-Sale system for a friends new restaurant/club. We have looked at out of the box solutions, but their upfront costs are a bit staggering, so I suggested a DIY approach. We are going to buy hardware outright, probably using Elo touch-screens and basic white boxes. It's the software that we're coming up short on. We are looking for a system that has good back-end management (running reports for end of day, from a central location and other such features), has a flexible/customizable UI, and as a bonus doesn't suffer from too much proprietary lock-in. Since Elo's screens have Linux support, I wanted to see if anyone on Slashdot has worked on similar projects and has experience with open source POS solutions. I have Google'd a bit and found some options, but I cannot spend a lot time testing out multiple setups because of a firm deadline. Quite bluntly, what's the best but least expensive option that you know of?" This is not the first time this particular issue has appeared on Ask Slashdot. The last discussion on this particular issue was way back in 2003. What has changed since then?

Belgium Chooses OpenDocument 77

Posted by timothy
from the land-of-the-free-format dept.
Freggy writes "The Belgian government decided today that all public services should use open standard file formats for the exchange of office documents ( press release in Dutch, French). The reason is that they don't want to force people to have to buy a proprietary program to be able to read official documents. All federal public services should be able to read ODF files by September 2007. If no problems arise after a study, the use of the file format will be obligatory from September 2008."

Scientists Respond to Gore on Global Warming 1496

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the climatologist-pit-fighting dept.
ArthurDent writes "For quite a while global warming has been presented in the public forum as a universally accepted scientific reality. However, in the light of Al Gore's new film An Inconvenient Truth many climate experts are stepping forward and pointing out that there is no conclusive evidence to support global warming as a phenomenon, much less any particular cause of it."

New Crater On Moon Caught On Video 247

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the to-the-moon-alice dept.
From A Far Away Land writes "NASA has released a video clip of a meteorite striking the surface of the Moon. From the article: 'On May 2, 2006, a meteoroid hit the Moon's Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) with 17 billion joules of kinetic energy -- that's about the same as 4 tons of TNT," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL.'"

What Hollywood Could Learn From the Gaming Industry 87

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-called-fun dept.
GameDaily's David Radd has up a piece today looking at what Hollywood could learn from the games industry. His main points are that game companies are much more in touch with their customers, do a better job of generating buzz, and utilize the internet as a communications medium more successfully. From the article: "Today, publishers like Activision report that their ad budgets are equal to their game production budgets. But despite this significant increase in the scope of video game advertising, the 'buzz' factor is all important. And with the Internet, viral advertising has a way to touch both groups."

NASA Study Shows Antarctic Ice Sheet Shrinking 407

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-polar-bear-country dept.
deman1985 writes "A recently released NASA study has shown that the Antarctic ice shelf is shrinking at an alarming rate of 36 cubic miles per year. The study, run from April 2002 to August 2005, indicates that the melting accounted for 1.2 millimeters of global sea level rise for the period. From the article: 'That is about how much water the United States consumes in three months and represents a change of about 0.4 millimeter (0.01575 inch) per year to global sea level rise, the study concluded. The study claims the majority of the melting to have occurred in the West Antarctic ice sheet."

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