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Comment Re:Necessity (Score 1) 206 206

Wrong on every point. My reference is not to emotion but to fact. Not all states are the same, and not all populations are the same. Conflicts are everywhere. On your last point, is phrasing something for what it is in the first sentence somehow discouraged here? I thought that was to let people know what they were about to read. Are you simply an idiot?

Comment Necessity (Score 1, Interesting) 206 206

This is likely to be an extremely unpopular view but there are very legitimate reasons for a state to seek limits in the distribution of news, and limits to what its citizens communicate to outsiders. Most of these actions truly do have the welfare of the citizens and their crucial security in mind. These things are done to preserve their life most of the time.

Those of you raised in the west or who have lived your lives mostly in the west may not understand or remember the reality of living in weaker states. It is not my intent to write a thesis or anything approaching that so I'll stop this here. Just think about the real situation in Vietnam before going off on the usual tangents and starting the usual crusades.

Technology

2,100-Year-Old Antikythera Device Recreated In Working Form 258 258

coondoggie writes "A new working model of the mysterious 2,100-year-old astronomical calculator, dubbed the Antikythera Device, has been unveiled, incorporating the most recent discoveries announced two years ago by an international team of researchers. The new model was demonstrated by its creator, former museum curator Michael Wright, who had created an earlier model based on decades of study."
Earth

Drilling Hits an Active Magma Chamber In Hawaii 251 251

Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting that drillers looking for geothermal energy in Hawaii have inadvertently put a well right into a magma chamber. Molten rock pushed back up the borehole several meters before solidifying, making it perfectly safe to study. Magma specialist Bruce Marsh says it will allow scientists to observe directly how granites are made. 'This is unprecedented; this is the first time a magma has been found in its natural habitat,' the Johns Hopkins University professor told BBC News. 'Before, all we had to deal with were lava flows; but they are the end of a magma's life. They're lying there on the surface, they've de-gassed. It's not the natural habitat.' It is hoped the site can now become a laboratory, with a series of cores drilled around the chamber to better characterise the crystallisation changes occurring in the rock as it loses temperature."
It's funny.  Laugh.

If Programming Languages Were Religions 844 844

bshell writes "With Christmas around the corner I know we are all thinking about religion, or at least maybe wondering why this one religion dominates the rest for these few weeks. A fellow named Rodrigo Braz Monteiro (amz) posted this list comparing each programming language to a religion. Guaranteed to make you chuckle and generate a good long thread here on slashdot. Great way to pass the time as work winds down this week and we relate to our own programming faiths during this very special time of year. Merry PHPmas." Fortunately Pastafarianism is referenced.
Privacy

NSA Whistleblowers Reveal Extent of Eavesdropping 222 222

ma11achy was one of several readers to write about claims made by two former military intercept operators who worked for the NSA that "Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home." Ars Technica has a brief report as well, and reader net_shaman adds a link to Glenn Greenwald's opinion piece on the eavesdropping at Salon.
Space

Messenger Sends First Full Fly-By Image of Mercury 55 55

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Gizmodo: "NASA's Messenger (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft) has flown by just 125 miles over the surface of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest in the Solar System. This is the first time in history that the whole planet is going to be photographed in its entirety by an Earthling probe, with amazing resolution and ultra-crisp detail." The picture at the top of the linked story is fantastic, too.
The Military

F-117A Stealth Fighter Retired 476 476

zonker writes "Nearly 30 years ago Lockheed Martin's elite Skunk Works team developed what would become the F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter. A few of their earlier projects include the SR-71 Blackbird and U2 Dragon Lady spy planes. Today is the last for the Stealth Fighter, which is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor (another Skunk Works project)."

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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