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Idle

+ - Politically Correct Zoology->

Submitted by flynny51
flynny51 (1706514) writes "Dr Dylan Evans of the School of Medicine, University College Cork Ireland has had a two-year period of intensive monitoring and counselling imposed upon him and as a result his application for tenure is likely to be denied for sharing an article from a peer reviewed journal on fellatio in fruit bats. (available here — http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0007595 )"
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Games

+ - JavaScript Game Engine hits the web->

Submitted by jhuckaby
jhuckaby (1692550) writes "Hey Slashdot! Just wanted to let you know about my nifty new website which just launched: EffectGames.com. The site provides a suite of free tools for developers to create their own professional web games, using an engine built on pure JavaScript and DHTML. No Plugins are required (however, if your browser doesn't support native audio, Flash is used as a fallback), and all modern browsers (IE 6+, Chrome 1+, Firefox 3+, Safari 3+, Opera 9+) and platforms (Mac OS X, Linux, Windows) are supported. There are several demos up on the site which showcase the functionality. There is also a complete set of documentation that guides developers through every step of creating and publishing their games, as well as a side-scrolling platformer tutorial with annotated source code. Please enjoy!"
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News

+ - "2012" a Miscalculation; actual calendar ends 2220-> 2

Submitted by
boombaard
boombaard writes "News is spreading quickly here that scientists writing in a (Dutch) popular science periodical (google translation linked) have debunked the 2012 date featuring so prominently in doomsday predictions/speculation across the web. On 2012-12-21, the sun will appear where you would normally be able to see the 'galactic equator' of the Milky Way; an occurrence deemed special because it happens 'only' once every 25.800 years, on the winter solstice. However, even if you ignore the fact that there is no actual galactic equator, just an observed one, and that the visual effect is pretty much the same for an entire decade surrounding that date, there are major problems with the way the Maya Calendar is being read by doomsday prophets.

Because written records were almost all destroyed by 16th-century Spaniards, quite a lot of guesswork surrounds the translation of their calendar to ours, and it appears something went very wrong with the calculations. The Mayas used 4 different calendars, all of different lengths, with the longest of which counting out ages of roughly 5200 years. Figuring out how these relate to 'our' calendars is a big problem, which scientists had thought they had figured out about a century ago. (That's where the 2012 date, which now turns out to be almost 2 centuries out of date, comes from.) However, A German geologist showed in 2005 (in his dissertation) that the proposed correlation to GMT didn't fit with a lot of Mayan-observed events that we know about, and calculated that a roughly 208 year correction was needed, meaning the soonest the Mayan Calendar can end is in 2220.

The final blow was arguably the thesis that nature scientist Andreas Fuls three years ago doctorate at the Technical University Berlin. Fuls pointed out that the GMT-correlation not consistent with a preserved Mayan table on which the positions of Venus are listed. And so there is more, such as inscriptions and objects in time of Goodman, Martinez and Thompson were not detected or outdated. By adding to it all, comes from a very different Fuls dating: one that 208 years has shifted. The end of the long count by the correlation is only about two centuries, at 21, 22 or December 23, 2220. "It is the only option," says Fuls if you ask him about it. (Google translation)

Until then, it would appear we are quite safe, except from Hollywood."
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Music

+ - Overclocked ReMix releases Xenogears tribute album->

Submitted by quintin3265
quintin3265 (1552941) writes "Today, the video game remix group Overclocked ReMix released its 15th album, "Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMixed." The album highlights work from the Playstation 1 role playing game Xenogears. The soundtrack to Xenogears was originally composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, who also contributed to soundtracks such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenosaga. The two-discs of "Humans + Gears," which began development in mid-2006, include 33 songs mixed by 31 different artists. The collection is free to download in this torrent, and a trailer is up on YouTube that should bring back memories to those who played the game back in 1998."
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+ - First Swedish CC-licensed movie hits TPB->

Submitted by Hattmannen
Hattmannen (658936) writes "Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing tells us about the first ever Creative Commons-licensed, feature-length movie to come out from Sweden. It's called Nasty Old People and premiered yesterday at The Pirate Bay.
The story:

"Member of a neo-Nazi gang, her day job is to take care of four crazy old people that all are just waiting to die. Her life becomes a journey into a burlesque fairytale, where the rules of the game are created by Mette herself. Mette is indifferent about her way of life, until she one night assaults a man, kicking him senseless. Waking up the day after, she realizes that something is wrong, and in company with the her crazy oldies she longs for respect and love. She can tell that the old folks are marginalized by the modern society, but together they create a world and a voice of their own."

"

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Earth

+ - Alabama Wages War Against the Perfect Weed

Submitted by
pickens
pickens writes "Hugh Pickens writes:

Dan Berry writes in the NY Times that the State of Alabama is spending millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to combat Cogongrass aka the killer weed, the weed from another continent, and the perfect weed, a weed that "evokes those old science-fiction movies in which clueless citizens ignore reports of an alien invasion." Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is considered one of the 10 worst weeds in the world. "It can take over fields and forests, ruining crops, destroying native plants, upsetting the ecosystem," writes Berry. "It is very difficult to kill. It burns extremely hot. And its serrated leaves and grainy composition mean that animals with even the most indiscriminate palates — goats, for example — say no thanks." Alabama's overall strategy is to draw a line across the state at Highway 80 and eradicate everything north of it then, in phases, to try to control it south but the weed is so resilient that you can't kill it with one application of herbicide but have to return several months later and do it again. "People think this is just a grass," says forester Stephen Pecot. "They don't understand that cogongrass can replace an entire ecosystem." Left unchecked, Pecot says "it could spread all the way to Michigan.""
BSD

DragonFly 2.4 Released 73

Posted by kdawson
from the four-wings dept.
electrostaticcarrot writes "DragonFly — that fourth major BSD — has had its 2.4 release. The 'most invasive change' is the addition and usage of a DevFS for /dev; building on this, drives are now also recognized by serial number (along with /etc/devtab for aliases) as listed in /dev/serno. This is also the first release with a x86-64 ISO, stable but with limited pkgsrc support. Other larger changes include a ported and feature-extended (with full hotplug and port multiplier support) AHCI driver (and SILI driver based on it) originally taken from OpenBSD, major NFS changes, and HAMMER updates. A pkgsrc GIT mirror has also been set up and put in use to make future pkgsrc updates quicker and smoother. Here are two of the mirrors."

Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the only specification is that it should run noiselessly.

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