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Comment Re:Well, Mr Smartypants (Score 1) 729

In a nutshell: Penrose (and others) believe (or used to believe) that gravity can cause spontaneous wavefunction collapse, basically something simpler than decoherence. The "speed" at which this collapse occurs should be dependent on the mass of said object; the "characteristic speed" of consciousness, on the order of 0.1 seconds, would be generated by sub-cellular sized structures and which he links to structures called microtubules within neurons. You'd have to read his books if you want any of those details filling in.

Comment Re:This is dumb (Score 1) 292

The injunction applies to people who know about the injunction, i.e. not necessarily only those who it was served to. Your average Twitter arguably knows about that injunction (although from Nth-hand rumour), and is also arguably publishing libel (although with little/no damaging consequences).

Submission + - Fur Flies over Squirrel Meat Sales

Hugh Pickens writes: "BBC reports that supermarket owner Andrew Thornton in North London is selling squirrel meat as a sustainable way of feeding people and predicts that more people will eat "the other, other white meat" in the future. "I think it's lovely. It's a bit like rabbit. I think there will be a lot of fuss about this now, but in a few years it will become accepted practice that we eat squirrels," says Thornton owner of a Budgens supermarket in Crouch End where most of the 2004 British horror comedy Shaun of the Dead was filmed. Thorton adds that squirrel meat is more sustainable than beef. "It takes about 15 tonnes of grain to produce one tonne of beef, which is not sustainable." But not everyone is happy as animal welfare group Viva accuses Budgens of profiting from a wildlife massacre. "If this store is attempting to stand out from the crowd by selling squirrel, the only message they are giving out is that they are happy to have the blood of a beautiful wild animal on their hands for the sake of a few quid," says Viva founder and director, Juliet Gellatley. "Squirrels will be culled anyway," responds Thorton."You have two choices. Either you dispose of them or you eat them.""

Submission + - Antarctica Experiment Discovers Puzzling Space Ray (

pitchpipe writes: A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica.

[...]it turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another.


Submission + - I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up 2.0 1

theodp writes: Remember those old Lifecall commercials? Well, you've come a long way, Grandma! The NY Times reports on a raft of new technology that's making it possible for adult children to remotely monitor to a stunningly precise degree the daily movements and habits of their aging parents. The purpose is to provide enough supervision to allow elderly people to stay in their homes rather than move to an assisted-living facility or nursing home. Systems like GrandCare, BeClose, QuietCare, and MedMinder allow families to keep tabs on Mom and Dad's whereabouts, and make sure they take their meds. Perhaps Zynga can make a game out of all this — GeriatricVille?

Submission + - The Canadian who holds the key to the Internet (

drbutts writes: The Toronto Star has an interesting story on how they are securing DNS: It's housed in two high-security facilities separated by the North American landmass. The one authenticated map of the Internet. Were it to be lost — either through a catastrophic physical or cyber attack — it could be recreated by seven individuals spread around the globe. One of them is Ottawa's Norm Ritchie. Ritchie was recently chosen to hold one of seven smartcards that can rebuild the root key that underpins this system" called DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions). In essence, these seven can rebuild the architecture that allows users to know for certain where they are and where they are going when navigating the Web.

Submission + - Facebook to Double Size of Its New Data Center (

1sockchuck writes: More servers! Facebook hasn't finished construction on its new data center in Oregon, but has already announced plans for a second phase that will double the size of the project to more than 307,000 square feet. The social network, which recently hit 500 million users, began building the facility Prineville, Oregon so it could implement customizations like on-board batteries on its servers.

Comment Re:SETI can't find aliens (Score -1, Flamebait) 117

They're not detecting individual molecules, but an amount sufficient enough to noticeably absorb certain frequencies of light. You'd understand if you had RTFA. Cows have chips in their ears and farmers keep a tally of them, unlike immigrants. You'd understand why if you DRTDFM (Didn't Read The Daily Fucking Mail).

Comment Re:Ummmm... (Score 1) 403

Methinks you're acting a bit OTT - not that that's a bad thing, natch - during a 2 week visit to China a couple of years ago I quite openly slagged off the government in e-mails (routed through Gmail) and nothing ever came of it.

Comment Re:Terrible idea, of course, which is why we don't (Score 1) 351

Right, and if we could launch a powerful enough laser into space, I think some people (i.e. the Chinese, Russians, in fact anyone in the world) would be very unhappy about the potential for this thing to be turned into a weapon. I'm trying to remember what program/website has a satirical idea about using such a device to shoot the homeless.

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben