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Books

For Texas Textbooks, a Victory For Evolution 626

Posted by timothy
from the evolving-attitude dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC."
Programming

Study Shows Programmers Get Better With Age 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the practice-makes-perfect dept.
mikejuk writes "It's a prejudice the young and old both share, but with opposite conclusions, of course. Young is best or old is best — most have an opinion. Now we have some interesting statistics ingeniously gathered and processed by Peter Knego, 'big data' style, that 'proves' older is better when it comes to programming, at least!"
Transportation

New Gasoline Engine Prototype Claims 3X Current Engine Efficiency 377

Posted by Roblimo
from the shifting-into-a-higher-gear dept.
erfnet writes "A cool new high-efficiency gasoline engine prototype has no radiator, no pistons, no valves, no transmission, and no fluids (except for the fuel). At first glance it has a few similarities with the Wankel engine, but is more advanced. The engine is only suited for hybrid-electric vehicles, but that's okay. The efficiency they are claiming: is over 3x what today's gasoline engines produce. The developers, a team at Michigan State University, hope to have this engine on the market in the next two/three years."
Privacy

Palin E-Mail Snoop Gets Year In Prison 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-not-white-collar-resort-prison dept.
netbuzz writes "David Kernell, whose prying into Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account caused an uproar two months before the 2008 presidential election, was today sentenced to a year and a day by a judge in Knoxville, Tenn. Kernell was convicted of misdemeanor computer fraud and felony obstruction of justice back in April. His attorney had argued for probation on the grounds that what Kernell did amounted to a prank that spun out of control."

Comment: Re:I live in Seattle. (Score 4, Informative) 650

by MeanMF (#34149612) Attached to: Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions
Income: $30,000
Standard Deduction: -$5,700
Taxable Income: $24,300
Tax on first $8,375 @ 10%: $838
Tax on remaining $15,925 @ 15%: $2,389
Total Tax: $3,227

Did you look up what current tax rates are? That person would pay about 37% more in tax under your plan ($4,409 vs $3,227). They'd have to put nearly $5,000 per year into savings just to end up with the _same_ tax burden.

On the other hand, a person making $250,000 per year and spending $150,000 of it would end up paying less than half of what they do now ($65,736 vs $32,009). Even if they spend every penny, they'll still only pay $55,000 for a savings of over $10,000.
Cellphones

'Cellphone Effect' Could Skew Polling Predictions 836

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-vote dept.
Ponca City writes "A good deal of polling data suggest that Republicans may win the House of Representatives in today's mid-term elections. However, Nate Silver writes in the NY Times that there are several factors that could skew the election, allowing Democrats to outperform their polls and beat consensus expectations. Most prominent is the 'cellphone effect.' In 2003, just 3.2% of households were cell-only, while in the 2010 election one-quarter of American adults have ditched their landlines and rely exclusively on their mobile phones, and a lot of pollsters don't call mobile phones. Cellphone-only voters tend to be younger, more urban, and less white — all Democratic demographics — and a study by Pew Research suggests that the failure to include them might bias the polls by about 4 points against Democrats, even after demographic weighting is applied. Another factor that could skew results is the Robopoll effect, where there are significant differences between the results shown by automated surveys and those which use live human interviewers — the 'robopolls' being 3 or 4 points more favorable to Republicans over all. It may be that only adults who are extremely engaged by politics (who are more likely to be Republican, especially this year) bother to respond to robocalls. Still, when all is said and done, 'more likely than not, Republicans will indeed win the House, and will do so by a significant margin,' writes Silver. 'But just as Republicans could beat the consensus, Democrats could too, and nobody should be particularly shocked if they do.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Charging Royalties For Linux 286

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept.
andydread writes "It seems Microsoft's campaign to scare manufacturers away from open source and Linux in particular is proceeding at full force. The latest news is from Digitimes out of Taiwan. Apparently Microsoft is threatening Acer and Asustek with having to pay Microsoft a license fee for the privilege of deploying Linux on their devices. This time, it's in the form of Android and Chorme OS. So basically, this campaign is spreading to PC vendors now. What are the implications of this? Does this mean that if I build PCs with Linux (Ubuntu/ChromeOS/Fedora) and sell them I am at risk of getting sued by Microsoft? "

Comment: Re:How can it be cheaper? (Score 3, Informative) 111

by MeanMF (#33978038) Attached to: Cheap Software Tools Give New Life To Stop-Motion Animation
RTFA... "To simulate movement and expression, animators bend or twist their objects ever so slightly between shots, a painstaking process that makes it difficult to achieve consistency from frame to frame. But now, software can help remedy that, with programs that help check the alignment of the camera and the lighting of the scene while letting the animator flip between recent images to see if the items are moving realistically. That part of the process — synchronizing the shots — was what made it difficult for amateurs to make a good movie."
Google

Steve Jobs Lashes Out At Android 864

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the battle-of-the-billions dept.
Ponca City writes "Steve Jobs doesn't usually make a guest appearance on Apple's post-earnings conference calls with analysts, but this time he made an exception, attacking Google for marketing its operating system as 'open' versus Apple's 'closed' iOS. 'Google loves to characterize Android as "open" and iOS and iPhone as "closed." We find this a bit disingenuous, and clouding the real difference between our two approaches,' said Jobs. 'Android is very fragmented. Many Android [manufacturers], including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user's left to figure it out. Compare this to iPhone, where every handset works the same.' Jobs stated that the real debate is between 'fragmented versus integrated' and which is better for the consumer. 'When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time. And we also think our developers can be more innovative if they can target a singular platform rather than a hundred variants.' Jobs also criticized the Android Marketplace, pointing out that there are at least three other app stores being launched by vendors, causing confusion for users and work for developers. 'This is gonna be a mess for both users and developers,' Jobs said. 'Contrast this with Apple's integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.'"

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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