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Science

+ - Mad Scientists prepare to release Super Soldier Ants on unsuspecting populace->

Submitted by MiddleHitter
MiddleHitter (473147) writes "Scientists thought only certain ants of the genus Pheidole could produce these supersoldiers. Now, they are thinking any ant from the more than 1,100 Pheidole species can be turned into a supersoldier by reactivating a trait that has lain dormant for millions of years.

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/college/supersized-ants-offer-evolution-clue/article_9e2fba8d-9d8e-566b-97fd-e51c213ab565.html#ixzz1nhEic6wF"

Link to Original Source
Image

Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the fair-balanced-and-simple dept.
A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!

Comment: Shade map? (Score 3, Interesting) 95

by MiddleHitter (#34398060) Attached to: Google Earth Adds 3-D Trees

As a grad student at the University of Arizona (in Tucson) who works on campus in the summers...I'd really like to see a shade map that is indexed to the time of day and inclination of the sun to calculate the most-shaded paths around campus. That might not sound so useful, but when it's 105F out, every bit of shade makes all the difference on a 10-15 minute walk across campus.

Comment: Boycotts (Score 1) 1695

by MiddleHitter (#33520068) Attached to: Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Good for Rackspace. And good for you. It's critical to first remember that 1st Amendment only regards the actions of the government. Period. End of Story.

This was an action/choice by a "private" entity, not a "public" entity. The only way the government should be considered in this action if Rackspace had, for example, a government license to operate and dropping this action in some way violated that license. For example, if your local cable company has a government-sanctioned monopoly, I would hope that they would have to operate under the dictates of the 1st Amendment.

Rackspace provides a service, and they always have the right to refuse service to anyone. But, no worry, you also have the (reflexive) right to not use their service. That is called a boycott. It has a long and proud tradition and you are free to exercise it.

Now get off my lawn.

Piracy

Study Finds 0.3% of BitTorrent Files Definitely Legal 321

Posted by timothy
from the can-we-call-that-vanishingly dept.
Andorin writes "It's common knowledge that the majority of files distributed over BitTorrent violate copyright, though the exact percentage is unclear. The Internet Commerce Security Laboratory of the University of Ballarat in Australia has conducted a study and found that 89% of files examined were in fact infringing, while most of the remaining 11% were ambiguous but likely to be infringing. Ars Technica summarizes the study: 'The total sample consisted of 1,000 torrent files—a random selection from the most active seeded files on the trackers they used. Each file was manually checked to see whether it was being legally distributed. Only three cases—0.3 percent of the files—were determined to be definitely not infringing, while 890 files were confirmed to be illegal. ' The study brings with it some other interesting statistics; out of the 1,000 files, 91 were pornographic, and approximately 4% of torrents were responsible for 80% of seeders. Music, movies and TV shows constituted the three largest categories of shared materials, and among those, zero legal files were found."

Comment: A couple other options (Score 1) 150

by MiddleHitter (#32952570) Attached to: Cool, Science-y Masters Programs For Software Devs?

As a early-30's programmer who is back for a MS in EE/CS, I've made a number of friends with grad students in fields that are quite science and computationally related. I'd recommend looking into:

Linguistics, especially Computational Linguistics
Cognitive Science, especially related to AI
Computer Simulation ... especially Agent-Based Simulation, which can be applied, IMHO, to a lot of sciences.

I'd also second the previous posts on Bioinformatics and Computational Physics.

Also, I always strongly recommend that if you can get a PhD, you should. In the US, the statistics are quite stark, only 30% of PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are awarded to US Citizens. What's going to happen when all those Indian and Chinese PhDs start going home?

Best of luck!

IT

How HTML5 Will Change the Web 208

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the heard-this-before dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner looks beyond the codec and plug-in wars to examine nine areas where HTML5 will have a significant impact on Web development. From enabling more interactive graphics, to tapping local file storage, to geolocation, HTML5 is rife with rich capabilities — and may even improve our ability to secure applications delivered via the Web, Wayner writes. But the most important impact of HTML5 will be its ability to simplify Web development itself: 'HTML5 offers one language (JavaScript), one data model (XML and DOM), and one set of layout rules (CSS) to bind text, audio, video, and graphics. The challenge of making something beautiful is still immense, but it's simpler to work with a unified standard.'"
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"

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