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Almost-Satnav For Cycling 119

An anonymous reader writes "A couple of guys (us) in Cambridge have written a cycle routing system,, based on open data, and have now released it as a free iPhone app. It's been done on a shoestring, in spare time. There's an API and some disruptive tech in the form of a photo submission screen where street problems can be submitted directly. Because it's open data, you don't have to wait 6 months for the routing to be fixed if there's a bug. Android and .mobi versions are in the works, with the apps being done on GitHub."

Minecraft Enterprise and 16-Bit ALU 151

tekgoblin writes "Joshua Walker spent the last few months creating a masterpiece. He created the Starship Enterprise 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation in Minecraft using just blocks. He recorded a short video of him explaining how he did it and even gave us a sneak peek at the partially completed ship." He also posted on the Penny-Arcade forums about how he did it. If you aren't impressed by that, perhaps you should check out a 16-Bit ALU also implemented in Minecraft which totally reminded me of one of my favorite XKCD comics.

1K JavaScript Madness 131

An anonymous reader writes "JS1k has a simple goal: to get programmers producing demos written in JavaScript that are 1k in size or less. That's just 1024 bytes to play with. There's even additional bonus points on offer if a demo's code can fit inside a single tweet. Now that the contest is finished and there is a top-ten, I'm wondering what they can do if given some extra bytes." I like the Tetris clone. The pulsing wires demo is neat too but kinda stuttery on my machine.

Comment Re:Nature's own GMO-- NOT! (Score 1) 132

Ack, forgot a part: Safety assessment for environmental damage- again, nothing hugely great to indicate that there's much worry there, although I have heard reports of cross pollination in wild populations of corn (by which I assume they mean corn relatives). Not sure just how prevalent it is or how accurate those reports were, but either way, the issue here isn't so much what harm they cause to the environment as the net harm. Farming is very bad for the environment, especially with our large population, so it isn't if GMOs cause harm, but if their use is a net reduction in damage, which it appears to be.

Comment Re:Bad exemple - we're speaking about out-of-order (Score 0) 170

There was dualism represented by white and black very early in the series. In one of the first few episodes of Season 1, Lockes eyes are one black, and one white.

That said, I think the writers had no idea about where it was going and lied about this fact. There are still things to like about the show, and I'm a big fan of the current head writer (BKV) so hopefully some sort of satisfying conclusion will result in these final few episodes.

Comment Re:HTML5 will be a screw job. (Score 3, Interesting) 436

Alright, answer me two questions : HTML5 is really the flash killer, yes? Isn't an open replacement for Flash an improvement over flash? I'd assume that HTML5's openness will help avoid Flash's spammyness, right? In particular, all the pop-up ads that circumvent the "Block Pop-Ups" button are using Flash now, so they'll all go away right?

I'm not sure that HTML5 will beat the Flash plus FlashBlocker combo, but that's not realistic for most users, and variations on NoScript could accomplish the same ends.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 479

It's possible, if you place the site in the 'Trusted Sites' security group.

One outfit I support has an app that receives orders online rather than fax/mail. The system simply serves up .doc invoices. That's all fine and dandy, except for the next part:

The system requires me to lower script security permissions, place the site in the trusted sites, and doesn't use https. On the open internet. All to run some vbsscript to force the .doc invoices to print. At least, that's the only function I spotted. I didn't run across the part that infects the system w/ malicious malware yet, but I know it's in there somewhere.

When the tech gave me these instructions on the phone, I asked him on the spot if they were concerned with this glaring infection vector. They didn't seem to care.

Of course, since a good majority of business comes through this customer, we shut up and use it :(

Comment Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (Score 1) 641

"Science is coming up with a hypothesis, gathering data, testing the hypothesis, AND REPEATING IT. You don't "find problems". You come up with an idea and you test it for validity. Then you make sure OTHERS can test your hypothesis, independently, to further verify your hypothesis. If this is done enough times and validated each time, you have a theory."

I think what you're writing is not what you mean to say. The whole point of developing repeatable experiments is to find problems -> science is not a process of finding more evidence that fits your theory, it's the relentless process of searching for any evidence that could contradict your theory.

For example, you have a theory that all swans are white. Finding 1000 white swans leads you to posit this theory. From here, searching for more white swans isn't going to help your theory any -> if you search for only white swans, and find 900,000 more white swans, you've added very little to the robustness of your theory. On the other hand, if you spend a whole bunch of time looking for just one black swan, and don't find it, you're getting warmer. Find that one black swan, though, and the theory goes poof.

Asserting that you have 10 proxies that all agree very closely, then one of them starts "disagreeing" is not an excuse to ignore the "disagreement" -> it's a clarion call to start questioning the other 9 proxies.

Oh, and BTW, citing peer review for AGW, when most of the AGW reviewers never even asked for the data behind the papers (Jones, et. al), doesn't help your cause.

"Natural variation? Can you show this? Can you show definitively that additional CO2 has no impact on global temperatures? Basic physics would seem to indicate otherwise. I also suppose acid rain and ozone depletion were "natural variation" as well."

Natural variation is the null hypothesis in this case -> the burden of proof is to show that a) the "additional CO2" is generated by man, and b) that the "additional CO2" is the primary driver of temperatures. Just because we cannot clearly identify a detailed alternative hypothesis does NOT mean that your hypothesis is true.

Oh, and google "acid rain myths" and "ozone layer myths". The answer is yes, they were natural variation.

"And even if it were natural variation, how does that make things any better?"

Simple - it means we should spend more time on adaptation than prevention of something we cannot prevent. It's like misdiagnosing the reason for automobile fatalities -> if you think it's caused by weather conditions, which may or may not have a small perceptible effect, and you work your butt off trying to stabilize weather conditions, you're going to miss the simple things like seatbelts and airbags.

"Until that time, I will continue to follow the scientific consensus."

Which is your right, of course. I just wonder how many scientists will have to "non-consent" for you to finally change your mind. 100? 10000? 10%? 50%?

Do you even know how many scientists there are, and how many of them believe in your "consensus"? My guess is that this is simply a repeated sound bite, but I could be wrong.

Comment I was just looking for one today! (Score 1) 472

I was trying to fix a Celsius 440 workstation for a pal today who only makes a few hundred dollars a month walking dogs. He needs something to play DVDs on, so I was trying to get the DVD player to play smoothly on a P3 with 128MB and an old SIS AGP with 4MB. Pretty sure it needs a bios update but can't find a floppy to do it. I had to tell him it's a no go without a floppy, so I he's going out for a walk to try and find one. I don't have the heart to tell him that I think the floppy in the beast is least it's not making that all too familiar but not missed horrible groaning noise on boot. I used Mubi to put Ubuntu on his XP dinosaur, and that helped just a tad. Didn't DVDs play smoothly back in the P3 days?

Comment Question for the lusers out there. (Score 1) 366

I'm finally getting around to setting up a webserver/ftp box and was going to throw Ubuntu on it when I ran into the following bug Now apparently it's fixed in a higher kernel used in the lynx, while the kernel I have under 9.10 is 2.6.31-20. Is there a relatively pain free way to get this fix under 9.10? or should I just stick with the centOS I put on the box instead until lynx comes out?

Comment Re:Karma (Score 1) 119

If you do something in-game that is immoral, and none of the NPCs are coded for a reaction, is it truly immoral?

If you steal from someone in real life, it may not matter either. Sure, some guy came in and stole my mom's jewelry while we were out. Did he care that we felt "violated" or that some of those were heirlooms? Did it matter to anyone but us? If the thief is the protagonist, what's to make him care unless something happens to him in game?

The catch is this: something needs to happen whether he acts morally or immorally. Sure, I can get auto-killed by a guard for PKing a n00b or whatever, but what if I NEVER kill a n00b. What if I NEVER steal? What if I obey the good laws as well as try to help others? Shouldn't that count for something? You might say, "Well, you're not in jail." But that's lame. I made a decision to resist temptation. To take the higher ground. I want people to notice. I want:

"Wow. The last noble hero who came to save us stole our grandmother. But you just walked in, asked us for information on the location of the evil warlord, and went on your way. How can we ever repay you?!"

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.