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Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 401

by Scouras (#36134214) Attached to: The Rules of Thumb For Tech Purchasing
<quote><p>Oh, and don't buy Apple...  unless "cool" is worth a ~100% tax to you.</p></quote>

Or unless you want an operating system that is reliable, usable, pretty, is a System 7 Certified Unix, does everything you need linux for, still has the major office and productivity packages of Windows (no, Open Office and The Gimp are not adequate replacements), has reliable and well architected hardware, connects seamlessly to WIFI without me even having to think about it, is largely untargetted by viruses (at least through obscurity), automagically supports most every peripheral I've plugged into it, and generally Just Works. Spending $2k to upgrade my laptop every 3 years is worth every penny to me. And that's making 24k/year as a graduate student.

I use OS X on my laptop, Linux on my servers/clusters, and Windows when I have to (database, webserver, a few specialty aps).

Yes, it has drawbacks. It's not as configurable as some people would like (same could be said of linux and windows). It doesn't have ALL the major games (though still a good number if you're not picky). You have to buy right after refresh, as christian.ost says, to get the best value for hardware (and don't ever buy RAM from apple, holy cow overpriced). I don't particularly like Apple as a company (especially their mobile division), but it's not like I'm a big fan of Microsoft, HP, Toshiba, or anyone else either.

OK, feeling better now.  Having a flamewar on /. once a year is good for the soul.
Mars

New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-them-doggies-rollin dept.
wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."
Biotech

First 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito Created 261

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-a-really-good-egg-cream dept.
Gisg writes "The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. Riehle and his colleagues tested their genetically-altered mosquitoes by feeding them malaria-infested blood. Not even one mosquito became infected with the malaria parasite."
Science

Your Feces Is a Wonderland of Viruses 211

Posted by timothy
from the and-so-can-you dept.
sciencehabit writes "Thanks to an anlaysis of fecal samples from four sets of Missouri-born female identical twins and their mothers, researchers have concluded that human guts harbor viruses as unique as the people they inhabit; the viral lineup differs even between identical twins. Even more surprising? These viruses may be doing good work inside of us."
Image

How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-natural-solution dept.
Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.
The Almighty Buck

Activision Hit With $500m Suit From Modern Warfare 2 Devs 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the pow-right-in-the-kisser dept.
Dragoniz3r writes "Activision has been served a lawsuit from 38 plaintiffs, including present and former Infinity Ward employees, demanding up to half a billion dollars. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for 'unpaid bonuses, royalties, profit-sharing, and future profits from games such as Modern Warfare 3, and punitive damages.'"
Space

Supermassive Black Holes Can Abort Star Formation 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the glad-our-galaxy-is-pro-life dept.
cremeglace writes "Astrophysicists have found that when a supermassive black hole quickly devours gas and dust, it can generate enough radiation to abort all the embryonic stars in the surrounding galaxy. It's not clear what this means for life's ability to take hold in such a bleak environment, but the research shows that the process might have determined the fates of many of the large galaxies in the universe."
Space

Rogue Brown Dwarf Lurks In Our Cosmic Neighborhood 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the brown-dwarf-rogue-lurks-in-ironforge dept.
astroengine writes "The UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii has discovered a lone, cool brown dwarf called UGPSJ0722-05. As far as sub-stellar objects go, this is a strange one. For starters, it's the coolest brown dwarf ever discovered (and astronomers using the UKIRT should know; they are making a habit of finding cool brown dwarfs). Secondly, it's close. In fact, it's the closest brown dwarf to Earth, at a distance of only 10 light years. And thirdly, it has an odd spectroscopic signature, leading astronomers to think that this might be the discovery of a whole new class of brown dwarf."
Apple

iPad Review 750

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-i-expense-this-thing dept.
This weekend saw the delivery of iPads into hundreds of thousands of filthy hands. I managed to get my hands on a 32GB unit and put it through its paces for a battery charge and a half, and wanted to take a few minutes to share some notes with you. But if you don't care to read the whole review, let me give you a hint: I am typing this review on my laptop.

Comment: Misses the Infection Problem (Score 1) 139

by Scouras (#30396670) Attached to: Self-Destructing Bacteria Create Better Biofuels
While recovering the maximal amount of biofuel from your algae population is certainly a problem, it's not the reason we're not using biofuels in mass. The reason for that is that when you have a giant tank of food (many football fields for comercial factories), eventually a stray bacteria is going to fall in, find itself at home, and take over and kill everything else.  They've been working on biofuel technology for 30 years and most of the best prospects have ended in infection.  If they are going to do genetic engineering on these guys, I think the time would be better spent evolving antibacterial production/resistance.  Probably this has been tried already, but I didn't run across any papers for it last I checked.

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