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Comment: Nothing new (Score 2) 235

by Stonan (#35410098) Attached to: Piracy In Developing Countries Driven By High Prices

In the early 80s the Commie 64 was targeted for kids. After you convinced your parents to spend $300-$400 on what they considered a toy, you then had to convince them to spend another $50-$60 for a piece of software.The best way to describe the result was 'fat chance'.

Hacking/copying was the only way most kids could get ANYTHING for the 64. I admit I was heavily into this. Not so much the hacking as the copying and distributing. This was the time when hackers were seen as the Robin Hoods of the early home computer age. Of course this has changed and hackers are seen in a different light now but where they came from hasn't: corporations want way too much money for the product they produce.

In the late 90s I worked a contract for Electronic Arts. During that time I could buy software that was going for $90 in the stores for $10 from the internal EA store. I know some of the $90 price is retail markup but not all.

At least EA puts out software that works unlike the MS business model of double-gouging: pay thru the nose for crap software then do it again when the 'upgrade' (corrections & fixes) are released.

Comment: Wrong terminology... (Score 1, Interesting) 729

by Stonan (#35045420) Attached to: Model Says Religiosity Gene Will Dominate Society

It isn't a religiosity gene, it's more like a gullibility gene or a genetically caused weakness of the mind. I have found that those who devoutly believe in fairy stores and invisible people can be easily convinced of the most absurd things as long as you talk to them in that level, convincing tone that Obi-won pulled off so well in Star Wars.

Also, some people can be hypnotized, others can't. Difference: strength of mind.

Biotech

A Genetically Engineered Fly That Can Smell Light 111

Posted by timothy
from the lsd-way-cheaper dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It sounds like a cool — if somewhat pointless — super-powered insect: a fly that can smell light! Researchers added a light-sensitive protein to a fruit fly's olfactory neurons, which caused the neurons to fire when the fly was exposed to a certain wavelength of blue light. Adding the protein specifically to neurons that respond to good smells, like bananas, makes for a light-seeking fly."
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.'"
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"

"I'm a mean green mother from outer space" -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors

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