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+ - Copulation happened in Scotland, 385 million years ago!->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Boffins are claiming that they have found the evidence of animals equipped with "copulation tools" as far back as 385 million years ago

An international team of researchers says a fish called Microbrachius dicki is the first-known animal to stop reproducing by spawning and instead mate by having sex. The primitive bony fish, which was about 8cm long, lived in ancient lakes about 385 million years ago in what is now Scotland

Lead author Prof John Long, from Flinders University in Australia, said: "We have defined the very point in evolution where the origin of internal fertilisation in all animals began"

Prof Long added that the discovery was made as he was looking through a box of ancient fish fossils. He noticed that one of the M. dicki specimens had an odd L-shaped appendage

Further investigation revealed that this was the male fish's genitals. "The male has large bony claspers. These are the grooves that they use to transfer sperm into the female" explained Prof Long. Microbrachius dicki fossils are common — but nobody noticed the sexual organs until now. The female fish, on the other hand, had a small bony structure at their rear that locked the male organ into place

Constrained by their anatomy, the fish probably had to mate side by side."They couldn't have done it in a 'missionary position'" said Prof Long. "The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style ""

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+ - Debian to be forked->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After all the problems around systemd, journald and the recent proposal for the RC issued by Ian Jackson, a team of volunters plan to fork debian."
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Comment: It *can* go further than _that_ (Score 3, Interesting) 57

by Taco Cowboy (#48181923) Attached to: Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

When are things like this going to start being used for good and bad ways? i.e. Your honor, my client is susceptible to gambling, so this should/should not be taking into account during sentencing. That is, if he is susceptible, he shouldn't be anywhere near a gambling table etc. This is the problem I see with comprehensive data. Correlations happen by coincidence all the time and humans are downright lousy at statistics, intuition and perception

As one who runs several businesses while investing in many others I can tell you that the "gambling mentality" can very much be applied to business as well

Many of the Silicon Valley upstarts do not even deserve one single penny of investments for their founders' strategy are so wrong, so narrow, and so stupid, but yet, they regularly got million-dollar injection because someone take a chance

You may think that many of the "angel investors" are seasoned investors, that whenever they "take a chance" they knew what they were doing. The reality however, is that many of those investments are based on nothing more than what TFA has pointed out, a "response to pleasure-triggering behavior"

Yes, I have had my own moments and I have invested my good money into rotten useless duds

Comment: Capitalism is not the culprit (Score 1) 831

by Taco Cowboy (#48163015) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

I have read the comments and most of them are the typical of "capitalism is to be blamed" kind of argument

The one inherent inequality that truly exists in the system is INITIATIVE --- in which, persons who are more prone to take proactive actions are more prone to become successful and/or to have higher possibilities in surviving any given crisis

Those who argue that capitalism is the one thing that has caused the discrepancies of wealth distribution never care about the reality - that is, if one is lazy and never takes any initiative, how can that person become wealthy in the first place?

+ - Cellphones, Ebola, and Big Data->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The ebola crisis in West Africa has killed more than 4,500 people, and the number keeps on rising

Medical researchers are frantically trying to find way to slow down the spread of ebola and so far the medical route seems to be not able to stop ebola in its tracks

On the other hand, researchers from IT backgrounds think they might be able to track the movement of people by means of cellphone data and that there is a possibility that by analyzing the big data generated by the cellphone companies they could better predict the spread of ebola and hence offer advises to relevant authorities to take actions before the deadly contagious disease becomes out of control

Links to the efforts are available at and and"

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Comment: Tech Companies have become warring fiefdoms (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by Taco Cowboy (#48054395) Attached to: Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

I have been in the tech scene for decades, and having have my "tech baptism" we always have that "community" feel to what we do

That was decades ago

Now, everything changed. Tech companies today are like warring fiefdoms. Instead of focus on innovation they wasted all their resources on making their competitors suffer

Take this SIRI/Nuance -- Apple/Samsung saga for example ---

Instead of innovate - Innovate - INNOVATE what we have here are "strategizing - scheming - blocking"

Instead of innovation the tech companies are more interested in dog fights, and the one thing that I need to know is this ---

Why are they doing all these?

Is it because they no longer have the urge to innovate?

Or is it because the corporate culture (the ROI mentality) that has taken over (in almost all the big tech companies that I know) and it is killing the tech field as we know it?

This is a very unhealthy trend, very very unhealthy, and if we let them corporate guys taking over our tech industry sooner or later we will be facing the sad cold reality that one day, somebody else, maybe India or China or Russia, will become much more technologically advance than the West

Please pay a visit to India or Russia or China, if you have the chance. Over there they still have a lot of people devoting their lives on innovation, because to them, it is the right thing to do

+ - Intel Eats Its Own Dogfood, Saves $9M Using Internet Of Things In Factory->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "A good way to sell someone a new technology? Prove to them that you believe in it enough to use it yourself. IBM has been trying to get customers to buy into the concept of the "Internet of Things," in which tiny distributed networked sensors would improve manufacturing processes. To prove its point, Big Blue implemented such a system in one of its Malaysian factories, and claimed $9 million in savings."
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+ - Scientific explanation of why men wasted together->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Men seem to like getting drunk together more than women do and now a group of boffins think they know why

Smiles are contagious in a group of men sitting around drinking alcohol, according to a study announced Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. This suggests that booze serves as a social lubricant for men, making them more sensitive to social behaviors, like smiling, and freeing them to connect with one another in a way that a soda can’t

Lest that strike you as laughably obvious, consider this: the effect does not hold if there are any women in the group, according to the study authors

A site note of the research points to the fact that genuine smiles are perfectly contagious among sober women, just not sober men

The authors don’t posit a guess as to why the presence of a woman keeps drunk men from catching smiles from one another, except to say that booze seems to disrupt "processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person’s smile""

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+ - In smartphone market all are copycats!->

Submitted by rapidsofttechnologie
rapidsofttechnologie (3644351) writes "Mobile app developers keep copying each other. It’s a common practice in mobile app development industry. One app developer copies features & functions of other app developers. They create clone apps just to cash the fame of other apps hitting the top lists. And in many cases, developers are creating clone of a clone of a clone."
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+ - US Army develops new sand table technology

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "The US military has displayed a potential new sand table technology at the recently concluded Modern Day Marine exhibition held aboard the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, US. Developed by the Army Research Laboratory, the augmented reality sand (ARES) table features a laptop connected to a projector and a Microsoft Kinect, a combined microphone and camera device used with video game systems. The table combines readily available and relatively inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf technology, and improves on the notecards and string seen in legacy sand tables by projecting images of units and landscapes down onto a tabletop box of sand. Projecting units and vehicles as 3x5 notecards and roads or streams as pieces of string, the traditional sand tables are rudimentary three-dimensional maps used for military planning and war games on a small scale."

Comment: The Hawthorne Effect (Score 1) 26

by Taco Cowboy (#48031669) Attached to: How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

While there's no doubt that technology does play a part in the success of that school, MHO is that it is wrong to attribute all the success on technology alone

The fact is that school got so much attention from so many people, so much so that the inventor of the 3D printed limb, Richard van As was present at that school

Or, in other words, it was Hawthorne Effect ( ) that has contributed to the dramatic improvement on the performances of the students of that school

Comment: Re:I measure taste like a food critic (Score 1) 103

by Taco Cowboy (#48031455) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

So are these foreign thai places actually "bland" or is "real" thai food simply overly spiced?

While I do not know how you would define that "overly" in the "overly spiced" description of yours, real Thai food (and yes, I have been to Thailand many times on business trips) are certainly much more tasty than what you get from those "Thai Restaurants" on your main street in Europe or America

I have great doubt that the robot could do a decent job identifying a real tasty Thai food from a bad one

Sure, the bot can judge the level of spiciness / sourness / sweetness by measuring the level of glucose / acid / capsaicinoids, but that still doesn't mean it can ascertain how tasty the food is

+ - California Gov Brown Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants for Drone Surveillance->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Brown, a Democrat facing re-election in November, sided with law enforcement and said the legislation simply granted Californians privacy rights that went too far beyond existing guarantees. Sunday's veto comes as the small drones are becoming increasingly popular with business, hobbyists, and law enforcement.

"This bill prohibits law enforcement from using a drone without obtaining a search warrant, except in limited circumstances," the governor said in his veto message(PDF). "There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill's exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow and could impose requirements beyond what is required by either the 4th Amendment or the privacy provisions in the California Constitution."

At least 10 other states require the police to get a court warrant to surveil with a drone. Those states include Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

California's drone bill is not draconian. It includes exceptions for emergency situations, search-and-rescue efforts, traffic first responders, and inspection of wildfires. It allows other public agencies to use drones for other purposes—just not law enforcement."

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Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken