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Earth

Model Says Religiosity Gene Will Dominate Society 729

Posted by timothy
from the getchyer-broad-brushes-n'-start-paintin' dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "PhysOrg reports on a study by Robert Rowthorn, emeritus professor at Cambridge University, that predicts that the genetic components that predispose a person toward religion are currently "hitchhiking" on the back of the religious cultural practice of high fertility rates and that provided the fertility of religious people remains on average higher than that of secular people, the genes that predispose people towards religion will spread. For example, in the past 20 years, the Amish population in the US has doubled, increasing from 123,000 in 1991 to 249,000 in 2010. The huge growth stems almost entirely from the religious culture's high fertility rate, which is about 6 children per woman, on average. Rowthorn says that while fertility is determined by culture, an individual's predisposition toward religion is likely to be influenced by genetics, in addition to their upbringing. In the model, Rowthorn uses a "religiosity gene" to represent the various genetic factors that combine to genetically predispose a person toward religion, whether remaining religious from youth or converting to religion from a secular upbringing. Rowthorn's model predicts that the religious fraction of the population will eventually stabilize at less than 100%, and there will remain a possibly large percentage of secular individuals. But nearly all of the secular population will still carry the religious allele, since high defection rates will spread the religious allele to secular society when defectors have children with a secular partner."
Social Networks

Flock Switches To Chromium For New Beta 154

Posted by timothy
from the one-stop-blabbing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Flock, the social networking browser, has moved from Firefox open source code to Chromium in its latest beta. The new Flock is essentially a combination of Chrome and TweetDeck, as you can sign in to Twitter and Facebook accounts and look at a single feed that incorporates updates from both. Currently, the beta is only available on Windows, but a Mac version is slated for later this year."

Comment: Re:Religious Viewers= $ (Score 1) 955

by _Swank (#32323206) Attached to: <em>Lost</em> Ends

The producers and writers NEVER promised rational explanations for everything that happened on the island. In fact, they explicitly said there were a lot of things that definitely didn't have them. I don't know where you got your information to the contrary but, if while watching the show you really thought there was going to be a 'rational' explanation for a sentient cloud of black smoke that travels the island offing people...well, i'm flabbergasted.

Comment: Re:Something deeper (Score 5, Informative) 497

by _Swank (#31930918) Attached to: Adobe Stops Development For iPhone

All your points relate to a completely different issue than what this article is actually about (don't worry, it looks like 99% of the 'techies' posting to this article fail to understand what Adobe actually announced related to Flash and the iPhone).

In short: THIS IS NOT ABOUT FLASH IN THE BROWSER ON THE IPOD/IPHONE/IPAD.

Let me repeat: THIS IS NOT ABOUT FLASH IN THE BROWSER ON THE IPOD/IPHONE/IPAD.

Adobe released a feature that allows you to export an app created in Flash CS5 (not the Flash Player client) as a native iPhone app. This meant you could export an iPhone app that includes ZERO bits of Flash that could then be submitted to Apple's AppStore and appears like every other app.

What Apple said in the their license is, essentially, you must not use 3rd party tools to create native iPhone Apps. XCode and Objective-C are your options.

What Adobe said is that they will no longer work on the above feature for the Apple devices. But will work on it for other devices.

So if you want to create an app that targets the web, the desktop, Android, iPhone, etc. You will be able to target all these platforms with a single code base -- except the iPhone...that you will have to write separately in Objective-C as a completely different code base. Because of Apple's whims.

Note that, according to the license, this also applies to all other non-Apple tools that can be used to cross-compile to a native iPhone app.

Comment: Re:These "scientists" weren't (Score 5, Informative) 1747

by _Swank (#30389040) Attached to: The Science Credibility Bubble

please, please, please get your facts straight on what these scientists did with their data when they 'threw out raw data'

they threw out siberian tree-ring data for certain years (i believe it was 1960 to present) that they were using to infer local temperatures and, instead, used the actual local air temperatures. this turned a graph that showed temperatures over a period of time longer than thermometers have existed in from one relying on only tree-ring data, to one relying solely on tree-ring temperature data to one using mostly tree-ring data with some tree-ring data replaced by more accurate actual temperature readings.

yes, the tree-ring data in this location diverges unexpectedly from the actual temps recorded. that is a problem to explain. but it has nothing to do with the fact that the temperatures really did continue to increase.

Be

After 8 Years of Work, Be-Alike Haiku Releases Official Alpha 411

Posted by timothy
from the time-for-some-wikipedia-edit-action dept.
NiteMair writes "The Haiku project has finally released an official R1 alpha, after 8 years of development. This marks a significant milestone for the project, and it also debuts the first official/publicly available LiveCD ISO image that can be easily booted and used to install Haiku on x86 hardware. Haiku is a desktop operating system inspired by BeOS after Be, Inc. closed its doors in 2001. The project has remained true to the BeOS philosophy while integrating modern hardware support and features along the way." Eugenia adds this link to an article describing the history of the OS, along with a review of the alpha version."
Programming

Manager's Schedule vs. Maker's Schedule 274

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gtg-i-have-a-mtg dept.
theodp writes "Ever wonder why you and the boss don't see eye-to-eye on the importance of meetings? Paul Graham explains that there are Maker Schedules (coder) and Manager Schedules (PHB), and the two are very different. With each day neatly cut into one-hour intervals, the Manager Schedule is for bosses and is tailor-made for schmoozing. Unfortunately, it spells disaster for people who make things, like programmers and writers, who generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour, says Graham, since that's barely enough time to get started. So if you fall into the Maker camp, adds Graham, you better hope your boss is smart enough to recognize that you need long chunks of time to work in. How's that working out in your world?" Ironically enough, I have a meeting to attend in three minutes.

Comment: Re:Lost battle (Score 2, Insightful) 396

by _Swank (#28811943) Attached to: Palm Pre iTunes Syncing Back With WebOS 1.1 Update

How is Palm not trying to force Apple into making iTunes SO restrictive about syncing that Palm can sue Apple for anti-competitive behavior, eventually forcing iTunes to be actively open.

I say that Palm is doing the exact opposite of trying to avoid a lawsuit, but their intention is to be on the 'right' end of it. It's brilliant if it works.

Comment: Re:Why not a laptop? (Score 1) 263

by _Swank (#28579535) Attached to: Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money?

But the original article is asking mostly about using this to read academic papers.

If that's the case, doesn't the small size of the Palm (or other handheld device) cause problems? With academic papers often containing graphs, tables, images, etc. won't these potentially have a difficult time being shown on the handheld screen in enough detail along with the explanatory text to be as easily readable?

Comment: Re:Why not a laptop? (Score 1) 263

by _Swank (#28579501) Attached to: Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money?

Aren't you missing the fact that if you were to email a digital copy to a friend you end up with 2 (or more) copies while in 'real life' if you send them an actual book, you end up not having the book still yourself? You really should have tried a car analogy, that surely would have been better.

I know it's nice wanting everything to be free or to be able to do whatever you want with something you purchase. But buying different things can and do have different strings attached. If you don't like the strings, don't buy and, eventually, the strings will have to go away. Buy or steal instead and you're justifying those strings.

Comment: Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (Score 1) 1092

by _Swank (#28173137) Attached to: Making a Child Locating System

Did I redefine "the original problem"? I was under the impression that the root cause of this guy wanting to know where his child was, was that they got on the wrong bus. He's asking for a solution to know where his kid is if it happens again (and under other circumstances too). However, this doesn't help in solving the 'recurring' problem of kids getting on the wrong bus.

Comment: Re:Prior Art so Prior It Hurts (Score 1) 281

by _Swank (#28173037) Attached to: IBM Wants Patent For Regex SSN Validation

> I don't think you are a coder or at least not a very good one.

Fair enough, though I have no idea what you base that on.

However, I am either misunderstanding what you're saying or you're completely contradictory.

You argument appears to say:

1. Javascript and regexp are general purpose and anything you can do with them should not be patentable even if you're the first to do so.
2. If IBM created their own modified javascript and modified regexp, then they should be able to get a patent for that because they're 'new'.

There's a couple things about that that bother me, particularly the logical inconsistency of the 2 rules: Suppose IBM created their modified javascript and modified regexp using regular javascript and regexp? Well, it satisfies #2, and fails #1, so can they patent it or not?

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

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