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Education

Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools 649

Posted by Soulskill
from the pi-is-exactly-3 dept.
sandbagger sends this news from io9: In what's being heralded as a secular triumph, the U.K. government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools. The new clauses, which arrived with very little fanfare last week, state that the "requirement for every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school." So, if an academy or free school teaches creationism as scientifically valid, it's breaking the funding agreement to provide a "broad and balanced curriculum." ... In addition to the new clauses, the UK government clarified the meaning of creationism, reminding everyone that it's a minority view even within the Church of England and the Catholic Church.
Windows

Chrome Will End XP Support in 2015; Firefox Has No Plans To Stop 257

Posted by timothy
from the dragged-into-the-same-grave dept.
Billly Gates writes "Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP in 2014. Fortunately for its users who want to keep browsing the web, Google is continuing to support Chrome until at least 2015. Firefox has no current plans to end support for XP. Hopefully this will delay the dreaded XPopacalypse — the idea that a major virus/worm/trojan will take down millions of systems that haven't been issued security patches. When these browsers finally do end XP support, does it mean webmasters will need to write seperate versions of CSS and JavaScript for older versions if the user base refuses to leave Windows XP (as happened with IE6)?" Update: 10/29 17:31 GMT by S : Changed headline and summary to reflect that Mozilla doesn't have plans to drop XP support any time soon.

Comment: Re:batteries are not rechargable (Score 1) 247

by bigtomrodney (#43357719) Attached to: Israeli Firm Makes Kilomile Claims For Electric Car Battery Tech

No moving parts, no maintenance

Let's see you couple that battery directly to a wheel and see how far that gets you moving before you wish you had moving parts between them. I am looking forward to electric cars being more common but blind optimism doesn't help, the fact is you still need an electric motor and batteries have too small a charge, too short a life and too much environmental impact.

You still have maintenance on the electric motor, you still have a motor and you still have toxic emissions albeit they are now suspended until the battery replacement.

Comment: Re:Antibiotic Placebo? (Score 5, Insightful) 240

by bigtomrodney (#43244363) Attached to: Most UK GPs Have Prescribed Placebos
That's exactly how I feel, but moreover logically that is why these medicines are prescription only.

As a European I was horrified to see that prescription medicines are routinely and frequently advertised on television in the USA instructing the viewer to ask their doctor to prescribe the medicine.

Comment: Re:Fascinating! And congratulations (Score 1) 81

by bigtomrodney (#43053365) Attached to: The Raspberry Pi Turns One
I'm running mine as primarily an XBMC box for my TV, pulling streams. However over the months I've used it for more and more stuff via ssh and I'm now running transmission-daemon on it as my torrent server. It performs flawlessly apart from the odd time I'll be watching something in HD and simultaneously have a 500K download but I'm almost positive that's more to do with the slow flash memory I'm using with it.

They're a great device. A close friend who is an old-school programmer has had his running non-stop since November and now uses it as his permanent *n?x development environment. It's only hobby stuff but he gets to play with GCC and ssh all day.
Education

Should Techies Trump All Others In Immigration Reform? 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the front-of-the-line dept.
theodp writes "In an open letter on TechCrunch, Vivek Wadhwa calls on Congressman Luis Gutierrez to lift his 'hold on Silicon Valley' and stop tying immigration reform for highly-skilled STEM immigrants to the plight of undocumented immigrants. So, why should the STEM set get first dibs? 'The issues of high-skilled and undocumented immigrants are both equally important,' says Wadhwa, but 'the difference is that the skilled workers have mobility and are in great demand all over the world. They are getting frustrated and are leaving in droves.' Commenting on Gutierrez's voting record, Wadhwa adds, 'I would have voted for visas for 50,000 smart foreign students graduating with STEM degrees from U.S. universities over bringing in 55,000 randomly selected high-school graduates from abroad. The STEM graduates would have created jobs and boosted our economy. The lottery winners will come to the U.S. with high hopes, but will face certain unemployment and misery because of our weak economy.' So, should Gutierrez cede to Wadhwa's techies-before-Latinos proposal, or would this be an example of the paradox of virtuous meritocracy undermining equality of opportunity?"
Encryption

Attack Steals Crypto Key From Co-Located Virtual Machines 73

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the can't-patch-that dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys have, until now, been limited to physical machines. Researchers have long made accurate determinations about crypto keys by studying anything from variations in power consumption to measuring how long it takes for a computation to complete. A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina, University of Wisconsin, and RSA Security has ramped up the stakes, having proved in controlled conditions (PDF) that it's possible to steal a crypto key from a virtual machine. The implications for sensitive transactions carried out on public cloud infrastructures could be severe should an attacker land his malicious virtual machine on the same physical host as the victim. Research has already been conducted on how to map a cloud infrastructure and identify where a target virtual machine is likely to be."
Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: Forget the iPad, Surface Is the Tablet People Want 403

Posted by samzenpus
from the flame-on dept.
zacharye writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer undoubtedly knows that Apple has sold more than 100 million iPad tablets at this point, but according to the outspoken executive, that's not the tablet people really want. While speaking with CNBC, Ballmer said no company has built a tablet he believes customers want. 'You can go through the products from all those guys and none of them has a product that you can really use. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point,' he says."

Comment: Re:who cares? (Score 4, Insightful) 266

by bigtomrodney (#41692573) Attached to: OpenOffice Is Now, Officially, Apache OpenOffice
I'm not so sure about that. I've seen cases where big-guns enterprise software has changed name and it's had a more positive impact. Users might have ignored a few point-version upgrades, even the occasional major upgrades. However when that new banner goes up it must be all new and good!.

Colours and words have a more tangible effect on the non-technical.

Comment: Re:In Xenon/HID headlight bulbs (Score 2) 225

by bigtomrodney (#41618937) Attached to: Where Has All the Xenon Gone?
No, Audi and Volkswagen's entire new line has LED headlights on all of their models this year and the A4/A5 have had them for 4-5 years now.

But don't think I'm agreeing with Tastecicles, because they're almost wrong. They are only the dipped/low-beam headlights as LEDs are not yet legal in the USA or Europe for full or high-beam use. But as for this usage, even SEAT has them now on some of their models and that's one of VAG's "budget" brands.

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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