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Math

Is Mathematics Discovered Or Invented? 798

Posted by kdawson
from the plato-says-yeah-but dept.
An anonymous reader points out an article up at Science News on a question that, remarkably, is still being debated after a few thousand years: is mathematics discovered, or is it invented? Those who answer "discovered" are the intellectual descendants of Plato; their number includes Roger Penrose. The article notes that one difficulty with the Platonic view: if mathematical ideas exist in some way independent of humans or minds, then human minds engaged in doing mathematics must somehow be able to connect with this non-physical state. The European Mathematical Society recently devoted space to the debate. One of the papers, Let Platonism die, can be found on page 24 of this PDF. The author believes that Platonism "has more in common with mystical religions than with modern science."
Software

Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations 58

Posted by kdawson
from the singing-the-unsung dept.
chromatic writes "Google and O'Reilly have published the Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations. These awards, given at OSCON 2008, recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of open source software. The nomination process is open to the entire open source community, and nominations close on May 15. Here's your chance to sing the praises of previously unsung hackers."

Chipmakers Admit Your Power May Vary 138

Posted by Zonk
from the mileage-too dept.
Dylan Knight Rogers writes to mention a News.com story discussing the realities of chip power consumption. From the article: "Assessing only pure performance is passe. The debate these days is about performance-per-watt, which seems like it should be a simple miles-per-gallon type of calculation. However, miles are miles, and gallons are gallons. There's no one simple way to measure processor performance, and measuring the amount of power output by today's chips is proving just as difficult."

Dvorak Admits To Trolling Mac Users 354

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the everyone's-favorite-gasbag dept.
jalefkowit writes "Tech pundit John Dvorak has long been known for his inflammatory opinions. Many have suspected that these opinions are just a way to drive up traffic to his column. Now, we have it straight from the horse's mouth: Dave Winer has Dvorak on video describing his methodology for trolling the Mac community to pump up his stats." I have to admit I'm also guilty of posting the occasional inflammatory story, but I find it's usually best to suffix the title with a question mark, and let our ever-knowledgeable readers hash out the issue and decide for themselves.

Amnesty International vs. Internet Censorship 287

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Amnesty International has a new online campaign against governments which censor websites, monitor online communications, and persecute citizens who express dissent in blogs, emails, or chat-rooms. The website, Irrepressible.info contains a web-based petition (to be presented at a UN conference in November 2006) and also a downloadable web gadget which displays random excerpts of censored material on your own website."

10 Years of Neon Genesis Evangelion 312

Posted by Zonk
from the get-in-the-robot-shinji dept.
smooth wombat writes "Mainichi Daily News has a lengthy, multi-part article on the history of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The article looks back at the 10 years since Evangelion appeared and how it changed the world of manga." From the article: "In a series of 26 episodes, Evangelion told the story of a 14-year-old boy called Shinji Ikari, who piloted a biomechanical combat robot called an Evangelion, which fought against mysterious extraterrestrial monsters known as Angels. But Shinji was also a regular junior high school pupil, and his school life featured strongly in the anime's plot too. As did psychotherapy and the Old Testament, which director Hideaki Anno attributed as influences while creating the series. Evangelion become a huge hit across Japan, attracting fans across generations, sparking a massive public debate over its controversial final episode -- which many criticized for leaving the work unfinished -- and sparking unprecedented merchandising sales that set the scene for the current manga market."

Code Monkey Like Fritos 196

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the catchy-songs-in-your-head dept.
Greyjack writes "Jonathan Coulton's latest song in his thing-a-week series, Code Monkey, is an anthem for under-appreciated developers everywhere. From the song: 'Code Monkey get up get coffee / Code Monkey go to job / Code monkey have boring meeting, with boring manager Rob / Rob say Code Monkey very diligent / But his output stink / His code not functional or elegant / What do Code Monkey think?' Like virtually everything he does, he's released it under a Creative Commons license -- go forth, download, and share the goodness!" Update: 04/23 19:23 GMT by SM: Several users have also provided a torrent.

IBM to Oracle - You Can't Buy Open Source 102

Posted by Zonk
from the hee dept.
mrops writes "CNET has up a short article about IBM's reaction to Oracle's recent acquisitions. From the article: 'Handy was responding to comments made by Oracle CEO Ellison to the Financial Times, where he said that he wanted Oracle to control a 'full stack' of software, including the Linux operating system. If Oracle did try to buy a Linux distributor, such as Red Hat or Novell, Handy said 'we'd stick to our strategy of having two or more independent distributors and have to wait and see what happens.'" It should be pointed out, as noted in yesterday's Slashback, that Ellison has no intentions of purchasing Red Hat.

Linux Snobs, The Real Barriers to Entry 1347

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-all-know-them dept.
McSnarf writes "It's not Windows. It's not distro wars. Sometimes it's just the arrogant attitude that keeps people from switching from Windows. 'As I spoke to newbies, one Windows user who wanted to learn about Linux shared the encouraging and constructive note (not) he received from one of the project members. The responding note read: "Hi jackass, RTFM and stop wasting our time trying to help you children learn.""

eSATA External Storage Drive Reviewed 100

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the happy-marriages-of-technology dept.
Tom's Hardware has a practical look at an eSATA drive offering from Taiwanese storage firm Thecus. From the article: "Thecus' N2050 is one of the first external twin-drive RAID boxes that uses eSATA. As expected, its performance was far better than what USB 2.0 offers. The end result is impressive. The date transfer rate of 30 MB/s that USB 2.0 offers does indeed pale in comparison to 100 MB/s for eSATA, while the WD1500 drives are capable of delivering even better performance in RAID 0. It is also good to see that Thecus did not throw the USB 2.0 interface away, because it is a nice backup interface whenyou want to use the device with other computers via USB 2.0."

Environmentalists Coming Around to Nuclear Power? 1092

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the background-research-results-just-coming-in dept.
Heywood J. Blaume writes "In a Washington Post editorial Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, now says he was wrong about opposing nuclear power 30 years ago. In the article he addresses common myths about nuclear power, and puts forth the position that nuclear power is the only feasible, affordable power source that can solve today's growing environmental and energy policy issues. From the article: 'Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.'"

When an Algorithm Takes the Wheel 676

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the take-the-next-step-and-drive-for-me dept.
Wired has an interesting look at Jaguar's new automated driving dynamics system in their new XK convertible. From the article: "During an extreme test of the XK's handling capabilities, the car only fishtailed back and forth once after I jerked the steering wheel on a wet road around a 90 degree turn while driving at about 60 mph. The car's back wheels swung first left then right before the XK's sensors registered a difference in torque between the rear tires and, transparent to me, righted the fishtailing effect by a combination of de-acceleration, tire rotation and vehicle weight distribution control. More often than not, the sensation of flatness, as if there were a vertical force pinning the car to the road, was also felt then and when taking less extreme curves at high speeds."

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