Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Nebraska scientists refuse to carry out climate change-denying study->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "This is great: State researchers say they refuse to be used as political pawns: 'The problem, according to members of the governor-appointed Climate Assessment and Response Committee, is that the bill behind the study specifically calls for the researchers to look at “cyclical” climate change. In so doing, it completely leaves out human contributions to global warming.'"
Link to Original Source
Programming

Taking the Pain Out of Debugging With Live Programming 254

Posted by samzenpus
from the we'll-do-it-live dept.
angry tapir writes "'Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place,' Brian Kernighan once wrote (adding: 'So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?') However, Sean McDirmid, a researcher at Microsoft, has been working to remove some of the pain from debugging. McDirmid, based at Microsoft Research Asia, has been studying ways of implementing usable live programming environments: a solution that is less intrusive than classical debuggers. The idea is to essentially provide a programming environment in which editing of code and the execution of code occur simultaneously — and in the same interface as code editing — with tools to track the state of variables in a more or less live manner."

+ - EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers)-> 2

Submitted by
captainktainer
captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of Eve Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, "Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded," meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, Eve Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised "large fleet battles" that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions"
Link to Original Source

+ - Goodwill Plain Red Vase Contest (Create something)

Submitted by zbuckholz
zbuckholz (234618) writes "Goodwill Red Vase Contest

Today my wife and I took our two kids to Goodwill during our morning travels and we found this beautiful but plain red glass vase. It's square in shape with the top opening being larger than the bottom, the approximate dimensions are: 10 ½ cm width at the top and 7 ½ cm width at the bottom, the height of the vase is 23 cm.

We are going to let you decide what design we should laser engrave into the glass.

We will be soliciting ideas, and allowing users to comment on which idea they like the best. At the end of the contest whom ever we feel has the most positive comments will have their idea brought to life and the finished item given to them for free.

There is no cost to enter the contest, just look at the pictures of the plain red vase and submit your engraving in an image format you can post to our message forum. Submit as many engraving ideas as you wish.

We recommend the use of the following open-source graphic programs because we are familiar with them and use them ourselves.

InkScape http://www.inkscape.org/
GIMP http://www.gimp.org/

This contest will run until the end of January, the winner will be selected by February 5th, and the final selection engraved into the plain red vase by February 10th.

http://phoenixlaserengraving.com/?q=forum/1"
Medicine

+ - Can Tax Breaks Prolong Life?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that new tax laws that came into effect starting January 1, 2010 may have motivated at least some terminally ill taxpayers to cling to life to see the new year. The federal estate tax — which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person's estate — goes away completely for 2010 but is scheduled to return in 2011 at a 55% rate with an exemption of slightly more than $1 million presenting some families with unprecedented ethical quandaries. "I have two clients on life support, and the families are struggling with whether to continue heroic measures for a few more days," says estate lawyer Joshua Rubenstein. The macabre situation stems from 2001, when Congress raised estate-tax exemptions, culminating with the tax's disappearance in 2010. However, due to budget constraints, lawmakers didn't make the change permanent so the estate tax is due to come back to life in 2011 — at a higher rate and lower exemption. Estate-tax experts didn't expect Congress to allow the tax to lapse, and are flabbergasted that it is actually happening. "I've been practicing for more than 30 years, and never has the timing of death made such a financial difference," says Dennis Belcher, president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. "People have a hard enough time talking about death and addressing estate planning without this." Of course, plenty of taxpayers themselves have been eager to live to see the new year. But one wealthy, terminally ill real-estate entrepreneur told his doctors he was determined to live until the law changes. "Whenever he wakes up," says his lawyer, "He says: 'What day is it? Is it January 1 yet?'""
Biotech

+ - Scientists Measure How Quickly Plant Genes Mutate->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A recent study puts observed numbers on genome mutations in plants. This kind of research is becoming more popular in understanding evolution. The research 'followed all genetic changes in five lines of the mustard relative Arabidopsis thaliana that occurred during 30 generations. In the genome of the final generation they then searched for differences to the genome of the original ancestor.' A single generation has about a one in forty million chance of mutating any letter of the genome. Sound like bad odds? From the article, 'if one starts to consider that they occur in the genomes of every member of a species, it becomes clear how fluid the genome is: In a collection of only 60 million Arabidopsis plants, each letter in the genome is changed, on average, once. For an organism that produces thousands of seeds in each generation, 60 million is not such a big number at all.'"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Google Sets Censorship Precedent in India->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Censorship varies from country to country but India, home to a sixth of the world's population, appears to be shaping up much like China. Not far behind everyone else, Google has increasingly censored websites with an incident where a very popular politician died and Google forcibly deleted and dissolved a group on Orkut where offensive comments about the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh were posted. An official from India's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said, 'If you are doing business here, you should follow the local law, the sentiments of the people, the culture of the country. If somebody starts abusing Lord Rama on a Web site, that could start riots.' The lengthy opinion piece calls attention to the beginnings of a definitive lack of free speech online for Indian citizens. A spokeswoman for the 'Do No Evil' company explained, 'India does value free speech and political speech. But they are weighing the harm of free speech against violence in their streets.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Neodymium, 97% of world supply from China.-> 1

Submitted by GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes (729054) writes "Britain and other Western countries risk running out of supplies of certain highly sought-after rare metals that are vital to a host of green technologies, amid growing evidence that China, which has a monopoly on global production, is set to choke off exports of valuable compounds.

Failure to secure alternative long-term sources of rare earth elements (REEs) would affect the manufacturing and development of low-carbon technology, which relies on the unique properties of the 17 metals to mass-produce eco-friendly innovations such as wind turbines and low-energy lightbulbs.

China, whose mines account for 97 per cent of global supplies, is trying to ensure that all raw REE materials are processed within its borders. During the past seven years it has reduced by 40 per cent the amount of rare earths available for export."

Link to Original Source

Comment: It seems to have worked (Score 4, Insightful) 70

People forget why they initially implemented the CSM system. Initially, CCP was so isolated (geographically and otherwise) from their playerbase that they didn't even care when one of their developers helped his Alliance get access to the richest region of the game (Delve) and gave them exclusive rights to blueprints that gave them monopoly rights to some of the most powerful ships in the game. After they got called out on it, and it looked like their subscriber numbers might drop, they brought in the CSM system to help hold them accountable.

It's worked. They're a lot more in tune with what players want than ever, and while the stuff from the new patch seems to be utter failure, the core game is solid. People are actually debating ideas with the knowledge that someone is going to pass them along.

The system isn't perfect - the community representative for faction warfare is intentionally filtering out player suggestions so she can help her own Alliance - but it's created a stronger game. The skill queue system means that my friends and I can log in when it suits us, log off to do other things, and not have to babysit the game every time a game finishes. That's directly due to the CSM system.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

Working...