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Comment: Re:Debunking religions (Score 2) 658

by catf00d (#41499991) Attached to: If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

I'd do the same, but for different reasons. I'm atheist, but the historical record is pretty convincing that a man named Jesus really lived 2000 years ago, and that he was a rabble-rouser, and had a bit of a following. Looking around me today, I have a hard time naming a single person who has had a deeper impact on the world. Think of it: from the Roman persecutions, through Charlemagne, the Medieval church, the Crusades, the great thinkers and artists and musicians and architects who helped shape the western world we know ... all the good and bad through the ages from one man. It leaves me with a burning question: what the heck happened 2000 years ago? What did this man say that affected so many people? You want to prove that miracles didn't happen. Big deal, who cares? I want to understand what happened to the world.

Earth

Major Cache of Fossils Unearthed In Los Angeles 215

Posted by kdawson
from the sticky-underfoot dept.
aedmunde sends along news from the LA Times: "A nearly intact mammoth, dubbed Zed, is among the remarkable discoveries near the La Brea Tar Pits. It's the largest known deposit of Pleistocene ice age fossils... in what might seem to be the unlikeliest of places — under an old May Co. parking lot in L.A.'s tony Miracle Mile shopping district. ...huge chunks of soil from the site have been removed intact and now sit in large wooden crates on the back lot... The 23 crates range... from the size of a desk to that of a small delivery truck... There were, in fact, 16 separate deposits on the site, an amount that, by her estimate, would have taken 20 years to excavate conventionally. ... Carefully identifying the edges of each deposit, her team dug trenches around them and underneath, isolating the deposits on dirt pedestals. After wrapping heavy plastic around the deposits, workers built wooden crates similar to tree boxes and lifted them out individually with a heavy crane. The biggest one weighed 123,000 pounds."
Software

Norwegian Standards Body Members Resign Over OOXML 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.
tsa writes "Ars Technica reports that 13 of the 23 members from the technical committee of the Norwegian standards body, the organization that manages technical standards for the country, have resigned because of the way the OOXML standardization was handled. We've previously discussed Norway's protest and ISO's rejection of other appeals. From the article: 'The standardization process for Microsoft's office format has been plagued with controversy. Critics have challenged the validity of its ISO approval and allege that procedural irregularities and outright misconduct marred the voting process in national standards bodies around the world. Norway has faced particularly close scrutiny because the country reversed its vote against approval despite strong opposition to the format by a majority of the members who participated in the technical committee.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft's Mundie Sees a Future In Spatial Computing 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-only-see-the-future-with-my-magic-8-ball dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking at the MIT Emerging Technology Conference, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie explained that he sees the industry evolving into 'spatial computing,' and he envisions a 3-D virtual world populated by virtual presences, using a combination of client and cloud services. 'In a few months, the compay plans to test a new virtual reception assistant in some of its campus buildings. The assistant, which takes the form of an avatar, helps schedule shuttle reservations to get people to various locations across the 10-million-square-foot Redmond, Wash., campus. The system includes array microphones and natural language processing by which the avatar listens to the subjects and then interacts with them in real time. The system has been programmed to differentiate people by their clothing. Someone in a suit, for instance, would more likely be a visitor and not a potential shuttle rider.'"
Government

Anatomy of the VA's IT Meltdown 137

Posted by Zonk
from the use-your-words dept.
Lucas123 writes "According to a Computerworld story, a relatively simple breakdown in communications led to a day-long systems outage within the VA's medical centers. The ultimate result of the outage: the cancellation of a project to centralize IT systems at more than 150 medical facilities into four regional data processing centers. The shutdown 'left months of work to recover data to update the medical records of thousands of veterans. The procedural failure also exposed a common problem in IT transformation efforts: Fault lines appear when management reporting shifts from local to regional.'"

New Ghostbusters Video Game in the Works 204

Posted by Zonk
from the for-real-this-time dept.
Next month's issue of Game Informer has a big, familiar symbol on its cover. On their website, they tease the announcement of a brand-new Ghostbusters video game. This isn't some knock-off, either: "Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd are getting back together and revisiting their roles to make a sequel to Ghostbusters 1 and 2 - in video-game form, and we've got the first details. Both Aykroyd and Ramis are teaming up for scriptwriting duties and are going far beyond just the typical licensed add-your-voice-to-the-game-you-had-nothing-to-do-with formula" Commentary on the announcement provided by Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Space

Time Dimension To Become Space-like 587

Posted by Zonk
from the you're-not-thinking-fourth-dimensionally dept.
KentuckyFC writes "The Universe is about to flip from having three dimensions of space and one of time to having four dimensions of space. That's the conclusion of a group of Spanish astrophysicists who have calculated that observers inside such a Universe would see it expanding and accelerating away from them just before the flip (abstract, full paper pdf on the physics arXiv). 'We show that regular changes of signature on brane-worlds in AdS bulks may account for some types of the recently fashionable sudden singularities. Therefore, the fact that the Universe seems to approach a future sudden singularity at an accelerated rate of expansion might simply be an indication that our braneworld is about to change from Lorentzian to Euclidean signature. Both the brane and the bulk remain fully regular everywhere.'" Update: 10/09 16:06 GMT by Z : A few readers have written in to point out that the article is not peer-reviewed; your mileage may vary.

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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