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Comment: Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (Score 1) 461

by damian cosmas (#28306877) Attached to: Periodic Table Gets a New, Unnamed Element

Careful, your ignorance is showing.

The Enlightenment was in the 18th Century. The Renaissance (literally, rebirth) was immediately after the Dark Ages, and indeed did include the incorporation of Arab knowledge, which was quite substantial at that time, into European Cultures. Subsequently, the Middle East stagnated (prior to the rise of European Colonialism, mind you, so you can't really blame whitey for this one), while Europe dominated.

Pick up a copy of What Went Wrong . It'll explain why you are wrong better than I can.

Comment: Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (Score 1) 461

by damian cosmas (#28300387) Attached to: Periodic Table Gets a New, Unnamed Element

RTFB, then bloviate. You sound somewhat uninformed otherwise. I understand how a book review by Newt Gingrich could be off-putting.

I've read both. IANAC (I Am Not A Classicist), but Neither Diamond nor Hanson should be taken too seriously. They're polemicists at worst, and pop historians at best, and darlings of the Left and Right, respectively.

Anyway, in defense of Hanson, the thesis of his book is quite competently defended, and is a bit more nuanced than "Europe is better and always has been." He uses historical battles as illustrative examples of aspects of Western Culture that have led to our Post-Renaissance dominance, which even you, in your haste to condemn the book you haven't read, concede. Things like private land ownership, the ability of a market economy to rapidly switch to war-time production (cf. Venice and the battle of Lepanto, US Pacific Fleet in WWII), civic militarism (i.e. direct participation of soldiers in the government they're fighting for).

Finally, read some Bernard Lewis (who is actually a respected historian) to cure you of your fascination with Arab Culture. If you're too lazy to read that, the short version is: "we had an enlightenment; they didn't."

Businesses

+ - Publishers want a slice of used game market-> 3

Submitted by grigory
grigory (512747) writes "GameStop's business model depends on a healthy flow of used games: incredibly "[GameStop] enjoys a 48 percent profit margin on used games". Game publishers do not see a cut of the secondary sale because it falls under the first sale doctrine. Now, some publishers and manufacturers want a piece of the pie. "One marketing executive, who did not want to be identified for fear of angering GameStop and other retailers, said the used game sale market is still depriving publishers of money because it gives consumers an all-too-easy alternative to buying a new game." Interesting picture of companies fighting for your business, and (suprise!) complaining about being left out of the money stream."
Link to Original Source

+ - Are IT professionals' relationships hellish?->

Submitted by
LSU_ADT_Geek
LSU_ADT_Geek writes "Recently, I posed the following question to the CIO Forum on LinkedIn: What do you wish your spouse understood about your job?

A dozen IT executives and IT directors--11 men and one woman--responded to the question publicly in the forum or privately via e-mail. Only one respondent, Jim Weeks, answered, "Nothing. She knows it all." Weeks attributed his wife's understanding of his job to the fact that they work together at Greenwich Hospital--she as the telecom manager and he as the CIO--and that they collaborate on projects both at work and at home.

Most of the 11 other respondents' answers to my question expressed some frustration with their jobs or with their marriages, or both. (The one woman who responded to my question wrote about the guilt-trips her kids lay on her for having to work long hours.)"

Link to Original Source
Television

+ - Hulu To Begin Charging For Video Content 1

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "All great free things can't last forever, especially when the entertainment industry is involved. What I'm referring to is Hulu.com, the most popular content streaming service online and where millions of users watch full TV episodes of their favorite shows. According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content. News Corp is the parent company of Fox which owns a huge portion of Hulu. When Miller of Newscorp was asked if Hulu would begin charging for online content during an Interview with Daily Finance, he said that "the answer could be yes." He went on to say that he doesn't "see why over time that shouldn't happen.""
Unix

+ - Unix Turns 40: Past, Present, Future Of The OS-> 1

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T subsidiary Bell Laboratories, saw the month-long departure of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler. 'A powerful operating system for interactive use need not be expensive either in equipment or in human effort,' colleague Dennis Ritchie and Thompson would write five years later. '[We hope that] users of Unix will find that the most important characteristics of the system are its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use.' Apparently they did. But after four decades (see the timeline), the future of the operating system is clouded. Gartner analyst George Weiss notes the pressures on Unix, saying, 'Linux is the strategic 'Unix' of choice.' Although Linux doesn't have the long legacy of development, tuning and stress-testing that Unix has seen, it is approaching and will soon equal Unix in performance, reliability and scalability, he says. However, a recent survey by Computerworld suggests that any migration away from Unix won't happen quickly."
Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

+ - The Verizon MiFi is a Great Friend for the iPhone->

Submitted by
uninet
uninet writes "Over the course of a few days last week, I was able to spend a good deal of time with Verizon's amazing little MiFi 3G router. It performed its task of providing speedy Wi-Fi internet to other devices via a EvDO Rev. A connection very well. Ironically, the red V network's device even improved the experience of using my iPhone, making it usable for surfing where its native network (AT&T) doesn't even connect. Check out my findings at Open for Business."
Link to Original Source
Emulation (Games)

+ - Running Windows 95 on the Wii->

Submitted by
ften
ften writes "Basically once DOSBox got released for the Wii that's all I've been playing with lately. After playing some Commander Keen and getting an old Dos app that's near and dear to my heart to run, I decided to tackle Windows. Windows 3.11 was easy because it can be natively run in DOSBox and after I realized the Wii only seems to support EGA, it was a snap. Windows 95 was not a snap do to the fact it needs DOS 6.X or higher and doesn't officially support EGA. I was finally able to get it to work but it was incredibly unstable and so slow that Windows is basically unusable. I've posted the instructions on my blog so other can duplicate the feat if they wish."
Link to Original Source
Social Networks

+ - Study Shows aTwitter Gap: Tweets vs. Tweet-Nots->

Submitted by
Cathy
Cathy writes "A new study of Twitter users shows that usage is heavily concentrated among a few instead of dispersed among the many users. Half of Twitter users tweet less than once every 74 days and the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. The researchers, from Harvard Business School, say: "The pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users than is the case on Wikipedia, even though Wikipedia is clearly not a communications tool. This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.""
Link to Original Source
Puzzle Games (Games)

+ - Tetris turns 25->

Submitted by teh.f4ll3n
teh.f4ll3n (1351611) writes "This week can be marked as The Tetris Week. 25 years ago a russian (soviet) researcher thought of one of the world's most popular games. It is now that we celebrate it's 25th anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago, inside the bowels of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, a young artificial intelligence researcher received his first desktop computer — the Soviet-built Elektronika 60, a copy of an American minicomputer called a PDP-11 — and began writing programs for it.

"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Glowing is cool, but the novelty is elsewhere (Score 1) 174

by damian cosmas (#28121757) Attached to: Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light On Human Disease

I posted these when the article was on the firehose for the benefit of the non-technical audience, but I guess they don't carry over when the story gets promoted:

Summary:
http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090527/full/459492a.html

Editorial:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7246/full/459483a.html

Summary for Scientists:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7246/full/459515a.html

Comment: Links to Primary Source(s) (Score 1) 2

by damian cosmas (#28116131) Attached to: Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light on Human Disease
Biotech

+ - Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light on Human Disease 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that a team of Japanese scientists has integrated a new gene for green fluorescent protein into the common marmoset, causing them to glow green under ultraviolet light, creating second-generation, glow-in-the-dark monkeys in what could be a powerful new tool in human disease research. Though primates modified to generate a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines. If a fluorescent protein gene can be introduced into the monkey genome and passed onto future generations, other genes could be too opening up a world of possibilities for medical research, such as the generation of specific monkey colonies containing genetic defects that mirror human diseases aiding efforts to cure such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists. "I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings," says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. "'Slippery slope' is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.""

Comment: Science reporting at its best! (Score 2, Informative) 188

by damian cosmas (#28055617) Attached to: Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees

The article reports the ground-breaking/unprecedented/whatever direct conversion of cellulose to HMF. Here's an earlier article from a different research group that the editors of "Gizmag" seem to be unaware of. It was published earlier and actually describes the same process from either cellulose or untreated biomass:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja808537j

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