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How English Beat German As the Language of Science 323 writes German was the dominant scientific language in 1900. Today if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it's most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English. Look no further than the Nobel Prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English. How did English come to dominate German in the realm of science? BBC reports that the major shock to the system was World War One, which had two major impacts. According to Gordin, after World War One, Belgian, French and British scientists organized a boycott of scientists from Germany and Austria. They were blocked from conferences and weren't able to publish in Western European journals. "Increasingly, you have two scientific communities, one German, which functions in the defeated [Central Powers] of Germany and Austria, and another that functions in Western Europe, which is mostly English and French," says Gordin.

The second effect of World War One took place in the US. Starting in 1917 when the US entered the war, there was a wave of anti-German hysteria that swept the country. In Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota there were many, many German speakers. World War One changed all that. "German is criminalized in 23 states. You're not allowed to speak it in public, you're not allowed to use it in the radio, you're not allowed to teach it to a child under the age of 10," says Gordin. The Supreme Court overturned those anti-German laws in 1923, but for years they were the law of the land. What that effectively did, according to Gordin, was decimate foreign language learning in the US resulting in a generation of future scientists who came of age with limited exposure to foreign languages. That was also the moment, according to Gordin, when the American scientific establishment started to take over dominance in the world. "The story of the 20th Century is not so much the rise of English as the serial collapse of German as the up-and-coming language of scientific communication," concludes Gordin.
Data Storage

NSA's New Utah Data Center Suffering Meltdowns 241

linuxwrangler writes "NSA's new Utah data-center has been suffering numerous power-surges that have caused as much as $100,000 damage per event. The root cause is 'not yet sufficiently understood' but is suspected to relate to the site's 'inability to simultaneously run computers and keep them cool.' Frustrating the analysis and repair are 'incomplete information about the design of the electrical system' and the fact that "regular quality controls in design and construction were bypassed in an effort to fast track the Utah project."" Ars Technica has a short article, too, as does ITworld.

How Las Vegas Missed Out on a Life-Sized Starship Enterprise 240

T-Kir writes "Apparently 20 years ago, instead of the Fremont Experience, downtown Las Vegas was actually close to building a life sized version of the refit USS Enterprise, and would have — had it not been for the then studio chairman Stanley Jaffe nixing it at the final meeting. The project had support from Paramount licensing and then-CEO Sherry Lansing, the Las Vegas Mayor, and the downtown redevelopment committee, but not opinion of Mr Jaffe: 'I don't want to be the guy that approved this and then it's a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever.' As a Trek fan, I'm saddened that this never got built because I feel that this would've appealed to a much wider audience than science fiction fans. Props to io9 for picking this story up."

Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers 1271

phantomfive writes "In a study of Connecticut pediatricians published last year, some 30% of 133 doctors said they had asked a family to leave their practice for vaccine refusal. Pediatricians are getting tired of families avoiding vaccines, which puts their children at higher risk of disease. From the article: 'Pediatricians fed up with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of concern it can cause autism or other problems increasingly are "firing" such families from their practices, raising questions about a doctor's responsibility to these patients. Medical associations don't recommend such patient bans, but the practice appears to be growing, according to vaccine researchers.'"
Your Rights Online

Central Europe Countries Continue to Oppose ACTA 111

tykev writes "The Czech government suspended the ratification process of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA, said Prime Minister Petr Necas today. The government wants to further analyze the issue. There were a number of public demonstrations against ACTA in several Czech towns, and some Czech Euro MP's oppose ACTA as being 'completely wide of the mark'. Earlier, Poland announced its intention to suspend the ratification process as well. In the meantime, the website of the ruling Czech Civic Democratic Party was attacked and defaced by Anonymous who also publicly released personal data of the party's members."

Social Media a Threat To Undercover Cops 252

angry tapir writes "Facebook has proven to be one of the biggest dangers in keeping undercover police officers safe, due to applications such as facial recognition and photo tagging, according to an adjunct professor at ANU and Charles Sturt University. Mick Keelty, a former Australian Federal Police commissioner, told the audience at Security 2011 in Sydney that because of the convergence of a number of technologies undercover policing may be 'impossible' in the future."
The Internet

Digital Act Could Spur Creation of Pirate ISPs In UK 204

scurtis writes "British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country — promoting online privacy and allowing users to share files anonymously — in response to draconian file-sharing proposals outlined in the Digital Economy Act. The news follows reports that the Pirate Party in Sweden (PiratPartiet) will launch the world's first 'Pirate ISP.' The move is designed to curb the use of online surveillance in the country, and combat what PiratPartiet describes as the 'big brother society.'"

Novell Wins vs. SCO 380

Aim Here writes "According to Novell's website, and the Salt Lake Tribune, the jury in the SCO v. Novell trial has returned a verdict: Novell owns the Unix copyrights. This also means that SCO's case against IBM must surely collapse too, and likely the now bankrupt SCO group itself. It's taken 7 years, but the US court system has eventually done the right thing ..." No doubt this is the last we will ever hear of any of this.

ARM Attacks Intel's Netbook Stranglehold 521

Barence writes "British chip designer ARM is launching an outright attack on Intel with the launch of a 2GHz processor aimed at everything from netbooks to servers. ARM claims the 40nm Cortex A9 MPCore processor represents a shift in strategy for the company, which has until now concentrated on low-power processors for mobile devices. In the consumer market, ARM is pitching the Cortex A9 directly against Intel's Atom, claiming the processor offers five times the power while drawing comparable amounts of energy. 'It's head and shoulders above anything Intel can deliver today,' ARM VP of marketing Eric Schom claims. However, it has one major hurdle to overcome: it doesn't support Windows. 'We've had conversations with Microsoft and you can imagine what they entail,' says Schom."

Stroustrup Says New C++ Standard Delayed Until 2010 Or Later 501

wandazulu writes "At the end of an article written by the creator of C++, where he talks about removing a feature from the new C++ standard, he drops a bombshell: The new C++ standard (typically referred to as C++0x) has been delayed until 2010 or later. What does this mean? No new C++ features like threads, proper enum classes, or hash tables. C++0x is dead, long live C++1x!"
The Almighty Buck

Media Research Exec Says Music Industry Is On Its Last Legs 401

Ponca City, We Love You writes "For years, the major record labels have fought a pitched battle against the MP3 format. Although major labels like EMI and the Universal Music Group have embraced MP3s in recent months, a story from the Mercury News says early returns from those moves indicate they've had little impact on the industry's fortunes — for better or for worse. 'These are ailing businesses on their last legs,' said Eric Garland, chief executive of BigChampagne, a market research company focused on digital media. The question of copy protection on song downloads 'matters a whole lot less to them than it once did.' The industry has a bigger problem. Consumers used to buy CDs for $10 or $15 a pop. Increasingly, they're buying songs at about $1 apiece instead. So, even if transactions continue to increase, the industry is seeing far less money each time consumers buy and it's having a difficult time making up the difference."

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga