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Comment: All the food we eat (Score 1) 758

by foreboy (#42480589) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activist Recants
All food that is produced by humans through agriculture and farming has been genetically modified in some way, even though much of it happened in ancient times. Corn would cease to exist without humans. Almonds would all be poisonous. Cattle would not be docile. Wheat would scatter it's seeds before we could collect them. Man has been genetically modifying its food for thousands of years - even if we didn't always understand that's what we were doing. We actually understand the consequences of what we are doing far better than we ever did - because we are doing it consciously with science. This is what he discovered.

Comment: Right to privacy? (Score 1) 195

by foreboy (#39483767) Attached to: Your Privacy Is a Sci-Fi Fantasy
It surprises me that no one has pointed out that in the U.S. at least, there is no explicit right to privacy. You only have to pick up a copy of the Constitution - it's not a very long document (even with the amendments) - and no where does it mention any right to privacy. What legal scholars say about this is that the right to privacy is *implied* in the Constitution by the nature of the rights enumerated there - for example, the right to be free from most search and seizure implies there is a right to privacy in the home. But there is no explicit right to privacy. The *implied* right was the basis for the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S. (simplified, a woman's implied right to privacy gives her the right to terminate a pregnancy). This is not to say that there isn't an assault on privacy, but understanding the right is the first step to combating those trying to take it away.

Comment: Maybe it's not only politics (Score 1) 538

by foreboy (#36474514) Attached to: Why Businesses Move To the Cloud: They Hate IT
All too often IT organizations spend all their effort telling the business managers what they cannot do rather than what they can - so getting a new project off the ground with in house resources becomes increasingly frustration. "We do not have enough resources to support that...", "Your project doesn't confirm to our standards...", "We'll 'agree' to support it as long as you make these changes...". Contrast this with a cloud provider that actually wants your business. True they may not be truthful about what they provide and you very well may be better off in house, but a new project in house can be very hard to start. IT managers who are flexible and 'influence' rather than 'dictate' are worth their weight...
Image

Doctors Seeing a Rise In "Google-itis" 368

Posted by samzenpus
from the sounds-like-rickets-to-me dept.
It's one of the fastest-growing health issues that doctors now face: "Google-itis." Everyone from concerned mothers to businessmen on their lunch break are typing in symptoms and coming up with rare diseases or just plain wrong information. Many doctors are bringing computers into examination rooms now so they can search along with patients to alleviate their fears. "I'm not looking for a relationship where the patient accepts my word as the gospel truth," says Dr. James Valek. "I just feel the Internet brings so much misinformation to the (exam) room that we have to fight through all that before we can get to the problem at hand."
Space

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the moving-to-better-quarters dept.
DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."
Image

Handling Money Brings Pain Relief 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the nothing-wrong-that-$50-wouldn't-fix dept.
Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management have found that handling money can alleviate both physical and emotional pain. In one experiment, test subjects were found to feel less pain when their hands were dipped into scalding water after counting money. Lead author Kathleen Vohs said, "When people are reminded of money in a subtle manner by counting out hard currency, they experience painful situations as being not very painful. You could think about being able to charge yourself up before you encounter pain. When I used to run marathons, I would've maybe wanted to be reminded of money first."
Science

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

Posted by timothy
from the more-guns-less-crime dept.
cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."
Space

Astronomers Discover the Coolest Known Sub-Stellar Body 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the miles-davis's-home-planet dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports that using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii, astronomers have discovered what may be the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our own solar system. Too small to be stars and with insufficient mass to maintain hydrogen-burning nuclear fusion reactions in their cores, 'brown dwarfs' have masses smaller than stars but larger than gas giant planets like Jupiter, with an upper limit in between 75 and 80 Jupiter masses. 'This looks like the fourth time in three years that the UKIRT has made a record breaking discovery of the coolest known brown dwarf, with an estimated temperature not far above 200 degrees Celsius,' says Dr. Philip Lucas at the University of Hertfordshire. Due to their low temperature these objects are very faint in visible light, and are detected by their glow at infrared wavelengths. The object known as SDSS1416+13B is in a wide orbit around a somewhat brighter and warmer brown dwarf, SDSS1416+13A, and the pair is located between 15 and 50 light years from the solar system, which is quite close in astronomical terms."
Image

US Grants Home Schooling German Family Political Asylum 1324

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-get-you-some-learnin dept.
A US judge has granted political asylum to a family who said they fled Germany to avoid persecution for home schooling their children. Uwe Romeike and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Tennessee after German authorities fined them for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes. Mike Connelly, attorney for the Home School Legal Defence Association, argued the case. He says, "Home schoolers in Germany are a particular social group, which is one of the protected grounds under the asylum law. This judge looked at the evidence, he heard their testimony, and he felt that the way Germany is treating home schoolers is wrong. The rights being violated here are basic human rights."

Comment: call me crazy, but... (Score 1) 244

by foreboy (#30927136) Attached to: How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project?
When you get an opportunity to publicize it, try telling us what it does! Seems like that would be the best first step. FOSS is Darwin - you have to be confident that you are solving a problem, or at least solving it better than its been solved before. If you have, you'll be able tto defend against the inevitable cynicism.
Earth

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered 219

Posted by timothy
from the horsefeathers-still-a-mystery dept.
anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"
Image

Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-it-looks-like-a-liberal-and-quacks-like-a-liberal dept.
quaith writes "It's not the way they dress, but the appearance of their face. A study published in PLoS One by Nicholas O. Rule and Nalini Ambady of Tufts University used closely cropped greyscale photos of people's faces, standardized for size. Undergrads were asked to categorize each person as either a Democrat or Republican. In the first study, students were able to differentiate Republican from Democrat senate candidates. In the second, students were able to differentiate the political affiliation of other college students. Accuracy in both studies was about 60% — not perfect, but way better than chance."
Image

Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the radiation-placebo dept.
Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
Mozilla

Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the onwards-and-upwards dept.
CWmike writes "Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade. Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. 'Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,"' wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working on the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own."

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