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Comment Re:wow (Score 4, Informative) 190

You do know The Prince was meant as satire, right?

That's very much a minority view, and certainly not as obvious as your sarcastic tone implies. Most people do not subscribe to that view at all, and reading the book shows exactly why: it doesn't come across as a satire at all. The satirical interpretation is based largely on extrapolating from biographical details and making a lot of tenuous assumptions.

Comment Re:vegetarians (Score 1) 253

No, not possibly at all. That would be a case of traits produced through behaviour being inherited genetically, which is not how inheritance of traits works. Evolution can only happen through *selection* of traits (e.g. those who already have certain traits having more children), not by training/creating traits. See my reply to the OP for more details.

Also, evolution is undirected: there is no such thing as "reverse" evolution, only adaptation to whatever the environment is.

Comment Re:vegetarians (Score 4, Informative) 253

No. Evolution works only on traits produced by genetic mutation, NOT traits acquired through behaviour. This was one of the flaws in early theories of evolution: it was believed that actions of the parent could influence the genetics of the child, which is not the case. The standard example is giraffes: under the incorrect theory, one could say "they developed longer necks because they stretched them to reach high leaves", but the correct interpretation is instead "the ones with longer-than-average necks could feed better, and hence had more children".

The reason for this is that the genetic material passed on through reproduction comes entirely from the cells in your reproductive organs, so no matter how much you train your neck (or stomach, in your case), none of those changes can in any way get passed to your children, because those cells just aren't involved in the process.

Comment Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (Score 2, Informative) 397

Amen! I hunted around for ages before finding a device with the features I wanted, and that little bugger has them all. Compared to similar offerings (in terms of storage anyway, because the feature set sure as hell is unmatched) it is damn cheap too. I really hope they consider sales of it to be a success so that they keep pushing OGG.
The Courts

Submission + - Phone-record thief makes $220K, fined $25K

netbuzz writes: "Do the math. Is it any wonder that this illegal abuse of personal information — phone records obtained and sold by con artists — continues unabated, according to experts, despite huffing and puffing from regulators, lawmakers and law enforcement? There is good news, says one expert: "At least in this case there is an actual fine, compared to numerous past cases where the defendant didn't have to pony up a dime.""

Submission + - Perl 5.10 released and Perl turns 20!

alfcateat writes: Perl 1 was released to the public by Larry Wall 20 years ago today. To celebrate, Perl5Porters have released Perl5.10, the latest stable version of Perl 5. Happy Birthday Perl! Perl 5.10 isn't just a bug fix version: it's full of new features that I'm eager to use: named captures in regular expressions, state variables for subroutines, the defined-or operator, a switch statement (called given-when, though), a faster regex engine, and more. You can read more about the changes in perldata.

Submission + - PHP 4 end of life announcement

perbert writes: The PHP development team announced that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. Critical security fixes will be made available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. For documentation on migration for PHP 4 to PHP 5, there is a migration guide. There is additional information available in the PHP 5.0 to PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 to PHP 5.2 migration guides as well.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.