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Comment Re:Why not start now..and take if further? (Score 2) 373

Actually....why NOT start basis fares on weight? It would maybe encourage people TO actually try to live and eat healthier. A heavier person does require more fuel, etc....so, it isn't a discriminating factor based on a person's looks, but upon a cold hard cash factor in that it is more $$ to fly that person than someone that weighs less. I know the money is a drop in the bucket on one flight, but it adds up significantly over the airlines' fleets.

I'd be all for that.

Sure. Sounds great. Now, why don't we just take it a little bit further. Males statistically weigh more than females. Taller, stronger, more muscle build by nature. Why don't we charge males more than females to fly?

Submission + - Is Our Universe a Simulation?

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Mathematician Edward Frenkel writes in the NYT that one fanciful possibility that explains why mathematics seems to permeate our universe is that we live in a computer simulation based on the laws of mathematics — not in what we commonly take to be the real world. According to this theory, some highly advanced computer programmer of the future has devised this simulation, and we are unknowingly part of it. Thus when we discover a mathematical truth, we are simply discovering aspects of the code that the programmer used. This may strike you as very unlikely writes Frenkel but physicists have been creating their own computer simulations of the forces of nature for years — on a tiny scale, the size of an atomic nucleus. They use a three-dimensional grid to model a little chunk of the universe; then they run the program to see what happens. "Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that we are more likely to be in such a simulation than not," writes Frenkel. "If such simulations are possible in theory, he reasons, then eventually humans will create them — presumably many of them. If this is so, in time there will be many more simulated worlds than nonsimulated ones. Statistically speaking, therefore, we are more likely to be living in a simulated world than the real one." The question now becomes is there any way to empirically test this hypothesis and the answer surprisingly is yes. In a recent paper, “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation,” the physicists Silas R. Beane, Zohreh Davoudi and Martin J. Savage outline a possible method for detecting that our world is actually a computer simulation (PDF). Savage and his colleagues assume that any future simulators would use some of the same techniques current scientists use to run simulations, with the same constraints. The future simulators, Savage indicated, would map their universe on a mathematical lattice or grid, consisting of points and lines. But computer simulations generate slight but distinctive anomalies — certain kinds of asymmetries and they suggest that a closer look at cosmic rays may reveal similar asymmetries. If so, this would indicate that we might — just might — ourselves be in someone else’s computer simulation.

Submission + - Venezuelan Regime Censoring Twitter

Saúl González D. writes: After two days of massive protests, the Venezuelan government has finally taken to censoring Twitter. Users of Venezuela's largest ISP CANTV, which is owned by the government, are reporting that either Twitter-embedded images will not load or that Twitter will fail to load at all. I am an user myself and can confirm that only Twitter is affected and that switching to the Tor browser solves the issue.
As news of the protests are not televised, for most Venezuelans Twitter and Facebook are their only means of obtaining real-time information.
Despite a progressive worsening of civil and human rights, governments of the world have shied away from directly labeling Maduro a dictator or demanding the OAS' Democratic Charter be activated. Will open censorship be the tipping point?

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 2987

Ya, you might manage to kill someone but not 20 people. Guns do not by themselves kill people... The same tired argument repeats itself over and over again. But it sure as hell makes it a whole lot easier to point and shoot a tool designed to KILL with little to no skill and in a very short period of time. Someone will stop you before you manage to kill 27 children with a keyboard.

Submission + - Judge orders IP logs released to Sony from PS3... (wired.com) 2

masterwit writes: A story on wired and also at The Registrar and also Wired tells of the following:
'A federal magistrate has awarded Sony a subpoena allowing the company to obtain the IP addresses of everyone who visited the personal website of PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz for the past 26 months.

Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero of San Francisco also granted Sony's request for subpoenas on Google, Twitter, and another service for information relating to accounts held by the 21-year-old Hotz, who goes by the moniker GeoHot. Thursday's move comes in a lawsuit Sony filed in January alleging that Hotz and more than 100 other other hackers violated US copyright law by showing others how to bypass technical measures built in to the game console so they would run games and software not authorized by Sony.'

This is not only a major change in policy on privacy but disturbing on a multitude of levels. Both of these articles are worth checking out.


Submission + - 35,000 Linux benchmarks in a week (openbenchmarking.org)

G3ckoG33k writes: Openbenchmarking.org has received 37,027 benchmarks (mainly Linux, and some Macs) in the first week since its inauguration. 241,384 completed tests using 468,344 components from 438 hardware vendors. All results submitted by end users. I guess the hardware support for Linux must become even better thanks to this effort. Yes, the benchmarks are easy to install and run, and you can readily compare your own system anonymously with the results already submitted, using any or all of hundreds of free applications in 47 categories.

Submission + - LED Technology Reduces Chemotherapy's Side Effects (ibtimes.com) 2

gabbo529 writes: "Medical researchers have developed a new technology that will help cancer patients stave off the effects of chemotherapy.

Called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS, it's a chip covered with hundreds of sand-grain sized light emitting diodes, each of which emits energy equivalent to 12 times that of the sun. The lights are in a small box that is held near the patient's head, while the light, which is in the far red and infrared part of the spectrum, shines on the skin.

The technology was originally developed by NASA for plant growth experiments on space shuttle flights."

The Military

Submission + - Highly capable military robots in development

Toe, The writes: "Discovery News reports on what it aptly calls Terror Bots. These include DARPA's Atlas and Cheetah, one which walks like a human over rough terrain, and another which is super fast like, well, a cheetah. Then there is the Army's mini-bot Cougar which can detect activity 65-feet away... through walls. But don't worry. The article points they are being developed 'not with directly malicious intentions.' What do you think are the chances these bots obey Asimov's laws?"

Submission + - 5 Exabytes of HDD Storage Shipped in 2010 (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Sales of disk storage systems were up 55% last year compared with 2009, with more than 5,000 petabytes of hard disk drive capacity sold, according to a new report from market research firm IDC. Factory revenues for disk storage subsystems totaled $28.7 billion in 2010, an 18% year-over-year improvement. One stand-out market was IP-based network storage, such as iSCSI and NAS, which saw a 21% increase in sales for a total of more than $5 billion in revenue.

Submission + - Oxygen masks removed from airplane toilets (uol.com.br)

funny_smell writes: "The FAA has quietly ordered the removal of oxygen masks and oxygen supply to the lavatories of commercial airliners in the USA. The agency and American government intelligence have identified the threat of the devices being used by terrorists as explosives. The FAA refrained from giving further details."

Submission + - Conan O'Brien Pokes Fun at iPad 2 (ispyce.com)

autospa writes: "Conan O'Brien takes on the iPad 2 with an amusing parody that pokes fun at the slick video presentations that peppered Apple's iPad 2 announcement and its reality distortion field. The video is located after the break for your viewing pleasure. Just a note for iOS users, the clip is hosted on Conan's website so it may not be streamed in an iPad-friendly format."

Jordanian Mayor Angry Over "Alien Invasion" Prank 217

krou writes "Jordanian mayor Mohammed Mleihan has taken a dim view of local newspaper Al-Ghad's April Fools prank, which saw a front page story claiming that 'flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr.' The paper claimed that communication networks had gone down, and people were fleeing the area. The mayor called the local security authorities, who combed the area, but they were unable to find any evidence of the aliens. Mr Mleihan is now considering suing because of the distress it caused to residents: 'Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them.'" I guess they've never heard of Orson Welles in Jordan.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas