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Comment Safe until they evolve a fix (Score 2) 85

Dr. Romesberg dismissed concern that novel organisms would run amok and cause harm, saying the technique was safe because the synthetic nucleotides were fed to the bacteria. Should the bacteria escape into the environment or enter someone’s body, they would not be able to obtain the needed synthetic material and would either die or revert to using only natural DNA.

Yeah, and we all know how well that worked out with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

Thanks, Obama!

Comment Why migrate? (Score 1) 413

This seems like a poll from yesterdecade. I use all of OS X, Linux and Windows on a regular basis - often on the same computer at the same time. What is the task you are trying to accomplish? What is/are the best available tools to accomplish that task? Use them.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 187

I disagree. She seemed much more clued-up - or at least willing to admit the ludicrousness of their visit - than her father, and she quite clearly stated that almost everything they had seen had been staged for their benefit. I found her post to be fascinating.

Yes, Schmidt visiting North Korea to talk to them about the benefits of being able to watch videos of cats on the Interwebs when the majority of the population live in grinding poverty and tens of thousands are held in forced labour camps is amazingly asinine, but that's not her fault. She was just along for the ride.

Comment Re:Try painting cards with circuits in them (Score 1) 399

I'm not sure better or cheaper is the point with this stuff - it's the charm of it that is the lovely thing. The fact that you can paint it straight onto card means you can make something that has the traditional feel of a wedding invitation, but with a geeky twist.

Something as simple as a RED led showing through a little cut out heart would take just a few minutes per card to make and would produce something cute, with a hand-made feel.

Comment Re:Try painting cards with circuits in them (Score 4, Interesting) 399

[Oops! Meant to login before posting that comment. Here it is again with a 1 higher score ;-)]

Take a look at these guys:

They make conductive gloopy black paint that you can use both to paint circuit boards and to cold solder components into them. I met a couple of the people behind the company at a trade show a couple of weeks back and bought a pot (no other connection to company). It's very clever stuff and they have a load of tutorials and examples on the site.

Comment Re:New Technology? (Score 1) 504

I think this is probably the most interesting thing about Apple, and probably almost entirely down to the powerful control exerted by Steve Jobs and his laser-like focus: they drop technologies and features just as fast as they invent them.

If you look at Microsoft, you see a company that is dragging around everything they have ever created, but Apple just throw it overboard as soon as it seems to be weighing them down. It's hard to imagine any other company that would have had the balls to suddenly drop the floppy disc and all of their proprietary interconnect standards. They abandoned their original OS in favour of something completely new, they drop legacy APIs at a moment's notice, features, product lines, everything.

Every time they do this they get a huge number of people bitching about their cluelessness here on /., but they still seem to sell more products and make more money each year. Say what you will about them, they are clearly getting something right, and that thing *must* be understanding their market. So if they drop the camera and other features from the nano, you can be sure they spent a lot of time thinking about it and decided they didn't need it.

Presumably they discovered that the kind of people with a nano probably have some other device, like a camera-phone, and weren't using the camera or the contacts app.

Submission + - EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) ( 2

captainktainer writes: "In one of the largest tests of Eve Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, "Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded," meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, Eve Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised "large fleet battles" that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions"

Submission + - San Francisco's sea lions end their 20-year stay (

hoggy writes: According to the BBC:
'The famous sea lions of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf have disappeared after 20 years — leaving experts baffled as to why.
Last month, Pier 39 groaned under the weight of some 1,500 of the animals. But now all but a few have swum off bringing to an end a two-decade long sojourn — and one of the world's smelliest tourist attractions. ... Officials hope the departure is only temporary — as a 20th anniversary party had been planned for 15 January. ... One more outlandish theory is that their departure is the sign of an imminent earthquake.'
My theory is that they just hate parties.

Submission + - Thorium, the next nuclear fuel? ( 1

mrshermanoaks writes: When the nuclear choices were being made, we went with uranium because it had the byproduct of producing plutonium that could be weaponized. But thorium is safer and easier to work with, and may cause a lot fewer headaches. So why are we not building these reactors?

Comment Re:Summary? (Score 1) 310

Everyone runs the current build (he implies they run the daily build, but I expect that is too much hassle to upgrade every day, so in fact everyone runs the last sprint build (which is less than 2 weeks old, and has had a brief stabalizaiton period).

It's maybe worth noting that the BSDs have been source distributions for a very long time and that rebuilding the world is ingrained in the being of BSD developers. There's no real reason why they wouldn't be upgrading daily.

Comment Re:Is C# / Mono + libraries really *that* good? (Score 4, Interesting) 465

I've used both for serious commercial development and I personally prefer C# to Java. If it means anything, I consider myself pretty impartial, as Java and C# are just two of the dozen or so languages I've worked in and I consider neither to be the most interesting.

C# and Java are only really similar in the way that you would expect two garbage-collected, object-oriented, C-derived languages to be similar. People who say C# is 95% the same as Java are missing the point: it's the small differences that make one language nicer to use as a developer.

Your mileage may vary. You should give both a go and make up your own mind.

Comment Re:pcalc for those people using Macintosh. (Score 1) 776

+1 on PCalc

PCalc, in dashboard widget and iPhone app form, is the only calculator I use now. I never bothered to replace the batteries in my venerable HP28c when they ran out a few years ago (although I keep it on my desk as a fetish).

PCalc supports reverse polish notation and has an HP-a-like skin. The ability to switch into binary and hex is pretty useful as a programmer.

(Disclaimer: I know the guy that writes it and have been a beta user since the first version. Doesn't stop it being an excellent calculator though.)

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.