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Science

Four-legged Snake Fossil Stuns Scientists, Ignites Controversy 153

sciencehabit writes: Scientists have described what they say is the first known fossil of a four-legged snake. The limbs of the 120-or-so-million-year-old, 20-centimeter-long creature are remarkably well preserved and end with five slender digits that appear to have been functional (abstract). Thought to have come from Brazil, the fossil would be one of the earliest snakes found, suggesting that the group evolved from terrestrial precursors in Gondwana, the southern remnant of the supercontinent Pangaea. But although the creature's overall body plan—and indeed, many of its individual anatomical features—is snakelike, some researchers aren't so sure that it is a part of the snake family tree.
The Courts

Lawsuit Filed Over Domain Name Registered 16 Years Before Plaintiff's Use 190

HughPickens.com writes: Cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit to those businesses. Now Andrew Allmann writes at Domain Name Wire that New York company Office Space Solutions, Inc. has filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against Jason Kneen over the domain name WorkBetter.com that Kneen registered in 1999 although Office Space Solutions didn't use the term "Work Better" in commerce until 2015. "Workbetter.com is virtually identical to, and/or confusingly similar to the WORK BETTER Service Mark, which was distinctive at the time that the Defendant renewed and/or updated the registration of workbetter.com," says the lawsuit. But according to an Office Space Solutions' filing with the USPTO, it didn't use the term "Work Better" in commerce until 2015. Office Space Solutions is making the argument that the domain name was renewed in bad faith. According to Kneen, Office Space previously tried to purchase the domain name from him and after it failed to acquire the domain name, is now trying to take it via a lawsuit.

Comment Re:Looking at a bridge from space is somehow bette (Score 2) 36

Yes. But that would be more expensive than just installing GPS receivers on key structural components.

But you see, that is exactly what they did:

The team fixed highly sensitive satnav receivers for detecting movements as small as 1 cm at key locations on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.

So they just gather routine movements of the bridge, and send them electronically. If they ever start moving beyond the historical envelop they send someone to inspect. By that time the failure process is well underway.

Comment Re:Not convinced (Score 1) 408

Apparently not as bad as you think.
According to the NTSB stats, there should only be 0.3 accidents of this type per 100,000 miles driven by humans.

These google cars had 3, in 140,000 miles.

Some they blame on the driver. Big deal! ALL of the accidents the NTSB reports are driver accidents.
The inescapable conclusion is that, for what ever reason, these cars are fender bender prone.

Comment Lots of carefully worded obfuscation (Score 5, Informative) 356

The summary and TFA are carefully choosing their words to make it look like a land slide sized change in energy production, when all they are really talking about is subtle rates of change. But even these twists can't disguise the fact that 23% new energy is still done with coal.

In fact, the solar and wind aren't even meeting replacement needs for coal and gas plants taken out of production due to failure to meet environmental standards, and being too costly to upgrade. Old Coal plants are more often replaced with New Coal plants than they are with wind or solar.

Missing from those figures (because they don't represent New Production), is the number of coal and gas plants upgraded to meet environmental standards.

Its not all bad news. The best wind and solar sites are being heavily developed, cherry picking the most promising sites. And the arid south west is sprouting lots f solar farms. But we need to ramp up both wind and solar many fold before we can even think of retiring coal.

Comment Re:Conspiracies (Score 0) 53

...what some vocal critics deemed a contradiction in funding and purpose.

The project is funded by these guys, to protect those other guys, who are separated by a large number of bureaucratic layers from those different guys, who want to undermine the project so they can snoop on yet-another group of guys.

Am I the only one who thinks "the government" is actually made up of lots of independent minds, each with their own idealism and morality? A functional conspiracy to secretly undermine a project like Tor would need to involve a significant portion of the American population. Heck, Slashdot's hivemind isn't even that consistent.

If I never see the word hivemind again, it will be too soon. Grow up.

It doesn't matter how the government is structured. You will never find one agency working at cross purposes with another for very long. Not if someone can play the security theater card.

Why did NIST use lame random number generators? They aren't even vaguely related to any three letter spy agency! Where was your government fire walls then?

Those who will not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury

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