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Submission + - Google announces purchase of Waze

lochnessie writes: On its official blog, Google announced the purchase of the Israeli navigation app developer Waze. It looks like they will be operating seperately for now, but Google is planning on integrating some of the live traffic features Waze is known for into its own mapping product.

I'm looking forward to the traffic updates, as it seems there is a backhoe digging up every street in my city at the moment.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 5, Informative) 212

From TFA: "...his reign lasted just 26 months and ended with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth in 1485. He was given a low-key burial in the church of Greyfriars in the center of Leicester, but the location of his grave was lost when the building was demolished in the 16th century. A team of historians, though, were determined to find the body. Archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar on the site of the former priory, and were able to locate the skeleton beneath a parking lot after only a few days of digging."

Submission + - Does Pirahã conform to Chomsky's universal grammar or not? (

scibri writes: Pirahã, an obscure language spoken by just 400 people in Brazil, is offering the sternest test yet of Noam Chomsky's theory that humans are hard-wired with a 'universal grammar'. Daniel Everett, a former missionary and linguistic anthropologist who has spent 30 years studying the language, says Pirahã grammar is much more rooted in culture. But another linguist, Uli Sauerland, disagrees, saying he has found evidence of the universal grammar in Pirahã. The dispute highlights the extent to which those working to preserve threatened languages are dependent on the tiny number of researchers who have actually studied them.

Submission + - China Developing X-37B Copycat Plane (

An anonymous reader writes: China is developing a smaller version of the American X-37B. The American X-37, "(could) also perform surveillance missions, resupply the International Space Station or even sneak up on and inspect spacecraft of other nations." The Chinese version is noted to be smaller. However, it is a strong sign demonstrating advances in Chinese aerospace design and technology.

Comment Re:Non biodegradable? (Score 5, Informative) 137

Seems kinda limiting. When I look at these machines I see the potential to make all sorts of stuff that normally I would have to contract out to a machine shop (which for 1 or 2 of an item is not very cost effective)... but if the thing is going to start breaking down after a few months or years that kinda limits applications.

The two standard printing materials for the RepRap family of printers (and their descendants, like the MakerBot) are the biodegradable PLA, and standard petroleum-based ABS. PLA will degrade over time, but only under certain environmental conditions; it's unlikely to fall apart in normal use (most industrial thermophilic composting processes run at pretty high temperatures (60C and up). I guess you probably shouldn't use it to print an industrial composter.

ABS is ABS, and whatever you make with it will be around forever, so print your PLA composter with this instead.

Comment Re:haruki murakami (Score 1) 647

Ha ha ha.

The language in the book is an essential part of the storytelling. I generally don't like that sort of thing either; however, Hoban used it very intentionally as a pacing device, as well as to reveal things to the reader that the limited narrator didn't understand. It's very effective, although it does take some getting used to.

Comment Re:haruki murakami (Score 1) 647

Also, the late, great Russell Hoban's post-apocalyptic masterpiece, Riddley Walker. And if you want non-fiction, I really enjoyed In the Shadow Of the Moon, part of Francis French and Colin Burgess's People's History of Spaceflight series. And then there is always SkyMall.

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley