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Treefinder Revokes Software License For Users In Immigrant-Friendly Nations 576

dotancohen writes: The author of bioinformatics software Treefinder is revoking the license to his software for researchers working in eight European countries because he says those countries allow too many immigrants to cross their borders, effective 1 October. The author states, "Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people. Whoever invites or welcomes immigrants to Europe and Germany is my enemy."

Comment Re:The Science In a SciFi movie... (Score 1) 163

I'll admit I haven't seen the move or read the book, but where in hell does he get the seeds and fertilizer to grow plants in Martian soil? From what I gather from the trailers, this wasn't a colonization mission, so why, if they sent seeds and fertilizer, did they send seeds and fertilizer?

If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, why nitpick at this level?

FYI, the stranded astronaut is a biologist, specifically assigned to attempt to grow some plants on mars and test the conditions there. The potatoes are sent along for a special thanksgiving feast on the planet.


Former GM and BMW Executive Warns Apple: Your Car Will Be a "Gigantic Money Pit" 535

An anonymous reader writes: With rumors that Apple is not only moving ahead on its electric car initiative, but trying to accelerate its development, a former GM and BMW exec is giving a few words of warning. Bob Lutz appeared on CNBC and expressed his doubts that Apple has a fighting chance to make any impact on the auto industry. "And when it comes to actually making cars," Lutz said, "there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota or Hyundai. So I think this is going to be a gigantic money pit, but then it doesn't matter. I mean Apple has an embarrassment of riches, they don't know where to put the cash anymore. So if they burn 30 or 40 billion dollars in the car business, no one's going to notice."

Let's Not Go To Mars 684 writes: Ed Regis write in the NYT that today we an witnessing an outburst of enthusiasm over the literally outlandish notion that in the relatively near future, some of us are going to be living, working, thriving and dying on Mars. But unfortunately Mars mania reflects an excessively optimistic view of what it actually takes to travel to and live on Mars, papering over many of the harsh realities and bitter truths that underlie the dream. "First, there is the tedious business of getting there. Using current technology and conventional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars would be a grueling, eight- to nine-month-long nightmare for the crew," writes Regis. "Tears, sweat, urine and perhaps even solid waste will be recycled, your personal space is reduced to the size of an SUV., and you and your crewmates are floating around sideways, upside down and at other nauseating angles." According to Regis every source of interpersonal conflict, and emotional and psychological stress that we experience in ordinary, day-to-day life on Earth will be magnified exponentially by restriction to a tiny, hermetically sealed, pressure-cooker capsule hurtling through deep space and to top it off, despite these constraints, the crew must operate within an exceptionally slim margin of error with continuous threats of equipment failures, computer malfunctions, power interruptions and software glitches.

But getting there is the easy part says Regis. "Mars is a dead, cold, barren planet on which no living thing is known to have evolved, and which harbors no breathable air or oxygen, no liquid water and no sources of food, nor conditions favorable for producing any. For these and other reasons it would be accurate to call Mars a veritable hell for living things, were it not for the fact that the planet's average surface temperature is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit." These are only a few of the many serious challenges that must be overcome before anyone can put human beings on Mars and expect them to live for more than five minutes says Regis. "The notion that we can start colonizing Mars within the next 10 years or so is an overoptimistic, delusory idea that falls just short of being a joke."

AT&T Offers $250k Reward To Find the California Fiber-Optic Ripper 145

An anonymous reader writes: AT&T have offered a $250,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of what appears to be a serial disruptor of fiber-optic connections in California. The latest incident has taken place in Livermore in the San Francisco Bay Area, where an individual thought by the FBI to possess expert knowledge and specialist tools severed a critical AT&T cable, gaining access to the enclosure via a manhole. The attack precedes 11 previous ones in California in the preceding twelve months.
Hardware Hacking

9th-Grader May Face Charges After Homemade Clock Mistaken For Bomb 956

New submitter bengoerz writes: 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was led away from MacArthur High School in handcuffs and faces possible charges after teachers, school administrators, and police in Irving, Texas mistook his homemade clock for a bomb. The device — a circuit board, power supply, and digital display wired together inside a pencil box — was confiscated by a teacher after the alarm sounded in class. Despite telling everyone who would listen that his device was just a clock, Ahmed was confronted by four police officers, suspended for three days, and threatened with expulsion unless he made a written statement, before eventually being transported to a juvenile detention center to meet his parents.

Epson's 'Empty' Professional-Grade Cartridges Can Have 20 Per Cent of Their Ink Remaining 268

sandbagger writes: Printer ink is expensive, so it's important that when a printer tells you a cartridge is running dry, the cartridge is actually running dry. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. The folks over at Bellevue Fine Art in Seattle recently decided to find out exactly how much ink their high-end Epson 9900 printer wastes. A professional grade 700ml cartridge will have 120-150ml remaining when "empty," and a 350ml cartidge will have 60-80ml remaining when "empty." For this studio, the difference amounts to hundreds of dollars worth of ink every month.
United Kingdom

WWII Bomb Shelter Becomes Hi-Tech Salad Farm 122

asjk points out a story of how a World War II bomb shelter, situated 33 meters beneath the streets of London, has been turned into a high-tech hydroponic farm. "The growing system uses energy-efficient LEDs instead of sun, no pesticides, needs 70 percent less water than growing plants in open fields, and less energy than a greenhouse." The computer-controlled environment is designed to shorten the growth cycle of plants like coriander and radishes. They're currently only using about a quarter of the gear necessary to fill up the shelter, but they can produce 5,000-20,000 kilograms of food per year, depending on what they raise. Co-founder Steven Dring said, "We've got to utilize the spaces we've got. There's a finite amount of land and we can grow salads and herbs — which start losing flavor and quality as soon as you cut them — in warehouses and rooftops in cities near the people who will eat them. Use the rural land for things like carrots, potatoes and livestock."

You Don't Have To Be Good At Math To Learn To Code 616 writes: Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that learning to program involves a lot of Googling, logic, and trial-and-error—but almost nothing beyond fourth-grade arithmetic. Victoria Fine explains how she taught herself how to code despite hating math. Her secret? Lots and lots of Googling. "Like any good Google query, a successful answer depended on asking the right question. "How do I make a website red" was not nearly as successful a question as "CSS color values HEX red" combined with "CSS background color." I spent a lot of time learning to Google like a pro. I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers." According to Khazan while it's true that some types of code look a little like equations, you don't really have to solve them, just know where they go and what they do. "In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done." Khazan says that in order to figure out what your program should say, you're going to need some basic logic skills and you'll need to be skilled at copying and pasting things from online repositories and tweaking them slightly. "But humanities majors, fresh off writing reams of term papers, are probably more talented at that than math majors are."

Comment Re:For starters... (Score 5, Informative) 842

I know you're trolling a bit here, but if you want specific evidence of something Carter has done right, check out the Guinea Worm Eradication program. The Carter Center is a major part of this initiative, that is reducing (with the goal of eliminating) a painful and debilitating parasitic condition. Cases of Guinea Worm have dropped from over 3 million yearly in the early 80's to less than 100 so far this year (W.H.O. stats). The Guinea Worm life cycle requires human infection, so once this thing is gone, it's totally gone.


Amazon Developing TV Series Based On Galaxy Quest 87

An anonymous reader writes: Entertainment Weekly reports that Amazon Studios is developing a TV show based on Galaxy Quest, the 1999 film that parodied classic sci-fi shows like Star Trek. In the movie, actors for a Trek-like show were conscripted by real aliens to help run a starship and negotiate peace with a mortal enemy. The actors had no idea what to do, of course, and ended up getting help from the most rabid fans of their show. The new TV show is still in early stages of development. It's unlikely that the original Galaxy Quest cast will return — it starred Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Sam Rockwell, to name a few. However, several important members of the production crew will return: "The film's co-writer Robert Gordon will pen the script and executive produce the pilot. The film's director Dean Parisot will direct and executive produce. And executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein are on board as well." The show is a ways off, yet — they haven't even been greenlit for a pilot episode — but it'd be a welcome addition to today's sci-fi TV offerings

Comment Re:Boeing 707 was also louder (Score 1) 345

I just flew in a 787 from California to South America. Significantly more comfortable and pleasant experience! The engine noise was minimal, climate control was more comfortable, and the vibration was greatly reduced, compare to the 777 and 747. Definitely hope to fly on the 787 whenever possible!


Comment Re:Summary sucks (Score 1) 345

Compare it to cars, as I did this math recently. We're considering a new sedan for my wife. We found a '95 Buick Roadmaster with around 28,000 miles on it for $8700, contrasted with a new Chrysler 300, at about $35,000. It will take more than 120,000 miles at twice the fuel economy to break-even, and given that the Buick is actually easier to work on and simpler it will probably have a lower total cost of ownership.

I've been thinking about this as my oldest son is approaching 16 years old. We have a beat up old Subaru that I was thinking of saving for his first car, but when comparing the features and functionality to a new vehicle, there's quite a bit missing: side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, back-up camera, lane departure warning, crumple zones (maybe not missing on '99 subi), and more. Is the increased risk (particularly for a teenage driver) worth saving a few thousand dollars compared to buying a newer used car?

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.