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Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction 779

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of new technologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.

Comment It's not that simple (Score 2, Informative) 414

The number of admins needed in any shop depends on many factors, especially automation and duplication. In an ad-hoc environment where users are given free rein, you will need lots of admins. If management will support restrictions on users, the admins are creative and the necessary tools are purchased, then the job can be handled by a few astute individuals. If anyone knows of such a shop...

Comment Just say no (Score 1) 160

First, please find yourself a dictionary and look up the words "science" and "technology". They are not the same thing. (While you're at it look up the words "education" and "training".) Creating and playing electronic games is quite appealing to us technologists, but is in no sense science. And learning how to program is technical training, not education. Instead give them some copper wire, a couple of nails some wood and let them do some real science.

Comment Even Better (Score 1, Interesting) 157

A few years ago the company I worked for came under an email DOS attack that bogged down our Exchange server to the point that it took about 10 hours for a legitimate email to get through. The Windows admins tried all 10 spam settings with no affect. I put a Linux box running SpamAssassin in front of the Exchange server and within a couple of hours the delivery time dropped to about 10 seconds. Products like SpamAssassin are essentially dynamic filters that can and do get fresh filter information as often as you like. This case was a dictionary attack and we got rid of the vast majority of the spam by the simple expedient of deleting anything that wasn't addressed to a legitimate account. As another poster noted, most spam filtering methods are just educated guessing. Rely on one that is educable.

Want to Eat Chocolate Every Day For a Year? 158

Scientists from the University of East Anglia are studying the potential health benefits of dark chocolate, and need 40 female volunteers who would like to eat chocolate every day for a year. The chocolate loving 40 must be post-menopausal and have type 2 diabetes so it can be determined if the flavonoid compounds in chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease. Dr Peter Curtis, of the UEA's School of Medicine, said, "Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health - such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels — have changed. A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease."

Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females 347

A new study has shown that even sperm can be superficial. Researchers found that males of many animal species, including humans, can adjust the speed and effectiveness of their sperm by regulating the amount of seminal fluid they produce during copulation. The determining factor on that amount of fluid seems to be whether the male finds the female attractive.

Comment Wankers (Score 0) 622

I have a Sparc2 (circa 1990), it still works and I can't bring myself to throw it away. Better still, I connect to it with a DEC VT100. If you don't know what that is, check to see what your favorite text-only program emulates.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.