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Comment: Re:Obviously not afraid of terrorists in Russia (Score 1) 640

by nodrogluap (#34988678) Attached to: Terrorists Bomb Moscow Airport

I was on vacation in Moscow in August with my wife, and we were taking the metro. Between stops she says: "Hey, I wonder who's bag that is?" Next to me, is a big-ass, full, black duffle bag. I looked around, and we are the only people in the vicinity. I was sure I was going to die, recalling the metro bombing five months earlier. We briefly mused as to whether it would be better to be right next to the bag, or at the opposite end of the car if it went off. Needless to say, we got off at the next stop. Luckily it wasn't a bomb, but I must admit that I wasn't particularly scarred the rest of our trip. Maybe vodka is the best anti-terror tactic? To this day I curse people who forget their bags though...

Science

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Posted by samzenpus
from the silent-spring dept.
Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
Image

Son Sues Mother Over Facebook Posts 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-your-family-status dept.
Most kids hate having their parents join in on a discussion on Facebook, but one 16-year-old in Arkansas hates it so much he has filed suit against his mother, charging her with harassment. From the article: "An Arkadelphia mother is charged with harassment for making entries on her son's Facebook page. Denise New's 16-year-old son filed charges against her last month and requested a no-contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site. New says she was just trying to monitor what he was posting." Seems like he could just unfriend her.
Image

Company Invents Electronic Underpants 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the batteries-not-included dept.
theodp writes "SIMsystem have created the world's first electric underpants that let you know that you've got issues by texting. Incontinence issues, to be more precise. The new-and-improved skivvies come equipped with a sensor strip that alerts caregivers to wetness via text message. From the technology summary: 'The SIMbox, when fitted into the individual resident's stretchpants (SIMpants), transmits sensor readings from the SIMstrip in the SIMpad® over a wireless network to the SIMserver. The SIMsystemManager software running on the SIMserver then detects key information about continence events and determines when to alert care staff about an event requiring attention.' So, who's going to start an open source project?"
Image

Man Sues Neighbor Claiming Wi-Fi Made Him Sick 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-waves dept.
OrangeMonkey11 writes "A Santa Fe man who claims to suffer from 'electromagnetic sensitivities' has sued his neighbor after she refused to stop using wireless devices. 59-year-old Arthur Firstenberg claims his sensitivity can be set off by cellphones, routers and other electronic devices. From the article: 'Firstenberg, 59, wanted Raphaela Monribot to limit her use of the devices. "I asked her to work with me," he said. "Basically, she refused." So he sued Monribot in state district court, seeking $530,000 in damages and an injunction to force her to turn off the electronics. "Being the target of this lawsuit has affected me very adversely," Monribot said Friday in response to e-mailed questions. "I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"
Games

Decrying the Excessive Emulation of Reality In Games 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the plumbers-with-shrooms dept.
An editorial at GameSetWatch makes the case that game developers' relentless drive to make games more real has led to missed opportunities for creating unique fictional universes that are perhaps more interesting than our own. Quoting: "Remember when the norm for a video game was a blue hedgehog that ran fast and collected rings and emeralds? Or a plumber that took mushrooms to become large, and grabbed a flower to throw fireballs? In reality they do none of those things, but in the name of a game, they make sense, inspire wonder, and create a new universe. ... We’ve seen time and time again that the closer you try to emulate reality, the more the 'game' aspects begin to stick out. Invisible walls in Final Fantasy, or grenades spawning at your feet when you go the wrong way in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are examples of kicking the player out of that illusion of reality, and letting them know that yes, this is a game, and yes, the rules are designed to keep you in the space of this world, not the real world. In reality, as a soldier I could disobey my orders and go exploring around the other side. I could be cowardly and turn back to base. Games shouldn’t have to plan for every eventuality, of course, but it’s not so hard to create universes that are compelling but where the unusual, or even simple backtracking, is not so unfeasible."

Comment: Re:A false choice, of course... (Score 1) 2044

by nodrogluap (#31537742) Attached to: Health Care Reform

Correct. Health is a provincial jurisdiction. There is the Canada Health Act that sets out minimum standards of care, and the federal government send portions of income taxes receipts to the provinces to spend on health, education, and other provincial affairs as they see fit. There is then naturally some variation between provinces in terms of coverage for procedures and drugs, but in non-core areas (e.g. Quebec is thinking of paying for in vitro fertilization treatments).

To dispell any myth, we do have extended health coverage in Canada, usually through our employer. This covers eyeglasses, prescriptions, and dental care.

Also, there is a private health care system in Canada too, but very few people use it. The main reason is that a doctor has to either be part of the public system, or private (can't take gov't money and patients'). You can't buy insurance for the private system, so it's all out of pocket. If people go there at all its for abortions, elective MRIs or skipping the joint replacement queue.

Earth

Permanent Undersea Homes Soon; Temporary Ones Now 122

Posted by timothy
from the meet-our-butcher-dexter dept.
MMBK writes "Dennis Chamberland is one of the world's preeminent aquanauts. He's worked with NASA to develop living habitats and underwater plant growth labs, among other cool things. His next goal is establishing the world's first permanent underwater colony. This video gets to the heart of his project, literally and figuratively, as most is shot in his underwater habitat, Atlantica, off the coast of Key Largo, FL. The coolest part might be the moon pool, the room you swim into underwater."
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"
Government

Moscow Police Watch Pre-Recorded Scenes On Surveillance Cams 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-always-feel-like-nobody-is-watching-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During several months of 2009, Moscow police looked at fake pictures displayed on their monitors instead of what was supposed to be video from the city surveillance cams. The subcontractor providing the cams was paid on the basis of 'the number of working cams,' so he delivered pre-cooked pictures stored on his servers. The camera company CEO has been arrested."
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment: Practically speaking (Score 1) 466

by nodrogluap (#30670428) Attached to: Which Math For Programmers?

Discrete if you plan on developing algorithms or data structures

Vectors etc. if you plan on doing 3D graphics or physical process simulations.

During my programming career, I have used every math and stats I've ever learned in a course. So like tohers say, take both. By the way, discrete was my worst mark, but also where I learned the most.

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