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Comment: Check the scale, not so ominous (Score 2) 257

by phossie (#42551763) Attached to: What Did Google Earth Spot In the Chinese Desert?

The main building is about 150m wide. The two vehicles parked inside it, on the right side, are bulldozers / tractors. The "weird U-shaped thing" is the size of a house... might even *be* a house. The whole thing looks like an ag school field station or, at worst, a work camp (see the stuff to the right of the main building).

See you again in another few years.

Comment: comparison doesn't matter (Score 1) 691

by phossie (#32661996) Attached to: Louisiana Federal Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium

How many other industries have consequences of the same magnitude when they fuck up?

Ethics aside: If you can't absorb the risk, you shouldn't make the wager... unless you have no qualms about being forced to walk away from the game.

Being an oil company is a choice. Being an oil company that does deepwater drilling is a choice. Being an oil company that does deepwater drilling poorly is a choice.

Since when does being bad at your risky job entitle you to privileges unavailable to people who aren't as stupid as you are?

(Oh yeah, sorry, that's a long list right now. I guess we know how this will turn out.)

Space

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the sky-is-falling dept.
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.
Earth

DR Congo Ring May Be Giant Impact Crater 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the leaving-a-mark dept.
Phrogman writes "The BBC is reporting that deforestation has 'revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, scientists say. The 36-46km-wide feature, identified in DR Congo, may be one of the largest such structures discovered in the last decade.' If you search Google Maps for 'Omeonga Democratic Republic of the Congo,' you will be right in the middle of the suspected crater."
Image

The 10 Most Absurd Scientific Papers 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the burning-potential-of-fire dept.
Lanxon writes "It's true: 'Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behavior,' 'Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time,' and 'Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?' are all genuine scientific research papers, and all were genuinely published in journals or similar publications. Wired's presentation of a collection of the most bizarrely-named research papers contains seven other gems, including one about naval fluff and another published in The Journal of Sex Research."

Comment: Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (Score 2, Insightful) 673

by Capsaicin (#30930394) Attached to: Man in Court Over Simpsons Porn

How the hell was he let off the hook the first time?

Maybe because it was a first offence?

And how serious was the nature of the "child exploitation material" the first time, given this is also classifed as such?

OTOH wanting to throw the book (or something even heavier) at him for looking like that I can understand!

Comment: Re:Talk to your users (Score 1) 244

by gd2shoe (#30929630) Attached to: How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project?

I second.

Well written instructions (preferably with images, if it's an app) that are kept up to date with the current version are crucial to attracting new users. I think this is the number 1 most overlooked part of any software project. (there are others as well: unit testing, upgrade planning, etc.)

Comment: Applicability of technology to other sites? (Score 2, Insightful) 144

by vampire_baozi (#30929216) Attached to: Twitter Developing Technology To Thwart Censorship

While noone in China uses twitter enough to care even if Twitter found a way to "uncensor itself", if they could succesfully find a technical workaround that required no effort from end-users, it might be worth talking about (if my reading of TFA is right, any site could use such hacks to unblock itself, even google or dissident websites). However, if it forces end-users to install software to route around firewalls (a la Freedomgate and other already available software), the sites will remain unaccessible to the majority of users, who just don't care enough to bother.
I'm honestly very curious as to what technical methods are out there for opening access through government firewalls that would not involve illegal and nearly impossible invasions into foreign computer networks. The Chinese and Iranian governments control the "pipes"; what software solutions could twitter possible be thinking of? Nice goal, but technically possible, beyond current "hacks/proxies"?

Comment: Re:No flash support (Score 1) 1713

by nobodyman (#30927466) Attached to: Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

. If the phone meets a video with no H.264 version it just says "cannot display movie at this time" or something like that.

Actually, it seems like the act of requesting the h.264 version for the conversion process. When I receive the "cannot display movie" message, it'll usually play just fine if I request it a second time. Perhaps by second attempt youtube has converted the video.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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