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+ - David Cameron says Brits should be taught Imperial measures->

Submitted by 00_NOP
00_NOP (559413) writes "Children in the UK have been taught in metric measures in school since (at least) 1972, but yesterday British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that they should actually be taught in Imperial measures (which are still in use officially to measure road distances and speeds but not really anywhere else). Is this because he has not got a clue about science or because he is trying to buy off his right wing fringe (who object to "metrication") or because he might be a bit stupid, Oxford degree not withstanding?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Antarctica Has Lost Enough Ice to Cause Measurable Shift in Gravity 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Contrary to what we all learned in high school physics, gravity is not constant. It actually shows slight variations on different parts of the Earth's surface, and the variations correlate with the density of the material on that surface. The European Space Agency (ESA) has been measuring gravity for four years, mapping these variations and recording the changes those variations have undergone. Its data indicates "a significant decrease [in gravity] in the region of Antarctica where land ice is melting fastest". Further analysis is, of course, planned so that the whole of Antarctica can be taken into account and "the clearest picture yet of the pace of global warming" can be determined on that continent."

+ - Something keeps coming and going in a sea on Titan

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cassini images taken in 2007, 2013, and 2014 of one of Titan’s largest hydrocarbon seas find that a mysterious feature there keeps appearing and disappearing.

The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini’s July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini’s infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini’s flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably. The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic.

That the seasons are slowly changing on Titan is probably contributing to the transient nature of this feature."

Comment: Re:I WAS a regular on Coursera (Score 1) 182

by pregister (#47897975) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

I have this problem as well with not just online courses but several video "tutorials". It's been numerous times recently that I've googled for for "how do I ...." and the top results have been videos. I typically have some idea on how to do what I'm looking for, and I just need to verify some details. So now, Instead of quickly skimming a text (or even a slideset) to find the exact bits I'm looking for, I have to try to fast-forward a video to a point where it gets interesting.

google "how do i ... -video" next time.

+ - Lawrence Krauss: Congress is trying to defund scientists at Energy Department->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Physicist Lawrence Krauss blasts Congress for their passage of the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cut funding for renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, and even worse, had amendments that targeted scientists at the Department of Energy: He writes that this action from the US Congress is worse even than the Australian government's move to cancel their carbon tax, because the action of Congress is far more insidious: 'Each (amendment) would, in its own way, specifically prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change' Although the bill isn't likely to become law, Krauss is fed up with Congress burying its head in the sand: The fact that those amendments '...could pass a house of Congress, should concern everyone interested in the appropriate support of scientific research as a basis for sound public policy.' Amen"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seems like a fine line (Score 1) 517

There really isn't that fine a line between "stuff we have evidence for" and "stuff people believe without evidence".

Sometimes the latter becomes the former. Sometimes elements of the latter just slip away in the history. Lots of times, people just keep on believing.

+ - Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Patent Troll 1

Submitted by tor528
tor528 (896250) writes "Patent troll Personal Audio has sued top podcasters including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks, claiming that they own the patent for delivery of episodic content over the Internet. Adam Carolla is fighting back and has started a Fund Anything campaign to cover legal fees. From the Fund Anything campaign page: "If Adam Carolla loses this battle, then every other Podcast will be quickly shut down. Why? Because Patent Trolls like Personal Audio would use a victory over Carolla as leverage to extort money from every other Podcast.. As you probably know, Podcasts are inherently small, owner-operated businesses that do not have the financial resources to fight off this type of an assault. Therefore, Podcasts as we know them today would cease to exist."

James Logan of Personal Audio answered Slashdotters' questions in June 2013.
Links to the patent in question can be found on Personal Audio's website.
The EFF filed a challenge against Personal Audio's podcasting patent in October 2013."

Comment: Re:Great until ... (Score 1) 47

by pregister (#46468861) Attached to: Bringing Speed Reading To the Web
Yeah. I can't imagine it would be too tough to implement something where you could click the mouse or hit the spacebar when coming across something unfamiliar and stop the playback or mark the spot and, when the the playback is done, display the original text with the troublesome bits highlighted. Hell, could generate wiki or dictionary links for those words automagically, too.

Comment: Re:It does let you read faster... (Score 3, Interesting) 47

by pregister (#46468771) Attached to: Bringing Speed Reading To the Web
If you're trying to speed up your casual reading, how casual is it really? I tried the little Spritz button / example thing on the spritz website and thought it was pretty cool. 450 wpm took a short time to get used to but was readable. The problems are with unfamiliar names. It seems like you'd have to train yourself to NOT slow down when coming across an unfamiliar word (for me it was company or city names, or names of people) or in that fraction of a second you're trying to process it you lose words.

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

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