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Math

Mathematical Parrot Reveals His Genius With Posthumous Paper 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the math-is-for-the-birds dept.
ananyo writes "Even in death, the world's most accomplished parrot continues to amaze. The final experiments involving Alex – a grey parrot trained to count objects – have just been published (abstract). They show that Alex could accurately add together Arabic numerals to a sum of eight, and correctly add three small sets of objects, putting his mathematical abilities on par with (and maybe beyond) those of chimpanzees and other non-human primates."
Space

Betelgeuse To Blow Up Soon — Or Not 312

Posted by Soulskill
from the freaking-out-over-lights-in-the-sky dept.
rubycodez writes "A wave of 2012-related hoopla has hit the internet about the star that makes the 'right shoulder' of Orion the hunter: Betelgeuse. Astronomer Phil Plait once again puts rumors to rest. The star will indeed explode as a type II supernova, and when it does it will be brighter than Venus when viewed from Earth, though not as bright as the full moon. It will be visible in the night sky for weeks, and could be visible in the day sky for a short time. But that event could happen today or 100,000 years from now, or as much as a million years from now. Since Betelgeuse is over 600 light-years away, its violent death will not harm Earth in any way, but will definitely provide a huge bonanza of scientific information about supernovae. As geeks, we can only hope the core of Betelgeuse undergoes catastrophic failure in our lifetime."
GUI

Attractive Open Source Search Interfaces? 65

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-have-this-ansi-terminal-and-like-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I work for a company that manages an online database for the political market. We add to this DB daily with updates from a variety of sources and our customers then search through this content via our Solr/Lucene search engine. My problem is, our search interface is a little, well, basic and I would love to know if there are any feature-rich open source alternatives out there. The only one I can find is Flamenco, and while that seems strong on categorisation, that seems to be about the height of it."
Bug

Are Complex Games Doomed To Have Buggy Releases? 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the where-did-my-face-go dept.
An anonymous reader points out a recent article at Gamesradar discussing the frequency of major bugs and technical issues in freshly-released video games. While such issues are often fixed with updates, questions remain about the legality and ethics of rushing a game to launch. Quoting: "As angry as you may be about getting a buggy title, would you want the law to get involved? Meglena Kuneva, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner, is putting forward legislation that would legally oblige digital game distributors to give refunds for games, putting games in the same category in consumer law as household appliances. ... This call to arms has been praised by tech expert Andy Tanenbaum, author of books like Operating Systems: Design and Implementation. 'I think the idea that commercial software be judged by the same standards as other commercial products is not so crazy,' he says. 'Cars, TVs, and telephones are all expected to work, and they are full of software. Why not standalone software? I think such legislation would put software makers under pressure to first make sure their software works, then worry about more bells and whistles.'"
Graphics

+ - Hybrid mesh replaces polygons to display 3D/CAD->

Submitted by
dk3nn3dy
dk3nn3dy writes "Japanese company Digital Process, have developed VridgeR, software which uses DVX, a special rendering technique that doesn't use polygons, and can display massive, highly complex models (for example whole cars or planes which would normally require millions of polygons to be displayed with precision) using standard hardware. 20GB of aircraft CAD data can be loaded onto less than 1GB RAM with complete mathematical precision. English video news story here."
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