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Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 255 255

Actually, if that reasoning were to apply elsewhere, Monstanto might actually have to take responsibility for infecting neighboring non-GMO fields with its seed. I agree with one of the posters below... the people with cancer would somehow end up owing the company money.

I think I'll start a kickstarter fund to set up a colony on Mars, away from all this lunacy.

Comment Re:yes (Score 1) 1010 1010

I came here to say just this, and you beat me to most of it.

But! If we're doing away with all the subjects that make us feel bad, the logical conclusion (not that we understand logic any longer) is that only one course remains that everybody can agree on: sex education! And, since we have nothing else going on at school because it makes us feel dumb, sex ed will be taken to great new heights! Imagine the possibilities!


What Struck Earth in 775? 344 344

ananyo writes "Just over 1,200 years ago, the planet was hit by an extremely intense burst of high-energy radiation of unknown cause, scientists studying tree-ring data have found. The radiation burst, which seems to have hit between 774 and 775, was detected by looking at the amounts of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in tree rings that formed during the 775 growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The increase in 14C levels is so clear that the scientists conclude that the atmospheric level of 14C must have jumped by 1.2% over the course of no longer than a year, about 20 times more than the normal rate of variation (abstract). Yet, as the only known events that can produce a 14C spike are supernova explosions or giant solar flares, and neither event was observed at the time, astronomers have a cosmic mystery on their hands."

Billionaires and Polymaths Expected To Unveil a Plan To Mine Asteroids 531 531

dumuzi writes "A team including Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt of Google, director James Cameron, Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut), Ross Perot Jr. (son of Ross Perot), Chris Lewicki (NASA Mars mission manager), and Peter Diamandis (X-Prize) have formed a new company called Planetary Resources, and are expected to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids. A study by NASA released April 2nd claims a robotic mission could capture a 500 ton asteroid and bring it to orbit the moon for $2.6 billion. The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold."

UK Plan Would Use CCTV To Stop Uninsured Drivers From Refueling 691 691

Mr_Blank writes "Cameras at UK petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured or untaxed vehicles from being filled with fuel, under new government plans. Downing Street officials hope the hi-tech system will crack down on the 1.4 million motorists who drive without insurance. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are already fitted in thousands of petrol station forecourts. Drivers can only fill their cars with fuel once the camera has captured and logged the vehicle's number plate. Currently the system is designed to deter motorists from driving off without paying for petrol. But under the new plans, the cameras will automatically cross-refererence with the DVLA's huge database."

Comment Re:CTL-ALT-DEL (Score 1) 334 334

I'm dissappointed in Slashdot. One would expect that over here people would see the value of having access to the source of the software that keeps you alive.

100% agree. It seems most of the other posters on this story saw the word "Lawyer" and went temporarily stupid. Slashdotters emit blood curdling screams when they can't get open access to video codecs, but are indifferent when medical device vendors don't share code that literally keeps people alive. To those of you want to keep this code secret, I hope your electric spleen shocks you toasty brown someday.


Facebook Could Spawn Thousands of Milionaires 434 434

Hugh Pickens writes "Retuers reports that the world's No. 1 online social network is preparing for a blockbuster initial public offering that could create thousands of millionaires as Facebook employees past and present begin hatching plans on how to spend their anticipated new wealth. 'There's been discussions of sort of bucket list ideas that people are putting together of things they always wanted to do and now we'll be able to do it,' says one former employee who expects his shares to be worth $50 million and is planning to book a trip to space with Virgin Galactic that would cost $200,000 or more. 'It's been a childhood dream.' Another group of Facebook workers has begun laying the groundwork for its own jungle expedition to excavate a relatively untouched site of Mayan ruins in Mexico that sounds like Raiders of the Lost Ark. But for many of Facebook's staffers, the IPO will provide the means to pay off school loans and buy a house or new car and many homeowners and real-estate agents are eagerly anticipating a surge of new buyers that could push prime real estate to new heights. 'If a Facebook guy buys a house and wants to remodel it, maybe the contractor will buy another car,' says Buff Giurlani. 'Maybe the realtor will put a car in. There's a trickle-down effect.'"

NASA May Send Landers To Europa In 2020 156 156

wisebabo writes "So here's a proposal by NASA to send landers to Europa to look for life. They are sending two landers because of the risks in landing on Europa. They got that right! First is the 500 million mile distance from the Sun, which will probably necessitate RTGs (Juno uses solar panels, but they are huge) and will cause at least an hour of lag time for communications. Then there is the intense gravitational field of Jupiter, which will require a lot of fuel to get into Jovian and then Europan orbit. (It's equivalent to traveling amongst the inner planets!) The radiation in space around Jupiter is tremendous, so the spacecraft may need to be 'armored' like Juno. Landing on Europa is going to be crazy; there aren't any hi-res maps of the landing areas (unlike Mars) and even if there were, the geography of Europa might change due to the shifting ice. Since there is no atmosphere, it'll be rockets down all the way; very expensive in terms of fuel — like landing on the Moon. Finally, who knows what the surface is like; is it a powder, rock hard, crumbly or slippery? In a couple respects, looking for life on Titan (where we've already landed one simple probe) would be a lot easier: dense atmosphere, no radiation, radar mapped from space, knowledge of surface). If only we could do both!"

Toyota To Let People Ride In Self-Driving Prius 282 282

fergus07 writes "Toyota is to show an autonomous Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take 'back seat' rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself."

Exploiting Network Captures For Truer Randomness 189 189

First time accepted submitter ronaldm writes "As a composer who uses computers for anything and everything from engraving to live performance projects, it's periodically of some concern that computers do exactly what they're supposed to do — what they're told. Introducing imperfections into music to make it sound more 'natural' is nothing new: yet it still troubles me that picking up random data from /dev/random to do this is well, cheating. It's not random. It bugs me. So, short of bringing in and using an atomic source, here's a way to embrace natural randomness — and bring your packet captures to life!"

"What I've done, of course, is total garbage." -- R. Willard, Pure Math 430a