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+ - Accessibility in Linux is good (but could be much better)->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Gnu/Linux distributions provide great advantages over proprietary alternatives for people with disabilities. In this article, I'll discuss some of the advantages, as well as areas that need improvement. Because I use Fedora, my article is written based on my experience with that Linux distribution.
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Julie Beck writes in The Atlantic that though science and fantasy seem to be polar opposites, a Venn diagram of “scientists” and “Lord of the Rings fans” have a large overlap which could (lovingly!) be labeled “nerds.” Several animal species have been named after characters from the books including wasps, crocodiles, and even a dinosaur named after Sauron, “Given Tolkien’s passion for nomenclature, his coinage, over decades, of enormous numbers of euphonious names—not to mention scientists’ fondness for Tolkien—it is perhaps inevitable that Tolkien has been accorded formal taxonomic commemoration like no other author,” writes Henry Gee. Other disciplines aren’t left out of the fun—there’s a geologically interesting region in Australia called the “Mordor Alkaline Igneous Complex,” a pair of asteroids named “Tolkien” and “Bilbo,” and a crater on Mercury also named “Tolkien.”

“It has been documented that Middle-Earth caught the attention of students and practitioners of science from the early days of Tolkien fandom. For example, in the 1960s, the Tolkien Society members were said to mainly consist of ‘students, teachers, scientists, or psychologists,’” writes Kristine Larsen, an astronomy professor at Central Connecticut State University, in her paper “SAURON, Mount Doom, and Elvish Moths: The Influence of Tolkien on Modern Science.” “When you have scientists who are fans of pop culture, they’re going to see the science in it,” says Larson. “It’s just such an intricate universe. It’s so geeky. You can delve into it. There’s the languages of it, the geography of it, and the lineages. It’s very detail oriented, and scientists in general like things that have depth and detail.” Larson has also written papers on using Tolkien as a teaching tool, and discusses with her astronomy students, for example, the likelihood that the heavenly body Borgil, which appears in the first book of the trilogy, can be identified as the star Aldebaran. “I use this as a hook to get students interested in science,” says Larson. “I’m also interested in recovering all the science that Tolkien quietly wove into Middle Earth because there’s science in there that the casual reader has not recognized."

+ - Former CEO Fiorina announces bid for White House->

Submitted by seven of five
seven of five writes: "Former Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Carly Fiorina announced on Monday she is running for president, becoming the only woman in the pack of Republican candidates for the White House in 2016.

Once one of the most powerful women in the American corporate world, Fiorina announced her bid on ABC News' "Good Morning America" show.

"Yes, I am running for president. I think I'm the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world, who's in it, how the world works," she said.

Fiorina registers near the bottom of polls of the dozen or so Republican hopefuls and has never held public office.

But she has already attracted warm receptions at events in the early voting state of Iowa where she is positioning herself as a conservative, pro-business Republican highly critical of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Fiorina was forced by HP to resign in 2005 as the tech company struggled to digest Compaq after a $19 billion merger."

Cue all HP employees, current and former, who have nothing but love for Carly F.

Link to Original Source

+ - The deepest view into the Universe ever

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: Imagine you just stared into darkness, collecting every photon of light that came by. What would you wind up seeing? The Hubble Space Telescope has done this many times, creating the Hubble Deep Field first and then the Hubble Ultra Deep Field with upgraded cameras and more time. But most recently, the eXtreme Deep Field has surpassed even that. With double the exposure time in the same region as the Ultra Deep Field, we’ve set the most robust lower limit on the number of galaxies in the Universe, and learned what it will take to find the rest.

Comment: Re: Why is it even a discussion? (Score 1) 441

by stealth.c (#49468933) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality
You're taking for granted that the FCC's new rules are antynomous with "protecting commercial interests." The ISPs will be fine either way, they already had government-granted monopolies. The rules were added at the behest of companies like Netflix, who felt they needed a regulatory cudgel to strengthen their position in price negotiations. Except what the FCC has also done is drop a lot of uncertainty and fear onto the ISP industry. That alone will stifle expansion. Far better would have been to end the idiotic local laws and regs that made monopolies of whichever broadband provider was first to a given market. Google Fiber only rolled out in places where city governments could be coaxed into liberalizing, and behold, Comcast is upgrading speed in those areas for free. Competition works. The market has not failed. The FCC "fixed" the wrong problem.

Comment: Re: Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347

by stealth.c (#49246929) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
I think your explanation falls very short when you refer to municipal limitations on the number of competitors as a "natural" monopoly. There's nothing natural about it if it's a situation directly caused by limits imposed by government. Prospective ISPs should have been able to negotiate with property owners at all levels to build lines of any sort wherever it made sense. Capping local markets at one or two providers is where the Internet got off track, not when the beneficiaries of this corporate welfare started doing the only thing that made sense given their unassailable, government-granted position. So now we pile the FCC on top of a problem that never needed to exist. Like Harry Browne used to say: government will break your knees, then hand you a pair of crutches and say "See? Without us you couldn't walk!"

Comment: License vs. Education (Score 1) 362

by stealth.c (#49187577) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?
People seem to be conflating licenses and training, which is cute considering y'all just got done beating up on tech certifications in another thread. Should you need government permission to travel in your automated car? Hell no. Should you know what you are doing when climbing into one? Ideally, yes.

Comment: Re: I would *hope* he got paid a lot! (Score 0) 448

by stealth.c (#49108803) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
There is another reason to do so: The sincere belief that the alarmists are a threat to human survival. Their unconditional animosity against much-needed energy sources, if acted out in the political sphere to the degree that they wish, would doom billions to poverty and death. There is no doubt some risk in continuing to use fossil fuels the way we do, but governments are not who I would trust to quantify and hedge against that risk. They are much more likely to overreact or underreact for political reasons, costing the world countless lives. This is an unpopular opinion I'm sure. The technocratic idealists here who align with the alarmists are positive they know better how the world should run than those SUV-driving rubes out there, but such paternalistic hubris has gotten mankind into huge trouble before.

Comment: Isn't this just shooting the messenger? (Score 1) 448

by stealth.c (#49108689) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Whenever scientists publish a controversial new cosmological theory there is no gossiping over who paid them. Because it doesn't matter. If their interpretation of the data is wrong, or if their model is wrong, all someone has to do is correct their work. Yet when it comes to "climate science" much ink is spilled disparaging the motives and character of anyone who challenges the orthodoxy. If he's wrong, show how he's wrong. I don't give a rat's behind who paid for what. The work either contributes to our understanding or it doesn't.

Comment: Re: Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 825

by stealth.c (#48954147) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
How exactly is risking capital to produce products people willfully buy "leaching off society"? Which government service exactly are they skipping out on paying for? Why not send them a bill for that instead of stabbing in the dark at arbitrary sums? When did it become "greedy" to keep your own money, and "justice" to take someone else's?

Comment: Re: Double Irish (Score 2) 825

by stealth.c (#48953785) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
Do you mean to say my taxes only pay for the desirable things my government does, and at the best possible price at all times? And that without this small group having a unilateral right to help themselves to other people's money -- so long as they honor bureaucratic protocols of course -- civilization would collapse into a Mad Max dytopia?

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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