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Comment: independent support (Score 2) 129

by tverbeek (#47905425) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

Why would there be any question that Chromium could still be compiled for 32-bit CPUs? It it's open-source, it can be. The only question is whether anyone cares enough to do it.

The Firefox devs walked away from PPC processors some time ago, but there's enough interest in that platform that an independent fork of its code has been maintained.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus (Score 2, Insightful) 770

by tverbeek (#47852815) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

No, mathematics and logic are about provability. Real-world phenomena can't be proven; they can only be shown to have worked a certain way every time we've observed them so far. (I've dropped this rock 100,000 times, and every time it has fallen ... but I can't prove that it will next time.) If you want absolute proof you need to stick to theoretical phenomena. Or chuck it all and just believe something with absolute faith because it's written in an old book, like the other people who are afraid of their "truths" being subject to challenge.

Comment: "soft" science (Score 2) 770

by tverbeek (#47852727) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

The notion that climate science or economics can't repeat experiments is not entirely fair. While it's true that we can't conduct isolated double-blind experiments under identical conditions, we can conduct tests under analogous conditions to determine whether a given model is accurate or not, which is the real goal of such science. Given enough instances in which the accumulation of carbon compounds in the atmosphere leads to an overall increase in temperatures, or in which an increase in government spending or low-end wages stimulates economic activity in a market economy, we can make the inference of a correlation, and start looking for a mechanism of a causal connection.


Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-modify-it-so-it-doesn't-taste-like-coffee dept.
nbauman sends word that researchers have completed a project to sequence the genome of Coffea canephora, a species of plant responsible for roughly 30% of the world's coffee production. In the course of their genetic mapping, the researchers "pinpointed genetic attributes that could help in the development of new coffee varieties better able to endure drought, disease and pests, with the added benefit of enhancing flavor and caffeine levels." They also discovered a broad range of genes that contribute to the production of flavor-related compounds and caffeine. Plant genomist Victor Albert said, "For any agricultural plant, having a genome is a prerequisite for any sort of high technology breeding or molecular modification. Without a genome, we couldn't do any real advanced research on coffee that would allow us to improve it — not in this day and age."

Comment: N/A (Score 1) 231

by tverbeek (#47825209) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

We didn't have technology yet when I were a wee lad. I didn't even put my hands on a computer (terminal) until my junior year in high school. There was POTS, but I've never liked telephones. Electric typewriters, but no real fun to be had with those. Xerography, but at 10 cents each, who had that kind of money?


Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-than-having-mcdonalds-stock-replacements dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: I would be in favor of a regulation requiring cell phone stores to have replacement phones on hand, for any phone model covered by a customer's insurance policy. Then customers who have insurance protection on their phones could get the damaged phones replaced instantly, and the replacement phones that are normally mailed out by overnight mail to customers under their protection plan, could instead be mailed to the stores to replace the one they just gave out to the customer. Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts
United States

Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go 258

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-that-anywhere dept.
mdsolar writes with news of a plan to move radioactive waste from nuclear plants. The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go. Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150-ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel. They won't be moving anytime soon. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048. No one knows where those sites will be, but the Obama administration is already thinking about contracts to develop, test and certify the necessary rail equipment.

Comment: Re:Never gonna work ... (Score 1) 506

by tverbeek (#47758751) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

"If you're reading the newspaper, you are not going to be able to transition to operating the vehicle in the event the computer gives up and says it's all up to you."

I don't think you understand the topic of conversation here. We're not talking about situations in which the computer says, "Excuse me, Dave, but I'm not sure what to do here. Could you please drive for me?" We're talking about situations in which Dave says, "WTF! You're heading for a cliff!" and chooses to take control. Maybe it takes him some seconds to notice the problem before he takes action, but once he does notice, there would be significant delay before he puts his foot down on the brake and his hands on the wheel.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.