Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Semantics (Score 1) 98 98

If it's not the closest, are we going to rename it?

No, because it will presumably still be the nearest in the constellation of Centaurus. It's 'Proxima Centauri' not 'Proxima'

Constellations are not defined by a collection of stars at roughly the same distance. They are a collection of stars roughly close together, in a pattern _as viewed from Earth_. Apparently adjacent stars in the same constellation can vary in distance from earth by thousands of light years.

So any newly discovered star closer to Earth is most likely to be in the scope of some other constellation.

Comment And in 5 years time... (Score 1) 329 329

An in due course, will leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition David Cameron accept that Prime Minister Edward Milliband, as leader of the government should be capable of reading any communication such as Conservative party policy, election and campaign plans, electorate candidate profiles, and such-like.

I mean, he did say: "any communications"....

Comment Perfectionists (Score 1) 85 85

It was correctly labelled, at the correct institution, in the place you would expect it to be stored, and it weighed the correct amount.

But that wasn't good enough. They had to wait and see if it wouldn't decay in a particular way.

I am never going to let these guys tidy up my lab or do the filing.

Comment Re:The Pirate Bay (Score 1) 302 302

Copyright is an exchange. The government protects content, for a limited time, in exchange for the "owner" releasing it into the public domain.

This is incorrect. You are right that copyright is an exchange, but the default case is that ideas, songs, poems, art, etc are in the public domain, on their creation. That's been true for millenia.

The exchange that copyright provides is to delay the natural transfer into the public domain, giving the copyright owner a limited-time government enforced monopoloy on the copying of the creative work.

The benefit that society is to receive for this limited time concession, is that it should encourage the production of more creative works.

Society doesn't get immediate public-domain access to creative works, but there are more creative works being produced.

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"