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Comment Re:Getting through the university barrier in the U (Score 5, Informative) 252

plagarism checker databases like turnitin lack the ability to parse anything but word files

I didn't believe this statement so I looked it up.
According to their student guide at

At the top of page 2:
" We accept submissions in these formats: MS Word, WordPerfect, RTF, PDF, PostScript, HTML, and plain text (.txt)"

So while I think plagiarism checkers are kind of a waste of resources, your statement is still false.

It's funny.  Laugh.

The Top 5 Technology Panics of 2009 146

destinyland writes "An A.I. researcher lists the Top 5 Technology Panics of 2009 — along with the corresponding reality. There's exploding iPods, the uproar over 'bombing' the moon, and even a flesh-eating robot. But in each case, he supplies some much-needed perspective. 'These incidents are incredibly rare ... the rocket stage weighs around two tons, while the Moon weighs in at a 73,477,000,000,000,000,000 tons... and desecration of the dead is against the laws of war — and plant matter is a much better fuel source anyway.'"

Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect 845

stereoroid writes "As of January 1, it is a crime in Ireland to commit Blasphemy. The law was changed in July 2009 to fill a gap in the Irish Constitution, which states that it is a crime but does not define what it is, an omission highlighted in a Supreme Court decision in 1999. To mark the occasion, Atheist Ireland published a list of 25 blasphemous quotations on the website, from such controversial figures as Bjork, Frank Zappa, Richard Dawkins, Randy Newman, and Pope Benedict XVI. (The last-mentioned was quoting a 14th Century Byzantine Emperor, but that's no excuse.)"

IDEs With VIM Text Editing Capability? 193

An anonymous reader writes "I am currently looking to move from text editing with vim to a full fledged IDE with gdb integration, integrated command line, etc. Extending VIM with these capabilities is a mortal sin, so I am looking for a linux based GUI IDE. I do not want to give up the efficient text editing capabilities of VIM though. How do I have my cake and eat it too?"
The Courts

A New Libel Defense In Canada; For Blogs Too 146

roju writes "The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has created a new defense against claims of defamation, allowing for reporting in the public interest. They specifically included bloggers as eligible, writing: '...the traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists. These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets.' and 'A review of recent defamation case law suggests that many actions now concern blog postings and other online media which are potentially both more ephemeral and more ubiquitous than traditional print media. ... [I]t is more accurate to refer to the new defense as responsible communication on matters of public interest.'"

Submission + - Machine converts CO2 into fuel (

krou writes: Called the Counter-Rotating-Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (CR5), researchers at Sandia National Laboratories believe it is capable of using the sun's energy to convert CO2 waste from power plants into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

the cylindrical machine consists of two chambers on the sides and 14 rotating rings in the center. The outer edges of the rings are made of iron oxide. When the scientists heat the inside of one chamber to 1,500C with a solar concentrator, the iron oxide undergoes a thermo-chemical reaction where it gives up oxygen molecules. As the rings rotate (at one revolution per minute), the hot side approaches the opposite chamber and begins to cool down. When carbon dioxide is pumped into this chamber, the iron oxide retrieves oxygen molecules from the carbon dioxide, transforming it into carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide could then serve as a building block to create a liquid combustible fuel.

They also note that the machine is capable of producing syngas, and hydrogen. It's still 15-20 years from being marketable, and they still need to increase overall efficiency of the machine, hoping to at least "get in the range of 10% sunlight-to-fuels".


Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses 173

drroman22 writes "Schools are working to put real-world relevance into computer science education by integrating video game development into traditional CS courses. Quoting: 'Many CS educators recognized and took advantage of younger generations' familiarity and interests for computer video games and integrate related contents into their introductory programming courses. Because these are the first courses students encounter, they build excitement and enthusiasm for our discipline. ... Much of this work reported resounding successes with drastically increased enrollments and student successes. Based on these results, it is well recognized that integrating computer gaming into CS1 and CS2 (CS1/2) courses, the first programming courses students encounter, is a promising strategy for recruiting and retaining potential students." While a focus on games may help stir interest, it seems as though game development studios are as yet unimpressed by most game-related college courses. To those who have taken such courses or considered hiring those who have: what has your experience been?

Comment Re:Then you can work, thief! (Score 1) 645

"The problem is that doctors are rather incented to declare people sick, so insurers will pay them."

And This.

Insurance companies are incented to deny claims.
So the doctor declares you sick and assigns expensive treatment. You go along with it thinking your insurance will take care of it. A few months later you get a bill from the doctor with either a part or none of the bill paid for by the insurer.
Both the doctor and the insurance company win, and you get stuck with the bill. The system works great as long you pay. :)


Time Warner ToS Changes Could Mean Tiered Pricing, Throttling 162

Mirell writes "Time Warner Cable has recently changed their Terms of Service, so that they are allowed to charge you at their discretion via consumption-based billing. They were shot down a few months ago after raising the wrath of many subscribers and several politicians. Now they're trying again, but since they make exclusions for their own voice and video not to count against the cap, this could draw the attention of the FCC."

Comment Re:meme tag stole my post (Score 2, Interesting) 270

Corporations are merely a symptom of the problem, not the cause. Civilization at its very core has a flawed world-view. It perceives the environment as a collection of resources. The resources are to be extracted, used up, and wasted. (Don't give me that BS about recycling. We are still way off. But granted, it is a start.) There is nothing in the perception about balance with nature/environment. The environment is not something 'out there' to be saved. It is everything. The air you breathe, the water you drink. Even sitting at your desk you are still in the environment. You've just be separated from the living environment by the dead environment. (Concrete, metal and glass.) Living things were killed and remade into a buffer called the city. The goal of civilization is to make you fear wild, living nature so that you accept the comforts of the city and work hard to amass wealth for the masters. Resources are extracted from the country into the city and cause them to grow beyond the carrying capacity of the land. This is where the 'profit' comes from. A society living in balance with the land will fluctuate in population and enjoy good healthy food (when available). The Native Americans enjoyed a life like this, each tribe adapted to the many climates on the continent. Sure, they were no match for the well-armed civilized, but that doesn't make them wrong. One can hardly turn a profit if one is a circular reciprocity with the land, giving and taking equally. Profit only comes from theft. Lands are conquered (taken), and materials are extracted for (nearly) free. Don't believe me? Check out some of our laws on mining and forestry. You may be surprised to discover how much go-ahead the companies have on our public lands.

Of course all this taking has given us so much wonderful stuff, right? I am a total hypocrite for speaking like this on a global interactive network of computers.

Well, the problem comes when you've taken so much you can take no more. Have we forgotten the laws of thermal dynamics? I can't wait to work in the garbage mines of the future.

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Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind... - Percy Bysshe Shelley