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Comment Re:Ummm yes... (Score 1) 261

Or maybe nothing is missing at all.

Then the project lead should officially tag it as '1.0' to let the world know that no essential functionality is missing.

Version numbers have meaning, or at least used to prior to 1995. If the developers have designated a release as version 0.35d, you'd be a fool to entrust it with any critical or sensitive information.

Comment Re:In Ancient Times (Score 1) 217

Somehow Joplin was making a $100,000 a week in the 1920's, even though it's fairly trivial to simply hand-copy someone-else's work.

Funny, because Scott Joplin died in 1917.

Even if hand-copying ragtime sheet music were trivial, which it is not, it was still more convenient to spend the 5 cents on an officially published copy of 'Maple Leaf Rag' than it was to spend 2 cents on some blank staff paper and three hours transcribing a copy borrowed from a friend.

Earth

Shell Ditches Wind, Solar, and Hydro 883

thefickler writes "Shell has decided to end its investment in wind, solar and hydro projects because the company does not believe they are financially sound investments. Instead Shell is going to focus on carbon sequestration technologies and biofuels. Not surprisingly, and perhaps unfairly, bloggers have been quick to savage the company: 'Between Shell's decisions to stop its clean energy investments and to increase its debt load to pay for dividends, the company is solidifying an image of corporate greed over corporate responsibility.' Is Shell short sighted, or is it just a company trying to make its way in an uncertain world?"

Comment Re:facepalm (Score 1) 459

Isn't part of the point of linux that there isn't a face to it?

Linux is my mailserver
Linux runs on my access point
Linux runs on our company's DVR.

Linux is not an operating system for the desktop or for the server, or for the embedded device. Linux is an operating system for EVERYTHING.

I believe as far as commercial marketing goes, Cisco is already taking credit for running all of those things. Or Sun. Or Bernard Purdie.

The Almighty Buck

Choruss Pitching Bait and Switch On P2P Music Tax 119

An anonymous reader writes "A few months back, Warner Music Group started pitching universities on the idea of a new program where they would pay a chunk of money to an organization named Choruss to provide 'covenants not to sue' those students for file sharing, leading many in the press to claim that the record labels are looking to license ISPs to let users file share. Even the EFF has called it a 'promising new approach.' However, the details are quite troubling and suggest that the plan is really a bait-and-switch idea." (More below.)
Earth

95M-Year-Old Octopus Fossils Discovered 290

mmmscience writes "A new study published in Paleontology is a truly terrific find. Not only did a group of European scientists find a fossilized octopus, they found five complete fossils that show all eight legs in great detail, including a ghost of the characteristic suckers. The discovery of the 95-million-year-old specimens was made in Lebanon. 'What is truly astonishing to the scientists is how similar these ancient creatures are to their modern-day counterparts. Dirk Fuchs, lead author on the study stated, "These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"
Medicine

Brain Decline Begins At Age 27 381

krou writes "The BBC is reporting that a new study suggests that our mental abilities start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, and 27 could be seen as the 'start of old age.' The seven-year study, by Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, looked at 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60, and used a number of mental agility tests already used to spot signs of dementia. 'The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.'"
Space

Rocket Hobbyists Prevail Over Feds In Court Case 546

Ellis D. Tripp writes "DC District Court judge Reggie Walton has finally ruled in the 9-year old court case pitting the model rocketry community against the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ruling is a 'slam dunk' for the rocketry community, stating that the BATFE ignored scientific evidence and overstepped its bounds by classifying ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) as an 'explosive.' Effective immediately, the BATFE has no legal jurisdiction over hobby rocket motors, and a federal Low Explosives User's Permit will no longer be needed in order to purchase APCP motors. The full text of the Judge's decision is reproduced at the link."
Software

DB Query Becomes Browseable In Virtual World 82

Jani Pirkola writes to tell us that Green Phosphor's new project "Glasshouse" allows users to take database queries or spreadsheets and create 3D representations in a virtual world. Man what I wouldn't give to mash my level 80 death knight up with some of the ugly joins I have run across in the past. "Users can see data, and drill into it; re-sort it; explore it interactively - all from within a virtual world. Glasshouse produces graphs which are avatars of the data itself. We've tailored the system for the use of biotech companies, specifically for drug discovery and development. Dr. David Resuehr, a molecular biologist, recently joined Green Phosphor as our Chief Scientist."
Sci-Fi

Sci Fi Channel Becoming Less Geek-Centric "SyFy" 798

narramissic writes "According to a TV Week article, NBC Universal has decided to change the name of their Sci Fi Channel to SyFy. Why? To pull in a more 'mainstream' audience. If you're unclear what 'more mainstream' means, TV Historian Tim Brooks spells it out for you: 'The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular.' Yes, we should probably all be offended. And telling us that a crack marketing team came up with the name because that's how tech-savvy 18-to-34 year-olds would text it really doesn't help."
Government

Utah Senate, House Pass Jack Thompson's Game Sales Bill 200

Ars Technica reports that the Utah State Senate and House have both passed Jack Thompson's proposed legislation that would stiffen penalties for the sale of M-rated games to minors. Oddly, on its trip through the state legislature, amendments rendered it largely ineffective; retailers are in the clear if the employee who sold the game goes through a training program, or if the minor misrepresents his age. It's also possible that the bill could cause some retailers to simply take down their ESRB-related advertising. Thompson's statements about the bill put the focus on advertising, but discussion on the Utah Senate floor had a familiar ring, touching on the story of a Grand Theft Auto player who killed two policemen in 2003. The ESRB wrote an open letter in opposition of the bill, saying it could undo the efforts they've made to popularize their rating system. The bill's sponsors fired back, questioning the industry's overall commitment to ratings, and now it awaits only the governor's signature before becoming law.

Comment significant figures (Score 2, Insightful) 1038

FTA
The approximately correct answer range for this question was defined as anything between 65% and 75%. Only 15% of respondents answered this question with the exactly correct answer of 70%.

I'm sorry, no. Seventy percent is not "exactly correct". At best it is an estimate, and one that is subject to natural fluctuations due to things like temperatures, tidal patterns, etc.

How much should a layperson actually know about the planet's water coverage? "More than half water" is probably a little lacking; "between two-thirds and three-quarters" is probably about right.

"Between 70% and 71%" is worthless nitpicking, a rote recitation of a rule of thumb learned in grade school, the same place they learned that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, there are 2,000 pounds in a ton, and 1 yard = 1 meter.

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