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Comment Re:How's that? (Score 4, Informative) 155

And how do you determine the age of some random rocky mass that you can't even image?

According to the BBC article, they simply guessed the age. The sub-brown dwarf or rogue planet seems to be travelling with a group of stars, and they've estimated the age of the stars to be 50 - 120 million years. It's a form of extra-solar profiling: That thing over there isn't a star, but it's hanging out with those other stars, so it must the same age as them. (Which is apparently OK to do for stars, but not people?)

Comment Re:I think that's all college students (Score 1) 823

Or perhaps you've heard the saying about 75% of people think they're above average? I'm sure there's a real study behind that, somewhere, but it strikes a chord for all of us, either way. ;)

It's easy for most of us to be above average, if the people at the bottom are far from the mean. Take five students writing a test: four of them score 50/100, one falls asleep and scores 0/100. The average score is therefore 40/100, and so 80% of the students scored above average. When you were thinking up the saying, you must have meant the mean not the average?

Comment He thinks $100 for an OS is expensive? (Score 1) 503

Getting Windows 7 from a shop is surprisingly expensive

He didn't even look. NewEgg is selling it for $99. A 30 day WoW subscription is listed on the Blizzard store for $15. So your OS costs less than 7 months of playing just one of the games you listed - tell me again what's expensive?

Submission + - Quantum measurements leave Schrödinger's cat alive (newscientist.com)

Walking The Walk writes: Your co-workers who keep using Schrödinger's cat metaphor may need to find a new one. New Scientist reports that

by making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world.


Comment Forced VOIP + Web Snooping (Score 2) 148

So, hot on the heals of a Slashdot story about Australia moving to fibre so they can push VOIP, we now get a story that states that they want to:

force all Australian telcos and internet service providers to store the online data of all Australians for up to two years

Yeah, don't worry - they're not related though. Really, we just think VOIP will improve everyone's lives.

Comment Re:Happening in Canada now too (Score 1) 1174

The actual question is why weren't you a responsible parent and with your son?

If you'd been with your son they'd have sent him through with you and there'd have been no problem.

Because you're only allowed to go through security if you have a valid boarding pass. I worked an extra three hours that day so I could take them to the airport and see them off.

Comment Re:Happening in Canada now too (Score 1) 1174

and I've never in my lunch wanted to just hit someone as badly as I did then.

Never in your lunch? Is that some weird Canadian phrase? Or are you just hungry?

Mistype a few letters and auto-correct gets to turn a serious comment into a joke. Not quite DYAC quality, but I'm sure it will happen to us all at some point.

Comment Happening in Canada now too (Score 4, Insightful) 1174

This isn't just happening in the US anymore. My wife flew from Ottawa to London, Ontario with our two kids (2 month old daughter and 2 year old son) last July. They made my son take off his jacket, hat and teddy bear, put them through the x-ray, then wait on one side of the metal detector while my wife went through with our daughter. At that point he starting crying and trying to pull away from the big stranger forcefully restraining him from his mom. After verifying that my wife and daughter didn't set off the alarm, they waited for all the items to go through the x-ray. Only then did they sent my son through the metal detector, on his own. I got to watch the whole scenario from the dining area on the next floor up, and I've never in my lunch wanted to just hit someone as badly as I did then.

Can anyone venture a plausible reason why they couldn't have sent my son through with my wife, and then just scanned them individually in the event that the detector went off?

Comment Re:Yay Canada (Score 1) 133

There may be a lot of farming in PEI, but our two main population centres have plenty of IT opportunities. My company is looking for a half dozen more senior Java developers, CGI employs twenty times more staff than we do (at various skill levels), and the local government has been advertising the island as a good near-shore location. It's pretty nice to be able to buy a house near the beach, for a reasonable price, and commute to downtown in only 15-20 minutes. And get paid almost what I would get in Ottawa.

Comment Re:Yay Canada (Score 3, Interesting) 133

[offtopic_shameless_plug]My company in also needs some senior developers for our PEI office, mostly for Java client/server work. Don't email me, just click the Careers link on our website.[/offtopic_shameless_plug]

On topic, I'm glad to see at least some of our justices are taking their jobs seriously. Appointed by Stephen Harper, yet curtailing government invasion into private lives. A nice breath of fresh air in a recent gale of anti-privacy legislation. (Thanks Michael Geist, for keeping us abreast of all the government's IT shenanigans!

Comment Re:Lots of free options for Canadian tax payers (Score 1) 387

is your provincial tax preparation also free?

Yes, most of the tax programs include both. There are some exceptions, where certain programs don't support some schedules (schedule = supplementary form.) e.g. StudioTax is totally free, but doesn't support schedule T1273 - the AgriStability / AgriInvest Programs. Since that's only for certain farmers, the majority of filers could use that software to prepare their taxes. As far as I know, filing in Canada is always free: either by phone, electronically, or by hardcopy snailmail.

Comment Lots of free options for Canadian tax payers (Score 2) 387

I realize most of you will assume this question is USA related (I see the firehose story got tagged with "usa" quite quickly), but it applies to lots of other countries too. In Canada, we're supposed to use NETFILE certified software, most of which is free up to a certain income threshold. The Canada Revenue Agency has a list of all software certified for your 2012 filing (i.e.: 2011 tax year). Some of those same companies are probably certified by the IRS for filing taxes in the USA too.

Comment Re:Yes and No. (Score 1) 533

I live in Toronto, a few blocks from the windmill on the lakeshore. Since the windmill went in, my home's propey value has, approximately, doubled, along with the rest of the neighborhood.. The concern is pure BS, just like the shit about windmill health issues.

I think your property value has doubled because you live a few blocks from the lakeshore in Toronto. Without the windmill, perhaps it might have increased even further in value.

PS: That windmill went in 10 years ago; home values in many other major cities without windmills (e.g.: Ottawa or Brampton) have nearly doubled in that time too.

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