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Sci-Fi

Submission + - Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's

JaJ_D writes: According to Paul Kidby's website, Terry Pratchet has been diagonsed with early onset Alzheimer's.

From the site:

would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

Jaj
User Journal

Journal SPAM: SoCal Burned for Iraq 3

U.S. needs to keep fire tanker funding
Oakland Tribune, Nov 27, 2005

WHILE trying to slash billions of dollars from the federal budget to help cover the costs of the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration wants to cut funding, a move that would ground much of the federal fire-fighting tanker fleet.

This would be a bad idea.

Yahoo!

Submission + - Wildfires sweep southern California (miaobaby.com)

miaobaby writes: Smoke from several large wildfires which flared across Southern California on October 21, 2007 is shown in this image taken at 14.50 PDT (21.50 GMT) taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, and released by NASA October 22, show several active fires (outlined in red) northwest of Los Angeles.
United States

Submission + - General Strike Called For 9/11/2007 In U.S.

cybermage writes: Organizers around the U.S. are working to coordinate a General Strike for 9/11/2007. Their reasoning is as follows: "Since the tragic events of 9/11/01, America has fallen under a spell of fear and deception. The government peddles lies and steadily chips away at our democratic rights. Hundreds of thousands have been killed in the Iraq war — mostly civilians. Torture, surveillance, tyranny, empire. Many of us can recognize the fascistic direction of this government. But what do we do?"
United States

Submission + - Gonzales Resigns

cybermage writes: "With an announcement scheduled for this morning, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned. CNN has the story of Gonzales' resignation as the culmination of a process began when nine U.S. Attorneys were dismissed for seemingly political reasons. CNN believes Bush will move to replace Gonzales with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. It is unclear whether he will formally nominate him or take advantage of what remains of a congressional recess to put him in office directly."
Google

Submission + - Google To Add Overlay Ads To YouTube Videos (nytimes.com)

cybermage writes: The New York Times (registration likely required) has a report on Google's plans to recoup its $1.65 billion investment in You Tube. Borrowing a move from television networks, Google will introduce advertising that overlays the bottom fifth of the video starting at the 15 second mark. Are they going to kill the goose that has so far laid a giant goose egg for their bottom line?
Security

Submission + - Facebook Impacts Productivity And Security? (net-security.org)

J4me5 writes: HNS is running a story about research conducted Sophos which revealed that fifty percent of workers are being blocked from accessing Facebook by their employers who are worried about the website's impact on productivity and security, and have therefore put policies or access controls in place to ban its use in the workplace. In a Sophos poll of 600 workers, 43 percent revealed that their company was blocking access to Facebook, while an additional seven percent reported that usage of the social networking website was restricted and only those with a specific business requirement were allowed to access it.
United States

Submission + - What to Do When the President Is a Failure (geniusone.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Author Frank Kanu has taken a chapter of his book and rewritten it:
What to Do When the President Is a Failure

I especially like this:
If you want to minimize the risk that your voters starts viewing you as a failure, remember these keys to being a good President:
  1. Be flexible
  2. Be creative
  3. Be open
  4. Look to help without your advantage in mind
  5. Be a partner instead of an enemy
  6. Listen and hear
  7. Learn

Could you easily name one recent are actual President — anywhere — that would fit that list?

And when one one Googles (the Google bomb is still on third place) 'failure' it becomes obvious why US President George Bush is such a negative good fit!

Windows

Submission + - Evil Vista makes Orson Scott Card switch to Linux

LucidLion writes: The award winning author of Ender's Game declares 'Vista itself is so evil that I find myself infuriated continuously.' From the article:

I did not need Vista. Nobody needed Vista. Anything Vista does that XP did not do that is worth doing was available from third-party software. But Vista does lots of things that I don't want it to do. Like crash more. Refuse to run existing software of mine. Slow down every task I want to do. Lock me out of control of my own computer.

So I'm fed up. I'm getting Linux. Microsoft's arrogant incompetence has finally brought me to the point of no return. So what if Linux can't run as much software? Vista already doesn't run my software! It won't be a downgrade in service!
How can Microsoft recover from the animosity its OS is generating?
Robotics

Submission + - Software for reverse engineering the human brain (colorado.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: In his book, "The Singularity is Near", Ray Kurzweil says the future of artificial intelligence may be in reverse engineering the human brain. Now, scientists at the University of Colorado have released software, dubbed "Emergent," that is aimed at allowing you to do just that. Using the ODE library for realistic physics, you can construct a robot with a simulated brain in a simulated world with a simulated body. I've seen neural network software before, but seeing a robot with his brain hovering over his head in 3D was a bit..shocking to say the least. Especially in light of this recent Oxford paper which asks, "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?." I was even able to "lesion" his brain and see his performance go down. Could this approach possibly bootstrap us into real artificial intelligence? Will these new simulated robotic overlords someday assimilate us?

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