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Comment Re:Solar Updraft? (Score 1) 259

I think you mean domes (qubaab in Arabic). You find them in a lot of Middle East architecture. Minarets (maazin in Arabic) are the towers attached to mosques which were classically used to call the azaan--the Muslim call to prayer. They largely have no function now as all but the most anachronistic muezzins call the prayer using a microphone and loudspeakers. I suppose the minarets are a good place to hang the loudspeakers.

Comment Re:Ridiculous troll (Score 4, Informative) 259

This is not a troll. Or if he is, he has is head unwittingly in the right place.

There have been protests again in Tahrir for about a week. They ramped up on Friday and haven't really abated since. They also regularly happen on Fridays. The Egyptian army have been hesitant to use force again after a few recent incidents which got entirely out of hand. Here's a link to a local English translation daily on the protests this past weekend: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/475123.

It is not unreasonable for protesters in Cairo to be concerned about this sort of thing at all. The biggest protests happened in the middle of the winter when cold is a serious issue, particularly at night. Up until the beginning of July the weather has been quite mild, but just this week we have had two 40+C days. Yesterday was still stifling at 38C. Today is a breath of fresh air (sort of) at 32C, but it is always about 4-6 degrees hotter downtown, even with the river right there. It can be terribly dangerous. It's easy to get dehydrated or to develop heat/sun stroke rapidly without realizing it.


Woman Sues Google Over Street View Shots of Her Underwear Screenshot-sm 417

Kittenman writes "The Telegraph (and several US locals) are covering a story about a Japanese woman who had her underwear on the line while the Google car went past. She is now suing Google: 'I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime,' the woman told a district court. 'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.'"

Exposing the Link Between Cell Phones and Fertility 112

ApharmdB writes "We frequently gripe about the poor quality of science reporting by the media. A Guardian blogger from the mathematics department at Queen Mary, University of London has made a honeypot press release to see how bad it can get. (Or maybe to have some fun trolling the media?) The statistic used is the strong link between the number of mobile phone masts in an area and the number of live births. Of course, there is no causal link because they are both instead based on a 3rd variable, the local population size. Slashdot readers can keep on eye on news sources over the weekend to see just how much traction the story gets and watch the train wreck in real-time!"

Comment Nope (Score 1) 835

I am at the American University in Cairo and the IT department here neither uses or supports any Linux. There is a general suspicion in the wider computing community in Egypt that you must pay for something, particularly software, for it to be any good. So, everyone just pirates copies of Windows and then steals closed/proprietary software from each other. Brilliant situation.

Windows 7 Hits Build 7600 (Possible RTM) 671

An anonymous reader writes "One Microsoft Way is reporting that Microsoft has significantly incremented the build number of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: 'Reports across the Web are pointing to a build 7600 for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This is significant because the bump in the build number would suggest that Microsoft has christened this build as the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build. The RTM is expected to be given out to Microsoft partners sometime later this month and launched on October 22, 2009, the day of General Availability (GA). The build string is "7600.16384.090710-1945," which indicates that it was compiled just a few days ago: July 10, 2009, at 7:45pm. Microsoft only increments the build number when it reaches a significant goal, and the only one left is the RTM milestone. The last builds that were leaking were all 72xx builds, so such a large bump is suspicious but at the same time it is something Microsoft would do to signify that this is the final build.'"

Comment Re:Nothing to do with sex... (Score 1) 174

True enough. I sometimes accidentally read comments elsewhere and think "What the #*$% is wrong with these people?" /.ers can at least sort of spell and use complete sentences. This indicates that any /. offspring might have a chance at being a bit better spoken than their peers if not actually more intelligent.
The Media

Submission + - Journalism Benefits from Technology, Not Opposite (slate.com)

johndmartiniii writes: "Jack Shafer's column this week at Slate.com gives a perspective on modern journalism different from the one we usually hear regarding declining print news agencies. Rather than destroying the industry, Shafer argues that technological advances in publishing have only served to keep journalism alive, as long as journalists and news bureaus were willing to evolve as well. From the article: 'Technology, culture, business, and audience tastes are always in flux, making it the job of writers young and old to grab the best available tools and get to the business of chronicling the world. The cheap tools and affordable devices the average Joe has at his disposal to produce precision journalism and distribute it around the world are enough to make the reporters of yesterday sob in envy. It's the difference between digging ditches with a spade and excavating a canal with dynamite.'"

Submission + - Firefox 3.5 Reviewed (slate.com)

johndmartiniii writes: "Farhad Manjoo has a review of Firefox 3.5 at Slate.com this week. From the article:

"Lately I've been worried about Firefox. Ever since its debut in 2004, the open-source Web browser has won acclaim for its speed, stability, and customizability. It eventually captured nearly a quarter of the market, an astonishing achievement for a project run by a nonprofit foundation. But recently Firefox seemed to go soft." The worried tone in the beginning of the review gives way to excitement over the HTML5 features being implemented, saying that thus far Firefox 3.5 "offers the best implementation of the standard--and because it's the second-most-popular Web browser in the world, the new release is sure to prompt Web designers to create pages tailored to the Web's new language.""

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