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Science

Submission + - The Sweet Mystery of Science

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Biologist David P. Barash writes in the LA Times that as a scientist he has been participating in a deception for more than four decades — a benevolent and well intentioned deception — but a deception nonetheless. "When scientists speak to the public or to students, we talk about what we know, what science has discovered," writes Barash. "After all, we work hard deciphering nature's secrets and we're proud whenever we succeed. But it gives the false impression that we know pretty much everything, whereas the reality is that there's a whole lot more that we don't know." Teaching and writing only about what is known risks turning science into a mere catalog of established facts, suggesting that "knowing" science is a matter of memorizing says Barash. "It is time, therefore, to start teaching courses, giving lectures and writing books about what we don't know about biology, chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics." Barash isn't talking about the obvious unknowns, such as "Is there life on other planets?" Looking just at his field, evolutionary biology, the unknowns are immense: How widespread are nonadaptive traits? To what extent does evolution proceed by very small, gradual steps versus larger, quantum jumps? What is the purpose of all that "junk DNA"? Did human beings evolve from a single lineage, or many times, independently? Why does homosexuality persist? According to Barash scientists need to keep celebrating and transmitting what they know but also need to keep their eyes on what science doesn't know if the scientific enterprise is to continue attracting new adherents who will keep pushing the envelope of our knowledge rather than resting satisfied within its cozy boundaries. As Richard Dawkins writes: "Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a different reason: It gives them something to do.""

Comment Re:Games? (Score 2) 90

The 3DS versions also play games written for the DS versions, so the libraries are extras on top of the regular DS library.

The 3D games/3D effect isn't a reason to buy a 3DS if you already have a DS. It's a reason maybe to spend a little more and buy the 3DS if you don't already own a console of this type at all, but the older non-3D consoles seem really cheap at the moment so now's a good time to get one for each of your kids if you have more than one child.

My son and also my nephew have a 3DS and they both turn off the 3D effect and never use it, because their eyes get sore after extended periods - as per the warning labels on the console box & games.

I don't have a good answer to your question because I haven't seen any apps on the DS consoles that I would call a killer app.

Comment Re:crash faster (Score 1) 563

Question: do you like eating cupcakes while working?

Alternatively, do any of your co-workers like to play practical jokes, and keep turning on one of the accessibility options like sticky keys? It may be possible to turn that on via policy, or remotely...

Or maybe you're triggering one of the keyboard shortcuts but that isn't easy to do, like pressing the left shift key 5 times quickly and then not seeing the prompt.

Comment Re:Worse by far. Ask why AD is used. (Score 5, Informative) 563

"I want my apps and my config to move with me if I have to work on another computer". NFS mounted home directories on UNIX means that this isn't a problem on those machines. It does it without AD, therefore why implement it?

However, windows wants it all on the C: drive and locally mounted, therefore they have to have this all reconfigured on boot/login.

Yeah it's a real shame windows don't have something that lets your profile roam with you.

- Roaming profiles
- Folder redirection (with or without mandatory profiles)
- Group Policy
- Group Policy preferences (can't remember how I managed without those, now. What's a login script again?)

And probably a bunch of other stuff I missed, that was off the top of my head. And it's click-and-drool to deploy for the most part, and troubleshooting is just right-click-and-drool.

Comment Re:$1,295? (Score 2) 176

If a power strip/ surge protector weighs as much as a battery backup, someone is going to ask some questions.

I'd be surprised if they weren't making UPS versions of products like this also. If anything that is more likely something you'd connect to your network without questioning, for monitoring. The chance people would connect the RJ45 ports (I'm guessing these are supposed to protect against power surges) is a lot less in a corporate environment.

The first thing I thought when I saw this was how annoyed I'd be if I spend over $1000 and no-one plugged anything into any of the data ports. I'm guessing it could try to hack in wirelessly, but then they could have a put this into any device that had a constant power connection - shredder, radio, coffee maker - anything that gets left plugged in.

Comment Re:Degree (Score 1) 190

It still represents a threat, if I can learn things freely online, when I go to formalise that education it takes less time and effort, so they can't charge me as much for it.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/07/06/180201/university-sues-student-for-graduating-early

It is also a threat where it represents an alternative to formal education, for any area of occupation where skills, knowledge and experience can win you a position over formal qualifications. Maybe for an IT role, someone with no formal piece of paper might be able to get past the HR screening far more easily. Once you're past that point, if you know what you're doing and have a good attitude, you'll interview well, and do the job well. And then the sky's the limit.

I hope no-one is suggesting that Khan or similar will replace formal education, it will just put a dent in it. I'd also be more concerned if I were a smaller institution or offered vocational education that is above high school level but not at the degree level - a certificate level qualification isn't that useful in that HR screening scenario, someone could get skills/knowledge for free via online courses, do some work experience and ramp up to a similar level. No-one's going to pass up going to MIT because they can get the same level of education from youtube, though they might decide not to do a 26 week certificate course at their local college - instead opting to gain some knowledge online and use that knowledge to do a 3 month internship.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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