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Comment Great contributor or "climate doctor" (Score 0) 14

According to this article, this is not the first time, William Connolley is in the news. If anyone wants to check out his contributions at wikipedia, they are here.

Who is the author of TFA? Lawrence Solomon is author of the book The Deniers. Summary at amazon:

Global warming is a question for citizens, not just scientists. We must decide how serious the threat is and what to do about it. But how can we settle the fiercely complicated scientific issues involved? Al Gore?s answer is to rely on the argument from authority. Accept the word of the great scientists who really know, who say that global warming is real, caused primarily by humans and will lead to catastrophe if unchecked. The science is settled, and those who dissent are either crackpots or crooks. Eminent environmentalist Lawrence Solomon was not satisfied with Gore's answer. He decided to find out whether any real scientists dissent from the Gore/U.N. line. What he found shocked him. Not only were there serious scientists who dissented on every headline global warming issue, but the dissenters were by far the more accomplished and eminent scientists.

Other articles by Lawrence Solomon about wikipedia and climate change: Wikipedia's Zealots and Wikipropaganda.

Software

Submission + - WordPress 2.9 Released (wordpress.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Version 2.9 of the WordPress blogging system is out with these new features: recycle bin for deleted posts, builtin image editor, batch plugin updates, easier video embedding, canonical page URLs, automatic database optimization, post thumbnails, an update to the TinyMCE HTML editor,

Submission + - Climategate spreads to Wikipedia (nationalpost.com) 14

sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.

Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine Realclimate.org team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.

According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."

Idle

Submission + - PhD Speaks out on Physics of Space Battles (gizmodo.com)

darthvader100 writes: Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like.
The author brings up several theories on propulsion(and orbits), weapons(explosives, kinetic and laser), and design.
Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the recent Hitchhiker's Guide move.

Submission + - Good semester-long advanced C++ project?

Hallmarc writes: In Spring 2010, I am set to teach a class on object-oriented design. The course aims to cover the juicy bits of the latter half of many good books on C++, such as polymorphism, multiple inheritance, virtual functions, the STL, etc. I also want to leave the students with a reasonable understanding of when and where to use the most common design patterns. I don't have a whole lot of time in which to develop the course. Would anyone have a good suggestion for a semester-long project that could be developed piecemeal to highlight the practical application of many of the previously mentioned aspects? I have briefly scanned the web as well as several intermediate/advanced books on C++ and/or design patterns, but I have not found a project that is properly scoped. Might I be asking for too much? If so, would people go for a book that tried to achieve this?

Comment Re:Just for fun (Score 1) 242

Is Windows sold or licensed?

From November's ruling:

[MacOS...] are covered by software license
2 agreements that provided that the software is “licensed, not sold to [the user] by Apple Inc.
3 (“Apple”) for use only under the terms of this License” (Chung Exh. 26 at 1). Apple’s license
4 agreements restricted the use of Mac OS X to Apple computers, and specifically prohibited
5 customers from installing the operating system on non-Apple computers.

Submission + - Poll Submission: Have you read the GNU GPL? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Poll Submission: Have you read the GNU GPL?
possible responses:

I read a few paragraphs and got bored
I read it once
I read it a few times
I know what changed between v2.0 and v2.1
I apply its teachings to my daily life
I never read it, but always pretend I did
What's a "guh-noo gupple"?

Comment Re:If you asked me... (Score 1) 533

I think you didn't get my point.

I wrote it would be difficult for google to track you. There is no cookie that identifies your google account, no javascript that tracks your usage data or your history. They can track searches by server IP, however if they want to associate these searches with you they need some to look for the whois entry of the server, which you can leave anonymous.

If you want to be even more private you can share the server with other people, as you do with scroogle.

Comment Re:If you asked me... (Score 2, Interesting) 533

It's very easy to build something like scroogle yourself. You need a server with support for php (or maybe java or python) that performs your searches server side and there you go. Three years ago, with no knowledge of php to start with, I wrote a simple program to send and fetch queries to and from google in about a day. It didn't even use the google search API it just parsed the returned HTML. I think anybody who just looks at the search API could put something together very fast. In the (unlikely) case anybody should ever be interested in who is behind your server you can share your server publicly to increase anonymity.
Games

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Comment Re:Not possible (Score 1) 435

Ok... given you stipulate users have to use your applications and it is practical to do so (otherwise the calculation becomes void). You assume that you can collect more data to target ads better in order to increase significantly the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of the ads. Can you really collect more data? The device would be marketed most successfully to people already using google accounts, I think. Other people would not be so much interested in a google netbook ("where is the internet here? where is word?"). If netbook users are already google users there would be not so much to gain. If you don't annoy people with additional ads, you would hardly gain any more to get returns from your investment. Let's assume to the contrary that CPM will not significantly increase. Though there are stories about people gaining about $25 CPM, I think adsense CPM is usually much lower, say about $0.4. Now if you want to get back your money for the netbook in one year (say $150) you'll have to show many additional ads to people. I calculate 375000 impressions/year at a CPM of $0.4 or 1027 a day. If people use their netbooks in their free time, 4 hours a day (sounds ok?), that would be 4 ad impressions per minute. That sounds very high and unrealistic. I would think that in order to get back your money from the netbooks they'd really have to annoy people with full screen ads and more. I am skeptical about the business model.

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