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Found In Space (On Flickr) 48

Jamie stumbled upon a writeup for all you astronomy and photography buffs out there (Perhaps my Dad or Uncle Jim are reading ;). From the writeup "The 'blind astrometry server' is a program which monitors the Astrometry group on Flickr, looking for new photos of the night sky. It then analyzes each photo, and from the unique star positions shown it figures out what part of the sky was photographed and what interesting planets, galaxies or nebulae are contained within. Not only does the photographer get a high-quality description of what's in their photo, but the main project gets a new image to add to its storehouse of knowledge." Check out the site for many cool pictures.

Comment Re:Here's a hint (Score 1) 503

Is Oblivion really something a 6 year old should be playing? I'm more curious now since I never considered it a game for a young child. Are there switches that turn some of that (violence, language, gore) off? Regardless of the previous answer, how do you explain the killing, thieving, and the like?

Good Question.

My wife and I have talked about this, and we talk about it with our kids too.

She has a very strong grasp of the difference of violence against a monster, and violence against a person (when I first started playing, and she was watching me, she was shocked when she saw me go after a vampire (which looks like a regular NPC))...

Oblivion isn't what I would consider to be gory in any event.

As for the stealing, she asked me about it, which was a good time to have a discussion about the immorality of stealing. after that she ended up telling me that it wasn't nice that I took the things (in the game) if they weren't mine :D

We raise our children on a few principles:

- Don't withold information -- if they can ask the question, they deserve an answer.
- Don't shelter them from the real world. The world is there, and the faster they understand it, the faster they can deal with it.
- Let them fail... experience is the great teacher.. you only get experience when you fail.
- Constant, Constant, Constant dialog. We talk about all of these things all of the time. As long as she's not becoming obsessed with anything, and it's *clear* that she understands what she is doing, and where the line is, I'm fine with letting her explore.
- Morality and ethics are not concepts beyond them. When they learn that something is "bad" we also explain why it's bad.

This has all ended up having a very amazing effect. I have a daughter who is about to turn 6, can read several grades above her age, and has an amazing grasp of the universe around her.

She was playing with some other kids the other day, and was telling them about her own computer, and how she finds stuff on the internet. The 5 year old she was talking to replied "I have my own pillow!" ... erm. ok.

Basically, we try to talk about everything, and she pretty much picks it up. Can't be any happier than that.

Now, I am a little concered with Viva Pinata... those damn pinatas end up in pairs, and then they "romance" and have offspring ... she seems to grasp that "romancing" is the step to get pregnant, but she hasn't asked about the details yet...


Submission + - OSI approves two Microsoft shared-source licenses (

An anonymous reader writes: Linuxworld reports that The board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has approved two Microsoft Corp. licenses that allow proprietary source code to be shared, a move that is likely to inspire protest and spur controversy for die-hard open-source proponents.
There's the link to OSI's original announcement.


Submission + - OSI approves Microsoft's open source licenses

Stony Stevenson writes: The Open Source Initiative has approved the Microsoft Public Licence and Microsoft Reciprocal Licence, officially branding them as open source licences. The OSI approves licences by validating compliance to ten rules set in the Open Source Definition. The decision was reached with an "overwhelming majority " of the votes, but not unanimously, OSI president Michael Tiemann said in a posting on the group's website.

Microsoft welcomed the decision. "This is a significant milestone in the progression of Microsoft's open source strategy and the company's ongoing commitment to participation in the open source community to effectively meet the evolving needs of developers," the company said in an emailed statement. But I'm not so sure the open source community will be so happy about it. Critics have charged in the past that the addition of the licence is an attempt by Microsoft to undermine open source.

UK Government Wants Private Encryption Keys 822

An anonymous reader writes "Businesses and individuals in Britain may soon have to give their encryption keys to the police or face imprisonment. The UK government has said it will bring in the new powers to address a rise in the use of encryption by criminals and terrorists." From the article: "Some security experts are concerned that the plan could criminalise innocent people and drive businesses out of the UK. But the Home Office, which has just launched a consultation process, says the powers contained in Part 3 are needed to combat an increased use of encryption by criminals, paedophiles, and terrorists. 'The use of encryption is... proliferating,' Liam Byrne, Home Office minister of state told Parliament last week. 'Encryption products are more widely available and are integrated as security features in standard operating systems, so the Government has concluded that it is now right to implement the provisions of Part 3 of RIPA... which is not presently in force.'"

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