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Comment Re:More false history (Score 2) 206

Why should the Pope being insulted have anything to do with whether the earth moves around the sun?

Who said it did? OP certainly didn't. He merely asserted that Galileo was an asshole. Which I don't think is much of a stretch.

The fact is that while Copernicus should be (and is) credited with the heliocentric model, he was careful to assert that it was purely a model that made calculations easier (none of the epicycle nonsense required). He never claimed it was a fact; he merely described it as a useful tool. But, if Galileo hadn't come along to turn the whole thing into a political issue, it's quite possible that the Church would have been more willing to accept that this new model worked better because it actually reflected reality, and might well have accepted it a lot sooner than they actually did. Especially when you factor in the discovery of the Galilean moons, which is something Galileo deserves full credit for.

Comment Re:Yes, they may be wrong once in a while, (Score 1) 206

Or we can avoid the logical fallacy of argument from authority, and remember that A) being an expert in one field does not make you an expert in others, and B) even experts can disagree. Roger Penrose may be a brilliant and gifted mathematician, but his speculations on the nature of consciousness remain purely speculative, and, until someone comes up with a testable hypothesis, all speculations on string theory remain equally plausible.

Seriously, how is this worth an entire article? This is a tiny, tiny part of logic 101.

Submission + - Gore Misquoted on Hexametric Hurricanes (

jamie writes: In a story on Thursday, Slashdot and its readers had a little fun at the expense of Al Gore, who was quoted as saying that the hurricane severity scale was going to go to 6. A correction was made the next day. The author of the piece that Slashdot linked now writes "I retract the balance of my criticism." Turns out Gore was misquoted.

Luckily for Gore, this is the first time he's been ridiculed for something he didn't actually say. Well, except for Love Story, Love Canal, farm chores, and everyone's favorite, inventing the internet.

(The original Slashdot story is at and its central link now includes the Washington Post's correction.)

Comment Re:Female programmers (Score 3, Insightful) 608

just that men don't tend to go into teaching

You couldn't have picked a worse example:

They don't now. You do realise that in the within recorded history the last 20 years of female dominaed teaching is a massive anomaly. The thing is you get this thing called "feminisation" where female domiated careers are seen as worth less, and that puts off men. That coupled with the "being the odd one out" syndrome puts off even more.

Teaching was for the longest time a perfectly respetable career for men.

I think therefore we can conclude that the recent trend to women must be a recent sociatal pressure (and not a good one) rather than anything inherent.

However, even if we could wave a magic want and made all that bad stuff go away we're never going to see a 50/50 split in the technology field.

Quite possible, but we're talking here about a 999/1 split, not a 70/30 or 80/20 split. Once it's 999/1, then something is very, very badly fucked up. Men and women are just not that different.

Off all the women I know from childhood, only a small fraction have gone into technology.

And what of all the men? The majority of people--men and women--do not go into computing.

The thing is that computing is very male dominated now and you are in computing. Therefore you see only men who have gone into computing. That's massive, gigantic selection bias.

Another nice point: women were actually much more common in the early days of computing? Why? Dunno, but it shows that it's not an "inherently male" thing.

They didn't choose these fields because they were "pushed away" from programming.

Some of were deeply passionate about programming. Most people in programming aren't, just liek most people in most fields aren't passionate. For many people it's a thing to fall into for lack of any better ideas. This is where subtle pressures start to matter: who's going to go into a second choice field massively dominated by one gender and rampant sexism?

Comment Re:Female programmers (Score 0) 608

So what? Who cares?

A gender imbalance in education is ALSO a bad thing.

But this is a tech website, not a website for junior school teachers, nurses or dustmen. As a result, we only really care/talk about things that directly impinge on our lives. Hence this thread...

I think women are drawn to other fields, simple as that.

So because one field is actively hostile to men (seriously, go read some complaints about rampant sexism in teaching) and the other is hostile to women, we should just leave things be? Or perhaps go talk to some of the few women in compsci, or sign up to one of those women in computing groups to find out what it's all about.

You will find that "drawn to" is being dominated by "pushed away from".

Comment Re: the crucial problem with this product (Score 1) 167

WTH are you doing with your "cool" watch that gets the man on the street to assault you?

Nothing. But if you read the GP's post he seemed to be assuming that real life was like high school. It isn't in many ways, not limited to that people who assult for things like wearing a techy wacth wind up in prison, rather than on a sports team or whatever.

Comment Re: the crucial problem with this product (Score 3, Funny) 167

any consumer foolish enough to bring attention to their âoecool watchâ is immediately singled out as a dork, nerd, geek, or generally friendless loner/brainiac type.

Fortunately, anyone who can afford this watch has left school and is now in the "real world". At that point you can cease to care, tell the other person to fuck off, or call the police if they get violent.

Comment Heat (Score 3, Interesting) 167

I have what is now a quite low end phone, Galaxy Ace.

That thing gets warm if you use it "intensively", i.e. play a game that maxes it out. It has a considerably larger area over which to dissipate heat. I wonder how this one does.

Though I'm struggling to think of what would max out such a tiny device anyway. I can't see it running games or sitting there headless running a folding client.

The Almighty Buck

Van Gogh Prints In 3D: Almost the Real Thing For $34,000 104

dryriver writes "The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam has developed high-quality 3D reproductions of some of its finest paintings, with what it describes as the most advanced copying technique ever seen. Axel Rüger, the museum's director, said: "It really is the next generation of reproductions because they go into the third dimension. If you're a layman, they are pretty indistinguishable [from the originals]. Of course, if you're a connoisseur and you look more closely, you can see the difference. Each reproduction is priced £22,000 – somewhat more than the cost of a postcard or poster. But the museum is hoping to increase access to pictures which, if they were sold, would go for tens of millions of pounds to Russian oligarchs or American billionaires. The replicas, called Relievos, are being created by the museum in partnership with Fujifilm, with which it has had an exclusive deal for three years. Such is the complexity of the technology, known as Reliefography, that it has taken more than seven years to develop and only three a day can be made. It combines a 3D scan of the painting with a high-resolution print. The "super-accurate" reproduction even extends to the frame and the back of the painting. Every Relievo is numbered and approved by a museum curator. There is a limited edition of 260 copies per painting."

Comment Re: Against or because of? (Score 1) 38

Google Earth is NOT a GIS system. I can not map watershed flow information on Google Earth.

OK, not a very *good* GIS system. It's OK for some of the stuff, like displaying stuff overlaid.

Anyway, that's a good point: a lot of people count seeing a feature poor version of something already popular in a niche industry that they've never personally heard of as innovation.

Comment Re: Against or because of? (Score 0) 38

Well that is mainly because they never really invented something new, except Earth.

I like how you kpt that quote. Google bought Earth IIRC. The main "innovation" was that it didn't cost $20k like competing GIS systems.

believe the total was 106 over the period of time we had all been there.

Well done, 106 worthless things were done while you were there.

Seriously, the state of the patent system is so bad that 106 patents is utterly meaningless. I've actually examined one or two patents in detail on slashdot. Perhaps your former employer could help you to veryify this if you care to. In response to posts claiming that your former wasn't patenting obvious, old stuff.

I actually did a point by point rebuttal of the entire. Conclusion: not a single thing that was new in the entire patent.

So as far as I and many others caer 106 patents is just 106 more things to waste people's time and abuse the legal system. Congratulations.

Let us know when you *actully* invent somethig.

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