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Comment Re:Alchemy? (Score 1) 185

And homosexual behavior has been observed in a multitude of species so it seems to be "natural"...

Stating that it is found in nature among other species is not the best of arguments for justifying homosexuality. Rape, war, kidnapping, and cannibalism are also found in nature (well-document cases of rape among mallard ducks, territorial fights among wolf packs, and kidnapping / killing / consuming of young chimpanzees by a mother/daughter pair in the same group are examples that come to mind).

I don't think we should look to "nature" as the final authority on what constitutes moral/ethical behavior.

Comment how about justifying constitutionality in patents (Score 1) 234

The US constitution gives Congress the power to grant patents to "promote science and the useful arts". How do patents like this promote either? Note that "business" is not an art-that falls under interstate commerce regulation (clearly not mentioned in the section describing justification for patents).

I, for one, would love to see the courts start throwing out abuses of the law happening all over the place that don't meet a plain reading of the constitution as it was understood by the rgular voters who ratified it in the first place.

Comment lunar unique processing and replication (Score 1) 197

We need the lunar version of a self-replicating machine shop that can reproduce >95% of its parts from materials that are proxucible on the moon. It will likely be a while before things like microchips or things requiring exotic materials wil be easier to make there, but other things may be produced from raw materials or grown (feasibility depends on what feedstocks can be found vs what needs to be shipped in). We need to look for the advantages that would allow new basic approaches to create processed goods at low cost. use of solar furnaces mirrors in a vaccum environment may make it easy to refine titanium from the regolith. If you can do that, that is a huge step towards self sustainment or even a viable export commodity.

Comment Re: cases of superanatural (Score 1) 717

"Now if there was ANY case of a successful supernatural explanation of anything in the natural world perhaps you might have an argument as to the existence of God. But there isn't."

Any religion with a true believer satisfies your premise. If you are looking for supernatural things that have been subjected to modern scientific scrutiny, read up on:
-the Miracle of Lanciano (I've seen this first hand-no apparent change last year since the earliest pictures)
-the Shroud of Turin

Note that the Shroud has not been proven to be a medieval forgery as often cited; read up on the follow-up study by the original dating team which found the original carbon dating to be invalid because it incorporated fibers from a medieval repair effort. Don't limit yourself to reading the summaries; the case for an invalid dating is rock solid as stated by the man who led the initial dating effort (the original dated samples contained a mixture of linen fibers from the original fabric and died wool from the repair which resulted in a date weighted significantly in the direction of the repair date due to exponential decay).

Also, there are many examples of "miraculous" occurrences in modern settings that are well documented, but ignored or unknown by nonbelievers. If you don't think any of them are credible, take it upon yourself to talk to a number of medical doctors (especially ER) and ask how many have seen things that they contradict everything they know about medicine; the likelihood of finding something that has yet to be explained by science is pretty high in any population of doctors or emergency workers.

Comment Re:Compilers drive usage (Score 1) 336

We've already seen micro projectors built into devices this small for video output and projecting virtual keyboards on a flat surface. Using Kinnect-style algorithms, one could use the phones camera for tracking fingers moving over a keyboard printed on a sheet of paper

As far as near-future devices are concerned, I'm sure there is a large market out their for sunglasses that incorporate displays (private viewing, 3D graphics, augmented reality, etc.) or input devices possible with current technology or that currently have a small specialized market (e.g. ring for tracking finger motion, eyeball trackers, implanted neural interfaces, etc).


Submission + - Microsoft Expression Crippled by Y2K7 Bug

An anonymous reader writes: Anyone know of any other apps suffering Y2K7 bugs? A Microsoft preview of its Expression Design software keeled over dead when the clock hit 1/1/07, CRN reports.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - This Chistmas I...

GrumpySimon writes: "This Christmas I...
1) ate too much turkey
2) drank too much eggnog
3) heard too many carols
4) spent too much time with the family
5) watched It's a Wonderful Life repeatedly
6) asked Santa for Cowboy Neal
7) all of the above"

Submission + - AmigaOS 4.0 released

tmk writes: "After five years Hyperion announces the avaiability of AmigaOS 4.0:
Amiga OS 4.0 is the most stable, modern and feature-rich incarnation to date of the multi-media centric operating system launched by Commodore Business Machines (CBM) in 1985 with which it still retains a high degree of compatibility.
But there is a snag: the new OS supports only the AmigaOne, which is not available anymore. According to Hyperion the new hardware platform will be announced by third parties early 2007."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask slashdot: are the ancient pyramids of Bosnia real?

The Register reports through an expert interview that the so-called Bosnian pyramids may in fact be a natural phenomenon. The photographs of the excavation appear to tell a different story, especially the incredibly artifical-looking surface stone tiling. So are these real man-made pyramids, or are they naturally occurring river rock that happened to shatter into a pattern that looks just like


Submission + - Nano organisms found in minds:new phyla of archaea

An anonymous reader writes:
"For 11 years, Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world. Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientist Brett Baker discovered three new microbes living amidst the bacteria she thought she knew well. All three were so small — the size of large viruses — as to be virtually invisible under a microscope, and belonged to a totally new phylum of Archaea, microorganisms that have been around for billions of years. What made Baker's find possible was shotgun sequencing, a technique developed... to sequence the human genome in record time."

From PhysOrg.

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