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Comment Re:Bah! Humbug. (Score 2, Insightful) 74

Probably due to fragile egos about not being real scientists.

Yeah, because "Peace" and "Literature" are both much more scientific than Economics. It also doesn't seem to bother the judges from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who choose the winners in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, and.. err.. Economics. How about that.

Comment Explanation of the German listings (Score 1) 136

Fastest rising
      1. wer kennt wen -- social networking site (general)
      2. juegos -- no freaking idea (no, I will not google it!)
      3. facebook
      4. schüler vz -- social networking site (schoolkids)
      5. studi vz -- social networking site (students)
      6. jappy -- social networking site (general)
      7. youtube
      8. yasni -- person search engine
      9. obama -- a very tanned man (thanks, Berlusconi!)
    10. euro 2008

Most Popular
      1. ebay
      2. youtube
      3. wetter -- weather
      4. gmx -- E-mail provider
      5. google
      6. video
      7. wikipedia
      8. web.de -- E-mail provider
      9. bild -- German tabloid
    10. telefonbuch -- telephone book

Also, Austria
Fastest rising
      1. teilchenbeschleuniger -- LHC
      2. gina lisa -- contestant on Germany's next top model
      3. peking 2008
      4. euro 08
      5. barack obama
      6. schülerVZ
      7. jÃrg haider -- Austrian right-wing pollie who died in a car crash, drunk off his nut, and was later discovered to be gay.
      8. iphone
      9. heath ledger
    10. wahlkabine -- voting booth

Austrian most popular
      1. youtube
      2. wetter
      3. google
      4. orf -- Austrian TV Station
      5. ebay
      6. wikipedia
      7. herold -- Austrian Yellow Pages
      8. routenplaner -- route planner
      9. immobilien -- houses/property
    10. gmx

I notice that several countries have the term "google" in their top 10 google searches. WTF? Who goes to google and then types in "google"?

Comment Re:This is a judgement call, not science. (Score 1) 584

It is not the stuff we eat. It is the stuff our food eats

If we grow less stuff-to-eat so that we can grow more stuff-to-burn it comes out to the same thing, doesn't it?

I think the OP's point is that the South American version uses existing waste products rather than changing the production mix to produce more, well.. waste products.

Comment Re:just what we need (Score 2, Interesting) 444

If we were talking about something being sold, product differentiation would be one means of attempting to achieve some form of price discrimination.(1)

That part of the equation doesn't apply here (though it will to any of the car-analogies cropping up), but product differentiation is still a recognised way to build brand loyalty by creating (perceived) differences and thereby value.

People don't use Firefox and think "Gee, isn't Google great?" – that's the (a) reason for Chrome.

A further reason is that having R&D in your own company can have positive synergies (apologies for the buzzword, but it applies here) with other projects, which don't occur from simply supporting external development.

Those are mid-to-long-term strategic considerations, while combining the projects simply to save money would be rather more a short-term oriented decision. Which isn't necessarily a criticism.

(1) Price discrimination is the concept of charging each buyer the full extent of what he is willing to pay for a good, rather than the same price as everyone else. For example, school-children don't have much money to pay for cinema tickets, and wouldn't come if they had to pay adult prices. They're still willing to pay more than the costs they incur, though, so the cinema operators increase their profits by charging them less. You'll see it all around if you pay attention.

Comment Re:Completely false summary (Score 1) 569

Mod parent up. It's been known since 2005 that Heilmann worked for the Stasi. The Left (his political party) even had a vote about whether to keep him or not when the issue arose; relatively obviously, the voted to keep him.

It probably won't stop the ill-informed /. crowd from dragging out some old cliches about Germany, socialists, leftists, Nazis and so forth, but it would be nice to have discussion of the actual issue.

Comment Re:Mr. Heilmann, you should talk to Mrs. Streisand (Score 4, Informative) 569

Being "left" or "right" has nothing to do with whether you're fascist or not. Fascism is an expression of total authoritarianism, which it is perfectly possible to combine with an attitude of socialism. They're two separate axes on the political compass.

Note that on the above chart, Dr. Angela Merkel (current German chancellor) is, in fact, "right". She's just not as right as most other Western leaders, leading to the impression that she is, in fact, "left".

Lutz Heilmann is even further left (his Party is called "The Left"), and on the Authoritarian/Libertarian scale doubtlessly up nice and high.

The Internet

Submission + - France wins EU approval to fund Google competitor (theage.com.au)

Sapphon writes: Melbourne newspaper The Age reports that:

France on Tuesday won EU approval to give euro99 million (US$152 million) to several companies hoping to build a European rival to U.S. search giant Google Inc.
The European Commission said it could allow the government to fund French technology group Thomson SA and 22 other companies working on the QUAERO multimedia search project because the potential benefits to European research would outweigh any gain Thomson would win over rivals.
Thomson hopes the research will help it offer better Internet protocol distribution technology to deliver television programs or films online.
According to the EU, the grant would not help Thomson gain any market power because rivals should also keep up their investment in research and development. EU rules forbid governments granting money to companies if that would give them an unfair advantage over competitors. (IHT)

Operating Systems

Submission + - Torvalds pans Apple with 'utter crap' putdown

An anonymous reader writes: From The Age:

Apple's much-touted new operating system, OS X Leopard, is in some ways worse than Windows Vista, says the founder of the Linux open source project, Linus Torvalds.

Torvalds was in Melbourne last week for the linux.conf.au conference and was invited to pass judgement on OS X versus Windows Vista in a wide-ranging interview.

"I don't think they're equally flawed — I think Leopard is a much better system," he said. "(But) OS X in some ways is actually worse than Windows to program for. Their file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary."
Science

Baiji River Dolphin May or May Not Be Extinct 175

ozmanjusri writes "Major news outlets are reporting that after 20 million years, Baiji (Yangtze River Dolphin) are now officially extinct. This is apparently actually old news; it was announced on a Baiji conservation website in December of last year. One outlet, though, is claiming they may not quite be completely dead yet. The same scientist that filed the report leading the the declaration of extinction is still hopeful: '"This is only one survey and...you can't have a sample in a survey, so you cannot say the baiji all is gone by the result of only one survey," he said. "For example, there is some side channels or some tributaries [where] we cannot go because of a restriction of navigation rules, and also we don't survey during the night-time so we may miss some animals in the Yangtze River." Professor Ding says based on anecdotal evidence, he remains confident the dolphins are still out there. "I'm pretty much sure there are a few of them left somewhere in the Yangtze River," he said. "I keep receiving reports from fishermen, they say they saw a couple of baiji somewhere, sometime."'"

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