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Comment Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (Score 2, Interesting) 641

guess which of the following two grants will get funded and which won't: 1) man is not the cause of global warming/we're along for the ride on a system controlled in large part by solar output and other effects, give us money to study what they are, or 2) MAN IS DESTROYING THE PLANET, WE MUST BE STOPPED, WE WILL ALL DIE IF YOU DON'T FUND THIS RESEARCH.

If either of those grant applications would get funded in your country, then the entire grant system needs to be scrapped and rebuilt - they are both putting the conclusions before the research. Science is very different to lawyering - with lawyering your conclusions come first (i.e. your client is innocent) and you gather as much evidence for your conclusions as possible. Scientists on the other hand have the luxury of adapting their conclusions to fit the data. Sometimes this means a null result, but often this is worth publishing too and will get you more grants.

A variation on your first suggestion that doesn't imply bad science would be "to investigate the effect of solar flares on Earth's temperature and climate". In fact there has been a lot of publicly funded science on this topic, and I think a significant connection was pretty much ruled out back in the 90's (though I haven't checked).

Comment Re:Missing role: deleters (Score 4, Insightful) 160

Yes, this is really quite pathetic. On several occasions now I have wanted some information on a particular topic (e.g. a shitty old game I picked up, my mobile phone, or even a description of lemon party). I go to the wikipedia page, I can tell that several people went to the effort of writing an entry on that topic but the page was deleted by someone who decided that no-one would ever want to see that information. This is arrogance in the extreme - destroying some people's work because they incorrectly assumed that no-one would ever want to see it. Was the article getting in the way before it was deleted?!

Surely Wikipedia could have a link to view pages that were 'deleted' for non-notability - what would be so bad about that?

Submission + - Ubuntu dumps the brown, gets new visual identity ( 4

buntcake writes: Canonical has launched a new visual identity for the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Ubuntu is shedding its previous brown look and adopting a more professional color scheme with purple and orange. The colors will be used in a new GNOME theme and boot splash for Ubuntu 10.04. According to updated design documents that were published in the Ubuntu wiki, "light" is the underlying concept behind the new visual identity. It displaces the "human" concept that has been part of Ubuntu's theming and brand vernacular for the past five years. Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon has posted a screenshot and additional information.

Submission + - Paper "hacks into" Govt website by guessing URL (

thelamecamel writes: "According to the NSW state government, the Sydney Morning Herald, a local newspaper, attacked the government's "website firewall security" for two days to research a recent story. The affected government minister said that the website was accessed 3727 times, and that "This is akin to 3,727 attempts to pick the lock of a secure office and take highly confidential documents..." and has referred the matter to police. But how did the paper "hack" the website? They entered the unannounced URL. Security by obscurity at its finest."

Submission + - Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear (

GilliamOS writes: Living in Iowa, escaping corn is no easy feat; Escaping Monsanto is even harder. Every farmer I know and have talked to say they cannot escape them, even if they give them no business. They are to farming what Microsoft is to computers, except they are allowed to kill, poison, and pollute on a scale that can make even the least of us concerned about the environment cringe. Allowed by the US Patent system, they have turned seed research that used to done by public universities into IP and patented technology, and they stop at nothing to protect their seeds. Saving seeds, a practice that allowed farmers to ensure they can plant crops in the next season, is no longer permitted. They are the inventors of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Dioxin, two of the most toxic non-military chemicals known to man, yet they also control some 90% of our seed for crops.

Submission + - AU Government Will Introduce Mandatory Filtering ( 2

bennyboy64 writes: iTnews reports that the Australian Government has announced its intention to introduce legislation that will make ISP-level filtering mandatory for all refused classification material hosted overseas. The Government intends to amend the Broadcasting Services Act in August 2010 to enforce the filter, and expects the filter to be operational within a further twelve months. 'The report into the pilot trial of ISP-level filtering demonstrates that blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100 percent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed' Senator Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said.

Comment Re:rain (Score 1) 201

Actually it doesn't, which is the really cool thing about these cloaks. The cloaks are made of a metamaterial for which the refractive index is less than 1, so light travels faster than c in that medium. That's what makes them tricky (but not impossible) to build! The reduced refractive index with respect to the surrounds exactly makes up for the extra distance travelled. It's neat stuff.

Comment Re:rain (Score 4, Funny) 201

How would it show movement? AFAIK the cloak should be able to move around and this movement shouldn't be visible to you.

Or do you mean they won't be able to make a flexible cloaking ninja suit that keeps cloaking the ninja as they walk, despite the suit bending? The solution to that, of course, is to roll around inside a giant hamster ball/zorb cloaking device! Watch out... i'll sneak up on you and ROLL YOU TO DEATH.

Comment Re:rain (Score 1) 201

Yep, and even if you got a broadband cloak that worked at all those frequencies, you could still pick it up by a number of ways not mentioned in TFA. You could pick it up with sonar (I guess in principle it could also be an acoustic cloak to beat that too), but you could also change the refractive index of the room. The cloak is designed so that no matter what's in the cloaked region, it appears to have a refractive index of 1 (or whatever the cloak's surrounds are supposed to be). If you change the refractive index of the surrounds slightly (change temperature, spray an aerosol, fill the room with water (!)) then the cloak should be relatively easy to spot.

The other downside of these cloaks, of course, is that you can't see out of them since no light interacts with your eyes.

Comment Re:Robots.txt (Score 4, Interesting) 549

And murdoch's's robots.txt file even directs bots to the sitemap!

User-agent: *
Disallow: /*comments/*
Disallow: /*print/*
Disallow: /*email/*
Disallow: /*SIT*
Disallow: /*.swf
Disallow: /printpage/
Disallow: */404*

UK's Channel 4 To Broadcast In 3D 126

fatnickc writes "The UK's Channel 4, from the 16th of September, will be broadcasting a few programmes in 3D, the full list of which can be found here. While the likes of a 3D Miley Cyrus concert aren't exactly groundbreaking, this will give 3D viewing at home much more publicity, paving the way for even more interesting projects in the future. In partnership with retailer Sainsbury's, Channel 4 are producing free 3D glasses so that as many people as possible can watch them, although it's unclear which of the various types they'll be. "

Comment Re:EEEPC Fixes? (Score 1) 744

Yes! It got fixed in Jaunty a month or two ago - and it looked like they were sitting on the bugfix for about a month. Pretty unprofessional stuff, since many people's computers were rendered unusable, but now it's fixed and Karmic sings on my EEE. It does tell me that my battery's broken and that the SMART status of my SSD indicates that it's on its way out, but let's not shoot the messenger.

Comment Re:So close ... and yet so FUCKED (Score 1) 140

What they should have done is send the transaction details and the confirmation code in the same SMS.

Which is exactly what the Commonwealth Bank of Australia does.

Whenever you try to do anything 'serious', e.g. transfer money to someone new, change your details etc, you have to enter a code they'll send you by SMS. This SMS will briefly say what you're trying to do, e.g. a part of the account number you're sending money to. It's fast and doesn't get in your way unless you're doing something potentially dangerous

Comment Re:This will never happen. (Score 3, Informative) 183

The libs and greens are voting against the filter, so yes the dentist-filter plan is dead in the water. But I wouldn't be surprised if the libs supported this copyright bill, which would be more than enough to get it through.

I never thought I'd say this, but I think I preferred Richard Alston, who had the international reputation of "Worlds Biggest Luddite", as IT minister. At least he was too incompetent to do much damage.

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