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Comment Re:Ghosts (Score 2, Insightful) 550

Simple scientific procedure :

1) There's no scientific theory that would explain that our "spirit" still live after our death. At the opposite, we can easily conceive that our "spirit" (or soul or personnality or whatever you called it) use our brain as an hardware support and that destroying the hardware also destroy the spirtir/soul/...

2) There're are no fact that could lead us to think after-life exists (from a scientifical point of view)

3) There are no facts that could be explained in an easier way if we admit the existence of an after-life. Instead, it makes things a lot more complicated.

Any logical mind would infer that after-life do not exist (or has little chance to do) from one of those 3 points. So the 3 points together make it highly logical that we just die with our body.

I know that some will invoke traditions and culture, telling that, if people believe it or even have evidence, it might be true. Yeah, sure. Same apply for Little tooth fairy, santa claus, UFOs and God.

Comment Re:Obligatory question (Score 1) 249

Yes because gurus should be able to learn new things.

The problem with proprietary solutions is not the cost : it's that you are tight by the balls !

If you have Oracle Gurus and you don't want to switch because of that, your gurus will become even more expert in Oracle only and you will hire only Oracle gurus making the situation even worse regarding an eventual migration.

You must always keep in mind that the question is not "Will the migration happen" but "When will it happen".

If you choose it deliberately, at least you have time, you can prepare, you can choose the best moment for it.

If not, you are just playing with fire and waiting for one of :
- Oracle change the licensing scheme for one that you cannot afford
- Oracle just declares bankrupcy (don't say it will never happen and look for examples of company that were "too big to fail")
- Oracle new version remove a feature that is essential to your business
- Oracle drop support for the version essential to your business

Of course those problem could happen with a free software product but :
1) There's a fairly good chance that the community could handle, at least for some time, a lot of the support
2) You can choose to support it yourself for your internal use and to correct/add what you need

In the worst case, it gives you a lot more time to prepare a migration and it makes your business solid and not "one-product-only" dependant.

Comment Re:Clearly you are not a robotics expert! (Score 4, Insightful) 106

Building a walking robot, the western way :

1) Think it would be cool to have a walking robot 2) Thinking about a method to build a walking robot 3) Studying the physics behind the mechanism of a walking robot. 4) Call this a new field of science : "Walking mechanics". 5) Publish some papers about "Walking mechanics" 6) Make a conference with the experts of "Walking mechanics". 7) Try to make it popular to the public so you get fund. It's called vulgarisation. 8) Discover that, in order to further develop "Walking mechanics", you have to develop "Walking automation". 9) Repeat steps 4 t 8 for Walking automation 10) Repeat step 4 to 8 for "Walking sensors" 11) Try to generalize 12) Repeat step 4 to 8 for "Automation of movable devices" 13) repeat step 4 to 8 for "Transfer mathematics" 14) Abstract all your classes and use design patterns 15) Wait... forget 14, it's part of something else 16) Forget about robots and develop science for the sake of science 17) Get asked by a young child about a walking robot 18) Explain to the public/young child how the development of your "Field quantum mathematic" theory could allow us to have walking robots as soon as 2045

No building a walking robot, the Wu's way :

1) Think it would be cool to have a walking robot 2) Put together a few electric motors and some gears 3) Paint your walking robot according to your preference 4) Enjoy ...

So obviously, his robot sucks, the guy doesn't know nothing about sensors, feedback loop.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Towel Day this Friday May 25th

Ploum writes: "Like each year, May 25th is the Towel Day ! Carry your towel everywhere with you to show the world that you are a true galactic hitchhiker. If someone ask you why you are carrying a towel, just reply that it might be useful if you encounter a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal is a creature that will eat anything. If you are to encounter one you should wrap a towel around your head. This creature is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it assumes that if you can't see it, then it can't see you.

In any case, DON'T PANIC !"

Submission + - 2nd Open Discussion Day this May 19th

Ploum writes: "Like announced by Peter Saint-Andre, president of the Jabber Software Fundation, May 19th will be the 2nd Open Discussion Day. For one day, participants will use only open protocols (like SIP, Jabber, Google Talk) and refuse to send or receive files in a closed format.

Warn your contacts on your closed networks or, better, help them to create a open account on an open network and enjoy the openness.

The first Open Discussion Day was held in 2006 and was a success. Popular Jabber servers like or closed their MSN/ICQ/AOL gateways for one day. The announcement was translated in more than 10 languages and it was reported that a lot of users definitively dropped MSN/ICQ/AOL to use Jabber."
NES (Games)

Submission + - Crystal Space 1.0 and the future of OSS games

Amir Taaki writes: In recent days a landmark release for Crystal Space has been reached with a 1.0 release after 10 years of development. With CEL and the tools of celstart and blender2crystal, as has been seen at the recent blender conference, amazing results can be achieved quickly making the turnaround for developing games very fast.

What does this mean for the future of making OSS games- a typically lagging behind area compared to commercial software? With the concentration of development on one core set of generic tools this means that innovative ideas can be quickly be churned out.

With the recent verse and OpenSoundControl additions, this opens up more possibilities for collaborative gaming between artists and gamers- coupled with the great blender support this opens many intruiging possibilities.

Submission + - The Contradictory Nature of OOXML

Andy Updegrove writes: "OOXML, the Microsoft Office XML-based format specification, is now in the adoption queue at ISO/IEC. That process takes six months, and has two steps. During the first one-month step, any member may submit "contradictions," which, loosely defined,means aspects in which a proposed standard conflicts with already adopted ISO/IEC standards and Directives. Those contradictions must then be "resolved" (which does not necessarily mean eliminated), and these resolutions are then presented back to the members to consider during the five-month voting stage that follows. One month isn't very long to do a line-by-line analysis of a spec that's over 6,000 pages long, but experts in the national standards bodies around the world are doing just that. What they are finding includes the use of proprietary, hard-wired elements rather than incorporation of available ISO/IEC standards; additional Microsoft technology that must be emulated (but is not covered by the Microsoft patent pledge); elements that can't be implemented without Microsoft technical assistance; dependencies on Windows itself; mandatory bugs and more. And then there's also the fact that OOXML heavily overlaps ODF — a platform-independent, already-adopted ISO/IEC. It promises to be an interesting battle indeed."

Submission + - E.T. can't have found us... yet!

kasparn writes: "The Guardian today has a story about the Danish astrophysicist Rasmus Bjoerk, who recently has conducted simulations of how long it will take to colonize the Milky Way. The basic idea is to send out 8 probes in different directions (including various heights above the galactic plane). These probes should travel at a speed of 10 % the speed of light or 30,000 km/s. If each probe caries 8 mini-probes, each designed to investigate a stellar system, it is found that it will take somewhat 10 billion years to explore 4 % of the Milky Way. Since the age of the Universe is of the same order the conclusion must be that aliens can't have had time to find us yet! And that is ignoring the fact that they should have developed into a more advanced civilization than the human race less than 5 billion years after the Big Bang.
These new findings might be tweaked e.g. by adding the number of probes and so on (see the scientific paper in pre-print for more details) but the main conclusions are nonetheless still quite clear; E.T. can't have found us yet and it will be a while until we find him — if ever."

Submission + - One step closer to removing Microsoft Office

An anonymous reader writes: After 10 months of development Docvert 3.0 was released today. This open source web service converts DOC files to Oasis OpenDocument 1.0, and then to HTML, RSS, or any XML format. Try the ODF demo or download the source and install it on your own box. Version 3.0 comes with an MS Word Plugin, FTP/WebDAV upload, and an in-browser document editor.
User Journal

Journal Journal: French WoW player reaches level 70 in 28 hours

A die-hard World of Warcraft player has reached level 70 within 28 hours of The Burning Crusade's release. Gullerbone, a 24-year-old French WoW player, reached level 70 at 4:04 am (CET) on January 17, 2007. He is believed to be the world's first. The fact that a player has managed to reach level 70 so fast will not please developers Blizzard, who had hoped to see th

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