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Comment Re:An episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit says (Score 1) 668

It can be even worse.

Not exactly the same thing, but related, I have recently done the research to tell my Work's mailing list that a hoax someone had forwarded was a hoax. I was called "prepotent", because the person who spread the hoax was obviously a well meaning person, who sent the message because "he cares for us", and "it is not totally implausible, even if not true".

So people not only don't care about doing the research. They resent those who do.

Comment Re:A Twitter feed? (Score 1) 313

Seriously. I have been following many reporters in Japan on Twitter, and some "serious" news outlet. The twitter feeds have been doing a much better job in posting up-to-date news and commentaries, and fighting the spread of rumors. I used not to take twitter seriously either, until it became my main source of info for this disaster.

It is all about who you follow.

Comment Wrong (Score 1) 103

The linked article does not actually refers to the Scientific article (why not?), so I went and did some digging.

http://frontiersin.org/neuroscience/behavioralneuroscience/paper/10.3389/fnbeh.2010.00031/

Nothing like "monkeys like to watch TV". The experiment only measure the activity of the monkey's brain when it is watching the movie, but not when it is NOT watching the movie or when it is watching something else. Actually the paper is more about this new brain wave sensor that they are developing than about monkeys and TVs. Like a previous commenter said - if you have a monkey stuck into a chair, with a bunch of probes dug into its brain, in a dark room, it will get interested in a movie shown in front of him. Duh! (and, according to the article, at least 60% of the trials where thrown away because the monkey did not actually look at the movie).

Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft II Closed Beta Begins 268

Blizzard announced today that the multiplayer beta test for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now underway. The client downloader is available through Battle.net for people who have received invites, and the system requirements have been posted as well. A list of known issues is up on the official forums. StarCraft II and the revamped Battle.net are planned for release "in the first half of 2010."
Wii

Game Devs Migrating Toward iPhone, Away From Wii 143

A new report by Game Developer Research reveals that the number of developers working on games for the iPhone continues to rise, roughly doubling in number from last year. At the same time, the amount of work done on games for Nintendo's Wii dropped significantly: "Just over 70 percent of developers said they were developing at least one game for PC or Mac (including browser and social games), rising slightly from last year; 41 percent reported working on console games. Within that latter group, Xbox 360 was the most popular system with 69 percent of console developers targeting it, followed by 61 percent for PlayStation 3. While those console figures stayed within a few percent of last year's results, the change in Wii adoption was much more significant: reported developer support for the system dropped from 42 percent to 30 percent of console developers, supporting numerous publishers' claims of a recent softening of the Wii market."
Science

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."

Submission + - Japan Celebrates Windows 7 with 7-story Sandwich (burgerkingjapan.co.jp)

caranha writes: Burger King Japan found that the release of windows 7 was a significant enough event to release a 7-story high hamburger to celebrate it. The Ad says that the promotion will take place for one week from now. The cost of the sandwich (1450 Yens), is about 3 times the usual price of BK's sandwiches, but up to 30 people per day may get a discount to 777 yens.

On my way back from work today (~6PM) I walked across a BK in Akihabara, and they were already out of the "Windows 7 Whooper".

Comment Re:There is always an easier solution... (Score 1) 252

Perhaps it's because universities have a limited number of spaces that they would prefer to give to successful students and truancy may correlate with success.

Not really. Japan currently has a problem of more spaces than students (aging population and all that). It is not as bad for universities as it is for elementary/high school, but it is a serious problem.

Or it may be that some classes require a team effort and truant students disrupt that (but for whatever reason, the team is reluctant to report it.... or it counts against them anyway).

This is more likely. I have TA'd for a course where the entire team's grade was determined by each member's assignments.

Anyway, I find this article highly irregular. My experience is that japanese universities will bend themselves backwards to prevent any undergrad student from not graduating. Also, all cellphones here
have GPS, not only iPhones. I think it is more likely, from RTFA, that the university is putting on a course for the students to hack with the iPhones, and the writer of the article decided to capitalize on the minor point of "trying to check attendance with the GPS".

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