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Comment According to the reviwers (Re:I cannot condone.. ) (Score 5, Informative) 174

I was skeptical as well but according to the reviewers:

"What is novel in the experiment presented here is that bees learned colour and pattern cues in a spatially complex scene composed of two-coloured local and global patterns. Coloured patterns at small and large spatial scales have been little studied, and hence our knowledge of how colourful patterns and scenes are perceived by insects is still scarce."

I am assuming that the above statements are true and the paper is novel. There are citations in the reviewers' comments indicating that the reviewers referred previous work in this area but still found the kids' research to be novel. Finally, even though the reviewers appreciate dthe fact that the paper was written by children and lacked advanced analysis, they didn't seem too biased. All this has made me less skeptical now.

Comment Re:Big Empty Space (Score 0) 608

If it came from advertising dollars, that money would ultimately be reflected in a increase in the cost of products.....the total cost for you, out of pocket, will be much higher than if you just send Wikipedia money

You forget that advertising costs are distributed over millions of widgets that a company may make and sell. A single individual will never pay more out of pocket. Millions depend on wikipedia. These same millions will see the ad and pay just a fraction of a cent more in the product cost. To me, this is fair. Some non-intrusive advertising will actually be a very good model for wikipedia as long as it doesn't influence the content.

Comment And, the largest one is.. (Score 4, Informative) 71

From the linked article:

Only one tier 1 provider – a wholesaler to other ISPs – carries more Internet traffic on its backbone network than Google does (Arbor declined to identify the provider)

Arbor may decline to identify the largest provider but this is Slashdot, damn it. You know you will find the answer here.

And, the answer is... Level 3 Communications

Comment Human vices drive innovation (Score 1) 226

Looks like just as porn drives the advances in computer technology, alcohol will drive the advances in renewable sources technology.
Of course, now when someone says "this beer tastes like piss", you can tell them, it actually is piss. They then have the choice of running out and screaming "The booze is piss, people!"

Comment The story is.. (Score 3, Funny) 547

They set up false expectations. Unfortunately everyone does it. I have bitten by this more than a few times.

Weight loss ad told me I could lose UP TO 50 lbs. I still need to request a seat-belt extender on airplanes
My employer said I could make UP TO a million dollars a year if the company does well. I am still driving a beat up Kia
And, worse of all, that nice email ad said I could increase my length UP TO 9 inches. My wife still has trouble finding it


Comment Scenarios (Score 1) 438

Let us say there is a secret US military document. Say this document has complete details of a plan to attack Canada two months from now. Someone in the military leaks it out and Wikileaks publishes it on a server hosted by Pirate Party. Questions: 1. Who should be jailed? (a)The military guy who leaked it (b)Wikieaks chief (Assange) (c)the Pirate Party chief (Falkvinge)? 2. What if the plans were to take out an Iranian nuclear facility? Would your answers change? 3. What if the plans were to take out a North Korean chemical weapons facility? Would your answers change? 4. What if the plans were to take out an AlQaeda hideout? Would your answers change?

Comment Shared Experience. (Score 1) 294

Before you pooh-pooh these geeks/nerds for having orgasms about something so trivial, remember they were in an auditorium full of people.
When people are in a crowd situation trying to have fun, they will cheer or boo the most inane things to get the energy going and enhance their shared experience.

Comment The name Skype (Score 1, Insightful) 87

May be it is just me but I never liked the name of the company/service.
I am not against whimsical names. They have been all the rage since the dotcom era.
But, the name has to be at least easily pronunceable (like Google, Twitter etc).

I bet everyone of you has wondered at least once whether it was pronounced "skyyp" or "skyypeh" or "skip" or whatever.
And, to me, this confusion distracts the customer. Makes the company look amateur. And, makes the customer wonder about the quality and the professionalism of the compnay's services.

Comment As a software patent holder.. (Score 0) 221

I am not sure ALL software patents should be disallowed.

Say I invest a large amount of time and money in inventing and testing an algorithm that very accurately recognizes faces in a picture or one that more efficiently routes gate connections inside a computer chip or one that produces better search results in a web search. I should be able to patent those algorithms and, hence, recover my investment by selling software based on those unique and novel algorithms.

Now before you mindlessly react by saying "Algorithms cannot be patented", read this.

Comment No viable Mars-Earth rock exchange happening now (Score 1) 91

Earth and Mars are constantly seeding life to each other? Wow!

This sounds very interesting at first glance but from the same link:

There is a trap in considering average (annual) values because the transfer of rocks occurs in spikes. It is assumed that impacts by asteroids 1km in diameter or larger are needed to launch ejecta into interplanetary flight. Such impacts produce craters 20km or more in diameter. They occur on Mars and Earth (land impacts only) over typical timescales of one to ten million years.

By definition, viable transfers only take place within 100,000 years of the impact so there are long periods between impacts when Mars rocks that fall to Earth have remained in space for too long and any hitchhiking microbes are assumed to have died. There do not appear to have been large impacts on Mars (or the Earth for that matter) over the past 100,000 years so it is unlikely that "hospitable" Mars rocks are reaching the Earth at present, or vice versa.

Ergo... we are not CONSTANTLY seeding any life to Mars or vice versa

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Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.