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Comment Re:Fetus in a bag (Score 1) 246

Yes. Size and gestational age are different categories. But either could be considered a measure of "premature-ness". And pre and post 24 weeks could be considered different categories. The point was, a doctor who "had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive" hopefully is not the neonatalogist. I guess 24 weeks is still generally considered the threshold, as it was over a decade ago. But as I understand it, that threshold is being pushed more and more. So while younger preemies (who survive) are less common, almost any medical professional should be aware that 26 weeks is not a particularly "rare outlier" as far as preterm babies go.

Comment Re:Fetus in a bag (Score 1) 246

These doctors need to get out more if they are unfamiliar with more premature babies surviving. Lots of 22-25 week gestation babies (that's 15-18 weeks premature) survive, with the record being 21 weeks 5 days gestation. In terms of size, the baby in the article is fairly small at 14 ounces. But the record in that category is 8.6 ounces, with a few other cases under 10, including the previous record holder.
Games

Submission + - UK Xbox FFXIII Ad Banned For Using PS3 Footage (itproportal.com)

siliconbits writes: UK Ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), also says that Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) games console delivers sharper images than Microsoft's Xbox 360. The ASA came to this decision after it was notified that PS3 footage was used in an advert for the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII.
Games

Submission + - Australia considering iPhone app censorship (theaustralian.com.au) 4

srjh writes: Having raised concerns about "the classification of games playable on mobile telephones", the Australian government has now "put the wheels in motion to address this". Under current Australian legislation, video games sold in the country must pay between $470 and $2040 to have the game classified, and due to the lack of an 18+ rating in Australia, if it is not found to be suitable for a 15-year-old, it is banned outright. This is the fate met by several recent titles, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Fallout 3. Over 200,000 applications are available for the iPhone, many of them games, and developers have raised concerns about the prohibitive costs involved, with many announcing an intention to drop the Australian market altogether if the plan proceeds. However the current loophole constitutes a loss of millions of dollars in revenue for the government, which is currently attempting to have "refused classification" content such as banned video games blocked at an ISP level.
Games

Submission + - Microsoft reboots two classic PC games (pcauthority.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Ever since it launched the Xbox, Microsoft has had a fickle relationship with Windows as a gaming platform. On one hand PC gaming is a major driver of hardware and operating system sales, but on the other hand the PC is inherently less secure than the Xbox console, with piracy much more likely to impact sales of a PC title than a console one. Games for Windows Live has been an attempt to bring some of the success of Xbox Live to the PC, and while many games have shipped with support for Games for Windows Live it hasn't exactly been a favourite of PC gamers. After all these half-hearted efforts, the last thing anyone expected was for Microsoft to announce new PC-only reboots of two classic game franchises, Flight Simulator and Age of Empires. But yesterday it did just that, announcing a massively multiplayer version of Age of Empires and a new Flight Simulator called Flight. The big question is whether Microsoft can make Games For Windows Live relevant in a market where Steam has taken hold, or if it's too late.
Technology

Submission + - Charged with frauding a robot (www.dn.no)

Kanel writes: Most of the transactions in stockmarkets today, are handled by automatic or semi-automatic algorithms, so-called "stock market robots". The norwegian daytraders Larsen and Veiby successfully carried out a form of social engineering against one of these stock market robots and could now face up to six years in jail.

The two daytraders, who worked independently, placed a number of sell and buy orders onto the Oslo Stock Exchange. For many of these orders, a deal was never completed. The police claim that Larsen and Veiby placed these orders to manipulate the stock exchange and fool a robot owned by US trading house Timber Hill. The police is quoted in the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv saying that the 2200 buy and sell orders carried out from november 2007 to march 2008 changed the robots' impression of the price of certain stocks, something that Larsen and Veiby took advantage of this.

It should be mentioned here that while the stock exchange announce an "official" price on stocks, many stock market robots analyze buy and sell orders in real-time, to predict the next official update from the stock exchange and gamble against this.
Larsen and Veiby claim that they did not manipulate the robot or the stock exchange in an unlawful manner. Nor were their buy and sell orders "fake". The daytraders took an economic risk as anyone could have taken them up on their buy and sell offers.

In this man versus machine lawsuit, commentators rally in support of the two daytraders, who got the paltry sum of 67 000 USD out of their social engineering scheme. The main argument in their defence is that the stock market robots are gaming each other in the same manner all the time. Is something legal when an algorithm performs it at lightning speed and illegal when a human plays by the same strategy? The robots of Goldman Sachs earned the company a hundred million dollars by a similar trading on small margins and got away with it, but when two humans bested a robot at its own game, they were sued.

Several commenters see the lawsuit as part of an ongoing fight to keep small players out of the stock market. Large actors on the stock market move their computers closer to the stock exchange, with direct connections to it, so that their algorithms get a millisecond headstart against other traders when a buy or sell order is announced. While this high-tech is the norm, it appears infeasible, according to commenters, to let everyone in on robot trading. There is no way for say a student or an independent trader to design and connect a robot trading algorithm to the stock exchange and play the same field as the big robots. In Germany alone, 200 000 people is reported to have left the trading arena because of the robots and the preferential treatment they get at the stock exchanges.

Submission + - Restaurant uses social media to exclude patrons (gothamist.com)

RevWaldo writes: From Gothamist: Five former employees of Bowlmor Lanes in New York have filed a lawsuit against Strike Holdings CEO Tom Shannon, claiming he used social media outlets to keep minorities from making reservations at "one of the city’s hottest and most compelling nightlife venues." The suit claims Shannon met with top executives after "incidents" at Bowlmor's restaurant, Carnival, "to discuss possible ways to exclude certain people...such as African-Americans, Asians and Latinos."...The suit claims the workers were asked to look up prospective patrons on Facebook and MySpace to see how they looked and dressed and where they lived. If they didn't fit the Bowlmor customer ideal, they didn't get a reservation.
Music

Submission + - U2 Manager Says Anonymous Bloggers Killing Music (techdirt.com) 3

An anonymous reader writes: U2's manager Paul McGuinness has followed up on his previous attacks on music fans, with a column in GQ where he claims that blaming the record labels for their own problems is a mistake. Instead, we should blame the notion of "free" and some horde of anonymous bloggers. Thankfully, some have gone through the details of his writeup and have found a sever lack of truthfulness on the part of McGuinness' claims. But what do I know? I'm just an anonymous blogger...
Entertainment

Submission + - Want to feel old even if you're not? Read this. (skunkpost.com)

crimeandpunishment writes: Phones with cords? What are those? E-mail? It's way too slow. The annual Beloit College Mindset List is out....showing what pop culture and technology items are ancient history to incoming college students. 75 items are on this year's list. Dirty Harry, Beavis & Butthead, and the hot potato over Dan Quayle's spelling gaffe? All were big deals....but not to this year's college freshman class.

Comment Re:Another industry F/OSS has killed. (Score 1) 569

A powerful graphics suite does not make one a skilled graphic designer. Look at it from the other side: now you don't need to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on a formal education to find out if you have what it takes to be a designer.

If this continues, you will not see a single person their [sic] who has a degree above a high school diploma.

If that is true, then all it means is that training beyond a HS diploma does not add value to a designer's work.

There will always be people and/or companies that demand top quality design. So the best designers will always have work. It is the Ok to good designers who have to worry as the mass of market entrants start cranking out work that is "good enough".

Comment Re:Expectation of privacy (Score 1) 132

Today, a hobbyist could easily build an autonomous surveillance robot the size of a small rodent that has everything it needs to capture sound and audio and either store the resulting feed or stream it to a server somewhere. In 20 more years, how much smaller than "rodent" do you think that robot could be?

Interesting idea, although entirely irrelevant to the discussion. 20 years ago, a hobbyist could easily install hidden cameras throughout your home, office, gym locker room, wherever. The fact that the technology was available didn't make it legal then, doesn't make it legal now, and won't make it legal in the future.

It is not the technology you should be worried about, it is the erosion of rights against unlawful search (including surveillance) and seizure you need to watch out for.

Comment Re:Republican (Score 1) 574

Wait, who's guilty of false equivalence? Because looking back over this thread, it seems like somehow you are going from a few stats above about gays and creationism to public flogging for viewing bikini pictures at work. Personally, I don't see how you connect the dots between the two. And yes, I did check out many links from the google searches you suggested -- plenty of name-calling, but not much beyond that.

Comment Re:Depends on the output (Score 2, Insightful) 146

Agreed. I think eventually, we will see phones/pocket-sized devices with a "pico" projector and one of these built in. And as storage gets smaller and chips get more powerful, we will end up with an all-in-one device that can replace laptops/netbooks as well. We already have convergence of phone, digital camera, video camera, PDA, MP3 player, GPS, etc... One of the things that makes the iPad attractive (YMMV) is the larger screen. A pico projector can provide that in a smaller device.

Comment Re:Biofuels are the future. (Score 1) 139

This is the big problem with corn ethanol - it is energy negative!

Probably not. I suppose you could say it is open to debate, but the consensus seems to be for positive energy output with current methods. Also perhaps worth noting is that the parent commented on biofuels in general, whereas you focused in on one particular biofuel from a source that happens to be a bad idea pretty much all the way around. I can see the rationale for using surplus corn for ethanol if you have to use it (the surplus corn). But you're probably better off storing it until pricing/supply supports using it as some form of food or feed.

Better methods are coming along, though. Cellulosic ethanol seems promising since it can use non-food feedstock, including existing agricultural waste streams or switchgrass, kudzu or other fast-growing non-commercial plants. Biodiesel from jatropha or other non-food crops are still a possibility, especially where small scale production can work, but algae and pond scum have several advantages over plant crops, and there are companies working on commercial scale implementations now. There is also biodiesel from waste vegetable oil -- either processed, or just filtered and used as-is in slightly modded diesels. And then there is thermal deploymerization of agricultural waste into diesel/fuel oil, which has been going on commercially for a few years now.

Any or all of these can fit into our existing infrastructure, so as petroleum hydrocarbons become more expensive (and/or tech improves for the alternatives), they'll start to become players in the market.

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