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Science

94 New Species Described By CA Academy of Sciences 52

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the California Academy of Sciences traversed four continents and two oceans to uncover 94 new species in 2009, proving that while sometimes in this digital age the world can feel like a small place, much of it has yet to be explored. Among the 94 discoveries were 65 arthropods, 14 plants, 8 fishes, 5 sea slugs, one coral, and one fossil mammal. Why does it matter? As Dr. David Mindell, Dean of Science and Research Collections at the Academy, explained, 'Humans rely on healthy ecosystems, made up of organisms and their environments. Creating a comprehensive inventory of life on our planet is critical for understanding and managing resources. Yet a great many life-forms remain to be discovered and described.'"

Comment Alfred Johnson Sirleaf -- who's his mom? (Score 1) 117

Now, I know people change their names out of admiration for or loyalty to someone in Liberia -- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's grandfather did that to her father -- so there's no guarantee that he's any relation of the president of Liberia but I wonder.

I looked around for the names of her four sons -- but couldn't find them. Even wikianswers had a post asking for their names, an as yet unanswered question. There's a certain amount of press-coverage density that's required before real transparency thrives. Liberia isn't there yet. Here's hoping it gets there before another tyrant starts wreaking havoc there.

"the word, "Mercy", is gonna have a new meaning when we are judged by the children of our slaves" ...ank

Comment HP 1020 -- CUPS makes it look PostScript enough. (Score 1) 557

I have a LJ 1020 attached to a gentoo box. Every time it powers up the gentoo box sends some data down to it, which I believe is it's insufficiently-firm-ware.

This link describes more or less what I did, too. The result is a printer that looks like a postscript printer on my internal net.

The 1020, though, doesn't have its own network connection and I would agree with AaronW's post that he probably wants a printer that will just live on the network on its own.

cheers...ank

Comment Better this than a Canadian DMCA (Score 1) 414

If they make this levy reasonable and if it's enough to keep DMCA-like legislation out of Canada, this is a better solution by far.

Once again, it appears that a DMCA-like bill is likely to die on the order paper going into an election. Once again, it is not going to be an issue in the actual election (although it should be). If the result is this kind of a levy and the RIAA and MPAA are shut out from writing Canadian copyright law, I call this a partial but important victory for Canadians.

Sometimes even toads can sing. (toads == politicians; song == good legislation, croak == bad legislation)

Comment Ordinary folks: flood them with your dissent (Score 1) 224

Write your MP, phone him (long distance rates are TOO cheap).
Do the same to the Prime Minister
Locate them here.
Write your newspaper. Sign up in the consultation.
Talk to others who care.

Be respectful and clear. Here are some potential talking points:
1. The levy should be enough.
2. Ordinary citizens keep opposing this, don't keep re-introducing it.
3. If a politician wants to reverse alienation of young voters, come out vocally against bills like this.

Maybe one day this will stop coming back?

Comment NLP Alternatives (Score 1) 1146

Unlike parent I am not being funny but I thought NLP was "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" not Natural Language Processing. This link gives a bunch of other options. Would studying a trip to some place in South Africa help? I doubt it.

Having been married for 21.5 years, but not to a geek, my #1 recommendation is to follow the "Platinum Rule":
        "Do unto [your spouse] as you would have them do to you -- if you were them."

Without adding that last clause, the Golden Rule can become a little thin. It's arguable that the extra clause is implied in the rest of the Golden Rule but it's better to put it bluntly, out there. If you don't realize that your spouse does not have exactly the same set of thoughts, dreams, desires, wishes etc., your attempts to apply the Golden Rule will be clumsy and probably do more harm than good.

All the best to you! This is the second toughest job you'll ever love (parenting is the toughest one -- sorry military; your job is tough, too, but your deployment comes to an end, parenting doesn't).

cheers...ank

Comment 1994 Corolla with over 400,000km most with 10%Eth (Score 1) 894

If "Ethanol destroys engines" as a general rule, why have I gotten most of the way to the moon in my 14 year old car when, so long as it was practicable I consistently put 10% Ethanol in the tank?

Let's give up on the FUD, folks. One important point is: is your engine engineered for Eth? Nowadays most car engines are designed for up to 15% Eth. The other point is can we produce the Eth in ways that don't deprive others of food AND don't use up more energy than that in the Ethanol they produce.

So let's make sure of its effects: cleaner burn in the engine? cleaner exhaust? and if it passes, find all the otherwise-non-food and net-green sources of Eth we can and run our engines on this annually renewable resource.

Science over FUD please. We can't afford stupid decisions so well as we once thought we could.

cheers...ank

Comment D -- wha? (Score 4, Insightful) 404

I think the fact that this post has been up for almost an hour and has only 33 follow-ons shows what the software community thinks of D.

One has to acknowledge that Back in The Day, Walter Bright did all of us a great service in producing the first PC-based C++ compiler (Zortech) which effectively forced Borland and Microsoft to take the language seriously.

Unfortunately, for all of us, he seems to be better at invention than collaboration but that doesn't devalue the contribution he made (structurally) to get us to where we are.

cheers...ank

Software

Submission + - Norman & Spolsky: Simplicity is OUT

guanxi writes: "As simple as possible, and no simpler", you might have heard a few times; or KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). No more! The new hot trend is complexity: "[I]f you think simplicity means ... "does one thing and does it well," then I applaud your integrity but you can't go that far" says Joel Spolsky. "Why are Yahoo! and MSN such complex-looking places? Because their systems are easier to use [than Google]" explains Donald Norman, who also also tells us that Simplicity Is Highly Overrated. Are they trying to make a subtler point, are they just consultants making a splash, or complexity the Next Big Thing in design?

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