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Submission + - Wikipedia implicated in Climategate 2

An anonymous reader writes: A shocking look at the politics of Wikipedia. A new article in the Financial Post explains the role of one Green Party activist, William Connolly, who successfully navigated his way through the Wikipedia hierarchy and used his powers to suppress dissent of any sort, valid or not. Connolly allegedly modified 5,428 Wikipedia articles, and revoked the privileges of over 2,000 users who disagreed with his views.

Submission + - Simulation of Closest Asteroid Fly-By (wired.com) 1

c0mpliant writes: NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come closest to Earth, since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid, which once held an above 2% chance of impacting Earth, had caused a bit of a scare when it was first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some 30 years in the future.

However since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the number at 1 in 250'000. The simulation can viewed here.

Submission + - Video game watchdog shuts down (yahoo.com) 1

imageek writes: The National Institute of Media and the Family is closing up, after releasing an annual video games report card for 13 years. "But there was no video game report card this year, and there won't be any more. The institute is closing its doors, a victim of the poor economy." Victim of the poor economy, or of the fact that despite their "report cards," games continue to be made, people of all ages continue to play them, and nothing bad has happened as a result?

Comment Cheques are good for asychronous money transfer (Score 1) 796

Most of the comments I've read are in the context of using cheques to pay for retail purchases. Yeah, that's bad.

I don't use cheques to pay for anything, except one item: my rent. Cheques actually solve that problem pretty well.

See, my landlord (essentially just a guy I live with) doesn't have the infrastructure set up for electronic money transfer, nor should he. So I can't pay by debit, and it would strain my withdrawal limit to hand him $425 cash every month. What to do then?

I can just leave a cheque on the fridge, and he can cash it whenever. Debit and credit are suited to retail (cashier and customer are together, money needs to be transferred now) but cheques are well suited to money transfers where both parties aren't at the same place at the same time.


2.0 Beta Chrome On Windows, Chromium On Linux 258

AlienRancher writes "Google launched this morning a new beta version of Chrome 2.0: 'The best thing about this new beta is speed — it's 25% faster on our V8 benchmark and 35% faster on the Sunspider benchmark than the current stable channel version and almost twice as fast when compared to our original beta version.' Other enhancements include user script support (greasemonkey-like) and form auto-fill." And reader Lee Mathews adds news of the open source version, Chromium, on Linux: "Not only has Chromium gotten easier to take for a test drive thanks to the personal package archive for Ubuntu Chrome daily build team, but development on the browser is also progressing nicely. Despite being a very early build, Chromium on Linux feels solid and boasts the same blazing speed the Windows users have been enjoying for months."

Comment Re:Science Journalism Critique FAIL (Score -1) 465

I am aware that the statement was preceded by the. None the less, the statement still reads as ambiguous with article or without. One can only draw the correct meaning from the statement if you already know "antimatter" and "positrons" aren't equivalent terms.

As press releases are supposed to be written for audiences who lack a scientific background (and aren't as picky with grammar as either of us) it's still a journalism fail. A better way to write the sentence would have been "Positrons, a type of antimatter..."

Comment Re:Science Journalism FAIL (Score 1) 465

I never took particle, so I can't go into the same depth as some of my friends could. But basically, there's this whole zoo of particles most of which you've heard of. Electrons, protons, etc. Most* of these particles have a corresponding antiparticle. The proton has the antiproton. The neutron has the antineutron. And the electron has the positron. If it helps, you can think of it as the "mirror universe" of the particle zoo -- the antiproton is a proton with an evil streak and a goatee.

Matter is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, among other things. By the same token, antimatter is made up of antiprotons, antineutrons, and positrons. The statement "Anti-matter, also known as positrons..." is as ridiculous as the statement "Matter, also known as electrons...". It's either a scientific or grammatical error, and I can't figure out which would bother me more.

Anyway, I hope that helps.

* AFAIK, bosons don't have antiparticle equivalents, only fermions do. But unless you're a physicist or really interested in the subject, don't worry about the distinction between bosons and fermions. I won't help you get laid, that's for sure.

Comment Science Journalism FAIL (Score 1, Informative) 465

The anti-matter, also known as positrons...


I guess the PR agent who wrote the story didn't even read the Wikipedia page on antimatter. Either that, or he/she just isn't a good writer -- that statement implies that all positrons are anti-matter and all anti-matter is positrons. Only the first statement is true.


Submission + - UK Prime Minister's website breaks copyright law (wordpress.com)

cabalamat3 writes: "The British Prime Minister's website, Number10.gov.uk, has recently been revamped to run on the popular Wordpress blogging/CMS software. Unfortunately, they've ripped off a Wordpress theme without crediting the author or mentioning the license. Since the theme is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, this is a breach of copyright law. Incidently, this is the same British government that wants to cut off the connections of people who breach copyright over the Internet. Full story here."

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923