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Ouya Dropping 'Free-to-Play' Requirement 107

itwbennett writes: "One of the Ouya micro-consoles's selling points has been that you can sample every game for free. That requirement is going away soon. In a recent blog post, Ouya's Bob Mills said, 'In the coming weeks, we're going to let devs choose if they want to charge up front for their games. Now they'll be able to choose between a free-to-try or paid model.' Good news for developers, perhaps not as good for customers. 'Maybe this new policy will attract new developers that can offer something compelling enough to be a system seller,' writes blogger Peter Smith."

Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."

Comment Re:well that article sucks (Score 2) 190

This is incorrect. No mainstream models of dark matter are based directly in string theory. It's hard to demonstrate directly that this is the case but if you'll do a search for 'string' in the dark matter wiki article you'll see no mentions barring one at the end, a tangential mention under the 'alternate theories' section.

Also I think you overstate the case when calling dark matter a 'questionable' theory. It is widely accepted among cosmologists, at least as a tentative explanation that fits the available data.

Comment Re:But which constant isn't? (Score 1) 273

what you are saying isn't strictly speaking meaningful. all physical constants are relational. which you pick as 'fundamental' versus 'derived' is at some point arbitrary. if this article was about the speed of light, you could just as well ask which constant isn't, the length of a unit of space or the duration of a unit of time?

Comment Re:"genetically immune to all viruses" (Score 1) 161

fair enough, your annoyance is justified.

i still think you're being too harsh on computational analogies in general though. i'll admit that my knowledge of molecular biology is meager, but maybe you can point me in a good direction to dispel my misconceptions.

as i understand it, we have a strings of a formal language (DNA, RNA) which are operated on by state machines (proteins, protein/RNA complexes) that act (relatively) deterministically to either modify the original string or create/modify a new/existing one (proteins, DNA, RNA).

obviously this description is nowhere near complete; proteins are a much more functionally complex kind of 'string', for instance. but as far as i can tell the basic idea of molecular biology is first-and-foremost the basic idea of molecular chemistry: discrete, combinatorial entities composed of atomic constituents that interact with one-another in deterministic ways to produce other such entities. biology adds a new layer of abstraction by representing functionally distinct units (proteins) in a common, (relatively) functionally homogeneous formal language.

accepting certain glosses for the purposes of brevity, is this a fundamentally incorrect way of looking at it?

Comment Re:"genetically immune to all viruses" (Score 1) 161

That may indeed be the case. The problem is, this usage is simply wrong.

yes, i agree.

considering genomes as programs

They're not,

yes, obviously.

and any line of reasoning built on the assumption that they are fails on that basis.

i don't see how this follows. nothing is 'the same' as anything else but yet the same methods of reasoning can apply if one can draw a formal analogy, with clearly delineated constraints. this is the premise of mathematical modelling, the common feature shared by all hard sciences. this particular analogy is unsupported, and it is probably not terribly useful, but their clearly are similarities, and it might be at least didactively useful to address them.

i mean, admittedly the OP rings hollow, but the idea that the potential for 'total viral immunity' is suspect on a logical (mathematical) basis might have some grounding doesn't seem on-its-face ridiculous. but maybe you can enlighten me.

Comment Re:"genetically immune to all viruses" (Score 1) 161

i think a lot of non-mathy people colloquially use 'godel's theorem/s' to refer to the pretty general notion that 'there exist simple formal problems which can be proven to admit no general solution.' like how there is no compression algorithm which can compress all strings of data. is there a good term for this situation?

i'm not totally convinced that even a direct godel reference is necessarily bullshit here either, or rather i could imagine that computability comes into the issue. like, trying to state an assertion in a slightly more formal manner: considering genomes as programs, there exists no 'host' program which can distinguish all viral programs from native programs without actually executing enough of some viral programs to ensure replication. something close to this statement should be true i think (?).

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.