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Comment Humans Nearly Went Extinct 1.2M Years Ago (Score 5, Interesting) 356

Bah, you call that news? Try:
      "Humans Nearly Went Extinct 27 Years Ago"
the commander's Wikipedia entry says he:

"deviated from standard Soviet doctrine by correctly identifying a missile attack warning as a false alarm on September 26, 1983.[1] This decision most likely resulted in preventing an accidental retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western Allies."

You can follow any of the links in the above search, or here's a particularly lively read.

Comment the solution is a paywall you can climb over (Score 1) 488

The solution is a paywall you can climb over with a little effort: a pay model that you can circumvent with a little research and time/effort. Then, you can retain everyone who's too price sensitive to pay; that means they don't flock to your competition. Meanwhile, the people who have money for it are not going to waste their valuable time (since their time IS money) circumventing the paywall, it's cheaper for them to just pay. Finally, despite being a pay site, they can retain some advertising, and if 10 million people are jumping the pay fence, that's ten million more eyeballs; granted, it's the poorest ones, but you can still sell them nachos and light beer.

Comment what we need is "firewalls" in front of big guns. (Score 1) 909

And by firewalls, I mean secretaries, or at least someone to check and occasionally massage quite abrasive and personalizing correspondence. It's very simple: Linus was right. He had reason to be pissed. But Cox is important. ANYONE who knows who Cox is would have looked at Linus's letter and saw immediately that it needed some small changes, if nothing else to let Cox save face.

The problem is made even worse by drugs that leave important academic users super-focused (not saying Linus is on any) -- the more clearly you see "idiocy" the more important it is to have a firewall take out words like that.

Actually, Linus's e-mail includes the word "idiotic" explicitly.

I doubt what I'm saying will have many takers around here, but posting at +2 in case anyone has any interesting responses for me.

Comment Re:Free NOT EQUAL TO freedom (Score 5, Funny) 367

>The term 'free' is an unfortunate consequence of there being no more specific word in English.

That might have been true 25 years ago, but today you can just call it "freedom software".

(with the added bonus that if it's not freedom software it's terrorist software -- a pretty good description of the crap a convicted monopolist pushes).

Comment let's take this to the next step.... (Score 1) 263

airplanes "fly" by making the air they're going through go through a longer route on their top side, /--\, than their bottom side, ___, but in the same amount of time, thereby creating lower pressure above them: the pressure difference raises them. Problem is you need to keep moving.

But imagine for a moment if instead of the airplane we turned to ... the dirigible.

Imagine if you could change the average density of the WHOLE body to be less than the surrounding "air" (water).

You would have to somehow find something that weighed less than water.

In a normal dirigible, where you have to find something lighter than the surrounding air, you fill it with helium/hydrogen/or hot air (which is less dense). But for an "underwater" dirigible?

Well since AIR is ligher than water, imagine if you had hollow sections filled with AIR!

You could have balloons of air, let's call these "ballasts". If you wanted to go lower in the water, you would fill these "ballasts", with seawater from "outside", and when you need to "ascend" again you could drive the water back out (filling the "ballast" from tanks of compressed air).

It might just be crazy enough to work!


Cancer Drug Found; Scientist Annoyed 349

sporkme writes "A scientist was frustrated when the compound she was working with (called PPAR-gamma) destroyed her sample of cancer cells. Further research revealed that the substance was surprisingly well suited as a cancer treatment. Lab test results on mice resulted in the destruction of colon tumors without making the mice sick." Quoting: "'I made a calculation error and used a lot more than I should have. And my cells died,' Schaefer said. A colleague overheard her complaining. 'The co-author on my paper said, "Did I hear you say you killed some cancer?" I said "Oh," and took a closer look.' ... [They found that the compound killed] 'pretty much every epithelial tumor cell lines we have seen.'" Update: 02/15 17:27 GMT by KD : As reader CorporalKlinger pointed out, PPAR-gamma is a cellular receptor, not a compound; and this news is not particularly new.

Amazon One-Click Patent to be Re-Examined 132

timrichardson writes "A New Zealand actor, frustrated by a poor shopping experience, has successfully requested that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review the correctness of Amazon's infamous One-Click patent. An examiner for the agency ruled that the re-examination requested by Peter Calveley had raised a 'substantial new question of patentability' affecting Amazon's patent, according to a document outlining the agency's decision."

IBM Creates Ring Oscillator on a Single Nanotube 159

deeptrace writes "IBM has combined CMOS circuitry and a single carbon nanotube to implement a 5 stage ring oscillator. Even though the oscillator runs at just 52 MHz, they expect that it could reach the GHz range with improvements. The frequency of the current oscillator was higher than previous circuits using multiple nanotubes. IBM describes the achievement in the paper "Integrated Logic Circuit Assembled on a Single Carbon Nanotube" to be published this week in the journal Science."

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