Beetle B. writes: "A few days ago my Casio AL-190 died. I've been wearing those kinds of Casio watches for over 20 years, and am now thinking of moving on.
I'm looking for suggestions for a cool, but not too expensive, watch. My requirements are: 1. Must be digital. 2. Default view should show the time — I shouldn't have to press any buttons or flip anything to see the time. 3. Must have stopwatch. 4. Must have an alarm. 5. Battery life shouldn't be issue. Recharging every few days/weeks is out of the question. 6. Should be less than $100 (ideally less than $50), but I can make exceptions if it seems really compelling.
A timer would be nice. Network connectivity is OK as long as I can turn it off and have it stay off until I enable it again.
Beetle B. writes: "Can playing games be good for you? A number of scientific studies suggest that board games like chess may positively influence the development of critical thinking, memory, and reasoning skills in young children. Could video games have a similarly beneficial effect on developing minds?
The article is not exactly "academically" presented. However, it does provide links to all the studies, which may be worth perusing."
Beetle B. writes: A 22,000-member group for Saudis studying in the US on the social networking website Facebook has been split into two groups, one for women and one for men. The split follows a request from the group's female members who wanted extra privacy.
'The separate page for Saudi women is a valid decision. We took it to fulfill the wishes of the Saudi women in the US. We have been contacted by a lot of women asking for their private group,' Majed Aleid, media chair of the 'Saudis in the US' group, told Arab News in a letter.
Beetle B. writes: "According to Saudi Arabia's leading English newspaper, Arab News, online newspapers, blogs and forums will now need to register with the Ministry of Information and Culture for licenses to operate, according to new regulations that the ministry announced Saturday it is to introduce. Abdul Aziz Khoja, minister of information and culture, said that the system is “in line with the development moves that the media sector is witnessing.” He added that the rules do not include any clauses restricting freedom of speech and that the ministry is eager to ensure there is transparency. He also said that the rules will be made open to improvement in the future."
Beetle B. writes: "According to Nassim Nicholas Taleb's home page, Benoit Mandelbrot has passed away at the age of 85. At the moment, no news site has reported it officially, though. I first learned of the Mandelbort set while reading Arthur C. Clarke's The Ghost From The Grand Banks. Soon after, I got hold of the best fractal generation software of the day: Fractint, and ran it for long periods of time on my XT, exploring the beautiful world that Mandelbrot, among others, had opened up for me. That it was only on a 4 color CGA did not deter me!"
Beetle B. writes: "Do Google search results contradict your religious views? Tired of getting pornographic results and worried you'll burn in Hell for it? Are you Christian? Try SeekFind — "a Colorado Springs-based Christian search engine that only returns results from websites that are consistent with the Bible." Muslim? Look no further: I'm Halal. Jewish? Jewogle is for you. NPR ran a story on the general trend of search engines cropping up to cater to certain religious communities. I wonder how many other "filtered" search engines exist out there to cater to various groups (religious or otherwise) — not counting specialized searches (torrents, etc)."
Beetle B. writes: "For decades, parents, doctors and school administrators have worried about the dangers of drugs. In the digital age, they've got a new arena for concern: Sound waves that, some say, affect the brain like a drug — and cost only 99 cents on iTunes and Amazon.com."
Beetle B. writes: "Fewer people are visiting national parks and taking part in outdoor activities such as camping, according to new research that suggests people are falling out of love with the natural world.
The study by US conservationists discovered an "ongoing and fundamental shift away from nature-based recreation" that they say could threaten future efforts to preserve wilderness areas. The experts say people now make up to 25% fewer trips than they did in the 1980s, and say the rise of computer games could be to blame."
On the one hand, Wikipedia is a useful source of information and people can benefit from these proofs. On the other hand, how does one choose which proofs to include and which not to? Should Wikipedia just become a textbook that teaches mathematics? Should it just state the bare results of theorems and not provide proofs (except as external links)? Or should they take an intermediate approach and formulate a criterion for which proofs to include and which to exclude?"
Beetle B. writes: "'An anonymous email that was circulated on October 10 calls into question the practices of the non-profit publishing giant, the American Chemical Society (ACS), which has long been under scrutiny.
The Email, signed only by "ACS insider," was sent to college librarians, ACS administrators, and a science writing listserv. It said that the ACS is growing more corporate in structure and described how it manages the 36 chemical journals under its purview. Among other criticisms, the anonymous emailer wrote that the bonuses given to ACS executives are tied to the profits of the publishing division, and such bonuses explain why the society has had such a strong stance against open-access publishing.'
In 2005, the ACS opposed PubChem, an open access chemical compound database.
'What can you do with a million images? In this paper we present a new image completion algorithm powered by a huge database of photographs gathered from the Web. The algorithm patches up holes in images by finding similar image regions in the database that are not only seamless but also semantically valid. Our chief insight is that while the space of images is effectively infinite, the space of semantically differentiable scenes is actually not that large. For many image completion tasks we are able to find similar scenes which contain image fragments that will convincingly complete the image. Our algorithm is entirely data-driven, requiring no annotations or labelling by the user. Unlike existing image completion methods, our algorithm can generate a diverse set of image completions and we allow users to select among them. We demonstrate the superiority of our algorithm over existing image completion approaches.'
English translation: The algorithm replaces arbitrarily shaped blank areas in an image with portions of images from a huge catalog in a totally seamless manner."
Beetle B. writes: Bill O'Reilly may proclaim at the beginning of his program that viewers are entering the "No Spin Zone," but a new study by Indiana University media researchers found that the Fox News personality consistently paints certain people and groups as villains and others as victims to present the world, as he sees it, through political rhetoric...The same techniques were used during the late 1930s to study another prominent voice in a war-era, Father Charles Coughlin. His sermons evolved into a darker message of anti-Semitism and fascism, and he became a defender of Hitler and Mussolini. In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin.