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Submission + - Most Ancient, 'Impossible' Alien Worlds Discovered (discovery.com) 1

astroengine writes: "Two exoplanets have been discovered by scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy orbiting the star HIP 11952. But according to conventional thinking, these worlds shouldn't exist. You see, HIP 11952 is a "metal-poor" star and planetary formation is hindered around stars with low metallicity. This isn't the only thing; as metal-poor stars were the first stars to form when the Universe was very young, these two worlds also formed around the same time. They are therefore the most ancient exoplanets discovered to date having lived through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution."

Comment Re:Domination (Score 3, Informative) 198

The Japanese elite *may* have outlived the European/American elite but I'm gonna [citation needed] you on that one... The Japanese common man, however, certainly did NOT live longer or better than his Western counterpart.

I refer you to "Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment" by Yasukichi Yasuba in The Journal of Economic History Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 217-224.

Yasuba takes to task the notion that life for the commoner in Japan was better than that in the West. While economic development HAD been ongoing throughout the Tokugawa shogunate, and circumstances had improved for the Japanese laborer, the reality of the situation is that farmers here and farmers there both were treated very poorly. He also points out, specifically, the flaw in Hanley's research (which estimated life expectancy to be around 40 years in Japan) specifically used a source which excluded year 0 deaths, and then substituted Western infant mortality rates in its place. At the time, Japan would be much closer to India than the West. By using data which matches temple records more closely, Yasuba suggests that the actual life expectancy of the time was around 35, which (again) puts it below the West.

Comment Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (Score 5, Insightful) 571

Back in 1999, a teacher at my High School was injured because a kid thought a dry ice bomb in a trash can would be a "funny" prank. I don't know how much dry ice was placed in the soda bottles -- I suspect they were 2L bottles -- but he put several bottles of dry ice in different trash cans around the school:


It's not mentioned in the article, but the teacher did suffer lacerations on his face -- an inch or two to either side, and he might have actually been blinded.

I don't see how you can not call it a bomb. It's a device that explodes. Improperly placed (or designed), and it can hurt innocent bystanders. Putting dry ice and water in a sealed bottle can *ONLY* result in an explosion. What else would you call it?

Comment The real story... (Score 1) 91

The real story is the massive STFC spending cuts that impact their group. Those spending cuts were announced the same day, and are being blogged about by the same folks:


20% cuts here, 15% cuts there, and soon enough you won't have enough money to fund anything at all.

Comment Re:So it's a fnacy nmae (Score 1) 1345

Same thing applied to me, some decades earlier; I learned to read, write and spell before kindergarten in order to be able to beat an old Atari game (Castle Hexagon).

most games don't require reading in order to figure out what to do next; with Castle Hexagon, you had to know what you had picked up, and you had to know the room to which it belonged.. it was fairly logical, but if you couldn't read the name of the item you were holding or the title of the room you were in, you wouldn't get far.

Comment Gigantic Building Projects (Score 2, Insightful) 296

Researchers (and sci-fi writers) always talk about things like gigantic space elevators and star-encompassing spheres; works that would take an entire world's focus (and several generations of dedicated work) to accomplish. I always figured that those were unaccomplishable dreams...

But then I read this story and got to thinking... Why not make a gigantic net and scoop up all that garbage?

Comment Re:The next WoW Expansion... (Score 2, Informative) 259

They've never said 100 is the max level. That statement is GENERALLY attributed to the fake "expansion list" that people keep linking to. Here's the original source for that list:

It's fake. The 1st expansion, Burning Crusade went live in January 2007 -- but Wrath of the Lich King was announced (INCLUDING zone information) in August of that year. By September, all of that info was everywhere, including approximate level of the zones, preliminary notes about possible raid zones, etc. Basically, the list used readily available data based on RPG sourcebook material, in-game quests, and instruction manuals for previous Warcraft games.

Further, even if the list was legitimate: It makes no sense why a multi-billion dollar company would continue to base its video game's success or failure on a sole wordpad document transformed into a PDF.

Comment Re:Terrorists aren't stupid. (Score 3, Interesting) 285

SIGINT isn't just data collection -- it's also data distribution. Make the person you're listening to think they're being listened to by another group, or exchange information with an informant without them knowing who "you" are, and without them suspecting anything's wrong with the transaction.

I heard a story once [citation needed], where "we" were feeding a terrorist fake info to relay to his friends, and the terrorist gobbled it up and told his superiors... which then changed the location of some meeting, which resulted in them getting blown up (with relatively fewer civilian casualties).

Comment Maybe, but... (Score 1) 1079

Whether Calixte's guilty or not (and whether or not he's committed any crime) the warrant wasn't requested because of a scary demon -- it was because there's a strong connection between Calixte and a (hate crime?) e-mail that was sent to the entire student body, and (possibly) because Calixte has apparently got a history of suspicious (criminal) activity previously:

On 1/27/09, "_____ advised Officer Eng that Mr. Calixte has changed grades for students by accessing the Boston College computer system." and on 1/28/09, "Mr. Calixte was also a suspect in a stolen Boston College laptop computer report I investigated previously."

After the outing e-mail, "Mr. Escalante told me ... this IP address ... indicat[ed] the sender was on BC campus and was using a wired connection in Gabelli residence hall." further, that Calixte registered the computer name and info of the computer that was using the connection at the time. Additionally, they got info from GMail and Yahoo regarding how the e-mail was sent, including a screenshot of another site that also happened to have misc. info connecting the site visitor with Calixte.

Basically, it's not Linux that got this kid in trouble, it's his own stupidity. And he's supposedly a smart CS student, to boot. Where were his 7 proxies? :p

Comment Stupidity is impossible to solve (Score 1) 296

A year or two ago, I was doing helpdesk stuff when a user called in regarding a phishing e-mail they'd received regarding some transaction in Africa. They wanted to know if it was legitimate, because it sounded (to him) like the business opportunity of a lifetime. I told him that it was a scam, and explained how the scam worked. He thought for a moment, and said "Yeah, maybe, but he's promising millions!" (uh oh)

I directed him to read up on some of the 419 anti-scam sites. We read the literature together, and discussed why these operations work, and why it's dangerous to respond to them, etc.

At the end of the call, despite having spent more than 45 minutes trying to dissuade him, and having read multiple stories that all had the same general flow, he remained skeptical of MY explanation that it was a scam. He wanted to believe it was legitimate, and so he believed it was legitimate.

I haven't spoken to him since, but some of my colleagues have. We came to the general consensus that he probably sent several thousand dollars to them before realizing it was fake. :/

Comment Re:Blizzard is doing a lot of damage to the indust (Score 1) 498

Or imagine if you bought the latest edition of a "Call of Duty" game, only to find out the EULA stated it was illegal to play except on weekends?

Try playing WoW between 5am and 11am Pacific time on a Tuesday.

(For those who don't play WoW, that's typically the time when maintenance occurs, patches get deployed, etc.)

Comment I don't get Siy and Pearlman... (Score 4, Insightful) 498


Siy and Pearlman also expressed skepticism at the notion that these "dynamic, non-literal elements" constitute a distinct copyrighted work.

If I'm reading the trial order correctly (IANAL), it seems to cite the following cases in support of "non-literal elements" being copyrighted:

See Atari Games Corp. v. Oman, 888 F.2d 878, 884-85 (D.C. Cir. 1989); Midway Mfg. Co. v. Arctic Int'l, Inc., 704 F.2d 1009, 1011-12 (7th Cir. 1983); Williams Elec., Inc. v. Arctic Int'l, Inc., 685 F.2d 870, 874 (3d Cir. 1982); Stern Elecs., Inc. v. Kaufman, 669 F.2d 852, 855-56 (2d Cir. 1982)

What I'd like to see from Siy and Pearlman is a description of what these cases are, and why their citation is somehow irrelevant with regards to non-literal elements and copyright enforceability. The judge certainly seemed to think they applied. (Again, if I'm reading the order correctly. I might be wrong. Who knows.)

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