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Comment The hajj brings big bucks into Mecca (Score 1) 70

The hajj is the granddaddy of pilgimages. It wasn't the first, but it was the first of its size and continues to be teh world's largest annual pilgrimage. Would fear of contracting a deadly disease keep pilgrims, and pilgrim riyals, out of the country? Maybe, maybe not, but clearly the Saudi government doesn't want to take that chance.

Comment Re:Esoteric material? (Score 1) 329

The primary definition of esoteric is things that are known only to a small circle, i.e., things that most people don't know about.
That's what the Internet is for, learning about things you don't already know.
Except, I suppose, for those people who only use it to look at pictures of kittens.

Comment Keep in mind... (Score 4, Insightful) 159

...that when most people ask, "How does it work," what they really mean is, "How do I work it?" i.e., they really only want to know which buttons to push to get their desired result. It's like the Automat: you put a nickel in the slot, turn the knob and pull out the sandwich. How the sandwich got there in the first place is of no interest.
Computers are magical objects to most people, inscrutable machines which perform mystical tasks if the propler incantations are performed. And most people seem to like it that way.

Submission + - World's First 3D Printed Building Planned (

ExRex writes: Dutch architecture studio Universe Architecture is planning to construct a house with a 3D printer for the first time.
The Landscape House will be printed in sections using the giant D-Shape printer, which can produce sections of up to 6 x 9 metres using a mixture of sand and a binding agent.
Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture will collaborate with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who developed the D-Shape printer, to build the house, which has a looping form based on a Möbius strip.
3D printing website as saying: "It will be the first 3D printed building in the world. I hope it can be opened to the public when it's finished.”
The team are working with mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs to develop the house, which they estimate will take around 18 months to complete.
The D-Shape printer will create hollow volumes that will be filled with fibre-reinforced concrete to give it strength. The volumes will then be joined together to create the house.

Comment Never had LEGO (Score 3, Interesting) 425

My construction toy was an Erector Set, now long gone. These days Erector Sets in the US are rebranded Meccano sets.
Anyway, the thing about the Erector Set was that it not only exercised your imagination, as does LEGO, but it also exercised your manual dexterity, which LEGO does not. When you have to use little nuts and bolts to put things together you get good at manipulating small parts, which is excellent for improving hand-eye coordination, improving delicacy of touch and learning patience.
If you make things too easy for kids how are they to learn?

Comment I just like the song. (Score 1) 180

Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
That's the site I'm gonna surf.
Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
Tells me if it's astroturf.
If you need to get political explication,
Or to know whether it's data manipulation,
Or perhaps it is an outright prevarication,
There is just one page to fuel your outrage.
Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
Not O'Reillyana, Beckistan,or Hannitone,
But Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
Truthy, Indiana,
The real spin-free zone.

My apologies for Hannitone, but once I'd thought of the last line I really needed to make the rhyme work.

Comment One space between sentences (Score 1, Informative) 814

At least, that is the standard in the publishing industry. Two spaces is a convention invented by typing teachers for reasons which I've never understood, and which screws up justification once the document needs to be set. One of the first things that has to be done when bringing a document into a page layout program is to search for periods followed by two spaces and replace them with periods and one space. PITA for the Quark/InDesign/Scribus operator.

Comment What about the pusher? (Score 2, Funny) 804

From the article:
“The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP) explicitly states that it does not restrict what foods or beverages parents may provide for their own children's consumption.
"Brazos Elementary Principal Jeanne Young, said the problem, in this instance, was that the candy was provided by another student – not the girl’s parents."

I think the candy pusher deserves the sentence, not the simple user. This is just like the Rockefeller laws, punishing the victim of sugar addiction rather than the seller. Oh, I know she didn't buy the candy, but the first one is always free, y'know.

Comment Which UN policy did the poster contravene? (Score 4, Interesting) 409

That's not made clear in the article.
Also, it was very odd the way everyone stood around the poster on the floor, not touching it or picking it up, as though it were a diseased, dead body which no one was willing to touch. So they called the police to come an take it away.
Why didn't the folks promoting the book just stand it up again, I wonder?

Comment Re:Use the master password feature and stop worryi (Score 1) 1007

There's also an add-on called Master Password Timeout. You set a period of time after which it will again ask for your master password when you log in somewhere. The security feature here is that if you get a password prompt without expecting it, you'll know that there's some background code on the page poking into places it shouldn't be. It is also good in a workplace if you happen to leave your browser open while away from your desk. Keeps co-workers from checking your webmail, or bidding for you on ebay. I usually set mine for 15 minutes. You can set it to a really short period if your particularly paranoid.

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Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun