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Comment Childhood's End (Score 1) 219

I couldn't help but think of the Arthur C Clark novel when reading this. It's not the first time the concept of a collective mind has been explored, nor will it be the last. But comparing it to Childhood's End brings up other pertinent questions as well - what effects would a technology like this have on our evolution as a species? What effects might it have on us even within our lifespan? We simply cannot know. We're still completely clueless when it comes to the human brain and, as Animats and others have already pointed out, by the time we have the technology to implant chips in our brain that allow us to receive a stream of other's thoughts or emotions, filter that stream out at any time, detect when emotions we're feeling are not our own and identify whose they are, we'll have done plenty of other things with the technology first.

Furthermore, it seems the general reaction from the /. crowd overwhelming focuses on the potential dangers and downfalls of such technology. Then again, when has anyone on /. ever argued for anything that would make them be (gasp) social?

Comment Another example of content farming (Score 1) 345

A rather hilarious example of the absurd level that content farming can reach on Google is the first result when "female serial killers" is entered as the query:

"Famous Female Serial killers; Top Serial killers; Best Females in their Field
List of notable or famous Female Serial Killers; incl. professionals who went on to have careers in other fields..."

Submission + - Zuckerberg suggests Facebook be a social business (

danielkennedy74 writes: The 2.8+ million followers of the Mark Zuckerberg page on Facebook saw an unusual update hit their walls yesterday from the firm’s founder and CEO.

Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page on Facebook briefly featured a post, complete with misspellings, indicating he would consider a whole new revenue model for the social media titan: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it?


Submission + - Hulu, NBC, and other sites block Google TV (

padarjohn writes: Imagine the protests that would ensue if Internet services arbitrarily blocked video only to Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers! Or if Hulu and the other networks decided they'd refuse to stream video to HP and Dell computers because those manufacturers hadn't made deals with the services to the latter's liking.

Submission + - Bees reveal nature-nuture secrets

NoFear writes: The nature-nurture debate is a "giant step" closer to being resolved after scientists studying bees documented how environmental inputs can modify our genetic hardware. The researchers uncovered extensive molecular differences in the brains of worker bees and queen bees which develop along very different paths when put on different diets The research was led by Professor Ryszard Maleszka of The Australian National University's College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, working with colleagues from the German Cancer Institute in Heidelberg, Germany and will be published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Coding boot camps for PHBs (

MrMarket writes: I am a PHB (marketing guy) with a hobbyist-level understanding of HTML and CSS that would like to learn how to build a web application. My employer has a sabbatical program that gives us six weeks paid leave to pursue an intensive area of study. I would like to use mine to build a basic consumer web application as a way to get learn HTML5, CSS, and javascript.

Can any one suggest a coder's bootcamp for people with little to no experience? Ideally it would be a program where I could come into the program with my idea (with detailed mock ups and business requirements) and have access to classes and labs sessions to choose the framework, set up the environment, and build the application with the help of a teacher. I know that most of you learned to code by "just doing it," but I could really benefit from some structure and mentoring to accelerate the process (or at least get a jump start on the foundation).


Submission + - IE9 May Not Be Enough To Save IE (

An anonymous reader writes: The October market share numbers are in and Net Applications' numbers show a surprising drop in IE8 market share — the first time since browser was introduced. Strangely, IE9 has not gained much and IE7 as well as IE6 are losing as well. The only two browsers gaining are Chrome and Safari — and both browsers have hit new record market shares. The frenzy around IE9 may have subsided already and Microsoft is under tremendous pressure to roll out IE9 soon. StatCounter's numbers indicate that Firefox is close to be surpassing IE in Europe.

Submission + - Has Christopher Nolan turned the 3D argument? (

brumgrunt writes: Not only has Christopher Nolan resisted pressure to make his third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, in 3D, but his explanation is very much centred on it being the right decision to suit the film. With Harry Potter (temporarily) abandoning 3D too, has Hollywood's latest bandwagon hit the skids already?

Submission + - UK getting 100Mbps internet by end of 2010 (

Lanxon writes: UK cable ISP Virgin Media has announced that it will begin offering the country's fastest broadband speed ever — 100Mbps — to customers before the year is out. The first locations to receive the new speeds will be parts of London and South East England, who could receive the service as early as December. The complete roll-out is expected to take until mid 2012 to finish.

Submission + - Fighting ad blockers with captcha ads ( 1

krou writes: Living in an ad-free internet thanks to ad blockers? That could be a thing of the past if software firm NuCatcha has their way: make captchas into ads. 'Instead of the traditional squiggly word that users have to decipher, the new system shows them a video advert with a short message scrolling across it. The user has to identify and retype part of the message to proceed. Companies including Electronic Arts, Wrigley and Disney have already signed up.'

Submission + - Can open source save democracy?

An anonymous reader writes: Political discussions frequently conclude that democracy is at best a symbol. It is widely understood that lawmakers and politicians generally serve special interests more than they serve the people. This is no secret: everyone knows about lobbyists, campaign contributions, kickbacks, pork, earmarks, and the classic "smoke filled room" where political deals are made in secret. All of these problems can be summed up in the simple phrase, "power corrupts," and empowered individuals are a necessary component of representation-style democracy. We have never had another means of instituting democracy as a broad and general system of governance because it has simply been impractical. But social internet tools change everything. There are now scores of projects building creative and diverse systems meant to apply the principles of open source to the procedures of lawmaking. Can we eventually create real democracy, instead of the cheap imitations we have had to date? Or will we forever be reliant on empowered leaders to guide and protect us?

Submission + - CLEAR Service Throttling with UNCLEAR Terms

EvilBenFranklin writes: CLEAR WiMax, formerly known as ClearWire, has been throttling bandwidth for customers who use more than 8-10GB in a month, since around August 30th, when they snuck a new AUP and TOS in under their users' noses. Of particular note are the sections stating that "unlimited" does not mean they will not slow your service down, and that if you are a subscriber, you cannot be part of any class action lawsuit.

Despite mounting claims of bandwidth throttling and subscribers leaving in droves, it took Clear until October to admit that yes, they are throttling. Their explanation however still leaves something to be desired.

Submission + - Ig Nobel prize winner wins real Nobel Prize (

Leemeng writes: Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both at Manchester University, UK, took this year's Nobel Prize for Physics for their research on graphene. Geim was one of the recipients of 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in physics, which he earned for magnetically levitating frogs. This makes Geim the first person to have won both the Ig Nobel and the Nobel Prizes.

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