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Comment Expectations (Score 2, Insightful) 349

It may well be that CompSci grads have higher expectations and refuse to take the first thing offered to them. When you hear about the salaries talked about on /., HN and Reddit, who the hell wants to take a job for £15k working for Asda as a maintenance programmer?

Another aspect is: how many CompSci grads will initially attempt to start their own consultancy or work freelance as opposed to Creative Arts grads? And what percentage of them will be successful? It's impossible to draw too much from these statistics, because they assume that all graduates are equally suited to traditional employment, and that traditional employment is what they seek. With CompSci, where you can make a living as a freelancer without needing too many contacts or a huge reputation, it ain't necessarily so...

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."

Comment Re:Very easy, and very easy to get caught (Score 1) 684

I teach an entry-level computing class in a large European university. So long as it doesn't comprise the entire assessment, students sitting together and working the lab out is a good thing, I think. It's how most of the real world works, after all. You need to have some individual assessment, but working in small study groups to crack a problem is probably the best way to learn. Having the peer-pressure to do the work, and to contribute to the group, can really encourage a student to surpass the effort that they may have been happy with individually.

Comment Re:A ramble from the TAs view (Score 1) 684

Hm - it could be that he wasn't getting the support he needed. But, in my experience the people who cheat are not the type who would directly come and ask for support. Cheaters tend to be people who don't know the answers because they never really tried, and therefore don't have a huge emotional investment in the course. The cheating generally occurs as a last-minute attempt to hand in something 'reasonable' without having had to do the work.

I've found that the students that come and ask for help directly are a little too proud to scheme off someone else's work - and that since they are willing to work at the course and come for help when necessary, they rarely need to cheat.

Comment Re:what about retirement for RIAA? (Score 1) 427

I'm not instigating an 'insane left vs. right debate' ;-)

I agree that your solution would be relatively cheap, but it would be wrong. There seems to be an attitude that those associated with the ??AAs deserve to be supported by the public. Why them, and not people who deliver measurable benefit to society - teachers, garbagemen, nurses and so forth?

Comment Re:what about retirement for RIAA? (Score 1) 427

I think I'd rather that artisits and musicians provide for themselves, just like everyone else. I don't owe them special rights to work created 50 years ago, nor do I owe them any special retirement fund that is denied to software developers, private tutors, or any other work-for-hire private market participant.

Corporate musicians and artists are better treated by our society than almost any class of persons throughout history. Yet we can probably all agree that these people contribute less to creativity and originality than most independent artists, where an 'artist' is defined purely as someone who creates something.

There's really nothing special about these people - music existed before the 1930s, and it will exist even if we allow the RIAA to go to the wall. Their advantage is hype, marketing and spin. They've no celestial right to that.

Comment Re:For fuck's sake! (Score 1) 427

I can't help but think that this is a troll, and the mods have been taken for suckers.

If we look at the major creative works of the last 100 years, there's Disney animated film, the creation of Rock & Roll, the majority of Science Fiction, almost all Televisual and Film works and a bunch more things that have built on 'plundering the past of its riches'. Disney ripped off the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen (Grimm and Andersen 'plundered' folklore), Rock & Roll was based on blues rhythms, most SciFi is folklore, rewritten with shiny robots and there's nothing on TV or in Film that doesn't rip-off Shakespeare, Shaw and Wilde.

Yes, that's pretty facile, but you have to remember to what I am responding ;-) These things are all worth watching, and learning from. Simply because they are not entirely original does not mean that they are worthless...

Still, congratulations, DNS-and-BIND - I think that when you are unable to see any worth in contemporary culture, you qualify for a stick, a cap, a bus-pass and possibly a kid-infested lawn!

Comment Re:Of course we don't need running shoes (Score 4, Insightful) 776

Well, evolution can skew towards all sorts of benefits in long life. This can happen quite easily if having grand parents who help look after the family mean that the youngest survive to reproduce.

To say that evolution is all about reproduction is nonsense. It's also about raising offspring to survive better than the environment and other predators can kill them off.

Submission + - Japan Scientists say global warming isn't man made (

grassy_knoll writes: The Register reports that the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) has decided that Global Warming isn't man made:

Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan's native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel.

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