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Comment And how bad is that? (Score 2) 189

And so what? Before we can evaluate how bad this is, we need to know how bad the radioactivity is. Are we talking "enough to kill everybody" or "enough to detect"? Given that this is water that has already been cleaned, I suspect the latter. The only radionuclide they couldn't get out is tritium, and that at a relatively low concentration. Until there are actual numbers, I won't get excited.
And when you read "highly contaminated water", remember that bananas are too radioactive to meet Japanese food regulations. A little radioactivity goes a long way, as does a little hysteria.

Comment Re:Nobody outside TEPCO really knows (Score 2) 1122

A better source for more detailed information is the government website at NISA (nuclear and industrial safety agency) here., with the latest report at here. It's got pressures and temperatures, as much as they know. On the other hand, it is scary how much they don't know. They have no idea of the temperature of the spent fuel pools in #1, 3, and 4, or the water temperatures inside the reactor vessel in #1, 2, or 3. (They are monitoring the external temperature of the reactor vessel.) That's not good enough -- couldn't they just drop in a remote temperature sensor into the spent fuel pools? How hard can that be?

Comment How is this not like Vietnam? (Score 3, Interesting) 966

I'm sorry, but the more things change, the more the stay the same. The parallels are eerie:

1) Daniel Ellsberg / Pentagon papers == whoever / This stuff

2) Operation Phoenix == "capture / kill" CIA operations in Afghanistan.

3) The corrupt Ngo Diem == The corrupt Hamid Karzai.

4) French war in Vietnam == Russian war in Afghanistan

5) Corrupt, worthless army == The corrupt, worthless Afghanistan army.

6) Support for the war from North Vietnam == Support for the war from Pakistan

7) Death from above via B-52's, AC-47's, Hueys == Death from above from F-16's, Predators, Reapers

8) Massive civilian casualties == Massive civilian casualties

9) Nationalism / Religion fueling the fire == Nationalism / Religion fueling the fire

10) Slow build up over years, with too little to start with == Slow buildup over years, with too little to start with

11) Humiliating defeat for the US, with a small fig leaf == ????

Without lots more soldiers sent in, and perhaps even then, this war is lost. When are we going to recognize it?

Comment Re:Dear Juneau, Wisconsin... (Score 1) 703

Ummm -- Juneau, Wisconsin is a city in Dodge County. Juneau County (where this doofus works) does not contain Juneau (the city). Not that it matters much. As a resident of WI, I can say there is a lot of people around here that agree with this doofus. Must be, since according to the law in WI, everybody who has sex with a person under 18 is committing a crime. (Section 949.09 -- 16-18 = misdemeanor, section 948.02 -- 15 & under = felony.) No exception for when both are under the age of 18, you can still get put in jail and on the sex offender registry. Something is wrong when the law criminalizes what over half of people do. But this prosecutor just can not let go of the power to ruin people's lives.

Comment Re:Example: Standard Deviation (Score 2, Insightful) 429

As a statistics teacher (HS / Tech school level), this doesn't surprise me in the least. Statistics and statistics education has become a giant game of "plug the numbers in and damn the understanding". When a student has never calculated a standard deviation by hand, how can they be expected to know what the heck a root mean square deviation from the sample mean really is?

Going further, I would say that statistics is a tool for answering questions. Like any other tool, it works well for some jobs and not for others. So far, no problem. But the problem comes from students that are just not willing to understand the questions that statistics can answer. Case in point -- a p value of 0.05 does _not_ mean that the null hypothesis has a 95% chance of being wrong. That's what stats students want it to mean, because they are not willing to ask the questions that stats can answer.

Until students are willing to actually do the work, for the sake of actually learning, I don't see any hope.


ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For Guitar Hero Arcade 146

Self Bias Resistor writes "According to a post on the Arcade-Museum forums, ASCAP is demanding an annual $800 licensing fee from at least one operator of a Guitar Hero Arcade machine, citing ASCAP licensing regulations regarding jukeboxes. An ASCAP representative allegedly told the operator that she viewed the Guitar Hero machine as a jukebox of sorts. The operator told ASCAP to contact Raw Thrills, the company that sells the arcade units. The case is ongoing and GamePolitics is currently seeking clarification of the story from ASCAP."

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki 249

sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"

Hand Written Clock 86

a3buster writes "This clock does not actually have a man inside, but a flatscreen that plays a 24-hour loop of this video by the artist watching his own clock somewhere and painstakingly erasing and re-writing each minute. This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009."

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."
Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."

Comment How about power off? (Score 1) 939

On the windows machine I got because I absolutely had to have one for work, there was a row of buttons across the top. I guess they were intended to be media keys, since there was a template with e-mail, web and other stuff icons on them. But at the very top right of the keyboard, right where it would get banged when handling the keyboard, there was an evil key: the power off.

The first time I hit it accidentally, I swore and turned the darn PC back on. The second time, I swore louder. The third time, I threw it away. I would have preferred to shove it down the throat of the designer, but I restrained myself.

Comment A little internal consistency please (Score 1) 464

While I take this document seriously, I have a hard time thinking it will do what the scientologists want, even if it is adopted. Points 1, 2, and 3 would collectively prohibit "religious vilification" and the like. Point 4 would prohibit interference with freedom of religion. What if my religion requires me to vilify other religions? This is not a trivial point, as many religions require their adherents to work against other religions. Examples include the missionary years expected of a mormon, the anti-semitism in the koran, the anti-atheism of evangelical christian faiths in the US, etc.

Nobody can be free to practice religion without the freedom to vilify other religions.

Comment Let's think of energy here folks ! (Score 1) 596

Not needing to reboot the computer is a nice luxury, but still, turning it off to save the energy is a good thing to do when you're not using it. That's why I've got a low power server/gateway (see here -- low power and quiet!) for my home network that stays on all the time, and a laptop that I actually do stuff on.

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