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Comment A sad year... (Score 1) 373

I've been the biggest proponent of Wikipedia for all my life, and avidly used it in school (citing it, and the sources it cited, to my teacher's ire) since 5th grade. But jesus, just hearing about this causes my heart to ache. Encyclopedia's are great endeavors, and are important as a long term collection of knowledge that could help restart civilization in case, I don't know, Israel and Iran start throwing nukes.

Submission + - Raspberry Pi Launches! (raspberrypi.org)

Richard.Tao writes: The site crashed well before it even launched, but it's on a static page now. After so much waiting, it's finally here! :-)
"...Although we are still waiting for units to arrive from China, you can start buying the Raspberry Pi today. We have entered into licensed manufacture partnerships with two British companies, Premier Farnell and RS Components. They’ll be manufacturing and distributing the devices on behalf of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and handling the distribution of our first batches as they arrive in the country. The Foundation continues to make a small profit from each Raspberry Pi sold, which we’ll be putting straight back into the charity."

Comment Re:Foxconn and Apple (Score 1) 219

The original article called it "Apple's Plant" I changed the headline of the article to specify that it was a Foxconn facility, and the story is meant to imply that this plant in particular only produces iPads and iPhones, thus, it is an Apple plant, in a sense.
Though good distinction, and people should realize it. I bought an Intel SSD recently and saw that it had Foxconn emblazoned on it, to which I yelled "NOOOOOO!" quite loudly upon opening.


Submission + - Fair Labor Association finds Foxconn Factory "First Class" (reuters.com)

Richard.Tao writes: The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country.
Another quote: The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."
Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?

Comment Re:Likely answer... (Score 1) 267

I think you are completely right when it comes to issues of personal freedoms, but completely wrong when it pertains to things companies care about.
Congressmen need money to be elected, corporations provide that. The "win" we saw for civil liberties was only because facebook, google, and wikipedia spoke out against it. If this issue just limited our rights for the benefit of all those corporations, I'm sure we'd see a different result.

Comment Re:I've always wondered... (Score 2) 285

Huh. That got me thinking quite a bit! Wikipedia shows it's a questions that's been pondered since the father of gradual change himself, Darwin:
He though that self replicating structures could happen, but that... "at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed."
And on that subject, "No new notable research or theory on the subject appeared until 1924, when Alexander Oparin reasoned that atmospheric oxygen prevents the synthesis of certain organic compounds that are necessary building blocks for the evolution of life."

It seems like there were some specific circumstances to get life going down a certain path. But now with changed initial conditions and FIERCE competition for resources EVERYWHERE new self reproducing structures don't get too far.


Submission + - Science Recover Genome of Black Death, Hope to Rec (nytimes.com) 1

Richard.Tao writes: From the "what could possibly go wrong?" section of news today scientists have recovered the RNA of the virus that caused the plague through digging through an English mass grave and compiling the genetics of the virus's. Though the plague still persists, scientists have believe the ancient strain was different due to a different onset of symptoms.

Submission + - Google Buzz buzzing away. (blogspot.com)

MrCrassic writes: "It looks like the glory days of Google Buzz have finally come to an end. Google has formally announced the termination of this service to concentrate their efforts on Google+. From the article:

In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won't be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.

Other products, such as the Google Labs website (http://labs.google.com) and Jaiku, will also be on the chopping block. Makes you wonder."


Submission + - This Summary Was Not Written By A Robot, Yet (nytimes.com)

Richard.Tao writes: Quoting NYT "Using more than a decade of research, a start-up company is taking computer-generated news articles to a more sophisticated level." Given that intelligent software is already handling some legislative research, one may ask what field next will be more suitably handled by machines?

Comment Re:Neat, but... (Score 1) 380

Yeah, the problem is most people here about these things third hand. And the first few people who relay act like a megaphone with high distortation. NASA's original release just said that this discovery "will impact the search for extraterrestrial life." Which CANNOT be interpreted as 'ZOMG WE FOUND ET!' Yet the second sounds far more awesome, so it gets propagated more and faster then the original message... so you shouldn't be disappointed, NASA was honest about what this would be!

Also... we need to start filtering things, and relaying only backed up, reasonable messages, not just the catchy-ist ones, or we'll just fall into insane blathering about terrorists, communist fascists (ironic, huh?), and aliens who want to eat your babies

Comment Re:Who watches the watchmen? (Score 1) 1018

Yeah, that sounds like a good nitpick of the organization, who does have the right to choose what the public should and shouldn't know? What should be released and what held in? Why is Assange such an ass? I think for most of the non-government stuff that has been released the obvious answer is EVERYTHING. Corporate scandals, milk cut with plastic, evil banks, all these should be exposed if they can be.
Wikileaks may have a US bias, and possible holds back leaks that it doesn't want to show, but there is no other platform like wikileaks to release them. Wikileaks isn't just a chat board, or a newspaper, is a tightly run organization with layers of security and complexity. And you know what? It's information we'd probably never hear about any ways if not for them. So I'll take what I can get, and view any more disclosure of information as a good thing, because it's stuff we wouldn't have known any way. It'd probably be good if there was another platform like wikileaks, with it's own crazy leader (cause trust me, it takes a crazy half genius leader to run a sinking ship like that), then people could just leak to both of them. Go start it, it'd help the world.

Comment Original Article (Score 5, Interesting) 115

So far I am finding the original article an interesting read. (it's in the original article NYT article)
It states that the bubble may be related to an ejection of the super massive black hole in the past 10 million years or so. You know those other galaxies that have giant lazer beams shooting out of them? Well, ours could have been like that at some point 10 million years ago. Kind makes sense that those SM black holes only occasionally and intermittently shoot stuff off, seems like just emissions like that would be hard to sustain for long periods of time. (and holy mother of Bohr, it was hard to not fall into sexual innuendo there)
Also, as far as it being a data anomaly (which I thought first due to it's symmetry and the fact that we apparently never knew about it), it apparently correlates with "hard-spectrum excess known as the WMAP haze (and) the edges of bubble also line up with features in the ROSAT X-ray maps at 1.5 - 2 KeV."


Submission + - Mystery structure spotted in Milky Way

An anonymous reader writes: NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way — a finding likened in terms of scale to the discovery of a new continent on Earth. The feature, which spans 50,000 light-years, may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy. “What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center,” said an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who first recognized the feature. “We don’t fully understand their nature or origin.”

Submission + - Amazon to allow book lending on the Kindle (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "One of the oldest customs of book lovers and libraries — lending out favorite titles to friends and patrons — is finally getting recognized in the electronic age, at least in one electronic book reader: Amazon has announced that it plans to allow users of its Kindle book reader to "lend" electronic books to other Kindle users, based on the publisher's discretion. A book can be lent only for up to 14 days. A single book can only be lent once, and the lender cannot read the book while it is loaned out."

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