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Comment Re:MATLAB, anyone? (Score 1) 84

It's too bad that it falls behind MATLAB for numeric data and behind Maple for symbolic mathematics but in some cases cases (many cases) it's still handy to have a single piece of software that does a decent job at both symbolic and numeric computations.

I think you may be relying on dated experience with Mathematica. Mathematica has been pretty comparable to MATLAB in terms of speed since version 6. Look up scientificweb's ncrunch comparison.

Comment Re:What the.... (Score 1) 450

I would think the mobile phone is the most likely culprit, I have seen people in a near total daze oblivious to the rest of the world with their attention totally devoted to mindless texting, hmm, texting whilst mobile music player at full volume, for quite a few air heads, a sure recipe for disaster.

I think you're right on the money here. While we don't seem to have a lot of pedestrian research, there has been some research on driving that shows that talking on the phone raises the risk of accidents, regardless of whether the conversation was hands-free or not. Blasting your music in the car or listening to books or tape seems to cause many fewer accidents. Talking or texting occupies your attention more actively than passive listening.


Possible Treatment For Ebola 157

RedEaredSlider writes "Researchers at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have found a class of drugs that could provide treatment for Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever. The new drugs are called 'antisense' compounds, and they allow the immune system to attack the viruses before they can do enough damage to kill the patient. Travis Warren, research scientist at USAMRIID, said while the work is still preliminary -— the drugs have been tested only on primates — the results are so far promising. In the case of Ebola, five of eight monkeys infected with the virus lived, and with Marburg, all survived. The drugs were developed as part of a program to deal with possible bioterrorist threats, in partnership with AVI Biopharma."

Outlook Plug-In Keeps Tone of Your Email In Check 119

Meshach writes "A new plug-in for Outlook will warn you if an email you are about to send is 'too emotional.' Basically the plug-in scans the email for emotions such as elation, humiliation, excitement and fear. A user can set how much emotion they want to allow in their messages and if exceeded the threshold a warning will pop up."

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."

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Submission + - Geany 0.18 released! (sourceforge.net)

SF:eht16 writes: We are happy to announce a new release of Geany! For a comprehensive list of changes in Geany 0.18, please see Release Notes. A very detailed and complete list of changes can be found in the ChangeLog. Some of the highlights: * Implement a graphical toolbar editor. * Add \'Replace\' toolbar button * Implement Most-Recently-Used document switching when pressing \'Switch to last used document\' keybinding (Ctrl-Tab). * Add \'Reflow lines/block\' keybinding, (Ctrl-J). * Support \'tab indents, space aligns\' style when indenting. * Add \'Autocomplete all words in document\' pref; also used when forcing autocompletion and there\'s no symbol names to show. * Reload color schemes via Tools menu. * Implement named styles support for filetypes. * using a filetypes.common [named_styles] section; used as \"style=named_style,bold\". (See the manual for details). * Allow indentation of wrapped lines (see style \'line_wrap_indent\'). * Add Markdown filetype. * Minor improvements for filetypes: Fortran, Haxe, HTML, Lua, Matlab, Pascal, Python, Tcl * Added translations: lb, sl, pt_PT * Updated translations: ca, cs, de, en_GB, fi, fr, ja, pt_BR, ru, tr We want to thank all translators who have updated their translations in this release as well as all people who contributed to this release with patches, feedback, bug reports and so on. Thank you! All downloads can be found on http://download.geany.org./ From this release on, the release files are not available through the Sourceforge.net mirrors anymore. Please use http://download.geany.org/ for downloads.

Submission + - Comcast seeking control of both pipes and content?

techmuse writes: Reuters reports that Comcast may attempting to use its huge cash reserves to purchase a large media content provider, such as Disney, Viacom, or Time Warner. This would result in Comcast controlling both the delivery mechanism for content, and the content itself. Potentially, it could limit access to content it owns to subscribers to its own services, thus shutting out competing services (where they still exist at all).

Submission + - Google Chrome 4.0 on OS X: 59x faster than IE 7 (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: It's the fastest version of Chrome ever, the world's fastest browser on PC and Mac, and 34% faster than the quickest OS X browser to date, Safari 4. It's Google's still-very-early-in-development Chrome 4.0 and CNet benchmarking prove it's more than twice as fast as the original Chrome and (by my own calculations based on earlier benchmarks) 59 times faster than IE 7 on the PC!
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Does powerline networking nuke radio hams? (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "Since writing about the success he's had with powerline networking, a number of readers emailed PC Pro's Paul Ockendon to castigate him for recommending these products, such as HomePlug. They were all amateur radio enthusiasts, claiming the products affect their hobby in much the same way that urban lighting affects amateur astronomers, but rather than causing light pollution they claim powerline networking causes radio pollution in the HF band (otherwise known as shortwave). Paul's follow-up feature, "Does powerline networking nuke radio hams?" documents his investigation into these claims, which found evidence to support both sides of an intriguing debate."

Submission + - New planet 'goes round star the wrong way'

Smivs writes: "BBC News is reporting that Astronomers have discovered the first planet that orbits in the opposite direction to the spin of its star. Planets form out of the same swirling gas cloud that creates a star, so they are expected to orbit in the same direction that the star rotates. The new planet is thought to have been flung into its "retrograde" orbit by a close encounter with either another planet or with a passing star. The work has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal for publication. Co-author Coel Hellier, from Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, said planets with retrograde orbits were thought to be rare. "With everything [in the star system] swirling around the same way and the star spinning the same way, you have to do quite a lot to it to make it go in the opposite direction." Professor Hellier said a near-collision was probably responsible for this planet's unusual orbit. "If you have a near-collision, then you'll have a large gravitational slingshot from that interaction," he explained. "This is the likeliest explanation. But it might be possible you can do it by gradually perturbing the orbit through the influence of a second planet. So far, we haven't found any evidence of a second planet there.""

Comment Re:Great for mind, not to great for the Kidney's (Score 1) 458

I had made a similar comment earlier, then did a little reading. In medicine, "heavy metal" refers to any metal whose salts are fairly toxic, and this includes lithium and beryllium. The term "toxic metal" would be more appropriate, but it is not well-defined either.

Just goes to show that too many med students don't really pay much attention in their science courses.

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 768

That makes no sense. If a copy of Office 2008 for OSX installed Windows Media Player to fight off iTunes then slashdot would melt from the outrage.

Dammit, quite giving ideas to Microsoft's marketing department!

Besides, something close to this already happens. Microsoft's Office Updater and Adobe's Updater make offers of frivolous add-ons in addition to legitimate updates. This falls nowhere near all the bad behavior Real has committed on people trying to get the free version of Realplayer. And think of all the websites that try to gather unnecessary personal information and/or try to automatically enroll you to their email lists when you register on them? Apple is perhaps being a bit less well-behaved than they were before, but they aren't doing anything close to bad enough to provoke the level of outrage I'm seeing.

If you have the intellectual capacity to uncheck the pre-checked email subscriptions on web page registrations then you will not be "tricked" into downloading Safari. If you are so duped, then you have lost a tiny amount of bandwidth and the temporary loss of some hard disk space, but otherwise encounter no harm whatsoever.

While I do think that Apple is being a little pushy, I believe that this will have the effect of taking users from IE, and won't take users from Firefox. After all, Firefox users have already been proactive about switching their browsers, and the Safari promotion seems to be targeted at people who might switch if it is made very easy for them. At worse, this may take a fraction off the top of Firefox's future growth, but won't slow it down very much by any means.

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