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Submission + - Robots "Evolve" Altruism (

sciencehabit writes: Computer simulations of tiny robots with rudimentary nervous systems show that, over hundreds of generations, these virtual machines evolve altruistic behaviors. They begin to share small disks--a stand in for food--with each other so that their comrades' traits are passed on to the next generation. Experts say the study sheds light on why various animals--from bees to humans--help each other out, even when it hurts their own chances to reproduce.

Submission + - Five Low-Cost Windows Video Editing Programs (

Roblimo writes: Every year, an increasing percentage of my income comes from video shooting and editing. I also help friends, neighbors, and various business associates learn to shoot and edit their own videos. This article describes my five favorite entry-level Windows video editing programs, with a brief run-down of each one's strengths and weaknesses. While I wrote this for people doing business-type videos, this information is also valuable if you want to edit your family's holiday videos. (Free registration required to view.)

Submission + - Preview: Ubuntu's Unity Interface (

itwbennett writes: In late October we learned that starting with the next release (11.04), Ubuntu would use Unity instead of GNOME as its default desktop interface. Now we know a bit more about what that will (and won't) mean for users. The move to Unity doesn't mean that Ubuntu is abandoning GNOME. It also doesn't mean that users will be forced to use Unity; they'll still be able to revert to the old GNOME interface. What it does mean, mainly, is that users will be presented with a simple interface — probably too simple for nuts and bolts types. The more 'radical shift' will be switching Ubuntu's base graphics system from the X Window System to Wayland. There users can expect that it will take some time before things are in working order. 'In other words,' says Steven Vaughan-Nichols who reviewed Unity for ITworld, 'Wayland will be an option, and one that only people who don't mind having their desktops blow up on a regular basis should fool with, in Ubuntu 11.04. By Ubuntu 11.10, it will be workable, and come the spring release two years from now, Ubuntu 12.04, we should, if all goes well, see a stable Wayland-based Unity desktop.'

Comment Re:Ridiculous (Score 1, Insightful) 752

That's not an environmental impact at all. Hardly. What you're asking is: "What's the environmental impact of employing more programmers?" Sure, let's say worst-case, facebook hires programmers that would have got another job elsewhere, that other company must now hire different programmers and it trickles down eventually until some people who were going to be unemployed get a job programming somewhere. Okay, so now those people have a job. Let's ignore the fact that you're essentially saying that we should cut down emissions by making people unemployed. It's true that having a job will probably cause them to contribute a bit carbon emissions than if they were unemployed, but studies have shown that the large amount of our personal environmental impact is non-reducable (around 50%), even if you were to go homeless and live on the streets, we might see maybe a 10-20% increase of their personal carbon emissions. For even a couple dozen programmers that's nothing compared to running 20,000 more servers per year and that's absolute worst case. What you're arguing is the economic cost for facebook, whether it's worth all the man-hours to make their severs more efficient. That's debatable, but if you want an example, you just have to look at Google where they have a team that is devoted to increasing efficiency, despite the fact that they are already running some of the most power-efficient servers in the country.

Comment Symbolism for Writing (Score 3, Insightful) 227

Note that a typewriter is synonymous with writing, there is nothing else you can do on it. A type writer which has written a great piece of writing is like a sword used at a famous battle or the hockey stick that belonged to a famous hockey player. It is symbolic. A computer is not so in the same way, because it is not exclusive to writing. While you can write on a computer, it's not just limited to that. In fact there are almost infinite uses for a computer. However they are especially associated with coding and programming. So while you might expect that Linus's original computer would fetch a handsome price, you would not, for example, expect his telephone too. It's just not symbolic of what he does.

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