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Comment Nice to see (Score 5, Interesting) 618

...that someone is raising the real issue. I'm in the UK and studied for a science degree and from people I still know who graduated, only one of them is actually working in science now (5 years later). Of other friends I've made in the field most have left their science jobs. The most recent has just retrained as an accountant. She got made redundant from her previous job with a big pharma as they moved her whole lab out to china where they said they could have 6 equally qualified people for what they were paying her. People aren't stupid, they aren't going to study for something where there's no jobs, or what jobs do exist are all low paid rubbish with no chance of advancement. They'll all go become accountants and lawyers. Say hello to globalisation...

Comment Paying for it (Score 1) 684

Most of the comments here seem to be talking about code copying/sharing/theft.

However this isn't the only way to get code. When I was doing my CS degree I was know as being someone to ask for help when stuck, and people frequently did. This lead to me being asked several times if I'd accept payment to write the assignment for them; of course I declined. These people clearly didn't have the first idea how to construct a program, yet several seemed to pass the course, which always amazed me. That was a few years ago now, and I expect it's only got easier with sites like RentACoder, for people with money to buy their way through courses. A very talented and poor friend of mine on an english course got offered alot of money to write someone's dissertation.

The only way people get caught is if someone grasses them up.


Submission + - The Long Fail: A History of Unsuccessful Tablets (

harrymcc writes: If the tablet device that Apple announces turns out to be a hit, it'll reverse more than two decades of disappointment for tablet computers. I've rounded up some prime examples, some of which were launched with Apple-like hype and then died within months. (Anyone remember Momenta and Eo?)

Submission + - Replay attack allows e-passports to be tracked (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in the UK have found a replay attack against the RFID tag in e-passports that makes it possible to track the owner. The Register reports the store here. From the article: "Assuming that the target carried their passport on them, an attacker could place a device in a doorway that would detect when the target entered or left a building. ...This is a great example of why e-passports are a bad idea". e-Passports generate a new random ID every time they are powered up, but every e-passport has a unique MAC key. The researchers found that, by replaying a message, they could tell if a particular MAC key was being used. Technical details are given in a 16 page pdf.

Submission + - Beddington calls for climate change openness (

krou writes: In the wake of the UN overstating the rate the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, the UK's chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, has stated in an interview that there is 'a problem in communicating uncertainty' that is affecting public confidence in climate science: 'There’s definitely an issue there. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be the level of scepticism. All of these predictions have to be caveated by saying, "There’s a level of uncertainty about that" ... I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism. Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.' Specifically, he targeted climate modelling, saying: 'When you get into large-scale climate modelling there are quite substantial uncertainties. On the rate of change and the local effects, there are uncertainties both in terms of empirical evidence and the climate models themselves.' He also called for more openness with regards to data, commenting: “I think, wherever possible, we should try to ensure there is openness and that source material is available for the whole scientific community. There is a danger that people can manipulate the data, but the benefits from being open far outweigh that danger.” At the same time, however, he noted that 'It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.'

Submission + - Open Source in Investment Banks (

DCFC writes: Quietly, OSS has been digging deep into the major banks. Areas like algorithmic trading are now dominated by Linux, and developers routinely build their solutions using GCC and other free development tools. They now understand that the quality of a system is driven by the level of people who build and maintain it, and that correlates weakly with the size of the suppler. Many banks are really quite anxious about being at the mercy of Oracle MySQL falls into its hands.

Of course you can choose for yourself whether it is good or bad that banks make major financial decisions using powerful open source tools...


Submission + - Low tech paper zoomable map (

apetrelli writes: Wired has an article about a paper map made as an origami that can even be used to zoom.

Electronic maps, like those from Google, are better than paper in many ways. You can search, zoom, get directions and carry a whole planets worth of cartography in your pocket. However, you still need a battery and an internet connection. Map 2 incorporates one new feature from its electronic successor: zooming. It unfolds from a little square into a bigger, four-sectioned overview of the city-center.

The map costs £8.00

Comment Re:Any animator knows... (Score 2, Informative) 521

If by 'supposedly' you mean 'definitely' and if by 'most movie theaters' you mean 'all theaters and even all motion picture production processes in recent years', then yes.

I'm sorry but that's not quite correct. I worked as a movie projectionist for several years, so I know this from experience. While 24fps works, and is what used to be used in cinemas, it is noticeably flickery. As with most advancements in cinema technology, they came up with a bit of a hack. While there are still only 24 frames of film per second, the projector shows each frame twice, giving an effective frame rate of 48fps.

Comment Re:Big Picture: this is no surprise at all (Score 1) 491

I'm not trolling here, but explain to me exactly why this is so terrible?

So what if someone else makes stuff for you? You could say we should all be making our own food, because each person needs food, and if they don't make their own food they're in danger of starving...

As far as I understand it, it was the very fact that moving away from subsistence farming that allowed modern society to flourish.

How is this any different?

Comment Re:Fuel efficiency of this train vs airplane? (Score 4, Insightful) 491

The trouble is a project of that size usually requires some level of state/federal organisation or funding to secure the necessary investment from private funding and the power to buy the land. Which in the USA seems to cause foaming at the mouth and long rants about the evils of communism.

(I'm assuming here a new high speed railway would require a new less bendy track than already exists)

Comment Re:How do people pay eachother? (Score 2, Interesting) 796

I think this is part of the confusion really. The banking systems in different countries are quite different and have different charging models. They are just trying to get rid of what is a free service in the UK for personal accounts. I know a few small business owners that use personal accounts for their banking precisely because they don't charge for transactions.

I have to wonder what UK bank the GP is using as I have accounts with three major banks and they all charge around £25 to transfer money between them. I've found the easiest way to change money between accounts is to drive to the bank, withdraw in cash and walk across the street and pay it into the other bank. (luckily all three banks have branches next to each other) Stupid in the 21st century, but it's the quickest and cheapest way for me to do it.

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