Geoffrey.landis writes: "The historical period that we call the dark ages, from perhaps 600 to 1200 AD, was the golden age of Islamic science, when great advances in science and technology were taking place in the middle east. But somehow, as the west experienced its renaissance, the blossoming of the age of science, and the founding of the modern technological world, the Arabic world instead turned away from science. Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one, and of roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science.
Why? In an article "Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science" in The New Atlantis, Hillel Ofek examines both the reasons why Islamic science flourished, and why it failed.
Are we turning the same way, with a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and dogma shouting down the culture of inquiry and free thinking needed for scientific advances? Perhaps we should be looking at the decline of Islamic science as a cautionary tale."
Frosty Piss writes: Despite earning more than $1 billion in profits last year, social media juggernaut Facebook paid zilch when it came to federal and state taxes in 2012. In fact, the website will actually be getting a refund totaling $429 million thanks to a tax reduction for executive stock options. In the coming years, Facebook will continue to get monster tax breaks, totaling about $3 billion. 'The employees cash in stock options, and at that point there is tax deduction for the company,' Robert McIntyre, of watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice, said. 'Because even though it doesn't cost Facebook a nickel, the government treats it as wages and they get a deduction for it. And usually it doesn't wipe out companies whole tax bill, although many companies get big breaks from it.'
ZacGery writes: "The only thing that is constant is change." This famous quote originated from a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus. For many this statement still rings true. In software development, this notion is simultaneously its biggest asset and weakness. Another area that permeates teams with the same voracity is Parkinson's Law. This adage states "work expands so as to fill the time available for is completion." It was coined back in 1955 by Cyril Parkinson in The Economist. Everyone has had first hand experience with this concept. Starting a day with high expectations of productivity and losing it in the warm of a summer afternoon. Although this phrase was born before the modern era of computing, it has found a home in software development. Similar to termites, this unwanted guest creeps into projects and slowly eats away at the foundations.
jfruh writes: "In all the excitement over new iOS 6 features — including controversy over the quality of the news Maps app — one Apple-touted new feature, Passbook, hasn't gotten much attention. This review from Kevin Purdy helps explain why. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, exactly, but it can be clunky to set up new merchant payment apps with it, and once you do, you don't get a payment experience that's any more convenient than just paying with your credit card or good old-fashioned cash."
bbianca127 writes: A study has found that fast-food logos are branded into the minds of children at an early age, perhaps fueling the U.S.'s obesity epidemic. The study showed children 60 logos from popular food brands and 60 logos from popular non-food brands. Researchers found that, when shown images of fast-food brands, the parts of kids' brains linked with pleasure and appetite lit up. This is concerning because marketers tap into those portions of the brain long before children develop self-control, and most foods marketed to kids are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat.