They have a big stake in the market, and have one of the most pernicious, devious and downright aggressive marketing and sales tactics it's ever been my displeasure to be on the receiving end of.
So don't just take those numbers with a ladle-full of salt, take them as plain "marketing bullshit dressed up as research and regurgitated by lazy publishers"
cmclean writes: "Following hot on the heels of the recent London protests against laws which would make terrorists out of people who photograph police officers, this Saturday brings the Convention on Modern Liberty. A timely and very necessary debate about what "Liberty" means in the 21st century. Covering everything from ID Cards and the database state to human rights abuses and xenophobia the convention aims to bring a measure of honest debate to an increasingly important, and fragile, area of society.
Although the main London event is sold out, there are satellite events being held in Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester, and — hopefully — Cardiff.
The plenary sessions will be available online as webcasts, and the site will provide a space for online, break-out debates as necessary.
Even if you are not living in the UK, this should make for an interesting debate, so get stuck in!"
from the don't-let-them-have-wil-wheaton dept.
SoyChemist writes "Sociologists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting have reported that China is making major investments in nanotechnology. Their aim is to 'leapfrog' past the United States in technological development by focusing on long-ranging scientific goals. So far, the Chinese government has poured about $400 million into the young field of research. Considering the low cost of equipment and labor over there, that is a very large sum of money, and China's investment is expected to 'rise considerably.'"
from the people-are-people-so-why-should-it-be dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Scientists at Stanford University have shown for the first time that the process of natural selection can act on human cultures as well as on genes. The team studied reports of canoe designs from 11 Oceanic island cultures, evaluating 96 functional features that could contribute to the seaworthiness of the vessels. Statistical test results showed clearly that the functional canoe design elements changed more slowly over time, indicating that natural selection could be weeding out inferior new designs. Authors of the study said their results speak directly to urgent social and environmental problems. 'People have learned how to avoid natural selection in the short term through unsustainable approaches such as inequity and excess consumption. But this is not going to work in the long term,' said Deborah S. Rogers, a research fellow at Stanford."
from the now-we-just-need-a-really-big-shark-and-we're-set dept.
eldavojohn writes "Weighing in at a mere 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter and containing a measly 300 terawatts of power, the University of Michigan has broken a record with a 1.3-micron speck wide laser. It's about two orders of magnitude higher than any other laser in the world and can perform for 30 femtoseconds once every ten seconds — some of the researchers speculate it is the most powerful laser in the universe. 'If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory ... To achieve this beam, the research team added another amplifier to the HERCULES laser system, which previously operated at 50 terawatts. HERCULES is a titanium-sapphire laser that takes up several rooms at U-M's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. Light fed into it bounces like a pinball off a series of mirrors and other optical elements. It gets stretched, energized, squeezed and focused along the way.'" And ... cue the evil chortling.