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Submission + - Language universality idea tested (

NotSanguine writes: A long-standing idea that human languages share universal features that are dictated by human brain structure has been cast into doubt.

A study reported in Nature has borrowed methods from evolutionary biology to trace the development of grammar in several language families.

The results suggest that features shared across language families evolved independently in each lineage.

The authors say cultural evolution, not the brain, drives language development.


Submission + - E-Book Sales Have Doubled in the Last Year! ( 1

destinyland writes: The Association of American Publishers revealed today that e-book sales have doubled in the last year. Sixteen publishers reported that in February e-book sales totaled more than $90.3 million, a 202.3% increase over e-book sales in February of 2010. Meanwhile, sales of adult hardcover books have dropped 43%, while mass-market paperback sales dropped 41.5% (earning just $46.2 million and $29.3 million, respectively). The book publishing association acknowledged that readers have "made e-books permanent additions to their lifestyle," arguing that publishers "are constantly redefining the timeless concept of 'books'" and identifying new audiences they can serve through emerging technologies. "It's nice to see that book publishers are aware of the changes rocking their industry," notes one e-book blog, "and that they're approaching it with a sense of history."

Comment Re:This why Rome fell (Score 1) 122

What terrible math!

80years * 20,000men = 1,600,000 man years (24hrs, 7 days/wk)
i.e: 533,333 man years (8hrs, 7 days/wk)
i.e. 380,952 man years (8 hrs, 5 days/wk)

If everyone of the 20K workers were sick half of the time:
190,476 man years (8 hrs, 5 days/wk, but not working 50% of the time)

Using your data, the pyramids at Giza took 5.5 times longer to build than people have been playing COD:BO, and that's if they were a bunch of slackers who took a sickie every other day!

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 1) 352

In this article, information about science research is being withheld from the media.

What if the fact that this information is being withheld, were also withheld?

Now we have a media with no information, and no idea that they don't have the information, and a public who has no clue about it either.

How would you go about convincing your countrymen that this is a bad thing, if no-one, even you, knew about it?


Wine 1.2 Release Candidate Announced 165

An anonymous reader writes "After evolving over 15 years to get to 1.0, a mere 2 years later and Wine 1.2 is just about here. There have been many many improvements and plenty of new features added. Listing just a few (doing no justice to the complete change set): many new toolbar icons; support for alpha blending in image lists; much more complete shader assembler; support for Arabic font shaping and joining, and a number of fixes for video rendering; font anti-aliasing configuration through fontconfig; and improved handling of desktop link files. Win64 support is the milestone that marks this release. Please test your favorite applications for problems and regressions and let the Wine team know so fixes can be made before the final release. Find the release candidate here."

Comment Re:Why exactly is an issue? (Score 1) 447

So what?

All this means is that there is an initial section of the website that doesn't use cookies, and therefore doesn't need to pass a cookie to the user. This is the EULA section.

After this, there is another section which uses cookies because the user allowed it, and then a third section which says: well thanks for reading the EULA, pity you won't be able to see the rest of the site because you clicked No.

What's the big deal?

Comment Re:I'm what you could call a "blue collar" coder (Score 1) 836

I agree with your take on this. I am glad that I took maths and applied maths at uni, because that's been of tremendous help to me during my career as a programmer.

But nothing I learned at uni about programming or computer science has been of any use whatsoever.

Everything I know about coding I learnt either from reading other people's source code or long hours of experimentation. The rest is just experience and reading books.

Also, I devote part of every day to reading up on new or old coding practices/techniques, and I read a book a month about something to do with design, engineering or coding. If I didn't do this, I wouldn't stay current, and I wouldn't have a broad pool of knowledge to draw from.

The big question of a degree vs a diploma becomes irrelevant after a few years, something neither recruiters nor employers seem to realise.

For an accountant you need a degree, because the rules and practices of accounting are well-known and you can learn them all in a degree. This is not the case AT ALL for the ever-evolving field of programming, never mind the misunderstood field of computer science.

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