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Comment Re:What Classes Are They Cheating In? (Score 1) 484

I think taking things like Classical History [...] during my CS degree made university more fun any interesting

Were that the humanities options always that interesting. Honestly, I wouldn't mind so much if they merely didn't involve writing essays; then I would personally be much more inclined to enjoy them. (Learning to be eloquent is a virtue, yes, but that's part of what high school is for.)

not to mention meeting more people of the opposite sex.

I can't argue with you there...


Submission + - Japanese develop world's fastest book scanner (

An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports that Tokyo University researchers have developed a superfast book scanner that uses lasers and a high-speed camera to achieve a capture rate of 200 pages per minute. You just quickly flip the book pages in front of the system and it digitizes the pages, building a 3D model of each and reconstructing it as a normal flat page. The prototype is large and bulky, but if this thing could be made smaller, one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone.

Submission + - Wikipedia's Assault on Patent Encumbered Codecs ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Open Video Alliance is launching a campaign today called Let's Get Video on Wikipedia asking people to create and post videos to Wikipedia articles (good, encyclopedia style videos only!). Because all video must be in patent-free codecs (theora for now), this will make Wikipedia by far the most likely site for an average internet user to have a truly free and open video experience. The campaign seeks to "strike a blow for freedom" against a wave of h.264 adoption in otherwise open html5 video implementations.

Tapping of Cemetery Maples Leaves a Bad Taste 3

Maple syrup producers are taking some heat over tapping trees in a few Massachusetts cemeteries. From the article: "In Lancaster’s Old Settlers and Eastwood cemeteries, the Lancaster Cub Scout Pack 9 tapped trees as part of a project after receiving permission. But Lancaster selectmen said they didn’t know cemetery trees would be tapped and they received several calls about it. Walsh said tapping trees along roads is normal, but in cemeteries it’s 'a little tacky.'" It should be noted that grave syrup is an important part of a balanced goth breakfast.
The Internet

Submission + - Canon Inc. trying for ".canon" top-level domain ( 1

cybercobra writes: In a very odd move showing how silly ICANN's gTLD liberalization policy is, Canon Inc., the company known for cameras and printers, is trying to register ".canon" as a generic top-level domain. Their press release reads:
'With the adoption of the new gTLD system, which enables the direct utilization of the Canon brand, Canon hopes to globally integrate open communication policies that are intuitive and easier to remember compared with existing domain names such as ""'


Submission + - Mastery of RareEarth Elements Vital to US Security (

An anonymous reader writes: Karl A. Gschneidner Jr., a senior metallurgist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, recently cautioned members of a Congressional panel that "rare-earth research in the USA on mineral extraction, rare-earth separation, processing of the oxides into metallic alloys and other useful forms, substitution, and recycling is virtually zero." To optimize the use of rare earths in current and future products, scientists combine rare earths with other elements to create alloys intended for specific purposes. Yet the United States and other nations have ceded much of this alloying knowledge to China, Gschneidner said.....[C]urrent methods used to manufacture the magnets produce hazardous byproducts. In contrast, the Ames Lab process eliminates production of these byproducts. Also significant, the Ames Laboratory process has the potential to enable the United States to produce neodymium-iron-boron magnets less expensively.

Submission + - State of the CPU: how Intel and AMD stack up (

An anonymous reader writes: The most eye-opening way to survey the current CPU landscape is to plot price against performance. PC Authority magazine has benchtested 50 CPUs, and based on those benchmark results, they have come up with this graph showing where AMD and Intel chips sit in terms of price and performance. The most apparent trend is that despite the hype over Intel's Core i7 parts, AMD's CPUs still beat Intel's for pure value. The Athlon II is much better value than Intel's Core 2 parts, while the Phenom II line is way better value than all but the best of the new Core i3 and i5 parts (which are beginning to rival AMD for value). Based on price alone, AMD's aggressive strategy is working. Though it's disappointing to see AMD still languishing in terms of raw performance.

Submission + - Gamers dress as zombies to raise R18+ awareness ( 1

swandives writes: Australian gamers will dress as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in the country. The protest will begin at Hyde Park Fountain on March 27 and lumber through Sydney, raising awareness of the need for a higher classification rating and hopefully causing a bit of havoc at the same time! Computerworld Australia has pictures of previous zombie protests in the lead-up to the event. Australia has a long history of lobbying for an R18+ games classification but, even after a decade, video games are banned from sale if they exceed the maximum M15+ classification.

So far, the list of banned titles includes 7 Sins, Risen, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dark Sector. Others, like Alien Vs Predator, were initially banned but appealed the rating and are now MA15+.


Submission + - Scientists Demonstrate Mammalian Limb Regeneration (

telomerewhythere writes: A quest that began over a decade ago with a chance observation has reached a milestone: the identification of a gene that may regulate regeneration in mammals. The absence of this single gene, called p21, confers a healing potential in mice long thought to have been lost through evolution and reserved for creatures like flatworms, sponges, and some species of salamander.

Researchers found mice lacking the gene p21 regrew limbs instead of creating scar tissue.

Here is original link for those with PNAS access.


Submission + - Toshiba ends incandescent bulb production ( 1

angry tapir writes: "Toshiba has ended production of mass-market incandescent light bulbs, putting to a close a 120-year manufacturing history of the products. The company, which is one of Japan's largest makers of lighting products, had planned to halt production next year but brought up the date by a year. It will now focus on more energy efficient products including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs."

Submission + - Frog Foam Photosynthesis (

Garrett Fox writes: University of Cincinnati researchers describe a method of getting photosynthesis from a high-surface-area foam containing enzymes that produce sugar using light and CO2. (Abstract). Oddly, the foam itself is derived from a species of frog. More interesting is that the technique doesn't use whole cells or apparently even chloroplasts. The researchers claim "chemical conversion efficiencies approaching 96%", as well as tolerance for deliberately high-CO2 environments.

Submission + - Innovative uses of technology (

high_rolla writes: Recently I have been helping teachers come up with creative ways to use the tools they have on Moodle (a VLE). They initially thought they would need custom tools developed for all the activities they wanted to do. We discovered that they largely didn't need to do this but could use the existing tools in creative ways. eg, we looked at holding student elections using the Choice activity and doing structured brainstorming using forums. It occurred to me that technical people do this all the time but it is not very natural for others.

I have two questions:
What tools do you use in ways they were not intended?
How do you think we can encourage others to think in this way?

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