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Comment Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (Score 1) 461

Careful, your ignorance is showing.

The Enlightenment was in the 18th Century. The Renaissance (literally, rebirth) was immediately after the Dark Ages, and indeed did include the incorporation of Arab knowledge, which was quite substantial at that time, into European Cultures. Subsequently, the Middle East stagnated (prior to the rise of European Colonialism, mind you, so you can't really blame whitey for this one), while Europe dominated.

Pick up a copy of What Went Wrong . It'll explain why you are wrong better than I can.

Comment Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (Score 1) 461

RTFB, then bloviate. You sound somewhat uninformed otherwise. I understand how a book review by Newt Gingrich could be off-putting.

I've read both. IANAC (I Am Not A Classicist), but Neither Diamond nor Hanson should be taken too seriously. They're polemicists at worst, and pop historians at best, and darlings of the Left and Right, respectively.

Anyway, in defense of Hanson, the thesis of his book is quite competently defended, and is a bit more nuanced than "Europe is better and always has been." He uses historical battles as illustrative examples of aspects of Western Culture that have led to our Post-Renaissance dominance, which even you, in your haste to condemn the book you haven't read, concede. Things like private land ownership, the ability of a market economy to rapidly switch to war-time production (cf. Venice and the battle of Lepanto, US Pacific Fleet in WWII), civic militarism (i.e. direct participation of soldiers in the government they're fighting for).

Finally, read some Bernard Lewis (who is actually a respected historian) to cure you of your fascination with Arab Culture. If you're too lazy to read that, the short version is: "we had an enlightenment; they didn't."


Submission + - Publishers want a slice of used game market (sfgate.com) 3

grigory writes: GameStop's business model depends on a healthy flow of used games: incredibly "[GameStop] enjoys a 48 percent profit margin on used games". Game publishers do not see a cut of the secondary sale because it falls under the first sale doctrine. Now, some publishers and manufacturers want a piece of the pie. "One marketing executive, who did not want to be identified for fear of angering GameStop and other retailers, said the used game sale market is still depriving publishers of money because it gives consumers an all-too-easy alternative to buying a new game." Interesting picture of companies fighting for your business, and (suprise!) complaining about being left out of the money stream.

Submission + - Are IT professionals' relationships hellish? (itworld.com)

LSU_ADT_Geek writes: "Recently, I posed the following question to the CIO Forum on LinkedIn: What do you wish your spouse understood about your job?

A dozen IT executives and IT directors--11 men and one woman--responded to the question publicly in the forum or privately via e-mail. Only one respondent, Jim Weeks, answered, "Nothing. She knows it all." Weeks attributed his wife's understanding of his job to the fact that they work together at Greenwich Hospital--she as the telecom manager and he as the CIO--and that they collaborate on projects both at work and at home.

Most of the 11 other respondents' answers to my question expressed some frustration with their jobs or with their marriages, or both. (The one woman who responded to my question wrote about the guilt-trips her kids lay on her for having to work long hours.)"


Submission + - Hulu To Begin Charging For Video Content 1

An anonymous reader writes: All great free things can't last forever, especially when the entertainment industry is involved. What I'm referring to is Hulu.com, the most popular content streaming service online and where millions of users watch full TV episodes of their favorite shows. According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content. News Corp is the parent company of Fox which owns a huge portion of Hulu. When Miller of Newscorp was asked if Hulu would begin charging for online content during an Interview with Daily Finance, he said that "the answer could be yes." He went on to say that he doesn't "see why over time that shouldn't happen."

Submission + - Unix Turns 40: Past, Present, Future Of The OS (computerworld.com) 1

CWmike writes: "In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T subsidiary Bell Laboratories, saw the month-long departure of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler. 'A powerful operating system for interactive use need not be expensive either in equipment or in human effort,' colleague Dennis Ritchie and Thompson would write five years later. '[We hope that] users of Unix will find that the most important characteristics of the system are its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use.' Apparently they did. But after four decades (see the timeline), the future of the operating system is clouded. Gartner analyst George Weiss notes the pressures on Unix, saying, 'Linux is the strategic 'Unix' of choice.' Although Linux doesn't have the long legacy of development, tuning and stress-testing that Unix has seen, it is approaching and will soon equal Unix in performance, reliability and scalability, he says. However, a recent survey by Computerworld suggests that any migration away from Unix won't happen quickly."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The Verizon MiFi is a Great Friend for the iPhone (ofb.biz)

uninet writes: "Over the course of a few days last week, I was able to spend a good deal of time with Verizon's amazing little MiFi 3G router. It performed its task of providing speedy Wi-Fi internet to other devices via a EvDO Rev. A connection very well. Ironically, the red V network's device even improved the experience of using my iPhone, making it usable for surfing where its native network (AT&T) doesn't even connect. Check out my findings at Open for Business."
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Running Windows 95 on the Wii (fathertom.net)

ften writes: "Basically once DOSBox got released for the Wii that's all I've been playing with lately. After playing some Commander Keen and getting an old Dos app that's near and dear to my heart to run, I decided to tackle Windows. Windows 3.11 was easy because it can be natively run in DOSBox and after I realized the Wii only seems to support EGA, it was a snap. Windows 95 was not a snap do to the fact it needs DOS 6.X or higher and doesn't officially support EGA. I was finally able to get it to work but it was incredibly unstable and so slow that Windows is basically unusable. I've posted the instructions on my blog so other can duplicate the feat if they wish."
Social Networks

Submission + - Study Shows aTwitter Gap: Tweets vs. Tweet-Nots (harvardbusiness.org)

Cathy writes: "A new study of Twitter users shows that usage is heavily concentrated among a few instead of dispersed among the many users. Half of Twitter users tweet less than once every 74 days and the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. The researchers, from Harvard Business School, say: "The pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users than is the case on Wikipedia, even though Wikipedia is clearly not a communications tool. This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.""
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Tetris turns 25 (guardian.co.uk)

teh.f4ll3n writes: This week can be marked as The Tetris Week. 25 years ago a russian (soviet) researcher thought of one of the world's most popular games. It is now that we celebrate it's 25th anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago, inside the bowels of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, a young artificial intelligence researcher received his first desktop computer — the Soviet-built Elektronika 60, a copy of an American minicomputer called a PDP-11 — and began writing programs for it.

Comment Re:Glowing is cool, but the novelty is elsewhere (Score 1) 174

I posted these when the article was on the firehose for the benefit of the non-technical audience, but I guess they don't carry over when the story gets promoted:



Summary for Scientists:

Comment Links to Primary Source(s) (Score 1) 2


Submission + - Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light on Human Disease 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "BBC reports that a team of Japanese scientists has integrated a new gene for green fluorescent protein into the common marmoset, causing them to glow green under ultraviolet light, creating second-generation, glow-in-the-dark monkeys in what could be a powerful new tool in human disease research. Though primates modified to generate a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines. If a fluorescent protein gene can be introduced into the monkey genome and passed onto future generations, other genes could be too opening up a world of possibilities for medical research, such as the generation of specific monkey colonies containing genetic defects that mirror human diseases aiding efforts to cure such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists. "I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings," says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. "'Slippery slope' is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.""

Comment Science reporting at its best! (Score 2, Informative) 188

The article reports the ground-breaking/unprecedented/whatever direct conversion of cellulose to HMF. Here's an earlier article from a different research group that the editors of "Gizmag" seem to be unaware of. It was published earlier and actually describes the same process from either cellulose or untreated biomass:


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