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## Comment Re:Dip Pens Require(d) Cursive (Score 1)613

If you're willing to spend a little more money and effort, you can get a used Parker 51 on ebay for less than \$50. It's by far the best pen I've ever used and has lasted me five years so far. Parker Vectors (\$10) are a good way to see if you like fountain pens, I think.

## Offline Gmail Launched220

javipas writes "Google developers have announced a new feature part of Gmail Labs that everybody was waiting to see realized. Offline Gmail will allow users to have a partial copy of its Gmail account on their PCs, and access their messages while being offline. The magic of Google Gears comes to the rescue, but the process will not be complete. The syncronization will update the online and offline copies, but Google will use an algorithm that will determine the messages downloaded on each sync (the first being the most important) based on several parameters that point out that message's relevance. This measure will save the process from downloading pieces of information not quite as valuable. US and UK English users can enjoy this feature through the Gmail Labs section."

## Comment Re:Ignorant summary writer. (Score 1)176

There are around 6 billion humans, so this would make the total water consumption equal to around 16 times the human population.

I started out writing this post on how this number is way too low, but it's actually more reasonable than you might think. I do think it's off by an order of magnitude (but I thought it was off by at least 5).

Assume water consumption is roughly proportional to mass. The rest is based on wiki Biomass article. From the "domestic biomass = 700 mill tonnes = 1% of earths biomass" estimate a total biomass of 7*10^10 tonnes. Say a third of that is from animals (there are a lot of small critters in the sea, so maybe), so we have around 2*10^10 tonnes animal biomass. 6 billion humans = 1*10^8 tonnes biomass, so we're talking the equivalent of 1200 billion humans, ie, around 10 times your estimate. So that would make the two quantities even closer.

## Comment Re:How is this random? (Score 1)101

The interleaving is assumed random. I believe that the deck is randomly divided into 2 stacks, and then we sequentially take cards from each of the stacks, choosing the stacks with probability in proportion to the number of cards in each. I would actually take a look at the paper if you're interested - the result is not that esoteric. What's nice about the proof is the very clever idea (something about certain sequences of cards), which makes the proof itself pretty accessible.

An anonymous reader writes "For those with a stake in the opposition of Jim Prentice's C-61, the Canadian DMCA, this previous week's election results will be displeasing. The Conservative Party, which promised to reintroduce the DMCA if elected, gained 19 seats this election, mostly at the expense of the flagging liberal party, a mere 12 short of a majority government. The increase in Conservative representation, as well as the relatively low profile of this issue amidst other, more pressing concerns, increases the likelihood that the son of C-61 will come to fruition. On a positive note, the number of MPs supporting Geist's copyright pledge has increased to 34. Given the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion, however, the efforts of the copyright-pledge MPs will have to rally the full opposition across three major parties in order to defeat the bill. A mere 12 MPs now stand between the Canadian public and the MAFIAA's hungry maw."

## Microsoft Launches IT Superhero Comic285

willdavid writes "Paul McDougall reports in InformationWeek on Microsoft's new online comic. The Heroes Happen Here comic strips are being created by Jordan Gorfinkel, a former DC Comics editor who helped revitalize the Batman series. 'Tech workers who in the middle of the night fix a downed server or take on a computer virus don't really have extraordinary powers. It just seems that way. But a new comic book has debuted in which IT pros literally are superheroes. The daily Web comic, called Heroes Happen Here, features tech savvy crime fighters like Lord Firewall, who "stands between chaos and order" and says things like "begone vermin!"'" And because it's never easy, in order to read the archives of the comic you're going to need to install Microsoft's Silverlight.

## Submission + - Student charged for bringing tool into high school8

sm62704 (mcgrew) writes: "The Chicago Tribune (bugmenot required) and Belleville News Democrat are reporting on the plight of Christopher Berger, an honor student at Grayslake Central High School, a choir singer, as well as a former football player who spends half the day training to be a firefighter.

He was arrested for "reckless conduct" for bringing a tool to school; a Totes outdoor multi-tool flashlight, which has (gasp) a two inch blade.

What would they do to a kid who brought a balloon full of hydrogen to school, like I did when I was in the 7th grade? I'm sure glad I'm a geezer!"

## Submission + - Lacking contributions of corporations to OSS

Sargun Dhillon writes: "William Hurley, or better known as whurley, from BMC software writes about a town much like the open source world where no one gives back. As the open source community is exploding in size it is being taken advantage of some. Open source projects are being used by companies who adequately contribute back to open source, but there are a few evil companies which are not willing contribute back. This is only one more bump that OSS must pass over."

## Submission + - Two snowflakes may be alike after all

An anonymous reader writes: LiveScience is reporting that it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. For anyone who studies probablity, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowlfakes fall in any given year. The article cointains links to fascinating snowflake pictures.

## Submission + - Can we find a man with just a photo and a name?

MikeJ writes: "Mind Candy, the makers of Perplex City, are testing the power of the Internet by asking that very question; they have recruited one of Earth's 6 billion residents — a man named Satoshi — to participate in this experiment.

It has been suggested that we are each only five to seven people away from any target in the world. Someone, somewhere, knows Satoshi — so we must track these people, and thus Satoshi, down using word-of-mouth communication. People from over 80 countries are already participating in the hunt, with more joining every day. Can you help find Satoshi?"

## Coping with Exam Panic Attacks?207

UniGirlBot asks: "I am a distinction / high distinction student who normally doesn't have any major levels of stress during exams. Today I managed to have a major panic attack during an exam on databases and ended up leaving the room in tears about halfway through a 3-hour paper. This panic attack was an absolute first for me and I now have to begin the special consideration procedure, which I am grateful exists. For the record, I did study enough and the course was something I enjoyed doing. Does anyone out there have any advice on what I could do stop this from happening again, please?" If you've been in this position, how did you recover?

## Allergy-Free Kittens Produced276

An anonymous reader writes "San Diego-based company, Allerca, said that using a technique known as genetic divergence, it has 'bred the world's first hypoallergenic kitten, opening the doors and arms of millions of pet lovers for whom cuddling a cat has, until now, been a curse ... After identifying the genes of kittens with proteins that provide less of a reaction in humans, they selectively bred litters over several generations to end up with an allergy-friendly super cat.' The company says its customers are expected to take delivery of their \$4,000 hypoallergenic kittens in early 2007."

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