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Comment Re:This is terrible (Score 0) 907

The current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is an atheist, and it was pretty much a non-issue when the news came out. "Meh". Most of our former leaders were also not that religious. Aussies would rather here you swear and scull beer, than swear on the bible (Google on "Bob Hawke" and "Beer")

Also see:

Comment Re:makes sense (Score 0) 526

Hopefully, IBM can put Java on the right track again: fully open source it, fix its performance problems

What do you mean "fully open source" it? The only hitches are the bits not open where it's using code that they don't own, and there is work in OpenJDK being done on replacing that with open source code.


Submission + - Near-to-far field magnification (

KentuckyFC writes: "There was a time when magnifying glasses were good for nothing but frying ants and helping the over-60s with newsprint. But scientists at Purdue University have designed a lens that can magnify a near field image that is smaller than the wavelength of light, in to a potentially visible one (pdf). That could suddenly make it possible to see some very, very small things."

Submission + - Intelligence deputy to America: Rethink privacy (

Brian Lewis writes: Looks like the fight for privacy is getting brutal

As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States change their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.
It's so 1984 :)

Read more


Submission + - OLPC Give One - Get One Starts Today

Hanover SuperPunk writes: Precisely at 6:00am Eastern the OLPC Give One — Get One site changed over from a simple promise to a a store to purchase the revolutionary laptop. I was waiting in line to purchase mine and received my confirmation at 6 minutes past the hour. $399 plus $24 shipping gets a laptop for yourself and for a kid somewhere else in the world; it's not a bad deal.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Rewiring the body for faster prosthetics

holy_calamity writes: One of the worlds most advanced prosthetic arms just got an upgrade — from two movements to sixteen. The arm works using motor control nerves from the patient's stump rewired into their chest. If they think about moving their arm or hand, chest muscles twitch. A new set of electrodes can read more information from the rewired nerves' activity — allowing 16 different elbow, wrist, hand, thumb and finger movements instead of just opening and closing the hand or bending the elbow. It is also seven times faster.

Submission + - Rise of the robots

An anonymous reader writes: Here's a cool first hand report on the DARPA Urban Challenge. The event took place last week at a military base in the Californian desert, where the computer controlled cars had to negotiate an urban environment and be aware of the rules of the road. It looks like some awesome technology went into these cars, with each team chasing the $1 million prize.
The Internet

Submission + - 'When the patient is a Googler'

netbuzz writes: "A New York orthopedist's essay carrying that headline sets out to make the point that patients who rely more on their Web browsers than the expertise of their doctors are likely to be ill served by both. It's a valid enough point, but the doctor in this case so savages the patient he puts forth as Exhibit A — a 40-something Mom with an unruly 3-year-old — that he's likely to send even more skeptics of modern medicine scurrying for the Internet."

Submission + - Wii to sellout despite 1.8 million made each month (

Wowzer writes: "Despite 1.8 million Wii being manufactured each month, Wii's are said to sell out anyway. To quote Nintendo's President: "I can't guarantee that we're going to meet demand. As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record that we won't." You might want to buy a Wii early if you want one under the Christmas tree, considering Nintendo started boosting the production output during the three months ending June 30, 2007. Additionally, in a Fox TV interview with Alexis Glick, Nintendo's President Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the Wii would not be lowered in price."
The Internet

Submission + - Twine - semantic web or semantic ad-agency?

holy_calamity writes: New Scientist has some more information and a short video up about much ballyhooed 'semantic' web service Twine []. It points out how hard it is to be semantic right now — there's just not enough machine-targetted RDF or other data out there. Twine has to try and understand natural language instead. More importantly, Twine's inventor also reveals what is likely the real future of his semantic technology — to target ads better. "If they can become 100% relevant, they actually become content not adverts."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The top ten off switches

Dan Jimbokla writes: has a truly funny and read-worthy article up about the top ten off switches. One of my favorite switches from the piece is #4 — The illuminated toggle switch: "This switch isn't designed for high-drain uses, typically it can only provide a maximum of 20 amps at 12 volts. That will make it suitable for a number of exciting uses though, and what it lacks in power handling, it makes up for in practicality. This switch will illuminate when the device it controls is turned on, and go off when the device is deactivated. This is logical and practical, and that has earned this switch a place in our hearts. What's more, it's far from expensive and there are even a choice of colours."

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