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Submission + - Why the Arabic World Turned Away From Science (

Geoffrey.landis writes: "The historical period that we call the dark ages, from perhaps 600 to 1200 AD, was the golden age of Islamic science, when great advances in science and technology were taking place in the middle east. But somehow, as the west experienced its renaissance, the blossoming of the age of science, and the founding of the modern technological world, the Arabic world instead turned away from science. Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one, and of roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science. Why? In an article "Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science" in The New Atlantis, Hillel Ofek examines both the reasons why Islamic science flourished, and why it failed. Are we turning the same way, with a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and dogma shouting down the culture of inquiry and free thinking needed for scientific advances? Perhaps we should be looking at the decline of Islamic science as a cautionary tale."

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

Prince Says Internet Is Over 450

the_arrow writes "According to the artist currently known as Prince, 'The internet's completely over.' At least that what he says in an interview with the British newspaper Mirror. Quoting Prince: 'The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you.'"

Comment Re:More than 10 years ago? (Score 1) 505

Very definitely no. I stopped buying floppy disks well over 10 years ago when I started buying blank CD-Rs. When I needed a floppy disk, I just re-used old ones. I remember booting from burned CD with ASUS T2P4 motherboard after a firmware upgrade(=perfect floppy emulation). I was pretty excited b/c that meant I did not need/want to buy any more floppies, and I was running out old stocks. I was not concerned about the cost b/c CD-R was well under $2/disc and I only needed handful of disks for drivers. For organizing clutters, having one less different thing was worth some money. I think that was around 1997 or even earlier maybe. These days, I am in the process of getting rid of CD-Rs and DVD+-Rs, and replacing with SATA hdds. Those hard drive "toaster"s are god sent.

Woman Creates 3-D Erotic Book For the Blind 113

Lisa J. Murphy has written an erotic book with tactile images for that special visually impaired porn connoisseur in your life. Tactile Mind contains explicit softcore raised images, along with Braille text and photos. From the article: "A photographer with a certificate in Tactile Graphics from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Murphy learned to create touchable images of animals for books for visually impaired children. Then she realized that there was a lack of such books for adults only. 'There are no books of tactile pictures of nudes for adults, at least the last time I looked around,' says Murphy. 'We're breaking new ground. Playboy has [an edition with] Braille wording, but there are no pictures.' She says that while we live in a culture saturated with sexual images, the blind have been 'left out.'"

Want a Body Piercing With That Server? 19

1sockchuck writes "The web hosting business is known for promotional gimmicks. But here's an unusual one: ServerBeach UK is offering a free body piercing with every new server ordered on April 1st. 'We were tired of the typical boring giveaways that have been done to death' said ServerBeach's Dominic Monkhouse. The stunt revives memories of earlier guerrilla marketing efforts by web hosts, like the 'human billboard' who was paid $7,000 to tattoo a hosting company's logo on the back of his head."

Sony Begins Selling HD Movies On Its PSN 153

itwbennett writes "Sony on Tuesday 'rolled out the ability to buy HD movies from the PlayStation Network,' writes blogger Peter Smith. Sony claims they're the first service to offer HD titles to own from all six major movie studios. Smith runs the numbers on 'standard' pricing for titles ($19.99 for new releases; $17.99 for older movies), file sizes (ranging from 4 GB for Zombieland to 7.5 GB for 2012), and resolution (720P as far as he can tell)."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Max Planck Journal advertises for HK strip club (

imaniack writes: "One of Europe's most prestigious scientific journals, the *Max Planck
Forschung* (Research) journal had a special issue on China. The cover art
in the German language edition was supposed to be an example of Chinese
calligraphy, a poem, but actually was an ad for a Hong Kong strip joint.
(It had been allegedly vetted by a Sinologist.) In the online and
subsequent English print versions, the cover art was replaced with
calligraphy written by a 16th-century Jesuit titled Illustrated Explanations
of Strange Devices, as shown in the website, which also provides some
translations of the original.

(This was gleaned from comp.risks newsgroup posting by Hal Murray.)"

The Internet

Submission + - A History of Revision

An anonymous reader writes: After reading both Slashdot summaries on sock puppet blogs / reviews and the potential failure of Wikipedia, I came across a few writeups by a security researcher regarding real life examples of such "astroturfing" — apparently performed by Adware company Zango. Not only had they seemingly created fake reviews on site such as Amazon (now deleted), but they had applied this same technique to their Wikipedia page...under the name of the co-founder of the company. After being called out on this, more changes were made from an IP Address, not a username. However, it looks like they have a way to go before they realise what's a smart move and what isn't. My question is, is this kind of astroturfing still liable to fall under the upcoming law against this sort of thing with regards "fake reviews" on sites such as Amazon? And if not, what exactly can Wikipedia do about such flagrant puff-piece editing that completely destroys any supposed neutrality of its content?

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