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Submission + - Conundrums of Classical Physics (

lee1 writes: Classical physics remains a vibrant arena of active research. Its foundations and the fundamental problems posed by several of its subfields still engage the imaginations of thousands of physicists throughout the world. And like all areas in active development, it attracts contention and controversy to this very day.

Submission + - Has Lockeed Martin Solved the Energy Problem? ( 1

lee1 writes: "Lockeed’s Charles Chase has created a bit of excitement by claiming that the Skunkworks team is on the verge of solving the world’s energy problem with a new type of fusion device. We are not provided very many details — it is cylindrical, and the plasma is heated by RF. Apparently it works because the imposed magnetic confinement field is very clever. Unfortunately, the history of clever fusion ideas is littered with the corpses of magnetic field configurations that were almost perfect, except for one little hole."

Submission + - Photoshop Goes Open Source (

lee1 writes: "Where by 'Photoshop' I mean version 1.0.1, released for the Macintosh in 1990, and where by 'open source' I mean downloadable without charge if you execute the "Computer History Museum Software License Agreement". This would seem to make it open source, free as in beer, but not quite free as in speech — but I'm no expert. About 75% of the code is in Pascal, 15% is in 68000 assembler language, and the rest is data. The article features interesting screenshots of Photoshop running on an ancient black and white Macintosh — where by 'black and white' I do not mean greyscale. Much of the interface has not changed. There is also a code assessment by the 'Chief Scientist for Software Engineering at IBM Research Almaden' who admires the almost entirely uncommented code greatly, saying 'This is the kind of code I aspire to write.'"

Submission + - Large corporations displacing aging IT workers with H1B visa workers (

genericmk writes: "NPR is running an interesting story about the unfortunate state of the aging programmers in the IT industry. The headline reads of aging IT workers opposing the H1B visa overhaul; the underlining reality is that large corporations claim shortage of IT talent and are bringing in large volumes of foreign staff. The staff is easier to control and demands less wage; indentured servitude is replacing higher cost labor."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu for tablet Announced (

hypnosec writes: Keeping its promise from yesterday Ubuntu has announced an operating system for tablets dubbed ‘Ubuntu for Tablets’ that is says will work on tablets of any size. Advertised to work on both entry level tablets as well as high-end tablets with enterprise specifications, the operating system offers multitasking, safer sharing, instant launch of applications through the menu bar on the left, effortless switching between applications among other features. Canonical has put out specifications of the tablets that would be required for an entry level consumer Ubuntu tablet experience as well as High-end Ubuntu enterprise tablet experience.

Submission + - University of Oxford Develops Low-Cost Self-Driving Car System (

Zothecula writes: Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) has developed an autonomous navigation system for cars at a build cost of only £5,000 (US$7,700). Installed in a production Nissan LEAF, the robot car uses off the shelf components and is designed to take over driving while traveling on frequently used routes.

Comment Re:Heh... Radical...Islamists...redundant... (Score 1) 564

I've never heard of this "post count limit". Is that something new?

You say that interpretation of holy texts is fallible. Could there be mistakes in the texts themselves? Where the interpretation is clear, is there anything that could be wrong?

Clearly you think that the overwhelming scientific consensus about the history of the world is wrong, because it conflicts with parts of the holy texts whose interpretation seems clear. When and how did you determine that the scientific community is wrong and the old books are right? Do you agree with many Christian creationists that fossils and other evidence were planted by god to try to trick us or test our faith?

You seem to share with most Christian creationists a basic confusion about what science is and how it works. It is not true that abiogenesis "is a theory which directly stems from the presumption that there is no creator". There is no presumption, just basic intellectual hygiene: avoid adding pieces and parts to your theory unless there is evidence for them. Since there is no evidence for a "creator", there is no good reason to include one.

People used to believe that god pushed the stars and planets around in the sky. Now that we have a universal theory of gravitation, we can calculate their orbits and see their motions as resulting from a natural process. It would not be correct to say that the theory of gravitation "presumes" that there is no creator. There is simply no need to invoke one to explain the motions of the planets. We would make no progress in understanding the universe if we kept saying "god is doing it" rather than figuring out what is really happening. Same thing in biology.

Comment Re:Heh... Radical...Islamists...redundant... (Score 1) 564

I'm not understanding the connection you're making between the idea of an omnipotent god and Jesus in particular. Many people, including myself, think that the very concept of an omnipotent god, if it has any meaning at all, is probably inherently illogical. This would include Allah, the Christian god, etc. I don't see how the Islamic and Christian conceptions of god differ in any fundamental way, in regard to omnipotence and its other inherent characteristics. (Can Allah make a rock too heavy for him to lift? If not, there is something he can not make. If yes, there is something he can not lift. Either way, not omnipotent. Not that this is serious, but neither is the idea of an omnipotent god.) Thank you for sharing something about your conversion experience. So is it true that in six years you've not encountered any fundamental thing in the religion, either in the holy text or its authoritative interpretations, that seems obviously false? Is Islam in conflict with the mainstream scientific understanding of the history of our planet, for example (that life has evolved over hundreds of millions of years)?

Comment Re:Heh... Radical...Islamists...redundant... (Score 1) 564

"How can an omnipotent being create a rock, which is too heavy for him to lift"

Is not Allah supposed to be omnipotent? Or is it not omnipotence itself that you object to, but the particular form it takes in Christian theology? Can you expand on this?

Also, pointing out some things that bother you about Christianity doesn't explain why you decided to convert to Islam. Islam, like most other religions, makes many specific claims about the world and its history. Did you determine that these claims were true before converting? Or did you convert first, and now "know" that these claims are true because they are (now) part of your religion?

I ask because I am genuinely curious about the conversion process in those adults who do not otherwise seem to be completely befuddled. I can understand someone who is raised in a particular religion either struggling to overcome it, or not, but have never been able to understand how a rational adult makes the free choice of a specific religion (free in the sense of not being determined by powerful social pressures).

Comment Re:Kuhn Paradigms (Score 3, Informative) 265

You're convolving science with engineering. GR is a radical and fundamental conceptual breakthrough of a kind that only occurs every few hundred years at most. Easily on a par with Newton's system of the world. This would be true even if it had no engineering consequences whatsoever; but, in fact, the GPS depends upon it.

Comment A notorious example of bias (Score 1) 444

After the US liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban the world saw the televised celebration in the streets, as people were allowed to listen to music again and girls were allowed to go to school. Except that part of the world watching Al Jazeera, which censored all of it.

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