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Comment Re:In Defense of Artificial Intelligence (Score 1) 483

> I don't see how that proves there is no free will though. I believe that's the same study, though the write up I read had a different tone and seemed to claim we had no free will - but that was my point that it doesn't come close to proof against (or for, for that matter) free will. > Maybe if they asked people to randomly try to change their minds halfway, it would appear > differently on the scanners. But that would negate the value of the study, methinks, though trying to figure out the algorithm/description for that problem is confusing my head.

Comment Re:What!? (Score 1) 658

Softmodding has noninfringing use, you can use cromwell BIOS to boot Linux without having to run any hacked Microsoft code (i.e. the BIOS.) I've never understood why none of the hacked BIOS is distributed as a patch, which would be legal to distribute. Perhaps because Microsoft has never really gone after BIOS producers, understanding well the ill will that this would have generated within the community, making the Xbox 360 a non-starter. The 360 has much more secure hardware, and Xbox 360 hacking is much less prevalent.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 2) 168

Millions of Tonnes of Salt water .... would do very little

The region in question is in places very low in population simply because it is a volcanic arid wasteland .... other parts however are lush and full of life which would be wiped out by this new ocean ...

Rapid change on this scale is always bad news in the short term ... (short term measured in 1000's of years)

Comment Re:What!? (Score 1) 658

You do it your way, I'll do it mine. I don't mind paying for a ticket if I really have to. It's only a couple hundred dollars.

So then you wouldn't mind donating a couple hundred dollars my way?

Most tickets are a tax. Plain and simple. Even the tickets that aren't a tax (like legitimate fines for building code violations, parking in front of a hydrant, etc) are unwelcome charges. I hate wasting money as much as the next person. Paying a ticket is a waste of money (you are giving an entity money, without getting any benefit), no matter what the context, even if you deserved it.

Comment Re:In Defense of Artificial Intelligence (Score 2, Interesting) 483

This reminds me of a story I read a while ago about decision making - they tossed some folks in an MRI and presented them with a series of choices. According to the study, people made the decision up to 8 seconds before they actually made their decision. The argument in the article was that this is proof that there's no free will. My first thought when I read that was 'how does that make any sense?' The only thing conclusive is that people are terrible at knowing when they've made a decision. I think people don't really understand most things, including stuff we think we understand. On the other hand, I also tend to wonder if there really is life inside the computer, and each time I push a key or something I'm killing a little electron.
Book Reviews

Computer Graphics With Java 218

Michael Grady writes "Computer graphics has become an indispensable part of mainstream computing and the undergraduate course in computer graphics programming is often one of the most popular courses in the curriculum. In the early days, such courses dealt with low level implementation details and algorithms such as converting lines to pixels, filling rectangles, view clipping and anti-aliasing. When OpenGL arrived on the scene, it was welcomed as an efficient and powerful, procedure-oriented library that kept many of the low level details out of sight. The sort of projects that could be tackled in an introductory course became much more impressive. That was back in the 90's. Is there a way to build a course covering the basic computer graphics concepts and techniques which takes advantage of object orientation and higher levels of abstraction? I believe the authors of Computer Graphics using Java have found a way." Read below for Michael's review

Submission + - Scientists find water on extra-solar planet (pressesc.com)

amigoro writes: "Scientists have, for the first time, conclusively discovered the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our Solar System, according to an article appearing in Nature. They made the discovery by analysing the transit of the gas giant HD 189733b across its star, in the Infrared using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. HD 189733b is a 'hot jupiter', a gas giant that is roughly the size and mass of Jupiter but orbits very close to the star, so no chance of life there."

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