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One Night Stands May Be Genetic 240

An anonymous reader writes "So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA. In a first of its kind study, a team of investigators led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has taken a broad look at sexual behavior, matching choices with genes and has come up with a new theory on what makes humans 'tick' when it comes to sexual activity. The biggest culprit seems to be the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene. Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior."

Terry Pratchett's Self-Made Meteorite Sword 188

jamie writes "Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett says he was so excited after being knighted by the Queen that he decided to make his own sword to equip himself for his new status... the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fueled with damp sheep manure."

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."

Comment As much as I hate granting time to the Perl haters (Score 5, Insightful) 239

I'm giving in this time.

I work in a shop where we maintain (after last count) 112,002 lines of perl in a single system (which also contains about half a million lines of C).

Guess what? It's not a problem! Not in the slightest!
And you know why?

- Modules
- Coding conventions
- Mature programmers

Two of those three are redundant. Take a guess which ones (the third item isn't part of the anwer set).

If you take a programmer that writes disciplined, careful, extensible, extendable and professional C - are they going to start generating hacked up crap when they switch to Perl? No. They're not. They split source among modules. They use naming conventions. They use strict. They use the namespaces. They use clear syntax. The end result looks almost like C most of the time. Except when it doesn't, 'cause it's Perl.

What does C written by hack-job Perl "programmers" look like?

Rephrasing #37 - "It ain't the arrow, it's the (Native American)".

Comment Question (Score 1) 1143

Why don't cable companies just meter bandwith, like any other vital utility (gas, electric, water, etc)? I'd happily $.05/GB or whatever it costs them, as long as I didn't have to worry about violating their rules.

Does any company do this yet? It seems technically feasible, considering how much smarts are in cable modems these days...

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.