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Comment Re:Vast Majority? (Score 1) 292

WOW! Apparently I struck a nerve. Sorry. The Earth has had cooling trends, wam periods, ice ages, etc. I am just saying that I have not seen compelling, non-biased evidence that man-induced, or anthropogenic if you like big words, causes are the reason for this current warming trend. I am not denying that we are having more severe weather, higher watermarks on the coast, etc. I am just saying that the evidence I've seen has not really shown to me that it is only man's fault. Are you saying left wing media controls the polls or are you saying that is what Republicans think? Because if the former, I see a conspiracy theorist, if the latter, why would the Republicans think they'd win with that belief? No, I did not think that Romney was going to win. I sort of hoped he might because I don't like having a president that doesn't know how many states we have in the union or that doesn't salute the flag. But that is neither here nor there. The issue under discussion was the religion of science that seems to pervade the thoughts of so many. "If a scientist, or a vast majority of scientists, say something is true, it is considered heresy to even dare to question it." Again, just my $0.2.

Comment Vast Majority? (Score 1, Interesting) 292

Just because a vast majority believe a certain thing to be true does not make it so. Things all fall at the same rate, the Earth revolves around the Sun, the Earth is a spheroid, etc. None of these beliefs was held by the vast majority at some time in the past. I don't know if there is global warming or not. Some of the data show a rise in sea level and a loss of polar ice. Is this man-made, man-enhanced, or just a natural cycle that the Earth is going through? How much carbon is put into the air from forest fires, volcanoes, etc.? How does that compare to what the cars and other man-made carbon spewers put into the air? Some unbiased data would be good. It is unfortunate that big business (and government, which really is just another big business) pays for most research. It makes it very hard to publish a study with a conclusion different from what the sponsor would like. Just my $0.02.

Sega Not Giving Up On Mature Wii Games 92

Sega has recently taken a few attempts at developing games for the Wii that were targeted at adults rather than kids. House of the Dead: Overkill and Madworld haven't been incredibly popular, but they've done well enough to turn a profit. In Sega's eyes, this makes mature-themed games for the Wii a successful experiment, or at least one they're willing to continue. Other companies are looking to get into the act as well. EA will be releasing M-rated Dead Space: Extraction for the Wii, and Bethesda has a project in the works too.

Pulsar Signals Could Provide Galactic GPS 146

KentuckyFC writes "We're all familiar with GPS. It consists of a network of satellites that each broadcast a time signal. A receiver on Earth can then work out its position in three-dimensional space by comparing the arrival times of the signals from at least three satellites. That's handy, but it only works on Earth. Now astronomers say that the millisecond signals from a network of pulsars could allow GPS-style navigation on a galactic scale. They propose using four pulsars that form a rough tetrahedron with the Solar System at its center, and a co-ordinate system with its origin at 00:00 on 1 January 2001 at the focal point of the Interplanetary Scintillation Array, the radio telescope near Cambridge in the UK that first observed pulsars. The additional complexity of working with signals over these distances is that relativity has to be taken into account (which is why the origin is defined as a point in space-time rather than just space). The pulsar GPS system should allow users to determine their position in space-time anywhere in the galaxy to within a few nanoseconds, which corresponds to an accuracy of about a meter." Pulsars slow down over time, and the arXiv paper doesn't seem to mention this. The paper is mainly about establishing a coordinate system and a reference selection of pulsars. Any proposed Galactic Positioning System would have to take the slowing into account, and since it is poorly understood and not completely predictable, this would limit accuracy.
Operating Systems

64-Bit Slackware Is Alive 164

t0mg writes with this news from the top of Slackware.org "from the Slackware64-current changelog: [tap tap tap]... Is this thing on? ;-) Ready or not, Slackware has now gone 64-bit with an official x86_64 port being maintained in-sync with the regular x86 -current branch. DVDs will be available for purchase from the Slackware store when Slackware 13.0 is released. Many thanks go out to the Slackware team for their help with this branch and a special thank you to Eric Hameleers who did the real heavy lifting re-compiling everything for this architecture, testing, re-testing, and staying in-sync with -current. We've been developing and testing Slackware64 for quite a while. Most of the team is already using Slackware64 on their personal machines, and things are working well enough that it is time to let the community check our work. We'd like to thank the unofficial 64 bit projects for taking up the slack for us for so long so that we could take our time getting everything just right. Without those alternatives, we would have been pressured to get things out before they were really ready."

Comment Re: Suggestions of art for CS Dept walls (Score 1) 366

This subject brought a laugh. Back in the early'80s our new CS department had just gotten a color graphics printer. A number of us were taking a class on algorithms and the current subject was fractals and the Mandelbrot set. Our instructor took the best of our "creations" and posted them in the hallway near the CS/Math department office. We came back from dinner one evening and found all the "artwork" had been removed. It seemed some well-meaning lady was offended by our "satanic" pictures so she tore them off the walls and ripped them to shreds. She left a letter with the department secretary that said if such things were displayed again, she'd have no choice but to report the department chairman and the instructor to the regents!

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