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Your Moral Compass Is Reversible 295

scibri writes "Your moral positions may be more flexible than you think. Researchers in Sweden have tricked people into reversing their opinions on moral issues, even to the point of constructing good arguments to support the opposite of their original positions (paper in PLOS ONE). They used a 'magic trick' to reverse a person's responses to such moral issues as 'Large-scale governmental surveillance of e-mail and Internet traffic ought to be forbidden as a means to combat international crime and terrorism,' by switching 'forbidden' to 'permitted' when the subject turned the page of the questionaire. When asked to read back the questions and answers, about half of the subjects did not detect the changes, and a full 53% of participants argued unequivocally for the opposite of their original attitude in at least one of the manipulated statements."

Comment Rotation around sun != n * (rotation on axis) (Score 1) 337

There is no magical calendar that will solve the leap year problem.

1. We like to use the earth's rotation about it's own axis to measure days. Its nice, we wake up when the sun comes up.

2. We like to use the earths rotation about the sun the measure years. Its nice, january is always cold and summer is always hot.

These are two completely independent time domains where one is not an even multiple of the other, therefore they cannot be made to be in phase with each other, therefore assuming you like #1 and #2 then you are stuck with some sort of periodic correction (leap year)


US Reigns As Most Bot-Infected Country 121

Trailrunner7 writes "The US has by far the highest number of bot-infected computers of any country in the world, with nearly four times as many infected PCs as the country in second place, Brazil, according to a new report by Microsoft. The quarterly report on malicious software and Internet attacks shows that while some of the major botnets have been curtailed in recent months, the networks of infected PCs still represent a huge threat."

Comment Ha! So apple DOES use it (Score 3, Funny) 197

("Whether Apple Inc. uses the glass in its iPod is a much-discussed mystery since 'not all our customers allow us to say,' said [the] general manager of Corning's specialty materials division.")

Does Apple use the glass? I can't tell you. Because when they started using it they told us we couldn't tell anyone.


Comment "My iPad has no 3G, therefore it has no GPS." (Score 1) 750

> My iPad has no 3G, therefore it has no GPS.

Can someone explain this to me? I know there are hokey ways to triangulate location using the cell network but I thought true "GPS" enabled systems had an actual receiver for actual, honest to goodness GPS satellites. So I don't understand why no-3G implies no GPS.


Comment "Nintendo" and "Wii" in all the headlines.... (Score 4, Interesting) 1343

... But you have to read the article to see "Smith and Wesson". Unreal.

I can see where the conversation gets muddy when someone commits a violent act after playing violent video games. Not saying anything about that beyond that its at least an interesting topic. But when a TODDLER finds a LOADED GUN ON A COFFEE TABLE and SHOOTS HERSELF WITH IT are we really going to try to blame it on VIDEO GAMES?!?!?!

Comment Re:Oh God, not the bourbon. (Score 5, Insightful) 766

So "The System Worked", uhh, how?

1. If you RTFA you'd see that Greenpeace lawyers had to go to great lengths and fight a mess of court battles to get at the data that shows this problem.
2. This corn is out in the food supply, and its not impossible that cross-pollination/etc is causing it to spread to other food sources.
3. I have no way of determining in the supermarket if either of these 3 varieties, or varieties which include these proteins, are present in the package of corn I'm about to buy.

You GM fanboys are fighting a straw-man. Folks like me don't hate the idea. I'd like to end world hunger. I'd like my car to run off sugar made from some superplant. What I don't want is some corporation like Monsanto to have no oversight, conflicts of interest all around (HELLO? They _fought_ the release of this information. They'd rather you die from liver disease than see a negative impact on their profits. Why the hell are you coming to their defense?) poisoning our food supply because they didn't want to spend the money or the effort to do it RIGHT.

Doesn't it bug you that all those left wing GM-hating nutjobs were RIGHT? This is _exactly_ what we feared would happen. Its not the idea of GM we hate. Its Monsanto. And You. And all the other idiots who don't take a second to think about what MIGHT happen if poor oversight is mixed with singleminded financial motivation.


Maori Legend of Man-Eating Birds is True 338

jerryatrix writes "Legends of the New Zealand Maori tell of giant man-eating birds. New scientific evidence proves that these birds did exist and were around the same time as humans in New Zealand. From the article, 'Scientists now think the stories handed down by word of mouth and depicted in rock drawings refer to Haast's eagle, a raptor that became extinct just 500 years ago.'"

Alex the African Grey Parrot Dies 242

grrlscientist writes "Yesterday, I received the devastating news that Alex the African Grey parrot, who was both a study subject and colleague to Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly at 31 years of age. 'Even though Alex was a research animal, he was much more than that. This species of parrot generally lives to be 50-60 years old, so Alex was only middle-aged when he died. According to some reports I have read, it is possible that Alex might have succumbed to Aspergillosis, a fungal infection of the lungs that he has battled in the past. However, the cause of death will not be known until after a necropsy has been completed... Alex's veterinarian is returning from vacation to personally conduct this necrospy.'"

Study: Martian Soil Has Signs of Life 382

geoffrobinson writes "Reuters is reporting that a scientist from Germany believes Viking probe data shows signs of life. From the article: "Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, said on Friday the spacecraft may in fact have found signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface. His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin.""

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