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Submission + - NASA is Building a Virtual Mars (unrealengine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: NASA will release a free virtual reality program this year that will simulate exploring the surface of Mars. "Players will be able to walk on the Red Planet as well as drive the Mars Rover..." reads the official announcement at UnrealEngine.com. The Mars 2030 Experience will be available on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR, and will also "expand" to Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, with additional versions for Android and iOS devices, and it will even be streamed on Twitch. NASA plans to reveal more details at this year’s South by Southwest conference in March.

Submission + - The Comments Are Where The Real America Is

theodp writes: This weekend's NY Times is all-about-the-comments. First, Michael Erard recounts the history of Web site comments and explains how their technical origins have shaped the actual commentary we’ve come to expect as usual today. On dealing with people-behaving-badly, Erard writes, "Only a few [high-traffic sites] seem to have tried user-moderation systems like the one developed by Slashdot’s creator, Rob Malda. Founded in 1997, Slashdot rapidly began to suffer from what Malda called 'signal-to-noise-ratio problems' as tens of thousands of users showed up. Rather than embracing the chaos (which was a hallmark of Usenet, another digital channel of communications) or locking things down with moderators (which e-mail lists did), Malda figured out a way for users to moderate one another. Moderation became like jury duty, something you were called to do." Next, NY Times community manager Bassey Etim, who oversees 13 comment moderators, offers up his comments on comments, agreeing that "the comments are where the real America is." So, what is the next new thing for commenting? Erard cites annotation features, offered by the likes of Medium and Rap Genius. Finally, there's Gawker's next-generation Kinja, which aims to further blur the lines between stories, blog entries, and comments.

Submission + - Computational Biotechnology, Peptide Research (cmdbioscience.com)

cmdbiobok writes: CMD Bioscience is a computational biotechnology company specializing in peptide research and peptide drug discovery. Visit our website for more info. Computational Biotechnology, Peptide Research, Peptide Drug Discovery

Comment Methodology, anyone? (Score 1) 738

The key phrase in tfa looks like "absorb the carbon dioxide they emit." How many earths will be needed if we shift to a low/no carbon economy? Have they factored in any allowance for increased efficiency? It'd it be nice to see some breakdown of the analysis, not just a bald number.

Comment Re:I don't like it (Score 1) 501

That's an interesting analogy but I don't think it's obvious that a codec belongs in the everything-else category. Firstly, it wasn't *that* long ago that OSes and compilers and network stacks were part of how manufacturers competed with one another. Secondly, I think that what's infrastructure and what's not depends on what you're interested in. For your average YouTuber, the choice of codec would be a matter of eye-glazing irrelevance, and they'd be hard-pressed to make an informed choice, which is a crucial ingredient in a market-based system.
Government

Submission + - Apology to Turing demanded

necrostopheles writes: Thousands have signed a petition calling for a posthumous apology to Alan Turing for the treatment he received at the hands of the British government. Turing made a enormous contribution to the Allied victory in WW2, not to mention his contributions to mathematics and computer science, but because he happened to be a dude who liked other dudes, he was convicted under the gross indecency act and subjected to chemical castration. The humiliation lead him to commit suicide in 1954, aged 41. Further details here and here.
Transportation

Submission + - Here's your flying car (abc.net.au)

necrostopheles writes: I've found your flying car. It's the pile of smoking wreckage over there, with the charred remains of the inventor in the driving seat/cockpit. Aviation entrepreneur Michael Robert Dacre, 53, died Sunday when the prototype aircraft crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off. More details here

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