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Comment Re:Which corporations does Le Guin mean? (Score 1) 473

If the libraries are lending books they aren't copying anything, why would they need permission? If they were to make electronic copies of books in order to make them available online, it would be obviously a different matter.

Has there been a successful online library yet? Where the electronic form (which may become the only form soon) is allowed to be borrowed as long as the library has ownership of that many or more "units". I know that we may be searched and prosecuted for making music available in the way libraries do books. A leather-bound tome can be copied by borrowers if so motivated. It seems to come down to a difference in degree of difficulty required to copy determining legality.

Comment Re:My grandmother knows python (Score 1) 154

I can't wait to explain to my mom the difference between four spaces and one tab, just to name one of Python's endless oddities.

There is, for OS X, QuicKeys, at and as I recall it requires in its basic level logic decisions and scales with allowing any scripting language to be called.


Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Comment Re:Why do corporations have to be people? (Score 1) 371

While this "loophole" seems bad on the surface, maybe it isn't. If corporations are considered people, perhaps we can start locking them up/shutting them down when they are breaking the law... you know... just like everyone else.

Surely that constitutes something cruel and unusual as corporate punishments go!

Comment Re:Should sleep with a sign on chest/back.. (Score 1) 465

Still, artificial respiration might help.

Actually, current studies show that keeping the blood circulating is more critical than ventilation in CPR. It seems that interrupting the blood flow, even for just the times required to respire, significantly reduces survival percentages which aren't all that good to begin with. Sorry, didn't save my references.

Submission + - Nissan gives silent electric cars 'Blade Runner' a ( 1

mateuscb writes: "A campaign backed by automakers and some lawmakers to make electric or hybrid cars noisier in a bid to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists has taken a strange, âoeBlade Runnerâ-type twist. Nissan sound engineers have announced that the Leaf electric car set for release next year will emit a âoebeautiful and futuristicâ noise similar to the sound of flying cars — or âoespinnersâ — that buzz around 2019 Los Angeles in Ridley Scottâ(TM)s dystopian thriller based on a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel."

Submission + - Brazilian Court Bans P2P Software (

An anonymous reader writes: "After an earlier decision failed to reach its objective, this week a Brazilian court made an unprecedented ruling against file-sharing clients. Following legal action by anti-piracy groups against a website offering a file-sharing client for download, the court decided that software which allows users to share music via P2P is illegal."

Submission + - Blueprint For A Quantum Electric Motor

TechReviewAl writes: "Alexey Ponomarev from the University of Augsburg in Germany and colleagues have revealed the blueprints for an electric motor built with just two atom.The motor would have one neutral atom and one charged atom trapped in a ring-shaped optical lattice. The atoms jump from one site in the lattice to the next as they travel around the ring and placing this ring in an alternating magnetic field creates the conditions necessary to keep the charged atom moving round the the ring. A team from the University of Glasgow in the UK in fact built one of these quantum motors back in 2007, which they called an optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms. The next step, say Ponomarev and co, is to attach the motor to a nanoscopic resonator, such as a spring board or nanomushroom, and make it vibrate. If you can do that, they say, you'd be powering a classical object using a quantum motor. Now there's a trick."

Submission + - "Long Tail Effect" doesn't work as advertised (

Death Metal writes: "In a working paper titled, "Is Tom Cruise Threatened? Using Netflix Prize Data to Examine the Long Tail of Electronic Commerce,"Wharton Operations and Information Management professor Serguei Netessine and doctoral student Tom F. Tan pull information from the movie rental company Netflix to explore consumer demand for smash hits and lesser-known films. Netflix made its data available as part of a $1 million prize competition to encourage the development of new ways that will improve its ability to introduce customers to lesser-known titles they might find appealing."

Comment Re:Cite please (Score 1) 228

Keyboard stress? Bah.

I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching but I have to respond to that. Some background: I have experienced pain to the level that it caused be to lose consciousness several times despite my trying to stay conscious. This was from a broken back. I rank that as an 9 on the 10 scale with 10 being enough to kill me outright. I have a fairly rare form of arthritis where my body mistakes my tendons, joints, etc. for disease and therefore tries its hardest to destroy. With opiate painkillers and a cocktail that suppresses my immune system response across the board I range between a 3 and 5, 24-7. With this as my experience I would have to question many peoples' judgement of just how bad pain is. For example, I would rather go through the level 9 pain of being transfered from gurney to x-ray that caused me to pass out than go through the constant 3 to 5, 24-7. When you know the pain is going to stop at some point helps reduce the agony. Typing this on the keyboard doesn't hurt much more than my quiescent pain but by tomorrow, in reaction to having done this my pain will be up in the 4-5 range. When you say

I couldn't grasp anything with my right hand for about 2 days because of typing too much.

you are only getting a short taste of what people with more severe illnesses are experiencing. Many will live with a high level of pain, as you describe, constantly or for as long as they continue to have a keyboard in their life. We won't be hearing from too many of these people on Slashdot as they would certainly have to be masochistic. As for teaching your daughter to not report pain -- careful there. Pain and our responses to it both mentally and physically are a complex subject.

Comment Re:The Ugly Side of Truth (Score 1) 838

The ugly side of truth as viewed through a distorted window? I wonder, given the current government's control of information leaving Iran, how anyone can say what the majority of the people there think. The people in power are surely slanting things in their favor. I believe that given enough time and opportunity that a people can overthrow a dictator. It takes more than just the will to change. Just try telling the guys who are pointing their guns at you that they must submit to your superior intellect and willpower. ;)
The Almighty Buck

Why Isn't the US Government Funding Research? 599

thesandbender writes "The recent post about GM opening its own battery research facility led me to wonder why the US government is pouring billions into buying companies instead of heavily funding useful research. You can give $10 billion to a company to squander or you can invest $10 billion into a battery research and just give the findings to the whole of the US industry for free. From a historical standpoint, the US government has little experience with commercial enterprise ... but has an amazing record for driving innovation. The Manhattan Project and the Apollo moon missions are two of the pinnacles of 20th century scientific achievement, yet it seems to me that this drive died in the '70s and that's when the US started its slow decline. To be true to the 'Ask Slashdot' theme, what practical research do you think the US government should embark upon to get the most return for its citizens and the world?"

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