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Comment Re:Hawking's Compilation (Score 1) 451

I'm a physicist who is very much into the foundational questions surrounding consciousness, and I have to say that I think that GEB is genius, and very much worth reading. In fact in a lot of ways, it is one of the books I've gotten the most out of, and I have always been annoyed by those who 'don't get it.' You just can't expect a book that tackles what GEB does to do so in a linear manner -- that would be like giving up on a zen koan because it makes no sense. Heck, even in the introduction to a recent copy Hofstadter basically laments the fact that most people 'don't get it.' I, for one, think the book is absolutely brilliant and beyond its time, and not because it cutely weaves together so many interesting subjects, but because it communicates deep and compelling insights into the nature of consciousness that few other books have come close to.


Submission + - Around the world in 80 telescopes (ustream.tv)

SouthX writes: Starting on April 3 at 9UT, for 24h, the "Around the world in 80 Telescopes" webcast will take us to the most advanced telescopes on and around the planet, chasing day and night around the globe. It will be the first time that so many large observatories have been linked together for a public event.

We will see new images of the cosmos, find out what observatories in our home countries or on the other side of the planet are discovering, and discover what astronomers are doing right now. Participating telescopes include those at observatories in Chile such as ESO's Very Large Telescope and La Silla, the Hawaii-based telescopes Gemini North and Keck, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, telescopes in the Canary Islands, the Southern African Large Telescope, space-based telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, ESA XMM-Newton and Integral, and many more. "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" will take viewers to every continent, including Antarctica!

This webcast will be broadcasted by uStream, at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/100-hours-of-astronomy

The event is described in more detail in a press release issued by ESO (European Southern Observatory), which is hosting the webcast, see http://www.eso.org/

Operating Systems

Submission + - Which OS Do You Primarily Develop FOR?

Paul Slocum writes: "1. Windows
2. MacOS
3. Linux
4. Unix
5. Real-time/embedded
6. old school (DOS, OS/2, AmigaOS, C64, etc.)
7. Like Cowboy Neal, I don't actually know how to program anything"
The Media

Submission + - Radio Station Prank to Datamine Email Addresses (philly.com)

fintler writes: "A Philadelphia radio station, The Beat (100.3), ran a contest on April fools day and managed to increase their e-mail database by around 2000 people. At the end of the day, the contest turned out to be a fake. According to FCC regulations, "[It is required] that a licensee that broadcasts or advertises information about a contest that it conducts shall fully and accurately disclose the material terms of the contest, and shall conduct the contest substantially as announced or advertised. No contest description shall be false, misleading or deceptive with respect to any material term". So, what should happen now?"

Submission + - Piracy law cuts internet traffic by 33%

Linux Admin Blog writes: "Sweden's new anti piracy laws are based on an EU directive. From the BBC "Internet traffic in Sweden fell by 33% as the country's new anti-piracy law came into effect, reports suggest. Sweden's new policy — the Local IPRED law — allows copyright holders to force internet service providers (ISP) to reveal details of users sharing files.""

Submission + - Robot does science without human help

holy_calamity writes: "An automated genetics lab hooked up to artificial intelligence software has become the first robot to make scientific discoveries without human help. Adam, in Aberystwyth, UK, worked out the function of several yeast genes by performing experiments and interpreting the results — work apparently equivalent to that usually performed by grad students."
Portables (Games)

Submission + - Apple's iPhone emerges as gaming platform (reuters.com)

XxtraLarGe writes: "Could the iPhone and iPod Touch pose a real threat to the DS & PSP? From the article: "Some say the iPhone's unique features — GPS capability, connectivity, a touch screen — and sheer variety of content gives it an edge over its more established handheld console competition, Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP." I found a few games I already own for the DS for the iPhone & iPod Touch on the iTunes store for about $5 versus the minimum $20 that you'd pay for the DS. After seeing this, I've decided to sell my DS and use my iPod Touch as my mobile gaming device of choice."

Submission + - Revolutionary theory overturns modern meteorology (mongabay.com) 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "Two Russian scientists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva of the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics, have published a revolutionary theory that turns modern meteorology on its head, positing that forests--and their capacity for condensation--are actually the main driver of winds rather than temperature."

Comment Re:Bare/Single quark? (Score 5, Informative) 194

They are saying that the top quark is being produced one at a time, rather than in pairs (IAAP). It's actually subtle -- what had been observed before were 2 top quarks emerging from a gluon. Now they have observed one top quark (and another quark) emerging from a W-boson. Basically. This is not a major discovery, but it is another important showing off of the 'standard model' working very well at the energies we have so far probed.

Oh, and about isolating quarks. You cannot isolate a quark outside a hadron, but you can 'detect' the quark by observing the hadrons and leptons that it decays into, since they leave a distinct signature. The top quark is special because it decays before it even forms a hadron with other quarks.

Comment Mediocre review from watchmen virgin (Score 1) 489

I'm really surprised by the comments here, because I haven't seen anyone mention the writing. What killed this movie for me was the dialog; by the end of the movie I was blushing in embarrassment at how bad some of it was. Anyone else feel this way? I found the first 20 minutes of the movie extremely compelling (the visuals, the aesthetic, the editing, the cinematography were all fantastic), but as it went on I grew less and less enthused. I followed the plot fine, and although I enjoyed the 'watchmen' universe, I found the plot line that was mainly present in the second half of the movie pretty poor, by movie standards. Another thing I haven't heard anyone mention negatively was the sex scene. I honestly couldn't tell if it was meant to be serious or not -- it seemed so over the top to me that I thought it might be a joke. Overall I give the movie a B+.

The Courts

Submission + - AntiVirus kills PCs? Have some more, Symantec says (texyt.com)

Tort reformation writes: Dubious 'compensation' settlements from companies that have done wrong are nothing new (examples: 1,2,3). But Symantec may have hit a new low. After tens of thousands of PCs in China were crippled by Symantec's Norton AntiVirus when it went beserk last month and decided Windows XP was a virus, users demanded financial compensation for lost data, days of lost business, and repair fees. Symantec's counter-offer: a further year's free use of Norton Antivirus.

White House E-mail Scandal Widens 839

Spamicles alerts us to a report just issued (PDF) by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At least 88 White House officials used Republican National Committee email accounts for government business. The RNC has destroyed at least some of the emails from 51 of those officials. Law requires emails sent by officials to be stored or recorded. There is evidence that White House lawyers and the (current) Attorney General knew of this but did not act to stop it. From the article: "These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies... Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on RNC e-mail accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved, and the large quantity of missing e-mails, the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive."

Submission + - Faster integer multiplication

origins writes: On the STOC 2007,thesis about faster integer multiplication was submitted. According to the thesis,multiplication can be calculated faster than ever. Schönhage&Strassen algorithm was known as fastest(O(n log n log log n)) but now Martin Fürer algorithm was((n log n 2^O(log* n)). improvement of multiplication algorithm after decades is quite interesting.
Martin Fürer's homepage
The thesis

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