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Comment Re:Unearthed Plague (Score 1) 77

I thought that Yersinia Pestis has been known to be the organism responsible for the plague for a long time, this confirms it. From memory the theory was that the black plague was caused by a strain that was much more virulent than the one normally found now.

The article states that they have found bacterial DNA in 5 samples and are still looking for more to reassemble the genome of the plague bacterium so they can compare it to the current genome.

Comment Re:Can someone explain how multinationals work? (Score 1) 132

Bludger: Australian slang for someone who lives off government handouts, and who refuses to work.

Wrong, its got nothing to do with handouts, there are plenty of bludgers who are "fully" employed.

A better definition:

Bludger: Someone who deliberately avoids work.

I've known bludgers who will spend more effort avoiding a job than it would have taken to complete it.

Comment Re:Delays destabilize the system (Score 2) 212


This would be credible if the HFT guys bought everything and waited for a buyer to come along, then sold at a modest profit. This would add liquidity.

But they are not, they only buy when they know there is a real buyer in the market already, so they can get in and out quickly with their profit. As the buyer is already in the market they are not adding any liquidity that is not already there, they are just skimming.

I'm an electronics engineer and have had postgraduate courses on this. Any delay introduced in the feedback loop will tend to destabilize the system. HFT works fine, it provides liquidity to the market, it benefits everyone.


Submission + - Steve Jobs (1955-2011) ( 1

akahige writes: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has lost his battle with cancer. The news has only just broken on Apple's home page, along with this brief announcement: "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

Submission + - SPAM: Assange responds to US attacks on WikiLeaks

eric writes: It'(TM)s been ten days since the whistleblower website WikiLeaks published the massive archive of classified military records about the war in Afghanistan, but the fallout in Washington and beyond is far from over .. We speak with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange ..

"you must understand that we contacted the White House about that issue and asked for their assistance in vetting to see whether there would be any exposure of innocents and to identify those names accordingly. Of course, we would never accept any other kind of veto, but in relation to that matter, we requested their assistance via the New York Times, who the four media partners involved — us, Der Spiegel, The Guardian and the Times agreed would be the conduit to the White House so we wouldn’t step on each other’s toes. Now, the White House issued a flat denial that that had ever happened .."

"it’s really quite fantastic that Gates and Mullen, Gates being the former head of the CIA during Iran-Contra and the overseer of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Mullen being the military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan .. These two men arguably are wading in the blood from those wars"

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Letter to abolish software patents in Australia (

Ben Sturmfels writes: "400 members of the Australian software industry have have signed an open letter, urging their government to abolish software patents. Signatories include free software luminaries Andrew Tridgell and Jonathan Oxer. In 2008 the Australian government began a Review of Patentable Subject Matter. While we missed the 2009 public consultation period, we hope to influence the government's response to the Review, due in February 2011. The letter will be presented to Minister Kim Carr in early August."

Comment Re:quit spreading FUD - try reading the GPL (Score 1) 266

Actually, it CAN be a heavy burden. For a company that is starting to use GPL code, and DOES wish to comply with the GPL, but has not historically distributed source, to their clients, much less, anyone who asks, this can be a significant burden because it lacks the distribution channels to do this professionally.

But by doing what you have done you acknowledge that the heavy burden of GPL compliance was more cost effective than rewriting the code you wanted.

You also now have the benefit of the ongoing GPL improvements to the code you are using, as well, by now having a GPL compliance mechanism in place you can use other GPLed code at no extra cost.

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