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Submission + - LLVM and Clang 3.4 are out

An anonymous reader writes: With C++14 draft fully implemented in Clang and libc++. Read more in LLVM and Clang release notes.

Submission + - Chicago Gun Ban Declaired Unconstitutional (

wooferhound writes: - A federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago's ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.

"The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government's reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment," wrote U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang.

Submission + - Evidence Shows Cognitive Rest Aids Concussion Recovery (

cold fjord writes: The Detroit Free Press reports, "In the study of 335 children and young adults ... those reporting the greatest levels of cognitive activity (including homework, playing video games, doing crossword puzzles, text messaging and online activities) after a concussion took the longest to fully recover from their symptoms — approximately 100 days on average, compared to approximately 20 to 50 days for patients reporting lesser levels of activity. Cognitive activities were defined as "activities that require you to think harder than usual" and study participants were grouped according to the average amount of cognitive activity — from complete cognitive rest to a full schedule — that they reported doing between each visit to a concussion clinic. ... the findings also show "there's no need to take cognitive rest to the extreme," such as putting patients in a dark room and eliminating all cognitive activity ... "Those who were doing milder levels of cognitive activity recovered at about the same rate as those who were doing minimal levels," says study co-author William Meehan, director of research for the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children's Hospital and director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention." — More at LA Times. FDA has issued a statement about supplements and concussion.

Comment Odd for the country of Intel, Apple and Google (Score 2) 745

The curious thing about this is that the US leads the world in high technology companies in many areas.

Perhaps average adult scores don't matter that much. The distributions might be more important. Perhaps in the US there are enough really smart people to create Unix, C, SQL and many other things.

Also, for the record, I'm a non-American who has lived in the US and Europe. It's fascinating that to an outsider the US doesn't appear to have a surplus of intelligence and yet dominates in IT and many other scientific fields.

Comment Gordon's Paper Question (Score 4, Informative) 540

Gordon's Paper has been thoroughly investigated by Roger Pielke Jnr at the Breakthrough Institute.

Gordon's smoothing of growth fails to show the variability and creates a picture of trends that are not really there. A quote from the article linked above:

In short, there is no evidence of a stair step reduction in the growth rate of US per capita GDP in either dataset. The US BEA and Census data shows essentially no change (a linear trend, blue line, shows a statistically insignificant downward tick) whereas the Maddison data shows a bit of an increase (red line). The data is sensitive to the time period chosen – for instance, from 1970 the BEA/Census data shows an increase in the annual rate of per capita GDP growth. I can find no evidence of a post-1950 secular decline in per capita economic growth in the United States, and in fact, there is evidence that growth rates have accelerated a bit from 1970.

Microsoft Demos Three Platforms Running the Same Game 196

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft's Eric Rudder, speaking at TechEd Middle East, showed off a game developed in Visual Studio as a singular project (with 90% shared code) that plays on Windows with a keyboard, a Windows Phone 7 Series prototype device with accelerometer and touch controls, and the Xbox 360 with the Xbox gamepad. Interestingly, not only is the development cross-platform friendly, but the game itself (a simple Indiana Jones platformer was demoed) saves its place and lets you resume from that spot on whichever platform you happen to pick up."

Comment Re:Yet Again (Score 3, Informative) 807

Here is what climate scientist Edward Cook wrote regarding the accuracy of dendroclimatology:

Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I
almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will
show that we can probably say a fair bit about 100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know
with certainty that we know fuck-all).

From the climategate emails

Here is what Phil Jones said in his BBC interview regarding the Medieval Warm Period:

There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

So Phil Jones is unsure if the MWP was global in extent and Edward Cook thinks we have very little idea at all. Perhaps the certainty in wikipedia is overstated.

Comment Re:Is it only me (Score 5, Insightful) 114

The US cap and trade on sulphur dioxide emissions was passed in 1990.

Overall, the Program's cap and trade program has been successful in achieving its goals. Since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976.[15][16] However, this was significantly less successful than conventional regulation in the European Union, which saw a decrease of over 70% in SO2 emissions during the same time period.[17]

S02 emissions were also falling from a peak in the late 1970s toward the 1990s, in other words the US S02 trading scheme was on an already declining path and was less successful than more direct European approaches.

S02 emissions trading was also local and not between countries which is another area where the proposed Green House Gas emissions trading schemes fall down. A corrupt county can just 'create' permits and then sell them. This has already happened with European and other schemes.

A tax would be a much more honest, much more transparent scheme than an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). ETS type solutions are attractive largely because politicians don't have to say they are a new tax, they can be easily gamed by giving out free permits and Enron style firms (including Enron itself before it went bankrupt) see a potential bonanza.


Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance 262

quaith writes "It's not the way they dress, but the appearance of their face. A study published in PLoS One by Nicholas O. Rule and Nalini Ambady of Tufts University used closely cropped greyscale photos of people's faces, standardized for size. Undergrads were asked to categorize each person as either a Democrat or Republican. In the first study, students were able to differentiate Republican from Democrat senate candidates. In the second, students were able to differentiate the political affiliation of other college students. Accuracy in both studies was about 60% — not perfect, but way better than chance."

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

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