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Submission + - Godwin Interviewed

theshowmecanuck writes: CBC Radio in Canada has just posted an interview with Mike Godwin, the originator of the famous (infamous?) Godwin's Law. Unbelievably it comes after a week where politicians started flinging the H word at each other. If you haven't been on Slashdot pretty much ever, say lived under a rock for the past 15 or 20 years, you will understand the interest to this site. :) So as a matter of that interest, enjoy.

Submission + - Rovaniemi Gets Northern Lights Alert System

jones_supa writes: A new Finnish service will offer clients breaking email or mobile phone updates about Northern Lights sightings in their area. The service will provide updates to subscribers only when the celestial phenomenon can be seen, nor will it throw users off the scent with unwarranted false alarms, as notifications won't be generated when conditions are cloudy. Rovaniemi resident Reijo Kortesalmi is the man behind the Aurora Alert Realtime service, which provides subscribers with up-to-date information for aurora trackers. The service is designed primarily for aurora trackers but other skygazers may also order the online updates. The Finnish name for the Northern Lights – Revontulet – means "fox fire" in English and according to ancient Finnish folklore the lights are sparked by a fox sweeping the expansive fells with its tail.

Submission + - FarmBot: An Open Source Automated Farming Machine Aims to Create Food For All (3dprint.com)

ErnieKey writes: Farming has been stuck in a bit of a rut, when compared to other industries. Businesses across the globe have been innovating for decades, while farming has been using techniques that have been handed down from centuries ago. The FarmBot Foundation is creating a machine, similar to that of a CNC mill and/or 3d printer which is capable of being run by sophisticated software and equipped with any tools you can imagine, including seed injectors, plows, burners, robotic arms (for harvesting), cutters, shredders, tillers, discers, watering nozzles, sensors and more. The goal? To bring food to the world's hungry.

Submission + - Redemption of a forgotten Astronomy Hero

StartsWithABang writes: In the 1800s, British astronomer John Couch Adams spent his life devoted to explaining the minor orbital deviations of the then-newly discovered planet, Uranus. But despite his best efforts to find the theoretical new planet responsible, he was scooped by the French theorist Urbain Le Verrier. To make matters worse, Adams sported one of the worst combovers in photographic history! But everyone gets a shot at redemption, and for Adams, discovering the origin of meteor showers and growing an epic beard saw him make good on both of those counts. Happy 195th birthday to one of astronomy's (and history's) forgotten heroes!

Submission + - Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius (discovery.com)

mpicpp writes: In 2002, two men savagely attacked Jason Padgett outside a karaoke bar, leaving him with a severe concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the incident also turned Padgett into a mathematical genius who sees the world through the lens of geometry.

Padgett, a furniture salesman from Tacoma, Wash., who had very little interest in academics, developed the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively. The injury, while devastating, seems to have unlocked part of his brain that makes everything in his world appear to have a mathematical structure.

Sometimes, math can be hard ... but can it also be beautiful?

"I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life" — from the geometry of a rainbow, to the fractals in water spiraling down a drain, Padgett told Live Science. "It's just really beautiful."

Submission + - This IT Guy Unknowingly 'Live-Blogged' Bin Laden Raid (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: Three years ago today, software consultant Sohaib Athar was working on his laptop at home in Pakistan when he tweeted: "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)." And then: "A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it’s not the start of something nasty :-S." It was for Osama bin Laden. Today Athar says, “People do bring it up every now and then.”

Submission + - This gadget is a bacon-scented alarm clock for your iPhone (betaboston.com)

v3rgEz writes: If you’ve given up bacon for Lent, stop reading now. The same goes for people who don’t own a smartphone made by Apple Inc. But if you’ve got an iPhone and a love for “the candy of meat,” you might want to check out a new high-tech promotional gimmick from old-school meatpacker Oscar Meyer. The company, which is owned by Kraft Foods Group Inc., is giving away 4,700 gadgets that convert an iPhone into a bacon-scented alarm clock.

Submission + - SPAM: Mangalmasala - history of indian spices

An anonymous reader writes: The history of Indian spices lies in the plenty & goodness that Mother Nature has bless it with and prepared it so popular world wide
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Table tennis champion Timo Boll to play against Kuka robot arm (robohub.org)

Hallie Siegel writes: Frank Tobe writes: Mark your calendars for March 11th! Timo Boll, Germany’s table tennis champion, currently ranked 8th in the world, will go up against a KUKA Agilus robot armed with special vision and software and a paddle. The promo video is pretty cool – it certainly makes you want to watch the match.

Submission + - UK's "Year of Code" Director Doesn't Know How to Code 1

theodp writes: Slate's Lily Hay Newman reports that UK education officials last week launched a Year of Code initiative to promote interest in programming and to train teachers, with a director who freely admits that she doesn’t know how to code. "I'm going to put my cards on the table," Lottie Dexter told Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman on national TV. "I can't code. I've committed this year to learning to code ... so over this year I'm going to see exactly what I can achieve." The curmudgeonly skeptical Paxman was also unimpressed by Dexter's argument that the national initiative could teach people to make virtual birthday cards, a la Mark Zuckerberg's examples for Code.org. Dexter might want to study the game film (YouTube) of how Google exec Susan Wojcicki — a poster child for the U.S. Hour of Code that's coming soon to the UK — handled a potentially awkward question posed by a little girl ("What is one way you apply Computer Science to your job at Google?"). In the U.S., efforts by companies and tech leaders to make CS education "an issue like climate change" have been hugely successful and even credited as the inspiration behind new legislation to allow computer programming to count as HS foreign language credit, a movement that Code.org finds alarming.

Submission + - No Beer for You, Courtesy of the FAA (avweb.com)

Bucc5062 writes:

A Minnesota brewery's airborne solution to the preventable yet apparently prevalent problem of running out of beer while ice fishing has been shot down by the FAA.

It seems the FAA frowns on beer runs by drowns for lake fishermen in Minnesota. While there were some minor logistical issues, the FAA threw cold water on the project. They frowned on the notion of a beer distributor using autonomous flying objects (AFO's) from performing the deliveries. It seems the activity

runs afoul of the agency's current ban on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft and it didn't take long for the operation to be grounded.

Ice fishermen got a little frosty when they discovered that, instead of having a case of Lakemaid brew dropped down next to the shack, thus saving a trip, they now had to miss some prime fishing time and go get some cold ones from the shore store. This is the marketing video that got them into trouble.

Submission + - Surrey UK: "mini-tornado" lifts feral cats in the air (bbc.co.uk)

taikedz writes: A "mini-tornado" brought down trees, damaged property and even lifted cats in the air, an eyewitness has said.

Shirley Blay, who keeps horses at the Jolly Blossom Stables on Station Road, Chobham, told BBC Surrey: "It was a mini-tornado, I can't describe it as anything less. "It started with very heavy rain, hailstones and very strong wind and all of a sudden, the wind was very, very strong, to the point of lifting roofs.

"We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground — about 6ft off the ground — they just went round like a big paper bag." She said the people and animals who were caught up in the storm were uninjured. A spokesman from Valgrays Animal Rescue in Warlingham said: "It was like something out of a Steven Spielberg film.

Submission + - Python scripting and analyzing your way to love

fiannaFailMan writes: Wired reports one mathematician's mission to find love online by data mining from OK Cupid and applying mathematical modeling to optimize his profile(s). His methods included using "Python scripts to riffle through hundreds of OkCupid survey questions. He then sorted female daters into seven clusters, like “Diverse” and “Mindful,” each with distinct characteristics." But the real work began when he started going on dates.

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