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Comment Re:Difference Between Europe and USA (Score 1) 403

Australia is an expensive holiday destination for both EU and US tourists. The number of EU tourists far outweighs the number of US tourists here in Oz. Having said that, I've been here for more than 5 decades and I cannot recall spotting a US tourist outside the big cities/resorts, which is a shame since they don't get to see the real Australia, just the sterile Americanised bits.

Comment Re:Hmm.... (Score 5, Interesting) 275

Tada: it's a micronation... in space!

Of course it's unrealistic armchair-libertarian drivel: the magnetosphere is a harsh mistress, after all.

What's interesting about this development is that it isn't a nearly-entirely American endeavour, which is often the case with such ambitions; Asgardia seems to be Russian and the AIRC supporting it is Viennese. I suspect we'll see a lot more anti-authoritarian behaviour from Europeans in the coming years as a) the EU weakens, b) the Internet transmits political memes that were previously comparatively contained by media limitations like talk radio and poor English literacy, and c) people already exposed to (b) come of age.

The much more feasible version of "let's get off the Earth so we can get away from our countries' laws" is called seasteading, and generally involves a platform in international waters. There's one clear non-Libertarian, non-American example of seasteading (Sealand, UK) which is fairly old and unusually successful by micronation standards. These days, however, the idea is generally associated with these guys, who have been funded by Peter Thiel. They, unquestionably, are primarily concerned with ways to dodge regulation. Without a realistic means of building such a gigantic physical presence, though, they certainly aren't going to be doing much of that; at best they'd end up creating their own passports that no one would accept.

Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 1) 192

Be interesting to see how IBM's Watson would perform in the same test, I suspect (some) doctors would really, really, dislike those results. It must also be said that Watson is not intended to be a "diagnosis app", it is supposed to be a research assistant for human doctors.

Comment Acid rain (Score 5, Insightful) 130

Remember when "acid rain" was the #1 environmental problem? - No? - Neither does anyone else under 40 because Reagan and Thatcher pushed for (and won) a global cap + trade treaty on sulphur emissions. Besides, if climate treaties don't make a practical difference, why has the coal industry spent the last 30-40yrs doing everything it can to sabotage them?

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 680

That religious meme is mainly confined to evangelicals and southern baptists in the US. It's not their own dogma, it was deliberately fed to them by politicians. Many other Christian sects use the same passages to argue god gave us ownership of the natural world and therefore we are responsible for keeping it in working order. At no point does god say "Don't worry, if you screw up this planet I will replace it"..

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 3, Interesting) 680

Actually the Catholic church has been down with Science for many years. They don't perceive a contradiction between science and religion, modern catholics consider science a "tool to better understand creation". For example, it was a Catholic priest working in the vatican observatory who came up with the big bang theory, they have accepted evolution as "god's handiwork" since the 60's, they're still dragging their feet on birth control but I think they will arrive at the same place as protestants in the not too distant future.

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