InterGuru writes "The examiner reports that Tylenol laced mice are being airdropped over Guam.
Mice recently airdropped on Guam were highly toxic to their predators as they were pumped full of Tylenol. The mice were airdropped on the island paradise as food offerings for the Brown Snake. This airdrop is an attempt to eradicate the snake from the island paradise of Guam, according to KPLR 11.com on Dec. 3.
The Brown Snake has devastated the island’s native bird population and the slithering creatures have caused millions of dollars in damages to Guam’s electrical infrastructure. The U.S. Government stepped in and offered poisoned mice to the snakes for their dinner.
I wonder whether this will be picked up as an example of government waste?"
Despite public misconceptions to the contrary, software is not patentable. Of course, aspects of software, or “software related” patents exist in which an otherwise statutory apparatus or product is claimed that includes computer implemented functionality. In an effort to enhance the “quality” of these software related patents, the USPTO issued a notice last Thursday in the Federal Register entitled: Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for Enhancement of Quality of Software Related Patents.
I myself don't understand this, but it sounds interesting. It continues,
Reading through the tea leaves, the USPTO appears quite interested in exploring means-plus-function claiming with the software community. Since this style of claiming directly links the disclosed structure of the patent specification (algorithmic in the case of computer implemented features), it may be that the Office is proposing to rein in the scope of software claims by requiring the more narrow claim type....
The Strange Collapse of Jewish Academic Achievement
From my own perspective, I found these statistical results surprising, even shocking.
I had always been well aware of the very heavy Jewish presence at elite academic institutions. But the underwhelming percentage of Jewish students who today achieve high scores on academic aptitude tests was totally unexpected, and very different from the impressions I had formed during my own high school and college years a generation or so ago. An examination of other available statistics seems to support my recollections and provides evidence for a dramatic recent decline in the academic performance of American Jews.
I am Jewish and it does not match my experience in the 50's nor that of my children and their friends who were born in the 70's." Link to Original Source
InterGuru writes "Tom Murphy, blogging from UCSD in his Do the Math blog asks ' I am curious to know how potent human fuel can be. How many miles per gallon do we get as our own engines of transportation? '
He finds, after accounting for the energy intensity of American agriculture, which uses ten units of energy to get one unit of food energy, walking consumes 18-34 MPG of oil equivalent, and biking comes in at 70-130 MPG. Maybe if we switched to a more vegetarian diet, we could improve on this." Link to Original Source top
InterGuru writes "The New Scientist notes that Wall Street traders are frustrated with the limitations caused by relativity.
EVERY microsecond counts in stock trading. The New York Stock Exchange handles a third of the world's stock trading — around 22 billion messages a day. But NYSE Euronext, which operates the exchange, wants it to get even faster.
Slashdot has already noted the construction of a faster transatlatic cable. It seems however that even light is not fast for the casino that is now Wall Street.
"The speed-of-light limitation is getting annoying," Andrew Bach, head of network services at NYSE Euronext, told the European Conference on Optical Communications in Geneva, Switzerland, last week.
With global markets currently in turmoil, it might seem a strange time to worry about the speed of trades, particularly when automated trading was implicated in the stock market's May 2010 "flash crash". But traders still want their computers to receive trading data and place orders instantaneously. And customers will go elsewhere if a rival is faster.
InterGuru writes "I just read an article in Popular Science that almost made me sick to the stomach. The headline says it all "Pricey Transatlantic Cable Could Save Milliseconds, Millions by Speeding Data to Stock Traders".
Here is $400M being spent just to give flash traders a 5 ms advantage in trans-atlantic trading. It adds nothing to the economy, just lets the Wall Street Casino operators skim more money from the economy. I addition, it diverts talent from productive projects.
Never has Matt Taibbi's description of Goldman Sachs, and by extension, all the big banks, as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" seem even more apt.
InterGuru writes "After three years of browsing with the Firefox extension, Adblock, I turned it off. This took some doing, as I enjoy the experience of browsing without annoying animated ads blinking at me.
I did not do it because I thought that blocking ads violates some social contract with the advertising industry. I did it because I felt that I was killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Most of sites I read, including Slashdot, depend on ads for the revenue needed to continue publication.
We all hear how the "mainstream press" (MSM) is a dying anachronism in the face of blogging. Yet when you look at blogs, they are usually responding to a MSM story. In spite of record readership on the Net, the MSM is in real economic trouble as its paper version loses readership. Internet ads do not bring in the revenue that paper does, but it is the future revenue stream.
Well who cares! We all should. Few or no bloggers have the resources to send a reporter out for a few weeks to cover an in depth story, or for that matter, have a reporter sitting in on the city council meetings. If too many of us turn ads off, we will kill off the MSM even faster than it is dying.
I now grin and bear it when a blinking ad disturbs me. I even blink back at it.
Russia is getting more and more upset at what it sees as Chinese making unauthorized use of Russian military technology. The latest irritation is the new Chinese diesel electric sub design, the Type 39A, or Yuan class. They look just like the Russian Kilo class.
In retaliation China is threatening a lawsuit.
The Russian sub building organizations are not amused, and are warning China of legal action if Yuans are offered for export (and in direct completion with the Kilos.)
Perhaps we could sic some IT Lawyers on Al Quaeda for violating the business process patents of older terrorist groups."