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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

domulys Scientists also killed the oldest living organism (366 comments)

507 years is pretty old, but not quite as old as Prometheus : a ~5000 year old tree that was cut down in the 1960's so that it's rings could be counted. At the time of its demise, it was the world's oldest known living organism, and (as far as I know) no older organism is known to exist.

1 year,12 days

Phantom Authors Publish Real Research Paper

domulys Loose lips sink ships (52 comments)

The publication process in the biological sciences is very strange ... for some reason, people openly disclose their findings at conferences before submitting the relevant publications. Either you were first to publish or you weren't, and if you weren't, tough luck (not to discount the apparent fraud committed here).

It's must easier in computer science, since conference publications "count". Things can still get complicated (e.g., when one group submits to conference A while a similar paper was accepted - but not yet published - in conference B), but this is relatively rare, and most researchers would credit both groups with simultaneous discovery.

about a year ago

Cisco Slashes 4,000 Jobs

domulys Re:Easy come, easy go (139 comments)

For those keeping score ... stock down 10% after hours.

about a year ago

Microsoft: Facebook Home Is a Copycat, Windows Phone Is the 'Real Thing'

domulys Dear Microsoft ... (199 comments)

Dear Microsoft,

Facebook tolerates you. It is thanks to them that you remain relevant. E.g., when Facebook Graph Search can't find a particular item, it currently defaults to Bing... but, that can easily change. Please, pretty please, just give them a reason to reconsider their allegiances, and I am sure they will happily discard you like the dead skin off a snake.

Never forget that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Besides, if Facebook has taught us anything, it's that regardless of who had the idea first, it's execution ultimately that matters. If you have to tell people that you've won, you've lost.

about a year and a half ago

New Largest Known Prime Number: 2^57,885,161-1

domulys Re:Even the scientists' press release wrong (254 comments)

Yup, was totally wrong about this. Euclid's Proof of the Infinitude of Primes suggests doing something like this (multiplying all primes and then adding 1), but it doesn't work in generating new primes.

about 2 years ago

New Largest Known Prime Number: 2^57,885,161-1

domulys Even the scientists' press release wrong (254 comments)

I thought the Slashdot summary goofed on this, but the scientists did as well.

It's the largest known Mersenne prime. For instance, 1000000! - 1 is also known to be prime, and it is much larger than this number.

about 2 years ago

Interviews: Ask Blendtec Founder Tom Dickson What Won't Blend?

domulys Blades? (118 comments)

Can you blend the blades of the blender?

about 2 years ago

New Microsoft App To Coordinate Disaster-Relief Efforts

domulys A PR stunt that ultimately endangers lives (69 comments)

As a few others have noted, there are a few sites out there (e.g., Google's crisis response and Sahana) that seek to match people in need with responders.

If this were any other application, I would argue that competition is good, but I fear that the fragmentation of services for disaster relief ultimately puts more lives at risk. Why doesn't Microsoft through its support & resources behind a well-established, widely-adopted system for collective disaster management? To provide yet another service that is disconnected from all others seems to invite confusion and reduce the power of the network effect.

The only answer I can think of is that Microsoft (lacking the same philanthropic reputation as its competitor, Google) wants to take all the credit. How noble.

about 2 years ago

Why Do So Many Liberals "Like" Mitt Romney On Facebook?

domulys Using "Like" to stream "Lies" (376 comments)

Some people "like" Romney only to get updates from his social media feed. Think of it as automated 'opposition research'. What Romney days one day, my neighbor repeats the next, so it gives me a leg up.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Morpheus Lander Test Ends In Explosion

domulys Re:All I can say is... (237 comments)

Make sure to stay tuned at least through 2:00, there's a nice fireworks display.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Unveils Outlook.com, Hotmail's Successor

domulys Now's your chance ... (368 comments)

... to snag that perfect e-mail address. Back in the days of hotmail, users would register addresses like surferdude@hotmail.com. Once gmail came around, they over-corrected and secured uber-professional addresses like firstname.m.lastname@gmail.com, which turn out to be pain to type into tiny phone keypads (or read aloud over the phone).

Two of my friends have already picked up first@outlook.com. Get 'em before they're gone!

more than 2 years ago

Pigeons May 'Hear' Magnetic Fields

domulys Geomagnetic reversal (55 comments)

I'm curious what the birds will do the next time Earth's magnetic poles switch. Hopefully there's a "reset" button somewhere inside that tiny brain.

about 2 years ago

Hybrid Human-Animal DNA Experiments Raise Concerns

domulys Language! (311 comments)

From the last line of the article: "it’s a human thing to have a memory.”

Memory is not the real issue ... the real issue is language. Yes, dolphins, whales, birds, etc. can communicate, but not with an infinitely rich grammar. Many anthropologists (and, not surprisingly, linguists) believe that language is key to understanding the uniqueness of the human mind. To me, that's what makes brain cell implantation freaky.

Surely one cell is not too controversial. Two... maybe a little. But once you start down this path, think about where it could go:

Day 137: Rats seem to react to their names.
Day 409: Rats react to basic commands ("Go left" or "Go right")
Day 687: Rats are able to respond to simple yes/no questions ("Are you hungry?")
Day 992: Rat named Stickers cheeps one word: "Stop."

I'm not passing any judgement on this research ... just sayin' that we're entering some uncharted waters.

more than 3 years ago

Queen Elizabeth Sets a Code-Breaking Challenge

domulys thanks... (132 comments)


Post the missing ')' and hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight.

more than 3 years ago

China To Overtake US In Science In Two Years

domulys Plagiarism (362 comments)

the report points out that a growing volume of research publications does not necessarily mean in increase in quality

No kidding. China (and Asia South-Pacific in general) has a rampant plagiarism problem. E.g.,:


This practice has permeated many of the country's scientific journals, where it is commonplace to copy-and-paste large sections of others' work. International journals are typically able to shield this using "similarity detectors" and peer review, but the occasional hack-job still gets through occasionally.

more than 3 years ago

Erdos' Combinatorial Geometry Problem Solved

domulys Actual authors (170 comments)

After 65 years, Paul Erdos' combinatorial problem has been solved by Indiana University professor Nets Hawk Katz.

It was actually solved by Larry Guth and Nets Hawk Katz. Not sure how it is that authors magically disappear from press releases, especially principal authors...

more than 3 years ago

Watch Out Netflix, Amazon Streaming Video to Prime Users

domulys Sorry students... (218 comments)

... this doesn't apply to your free Prime membership.

more than 3 years ago

Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser

domulys Opposite? (241 comments)

It just sounds like they turned the laser off.

more than 3 years ago

The True Cost of Publishing On the Amazon Kindle

domulys The Real Reason... (236 comments)

... is that images and photos look terrible on a Kindle. Amazon doesn't want you, as the reader, to dwell on that fact.

more than 3 years ago


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