top Astronomers Find Planet Barely Larger Than Earth's Moon
It's an exoplanet-sized object.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: Good Low Cost Free Software For Protecting Kids Online?
Try OpenDNS. It's got good granularity for filtering criteria and you can either filter at your router, or on a per-computer basis.
Plus, their founder has a
/. UID of 17.
top JRR Tolkien Denied Nobel Due To Low Quality Prose
... or he'd have been up on a Swedish stage singing,
"Helm holm! Stockholm! Alfred Nobel-lo! Ring a ding! Thanks, King, for the medal-lo!"
And after the 17th verse, the audience would be trying to summon a Balrog.
top Should Undergraduates Be Taught Fortran?
I have fond memories of Fortran from the only programming course I took in college 25+ years ago. Warm, fuzzy, marshmallow-scented memories. That will sound weird until I tell you that the *other* language we had to use in that class was
APL. That wacky-charactered, right-to-left, overstruck, array-spouting beast was the unholy spawn of Greek and Chinese psychotics, raised by ancient Egyptians. While marveling at the power available in a single dense line of APL code was fun (for certain values of "fun"), when we were allowed to use Fortran we felt like subsistence hunter-gatherers visiting McDonalds.
"You mean you just *tell* it what to do and it does it? And these words actually mean what they say? Wow!"
These days when I dabble with Linux and work on social science software syntax files, I'm grateful for two things from that long-ago course: the general programming concepts I learned in Fortan, and the fact that I don't have to touch APL. Mailbox! Open Mailbox!
top Court Rules Autism Not Caused By Childhood Vaccine
Yeah, here in Wisconsin (USA) you can sign a form opting out of the school vaccination requirement for reasons that are religious or due to "personal conviction". While I think a parent who does that should get a conviction of a different sort, if we're going to allow that stupidity, here's how it oughta work.
You have a personal conviction that your kid should be allowed to put my kid at risk? OK, sign that form and we'll have to let your kids in school. We'll post their names on a bulletin board by the front door so that the responsible parents can make their own informed decision about who our kids play with. Their names will also be available to other schools whose teams might play yours, and be grounds for forfeit if any of those parents object to involving your kids with theirs.
Oh, you're worried about them being ostracized? You're saying that this violates your right to medical privacy? Tough. Your right to swing your little disease-harboring darlings around ends where the bodies of mine begin. If you stick your crackpot "personal conviction" into the spokes of sensible public policy, we'll route around you.
Why yes, I *do* have a child about to start kindergarten. How did you know?
top Circuit City Closes Its Doors For Good
Linens'N'Shit is closing...
I've always called it "Sheets-N-Shit".
top Using Microwaves To Cook Ballast Stowaways
It's supposed to be The