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Comment Way to early to make assumptions (Score 1) 199

So has there been any research done outside of this JH Jenkins guy and his crew at Purdue? Has this hypothesis been tested and proven elsewhere in this world? I can't find any other publishers: (A link to a search of published papers using "Solar Radioactive Decay" as the search criteria. All on-topic papers come from JH Jenkins and crew)

Immaculate Conception In a Boa Constrictor 478

crudmonkey writes "Researchers have discovered a biological shocker: female boa constrictors are capable of giving birth asexually. But the surprise doesn't end there. The study in Biology Letters found that boa babies produced through this asexual reproduction — also known as parthenogenesis — sport a chromosomal oddity that researchers thought was impossible in reptiles. While researchers admit that the female in the study may have been a genetic freak, they say the findings should press researchers to re-think reptile reproduction. Virgin birth among reptiles, especially primitive ones like boas, they argue may be far commoner than ever expected."
PC Games (Games)

EA Shutting Down Video Game Servers Prematurely 341

Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

Comment Re:The Onus Should Not Be on the Nerds (Score 4, Funny) 453

American football where I grew up was a right of passage, and pretty much mandatory. It helped teach me self confidence, teamwork, and the ability to bash my head into things. Mostly the head bashing, though.

I use that skill almost every day as a computer programmer, and it is an invaluable part of my toolkit. Poorly written business requirements, bash head. Last minute changes, bash head.

Music By Natural Selection 164

maccallr writes "The DarwinTunes experiment needs you! Using an evolutionary algorithm and the ears of you the general public, we've been evolving a four bar loop that started out as pretty dismal primordial auditory soup and now after >27k ratings and 200 generations is sounding pretty good. Given that the only ingredients are sine waves, we're impressed. We got some coverage in the New Scientist CultureLab blog but now things have gone quiet and we'd really appreciate some Slashdotter idle time. We recently upped the maximum 'genome size' and we think that the music is already benefiting from the change."

Revisiting the "Holy Trinity" of MMORPG Classes 362

A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."

Comment Re:If they thrive on predicatable, monotonous work (Score 1) 419

I have a degree in EE, and write code daily. You are right about me not writing large programs though. Generally I write small, simple programs, and then reuse components to make larger more complex apps. The people I work with do the same, and it's great to have a well documented, simple libraries to pick and choose from. The skills I see that provide this type of codebase are good organization and communication skills.

As time goes on, and proper development libraries become larger, hopefully there will be less and less unsupportable monolithic slabs of code.

Submission + - Somali pirates open up NASDARGH for trading ( 1

reginaldo writes: Pirates in Somalia have opened up a cooperative in Haradheere, where investors can pay money or guns to help their favorite pirate crew for a share of the piracy profits. From the article:

""Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 'maritime companies' and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking," Mohammed [a wealthy former pirate who took a Reuters reporter to the facility] said."

There has been some success in investing as well:

"Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel. "I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation," she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband in alimony. "I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the 'company'.""

Considering the current success of piracy, this may be a much better investment than NASDAQ. There is a supporting article at Reuters as well

Comment Question about particle accelerators (Score 3, Interesting) 305

So I understand that more energy means faster moving protons and anti-protons. How does this equivocate to finding, say, the Higgs-Boson more easily?

I understand that particles moving at 99.91% c are going to be observable for a longer period of time due to the Lorentz factor, but is that the sole benefit of this massive energy upgrade? Anyone have recommended reading for me?

Comment Re:Definitely questions for... (Score 5, Insightful) 434

What exactly are the police going to do? It's not like the kid is in imminent danger, the perpetrator is not physically there.
If the police don't need to respond instantly, wouldn't it be better for the kid to tell his parents what happened, as opposed to wasting police resources on a non-emergency situation.

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