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Do we have freewill?

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "An investigation into whether we have truly have free will, going in depth into the main ideas surrounding this topic. Feel free to add to the brewing discussion in the comments"
Link to Original Source

Superheroes Teach Science and Math to Elementary Students!

Anonymous Coward writes | about half an hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Two chemical engineering PhDs and an environmental engineering graduate student from the University of South Florida have taken on secret identities as the Scientific League of Superheroes. In an effort to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) based topics these three passionate engineers have created a new educational program, the Superhero Training Network. Recently featured on Tampa, FL’s local NPR, this program brings fun and engaging content to the classroom in the form of videos, activity books, and exciting school visits to K-5 classrooms. They have been gathering student engagement and test score data in 23 Tampa area classrooms. So far the results are very positive and they plan to expand the program in the upcoming school year. They have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to expand and develop more content."

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent Of North Korea Debt

jones_supa (887896) writes | 2 hours ago

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jones_supa (887896) writes "In Russia, the State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012. Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea. The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank. Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom is dreaming shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Koreas. Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South's."
Link to Original Source

Surgery with a paintbrush

BiancaM (3582365) writes | 5 hours ago

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BiancaM (3582365) writes "A group of chemists has shown the power of nanoparticles for closing and healing surgical wounds. Using no more than a paintbrush they are able to close surgical openings as well as classical techniques such as sutures. However in fragile deap tissues such as liver even more remarkable results were found- normally fatal damage to internal organs is repaired in seconds using a nanopartilce glue. The results show that closing after surgery can be faster and simpler using nanomaterials to glue wounds shut.

Article at:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

Video:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com..."

Build a Smartphone VR Headset That Plays Oculus Rift Games and More for $20

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Not everyone can drop a few hundred dollars on a VR headset, but that doesn’t mean they can’t experience VR! For those with the time and a bit of handiwork skill, this DIY guide from guest writer Ohaple will show you how to make a smartphone-based VR headset for as little as $20. Along the way, you’ll learn the hardware and software basics of a VR headset."
Link to Original Source

DARPA developing the ultimate auto-pilot software

coondoggie (973519) writes | yesterday

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coondoggie (973519) writes "Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety."
Link to Original Source

Is there a place for me in this world?

Anonymous Coward writes | 11 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "I'm mildly autistic and in my mid 30s. I know I'm not the smartest person ever — not even close — but I'm pretty smart: perfect scores on SAT, etc., way back in high school and a PhD from a private research university you've heard of. I don't consider intelligence a virtue (in contrast to, say, ethical living); it's just what I have, and that's that. There are plenty of things I lack. Anyway, I've made myself very good at applied math and scientific computing. For years, without ever tiring, I've worked approximately 6.5 days a week all but approximately 4 of my waking hours per day. I work at a research university as research staff, and my focus is on producing high-quality, efficient, relevant scientific software. But funding is tough. I'm terrible at selling myself. I have a hard time writing proposals because when I work on mushy tasks, I become depressed and generally bent out of shape. My question: Is it possible to find a place where I can do exactly what I do best and keeps me stable — analyze and develop mathematical algorithms and software — without ever having to do other stuff and, in particular, without being good at presenting myself? I don't care about salary beyond keeping up my frugal lifestyle and saving a sufficient amount to maintain that frugal lifestyle until I die. Ideas? Or do we simply live in a world where we all have to sell what we do no matter what? Thanks for your thoughts."

One week of OpenSSL cleanup

Anonymous Coward writes | 12 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "OpenBSD Journal reports, "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape[...] All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week."

One developer stated in a response to comments about a new project name, "This is not about a fancy name. This is about realizing belatedly that code we thought of good quality was not even decent, and ended up becoming too complex and unmaintainable. So now we are hurrying to remove everything in the way of exposing the concrete guts of the code, fixing the bad practices inherited from the way we were doing security 15+ years ago""

Link to Original Source

Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

machineghost (622031) writes | yesterday

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machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!"

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan to Disrupt Universities

waderoush (1271548) writes | yesterday

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waderoush (1271548) writes "In April 2012, former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson provoked both praise and skepticism by announcing that he’d raised $25 million from venture firm Benchmark to start the Minerva Project, a new kind of university where students will live together but all class seminars will take place over a Google Hangouts-style video conferencing system. Two years later, there are answers – or the beginnings of answers – to many of the questions observers have raised about the project, on everything from the way the seminars will be organized to how much tuition the San Francisco-based university will charge and how it's gaining accreditation. And in an interview published today, Nelson share more details about how Minerva plans to use technology to improve teaching quality. ‘If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,’ Nelson says. ‘That is not what we provide. Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they’ve been giving for 20 years. We have a different model,’ based on extensive faculty review of video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts. Last month Minerva admitted 45 students to its founding class, and in September it expects to welcome 19 of them to its Nob Hill residence hall."
Link to Original Source

Windows Defender update crashes Windows ..

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

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An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has fixed a snafu with Windows Defender that took down thousands of business PCs and servers running Windows XP and Server 2003 .. The only solution to getting affected machines back up was to uninstall the updated signatures ..."
Link to Original Source

Southern California Edison prepares to ship IT jobs offshore

dcblogs (1096431) writes | yesterday

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dcblogs (1096431) writes "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn’t said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE’s management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE’s IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that "employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.""
Link to Original Source

There's got to be more than the Standard Model

StartsWithABang (3485481) writes | yesterday

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StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Standard Model of particle physics is perhaps the most successful physical theory of our Universe, and with the discovery and measurement of the Higgs boson, may be all there is as far as fundamental particles accessible through terrestrial accelerator physics. But there are at least five verified observations we've made, many in a variety of ways, that demonstrably show that the Standard Model cannot be all there is to the Universe. Here are the top 5 signs of new physics."

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy on You For Cash

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes | yesterday

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Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Forbes offers up a comforting little story about how Nest and FitBit are planning on turning user data in a multi-billion-dollar business. "Smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs (which is being acquired by Google for $3.2 billion) has quietly built a side business managing the energy consumption of a slice of its customers on behalf of electric companies," reads the article. "In wearables, health tracker Fitbit is selling companies the tracking bracelets and analytics services to better manage their health care budgets, and its rival Jawbone may be preparing to do the same." As many a wit has said over the years: If you're not paying, you're the product. But if Forbes is right, wearable-electronics companies may have discovered a sweeter deal: paying customers on one side, and companies paying for those customers' data on the other. Will most consumers actually care, though?"
Link to Original Source

New Cody Wilson interview: Happiness is a 3D Printed Gun

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

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An anonymous reader writes "Cody Wilson details his conflict with the State Department over 3-D printable guns in this new interview with ReasonTV.

In this video, he discusses:

How 3-D printing will render gun control laws obsolete and unenforceable.
Why Dark Wallet, his new crypto-currency, is much more subversive than Bitcoin.
His legal defense, headed by Alan Gura (attorney in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago).
His forthcoming book about anarchy and the future."

Link to Original Source

Pew surveys Americans on likely scientific advances 50 years from now

alphadogg (971356) writes | yesterday

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alphadogg (971356) writes "Americans are optimistic about scientific inventions on the horizon, though are cautious about future uses of DNA, robots, drones and always-on implants, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey on future technology. http://www.pewinternet.org/fil... Asked about the likelihood of certain advances 50 years from now, survey respondents were most sure that lab-grown custom organs for transplant will happen (81%). Only 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather by then."
Link to Original Source

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