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Doofus (43075) writes "A nice piece on NPR this morning about Albert Paley and an exhibit of his work in DC at the Corcoran. Paley began metalworking in the 1960s and his work and his thinking about his work exemplifies the best of the maker movement.
"The discipline of the goldsmith I found was very intriguing," he says. "The sense of quality, the sense of refinement, as far as developing the object. But also conceptually, what does the jewelry do to the individual? How does it manifest their ego or their presence? This is the type of work that I was doing at that time."
Doofus (43075) writes "Business Insider is running an article this morning about Elon Musk's fears of an AI-powered apocalypse. For a technology expert and inventor with Musk's credentials, explaining fears of technology may seem a bit incongruous. In a transcript of a CNBC interview with Elon Musk, the question of Musk's investment in an AI development firm came up, and he explains his reasoning for investing in the firm.
I was also an investor in DeepMind before Google acquired it and Vicarious. Mostly I sort of – it's not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. It's really, I like to just keep an eye on what's going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there and we need to –
Musk goes on to explain a bit more about his concerns and references Monty Python as he does it." Link to Original Source
Doofus (43075) writes "The Wall Street Journal has an eye catching headling,
According to the 2011 Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, about 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can't find qualified workers. To help produce a new generation of welders, pipe-fitters, electricians, carpenters, machinists and other skilled tradesmen, high schools should introduce students to the pleasure and pride they can take in making and building things in shop class.
American employers are so yearning to motivate young people to work in manufacturing and the skilled trades that many are willing to pay to train and recruit future laborers. CEO Karen Wright of Ariel Corp. in Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently announced that the manufacturer of gas compressors is donating $1 million to the Knox County Career Center to update the center's computer-integrated manufacturing equipment, so students can train on the same machines used in Ariel's operations.
How many of us liked shop? How many young people should be training for skilled manufacturing and service jobs rather than getting history or political science degrees?"
Doofus (43075) writes "The Atlantic has an interesting story about opening up what we routinely consider "advanced" areas of mathematics to younger learners.
The goals here are to use complex but easy tasks as introductions to more advanced topics in math, rather than the standard, sequential process of counting, arithmetic, sets, geometry, then eventually algebra and finally calculus.
Examples of activities that fall into the “simple but hard” quadrant: Building a trench with a spoon (a military punishment that involves many small, repetitive tasks, akin to doing 100 two-digit addition problems on a typical worksheet, as Droujkova points out), or memorizing multiplication tables as individual facts rather than patterns.
Far better, she says, to start by creating rich and social mathematical experiences that are complex (allowing them to be taken in many different directions) yet easy (making them conducive to immediate play). Activities that fall into this quadrant: building a house with LEGO blocks, doing origami or snowflake cut-outs, or using a pretend “function box” that transforms objects (and can also be used in combination with a second machine to compose functions, or backwards to invert a function, and so on).
I plan to get my children learning the "advanced" topics as soon as possible. How about you?" Link to Original Source
Doofus (43075) writes "Masao Yoshida, director of the Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, has passed away. Colleagues and politicos in Japan praised his disobedience during the post-tsunami meltdown and credited him with preventing much more widespread and intense damage.
On March 12, a day after the tsunami, Mr. Yoshida ignored an order from Tepco headquarters to stop pumping seawater into a reactor to try and cool it because of concerns that ocean water would corrode the equipment.
Tepco initially said it would penalize Mr. Yoshida even though Sakae Muto, then a vice president at the utility, said it was a technically appropriate decision. Mr. Yoshida received no more than a verbal reprimand after then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan defended the plant chief, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
“I bow in respect for his leadership and decision-making,” Kan said Tuesday in a message posted on his Twitter account.
On August 22, CloudFlare, a content delivery network, turned on a brand new data center in Seoul, Korea—the last of ten new facilities started across four continents in a span of thirty days. The Seoul data center brought CloudFlare's number of data centers up to 23, nearly doubling the company's global reach—a significant feat in itself for a company of just 32 employees.
But there was something else relatively significant about the Seoul data center and the other 9 facilities set up this summer: despite the fact that the company owned every router and every server in their racks, and each had been configured with great care to handle the demands of CloudFlare's CDN and security services, no one from CloudFlare had ever set foot in them. All that came from CloudFlare directly was a six-page manual instructing facility managers and local suppliers on how to rack and plug in the boxes shipped to them.
Doofus (43075) writes "New Scientist has an interesting story about a Japanese effort to reach the Earth's mantle. While some mantle material has been recovered from volcanoes, no pure mantle material has been obtained. (We have moon rocks, but nothing from a few km beneath our feet!) Accompanying the article is a gallery of previous attempts at drilling farther and farther into the Earth's crust." Link to Original Source top
Tablet computer designed 15 years before iPad; prior art, anyone?
Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post has a profile of Roger Fidler, who "invented" the tablet computer in the 1990s, while working as a visionary for newspaper firm Knight-Ridder. He is now embroiled in the Apple/Samsung legal war, as an expert witness. Fidler admits that other prior art influenced him, such as the tablets being used as computing devices in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Prior prior art." Link to Original Source top
Tablet computer designed 15 years before iPad; prior art, anyone?
Doofus (43075) writes "Roger Fidler, who worked for Knight-Ridder, had a "skunk-works" lab next door to Apple in the 1990s.
Fidler invented the "tablet" computer in 1994, long before Apple patented the design (2004). Of course, he admits (in the article) that the tablets in 2001: A Space Odyssey may have influenced him. Prior prior art." Link to Original Source top
Doofus (43075) writes "Network World is reporting that the Charlottesville City public school district has selected a Fujitsu tablet running Windows 7 over the Apple iPad. The school's IT team decided that the Fujitsu Windows 7 tablet came out ahead of the iPad on security and durability.
The integrity of iPad's glass was an issue, and Fujitsu's tablet can withstand shock resulting from drops and also can operate in demanding environments, said Dean Jadlowski, director of technology for the Charlottesville City Schools, in a statement. The Q550 can last longer in backpacks and reduce repairs, which could reduce maintenance costs.
Doofus (43075) writes "In another of an increasing number of opinion pieces I've seen in many places, an author is citing Bloomberg's promise to "learn to code" as a reason why everyone and his or her sibling should learn to write software.
Anyone else afraid of the rush of the unskilled masses into the coding trenches? Anyone else remember the flood of wanna-bes several years ago who were incapable of doing real programming but wanted the $ real coders were making?" Link to Original Source top
Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post has an interesting article about the growing local conflicts over the use of the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds for holiday themed and religious displays. The Flying Spaghetti Monster has made an appearance, along with pirates." Link to Original Source top
After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look.
This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial “Terminators,” minus beefcake and time travel.
The article goes on to discuss the dangers of surrendering to fully autonomous killing, concerns about the potential for "atrocities", and the nature of what we call "common sense"." Link to Original Source
Doofus (43075) writes "Slashdot — editors, submitters, and commenters alike — were all snowed by the recent "study" about Internet Explorer user community having a lower mean IQ than users of other browsers. The linked story describes the hoax.
CNN, NPR, CNET, London’s Daily Mail, Forbes, and BBC were among the many outlets that ran stories citing the report.
But members of the public quickly raised eyebrows over the supposed findings, pointing out that that AptiQuant appeared to have set up its site only last month, the BBC reported Wednesday in a story on the elaborate hoax. Readers also discovered that the photographs used on AptiQuant's page were taken from the site of an established French research company.
Doofus (43075) writes "In the New Scientist article, Existence: Where did my consciousness come from?, the author references a theory of consiousness proposed by Giuilio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The theory, at bottom, is that a human being's consciousness is the result of the brain's "integration" of all available information, both internal and external (e.g., sensory stimuli).
Rather than building machinery to house artificial, programmed intelligences, is the true root of AI research about creating machines complex enough to transfer human consciousness from biological to non-biological, potentially immortal scaffolding?" Link to Original Source top
Doofus (43075) writes "Lawrence Wright has written a lengthy expose of the Church of Scientology, including an in-depth interview with Hollywood director Paul Haggis, who has defected from the Church. Haggis read about the abuse chronicled by the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, queried the Hollywood branch of the CoS, and decided to resign. Warning: Wright's article is long, and contains a great deal of detail, some of which has been covered by Slashdot in prior submissions. Wright's meticulous reporting should be praised." Link to Original Source