top Texas Ebola Patient Dies
One of the problems is that the symptoms of EVD are very much like the common cold or flu, until it gets into the advanced stages. How many people running in to the northern hemisphere winter period display these kind of symptoms? One-in-four? To me it seems most people I see at that time of year are coughing and spluttering and coming into work/public places to give it to everyone else.
Health workers who know the risks and use protective gear are still getting infected and dying. What chance for the average Joe unless they stop any form of human contact (including things that other humans may have been in contact with)?
about a month and a half ago
top Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?
I do not see the problem with energy consumption. Without breaking any physical laws, in fact using current technology, we have access to a reasonable fraction of the 380YW (3.8x10^26W) produced by the nearest star. I think it is going to be some time before we make it to even to Type I on the Kardashev scale.
Given that a large amount of the growth in energy consumption comes from developing countries, this should plateau off one they approach the living standards of the developed ones. I read somewhere recently that ground-based solar collectors were being added at the rate of 120MW a day, globally and that rate was increasing. It is not going to be that long on a historical scale until the dominant source of energy is solar. Thats without any progress whatsoever in fusion or using known fission breeder tech... So, no, I am not concerned in the slightest about any conjectured lack of personal energy supply. The time of plenty is nearly upon us!
about a month and a half ago
top Some Core I7 5960X + X99 Motherboards Mysteriously Burning Up
I was interested by the actions of the user of the motherboard on one of the linked articles. Initially this happened:
"The system came up, hung for a very short time and then powered off with a audible click of the Corsair AX860i power supply. If you have ever heard the loud click of the Over Current Protection (OCP) shutting down the PSU you know exactly what click I heard. Now when I press power button on the motherboard the system clicks after being on for a split second. I unplugged all the cables on the power supply and did the built-in self-check and it passed with flying colors. I still swapped out the PSU with a backup Corsair AX860i and the same click was to be heard. and it is doing the same thing (Corsair AX860i). After clearing the CMOS, removing the memory, SSD and video card the system still would not post. At that point in time I switched to a non-digital power supply (Corsair AX1200) and it did the same thing although this time the OCP took a little longer to kick in. There was some audible crackling noises, followed by some smoke near the CPU VRM heatsink. So, the heart shattering smell of burnt electronics filled the room..." 10/10 for investigative journalism but putting more and more juice into something that is continually tripping out the power supply is not going to have a happy ending. Maybe some of the $1,400-worth of motherboard and processor may have been salvageable if he had stopped at the first warning? If the circuit breaker pops twice on a ring main at home, do you a) replace the circuit breaker with a bigger one, b) hold it in until smoke appears from behind the wall or c) do some serious investigation and/or call an electrician before putting the power back on?
top The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative
I think the main problem is that there is no difference between something that gives the illusion of consciousness or sentience (these terms are poorly defined, anyway) and the 'real thing'.
My own view, even though it feels slightly strange as I sit here typing, is that consciousness/sentience is pure illusion and there is nothing more. If you interact with something that behaves as you would expect a human to behave, to all intents and purposes it IS human, no matter how it was constructed. Equally, if an AI displays those same traits or a superset containing them, then you have to call it sentient - if you think humans are. You cannot have it both ways: if you believe that AIs can not be conscious then we are not either...
top How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off
Substrate is the first thing that came to mind when I heard Apple were going to be producing vast quantities of sapphire. The OP has pointed out most of the advantages but taking it to the extreme, you could have the major part of the phone as a solid piece of sapphire with the electronics grown on it, or a sandwich-type construction with the screen bonded on later.
It would be pretty cool having a totally transparent phone with just a few parts that were visible. Knowing Apple, they would dope the crystal to make the iPhone 6C in ruby, pink, blue, yellow, etc. just like a gigantic gemstone... Ultimate bling or what?
top Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Behaviour control device?
You mean a 6'8" bloke called Sergei with a tux, dark glasses, baseball bat and instructions to stop any filming...?
top Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor
"I think the point was about people who TALK about how much work they do but only put in 40 hours a week"
I don't see those two statements as being incompatible. How much useful "work" you produce is not necessarily linked to the number of hours your body is present. Unless you're employed as a stationary mime...
top New Type of Star Can Emerge From Inside Black Holes, Say Cosmologists
"When a black hole consumes energy and releases a Planck star, do either events reduce the entropy of the system?"
Probably when the Planck star re-emerges, back into the observable universe, like it's never been away, entropy is fuck beta conserved. Having just read the Wikipedia article (I'm an expert now) on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, there's an interesting fuck beta bit about gravitational systems being fuck beta different from normal ones in that the more fuck beta massive a black fuck beta hole becomes, the lower it's fuck beta temperature, so fuck beta fuck beta fuck beta?
top Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass?
If you really don't like the idea, then fight back: wear a Borg-style headset that scans anyone wearing Google Glasses with a bright (but not damaging, obviously) laser, then makes a loud robotic pronouncement like "you have been assimilated", "convicted pedophile" or "person of no interest".
top Military Robots Expected To Outnumber Troops By 2023
I can't be the only one who thought: "yes, that's because they've killed most of the human troops".
What chance would a normal soldier stand against a faster, more heavily armoured and armed machine with a much larger sensorium? The only hopes are that humans have retired from the battlefield entirely to leave it to the robots or are having second thoughts about the whole war-thing in the first place...
top Are We Socially Ready For Wearable Computing?
I think the key part that's missing in this latest round of aspirant technology is personal AI. What you really need is a "v-assistant", "e-butler" or whatever the name might be that is capable of independently replying to *and* initiating communications (by text, email, voice, video, etc.) with other people or systems. It could prioritise what needs your personal interaction, depending on what you were doing at the time.
The level of input to us has been ramping up fast but our brains still have the same bandwidth they had a million years ago. Until we get an upgrade, we need help to deal with this increasing flood of information, that is mostly unimportant. Who knows, a call to someone in the near future on their "iWatch" might get answered by Siri...
top Hubble Spots Source of Short Gamma Ray Burst
top Hands On With the Nokia Lumia 1020
... the Megapixel Wars have.
top 2 Men Accused of Trying To Make X-Ray Weapon
You're going to have to pry my X-ray gun out of my cold, dead... Hey! One's fallen off!
about a year and a half ago
top Mars One Has 78,000 Applicants
78,000 * 0.4 = 31,200m / 31.2km.
Long Island coasts, it seems. I hope they use better math when designing the spacecraft...
about a year and a half ago
top No Porn From Public WiFi Hotspots In the UK Proposed
I suppose being Slashdot, everyone is immediately thinking of technical workarounds but the main issue for those wanting to filter "porn" is defining what "porn" actually is, such that it can be recognised by an autonomous system. No two humans can agree on a definition other than "I know it when *I* see it", so how a computer is meant to cope I don't know.
Yes, you can blacklist/whitelist sites but you'd end up with the British Library, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the British Medical Association blocked while hotbabesinswimwear.com gets allowed because there's just enough covered. For those overseas readers who are not well versed in British politics, this is not really a serious suggestion - we're approaching the "silly season" and things like this are run up the flagpole to impress the gullible and distract attention from other matters.
about a year and a half ago
top Why Ray Kurzweil's Google Project May Be Doomed To Fail
I think all there is is circus magic. It just gets more convincing with scale.
Consciousness is most likely an illusion brought on by a certain amount of processing power and connectivity (and I count myself in there too). In a quantised, deterministic universe, "minds" and "souls" are as likely as gods...
top Rare Earth Elements Found In Jamaican Mud
This mud is no ordinary mud. There are significant deposits of Ganjonium, Tokalite and Reeferine alongside the rare earths...
top Touchscreen Laptops, Whether You Like Them Or Not
It would be amusing if the only ultrabook you could buy *without* a touch screen was a MacBook Air...
top NVIDIA Unveils GRID Servers, Tegra 4 SoC and Project SHIELD Mobile Gaming Device
...should be just about enough to run one instance of Crysis 4. If you've got an OC-192 internet connection, you might be able to play it in HD as well!
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