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'Giant' Neuron Regulates 50,000 Other Neurons

N1ck0 in brain of locusts (81 comments)

Key part of the article that is not in the small summary...

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt have now discovered a single neuron in the brain of locusts that enables the adaptive regulation of sparseness in olfactory codes

more than 3 years ago

Afghanistan Called First "Robotic War"

N1ck0 Re:Really? (288 comments)

Time for Jamie to bring Blendo out of retirement...bring that ratio back down.

Mr. President, we can't afford to have a killer robot-elevator ratio gap.

more than 3 years ago

Afghanistan Called First "Robotic War"

N1ck0 Re:Best practise of anti-robots law (288 comments)

Tons killing machines and none for Fukushima. Well done.

Thats twisted. You want to send killing machines to Fukushima!

Or are you trying to make a Robot Civilization in SimEarth?

more than 3 years ago

Does 3D Make Your Head Happy Or Ache?

N1ck0 Re:Has always made my head hurt. (281 comments)

Waay back when I was in school I used to work with VR, and CAVE systems quite a bit. And in giving tons of open house tours I've noticed that the amount of disorientation varies quite a bit from person to person.

Most common are:

- Motion Sickness

- Vertical Motion Sickness (players of FPSs tended to be better as handling the strain X/Y/Z motions but not pitching and rolling)

- Eyestrain (lots of people tend not to blink when using shutter glasses for some reason, I never bothered to research why)

- Focus strain (Generally as your focus is fixed by the camera, so some peoples brains can't handle not being able to focus on arbitrary objects in their field of vision. Also generally in computer generated 3D the entire field of vision may be in focus, and this can disorient people too. This may also have to do with the involuntary eye-wobble that your brain does to obtain more eye parallax information, since this is not compensated for with 3D gear it may cause disorientation or strain)

Usually however I've found that the more exposure people have the more adaptive they get to just ignoring these sensations. Since spending so much time with them all disorientation fades after 5 mins.

more than 3 years ago

Driver Sued For Updating Facebook In Fatal Crash

N1ck0 Re:May as well... (365 comments)

The court may as well just give Veloz every asset that Beas has. After all, Beas basically committed a murder and should be put away for life at a minimum. No need for any assets.

Well considering that Veloz was killed those assets are not going to do him much good

more than 3 years ago

FCC To Vote On Net Neutrality On December 21

N1ck0 Re:why havsn't Obama called out the republicans ye (319 comments)

Anyone in congress who blanket refuses to look at matters that a Chairman of an government agency recommends is not doing their job. Yes I understand that their opposition is just a letter from a committee saying they do not like the FCC's approach to Net Neutrality. But the fact is they are objecting before the FCC has even discussed the matter yet. The real thing to do is wait till the FCC has a proposal and then the committee should discuss and provide a detailed critique of the individual rules in the plan that they need revisited. Representatives and Committees are defying the oath of their position every time they stick their fingers in their ears and shout 'La La La I am not listening to this branch of government La La La'.

more than 3 years ago

How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes

N1ck0 Re:Tax the rich. (The rich say so.) (1193 comments)

Actually he did give about 50% of his net worth to charity via a number of foundations. That's what moved him from being the richest person in the US to the 2nd richest behind gates. Over the long term he has pledged that 99% of his wealth will go to philanthropic causes.

When I used to for the John D and Cathrine T MacArthur foundation I found it surprisingly does take a lot of time, and man-power to give away that much money (assuming you limit it to programs that actually help people and not get wasted, stolen, mis-used). Usually the amount of research, financial tracking, charitable tax paperwork, legal department, IT department, international relations, government relations, etc people is very much like a 200-300 employee endeavor right there. And all the time your doing all this work to ensure that the money goes to people who really need it you are making more money.

On top of that Buffet is going to all his Billionaire buddies and saying "do you really need to have a net worth of 20 Billion? Why not give away 10 billion, cause you have the ability to make that back over a decade or two anyway".

more than 3 years ago

In Oregon, Wind Power Surges Disrupting Grid

N1ck0 Re:Store in a water tower (506 comments)

Yes same company, they are a chemical giant. Monsanto has had a long history with environmental issues. I remember the Illinois plants being still pretty bad in the 80's too..

Before regulation (and actually right as recently as 2000 ) their common practice was to dump industrial waste/PCBs/etc in fields, rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes surrounding their plants.

Basically it started in Beverages in early 1900 (specifically a chief supplier of Coca-Cola flavorings/preservatives).
They moved on to sweeteners (they own NutraSweet)
They moved to industrial chemicals, electrical components, and eventually plastics and polymers. They also were one of the first LED makers (still are damn big in LEDs/LCDs etc).
They moved to weed killers/fertilizers (they own Roundup). They also were one of the top Agent Orange Producers.
Then finally they became one of the first companies to push to Genetically altering crops, and stop the practice of farmers producing seed crops.

more than 3 years ago

Irish Gov't Invests In Color-Coded Fiber Optics

N1ck0 Re:Powerpoint with details (129 comments)

Its a ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexor) doing DWDM. In otherwords high speed re-tunable lasers that can be configured for different wavelengths on the fly.

Now all these "colors" are all intervals between 1500-1600nm. Its basically been in use on a wide scale for the past 5-7 years.

more than 4 years ago

Rest In Peas — the Death of Speech Recognition

N1ck0 Re:medical dictation - no go (342 comments)

Real-time is okay, which is mainly why most of the big dragon medical based systems run back-end speech rec, which runs at about a 1:2, 1:3 ratio (dictation time to CPU time). Then are finally QAed by medical transcriptionists for medical accuracy. On back-end systems you can also look at completed & corrected historical information, look at the contextual information of the entire document, etc. Not to say that the real-time system is bad, its just more limited it what it can look at on the local PC (it cannot reprocess models off hours, it cannot store gigs of historical data, etc).

Of course you also tend to find a lot of systems that are using engines 4-5 years out of date too (which does tend to impact things).

more than 4 years ago

Rest In Peas — the Death of Speech Recognition

N1ck0 Re:IBM? (342 comments)

IBM closed many of their speech research offices 1-2 years ago and transferred most of the research/data to Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking research.

Full Disclosure: I work for Nuance

more than 4 years ago

Will Your Answers To the Census Stay Private?

N1ck0 Race: Other (902 comments)

Everyone should select other and either enter:
- Enter N/A
- Make up your own race name, in fact recruit all your friends to
- Enter your favorite Sci-Fi reference (Mon Calamari, Klingon, Peacekeeper, Replicator, Troll, Kobold, Half-Elf, Member of the MacLeod cloud, Freman, etc.)

more than 4 years ago

Deposit Checks To Your Bank By Taking a Photo

N1ck0 Re:Digital Credit Union (494 comments)

Yep DCU is a great credit union...although I've only deposited 3-4 random checks by scanning over the past 2 years. But yes they've accepted scans for quite some time now.

more than 4 years ago

Suggestions For a Coax-To-Ethernet Solution?

N1ck0 Re:MoCa (608 comments)

D-Link, Netgear, etc all make a multimedia over coax converter, they typically allow you to hit 100mbps using existing lines via frequencies boosted way over the TV range (essentially the same way networking via powerlines work).

It really sounds like he doesn't want to pay any money, he just wants to fiddle some connectors together and connect from a UTP equipment to coax. I've seen people to really ad-hoc things over short distances and be able to get buy with high amounts of loss and very slow speeds. To do anything decent you really to deal with signal processing hardware...your never going to get the appropriate voltages, line conditioning, noise handling, etc unless you make your own layer 1 & 2 hardware.

Now you might have luck with playing with something that runs on a more forgiving medium...possibly modifying the antenna controller in a set of older single antenna (non-MIMO ) wireless routers and use the coax between them. But its probably not going to work without a lot of tweaking which puts you back in with dealing with signaling, plus the wireless would have worked over the air; and also this would cost you just as much as replacing the coax, or buying a proper media converter.

more than 4 years ago

NASA Concedes Defeat In Effort To Free Spirit Rover

N1ck0 Its A Trap! (250 comments)

If only NASA consulted with Admiral Ackbar before choosing the route last May...

more than 4 years ago

Should You Be Paid For Being On Call?

N1ck0 Re:Of course you should be paid (735 comments)

My company has a pretty simple setup. On Call Primary - $300/wk, On Call Secondary - $150/wk. Flat fee.
1. If you are forced to work more then 24 hours straight the secondary takes over for 12 hours.
2. If you have work more then an additional 40 hours per week, you get equal 'comp. time' (Ext Paid Vacation time)
3. If you were not on call and have to fill in for a last min change/emergency you get whatever time in 'comp. time'
4. During Scheduled Maintenance (min 1 week advanced warning) the primary and secondary are expected to be logged in and monitoring
5. You get comp time working more then 2 hours of maintenance per week while not on-call.

more than 4 years ago

Penny-Sized Nuclear Batteries Developed

N1ck0 Re:How much voltage/current? (444 comments)

Assuming they weigh about as much as a penny that's only 340,219.541 lbs (154,320.988 kg) per watt and every 87.4 days the energy level halves. Luckily its all beta radiation so its pretty harmless unless you eat it, inhale it, etc. and you don't need any shielding unless you deal with a sizable amount.

more than 4 years ago

Penny-Sized Nuclear Batteries Developed

N1ck0 Re:How much voltage/current? (444 comments)

orders of magnitude of charge is a very wide term here. The Sulfur -35 isotope has a half-life of only 87 days. Also looking at the other work that the micro-nano lab works with, they seem to generally work in terms of microwatt-seconds. So yes it might be a great leap in smaller radioactive decay batteries...

So for those looking to power their future car or home, I hope you like dealing with things in N Scale

more than 4 years ago

Hyperdrive Propulsion Could Be Tested At the LHC

N1ck0 Re:But (322 comments)

You would have a problem with doppler shift...the energy of the light is not constant with reflection, the momentum imparted by the laser on the reflective surface lowers the energy level of the laser.

more than 4 years ago


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