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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Press2ToContinue Is that the real problem? Or does it disguise .... (315 comments)

... overpopulation? Maybe it's time to address the underlying problem that isn't going to go away even if we continue to ignore it... we are coming closer and closer to not being able to sustain our growing population.

How now brown cow?

2 days ago
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Telepresence Store Staffed Remotely Using Robots

Press2ToContinue Immigration Issues in 3... 2... 1... (52 comments)

So, the person operating the telepresence robot could very well be in India, or Japan or Botswana. And they are signed in and running a "robot" in the USA, taking the place of a US worker or (insert any other country here.)

I can only hope this will resolve to the conclusion that these would then be considered people working in the USA, and would require a visa, and that the robot operators must be in the same country or have a visa to work in this country.

Extrapolate one more level, and I believe the next logical conclusion is that the people in overseas call centers who help people in the USA via technology are also "dialed in" and therefore require visas.

It's possible that this can bring sanity back to offshoring jobs.

 

2 days ago
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Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself

Press2ToContinue Flamebait headline, TFA says different (171 comments)

TFA says the statue is being donated, the money is for transportation.

More accurate headline: "Artist proposes, donates personal time and money to make statues, Assange hosts fundraiser to transport and display works."

Maybe Assange would have been more circumspect to remain completely out of the mix. But that's his call, maybe he liked the idea.

Maybe all the flamers here would like the idea too if someone offered to make a bronze statue of them. But no-one did. ;)

about a week ago
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Why a Cure For Cancer Is So Elusive

Press2ToContinue We're so glad you're here. (366 comments)

We really hope you'll contribute a lot more in the distant future.

about a year ago
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Why a Cure For Cancer Is So Elusive

Press2ToContinue Cancer Is Cured By High Immunity (366 comments)

A strong immune system keeps cancer at bay - this is a duh.
But our lifestyles are increasingly focused on pathogen and stressor avoidance instead of encountering and overcoming them. Most people look at me as if I'm crazy when I say I like going out in the cold because it's good for me, and as many think I'm a kook when I ask them if they have ever drank water from a stream. Activities in the outside world boost our immunity, and we perform them less and less, and de-germ our environments more and more. I, for one, think there is a correlation.

about a year ago
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The Math of Gamification

Press2ToContinue Vision be damned... (36 comments)

let's let math drive the specification process! Because human opinion and behavior is so predictable there must be a wave function for our target market segment. Wait, I have it! BeN+d = oVEr

about a year ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Press2ToContinue Apparently ... (208 comments)

you aren't doing much on your computer. Try doing special effects graphics, or stock market analysis. Or even just start up an Android emulator - it's excruciatingly slow.

about a year ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Press2ToContinue Yay more cores that I won't be using much of! (208 comments)

Because you can never have too many cores that you aren't using most of the time.

How about more speed? Or is that too hard?

about a year ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

Press2ToContinue All the news that matters (894 comments)

and some that doesn't.

about a year ago
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue A+B=C is always obvious ... to a mathemetician (115 comments)

I didn't understand the obviousness test and now I do, thanks.

And therefore it is the name of test itself that is one of the horrific failures in this debacle.

What you described is not at all an obviousness test, it's a prior-patent test. It simply asks, has this been patented before in other ways? So it has nothing to do with whether it is obvious to someone skilled in the art. It's a red herring to think that this is testing obviosity. (ahem, new word.)

And hence when you say " maybe it's not obvious, even if in hindsight it looks simple. Maybe the solution is brilliant in its elegance and simplicity."
Right, and the answer to your Big Maybe is - unmeasurable, unreproducible, and based utterly on opinion. And therefore is a farce and incites argument from the get-go, no matter what the USPTO calls it, to try to test for it that way.

But thanks for helping me to understand why the software obviousness test has failed so badly - because it doesn't test obviousness and therefore hasn't failed. It only tests to see if it is already patented in a different form. But that makes me wonder if the test itself can be challenged, because it doesn't test at all what it implies that it tests. And if the intent is truly that obvious things should not be patentable, then the definition of the test can be proved faulty - it's obvious to me that it can ;)

1 year,10 days
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue IMNTBHO it's protecting the right thing (115 comments)

" Copyright is next to useless for smaller programmers, because it's protecting the wrong thing. Basically, copyright protects the exact work,

In my never-to-be-humble-opinion, it's the exact work that should be protected, not the idea that lead to it. Because there's only two things in my job - the idea I'm trying to implement, and the code that implements it. If I'm not protecting the code, then I'm protecting the idea. So software patents are idea patents, because they are all ideas with "on a computer" appended to them.

1 year,10 days
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Why Reactive Programming For Databases Is Awesome

Press2ToContinue Arg NOOOOOOO (165 comments)

Event-driven programming is HELL, except for interfaces. Every once in a while a DB trigger is justified, but event-driven languages have failed time and time again because... it's impossible to predict what will happen when and avalanche of eventual complexity causes the system to implode under its own weight.

For a programming language to make the cut, it must be utterly predictable down to the last side-effect.
 

1 year,11 days
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue Obviousness is not obvious (115 comments)

I would love to agree with you, because to me they are all obvious. But the problem lies in the test itself - it is not at all measurable. It is based entirely on opinion, and thus it varies based on the particular "expert" testimony. And what is obvious this year may not have been obvious last year, and that makes it un-pin-downable to me. To me it is a losing battle to try to strike down patent by patent on obviousness. They can go either way, and so it is a never-ending battle, and the lawyers get richer. The only realistic way to approach obviousness is to argue its fallibility, bias-proneness, and slippery-slopedness in general, and strike it down as an untennable test, which must be either replaced with an unbiased, independently-reproducible test, or the system must be revoked as a whole as unfair.

And since you are obliviously experience and open-minded about this, what do you think of that approach?

1 year,11 days

Submissions

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Athabascan enigma: weird circular 2km blemish on the surface of Mars

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about two weeks ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "THIS one’s for real. Forget the faces and the pyramids: An odd ‘boil’ on the face of Mars has scientists scrambling for an explanation.

The weird circular blemish, some 2km in diameter, recently appeared in an image beamed back from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It leaps out at the camera in an area otherwise unusually smooth for the Red planet.

And that in itself could be a clue as to what it actually is."

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Is Nearsightedness Our Next Epidemic?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about two weeks ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "In the early 1970s, about 25 percent of 12- to 54-year-old Americans were myopic. By the 2000s, more than 41 percent had the condition. Researchers have trouble finding non-myopic controls for their studies, and clinicians see children as young as 4 with severe myopia.

Other countries, particularly those in East Asia where schooling starts earlier and lasts longer each day, have beat us to the chase. In Singapore, for one, the military realized it could no longer rule out recruits due to nearsightedness; there would be too few prospects left.

In Taiwan, the myopia prevalence among 7-year-olds increased from 5.8 percent in 1983 to 21 percent in 2000. And in South Korea, a large, representative study of 19-year-olds showed that more than 96 percent were myopic in 2010. “So you can pretty much say everybody’s myopic” there.

That’s a problem because myopia – characterized by eyeballs that are more egg-shaped than spherical – is linked with a higher risk for various eye diseases such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts."

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Printing 3D Sex Toys At UPS Is Now A Reality

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about two weeks ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "At UPS, you might be able to pick up a different kind of package.

The company began offering 3D printing services over the past couple of months, and UPS rules don’t explicitly prohibit customers from using those printers to create sex toys. A UPS representative told the site they won’t allow patrons to print out items like weapons but when asked about sex toys, the rep said there’s no company-wide rule against them.

Free downloadable sex toy patterns for 3D printers can already be found for free on the net.

Is it possible, that like the exponential growth of the the early Internet being spawned by the driving force of porn becoming so available, could the new, easy availbility of custom-fit sex-related items and clothing do the same for 3D printing? I'm feeling a sexy cosplay coming on..."

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The next natural step - night vision capable smartphones.

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  1 year,22 days

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "If Steve Jobs were here, this might have already happened — it's just one of those upgrades that seems blindingly obvious in hindsight. But thanks to Psy Corporation, maybe our tech can achieve at least one capability that the I-Everything visionary might have envisioned — night-vision-capable smartphones.

Launching a crowdsource funding campaign starting tomorrow on HWTrek.com, Psy Corporation is aiming to raise $60,000 to help bring the Snooperscope to fruition. Read on..."

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Four-winged robot flies like a jellyfish

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  1 year,22 days

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "A four-winged design causes this bot to float in the air like a jellyfish does in water, has no electronics, and is more stable in the air than insect-like machines.

The prototype consists of a carbon-fibre frame surrounded by two pairs of thin plastic wings that open and close when driven by a motor. Its shape allows it to fly upright with little effort, without requiring sensors or intelligence to adjust its wings like those used by insects."

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Google's Tour of Middle Earth: LOTR From a Great Eagle's POV

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  1 year,26 days

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Middle Earth is an amazing fictional world, but if you want to really get to know it, you've got to read a lot of words. So if you're in the mood for a little Tolkien fantasy without hunkering down for a serious reading session, Google's brand new tour of Middle Earth is a beautiful (and effortless) way to get your fix."
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Extinct Species That Could Be Brought Back

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Diversity is a good thing, right? If so, then what if we could bring back extinct species at will? According to a current article in National Geographic, we just may be at that point now, and the list of species ranges from wooly mammoth, Tasmanian tiger and the woolly rhinoceros to the passenger pigeon and the dodo.

It seems inevitable: it's not a question of "should we," but "when will we?" So the question really seems to be, "who gets to decide?" And if done, can it be undone?

Oh, and one more question.... "where's the goat??" (Jurassic Park, 1993)"

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Canon's Mixed Reality headset aims to change the way consumers shop

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "With products like Google’s Glass, the Oculus Rift, and even certain features found on the Nintendo 3DS, augmented, mixed, and virtual reality are starting to make some headway in the consumer space. Canon, best known for its cameras, is looking to break into the mixed reality scene with its new head-mounted display.

The core of the setup is the Canon HMD (head-mounted display) which works in conjunction with various sensors — optical and magnetic, as well as visual markers — to help create the mixed reality environment. The HMD employs two cameras located in front of each eye that captures video and shoots it off to an off-board, tethered computer. The computer then combines the real-world visuals with computer-generated visuals, and beams that back to two monitors placed in front of the eyes within the HMD. The unit combines with a development platform, dubbed the MR Platform, which allows companies to create mixed reality images to display on the HMD."

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Step 1: Amazon MP3 Web App. Step 2: Amazon Profit. Step 3, Apple?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Amazon has found a simple way around Apple's tight-fisted iTunes... give users a web app to buy MP3s that runs in Safari. No need to pay 30%-per-tune to Apple.

Freedom of choice of vendor in Apple-only territory? A big breach of Apples walled garden? How much you wanna bet that Apple is going to have a Step Thee to say about this?"

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Curiosity Set for its First Drill on Martian Surface

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is ready to drill the Martian surface for the first time as it journeys through a rockbed with pale veins that could hold some clues about the history of water on the Red planet.

The Mars rover will test its drilling for the first time, and this is the most complex task ever done since the landing on the Martian crater.

"Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission's most challenging activity since the landing," Mars Science Laboratory project manager Richard Cook said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "It has never been done on Mars. The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don't control. We won't be surprised if some steps in the process don't go exactly as planned the first time through.""

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Is "The Care Effect" Real?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Patients with irritable bowel syndrome were told they’d be participating in a study of the benefits of acupuncture and one group, which received the treatment from a warm, friendly researcher who asked detailed questions about their lives, did report a marked reduction in symptoms, equivalent to what might result from any drug on the market. Unbeknownst to them, the researchers used trick needles that didn’t pierce the skin.

Now here’s the interesting part: The same sham treatment was given to another group of subjects but performed brusquely, without conversation. The benefits largely disappeared. It was the empathetic exchange between practitioner and patient, Kaptchuk concluded, that made the difference.

What Kaptchuk demonstrated is what some medical thinkers have begun to call the "care effect" — the idea that the opportunity for patients to feel heard and cared for can improve their health. Scientific or no, alternative practitioners tend to express empathy, to allow for unhurried silences, and to ask what meaning patients make of their pain. Kaptchuk’s study was a breakthrough: It showed that randomized, controlled trials could measure the effect of caring.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/12044130/reload=0;jsessionid=2iFEBiTN3TVLZzQC5xF8.0"

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Reull Vallis: A River Ran Through It

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "ESA’s Mars Express imaged the striking upper part of the Reull Vallis region of Mars with its high-resolution stereo camera last year.

Reull Vallis, the river-like structure in these images, is believed to have formed when running water flowed in the distant martian past, cutting a steep-sided channel through the Promethei Terra Highlands before running on towards the floor of the vast Hellas basin.

This sinuous structure, which stretches for almost 1500 km across the martian landscape, is flanked by numerous tributaries, one of which can be clearly seen cutting in to the main valley towards the upper (north) side."

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What are the Unwritten Rules of Deleting Code?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "I came across this page that asks the question, "what are the unwritten rules of deleting code?"

It made me realize that I have seen no references to generally-accepted best-practice documents regarding code modification, deletion, or rewrites. I would imagine /.'s have come across them if they exist. The answers may be somewhat language-dependent, but what best practices do /.'s use when they modify production code?"

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Instant Facial Recognition Coupons. What could possibly go wrong?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Facial recognition cameras are installed at local businesses. These cameras recognize your face when you pass by, then check you in at the location. Simultaneously, your smartphone notifies you of a customized deal based on your Like history."

From Facebook, whose track record for privacy problems is legendary.

What could possibly go wrong?"

Link to Original Source
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Explosive Study Links Autism with Fetal Exposure to Antidepressants

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Idiopathic autism, caused by genetic susceptibility interacting with unknown environmental triggers, has increased dramatically in the past 25 years. Identifying environmental triggers has been difficult due to poorly understood pathophysiology and subjective definitions of autism. The use of antidepressants by pregnant women has been associated with autism. These and other unmetabolized psychoactive pharmaceuticals (UPPs) have also been found in drinking water from surface sources, providing another possible exposure route and raising questions about human health consequences.

Our findings suggest a new potential trigger for idiopathic autism in genetically susceptible individuals involving an overlooked source of environmental contamination."


More easily digestible rephrasings of the report are found here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21882-antidepressants-in-water-trigger-autism-genes-in-fish.html

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/04/antidepressant.pregnancy.autism.risk/index.html"

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Don't Shoot The SSRI Messenger

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "In 1989, Joseph Wesbecker shot dead eight people and injured 12 others before killing himself at his place of work in Kentucky. Wesbecker had been taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant fluoxetine for four weeks before these homicides, and this led to a legal action against the makers of fluoxetine, Eli Lilly [1]. The case was tried and settled in 1994, and as part of the settlement a number of pharmaceutical company documents about drug-induced activation were released into the public domain. Subsequent legal cases, some of which are outlined below, have further raised the possibility of a link between antidepressant use and violence.
...in healthy volunteer studies, hostile events occurred in three of 271 (1.1%) volunteers taking paroxetine, compared with zero in 138 taking placebo [5]. Although not statistically significant, this finding is striking because hostile events are unusual in healthy volunteer trials, and this figure was higher than the rate reported in clinical populations above. GlaxoSmithKline ascribed these episodes to the fact that the volunteers were confined, although this applied to both paroxetine and placebo volunteers. One other healthy volunteer study has reported aggressive behaviour in one volunteer taking sertraline [8].
Nine illustrative cases in which we have between us acted as expert witnesses are summarised in Table 3. In eight of them the person who was taking an antidepressant was the defendant; in one (DS; see Annex), the patient killed three members of his family and then himself, and his son-in-law sued SmithKline Beecham. We have chosen the cases to demonstrate the diversity of the issues they raise. They are described in the Annex.
Many linked emotional storms and thoughts and acts of violence or self-harm to paroxetine, both to starting drug treatment and to dosage change. These were not simple anecdotal reports, in that the analysis clearly pointed to a linkage with dosage.
PLOS study here: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372?imageURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372.t001 Anecdotal Evidence here: http://www.ssristories.com/index.php Many other studies corroborate this hypothesis: http://www.breggin.com/31-49.pdf http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167876003002174 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032700003530"

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NASA Prepares Probes for Suicide Mission

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure and composition of the moon are being prepared for their controlled descent and impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole at about 2:28 p.m. PST (5:28 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17.

Ebb and Flow, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes, are being sent purposely into the lunar surface because their low orbit and low fuel levels preclude further scientific operations. The duo's successful prime and extended science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

Both spacecraft will hit the surface at 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). No imagery of the impact is expected because the region will be in shadow at the time."


Observing the impacts could provide valuable feedback. For example, a spectrographic analysis of the impact dust cloud could reveal additional density and compositional element information for the lunar pole surfaces, so it is particularly Interesting that the probes will impact where they can't be observed from earth. This leads I, for one, to wonder if there is more to this than meets the press."

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