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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Scottingham Re:Is Nuclear going to be acknowledged? (490 comments)

As much as I love fission, it is FAR away from being an solved problem from an engineering standpoint.

There are some serious material science problems that still need to be addressed for any of the fast/thorium reactors to be ready for production. All the current coolant technologies have serious downsides. Sodium doesn't play nice with water or air, and liquid lead doesn't play nice with pretty much anything.

I think these problems could be solved if we approached the problem as a whole as another Manhattan project.

11 hours ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Scottingham Relativistic Species (287 comments)

I always like to think that any suitably advanced civilization eventually develops space-drives that can reach appreciable percentages of the speed of light. The time dilation effects would make traversing the galaxy relatively(heh) reasonable. The only hitch is that relative to all other lifeforms not moving at a such a speed would blink in and out of existence in the time it would take them to burp. Our current sliver of space-time is sooo tiny if you think about it like this.

What if there was a whole...dare I say...confederation of relativistic societies? In order to join you have to catch up. Otherwise you'll be gone in a blink.

yesterday
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Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

Scottingham Found life (57 comments)

I'd be surprised if we didn't at least find some sort of microbial life...if we didn't though we better put some there! Hedge for DNA...humans, meh...we should do everything we can to allow DNA to survive forever. FOREVER.

4 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Scottingham Re:holy crap (554 comments)

"Despite that book being completely true to life"

Sweeping generalizations like that and using the world Feminazis doesn't really undo your attempt at analysis of the book.

Slightly rephrased: "I'm not racist, but god damn I hate $racial_slur. That said, that Arizona sheriff sounds almost purposely racist."

5 days ago
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People Trained To Experience an Overlap In Senses Also Receive IQ Boost

Scottingham Psychedelics (63 comments)

So...then...does this count as an endorsement of chemically induced synesthesia?

LSD: Boost your IQ *and* be convinced you're a snake-monkey who can read the secrets of the universe!

5 days ago
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CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video)

Scottingham Garbage Dumps (27 comments)

I read somewhere (maybe on another /. forum) that a lot of garbage dumps now contain more rare-earth elements than high density deposits. Would something like plasma gasification solve two problems at once?

Could be total bunkum...any body with real knowledge care to chip in?

about a week ago
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Lunar Mission One Proposes To Take Core Sample, Plant Time Capsule On the Moon

Scottingham Re:One? (69 comments)

I'm beginning to see the merit of this rube-based business model. Do you think we're in a rube bubble or is there a much larger untapped rube resource waiting to be mined?

We must underfund our schools even more to ensure more rubes!

about a week ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

Scottingham Re:Pretty Lady Complex (51 comments)

Totally and truely my good sir. My tone was not of the perennial 'why is this on /.' I had seen the video with that lady about a month ago elsewhere. I suppose during it's initial viral wave. The addition of the spectral analysis to the video was awesome!

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

Scottingham Re:Opinion On Basic Income (108 comments)

Oi, I realize this will woosh right over your partisan-baked brain, but I'll bite:

"What makes you think that anyone is entitled to someone else's money?"
How did they get that money in the first place? Through a societal system they are able to take advantage of. Never completely on their own like libertarians are want to believe. Our current monetary system is based on debt leveraged on debt based on a promise. It's purely imaginary, fiat, whatever. The real deal is the cost of energy, resource extraction (also a function of the cost of energy), and labor cost (which is decreasing due to automation/globalization). Money is just a convenient shorthand.

"you're trying to impose your beliefs as facts"
I'd like you to meet Kettle, Mr. Pot. Also...notice that I used words like 'could'. It was pretty clear I was speculating, not claiming anything as a fact (otherwise I cite that shit).

"How (who?) defines how much is "basic"? That is a good point. If I'm able to filter out your partisan ObamaPhone/Nike bullshit I can see where you are going (though your mental image of what constitutes a poor person is a hilariously on-message Fox News caricature). Who or what defines a living as basic is a pretty subjective thing. A good place to start is being able to eat real food and have a stable place to live. I'd go so far as to include internet in that mix.

"The problem with Socialism is eventually, you run out of other people's money."
Nice quote there Thatcher. Got any good Rand for me?

  "you're so useless, we'll pay you to not work so you will go away and we can ignore you"
That is not the message. The message is "everybody is worth something, regardless of whether or not you are capable of 'meaningful work'. Mentally ill people, physically disabled people, etc.

The value of meaningful work != the monetary value. With a basic income if somebody wanted to make art baubles and somebody else found value in them...how is that less meaningful than cleaning a bathroom at a movie theater?

So, having said that. I'm sure there would be some negative consequences. Since I'm speculating as much as the next guy, what would some be? If people got a basic income, then they wouldn't be forced to work in a Tobacco field for minimum wage (or less in a lot of cases) to make rent. What would happen O sage of the free market? Would the wages for these shitty jobs raise to meet the demand of the no-longer enslaved lower class? Would that then cause the price of cigarettes or whatever else to go up? Would inflation explode to make the basic income essentially worthless? (a possibility smarter economists than I say is unsupported by evidence...no cite though)

Seriously though, Mr. Libertarian, go fucking live on an island. If you want to say 'I got mine, fuck off' so badly, GTFO.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

Scottingham Re:Opinion On Basic Income (108 comments)

Good points. However, both the population increase as well as the increase in automation is happening at an exponential rate, not linear as I infer (perhaps incorrectly) your statement to be.

This would also address more than solely unemployment though. It could lead to the abolishment of the minimum wage, which expecting people to live on is sort of a joke anyhow. It could provide a means for a single mother to actually be around enough to raise her kid(s) which has all sorts of positive societal benefits. It could lead to a flourishing of small businesses as they would no longer have to fully support the entrepreneur in addition to employees. It would remove the stigma of welfare on the lower classes and remove the perverse incentive to say unemployed (eg once you start working you lose your welfare and end up bringing in less money than being solely on welfare).

Honestly though, I think it'll remain firmly in fantasy land until we can obtain a cheap and abundant energy source. Either widespread solar/wind + future grid, or next gen fission, or maybe even fusion (one can dream), or some combination of all three. Fossil fuels are clearly not cutting the mustard.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

Scottingham Opinion On Basic Income (108 comments)

I'm curious to know what your take is on a basic income for all US citizens versus our current 'conditional' welfare system. What do you think short term and long term outcome would be? Would the increased tax burden on the upper classes result in a total collapse rendering a basic income useless? My personal opinion is that it is necessary given the increasing rate of job automation coupled with our increasing population size (not to mention aging). Am I delusional? If so, why?

about a week ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

Scottingham Pretty Lady Complex (51 comments)

This has been around for a long time (think 1000s of years). I suspect this particular video became popular due to her attractiveness and plunging neckline. That's not to say she isn't amazingly talented though. She most certainly is!

about a week ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

Scottingham Re:A cost equation (203 comments)

Seconded! That's why I'm all about striving towards an energy-production-derived basic income for all citizens (ideally all humans)

Anything else seems like a 1-way-ticket to Turmoil Town.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Develop $60 Sonar Watch To Aid the Visually Impaired

Scottingham Re:NC Research (30 comments)

Hah, thanks for the info...I didn't even RTFA ;-) Wake Forest is doing some incredible artificial organ research though.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Develop $60 Sonar Watch To Aid the Visually Impaired

Scottingham NC Research (30 comments)

Say what you will about NC politics (and, shit, there is a lot to be said), we pump out some top-notch research! Wake Forest, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State seem to continually be in the science section headlines for some new something or other.

It's also a shame that the NCAA bullshit is putting a cloud over all the hard working researchers at UNC.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Scottingham Re:Huh (223 comments)

Time out! Are you saying I'm in the 'Papa knows best' crowd proudly displaying my new knowledge of the D-K and using it as such to shut down discussion? I feel like there's some irony somewhere in there...perhaps the D-K effect doesn't mean what you think it means? I do like the idea of a self-proclaimed D-K expert though, deliciously recursive. If anything I'd say it is a gauntlet-throw to put up some actual citations or evidence or get off the lawn.

If Koan had a modicum of expertise I'm sure he would have cited it prominently. Then again, he also probably wouldn't have said anything knowing that every cubic cm and milliwatt was accounted for.

I realize that it is frustrating seeing such a badass feat of astrophysics be humbled by a shadow...but...

If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts, we'd all have a bowl of granola!
(Jellineck, Geoffrey et al 2000)

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Scottingham Re:ground penetrator used! (223 comments)

My penetrator always hammers the MUPUS. Wait, what?

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Scottingham Re:Huh (223 comments)

"It seems to me the design and/or planning of this mission were poorly thought out"

Is the funniest fucking thing I've heard all day. Do you have any idea how well thought out this mission was? FFS look at the trajectory it took 10 YEARS(!) to get to the comet. And you think they overlooked the fact that the comet is craggly?

Jesus-Dunning-Kruger-Christ.

http://www.esa.int/esatv/Video...

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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New Drug Treatment Could Cure All Viral Infections

Scottingham Scottingham writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Scottingham (2036128) writes "TFA states that in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection."
Link to Original Source
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Computer Use Leads To Poorer Reading Skills

Scottingham Scottingham writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Scottingham (2036128) writes "A study involving children in Sweden and the US has concluded that increase computer usage leads to decreased reading skills. "Our study shows that the entry of computers into the home has contributed to changing children's habits in such a manner that their reading does not develop to the same extent as previously. By comparing countries over time we can see a negative correlation between change in reading achievement and change in spare time computer habits which indicates that reading ability falls as leisure use of computers increases,". Is there any way around this? What about E-Readers? Cue the anecdotal evidence to the contrary!"
Link to Original Source
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'Giant' Neuron Modulates 50,000 Other Neurons

Scottingham Scottingham writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Scottingham (2036128) writes "PhsyOrg describes this discovery better than I could: A single "giant", non-spiking, GABAergic interneuron forms an all-to-all negative feedback loop with a population of about 50,000 Kenyon cells, principal neurons of the mushroom bodies, a structure involved in olfactory memory in the insect brain. This normalizing feedback loop serves to ensure relatively constant sparseness of mushroom body output across varying input strengths. Sparseness is an important feature of sensory representations in areas involved in memory formation."
Link to Original Source
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Brain-Computer Interface Works With Speech Centers

Scottingham Scottingham writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Scottingham (2036128) writes "Science Daily reports on new research that uses electrodes placed in the speech centers of the brain to move a cursor around the screen. While participants were instructed to utter different vowel sounds their neural activity was parsed and analyzed. Once analyzed and connected to a cursor-control program, participants quickly learned to use the different vowel sounds to move a cursor around a screen. The system can distinguish between actual speech and the cursor-controlling thought-sounds."
Link to Original Source

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