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The Ancestor of Humans Was an "Artist" 500,000 Years Ago

brindafella Re:Neat (59 comments)

> So, somebody deliberately did this for no practical reason - perhaps just for the joy of doing it? It also seems like a very well controlled scratch ...

Thanks, 'j'. You got the point of this discovery. It jumped out at me in the same way. The report makes the point that the covering of the shell would have probably been green so the marking down into the white shell underneath would have made the scoring stand out. If it had only been one scratch then it would be called an incidental mark, but it went well beyond that to be a deliberate pattern.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

brindafella Business model for 'bulk' -- Pay By Weight (819 comments)

There is already a 'flying' business model for Pay By Weight -- Samoa Air. The Samoan people tend to be "large framed", so they now pay for their bodies and their baggage, or cargo, by weight. Getting their frames into the seats is then another matter. But, how could they complain?

about 3 months ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

brindafella Spiral filter, and a Tardis (122 comments)

I notice from the diagram (per the linked story) that I only need to fit a spiral phase plate (no, not a flux capacitor) to my Tardis and it all works automagically...

... via "orbital angular momentum" and "OAM multiplexing".

Frankly, I am still confused as to why it's not (more simply) "circular polarisation" that has been known about since the early days of radio.

about 3 months ago
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Transparent Fish Lead to Stem Cell Research Breakthrough

brindafella Re:Transparant fish (33 comments)

I have a clue: The embryo's transparency made their study of the muscles easier, by photography, and that led to the [incidental but ground-breaking] findings on the blood stem cells.

about 4 months ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

brindafella Re:Legal pemission? THEY GIVE IT! (368 comments)

True! "This call may be recorded..." is a bi-directional statement. I love the logic.

Also, if in doubt, as you hear the 'statement', repeat their exact words into the phone.

And, if in further doubt, when a real human comes on the line, ask, "Do you agree?" If the answer is a spluttering 'Yes' then.... or if 'No' then say "Please review your recording of his call, and I'll wait on the line as you do that." And, listen to what happens; It's likely to be hilarious! ;-)

about 4 months ago
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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control

brindafella Re:depends on definition of "computer" (56 comments)

I really SHOULD check my posts before okaying them!

It is a dark room and I do not touch-type.

about 7 months ago
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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control

brindafella Re:depends on definition of "computer" (56 comments)

Of course, that should read "NASA".

I do not presume that the satellits has been the other ageny of the USA government. ;-)

about 7 months ago
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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control

brindafella Re:depends on definition of "computer" (56 comments)

> As a young teen I read the manuals for a (defunct) satellite old retired engineer had, funny as electronics hobbyist I could understand it.

:-) I've been there, too. My first computer was an IBM 1130, with 8kB of 'ram'. From what I can tell, here, we have 0kB and all hard-wired to the devices attached to the receivers and transmitters. The satellite just 'talks' via the transmitter and Earth has to listen, or lose the data. That is "how it was" in 1978 (earlier for the finalisation of the design, and the satellite's set-up of the NSA Deep Space Network ground stations).

about 7 months ago
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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control

brindafella Re:hard-wired can be a computer (56 comments)

Yes, I understand what you say. In this case, there is no "computer in the middle", just hard-wired resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc. That the Reboot Project has found it to be active and responsive is VERY exciting to an old-school electronics person like me. :-)

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

brindafella Business card (250 comments)

In the case cited, a business card slipped into the case/box/etc can be a quick identifier. Folded if necessary for a smaller item. For people who don't normally have business cards, then make some for such instances out of card stock or printer paper, and cut along the lines. Most office or publishing programs will help you design and print cards. A hand-written card is also okay, and might even be better in the instance mentioned.

about 10 months ago
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Juno Needs Radio Amateurs!

brindafella No opportunity for me (82 comments)

Sorry, but this has got to me too late to make the necessary preparations (and be awake and/or available at a sensible time.)

about a year ago
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World-First: Woman Becomes Pregnant After Ovarian Tissue Graft

brindafella I was flabbergasted (87 comments)

There was a time when Slashdot was for people to bring interesting and informative things, or to ask good questions and get good advice. (That is why I bothered to submit this report of a world-first procedure.)

And, then people like you came along.

READ what the story is about; watch and listen to the video.

about a year ago
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World-First: Woman Becomes Pregnant After Ovarian Tissue Graft

brindafella You did not even read it. (87 comments)

Oh, no. I posted this so that people like you could READ it, and make sensible comments.

To make it easier, get REAL CLOSE to the screen, so the letters are bigger.

Her ovaries were REMOVED, SECTIONED (cut into slices) and FROZEN. AFTERher cancer treatments, the SLICES were RE-IMPLANTED in her ABDOMEN (the part behind the BELLY-BUTTON) and, with FURTHER TREATMENT, then the ovary cells RE-ACTIVATED. EGGS were REMOVED AND FERTILISED, and were IMPLANTED in her WOMB. She has TWO BABIES growing inside her, now.

Now, go and read the longer version, at the links. There is also video, if you can't be bothered reading any more.

about a year ago
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Maybe Steve Ballmer Doesn't Deserve the Hate

brindafella My level of caring is zero. (240 comments)

> "Do you agree? Or does Ballmer deserve his reputation as a bad CEO?"

I have no opinion (about Ballmer). My level of caring is zero (about Ballmer).

I refuse to pay the "Micr$oft tax". I DO CARE about that.

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: Ask Freeman Dyson What You Will

brindafella Spiritual / Religious and Scientific approaches (181 comments)

Professor Dyson,

In accepting the Templeton Prize for "an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works", you are marked for having a spiritual / religious side at a level of excellence/standing that is internationally recognised. What has this recognition meant to you, compared to your scientific achievements or insights?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?

brindafella APC (363 comments)

APC (used to be called "Australian Personal Computer) is cutting-edge and is good to have in printed form, even though it has an online presence at www.apcmag.com, too. The editor recently floated the idea that its cover DVD might end soon, with all the good stuff being as downloads.

Before going into the chair at the Blood Bank, I select to read:
National Geographic
Australian Geographic

about a year and a half ago
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Australian PM Targets Imported IT Workers

brindafella Fellow Australians, .... GROW UP. (224 comments)

"Fellow Australians... " [http://www.menziesvirtualmuseum.org.au/1930s/1939.html]

Have a look at yourselves in a mirror.

GROW UP.

This whole discussion is an unseemly airing of our collective political "dirty linen".

Oh, sorry, we do that every so often, and make the rest of the world wonder what being "down under" (standing on our heads) does for the collective blood-flow to the brains, and also wonder shy they would bother to visit and get the same malady.

As I said, GROW UP!

Please... ?!?!?!!!!!!

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?

brindafella Electronic design & music composition (279 comments)

Do you compose music? A pad of five-line stave can be bought cheaply at music shops or some news/magazine vendors, and a pen/pencil. There are some simple notation rules, that are easily looked up. A few notes at a time.... You never know when you'll write the next big hit.

Electrical circuit design takes some understanding, but it can be taken up and put down. It takes a blank sheet of paper, and a pen/pencil. Again, there are some simple notation rules, that are easily looked up. Try a simple one-transistor audio amplifier... Soon, you could be doodling a whole multi-input guitar amplifier with effects, or a super-het receiver.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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The ancestor of humans was an 'artist' 500,000 years ago

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about two weeks ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Our ancient ancestor, Homo erectus, around 500,000 years ago, has been shown to make doodles or patterns. So, it seems that we Homo sapiens have come from a thoughtful lineage. The zig-zag markings cut into the covering of a fossil freshwater shell were from a deposit in the main bone layer of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the place where Homo erectus was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891, says Dr Stephen Munro, a palaeoanthropologist with the Australian National University. The team's testing shows the erectus doodling was from 0.54 million years to a minimum of 0.43 million years ago. This pushes back the thoughtful making of marks by hundreds of thousands of years. The thoughtful gathering of shellfish and their nutrients also points to possible explanations for the evolving of bigger brains."
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Standing rock on Mars.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 4 months ago

brindafella (702231) writes "A boulder rolling down a hill normally does not deserve even passing mention. But a boulder on Mars may well generate several academic papers, especially as it landed standing up like a stele, Stonehenge-style. It also left a distintive trail, as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this view on July 3, 2014."
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Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 4 months ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases."
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Higgs boson: easy! Now, the underlying reason fr it.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 5 months ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Physicists at the CERN's Large Hadron Colider (LHC) ATLAS experiment have been looking through the data, and have found enough of the extremely rare "W boson" (proton-proton) collisons that they can now declare their results; They have found why/how the Higgs does its job of imparting mass to other particles. This article tells how it works.

"Only about one in 100 trillion proton-proton collisions would produce one of these events," said Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory who played a leadership role in the analysis of this result for the ATLAS collaboration. "You need to observe many [collisions] to see if the production rate is above or on par with predictions," Pleier said. "We looked through billions of proton-proton collisions produced at the LHC for a signature of these events—decay products that allow us to infer like Sherlock Holmes what happened in the event."

The analysis efforts started two years ago and were carried out in particular by groups from Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Michigan, and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany."
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ISEE-3 satellite is back in control

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 7 months ago

brindafella (702231) writes "In the last two days, the (Reboot Project for the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite has commanded ISEE-3 from the Earth, using signals transmitted from the Aricebo Observatory. Signals were also received by cooperating dishes: the 21-meter dish located at Kentucky's Morehead State University Space Science Center; the 20-meter dish antenna in Bochum Observatory, Germany, operated by AMSAT Germany; and, SETI's Allen Telescope Array (ATA), California. ISEE-3 was launched in 1978, and last commanded in 1999 by NASA. On May 15, 2014, the project reached its crowdfunding goal of US$125,000, which will cover the costs of writing the software to communicate with the probe, searching through the NASA archives for the information needed to control the spacecraft, and buying time on the dish antennas. The project then set a "stretch goal" of $150,000, which it also met with a final total of $159,502 raised. The goal is to be able to command the spacecraft to fire its engines to enter an Earth orbit, and then be usable for further space exploration. This satellite does not even have a computer; it is all "hard-wired"."
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Fishing line as artificial 'muscle'

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 10 months ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Researchers have made what they describe as an "almost embarrassing" discovery, that twisted nylon fishing line can form a "powerful, large-stroke, high-stress artificial muscles" capable of lifting as much as 100 times more weight than human muscles and contracting by 49%, and "generate 5.3 kilowatts of mechanical work per kilogram of muscle weight, similar to that produced by a jet engine." They twisted the fishing line, then heated it to 'set' the shape-memory muscle. The scientists are from the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong, and the University of Texas. It's published in Science magazine."
Link to Original Source
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3D model of Australia's Great Barrier Reef & Choral Sea

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Research from James Cook University's Dr Robin Beaman has aggregated data into a new high-resolution bathymetry model of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, called gbr100. The 100 metre-resolution gridded bathymetry dataset covers an area of about 3,000,000 km2, from the Gulf of Papua to northern New South Wales, and easterly into the deep Coral Sea. There is also a really interesting colour poster (909kB PDF) to download."
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2013 Winners - Eureka Prizes - Australian Museum

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year ago

brindafella (702231) writes "The 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in 17 fields, covering: research and innovation; leadership and commercialisation; science communication and journalism;and school science.

Significant among the prizes were:

CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science — Winner: Professor Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne — This international nanotechnology expert has won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his leadership in developing nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical applications.

Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher — Winner: Dr Kerrie Wilson, University of Queensland — Targeted spending provides more bang for the buck when it comes to protecting threatened species, according to new guidelines developed by the University of Queensland’s Dr Kerrie Wilson.

Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Secondary — Winner: The Spectacular Spider, Brandon Gifford, Casino High School, NSW — A mini-documentary about spiders has won final-year school student Brandon Gifford the 2013 Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for secondary students. It’s his third win in a row."
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Woman with cancer, re-implanted with ovarian tissue, is pregnant with twins.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year ago

brindafella (702231) writes "A world first! When Australian woman, Vali, was diagnosed with cancer, and treated, she was not looking at a good outcome. Yet, TWO cancer treatments later, she is pregnant with twin girls. Her ovaries were sectioned and frozen before the cancer treatment. She has had her own flesh implanted outside her pelvis. Eggs were gathered, IVF techniques used later with her male partner, and her uterus is now carrying two viable girls due to be born in about 3 months. Melbourne IVF's Associate Professor Kate Stern has explained the process today."
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What happens when a gorilla retires? Another zoo.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year ago

brindafella (702231) writes "The head gorilla at Australia's most prestigious zoo, Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, is about to be retired. Kibabu is a 'silverback' and, at age 36, is about to be taken away from his family and retired. His replacement is a 12-year-old silverback from France. It's a natural thing in the wild, but Kibabu is not going to be in a fight that he loses to a younger male. He'll just go. His new home in retirement will be another zoo, about 150km away, at Mogo."
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Australia's latest and best computer - a Japanese god

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Australia's latest and best computer has been unveiled at the Australian National University in Canberra, within the National Computational Infrastructure's National Facility. Raijin is named after a Japanese god of lightning and thunder, but the name also sounds like "raging" so some geek humour may be involved. It has: 57,472 cores in the compute nodes; approximately 160 TBytes of main memory; Infiniband FDR interconnect; and, approximately 10 PBytes of usable fast filesystem (for short-term scratch space). The brand name is Fujitsu. Peak performance is approximately 1.2 PFlops. It runs CentOS 6.4 Linux distribution (based on RHEL6.4)."
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Geophysics finds 280 new-old craters on the Moon

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year and a half ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Data fusion has found 280 new (old) craters on the Moon, by taking gravity data from and observations from images and creating a new insight into the Moon's past. Curtin University (Western Australia) researchers led by Professor Will Featherstone says>/a> they first looked for craters on the far side of the Moon, which cannot be seen from Earth. Then, the technique was applied to the face visible from Earth. This research on the 280 new lunar craters will soon be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets."
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"Size does matter": The sexual come-on.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year and a half ago

brindafella (702231) writes "Researchers at the Australian National University, Monash University and La Trobe University, show life-sized, computer-generated images of naked men to female subjects, altering the size and proportions of the torso, legs and arms, and... the "male-bit". The research, while only semi-conclusive, shows that "size does matter". Dr Brian Mautz of ANU says that the research results need to be pursued further, although the story isn’t quite as simple as ‘bigger is better’; Larger penises were much more attractive on taller men than shorter men. Yet, it appears that 13cm (flacid [floppy]) is one sweet-spot, although that excludes a vast majority of men. Says Mautz, "Finding a partner is quite a complicated process and who knows how females end up choosing their males.""
Link to Original Source
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Sharp-shooting Linux-powered sniper rifle, or not.

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about a year and a half ago

brindafella (702231) writes "When is a sniper rifle not a sniper-rifle? When it is intended for hunting game, of course. The 1,000-1,200 year/metre, US$17,000 Linux-powered rifle uses a special sighting device to 'designate' the target and then only fires its .338 Lapua Magnum round when the rifle is pointing along the computed line-of-fire. Even a novice can shoot this rifle accuretely over its maximum effective range."
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Australian researchers crack insulin's structure

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 2 years ago

" rel="nofollow">brindafella writes "Australian research on insulin, using X-ray chrystallography at the Australian Synchrotron, has revealed how molecules of insulin bind to a protein on the cells of the body. Results have been published
  in the journal Nature. Specific results relate to the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R), and are expected to create great interest among companies producing insulin for diabetics, possibly leading to a tablet form of insulin (rather than the current need for an injection.)"

Link to Original Source
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Australian Prime Minister's spoof "apocalypse" speech goes viral in China

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 2 years ago

brindafella writes "Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, recorded a spoof speech about the Mayan calendar apocalypse several days ago, for radio station "Triple J". Gillard said in part, "Whether the final blow comes from flesh eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-pop, if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end."

The speech has been picked up in China on Sina Weibo (China's Twitter) and has achieved well over 23,000 repeats, without anyone picking up the irony.

This is just days after another Australian radio station, 2Day FM, created an international sensation with a prank (spoof) call to the hospital in London where Princess Catherine was undergoing treatment, and a nurse killed herself following the revelation of the prank."

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Pound dogs taught to drive a car

brindafella brindafella writes  |  about 2 years ago

brindafella writes "As discussed in a Letterman "Top 10", a pair of highly trained dogs from New Zealand have passed their doggie driving test, guiding a modified car along a race track on live television. In a project aimed at increasing pet adoptions from animal shelters, a group of cross-breed, rescued dogs from Auckland were taught to drive a car — steering, pedals and all — to show the potential of unwanted canines. See video of Porter and Monty."
Link to Original Source
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Romey's rant to donors

brindafella brindafella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

brindafella writes "Romney has ranted to major donors in a conference call, saying that President Obama in effect bought votes by what he offered to the minorities (also read '47%'). "The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people." He said, "In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups," including mention of "free contraceptives".

Of the future, Romney said, "So now we're looking and saying, 'OK, what can we do going forward?'," he said. "But frankly we're still so troubled by the past, it's hard to put together our plans for the future.""

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The M22 globular cluster has a dark side

brindafella brindafella writes  |  more than 2 years ago

brindafella writes "Astronomers using the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico have found two black holes in M22, a 12 billion year old globular cluster located only about 10,000 light-years from Earth. These are each several times the mass of our Sun, and are actively feeding from nearby companion stars, as confirmed by X-ray observations using the Chandra space telescope. The astronomers expect to find other black holes."
Link to Original Source

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