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How High-Tech Temporary Tattoos Will Hack Your Skin

fygment Better yet ... (57 comments)

... what about a tatoo that attaches to your skin and is responsive to your environment? So picture a tatoo that:

changes pattern/color in response to radiation or chemical agents in the air as an early warning;
changes pattern/color in response to bluetooth signals so you could have an animated pattern transmitted from your phone or a person near you could transmit a pattern, like a virtual sig block.

Not related to the article but tatoos could be way cooler ...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

fygment Guess who decides? Your peers! (376 comments)

Why is 30 the new 50? Because your colleagues who are now managers, say so.

They are climbing the career ladder and a component of their success is making the business profitable. You don't do that by hiring 30-somethings who know what they're worth. You do it by hiring new grads who are only too happy to be employed, regardless how little they are paid.

So talk to your peers.

about three weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

fygment Completely Predictable .. unlike the climate (367 comments)

Of course it would come to this.
This is precisely what was wrong with politicizing climate change. Eventually, someone would want to _do_ something. Because that is precisely the kind of mindset of a person who gets involved in politics.

Unfortunately, while we may explore what it is we can _do_, the repercussions of those actions are unknown. We do not understand our climate sufficiently to predict the impact of our actions.

Need proof of that? Ask for the assumptions made in the existing crop of climate models and the sensitivity to perturbations of those assumptions.

Fact: we can't predict the climate even when we don't mess with it, why do we think we can predict what will happen when we do?

about a month ago
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Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

fygment Useless now that it's known? (61 comments)

Now that they've spread the word, will the approach start to be 'gamed' by big pharma or gov't trying to sow the seasonal flu panic?

about a month ago
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When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

fygment Valid Assertion? Valid Solutions? (282 comments)

If a person can't verify the validity of the assertion, is it any wonder they will base their opinion on the proposed solutions?

A person is told the sky is falling. They can't verify it, but are told the potential consequences.
Then the person is told the 'needed' solution, say, cut off everbody's right leg.
Well the cure sounds pretty bad, and the impact of the cure on the person is very clear.
So two possibilities: one is unverifiable, the other well understood. Which one would a person choose?

Science and politcs, the former deals in speculation, the latter in tangible consequences. There should not be tangible consequences to mere speculation. That is just wrong-headed. History is replete with examples of 'scientifically supported' facts, resulting in barbaric consequences eg. the atrocities of WWII. We can look back _now_ and say 'the science was wrong', but _at the time_ the science was held up as the justification for action.

about a month and a half ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

fygment Re:analog computer AND nonlinear (91 comments)

Mod parent up AND consider:

a) remember that the use of Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is appropriate for linear processes and therefore must necessarily be, to an unknown degree (until you actually know the underlying distribution), an approximation ie. the more unlinear the process, the less ICA accurately reflects the underlying processes; and

b) the actual processing methodology of the brain is unknown, heck, we do not even understand the encoding used by the brain.

So the article really rests on the assumption that the brain is composed of linear processes operating like a modern digital computer.

Ummm ... no.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

fygment FINALLY Something Quasi-intelligent from Bio (221 comments)

It's a small step, but it is nice to see that biology, or a small subset of the community, recognises its limitations.

And also tacitly admits that it is not a science, but butterfly (or creature) collection.

Awesome would be to see biology grappling at establishing 'first principles', like physics, so that researchers would be able to theorize intelligently about biological possibilities. and this paper is a first step in that direction.

about a month and a half ago
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Enzymes Make Electricity From Jet Fuel Without Ignition

fygment No Smoking or Open Flame Near Fuel Cell! (78 comments)

Not only is it a 'fossi'l fuel but the JP line of fuels are highly flammable and aromatic ie. they evaporate easily ... and that vapor (surprise) ignites easily.

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

fygment Same was said about steamships in 1838 :) (594 comments)

Back around 1838, ocean travel by steamships was considered part pipe dream, part cutting edge tech. It was commonly believed you would need a coal-mine worth of coal for the crossing plus it was dangerous. Shortly after the first successful ocean crossings, another steamship (the Moselle) wanted to show off the new tech by doing a full-speed run on the Ohio River before on-lookers lining the shoreline near Cincinatti. The boilers exploded raining body parts and blood down on the surrounding area, with ~149 killed, missing, or injured. Yeah, you can imagine the headlines ... and you also know how prominent, dominant, and safe steamships became as a mode of sea travel.

Life at the edge of tech (except for computer tech :) has risks ... and by the way, those were test pilots in Space Ship Two, persons who were willingly testing out new technology for the future benefit and safety of others.

And ... isn't it weird to see such an article in something as purportedly future thinking as Wired?

about a month and a half ago
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Will HP's $200 Stream 11 Make People Forget About Chromebooks?

fygment "... solid-state HP Stream..." Solid-state?! (232 comments)

Hell no! I want the vacuum tube version. Better yet, get me a steam powered version with 1.2 cycles per second pistons.

Seriously, since when is 'solid-state" anything but all-pervasive in the world of laptops?

about a month and a half ago
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The Man With the Golden Blood

fygment Already detected but dismissed? (75 comments)

wonder if a look back over historic records will find more of these that were dismissed as 'testing error' or 'typo'?

about 2 months ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

fygment Really?! Sad and Laughable (185 comments)

No, really, how many of you thought that the whole effect of the ocean was understood and implemented in the existing climate models?

When the climate models are provided with both their assumptions, omissions, and error, then maybe we can consider basing public policy on them. Until that time, keep them in the lab and out of public debate because they are nothing more than an opinion ... and we have more than enough of those to go around.

about 2 months ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

fygment Re:you missed the important point (289 comments)

It's that the tech/cybersecurity companies are actively trying to participate in the shaping of global policies under the belief that the free market is a valid force for doing so. THAT is the scary part, the belief that something so mercurial as the 'free market' should have a hand in shaping the actions of government and policy makers. Furthermore, not only is the concept wrong-headed but those perpetrating it, do so without understanding the wrongness of it all; they believe what they are doing is not evil, even though by other measures, it is.

about 2 months ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

fygment Ironic (205 comments)

I became a consultant recently (applications of machine learning to big data). After 15+ years of working almost exclusively in Matlab, I switched to javascript/nodejs to get a 'real' programming language under my belt, a language relevant to the web. The fact was, unless I was in academia or a big company, I could not afford Matlab.

Which is interesting, as there is now a slight class barrier for entry to Google ie. you have to have gone to an institution that could afford the licencing.

And no ... Octave, Scilab, etc. are not good alternatives, though Python is (sadly, it's dead slow). Promising is Julia, but it is very very young.

about 2 months ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

fygment Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

Enough already.
The Earth is warmer, probably.
We don't know for how much longer.
We don't know how much warmer.
We don't know how it's happening, mostly.
We don't know why it's happening.

That's climate in a nutshell. Do you want a _government_ ringing in new policies based on that? A government can't even get well understood problems under control ... like say, traffic, or urban development. And if you dare say, "Hey, traffic is hard to model!", well guess what, climate is harder.

about 2 months ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

fygment Not Human Species = Potential Food (481 comments)

The only line humans almost unanimously draw, is we don't each other. And that line is/has/will be crossed when necessary.

We eat whales, dolphins, monkeys, crows, all deemed intelligent. But they aren't like 'us' so they are fair game.

about 2 months ago
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It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

fygment Ignobel Material .... (83 comments)

... Really? This wasn't suspected, hadn't been demonstrated a million times over? Wow, curiousity an important factor in learning?! Who knew? OH, EVERYONE!

Sadly, there are some real researchers who still aren't funded.

about 3 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

fygment 1984 (575 comments)

Is a book by Orwell.
Read it.
Then look around you.
If you're not scared, then you either didn't understand it, or you are part of the problem.
It is clear where Mr. Holder stands.

about 3 months ago
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Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

fygment Proposed Policy indicates best solution (299 comments)

It's cheaper to _not_ get a permit?! So what reporter would?
That's one screwed up Service.
Clearly the same brainiacs that came up with that 'deterrent', are the problem. They can't even manage that right!

Solution: get rid of them, put in someone halfway competent, and the resulting improved performance of the Forest Service will mean that you won't have or need whistleblowers and the attendant bad press.

about 3 months ago
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

fygment My shield is called `Bob` as in: The Duck Hunter . (138 comments)

Bob`s a neighbour with a semi-automatic, double-barrel, under-over, 12 gauge shotgun.

Bob likes to shoot quail, duck, skeet, highway signs, and drones.

I asked Bob, ``How can you shoot someone`s expensive drone?"
He replied, " Easy. You just have to lead 'em a little more."

about 2 months ago

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