top Seafloor Carpet Mimics Muddy Seabed To Harness Wave Power
TFA says: "The researchers are considering whether the ever-growing number of nearshore “dead zones” – low-oxygen regions in the ocean with little marine life – would be strong candidates for pilot testing their system."
top Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence
We don't have to produce intelligence artificially. We can just copy an existing one. If sub-synaptic connectome mapping and neural emulation can be made precise enough to accurately emulate the functioning of an entire human brain on a substrate that operates at several million times the speed of our natural biological wetware, we can quickly instantiate a population of human intelligence replicas that can each experience a lifetime of human cognition in an afternoon. I bet they would have the time and gumption to figure out how intelligence works. Given their ability to reconfigure their substrate, such intelligence would most likely transcend anything we're capable of understanding in a very short time. Those of us marooned in meat-time would then hope to become the treasured bonsai of these recursive, exponentially expanding intelligences. All it takes is full-brain MRI resolution down to, oh,
100 nm and the ability to accurately emulate the function of interconnected cortical neurons.
top The Neuroscience of Computer Programming
I find that music interferes with reading either English or code, but it helps me focus when I'm writing code. To me this suggests language input processing shares some of the parts of my mind used for listening to music, but crafting new code does not.
top Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access
I pay Comcast for 17 mbps of downstream internet. There is nothing in my contract that constrains where I request this data from. The fact that so many of Comcast's customers all choose to fill their paid-for internet pipes with bits from Netflix means that Comcast has agreed to provide adequate infrastructure to satisfy the bandwidth requirements its customers have paid for. If Comcast is unable to provide the bandwidth they have sold to their customers, they are guilty of selling something they don't actually possess. I believe there is a word for this.
top The Death Cap Mushroom Is Spreading Across the US
It isn't necessarily about frugality. There are many easily identified mushrooms that can grow in your yard that are quite delicious. Shaggy manes, oyster mushrooms, various boletes, morels, and chanterelles are all delicious mushrooms I've found in yards and eaten. If you're so inclined,
you can easily grow your own.
top Virtual Boss Keeps Workers On a Short Leash
On the plus side, salaries will be going up. (Because they'd have to pay people a whole lot more to put up with that).
top 30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset
It should be easy enough to fix. They just need to do what Doom did: add a constant frame around the variable content. Start with just a keyhole of 3D content in the center, then let the user gradually erode away the frame until the user is eventually viewing 100% variable content.
top Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?
I'd throw in an executive order by the president dissolving the NSA, but requiring Snowden's co-signature.
top K-12 CS Education Funding: Taxes, H-1B Fees, Donations?
As the rising tide of automation displaces increasingly higher skill levels from the work force, soon the only people who are still employable will be the upper levels of creative/problem-solving types. Everyone else will just be dead weight that our increasingly redistributive economy will have to drag along. So it surprises me that we don't see a proposal for some sort of exchange program to get around the H1-B caps. It'd work like this: If you're an ambitious non-American with upper-level creative/problem-solving skills (employable) and you'd like to come to America to make profitable use of those skills, all you have to do is post sufficient bounty to induce a low-skills, dead-weight American to swap citizenship with you. They sign on the dotted line, you write them a check, both of your countries print the necessary citizenship papers and, voilà, everybody wins.
about a month and a half ago
top Amazon: We Can Ship Items Before Customers Order
Amazon is merely pushing the tendrils of predictive modeling down a level in their supply-chain. No, they're not going to actually deliver something to you before you order it. But experience tells them, through predictive modeling, that someone in your immediate neighborhood is likely to order more boiled peanuts in the next day or so, so they simply box them up, put them on a truck and once that truck gets to your neighborhood, they lie in wait. Sure enough, Bubba Hatfield, your neighborhood transplant from the land of dixie, gets him a hankering for some more boiled peanuts which, for some reason, they never have on the shelves in the local grocery store. He'd really rather buy some off the shelf at a local store, on account of how bad his craving is, but knowing there's some boiled peanuts on the way will help salve his itch a little, so he fires up his browser and finds him some of that bliss in a can. Now, what to his wondering eyes does he see? Under delivery options, there's a new 'IMMEDIATE DELIVERY' option for just $5. What? Are they going to use a rocket to send a can of boiled peanuts all the way from wherever the hell Amazon is all the way out here? He skeptically reads the 'more information' link about this new delivery option. All it says is they guarantee delivery in 30 minutes or less, or his peanuts are free. What the hell? Yeah, an extra $5 for a can of peanuts is ridiculous, but the thought of being able to eat some of those heavenly morsels within just a few minutes is too much. He selects IMMEDIATE DELIVERY and punches the buy button. The friendly Amazon truck, which just happens to have boiled peanuts among its cargo, adds Bubba's address to its current route. In 27 minutes, 30 seconds, an incredulous Mr. Hatfield is gazing, teary-eyed, at a can of purest dixie delight right there in his hands.
about a month and a half ago
top SCOTUS To Weigh Smartphone Searches By Police
And let's not forget "duck and cover", the drill boomers all learned as impressionable little tykes. Boomers lived under a constant sense that fiery radioactive death was always a few minutes away, entirely dependent on the whims of inscrutable foreigners whose desire to see our nation in flames was held in check only by the certainty that we'd do the same to them. Talk about a recipe for wholesale stress disorder.
about a month and a half ago
top Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination
It could even be performed at night while the convict sleeps. The order for execution could give a time-span of perhaps several months. All the convict knows is that sometime in the next few months, he'll go to sleep and not wake up. Gives 'death-row' a slightly more literal meaning.
about a month and a half ago
top EA Caves: SimCity Offline Mode Coming
Since they're not going to increase the city size, perhaps EA should consider rebranding it as "Sim Village".
top New Treatment Kills Metastatic Cancer Cells
I chalked it up to the ars writer getting it wrong.
top White House Reportedly Dismissing Key Healthcare.gov Contractor
No, it's that the first few weeks of a project, the people they send are actually pretty sharp, enough to make you wonder if maybe you should float a resume over there, since they're billing outrageous gobs for these sharp people, and, hell, if you only got half of that hourly rate it'd still be a good jump up. Then, one by one, they sub out the sharp people with complete drones who require tons of hand-holding and who make n00b mistakes that inevitably slow down the rate of progress. Conveniently, this allows them to bill even more hours at the same top-talent rate you were envious of. Your company ends up paying $200/hr for $20/hr talent, and pays for more hours of this crappy talent to boot.
Anyone who contemplates renting talent from one of these big consultancy firms would do well to insist on naming specific individual developers in the contract, and add a performance penalty that multiplies the hourly billing rate by MIN(1.0, HOURS_QUOTED / HOURS_BILLED). That will prevent subbing in third-stringers billed at first-stringer rates and will provide diminishing returns for dilatory behavior, as well as incentivize them to think of everything that must be done before committing to a quote.
top Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?
It's important. Place everything in the hands of a venerable old law firm. Sleep better knowing.
top Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?
No, the easy-peasy software developer estimation is to buy a bunch of progressively smaller CPUs, port your algorithm to each of them, and find the smallest CPU on which your algorithm still provides acceptable throughput. Then quote the number of gates on that CPU. If your algorithm still runs acceptably on a 4004, you can tell them it'll take about 2,300 transistors.
top Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
People already accept full liability for their car, despite texting, reading, snoozing, having sex, playing games or any of the other horrific distractions that far too many people engage in. So the easy answer is that people will continue to accept full liability for their vehicle, and may optionally take out additional insurance for accidents that occur while their car is in auto-drive. The incidence of accidents for auto-driven cars should be low enough that their normal insurance premium is much lower, thus additional insurance specifically for accidents that occur through automation failure plus human inattention should also be affordable.
top Cheerios To Go GMO-Free
Selective breeding relies on random changes to DNA. Over the past 60 years, we've accelerated the process through mutation breeding. That involves exposing plant tissues or seeds to radiation or mutagenic chemicals. Many of our
most popular crop varietals have been generated this way, and are often grown and cheerfully marketed as 'organic'.
In contrast, genetically engineered plants have been modified at specific points on their DNA, incorporating known sequences of DNA that code for specific desired changes.
Which seems safer to you? A randomly scrambled DNA that, for all anyone knows, also expresses a slow cumulative poison, or a specifically modified DNA that expresses exactly the intended change with no other alterations?
The organic food industry, unable to succeed by running the race better, faster or smarter, now seeks to win by tripping the other runners. The whole anti-GMO effort is without scientific merit, and is simply a calculated money-grab by the organic food industry. Unfortunately, this shambling anti-GMO monster created by the organic food industry is now killing people by the hundreds of thousands.
top Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?
I would add
The Mind's I. It has a way of inverting one's ego, or perhaps molding it into a Klein bottle.
gregor-e has no journal entries.