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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

gurps_npc Re:What Bullshit (378 comments)

You do realize that every single cell in your body can be considered to be millions of years old, right?

Each cell divided from your original ovum/sperm combination. Those came from their parents, which came from their parents, etc. etc.

Cells have been proven to be able to divide into new ones FOREVER, given minimal changes. Telomeres and the other forms of aging are all just anti-cancer techniques.

You do however have a good point when you mention the brain.

But that is also not insurmountable. It's called gradual replacement. Kill about 1% of the brain every year and grow new cells.

Yes there will be some partial memory loss. So what? By that age, you already have memory issues. Personality and the 'soul' (if it exists) will remain the same. You ameliorate the memory issues by leaving personal recordings of important things - video, etc. Basically, you look at your own Facebook page [ ughh, I found a real use for Facebook :( ]

You are correct we will never win against entropy.

But you are wrong when you think the constraints are freer for artificial intelligence. They simply are not there. The 'weaknesses' of organic life are actually strengths that people do not understand. Things like blinking - it is an automatic health maintenance procedure, not a weakness in human vision.

2 days ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

gurps_npc Re:What Bullshit (378 comments)

While it is true they have zero evidence, this is slashdot, not a scientific paper. As such, if we ignore anyone with zero evidence, then Myspace will have more content than we do.

2 days ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

gurps_npc Re:they really are talking, we just can't hear (378 comments)

I totally agree with this. I think the reason our SETI program is like Native Americans looking for Europeans by trying to find Smoke signals. ET must likely does not use radio waves, they are too primitive.

2 days ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

gurps_npc What Bullshit (378 comments)

The basic argument is that they can be: 1) Effectively Immortal 2) Upgradeable. 3) Information transfer.

My counterargument is simple: a) Genetic engineering and b) information transfer is a weakness

The main obstacle to medicine preventing aging is cancer. Aging started out as a simple way to prevent unlimited cell reproduction, i.e. cancer. Give us another 200-500 years and we will stop aging and cancer. We won't really be immortal, as humans will still die from accidents - but so will artificial life forms.

What few upgrades that are good ideas (for GENERALISTS, not specialists - don't give people tools that not all of us of need), we will be able to slowly work into the genome using the same genetic engineering.

Finally, high speed, unfiltered information transfer is NOT a good idea for life forms. It lets you be hacked. Any creature that has a simple way to upload a ton of data is susceptible to having a virus inserted into that data, which means they get stuck in low level jobs, not high level ones.

2 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

gurps_npc Re:I absoluetly bet it is Sex Blackmail! (573 comments)

That's bullshit. Among other things, people would sue the theaters, not Sony. They could have released it to HBO, etc. Not releaseing it all is a huge mistake. Not just in lost revenue, not just in lost money spent creating and advertising for the movie, but a huge hit for their reputation. The money alone is probably far worse that any unreasonable jury award for situations like that. That is, if you were right (which I think is laughable), that a terrorist attack would end having Sony being sued and they had to pay out money, the amount paid out would be far less than what they are throwing away today.

Every single patriotic American is saying "what a bunch of pussies." Everyone is talking about how Sony caved to the terrorists. How N. Korea made Sony their b!tch.

Performers, directors, vendors, etc. are all thinking "Why should I work with Sony again when I can go work for someone that will actually PUT OUT the movie that will bring my carreer to the next level. If I waste my time with Sony - evenn if they pay me (not certain), it could be career suicide.

The damage for an attack based on the movie would be MINISCULE compared to the damage they have done to themselves.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

gurps_npc Re:What should a smart watch do? (228 comments)

I am puzzled.

Step 1) Someone asks what they should get on their smart watch that they are considering buying.

Step 2) I list several features they should get.

Step 3) You point out that all the features I list 'already do that'.

But you seem to think that a list of features that alread exist is not appropriate response for someone looking for features on their smart watcH? Why?

3 days ago
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Cause and Effect: How a Revolutionary New Statistical Test Can Tease Them Apart

gurps_npc Re:I predict (136 comments)

I meant that violent people enjoy violent video games.

That is, you don't become violent because you play a lot of violent video games. Instead you play a lot of violent video games because you have an aggressive personality.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

gurps_npc What should a smart watch do? (228 comments)

Smart watches should not simply be small smartphones on your wrist. They should take advantage of their place on your wrist. To my mind that means any reasonable smart watch should do the following:

Sports applications - specifically it should measure the movement of your arm at the very least, if not the full exercise monitoring/recording of the fitbit and the similar items.

Medical application - specifically at least measure your pulse, if not full blood sugar, etc.

In addition it should have a good voice recognition and bluetooth capacity to make up for the small screen size.

3 days ago
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Cause and Effect: How a Revolutionary New Statistical Test Can Tease Them Apart

gurps_npc I predict (136 comments)

1) A sudden disappearance of studies claiming that video games cause violent behavior rather than the other way around.

2) A whole bunch of people totally ignoring this study because they don't like what it means.

3 days ago
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Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

gurps_npc Re:Should let them work inside parks. (68 comments)

Free speech is a constitutional right and has no business being restricted in any way. Similarly, flying aircraft - manned or unmanned is constitutionally totally unmentioned.

Which means that it is totally reasonable to restrict drones, but not at all reasonable to restrict speech.

What's next - you gonna bring up hitler?

3 days ago
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Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

gurps_npc Re:Republicans are NOT conservative (139 comments)

It doesn't matter when the laws were passed, it matters when the laws are interpreted. Any politician or judge can tell you that.

As for knowing what a car was, I new that 40 years ago - which not only means you were wrong about your probably, it also shows that you made a knee jerk assumption much larger than mine.

3 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

gurps_npc I absoluetly bet it is Sex Blackmail! (573 comments)

I work in IT. I can practically guarantee you that multiple high level employees of Sony have put evidence in their emails of major sexual peccadilloes. Not to mention discussion of people trying to cover up similar (and worse) crimes committed by Sony stars. It would not surprise me if evidence of affairs, homosexuality, child pornography, rape, and even covering up deaths (accidental or otherwise) was on their servers.

If North Korea got this information and threatened to reveal it, that would definitely explain why Sony caved quicker than the Iraqian army when first attacked by Isis.

3 days ago
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Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

gurps_npc Republicans are NOT conservative (139 comments)

They have not been for over a decade. Nor are they libertarian, despite Ron Paul.

The Republican Party has become a simple Rural Party. They protect rural interests, because they found a way to gerrymander rural districts into a majority of congressional districts, despite the majority of the population living in urban areas.

Car dealers are more rural than car manufacturers - as rural areas need more dealers per person than urban dealers, while car manufacturers in a single urban environment can supply the entire country.

As such, the GOP will support the car dealers at the expense of the car manufacturers.

3 days ago
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Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

gurps_npc Should let them work inside parks. (68 comments)

Most people take the drones to parks to play with them anyway. So letting people use them inside official parks, like Central Park, and Prospect Park would be a simple, fair compromise.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

gurps_npc INTERN (279 comments)

That's the easiest way for a young man to change fields. Preferably a paid one.

When applying for actual jobs pick the entry level ones and push your passion.

That way you can get into actual space industry.

5 days ago
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How Birds Lost Their Teeth

gurps_npc Re:Wasn't there a book about this? (138 comments)

First, the number of 'in between stages' that are mostly useless is incredibly small.

Before you fly, you can glide. Before you can glide, you can slow your fall. Before you can slow your fall, you can use it to warm/cool your body. Spread the partial wing in the shade when hot and you increase surface area, cooling yourself down. Do the same in the sun and you get more warmth

Basically, if the effect is really mostly useless than that also means it is not particularly bad - such as being born an albino. Albinos live fine lives, with just a few problems. Having a minor problem does not stop you from living OR breeding.

5 days ago
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How Birds Lost Their Teeth

gurps_npc Re:Wasn't there a book about this? (138 comments)

Your understanding of macro evolution is seriously flawed. Macro evolution is just a long series of micro evolution. That's ALL it is. There is nothing special or different about it.

The problem is you are not smart enough (no one is - except perhaps god) to understand all the intervening steps.

You don't 'give up' teeth, you get a mutation and are stuck with it. They are not making conscious decisions to evolve, that is just plain ignorance. If you can find a way to survive without the teeth, you continue on. Eventually you get another mutation, and maybe it evolves to take the place of something you lost.

Birds found a way to survive without teeth before they gained a beak. Possibly it was those rocks some birds swallow and use to grind up large chunks of food (I don't know when or if all do this).

Maybe teeth became a liability. People used to die from a rotten tooth, maybe there was an epidemic of bird tooth infecting microbes. It doesn't matter.

As for gender based on-single cell organism, you have that wrong also. Sex evolved from eating - the victim's genes survived inside the single cell that tried to eat it, and it's grew from there. At that point all those single celled life forms were hermaphrodite - they could eat or be eaten and their DNA would survive in the eater. Eventually, the hermaphroditic single celled life forms developed into two varieties - one that could eat and absorb the DNA (female) and the other that could be eaten and pass on their DNA (male).

Also there was no clear line between single celled life forms and multicelluar life forms. First came colonies that learned to cooperate but could also survive on their own.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

gurps_npc Re:Consider Your User Base (247 comments)

The system I am considering works fine over the internet. Specifically, the commercially available phone linked technology lets you take a picture of your screen with your cellphone, using software installed on the cellphone. Then it sends a text message that unlocks your account, just as if you had entered a password.

about a week ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

gurps_npc Total Bull (307 comments)

I always despise these reports. They come up with something that life identical to our own - on our world could not stand up against and then say "No life is possible anywhere else".

No.

If we didn't have a Van Allen belt, some bright scientist would say no life could survive on earth, because of the radiation.

Life as we know it evolved to deal with earth. It evolved to live with at atmosphere, with a van allen belt protecting it, with limited meteors strikes (because Jupiter protected us), with our sun, with tides, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Just because we can't deal with a series of Gamma Ray burst does not mean living creatures living under an ice ocean, feeding on volcanic energy can't survive it.

Basically, what's going on here is some one asked a Physicist a question about biology. You get an answer that makes about as much sense as if you ask Stephen Hawking if the tumor in your kidney is benign or malignant.

about a month ago
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NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

gurps_npc Re:Space Resources (153 comments)

Without people, everything is valueless.

The value of gold is only high for people. Cows don't care about gold.

All valuation assumes that there are people in that same location. If they are not there, then the value is always $0.

about a month ago

Submissions

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How to convince my company to stop using passwords.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about three weeks ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "People hate passwords more than 4chan hates, well everything. Any password policy sufficiently complex to be secure is too complex to remember so people write them down. Worse, company policy is to leave a message on your answering machine describing it — when the software uses a 6 number password to get your 8 letter/symbol/number/capital/no dupes (ever) real password.



I want to suggest a better method. I want to go with a two factor system — either token based or phone based (LaunchKey, Clef, Nok Nok). Does anyone have any advice on specific systems — or points I should bring up? Or alternatives such as graphical based passwords?"
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Man fired for posting pictures to Facebook

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a month ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "As per this CNN article a US Navy veteran working for the Drury hotel was fired when his boss discovered that he had posted pictures of a large number of police cars marked "Homeland Security" parked near Ferguson. His boss called the navy veteran a terrorist.

Unlike the Hotel chain, Homeland Security is not attempting to hide their presence — having admitted it, using marked cars, and have even issued bulletins telling people to be on alert."
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Unpowered Navy Exoskeleton being tested

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy.

The system consists of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it.

The exoskeletong does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carry the heavy tool."

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How Google has been implenting "Forget Me" requests.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "CNN Money has a short, interesting piece on the results of Google's implementing Europe's "Right to be Forgotten".

They are denying most requests, particularly those made by convicted criminals, but are honoring the requests to remove salacious information — such as when a rape victim requested the article mentioning her by name be removed from searches for her name.

All in all, they seem to be doing a good job of respecting privacy, the law, and free speech."

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Great Ted Talk about Privacy

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Glenn Greenwald gave a great TED talk about why privacy matters.

The basic argument he gave against the standard "Only bad people need to worry about privacy", is that we don't live in a black and white world, there are shades of gray. The absence of privacy forces everyone to avoid the gray area, resulting in a society conforming to it's culturally accepted behavior. Not only does this prevent totally legal actions that are too close to the gray line (i.e. taking pictures of your own children wearing bathing suits), but that it also prevents society from evolving and growing. That is, no one tries marijuana out of fear of getting caught, so no one ever realizes it is harmless and in fact has health benefits.

He points out that because shades of gray exist, EVERYONE has something to hide and requests you give him all your email addresses if you think you don't have something to hide. No one has ever taken him up on the offer.

Finally, he talks a bit about Snowden, providing some great thoughts on the controversy."

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Secret App poorly designed

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 4 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The app "Secret" is supposed to let you tell your friends secrets, without them ever knowing it was your secret. Basically, you sign up, connect at least 6 friends, and post a secret. Your secret does not get sent to people unless they have at least 7 friends that have posted secrets and then it does not identify which friend posted which secret.

This has an obvious problem that a child could figure out. Your "friend" (and I use this term loosely) could sign up themselves and also create six other fake accounts, all posting six fake secrets, and only connect to one real person — you. If your friend does this, then they know that any secret they don't post comes from you.

The real silly thing, is that anyone slightly intelligent could have solved this problem, simply by having the app send secrets to two levels out, not one. That is, my secret is told to both my friend and my friend's friends. That way, even if you only have one 'real' friend', you don't know who the secret came from."

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New way for Spys to listen in on us

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech."
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Is there an app that ignores stupid headlines

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "You know the ones I mean "This one trick...", "You won't believe...", ANY headline that asks a question (and you know the answer is 'no' because it always is), anything headline that tells you to 'never' do something, any headline that describes someone that invented something using a family word (dad, mother, son, etc.)

Yes, we know that humans are attracted to these headlines and pay attention to them.

Similarly, we pay attention when someone yells "FIRE" in our face. That doesn't mean it is ever appropriate to do so.

If we can't outlaw the idiots using this 'one genius trick — that I never believe', is there an addon that blocks these crap-lines from google news and other aggregators?"
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FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed such issues as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullet, (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc."
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Untrackable cellphone?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 9 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?"
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US miltiary base in Ukraine?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 9 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "There is a petition to ask the Ukraine to lease land near Crimea to the US as a naval/air base.
Assuming it gets created, If this happens, it would be an ideal location for electronic espionage. No longer would the US have to send submarines secretly off the coast of Russia, we could have them openly sitting within yards of Russian controlled waters."

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Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 9 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."

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Looking for a good holster.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/Ipad).

There is however a direct trade off between discrete and carrying capacity. Anyone found an ideal balance?

I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster wearing it? Any feature I should look for?

I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me, (double sided makes it really stand out)."

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Cancer Ray terrorist plot foiled

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray machine. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel.

But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting.

They caught and arrested the terrorists before the machine was in working order."

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Nanocoating finally lives up to it's promise

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "A company called UltraTech has created a new nano-coating. They sell you two chemicals, which you spray on (in the right order) practically anything. Once you do this, as the attached vidoe shows, water considers the coated area to be something akin to a rabid lion infected with AIDS. It literally can not get wet — and that includes all water based liquids. Mud? No problem. Water based paint? Flees like a coward. The coating lasts about a year indoors (half that time outdoors). Note, you can buy it from amazonsupply.com — though ti costs about $500 for a gallon of the stuff."
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Replace teachers with computers? Or just add them!

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Recently there was a poorly designed study that claimed computers don't help teaching. Here with the opposite point of view is Sugata Mitra's TED talk. He went to a tiny village in India, put a computer there with software — in English even though they did not speak or read English — about DNA replication. When he came back months later they said "We don't understand anything — except that mistakes in DNA replication cause diseases."

At heart, his argument is that the old style of teaching derives from Victorian England's need for bureaucrats so it creates minimally competent people that know how to read, write, and do math in their head. He wants to update our teaching methods with more creative and technological solutions."

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Company planning on mining asteroids, public announcement at 10:30 PDT

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Th Bad Astronomer wrote today about a press conference happening at 10:30 AM Pacific time. He thinks the company Planetary Resources is going to announce at that they will be mining asteroids. They have the money (James Cameron, Google), the science (Ex-NASA people,including engineers and astronauts). The first step would be setting up depots. That is mine the stuff and keep the materials in space for delivery in space. It is far cheaper to go get water from an asteroid and give it to a space station than it is to lift it out of Earth's gravity well."
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Florida thinks their students are too stupid to know the right answers.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Robert Krampf, who runs the web site "The Happy Scientist" recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong.

Mr. Krampf, examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. So he wrote to Florida's Department of Education' Test Development center.

They admitted he was right about the answers, but said that they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests.

Note, they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply to lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."

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Flying Car - OK, boat, now available

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "In the Aero 2011 expo in Germany, they unveiled the FlyNano. Basically it looks like a jet ski with wings and a propeller. Hard wings (not para-foil), selling for about $36,000. The creator said that if you can fly a microlight, you can fly the FlyNano."
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How to make a living playing scratch lottery ticks

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A great article from wired about lottery tickets. It's main focus is the fact that many of them can be beaten. That is, you can look at numbers printed on a scratch lottery ticket before removing the scratch off and figure out which ticket will win and which will lose. Yes, this article tells you how to do this. It also touches on organized crime and the psychology of the system."
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