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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

nani popoki John W. Campbell got there first (129 comments)

I guess I'm the only one here old enough to remember John W. Campbell's space operas in which he postulated two materials made from "crystallized light". One material, lux, was a super-strong, transparent, insulator. The other, relux, was a perfectly reflecting superconductor. Look up his novel "Islands of Space.

about two weeks ago

Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

nani popoki Re:Right, thaw them out... (46 comments)

Be sure to shoot any albatrosses that fly near. (It's been decades since I read Who Goes There.)

about a month ago

Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

nani popoki All these worlds are yours except Europa... (46 comments)

The case for life in the oceans which appear to exist below the ice crust of Europa just got a little stronger.

about a month ago

PayPal's Two-Factor Authentication Can Be Bypassed Using eBay Bug

nani popoki I give up (33 comments)

From now on, I'm paying for everything with doubloons.

about a month and a half ago

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

nani popoki Re:I'm doing my best to keep them afloat (168 comments)

I do read a lot, mostly for entertainment. I'm averaging about three novels a week. I love that I can pack a dozen books for a trip without worrying about overweight luggage charges. At the price I'm paying per book, I'm now reading in more genres and reading more authors in the genre I always read a lot of. My model of Kindle doubles as an MP3 player, so I can have my tunes along as in-flight entertainment, too.

about 2 months ago

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

nani popoki I'm doing my best to keep them afloat (168 comments)

I've bought over 1300 eBooks from their Kindle library. At $3 to $4 each... well, a Slashdot reader can certainly do the math.

about 2 months ago

Company Uses 3D Printing and Design To Change the Way We Look At Prosthetics

nani popoki Re:I hope he's planning on filing with the FDA (28 comments)

I'm not exactly an armchair advisor. I develop software for a company which makes a medical product.

about 2 months ago

The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

nani popoki 501(c)7 (228 comments)

That's a flavor of non-profit which is not a charitable organization.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a member of the legal profession nor am I trained in law.

about 3 months ago

Company Uses 3D Printing and Design To Change the Way We Look At Prosthetics

nani popoki I hope he's planning on filing with the FDA (28 comments)

and including the biocompatibility test results report. What you make a medical device out of matters!

about 3 months ago

First Movie of an Entire Brain's Neuronal Activity

nani popoki And (44 comments)

Siskel gave it two thumbs down.

about 3 months ago

Lose Sleep, Fail To Form Memory

nani popoki Memory, Sleep and Old Age (85 comments)

So perhaps these senior moments I've been having are not so much from being over the hill as from the fact that as I've gotten older I get less sleep overnight?

about 3 months ago

Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks

nani popoki Re:Awesome! (123 comments)

I'm not sure mine will be. I write code for a living.

about 4 months ago

Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks

nani popoki Re:Don't Miss the Rush... (123 comments)

Except that the beaches in Hawaii are considered public land -- nobody owns them and access to the seashore must be granted by owners of abutting property.

about 4 months ago

50 Years Later, MIT Looks Back At AI and Networking Pioneer Project MAC

nani popoki I'm a (minor) Multician (50 comments)

My truename appears in the list of "Multicians". I still have my copy of The Design of the Multics Operating System.

One of the things that Multics did better than anything since was a feature called dynamic linking. In Multics, linking to a DLL was done via a symbolic reference resolved at runtime, rather than a reference to an ordinal (as in Windows). The Multics file system allowed you to have multiple names on the same file. The combination of those two features resulted in the ability to hot-plug DLLs. Here's how:
1. You have a program which wants to take a sine function. It's got a link to "fortran.lib:sin" (no, the Multics syntax for the entry point was different, but you get the idea).
2. The fortran guru decides he wants to upgrade the fortran library while your program is running.
3. When your program first invoked the sin() function, the symbolic link is resolved to the existing fortran.lib DLL and it's loaded into your pdd (process space).
4. The fortran guru adds the name "fortran.lib_bak" to the existing library file.
5. The fortran guru creates his library as "fortran.lib_new".
6. The fortran guru moves the name "fortran.lib" from the old library to the new one.
7. Immediately, user programs which have not already linked to the old DLL will now link to the new one as symbolic references are encountered and resolved.
8. The fortran guru removes the name "fortran.lib_new" from his new library, which has no effect except to free up that name for use in a future upgrade.
9. Eventually, all user programs which referenced the old library finish and the old library can be deleted. Everyone now uses the new library,

When I first learned about this, I thought is was really cool. 35 years later, I still do.

about 4 months ago

LegoTechno -- Making Music With Lego Bricks, Python, OpenCV and a Groovebox

nani popoki I have an observation (5 comments)

I have maintained for years that if you want to assess a society's technological level there are two fields you need to examine. The first -- and sadly, probably the most obvious -- is weaponry. But the second is music-making. No matter what the level of technology a society is capable of, the highest available tech seems to always wind up in their musical instruments. If you have a stick and a hollow log, you make a drum. If you can make a bow, you make a one-string guitar. If you can drill a hole in a piece of wood, you make a flute. If you can smelt brass, you make a horn. Or a gong.

One example: one of the first electronic musical instruments was the Theremin. It was invented when the ink on the patent for the vacuum tube was barely dry. Another example: one of the earliest computer programs played music.

Disclaimer: I am not an anthropologist. I'd be interested in knowing a counterexample, though.

about 4 months ago

The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

nani popoki Asimov himself described a big flaw in his 3 laws (255 comments)

He wrote an essay pointing out that the biggest problem with his three laws of robotics was that a robot might well have trouble defining "human". His test cases -- if I remember right; it was 40 years ago that I read the essay -- were (1) a baby [human but not competent to give a robot an order], (2) an adult with mechanical prosthetics [human only if you examine the right parts], (3) another robot and (4) a chimpanzee. The problem is a lot more complicated than the Three Laws makes it sound!

about 4 months ago

Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

nani popoki One word: food (302 comments)

When the technology reaches the point where you can use a 3D printer to decorate a cake or make fancy chocolates by the dozen (hopefully, make both and other things besides) in a matter of minutes then a 3D printer will find space next to the coffee maker. At least in the sort of home where a gourmet kitchen would see daily use.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

nani popoki Heathkit AA-10 Stereo Amplifier (702 comments)

I built this kit in 1965. I'm still using it. It has operated flawlessly since the day I put it into service.

about 5 months ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

nani popoki Re:Mathemathical proof (612 comments)

Yup. Simple. It's the engineering that's not so simple. :)

about 5 months ago



Pulling an All-Nighter Can Make You Stupid

nani popoki nani popoki writes  |  about 6 months ago

nani popoki (594111) writes "Skipping a good night's sleep can cause brain damage.

"Are you a truck driver or shift worker planning to catch up on some sleep this weekend? Cramming in extra hours of shut-eye may not make up for those lost pulling all-nighters, new research indicates. The damage may already be done — brain damage, that is, said neuroscientist Sigrid Veasey from the University of Pennsylvania.

The widely held idea that you can pay back a sizeable "sleep debt" with long naps later on seems to be a myth, she said in a study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Long-term sleep deprivation saps the brain of power even after days of recovery sleep, Veasey said. And that could be a sign of lasting brain injury.

Link to Original Source


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