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Video Gamers See the World Differently

relikx Retinal fixation point (160 comments)

Gestalt psychology would suppose that the brain processes information with the ability to fill in gaps so to speak, or to quote Kurt Koffka, "The whole is other than the sum of the parts." One of the gestalt "laws" of grouping, that of symmetry, is that object of similar grouping will be perceived as formed around a center point.

Gamers have the benefit of using the natural fixation point of our retinas in an enhanced way (or rather in a more methodical fashion); "focus" as abstract as that means in cognition, can still be more or less analyzed as a gradient via intentness of this point in the types of exercises this study put the subjects. Thus, it would lead to more clarity in the immediate vicinity of this area of focus.

To bring things to a more salient point, the concept of the simple harmonic oscillator (as a quantum function) of the brain would touch on how the fine-tuning of this fixation point awareness would lead to essentially cutting milliseconds off of certain neuronic processes between the optic nerve and the visual cortex. Thus, whether the effects are temporary or not this is still relevant in our understanding of the gestalt.

about 10 months ago
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IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Groups During 2012 Election

relikx Re:Sometimes 'sorry' isn't enough (719 comments)

Well that's on me since sarcasm is hard to transfer online without the benefit of inflection but I know exactly what it means, thanks for checking. It was also meant as a rhetorical device to lessen my actual 'anger' on the subject too because frankly as much as I didn't care for Bush I didn't hate him the way people hate Obama. Bad president, sure, but not the manchurian anti-Christ that a lot of my FB friends seem to think of 44. And to be honest, I heard the same reports with OWS and Obama so perhaps the former criticisms are more on the police state in general and not any particular president.

about a year ago
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IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Groups During 2012 Election

relikx Re:Sometimes 'sorry' isn't enough (719 comments)

I can't tell if that's feigned outrage or bad sloganeering but really though, our President thinks the US is a third-world dictatorship how? How many Tea Party members were imprisoned and/or summarily executed? Do you remember though during the 2004 elections Bush's Department of Justice infiltrated liberal groups to try and get charges against them? I know you think "liberals" (which I am fairly conservative but have little faith in R's) just try to deflect back on Bush but I fondly recall things he did that reminded me of thuggery. I guess politics is eye of the beholder but it is telling you ask these questions that should be answered yet demonstrate your foregone conclusion that it must be Obama no matter what.

about a year ago
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ATLAS Meteor Tracking System Gets $5M NASA Funding

relikx Getting to 24-48 hr advance warning (104 comments)

The ATLAS system's funding is a step in the right direction but as the article mentions the southern pole would remain a blind spot. Still, having one to two day's notice for an affected area would go a long way. We seem to have most of the >150m asteroids located through current efforts but that still leaves thousands or millions of undetected objects capable of wiping out a city and causing further catastrophe for nuclear facilities. The cost vs. benefit seems evident, better late than never.

about a year ago
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This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

relikx Thermal Exhause Port (191 comments)

That the US will not consider building a Death Star is great. Imagine the cost overruns and time delays involved in a project that large when Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc. bid on this project.

With all the red tape it's no surprise that such a large flaw as the thermal exhaust port was overlooked. No P-trap instead of a straight shot to the reactor core?

Classic arrogance on the part of underestimating a small counter-force (insurgency) due to planning against a more conventional war. Thus, why the Death Star didn't launch it's full complement of 7,000 TIE Fighters and instead only Vader and those under his command knew the deal.

Whether you think it's a good thing or a bad thing, the U.S. is an Empire of sorts but we'd be better off using those quadrillions to invest in our people. There are people in powerful positions who think otherwise though as the profits and promise of destruction are too much to resist.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Employers Ban Smartphones?

relikx Email/calendars in the corporate world (510 comments)

Yes, these functions can be easily taken care of with a laptop. However with the constant shuffling from meeting to meeting many times the phone often becomes the go-to device when away from the desk. When away from the office, communications in the evening, over the weekends, etc. are becoming increasingly more prevalent.

This brings up the entire philosophical debate on how much more (or less) productive everything makes people who now no longer have the luxury of checking out, having a singular focus, is forced to multitask, etc. but the greater point is if the expectations are for the constant connectivity of employees in a workplace then you have to take the good with the bad.

about a year ago
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

relikx "Route 66 of the future" (174 comments)

I get what he's saying but that phrase isn't really apt since Route 66 was replaced by the modern Interstate 40 decades ago. Ironically there are sections of Route 66 that are impassable by most vehicles when it snows due to steep hill grades (in Oklahoma at least where I lived off it years ago).

about a year ago
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Hubble Sees Tribe of Baby Galaxies 13+ Billion Light Years Away

relikx Waiting for JWST (60 comments)

It's not too surprising that Hubble is hitting the upper reaches of its capabilities but this peering back towards the beginning is nothing short of fascinating. With so many other 'younger' galaxies potentially out there and currently hidden from sight is motivation to keep this research up and get JWST up and running.

Hopefully the James Webb Space Telescope will not get way off track in budget and schedule again (cautiously optimistic), slated for 2018 launch currently but in any case this is another example of the more we find out, the more we realize we don't know.

about a year ago
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New SARS-Like Virus Infects Both Human and Animal Cells

relikx Bad news for pigs (62 comments)

In Islamic culture pigs are considered unclean, and I remember when swine flu hit in '09 places like Egypt culled pig herds. In this case I'm pretty sure the end result won't be good but there's even more reason to think they're doing good by killing lots of swine, and without making bacon even.

about a year ago
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Laser Fusion Put On a Slow Burn By US Government

relikx In three years (143 comments)

they'll be able to report that fusion technology is in fact merely 20 years away. I think I'll wait to make that reservation in 2036, however.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reportedly Working On Its Own Smartphone

relikx Microsoft product design (215 comments)

I am sure MS is capable of creating a smartphone design that "works well" for what that's worth, but it's pretty evident that this category is led by devices that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. I don't think MS is painted in a corner to have to make a Microsoft iPhone (Apple will probably try to sue them in any case) but in playing "offense" it would be great for Microsoft to focus on elevating or evolving the smartphone category and not try to be a "me too" device.

If they can pull this off, which would be done through a combination of intuitive/simple interface, unique features, and a robust app system they can compete. I own an Xbox and am pleasantly surprised they've been able to create a good user experience on Live.

Can they compete with a smartphone design? Sure but I wouldn't bet money on it.

about a year and a half ago
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Website Pitches Scientific Solutions In Search of Problems

relikx Re:wait... what? (39 comments)

They specifically point out patents made in research labs so I'm hoping these are cases in materials sciences, biochemistry, etc.

Since we're talking about the internet here, I'm reminded of an article where the physics of how a cat licks water when observed in ultra slow-motion cameras. Although I have fears of patent trolls muddying this website, hopefully it can work effectively.

about a year and a half ago
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Is Non-Prescription ADHD Medication Use Ever Ethical?

relikx Dexedrine and the Air Force (487 comments)

For what it's worth we've decided it's ethical for our military to use (dextro)-amphetamines in long flights, even bombing runs I recall. In the case of long-term studying, the ethical boundaries will be defined by the success of its use as a legitimate "tool" not unlike a 5 Hour Energy.

Obviously the effects aren't comparable but Americans love to take a pill to cure or enhance something, anything, everything. This seems to be the logical conclusion of this thinking continued. If it's any consolation, perhaps amphetamine salts are the most benign uppers physiologically.

Would it ever be ethical to ween a meth user off through the use of non-methyl amphetamines?

about a year and a half ago
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Study Suggests You Can Learn New Things In Your Sleep

relikx Re:Of course, dreaming is powerful (99 comments)

I guess my "of course" only implies that I support the conclusion and that I learned something. Makes sense how my comment is confusing, I only mean the broader aspects of the subconscious "can't quite be quantified yet." Thanks for the info exchange.

about a year and a half ago
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Study Suggests You Can Learn New Things In Your Sleep

relikx Of course, dreaming is powerful (99 comments)

That isn't some New Age platitude but Carl Jung and others have given great insight into something that still can't quite be quantified yet. Why, just last night I had a dream reminding me about watering my plant that's dying. Thanks id.

about a year and a half ago
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The Dry Ice 'Snowflakes' of Mars

relikx Aerosol formation (44 comments)

I assume even with the smaller size the mechanics for formation are more or less the same as rain and snow here on earth. If so, it could be possible that microorganisms past, present, or imagined would play a part in the process at times to assist in precipitation. Of course for something to live at temps low enough to live through dry ice formation would be nothing like here on earth, but if they are capable of withstanding extreme conditions that could be a place to find them.

about 2 years ago
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Testing for Many Designer Drugs At Once

relikx Not for Human Consumption (281 comments)

Compared to THC, which is a partial agonist at CB1 receptors, JWH-018 (and many of its analogues) are full agonists. THC has been shown to inhibit GABA receptor neurotransmission in the brain via several pathways. JWH-018 may cause intense anxiety, agitation, and, in rare cases (generally with non-regular JWH users), has been assumed to have been the cause of seizures and convulsions by inhibiting GABA neurotransmission more effectively than THC. Cannabinoid receptor full agonists may present serious dangers to the user when used to excess.

The war on drugs is insane that up until recently this could get sold at convenient stores and was by definition safer than the Schedule I THC. Marijuana is way safer than any of this fake stuff.

about 2 years ago
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An Asian Origin For Human Ancestors?

relikx What made us 'human' (125 comments)

It's something that could arguably be found best in the congruence of factors giving to the rise of our elevated brain activity in a more complete fashion. In that sense, interesting to wonder when it 'came together' as complex activity (tools, large worship sites, etc.) seems to get further pushed back archaeologically more and more.

about 2 years ago
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Netflix Launches Its Own Content Delivery Network

relikx Major Source of Traffic (117 comments)

In October at least, so after their ridiculous Quikster stumbling, it was reported that Netflix accounted for 32.7% peak U.S. downstream traffic, so I could see how ISP's even with competing interests would benefit from this arrangement.

about 2 years ago
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Political Campaigns Mining Online Data To Target Voters

relikx Re:Digital Consulting What? (131 comments)

The campaigns have communications staff to be sure but consultants here are the digital specialists from outside firms. A typical contract against the numbers cited here would have a scope of work laid out by project hours to build and implement plans. As far as paid digital media is concerned, neither of those sums of money will take you very far from what these guys plan to do.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Feds Bust Plan To Wipe Fannie Mae Data

relikx relikx writes  |  more than 5 years ago

relikx writes "The Associated Press reports that the Feds busted an alleged plot by a fired Fannie Mae employee that would have "included cleaning out and restoring all 4,000 servers, restoring and securing the automation of mortgages and restoring all data that was erased," per the FBI agent quoted in the AP article. Rajendrasinh B. Makwana, 35, of Glen Allen, Virginia, was fired October 24 and placed code set to execute January 31. No word on what virus was placed into the system, how it was discovered (outside of "accidently") or if it was also designed to steal pennies from mortgages."
Link to Original Source

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