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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

slew wrong way around... (190 comments)

What no one was anticipating is that the bots are extremely effective of looking like a high value consumer.

Actually, what is surprising is that these supposed high value customers are not in fact actually bots (instead of essentially being web users programmed to be overconsumers by a history of exposure to saturation advertising and silly enough to click on adverts for stupid things).

Philosophically, when some thing exhibits indistinguishable from another (e.g, a consumer exhibiting behavior indistinguishable from a bot), are these high-value consumers not really acting like "artificial" bots? Because we know these "artificial" bots (aka high-value consumers) aren't actually buying anything, but are simply browsing indiscriminately out of boredom and collecting browser-based exploits from the wild to expand real bot nets in a symbiotic relationship.

On a similar note, people always wondered if the anti-virus companies actually were in cahoots with the virus writers. How do with know the ad platform companies aren't simply promulgating a myth of the ephemeral existence of high-value consumers that want to be identified in a sea of bots by the latest and greatest sophisticated ad platform subscription?

about a week ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

slew Re:Are they really that scared? (460 comments)

As I understand it, most of the power company's objections to solar is being forced to buy the power back and subsidize it.

Maintaining the lines to your house is a fixed cost and they are recovering that cost using amortization over periodic billing based on usage. People who go solar are essentially the freeloaders in this system as they pay less of the overhead for the amount of transmission service they receive. This is not unlike the gasoline tax for highway funding debate or numerous other situations.

Governments tend to attempt to make things simpler for consumers by mandating "tariffed" service to avoid "skimming" by the providers. Unfortunately that generally doesn't work as governments generally attempt to use these regulations for subsidizing service for some by burdening others and the companies just get smarter about skimming. Unfortunately, some customers discover the workarounds to freeload for a while (e.g., internet VoIP w/o universal service fund fees, or solar panels with forced power buyback, or electric cars that pay no gas tax). They claim their microeconomic observation about their freeloading is the new economic reality and people should just wake up and smell the coffee.

Unfortunately, when there are too many freeloaders them, then the model just breaks down and need to be fixed so that more people pay full freight. Often, the freeloaders then discover that paying full freight isn't makes the it much less attractive (but at least they got theirs whilst the getting was good). The result is generally simply a different reality than the previous, but generally not much different.

For example, the power company would much rather demand be totally flat. Provisioning for more power is a big capital cost (building power plants, increasing transmission capacity, etc.) that they can only recover by amortization. This is the reality that the power companies lived in the 80's with nuclear power decommissioning. Sadly, we have a big nasty habit of kicking the can down the road on these things...

At least when you collect a welfare check directly from the government you are being honest with yourself...

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Have Finally Sampled the Most Abundant Material On Earth

slew Re:Summary is wrong (128 comments)

Actually, some of it *is* on the Earth; at least some samples are. It's not like they dug a hole to examine it there and say "Sorry, boys, but we gotta leave this thing in the Earth if we're gonna say 'It's in Earth.'"

FWIW, the bridgmanite samples in question (technically a phase of a perovskite crystal structure mineral) does not exist outside the pressure/temperatures which occur *in* the earth which is why samples have never been discovered *on* the earth before (although they certainly have likely existed, no-one has discovered/isolated them before). The interesting thing about this sample is that we didn't have to create the pressure/temperature (apparently 24 gigapascals and 2300 kelvin) in order to form it as these conditions were temporarily created when the meteorite impacted earth.

It would kind of be like if nobody had seen a diamond before, but they were theorized to exist, and someone held up amorphous coal and said it was a sample of diamond because it was just carbon. Of course even though diamonds take somewhat high temperature and pressure to create, it isn't too high, so there are an abundance of diamond fields that exist on the surface of the earth w/o any digging required, so this is kind of a bad example from a scarcity point of view, but from a phase mineral structure point of view, hopefully that "clarifies" it...

The downside is that although this discovery is consistent with the theory of bridgmanite, we still don't have a sample of bridgmanite created in its natural environment *in* the earth, so we still don't know if this is what is actually there. To dredge up the diamond analogy again, there is of course another carbon mineral that is even stronger than cubic diamond called lonsdaleite (aka hexagonal diamond) that can form under higher temperature/pressure conditions like meteorite strikes. So, since this is merely consistent with theory and not an actual sample, apparently, the jury is still out if this sample is representative of bridgmanite or perhaps there's yet another configuration of perovskite that occurs deep inside the earth we haven't figured out yet...

To create another analogy, it's kinda like how we keep on finding all sorts of carbon nano{tube,sheet,fibres} configurations that we haven't discovered before that have unique and potentially useful properties.

about two weeks ago
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How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

slew Re:5G will make your phone 5x as heavy (216 comments)

"5G will be a dramatic overhaul and harmonisation of the radio spectrum," - really? How?

You might be assuming dramatic will be better.
You might also be assuming harmonization will mean everyone should use the same technology.

Perhaps you are misinterpreting this statement? They might be technically correct in their statement yet the technology will be a total fail, no? ;^)

At least in the USA for 4G, there was/is a lot of dramatic overhaul of the network after WiMax's demise and harmonization of the spectrum means the commercial availability of a penta-band phone...

about two weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

slew Re:If and only if (652 comments)

Lower transportation costs, well frankly if those go up, I see a likely benifit regarding more local jobs. I don't see batteries powering those massive container ships, but then again, there is more oil for that kind of shit if it isn't being used in cars, for other power etc.

I don't think you understand the economics of container shipping. First of all, they used the worst possible polluting fuel (aka bunker fuel) because it is unregulated internationally. Secondly, at 15 knots, these ship consume less than 50 tons/day. However at 25 knots, fuel consumption rises to about 300 tons/day. It's all about speed, not the moving with the ships.

(also cars and powerplants can't really use bunker fuel even if it's reprocessed, it won't be economical).

about three weeks ago
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Google Announces Image Recognition Advance

slew actually automatic picture caption generator (29 comments)

Not as "advanced" in image recognition as advertised.

Basically they took the output of a common object classifier and instead of just picking the most likely object (which is what a typical object classifier looks for), it leaves in in a form where multiple objects are detected in various parts of the scene. Then they train a neural network to create captions (by giving it training pictures with associated captions).

According to the paper, it sometimes apparently generates a reasonable description. Other times it reads in picture of a street sign covered with stickers and emits a caption like "refrigerator filled with lots of food and drink".

Actually the most interesting thing about it is the LSTM-based Sentence Generator that is used to generate the caption from the objects. LSTM's are notoriously hard to train and they apparently they borrow some results from language translation techniques to attempt to form intelligible sentences.

This is all very googly-researchy in that they want to see what the limits of pure data driven machine learning are (w/o human tuning). This is not a however much of an advance in image recognition as it is an advance in the language for caption construction.

about a month ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

slew Re:Nuclear Test Ban? (523 comments)

FWIW, NASA has used radio-isotope-thermoelectric generators (aka RTG) in several space missions. RTGs are basically nuclear "batteries". The most high-profile have been Voyager, Cassini, and Curiosity...

The radio-isotopes inside RTGs give off radiation, but it's generally pretty low and all the radio-active parts are sealed inside the "battery" so that even if they blow up, the battery is generally still intact.

The problem with using batteries for propulsion is efficiency. These batteries are heavy vs the amount of power (energy over a short period of time) they can deliver, so you need to use a different way of extracting the energy from the radioactive material which generally is less safe (and more "bomb-like"). That is not allowed.

Thus the RTGs are only used to power the electrical sub-systems and the waste heat is used to keep the electronics at a reasonable temperature in a cold depths of space... kinda like a big battery...

Unfortunately, these RTGs are hard to come by (they are generally powered by a radioactive isotope of plutonium), and the European Space Agency (which launched the probe) doesn't have the ability to make them. Nasa has some, but apparently none were usable for this mission (e.g., if you need AAA and you have only C batteries, you are kinda SOL)

about a month ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

slew Re:Mass (523 comments)

where as the panels afford the craft the possibility of functioning indefinitely...

Except for the small fact that they don't expect the probe to operate as it approaches the sun (it's a comet they are on and they tend to "activate" when they approach the sun).

Had you been talking about a probe set to go well away from the sun then absolutely and pu-238 power plant would be a great idea.

And if they actually did expect the probe to survive the approach to the sun, as it is a comet, it would have definitely gone far-far away from the sun...

AFAIK, one of the main reasons they didn't use and RTG is that no usable ones were available from NASA and the ESA didn't yet have the expertise to make them themselves. Not to say that they still wouldn't have gone solar because of other mission parameters (e.g., mass), but the reasons you give don't really add up.

FWIW, once RTGs are assembled, you don't get to "hibernate" them, they start to decay immediately (kind of like a battery). If you don't have the capability to make them yourself, there might be one on the shelf you can buy from someone else, but it's probably not designed with your power budget in mind and it still has it's original weight, but the amount of power it will put out is reduced by sitting on the shelf. It took 10 years to get to the comet, so that's really puts a lot of constraints on using a pre-existing RTG, perhaps too many for the mission, but if they had the technically ability to make a custom one that matched the mission criteria, I'd bet they would have strongly considered it.

about a month ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

slew Re:Ignorant Article (523 comments)

The fuel is consumed faster than its halflife because of subcritical chainreactions. The amount of chainreactions, and thus the energy output, can be controlled by absorbing neutrons.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Sub-critical chain reactions in RTG are pretty much minimal. The mass and configuration of the radioactive source is selected so that it is essentially a textbook half-life source (from fission cross-section).

The whole point of an RTG is that it doesn't need things like control rods or have failure modes associated with moving parts. Unfortunately, they are generally thermodynamically less efficient generating electricity/energy (relative to waste heat). They also tend to use very heavy encasements for launch safety reasons reducing their weight-to-power efficiency vs solar.

On the more leading edge of RTG research is combining a thermo-electric (e.g., seebeck style) and photo-electric to convert more of the infrared energy that is currently wasted in an RTG to useable electricity. There is also some research into finding so-called high zT materials (ones that have higher conversion efficiency), but results so far have been disappointing (this might be because this research is more niche and thus less lucrative than high temperature superconductors which has occupied researchers for a while). Sadly RTG have very little commercial or military value (Pu is hard to obtain in scale and the it's a niche market to begin with and cannot get bigger) and as a result likely aren't going to get much more attention from researchers.

about a month ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

slew Re:With a RTG, it couldn't have got to the comet. (523 comments)

Please forgive my ignorance because you clearly are making a really good point but surely RTGs would also weigh very little in space?

Mass != weight

about a month ago
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Robots Put To Work On E-Waste

slew Re:Just Saying... (39 comments)

... and save humanity from an evil autopilot.

Auto wasn't evil, he was just doing what he was programmed for directive A113...
As often is the case, it's likely that PEBKAC at fault. Usually, nobody ever thinks about spec-ing out the error cases enough...

about a month ago
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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

slew Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (231 comments)

Easy though it is to harp at the executive pay, it is largely irrelevant to the cost of the final product...

As a first order effect, no, but since executive pay is often tied to the company profitability (either through stock options or bonus plans, or both), a CEO has quite a bit of incentive to massively increase the profitability of the enterprise so he/she (okay, I think they are all he) will reap the percentage rewards (along with all the other stock holders) without regard to the cost of the customers bottom line. This second order effect is simply a natural consequence of how things are set up...

If you think about it, this second order effect would likely a bigger effect than the first order effect... ;^)

Oh yeah, a typical pharma company might actually really need to make insane profit on the home run products in order to cover up for all the crash and burn products they will probably produce, but that doesn't take away from the first argument...

about a month ago
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Robots Put To Work On E-Waste

slew Re:Just Saying... (39 comments)

The end goal is less than five minutes to dismantle a product.

And industrial shredder can dismantle a product in a second or two.

But of course an industrial shredder won't be able to collect and sort 80's memorabilia as efficiently as a Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth-class...

about a month ago
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An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

slew Re:Anybody familiar with the manufacturing side? (111 comments)

I understand that high-frequency magnetics are at risk of physical oscillation(the detailed math is right over my head; but all it takes is one part of the part attracting or repelling another part of the part, at least under some input waveforms, and you'll potentially see movement, which easily enough turns to sound); but the seemingly obvious solution is just to pot the magnetics in an adequately thermally conductive epoxy or other encapsulant.

Does anybody know if that just adds too much cost, without performance benefit, and so gets cut during the BOM penny pinching? Do potting compounds have properties that degrade the performance or efficiency of common magnetics? Why is it that, if coil whine is an issue, they aren't just dipping the things in epoxy and calling it a day?

Unfortunately mechanical damping of the inductor vibration isn't as effective as simply reducing the amplitude of driving frequency in the audio bands. Remember this is a sub-harmonic that is being excited by a non-linear coupling to the audio frequency. Basically the energy in a higher frequency is being converted into a lower audible mechanical frequency.

Theoretically, simply changing the mass of the physical oscillation (e.g. cementing it to something heavier) only slightly modifies the frequency of the oscillation (potentially creating more audible noise) and it still doesn't change the energy much. Viscous damping of the mechanical frequency might help a little bit more. Unfortunately, in practice, surrounding things like solder joints in potting compounds is risky as they have a different thermal expansion coefficients and it can cause additional mechanical stress (resulting in reduced mechanical reliability).

In the end, mechanical means are still not going to be as effective as changing the circuit to reduce the amount of switching energy frequencies which are coupled to the audio frequency bands. Probably even from a total system cost point of view...

about a month ago
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Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance

slew Re:If at first you don't succeed... (262 comments)

Cheat your customers, cover it up by suppressing reviews, and then lie about whose fault it is.

Now that the video game industry has passed the movie industry, why is it surprising that they use the same entertainment industry tactics?
The more things change... ;^)

about a month ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

slew chinatown bus (237 comments)

This is the next frontier/competitor...

I wonder how many Uber/Lyft customers know about the chinatown bus transportation options...

Uber and Lyft haven't seen real competition like this before... They may not know what hit them if they manage to show these guys a profitable new business...

about a month ago
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Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

slew Re:Comcast tried to steal $50 from me (223 comments)

If the people who apply for the rebate get the promised rebate, then how could you possibly claim that anyone is being defrauded?

Fraud is an intentional tort. If they never intend to give the rebate for all eligible people, then it is fraud if they then do not actually do it (even if you don't complain). If not enough money is allocated up front, and if they run out of money to pay all the eligible rebates they receive, then it seems to me to be fraud (although IANAL)...

There are cases that companies when it comes down to the bad publicity and/or the threat of fraud ruling, eventually pony up. But the FTC doesn't really look kindly on that in the US. Even if people eventually get their money, if they don't get it within 30 days, I believe it's considered fraud. Of course you never hear about the cases where there are only a few people defrauded and they don't complain loudly.

As an interesting aside, one famous rebate disaster happened in the UK with Hoover. The cost of complying with the rebate eventually cost the job of the CEO and the company was sold off... Which goes to show, you can defraud a few folks, but when there are too many, you eventually have to pay the piper...

about a month ago
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Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

slew Re:Comcast tried to steal $50 from me (223 comments)

Rebates are often fraudulent by design. Many companies that offer rebates outsource the rebate to external marketing firms. First, these external marketing firms don't have the same customer privacy code as the original company. Also, marketing companies often buy the rebates on a pooled money basis, they are given a pool of money to distribute to multiple rebate programs and are incentivized to maximize the surplus.

Outsourcing and incentivizing itself isn't fraudulent (just shady), but the reason that it's often fraudulent is that the allocated pool of money to the external marketing firm is never enough to cover the worst case, so they are effectively going into the promotion with the deliberate intent to defraud customers of the rebate and the original company doesn't indemnify the external company for worst-case shortfall (because they don't trust these shady rebate companies enough to think they won't just claim/pocket the money).

Often these small marketing firms often do not have the financial resources to cover the difference (margins are small because they bid down the pool and they don't take out insurance) and often have co-agreements with shady marketing companies that abuse your information. The original companies know this, but generally just look the other way thinking unless it's a total public relations disaster, they will just wipe their hands clean and enlist one of the other available marketing companies in future campaigns.

about a month ago
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Rosetta's Philae Probe To Land On Comet Tomorrow

slew Re:We're landing on a comet (74 comments)

I call BS on your BS. Nearly all the stuff that made space flight possible were human achievements on the GROUND.

Most humans in space have been part of nearly ballistic trajectories or computer controlled robots. On many missions, human presence in space was largely for vanity reasons and the missions could have been accomplished with robots. However, there are a few times when humans were key parts of the accomplishment in SPACE which is what I was pointing out. That takes nothing away from other folks fine accomplishments on the GROUND which made it possible.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Japanese researchers build rock-paper-scissors robot that wins 100% of the time

slew slew writes  |  about a year ago

slew (2918) writes "Although the robot technically it cheats because it watches your hand and can recognize what shape you are intending to make and beat it before you even know what is happening. Apparently it takes about 60ms for you to shape your hand, but the robot can recognize the shape before it is completed, and only takes 20ms to counter your shape so the results appear to the human opponent to be virtually simultaneous.

I wonder how difficult it would be to add lizard and spock to the mix.... ;^)

Here is a paper with the details and a press account or two. There are videos in the links in case you want to see it in action."

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Wait, isn't there a hole in the that wheel

slew slew writes  |  about a year ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently after looking at some recent pictures from Curiosity's Hand Lens imager, someone spotted a hole in one of Curiosity's wheels. Unfortunatly, Mars is a long way from the nearest AAA, and the waranty on most aluminum wheels don't cover you if you decide to drive w/o tires, but apparently it's gonna be okay ;^)"
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100% fail rate on Liberia University's admission exam

slew slew writes  |  about a year ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently none of the 24K+ students who sat for the 2013 Liberia University entrance exam got a passing mark, and fewer than a hundred managed to pass the either the english (pass level 70%) or math (pass level 50%) sections required to qualify to be part of the normal class of 2k-3k students admitted every year...

Historically, the pass rate has been about 20-30% and in recent years, the test has been in multiple-guess format to facilitate grading. The mathematics exam generally focuses on arithmetic, geometry, algebra, analytical geometry and elementary statistic and probability; while the English exam generally focuses on grammar, sentence completion, reading comprehension and logical reasoning.

However, as a testatment to the over-hang of a civil war, university over-crowding, corruption, social promotion, the admission criteria was apparently temporarily dropped to 40% math and 50% english to allow the provisional admission of about 1.6K students. And people are calling foul..."
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UC online courses' alarming growth rate

slew slew writes  |  about 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "In the shadow of Stanford and Harvard offering free on-line courses, The University of California has been attempting to offer pay-courses for credit. UC online took out a $6.9M loan from UC and spent $4.3M to market these courses. For their efforts, they've been able to quadruple their enrollment year over year.

The first year results: one person paid $1,400 for an online calculus class worth 4 credits. Now 4 people are signed up. Me thinks head will roll on this one..."

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Stable Negative Temperature System Created

slew slew writes  |  about 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Scientists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany have created an actual stable system which has an inverted Boltzmann Distribution (aka, Negative Temperature) by using an intermediate bosonic Mott insulator together with a Feshbach resonance in bosonic Potassium with laser cooling.

Although Negative Temperature systems are not uncommon (a pumped laser creates them all the time), they are not usually stable as they are not in thermodynamic equilibrium (in the case of a laser, the high energy state couples to a lower energy state returning the system to a positive temperature realm).

Practical uses are of course far away (they only achieved a billionth of a Kelvin below absolute zero), but studying stable negative temperature systems may help us understand the mechanisms behind dark energy theories."

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M-Carbon: 50yro mystery solved

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Unlike its more famous carbon cousins: diamonds and fullerenes, you've probably never heard of M-Carbon, but this form of compressed graphite which is as hard as diamonds has baffled researcher for half a century. Over the past few years, many theoretical computations have suggested at least a dozen different crystal structures for this phase of carbon, but new experiments showed that only one crystal structure fits the data: M-carbon."
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the ultimate accessory: iphone case stun-gun

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "In case you aren't in the loop, this army-reservist came up with this limited edition case for the iphone that doubles as a 650K volt stun-gun. He apparently came up with the idea after being a victim of a home invasion robbery attempt...

Bonus: the stun-gun battery pack can give an extra 20 hours of life to the iPhone if you aren't stunning anyone"

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Scientists capture shadow cast by 1 atom

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Scientist at Griffith University have shown the first absorption image of a single atom isolated in a vacuum. A single atomic ion was confined in an RF Paul trap and the absorption imaged at near wavelength resolution with a phase Fresnel lens.

They predict this absorbption imaging technique should prove useful in quantum information processing and using the minimum amount of illumination for bio-imaging of light-sensitive samples.

Here's a pointer to the paper..."

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Uniformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although this isn't "new" research, I just saw this presentation at a GPU Technology Conference keynote. The gist of this research is that a well functioning democracy (a group that is nominally controlled by the numerical majority) seems to require a minimum number of uninfomed or weak-preference individuals to avoid manipulation by a strongly opinionated minority. If this is true, perhaps electing a certain percentage of spin-less clue-less flip-flopping people as legistative representatives instead of all partisan opinionated intransigents is the evolutionary prefered path to take? Nah!"
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photovoltaic powered retinal prosthetic

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although it hasn't been tested on humans yet, stanford researchers have created a new type of retinal prosthetic that is photovoltaic powered. The gist is that external googles convert an image into infrared light and that light conveys both the image and the power for the retinal implant which means no batteries, or bulky induction coils are required for the retinal implant. This should allow for higher resolution implant (the experimental device has 176 pixels where in contrast the currently available retinal implant from SecondSight is about 60 pixels and requires a bulky inductive antenna). Might be a while till we get to a bionic eye, but this should be quite a help for the sight challenged among us."
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GraphExeter for better solar cells.

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Transparent conducting films are a very important part of photoelectric cells and display panels like OLEDS. Unfortunatly, the currently best known material Indium Tin Oxide (aka ITO) is a rare and expensive and much better performing than it's cheaper subsitute (aluminium zinc oxide AZO). Carbon nanotubes thin-films have been considered, but are current limited by sheet resistance. A research group from University of Exeter has created a new Few-Layered graphene (FLG) w/Ferric Chloride "sandwich" which helps to limit the sheet resistance w/o affecting the transparency. If this type of material becomes practical, it could be a good replacement for ITO (which some say economical supplies will run out soon ~2017)."
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Massive rise in myopia

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "According to this recent study submitted to lancet, an alarming 80-90% of students in east Asian cities have myopia. The study speculates that the culture of educational pressure combined with reduced exposure to outdoor light have conspired to create this epidemic. This conclusion was drawn from a recent retrospective study at cambridge which correlated extra hours outdoors with reduced chance of myopia (~2% drop for each additional hour per week spent out-of-doors)."
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electron's 3rd "quasi-particle (aka "orbiton") observed in insulator lattice

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although electrons are usually thought of having 2 properties: spin and charge, bound electrons actually have a 3rd quantum property related to their so-called orbit's angular momentum. Spinon and holon quasi-particles have been observed before which represent the spin and charge quantum values of the electron. Now this experiment takes advantage of the fact that nominally bound electrons can delocalize in a lattice into energy bands and make it possible to measure the effect of the orbiton quasi-particles (which has the value of the electron's angular momentum where it was originally nominally bound, even though now delocalized). Hope that made some sense..."
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bottoms up! drinking buckyballs apparently fountain of youth

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "As if buckyballs weren't miraculous enough, apparently researchers at Université Paris Sud in France have discovered that rats that drink C60 (fullerene) dissolved in olive oil can live twice as long (by reducing age associated oxidative stress)"
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Pockets in graphene layers allow viewing of liquids with an electron microscope

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Looking at liquids w/ a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to observe things like crystal growth has been difficult to do. This is because liquids need to be confined to a capsule to view them in a TEM (because the electrons are flying at the sample in a chamber near vaccuum pressures where liquids would evaporate or sublimate). Traditional capsules of Silicon Oxide or Silicon Nitride have been fairly opaque. This paper describes a new technique with a "pocket" created between two graphene layers which can hold liquids for observation by a TEM and the graphene is apparently much more transparent than previous materials allowing a better view of the processes (like crystalization), taking place in the liquid. Here's non-paywalled summary article..."
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US Supreme Court Rules that Congress can take work

slew slew writes  |  about 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Ironically, today of all days, the US Supreme court decided that congress was within its authority to grant new and/or restored copyright protection to preexisting works to comply with copyright treaties. This effectively takes works mainly authored between 1923 and 1989 that had been in the public domain, out of the public domain. This is in a majority opinion written by Justice Ginsburg which can be read here

In a disenting opinion authored by Justices Breyer and Alito voices the view that this "does not serve copyright's traditional public ends, namely the creation of monetary awards that motivate the create activity of authors", but only grants its restored copyrights only to works already produced.

The original suite was that the way that congress complied with the copyright treaty was overbroad (e.g., the Berne convention allowed restricted terms for works of restored copyrights to account for the disruption it might cause, but congress gave blanket restoration for all works)

Interesting, if disappointing, reading..."

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A new kind of metal theorized to be in the earth's

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "This article talks about a study accepted to Physical Review Letters that theorizes that Iron oxide goes through an insulator/metal phase change with high temperature and pressure. Originally it was thought to be a crystalline structure change, but now apparently it is theorized to be a new type of metallic state. This discovery might offer new insight on how the earth's magnetic field operates."
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Scientists create formula for perfect parking

slew slew writes  |  about 5 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Okay, so for the owners of the new self-parking prius, this might be obsolete, but for the rest of us car-challenged geeks, someone has gone through the trouble to figure out if that parallel parking space is gonna work or not (or if we have to give one of the cars a "love-tap" to snuggle in there)"
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Fart to lower blood pressure?

slew slew writes  |  more than 6 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently there's a study that if a mouse has a genetic anomoly so it doesn't make H2S (the same chemical as stinky fart gas) it tends to exhibit hypertension (precursor to high blood pressure) and have a reduced ability for vasorelaxation. So if your blood pressure is up, maybe the solution is eat a burrito and pass some gas. I know I feel better when I do.... ;^) Strangely the study author seem to compare their finding to the ground breaking nitric oxide findings (which lead to the discovery of viagra). I'd love to see the adverts for a blood pressure reducing drug that results from this research ;^)"

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