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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Satisfaction (Score 1) 139

by Bo'Bob'O (#49376329) Attached to: IT Jobs With the Best (and Worst) ROI

For some people a satisfying job is an important part of their overall happiness, so even if they might be making less, still might be more fulfilled by their lives.

Of course for other people the job is just 8 hours a day they can easily partition from the rest of their lives, and don't have any such concerns.

There is no good or bad about one or the other, it's just how some people's natures are different. It is though, too important of a metric to be left out of an article like this. Graphic designers might be a good example of this. Some may be making less, but for them it might be more valuable on the balance for their mental state then the money.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 299

by Bo'Bob'O (#49361645) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

I'm going to assume that you don't think the current lineup on either side is particularly satisfying, because I can't honestly believe that you find any current candidate that compelling. You look at who may be the next US president and then look at the potential pool of people that -could- be and just think, "Wow, people are stupid." And maybe some of the choices by some of them are pretty dumb, but I think you have to look at just what is going on in the big picture of the US political system.

Having a winner take all system, means that we have a first-past-the-post system. Voting for a third party candidate means that people on a similar part of the political spectrum are diluting their vote if they vote for one or more candidates, and thus, must get in under the banner of a candidate that can win a simple majority vote. This by it's nature reduces the political process to two parties.

So despite the broad spectrum of issues, politics, and views on personal leadership, you have to vote tactically -or you will lose-. Occasionally a third party rises, but it either swamps over another party, or the established parties shifts platforms in order to pull people from the up-commer. The two big parties know this, and they put massive resources into making sure that they have far greater ability to field candidates then any third party might, only adapting their platforms when they have to. This is also why elections seem continualy so close, the parties will one issue at a time take on views in order to slowly ratchet voters one way, then he other party ratchet voters another. Voters don't elect for issues, parties have issues to gain voters.

It's absolutely, positively broken. Even if we did manage to develop a third party strong enough to take on the incumbents, it would quickly turn back into a two party system as one party would get crushed as people with opposing opinions flock to the other party to try to challenge it.

Unless somehow some outsider manages to take the stage and get people on board to truly change this one thing, I sadly, don't see any way out of it, and that outsider is surely not me. I'm neither charismatic or 'electable'. The multibillion dollar buisness of the established parties surely don't want to see it change. So yes, in 2016, I'm going to have to vote for one of the two choices given to me as the lesser evil, and i have no power to change that.

Comment: Re:Lack of funding (Score 1) 89

Or a way to get this supposed reality TV from mars to earth. Much less in any way 'live', which was supposedly central to all this.

And they aren't even talking to the people actually doing this, despite that even 10 years from now this will still all be new, if not prototype technology. All their promotional materials still show what's basically scaled up gen 1 Dragon spacercraft. Meanwhile SpaceX has changed plans, shifted it's roadmap, yet aren't in any sort of talks with SpaceX.

Comment: Re:Time Capsule (Score 1) 169

by Bo'Bob'O (#49228277) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule?

I know this was in jest, but it might not be quite as crazy as it sounds. If there is any electronic interface format that we are using today that will outlast the rest, and maintain backwards compatibility, it's going to be Ethernet. So while there likely won't be any equipment directly compatible, there would probably still be some around and operational. Consider the systems that run B52s, for instance.

So if there is space to spare besides the obvious choice of film, some sort of NAS device could be an option, and itself an interesting thing to find in a time capsule.

Science

Scientists Insert a Synthetic Memory Into the Brain of a Sleeping Mouse 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the best-party-you-never-had dept.
the_newsbeagle writes: Scientists are learning how to insert fake memories into the brain via precise electrical stimulation (abstract). In the latest experiment, they gave sleeping mice a synthetic memory that linked a particular location in a test chamber to a pleasurable sensation. (At least they gave the mice a nice memory.)

The researchers first recorded the electrical signals from the mice's brains while the mice were awake and exploring the test chamber, until the researchers identified patterns of activity associated with a certain location. Then, when the mice slept, the researchers watched for those neural patterns to be replayed, indicating that the mice were consolidating the memory of that location. At that moment, they zapped a reward center of the mice's brains. When the mice awoke and went back into the chamber, they hung around that reward-associated location, presumably expecting a dose of feel-good.
Earth

Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change 458

Posted by Soulskill
from the politics-of-science dept.
mdsolar points out this report in the NY Times: An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science of human-caused global warming.

Among Republicans, 48 percent said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called "the most powerful finding" in the poll. Many Republican candidates either question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue.

Comment: Re:That'll stop the terrorists! (Score 2) 236

by Bo'Bob'O (#48917465) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

Funny to see people complain about knee-jerk reactions with a massive knee jerk of their own.

Chemistry kits and lasers aren't outlawed, so neither of the things are true. Why was this modded up?

Certain chemicals aren't commonly included in chemistry kits marketed for children for liability reasons. Make of that what you will, but that is still a long ways from "outlawed". In fact, I'd guess that most of the things that you might have found in those kids are still easy enough to find. They just don't come in a tin case with fancy graphics.

Comment: Re:Google Plus Defined Itself As a Hazard (Score 1) 210

by Bo'Bob'O (#48876865) Attached to: Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

I found the real-name policy to be a real negative too. I think it's perfectly reasonable to want a level of privacy on the web. Total anonymity is probably not possible from any sort of social media, and maybe not wholly desirable, but I think it's fully within my rights to have a part of my life that isn't in the view of the management at my work. Or that a teacher might not want her social life being just a web search away from young students. Or hell, maybe there are just things I'd rather not have my grandmother see.

The 'circles' thing was nice, but it's really just not much of a privacy wall.

The Almighty Buck

IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-on-a-budget dept.
dcblogs writes Successive budget cuts by Congress are forcing the Internal Revenue Service to delay system modernization that would improve its ability to prevent fraud. In telling of the problems ahead, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen almost sounded desperate in a recent memo to employees. The IRS is heavily dependent on technology, and the impact of the budget reduction to IT this year was put at $200 million. It will mean delays in replacing "aging IT systems" and "increasing the risk of downtime," Koskinen said. A new system to protect against ID theft will be delayed, and other IT cost-efficiency efforts curbed.The budget cuts have been so deep IRS employees are being warned of a possible shutdown for two days before this fiscal year ends in October. It would be a forced furlough for agency workers. The IRS employed 84,189 last year, down from 86,400 in 2013. When attrition is considered, the IRS says it lost between 16,000 and 17,000 employees since 2010. The agency has also been hit with a hiring freeze, and appears to be hiring very few people in IT compared to other agencies.

Comment: Re:Try Again Next Time (Score 1) 248

by Bo'Bob'O (#48834131) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

They don't have stock-holders or congressmen holding the purse strings to try and impress. They don't need to downplay or spin the outcome of a test flight because everyone involved knows that a good testing program will have some failures. And in fact finding new failure modes in early testing is better then not finding them at all.

So while to SpaceX this was a useful test; their stocks would be falling right now, sending bean counters into a panic were they publicly traded.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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