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Comment It doesn't matter, whether it meets all its goals (Score 0) 181

This project has ambitious goals: integrated database for all things neuroscience, testbed and virtual lab for neuron simulation, brain-inspired new hardware ("neuromorphic computing", possible required to achieve the exascale hardware to create the simulation), new insight into neurological diseases and finally the simulation of a human brain and therefore the human mind.

Even if it achieves only 1/3 of its goals it would be already a success. This project has its share of naysayers and distractors though, who all know beforehand it won't work. I think, the majority of them are other neuroscientist who fear, they won't get any funding in the future.

If it works however, it will provide major scientific breakthroughs. I'm all for it. One fear is laughable: that this will become something like an all-seeing, all-knowing skynet. If at all, it will just simulate an average human brain with all its weaknessess and irrationalities. The FutureICT project (didn't win) deems me much more dangerous in this regard. It was planned as a simulation of all human activity on a global scale.

Comment Slower and more minor (Score 1) 132

A recent study of the "Freie Universität Berlin" of trends in US charts suggests, that pop songs got slower over the last 50 years and use more minor chords. Doesn't mean that society got sadder, the study explains, it only shows that we listen to more ambivalent stuff and are able to enjoy even sad emotions.

Comment Hollywood still pissed of Edison? (Score 3, Interesting) 386

When I was a kid 30 years ago, Edison was still the undisputed old god of engineering. It only was later, that he became villified as the suppressor of Tesla and AC. I think, it has todo with Edison's viewpoint towards intellectual property. He and his colleagues at Menlo Park invented mainly and did not produce anything, so he relied on patent fees. He procescuted anyone who produced stuff that violtated one of his many patents including early movie technology. This forced movie people from the east coast to the west. The rest is history. Tesla was clearly the far better, more visionary scientist. Edison remains the more important inventor and engineer (lightbulb, phonograph, movie technology).

Comment GDR Terrorism Book (Score 1) 741

When I was studying chemistry (I'm a software consultant now for 10+ years), there was a special "poison cabinet" in our University library containing "dangerous books". One of them was a book from GDR (former German Democratic Republic, a.k.a East Germany) containing recipes for warface agents, bombs and guerilla warfare. The book wasn't freely available to everyone (you were asked why you wanted to know all that stuff), but it was available. No one was asked afterwards by the police for renting it or BS like that. I wonder if this has changed after 9/11 ?!?

Comment What exactly is the difference? (Score 1) 199

What the article fails to mention is what exactly the difference is between the arcs created by (smaller) tesla coils now and natural lightning. Is it that natural lightning needs lower voltage to travel longer distances through air than teslas? This would explain, why they need to built giant tesla coils in the first place.

Comment Re:Dumb question (Score 1) 373

not a physicist here, but i think it is a pretty big difference, whether you treat something as a real physical object, whose existence and relationship with everything else you can and must explore or simply as a mathematical convenience to label it as an object without really believing it is one for the sake of simplifying calculations.

i think this has happend with electro-magnetic fields.

Comment Reason to drop Skype (Score 1) 192

This would be a reason to drop Skype. I know many people, who don't use Skype because their protocol isn't open, they are not opensource or not SIP based. No reasons for me not to use it, it just works very well, even on Linux. But being forced to open a FB account? Do not want... I abhorr FB and it's poor privacy policies and conduct.

Comment The Problem with Dell (Score 1) 169

The problem with Dell is, that they were never big into R&D. Dells business consisted always of providing quality PCs with reasonable prices through direct (online) distribution. Not much invention here. It doesn't surprise me, that they lack the vision to invent something (r)evolutionary to differentiate them from competitors. IBM (Lenovo), HP, Apple, Asus, they all tried to diversify lately.

Comment Can not search in document (Score 1) 177

I cannot search for text with the Firefox' find dialog. But they say, that their documents are now fully part of the HTML infrastructure, so they should be searchable, no? Try their self-introduction for HTML 5 and see, whether you can search for "Highlight me!", which is in the middle of the document.

Or I'm doing something wrong here?

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