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

by DollyTheSheep (#42740733) Attached to: The Human Brain Project Receives Up To $1.34 Billion

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

by DollyTheSheep (#40319783) Attached to: Chords To 1300 Songs Analyzed Statistically For Patterns
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

by DollyTheSheep (#38847301) Attached to: Man Who Downloaded Bomb Recipes Jailed For 2 Years
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

by DollyTheSheep (#38188254) Attached to: Huge Tesla Coils Will Recreate Natural Lightning
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

by DollyTheSheep (#38101854) Attached to: Study Says Quantum Wavefunction Is a Real Physical Object

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

by DollyTheSheep (#36034560) Attached to: Facebook Wants To Buy Skype
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

by DollyTheSheep (#33468848) Attached to: Where Does Dell Go After Losing 3Par?
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

by DollyTheSheep (#32123282) Attached to: Scribd Switches To HTML5

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?

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum