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+ - Paley's metalwork not just gates, but art->

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "A nice piece on NPR this morning about Albert Paley and an exhibit of his work in DC at the Corcoran. Paley began metalworking in the 1960s and his work and his thinking about his work exemplifies the best of the maker movement.

"The discipline of the goldsmith I found was very intriguing," he says. "The sense of quality, the sense of refinement, as far as developing the object. But also conceptually, what does the jewelry do to the individual? How does it manifest their ego or their presence? This is the type of work that I was doing at that time."

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Elon Musk expects the Spanish Inquisition->

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "Business Insider is running an article this morning about Elon Musk's fears of an AI-powered apocalypse. For a technology expert and inventor with Musk's credentials, explaining fears of technology may seem a bit incongruous. In a transcript of a CNBC interview with Elon Musk, the question of Musk's investment in an AI development firm came up, and he explains his reasoning for investing in the firm.

I was also an investor in DeepMind before Google acquired it and Vicarious. Mostly I sort of – it's not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. It's really, I like to just keep an eye on what's going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there and we need to –

Musk goes on to explain a bit more about his concerns and references Monty Python as he does it."
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Comment: Drat! Still only 8GB RAM max. (Score 4, Interesting) 316

by Doofus (#47048041) Attached to: Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside
Specs and prices are available in this file: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/may14/05-20surfacepr.aspx.

Unfortunately at no price point will they go above 8GB RAM.

I'll pay more for 16GB RAM! I guarantee other people are out there waiting for the 16GB model. Please MSFT, manufacture a 16GB RAM model.

Comment: All that and water resistant, too (Score 5, Informative) 96

by Doofus (#46821259) Attached to: The $5,600 Tablet
I handled procurement of a few of these for a client two years ago. They are impressive for their sturdiness and resistance to the environment, and I was able to view the screen very well even in the mid-day sunlight. The model I played with was everything the summary described and a bit more. It was submersible for up to two hours in salt or fresh water as long as the ports were sealed with the silicone port glands.

It is an impressive device for what it provides to people on the move in challenging environments.

+ - Skilled manual labor critical to US STEM dominance

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "The Wall Street Journal has an eye catching headling,

According to the 2011 Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, about 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can't find qualified workers. To help produce a new generation of welders, pipe-fitters, electricians, carpenters, machinists and other skilled tradesmen, high schools should introduce students to the pleasure and pride they can take in making and building things in shop class.

American employers are so yearning to motivate young people to work in manufacturing and the skilled trades that many are willing to pay to train and recruit future laborers. CEO Karen Wright of Ariel Corp. in Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently announced that the manufacturer of gas compressors is donating $1 million to the Knox County Career Center to update the center's computer-integrated manufacturing equipment, so students can train on the same machines used in Ariel's operations.

How many of us liked shop? How many young people should be training for skilled manufacturing and service jobs rather than getting history or political science degrees?"

Comment: 80%? A lofty goal indeed. (Score 3, Insightful) 391

by Doofus (#46606915) Attached to: Toward Better Programming
Not clear to me that his is a viable objective. 80% of the masses do not think like programmers. Some might be trainable. Some, not so much. Many will not want to think the way problem-solving in code requires. I'm not sure how to quantify it, but the amount of effort expended on a project like this may not see an appropriate payback.

Even if we change the environment and act of "coding", the problem-solving itself still requires clear thinking and it *probably* always will.

+ - Teach Calculus to 5-year olds? ->

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "The Atlantic has an interesting story about opening up what we routinely consider "advanced" areas of mathematics to younger learners.

The goals here are to use complex but easy tasks as introductions to more advanced topics in math, rather than the standard, sequential process of counting, arithmetic, sets, geometry, then eventually algebra and finally calculus.

Examples of activities that fall into the “simple but hard” quadrant: Building a trench with a spoon (a military punishment that involves many small, repetitive tasks, akin to doing 100 two-digit addition problems on a typical worksheet, as Droujkova points out), or memorizing multiplication tables as individual facts rather than patterns.

Far better, she says, to start by creating rich and social mathematical experiences that are complex (allowing them to be taken in many different directions) yet easy (making them conducive to immediate play). Activities that fall into this quadrant: building a house with LEGO blocks, doing origami or snowflake cut-outs, or using a pretend “function box” that transforms objects (and can also be used in combination with a second machine to compose functions, or backwards to invert a function, and so on).

I plan to get my children learning the "advanced" topics as soon as possible. How about you?"
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Power

Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown 222

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the suddenly-godzilla dept.
Taco Cowboy writes "Japanese researchers are planning an experiment to better understand what transpires during a nuclear meltdown by attempting to create a controlled nuclear meltdown. Using a scaled down version of a nuclear reactor — essentially a meter long stainless steel container — the experiment will involve the insertion of a foot long (30 cm) nuclear fuel rod, starting the fission process, and then draining the coolant. The experiment is scheduled to take place later this year."

+ - Masao Yoshida, director of Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant, has died.-> 1

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "Masao Yoshida, director of the Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, has passed away. Colleagues and politicos in Japan praised his disobedience during the post-tsunami meltdown and credited him with preventing much more widespread and intense damage.

On March 12, a day after the tsunami, Mr. Yoshida ignored an order from Tepco headquarters to stop pumping seawater into a reactor to try and cool it because of concerns that ocean water would corrode the equipment.

Tepco initially said it would penalize Mr. Yoshida even though Sakae Muto, then a vice president at the utility, said it was a technically appropriate decision. Mr. Yoshida received no more than a verbal reprimand after then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan defended the plant chief, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

“I bow in respect for his leadership and decision-making,” Kan said Tuesday in a message posted on his Twitter account.

"

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Comment: Creep, Shmeep (Score 1) 365

by Doofus (#43685383) Attached to: Biometric Database Plans Hidden In Immigration Bill

inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet.

Except for some sporting events and accessing the internet, the other events all require ID, some require photo ID and others do not. Please, stop the hysterics. The issue is not whether you need to show an ID to vote, or to rent a house (credit report, anyone?), or buy a gun (background check, hello?), or board a plane (where have you been for the last 12 years?).

The bigger issue is does the DHS - or a client of their data - have authority to prevent you from carrying out these activities based on the data - identity and other - stored its databases. That would be a sensible concern.

Stop whining about policies of private institutions and state and local governments that are sensible and non-invasive. The arm-waving and yelling is immature, and cheapens other more valid concerns about the use of personally identifying (and classifying) data.

Comment: Take 10 minute walk breaks (Score 1) 372

by Doofus (#42569739) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

Get up from your desk a few times during the day, perhaps once in the morning, once at - or just after - lunchtime, once in the afternoon, and walk briskly for 10 minutes - OUTSIDE.

Walking lowers blood pressure, reduces stress levels, give you a chance to breathe non-recycled, fresh, or at least fresher, air (depending on where you work), and burns calories.

Diet is important. But even if your dietary choices are poor, a simple brisk walk of short duration a few times a day will measurably lengthen your life.
Biotech

Artificial Wombs In the Near Future? 367

Posted by Soulskill
from the invest-in-popcorn-when-this-hits-mainstream-politics dept.
New submitter DaemonDan writes "The first successful pregnancy by IVF was accomplished over 50 years ago, essentially creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Many scientists are trying to take it one step farther with a 100% test tube baby brought to term in an artificial womb. 'Cornell University's Dr. Hung-Ching Liu has engineered endometrial tissues by prompting cells to grow in an artificial uterus. When Liu introduced a mouse embryo into the lab-created uterine lining, "It successfully implanted and grew healthy," she said in this New Atlantis Magazine article. Scientists predict the research could produce an animal womb by 2020, and a human model by early 2030s.' The author of the article seems to believe that birth via artificial wombs could become the new norm, but is it really feasible, desirable or even affordable for the majority of Earth's population?"

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