Forgot your password?

If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the taming-a-small-star dept.
Lasrick writes: Yale's Jason Parisi makes a compelling case for fusion power, and explains why fusion is cleaner, safer, and doesn't provide opportunities for nuclear smuggling and proliferation. The only downside will be the transition period, when there are both fission and fusion plants available and the small amount of "booster" elements (tritium and deuterium) found in fusion power could provide would-be proliferators what they need to boost the yield of fission bombs: "The period during which both fission and fusion plants coexist could be dangerous, however. Just a few grams of deuterium and tritium are needed to increase the yield of a fission bomb, in a process known as 'boosting.'" Details about current research into fusion power and an exploration of relative costs make fusion power seem like the answer to a civilization trying to get away from fossil fuels.

Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the casting-wider-nets-through-technology dept.
mrspoonsi sends this BBC report: "A U.S. juggler facing child sex abuse charges, who jumped bail 14 years ago, has been arrested in Nepal after the use of facial-recognition technology. Street performer Neil Stammer traveled to Nepal eight years ago using a fake passport under the name Kevin Hodges. New facial-recognition software matched his passport picture with a wanted poster the FBI released in January. Mr Stammer, who had owned a magic shop in New Mexico, has now been returned to the U.S. state to face trial. The Diplomatic Security Service, which protects U.S. embassies and checks the validity of U.S. visas and passports, had been using FBI wanted posters to test the facial-recognition software, designed to uncover passport fraud. The FBI has been developing its own facial-recognition database as part of the bureau's Next Generation Identification program."

California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla 327

Posted by Soulskill
from the mother-earth-plays-second-fiddle-to-mother-economy dept.
cartechboy writes: We all know Tesla is working on its Gigafactory, and it has yet to announce officially where it will be. But the automaker did announce a shortlist of possible locations, and California wasn't on it. The state has quickly been trying to lure Tesla to get back into contention. Now the state may waive environmental rules which would normally make construction of such a large manufacturing facility more difficult. Apparently, Governor Jerry Brown's office is currently negotiating an incentive package for Tesla that would waive certain parts of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act. Not only that, but state officials are reportedly considering letting Tesla begin construction and perform damage mitigation later, along with limiting lawsuits that could slow down the project. Let's not forget some massive tax breaks, to the tune of $500 million. Is California stepping out of bounds here?
The Military

Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot 194

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bad-movie-plot dept.
WIRED published a long piece on Edward Snowden today (worth a read on its own), and simultaneously broke news of "MonsterMind," an NSA program to monitor all network traffic and detect attacks, responding with a counterattack automatically. From the article: Although details of the program are scant, Snowden tells WIRED in an extensive interview with James Bamford that algorithms would scour massive repositories of metadata and analyze it to differentiate normal network traffic from anomalous or malicious traffic. Armed with this knowledge, the NSA could instantly and autonomously identify, and block, a foreign threat. More than this, though, Snowden suggests MonsterMind could one day be designed to return fire — automatically, without human intervention... Snowden raised two issues with the program: the source of an attack could be spoofed to trick the U.S. into attacking an innocent third party, and the violation of the fourth amendment since the NSA would effectively need to monitor all domestic network traffic for the program to work. Also in Bamford's interview are allegations that the NSA knocked Syria offline in 2012 after an attempt to install intercept software on an edge router ended with the router being bricked.

Comment: It should be tied up (Score 1) 390

by EmagGeek (#47659495) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Let me put it this way. When I hire an engineer, do I want to hire the guy who gets stuff right the first time, and thoroughly validates and identifies and fixes little issues before publishing results? Or, do I want to hire the guy that gets it done, hurries to publish results with tons of niggling little problems, and ultimately gets it right after several iterations of fixing minor problems?

Of course I want the first guy. Yes, lots of development has issues, but if the government is finding all of these little issues that can be fixed "within hours," you'd think SpaceX would have a good enough process in place to find and fix those trivial errors before releasing results or product.

Comment: Whoa, hold the phone (Score 1) 326

"They are experts in their fields, often with master's and doctoral degrees. They earn at the top of federal pay scale, with the highest taking home $148,000 a year."

When I was a senior in college, the USPTO was at a career fair trying to snap up as many new grads as possible for patent examiner positions.

New grads are not experts in their fields. Period. No matter what degree they're walking away with.

That said, if I can make $148K working at home for USPTO, where the hell do I sign up?!?

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 5, Insightful) 537

by EmagGeek (#47647703) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

It's not just intellect.

Remember when it was somehow racist to point out that the reason blacks are better at athletics was because they had a genetic makeup that produced stronger and longer muscles capable of higher power output?

That was racist because to say it was to imply they had an unfair advantage.

I think being a geneticist is a pretty impossible job. No matter what your data suggests or how you present it, you're going to be labeled a racist. You'll either be accusing a minority race that is good at something as having an unfair genetic advantage, or you'll be implying that a minority race that is not good at something is so because of genetics - and therefore their skin color.

This is how the PC establishment thinks. If there is a conceivable way to twist and distort what is said so that it can be labeled racist, they will do it.

A Fortran compiler is the hobgoblin of little minis.