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Submission + - MIT Inches Closer to ARC Reactor Despite Losing Federal Funding (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Experimenting with a fusion device over the past 20 years has edged MIT researchers to their final goal, creating a small and relatively inexpensive ARC reactor, three of which would produce enough energy to power a city the size of Boston. The lessons already learned from MIT's even current Alcator C-Mod fusion device — with a plasma radius of just 0.68 meters — have enabled researchers to publish a paper on a prototype ARC that would be the world's smallest fusion reactor but with the greatest magnetic force and energy output for its size. The ARC would require 50MW to run while putting out about 200MW of electricity to the grid. Key to MIT's ARC reactor would be the use of a "high-temperature" rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconducting tape for its magnetic coils, which only need to be cooled to 100 Kelvin, which enables the use of abundant liquid nitrogen as a cooling agent. Other fusion reactors' superconducting coils must be cooled to 4 degrees Kelvin. While there remain hurdles to overcome, such as sustaining the fusion reaction long enough to achieve a net power return, building the ARC would only take 4 to 5 years and cost about $5 billion, compared to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world's largest tokamak fusion reactor due to go online and begin producing energy in 2027.

Submission + - Researchers Equip Mario Characters With Social Intelligence (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have designed artificial intelligence software to apply social skills to popular video game characters such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Toad from the Super Mario Bros franchise. The researchers taught the game characters to watch and communicate with each other, as well as to learn from their surroundings. This was achieved through attaching a cognitive control loop to each agent [video], integrating insights from cognitive science, linguistics and psychology. Characters were programmed to develop a motivation system, inspired by the need for wealth, progress, and full health. These drives then triggered specific game events, for example with a stronger longing for wealth, Mario would strive to reach more coins. The gamer is able interject and influence a character's actions by giving abstract orders or motivational instructions through speech control. The characters can also ask for help or further information from the gamer to achieve their mission.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Fixing UVC Camera Issues?

Khyber writes: I bought some cheap Chinese camera glasses with built-in microphones. These are supposed UVC cameras manufactured in 2015. Under Windows XP, these cameras are seen perfectly fine and work as web cameras, even the microphones work. Under Windows 7, the camera appears to install just fine, however I get the "This device can perform faster if you connect to USB 2.0" (which it is connected to) and when I try to load it up with any camera viewer such as manycam or any chat program's built-in previewer, I cannot receive any video from the camera. I can get audio from the camera microphones under Windows 7, so I am wondering if the camera device is having problems enumerating as a USB 2.0 device due to some change in Windows 7 (which it doesn't seem to have issues doing under XP,) or if the UVC driver for Windows 7 is missing something in comparison to the one used for Windows XP. Anybody else had issues getting newer UVC cameras to work in newer operating systems?

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1829

You think there would be any comment in a political discussion which was not provably and demonstrably false? Unless the comment was "both parties are lying" any attempt to back a candidate from either party will be "demonstrably false" given how long these candidates have been alive, the amount of stuff they have done/supported, and previous things they have said on record.

Very few (I hesitate to say none) political candidates have demonstrably supported the same position over their entire careers.

Any attempt to back that candidate in a comment could then be modded "demonstrably false". Therefore, there will be no comments on political threads on Slashdot...wait a second...I think we just fixed Slashdot.

Comment Re:2212 guns being "smuggled" into airports (Score 2, Interesting) 500

From what I hear, Israel figured this one out...security checkpoint isn't inside the airport, it's a checkstop one mile away where people are still in vehicles. Worst thing you can blow up is one, maybe two cars unless you are really packing a boom. Keep in mind anywhere near Israeli airports is basically a militarized zone, and that doesn't look 'American' to have guards with automatic rifles checking your stuff, but their security record is quite good considering the issues they have with their neighbours in the region.

Comment Re:ROI (Score 1) 497

What exactly do pilots use their peripheral vision for? Last time I heard a pilot talking, if you could see the other plane you were waaaaaay to close. That is what long range radar is for, you can blow them up before you can even see them. Especially at the speeds places are currently flying, vision isn't really all that useful.

Unless you mean using peripheral vision to watch your radar while playing angry birds on your phone. Then yes, pilots depend on that.

Comment Re:All of those studies are the same (Score 1) 380

I have to disagree with some of your statement...I hate doctors not because they often don't know what is wrong and hand wave to distract you from the fact that they are taking a guess...even when you are fully aware of what is wrong with you from past experience.

Computer people generally do know what is wrong, and can fix it. So they explain happily while they work. Some doctors may, but a good number do not, so they hand wave. I will give them the fact that a human body can fail in many more ways than a computer, but it is still a frustrating exercise to find a good physician.

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[We] use bad software and bad machines for the wrong things. -- R.W. Hamming