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Comment: Google Now Does Understand Context (Score 4, Interesting) 161

by Forthan Red (#47660391) Attached to: New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'
... to a limited degree. While you can't ask the Lincoln question in a single statement, you can ask, "Where was Lincoln born?" then when it replies "Hodgenville, KY", you can then say "What is its population?", or "Show it on a map" and it will know from context that the "its" you're referring to, is Lincoln's birthplace.

Comment: Re:Vacuum? (Score 1) 298

by Forthan Red (#47072711) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?
"Shoe box" defines a purpose-built container, which continues to be shoe box, regardless of what you put in it. But "vacuum" defines what is (or specifically, isn't) in a container, but in no way defines that container. A shoe box is not altered by its contents, but a vacuum is. We tend to think of a vacuum as a space that's devoid of air, but that's an error. It's a space that's devoid of everything, So putting ball bearings in a sealed vacuum negates it as an actual vacuum, just as much as putting air in it.

Comment: Re:Vacuum? (Score 1) 298

by Forthan Red (#47072689) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?
The reason why your analogy doesn't fit, is because "closet" defines the container, not what's in the container (closet), whereas "vacuum" defines what's in the container, and says nothing about what the container is. You can put whatever you like in a closet, and it's still a closet, because "closet" defines the container and its built-for purpose, not what's in it. Your comparison is not even apples and oranges. It's apples and bicycles.

Comment: First, Be A Reader (Score 1) 149

by Forthan Red (#45143753) Attached to: Neil Gaiman On Why Libraries Are the Gates to the Future
If you want to have kids who are readers, then you first must set an example. If kids see their parents reading books for pleasure, they will be much more inclined to become readers. Read to your kids every day, until they start to learn to read, then have them read to you every day. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house where both my parents enjoyed reading, and a trip to the town library for new books was a weekly family event.

Comment: Discovered? (Score 2, Interesting) 49

by Forthan Red (#44763267) Attached to: Ken Wallis Autogyro Pioneer Dies At 97
The article says he made the "discovery of the offset rotor head". Was it lying in a field somewhere, and he tripped over it? Perhaps it was discovered growing on a tree in the Amazon Jungle? Or maybe the author is shortchanging Mr. Wallis by failing to use the correct word, "invented". Sadly, his invention not only made him no money, since he could not profit from patenting it (as he was in the RAF at the time, and any patent would belong to the crown), it doesn't even bare his name.

Comment: Everything Old Is New Again (Score 2) 120

by Forthan Red (#44602001) Attached to: Transportation Designs For a Future That Never Came
New York's first subway, built in 1870s, and long forgotten until a part of it was discovered during excavation, about a decade ago, was the Beach Pneumatic Transit. Created by Alfred Ely Beach, people sat in capsules which were driven through underground tubes via air pressure. A variety of circumstances prevented it from ever being extended beyond its initial demonstration length.
Science

Paper: Evolution Favors Cooperation Over Selfishness 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
Beeftopia writes "Conventional wisdom has suggested selfishness is most beneficial evolutionary strategy for humans, while cooperation is suboptimal. This dovetailed with a political undercurrent dating back more than a century, starting with social Darwinism. A new paper in the journal Nature Communications casts doubt on this school of thought. The paper shows that while selfishness is optimal in the short term, it fails in the long term. Cooperation is seen as the most effective long term human evolutionary strategy."
Transportation

Volvo's Electric Roads Concept Points To Battery-Free EV Future 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-holding-out-for-mr.-fusion dept.
Zothecula writes "While quick charging technology installed at strategic points along a planned route might be a good fit for inner city buses, it's not going to be of much use to electric vehicles that stop infrequently. Volvo sees our future long-haul trucks and buses drawing the juice they need from the road itself, making large onboard batteries a thing of the past. 'The two power rails/lines run along the road's entire length. One is a positive pole, and the other is used to return the current. The lines are sectioned so that live current is only delivered to a collector mounted at the rear of, or under, the truck if an appropriate signal is detected. As an additional safety measure, the current flows only when the vehicle is moving at speeds greater than 60 km/h (37 mph). "The vehicle is equipped with a radio emitter, which the road segments can sense," explains Volvo's Per-Martin Johnansson. "If an electric vehicle passes a road segment with a proper encrypted signal, then the road will energize the segments that sense the vehicle.'"

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