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Comment: Welcome to 1894: (Score 4, Insightful) 291

by Hartree (#46720559) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

This hoohah even managed to drag me and my BS detector back from Soylent.

(I'm blatantly stealing this quote from one Robert A. Nelson, but it sums up my point quite well.)

In 1894, Albert A. Michelson remarked that in physics there were no more fundamental discoveries to be made. Quoting Lord Kelvin, he continued, âoeAn eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.â

A few short years later, physics was grappling with two tiny details called quantum mechanics and special relativity.

I just got back from a talk outlining the unbelievable complexity involved in the assembly of fleeting RNA and protein complexes that are crucial in translating DNA to protein in our cells. What they are doing and how they do it is not at all well understood, regardless that our lives and that of all cellular/multicellular life depend critically on it.

Three weeks ago BICEP2 gave fair evidence of beyond standard model physics (How else can you characterize amplified quantum fluctuations in the field of gravity?). This is something that only happens at many many orders of magnitude greater energy than we've ever observed before.

And you propose to tell me that science is mostly finished but for tidying up "minor details"?

That's spelled "horseshit" where I come from.

Comment: Short answer: Yes, but it's not possible: (Score 1) 551

by Hartree (#46169023) Attached to: Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Whether the technologies are compatible is irrelevant.

The people are not compatible.

Further, many of the people have little desire to be compatible. The "other" side is seen as evil and disingenuous rather than just disagreeing. Compromise is thus impossible in the same way as the current Washington political situation. Gridlock. Forever. No quarter given or expected.

So, no worries, Dice Holdings. This will continue to be a profitable generator of page and ad views for the foreseeable future.

+ - Kansas drops plan for municipal broadband ban->

Submitted by Mokurai
Mokurai (458416) writes ""Facing public backlash over a Senate bill that would outlaw community broadband services statewide, Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, announced on Monday the postponement of hearings set to take place this week. Senate Bill 304 would prohibit cities and counties from building public broadband networks."

The bill was reportedly "introduced by John Federico, a cable industry lobbyist."

I didn't see this on SlashDot when it was introduced, but the Internet definitely responded to the threat of damage."

Link to Original Source

+ - EU Commission: Corruption across EU 'breathtaking,' Costs $160 bn / €120 bn->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The BBC reports, "The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has presented a full report on the problem. She said the true cost of corruption was "probably much higher" than 120bn. Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was widespread, and more than half said the level had increased. "The extent of the problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the countries with the least problems," Ms Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's Goeteborgs-Posten daily. The cost to the EU economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget. For the report the Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states. The Commission says it is the first time it has done such a survey. " — More at the Telegraph"
Link to Original Source

+ - Internet-Connected Cyberflora->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "For better or worse, it’s happening. Italian researchers are building a network of connected "cyborg" plants (plantborgs? cyplants? cyberflora?) to use as organic biosensors. The plants are embedded with a tiny electronic device to monitor things like pollution levels, overuse of chemicals, temperature, parasites, acid rain, and communicate the data through a wireless network back to the lab.

The project is called PLEASED, for PLants Employed As SEnsing Devices. It's slated to finish in May, and lead researcher Andrea Vitaletti, a computer engineer at W-LAB of the University of Rome, spoke to the EU media group about the process last week. (Hat tip to Wired for digging it up.)"

Link to Original Source

+ - Megatons to Megawatts Program Comes to a Close

Submitted by necro81
necro81 (917438) writes "In the aftermath of the Cold War, the disintegrating Soviet Union had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and tons of weapons-grade fissile material. In the economic and political turmoil, many feared that it would fall into unfriendly hands. However, thanks to the doggedness of an MIT professor, Dr. Thomas Neff, 500 metric tons of weapons grade material made its way into nuclear reactors in the United States through the Megatons to Megawatts program. During the program, about 10% of all electricity generated in the U.S came weapons once aimed at the country. Now, after nearly 20 years, the program is coming to an end as the final shipment of Soviet-era uranium, now nuclear fuel, arrived in Baltimore."

+ - What Happened Before The Big Bang? 1

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "For decades, the Big Bang was synonymous with the beginning of the Universe. This hot dense state — extrapolated all the way back to a singularity — described the earliest stages of the Universe and how we evolved from that point. But a little over three decades ago, it was realized that if cosmological inflation was added on to the Big Bang model, it would produce not only a few otherwise inexplicable observations, it would predict a new set of realities imprinted upon our Universe. Those predictions have matched our observations from satellites like WMAP and Planck, and we're as certain as we can be that this is, indeed, what happened before the Big Bang. If you still think the Big Bang was the very beginning, you're woefully out of date!"

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun