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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - NASA,DARPA want you for futuristic space dialogue ->

Submitted by
coondoggie writes "DARPA and NASA Ames Research Center today said they are soliciting abstracts, papers, topics and members for discussion panels, to be part of the 100 Year Starship Study Symposium to be held in Orlando, Fla., from September 30 through October 2, 2011.

  "This won't just be another space technology conference — we're hoping that ethicists, lawyers, science fiction writers, technologists and others, will participate in the dialog to make sure we're thinking about all the aspects of interstellar flight," said David Neyland, director of the Tactical Technology Office for DARPA."

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+ - Human Skin Cells Converted Directly to Neurons-> 1

Submitted by Dr. Eggman
Dr. Eggman (932300) writes "Standford's School of Medicine brings us an update in the latest achievements towards in-vitro neuron generation via re differentiation of specialized cells (skin cells in this case.) This important progress follows on last year's success in inducing this change with mice skin cells.

The importance of this line of research lies in that the process does not need to first de-differentiate the skin cells into a kind of stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells. By skipping this phase, the process avoids potential problems in the body's rejection of the iPS cells.

Amazingly, the transformation occurs with the added presence of 4 proteins (one more protein than need to induce the effect in mice) over several weeks (compared to a few days in mice.) Research continues as the study highlights the significant differences in mice and human neural cells as well as the success rate of transformation (2-4% for human cells, 20% for mice.) The resultant cells aren't yet as capable as naturally derived neurons; generating less-robust electrical signals."

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+ - Doom Creator: Cloud Gaming to be 'Significant'->

Submitted by donniebaseball23
donniebaseball23 (1888144) writes "id Software co-founder John Carmack is not only one of the game industry's true pioneers, having helped establish the first-person shooter genre with Doom and Quake, but he's also an expert on many technologies. Carmack sees a bright future ahead for cloud-based gaming. Even though there are currently some quality issues, convenience will win out for consumers, he told IndustryGamers. "I'll go out a little bit on a limb and say that I think cloud gaming will eventually be a significant part of the landscape. Consumers have shown over and over again that convenience can often more than offset some quality issues," he said."
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+ - How Gamification Could Eat Itself->

Submitted by
curtwoodward writes "In barely a year, the idea of spreading game mechanics to the broader consumer world has exploded. At a Seattle startup working to gamify personal finance, Scott Dodson worries the hype will turn gamification into a soulless marketing trend — and sink a whole bunch of potentially important uses."
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+ - Fulushima Reactor 1 had a full meltdown->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "

Spokesman for the power giant said when a faulty gauge had been repaired, it showed water levels in the pressure vessel 5m (16ft) below the level needed to cover fuel rods.

"All the fuel is unprotected at this point and the water levels are below that," said Junichi Matsumoto. "However temperatures in the reactor pressure vessel have cooled to 100 to 120 degrees so we have come to the conclusion that the fuel mass... is actually not at the proper levels but somewhat below that or even possibly at the bottom of the vessel."

Experts said the announcement from Tepco did not mean that the situation at the plant had worsened because it was likely that the fuel had dropped to the bottom of the core soon after the 11 March earthquake.

So it appears that the worst-case scenario has happened at Reactor 1 within a few days of complete plant blackout caused by the tsunami — a full meltdown."
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+ - CPU cycles an average human consumes in a lfetime

Submitted by Hazee Daze
Hazee Daze (998624) writes "A friend and I were having lunch and he got on the topic of his Java programming class. He mentioned one of his assignments was to sort ten thousand double objects, which led us to conjecture how many CPU cycles it took to perform this. It made me wonder how many CPU cycles a person might "consume" in a lifetime. I'm not smart enough to figure this one out, but made me wonder what the Slashdot folks might say."

+ - Did Some Black Holes Survive the Big Bang?->

Submitted by
astroengine writes "Could anything survive from one universe to the next, through a Big Crunch and resulting Big Bang? According to two researchers, a special class of pre-Big Bang black hole may have the ability to traverse the Big Bang singularity. The upshot is that there may be black holes that existed before the Big Bang knocking around in our modern universe. What's more, we might be able to detect them through the theorized gamma-ray burst produced when these pre-Big Bang black holes evaporate out of existence. But how would we distinguish between these black holes and the primordial black holes thought to be produced after the Big Bang? Well, that's just too confusing right now."
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+ - How Risky is a Nuclear Doomsday Machine?->

Submitted by
Martin Hellman
Martin Hellman writes "How risky is it to build a nuclear arsenal that has the ability to destroy civilization? That is the fundamental question raised in my paper “How risky is nuclear optimism?” in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. While nuclear deterrence is not usually referred to as a Doomsday Machine, its other name, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), brings out its similarity to the contraption in Stanley Kubrik's 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. It is time to start Defusing the Nuclear Threat by dismantling our Doomsday Machine!"
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Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein