Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I want this to be true, but... (Score 1) 472

by khayman80 (#49598551) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

No, that's actually why the U.S. patent office stopped accepting applications for perpetual motion machine patents. They wasted uncountable hours debunking experiments that seemed plausible at first glance but always just ended up wasting everyone's time.

It's not just that Shawyer's claims violate conservation of momentum. The Alcubierre and Natario drives also violate conservation of momentum, but at least they explain that violation in the context of Noether's theorem. In contrast, Shawyer just made a ridiculous mistake by forgetting that the normal force a microwave photon exerts on a surface is always normal to that surface. Sadly, Shawyer seems to have duped a lot of otherwise skeptical people into uncritically cheerleading his absurd claims.

Comment: Re:One thing I can say about John Cornyn - (Score 1) 56

by pecosdave (#49594579) Attached to: US Senate Targets Patent Trolls

I hadn't kept up with Gohmert all that much. I did some homework on him last night and this morning.

Not near the level of stupid as Sheila Jackson Lee.

400 year old constitution, talking about North and South Vietnam and their place in the world of politics, says she's a freed slave, wants TSA on buses, not to mention outright racist rants and abuse of her own office staff. Gohmert screwed up on the balanced budget amendment, said some hilarious things about caribou, and has made some other screw ups, but isn't even playing in the same foam-lined playground as Sheila Jackson Lee.

Comment: Re:The good news is... (Score 5, Insightful) 210

by bigman2003 (#49589461) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

Ha! It WAS me!

I was a really good developer. Then a great developer (in my mind, and others) so I moved up the ranks.

I was pretty good, and made it to the top of the tech heap at a fairly large organization, with 3 levels of employees under me.

It was horrible. I did a really crappy job.

Instead of being a great developer or architect, I become a HORRIBLE business contract negotiator and director. I got involved in 2 HR actions at the same time. I completely failed. In fact I think I 'Petered Out'.

I bailed on that life, and found an organization willing to match my salary- back down at a developer position. I'm a nominal supervisor to 2 people.

I really think I am doing great work again- even better than before, because my viewpoint is even better. I love being a developer, and they love what I'm doing.

The Peter Principal is real. I was promoted beyond my abilities, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Being really good at something doesn't necessarily mean that I'm able to manage a bunch of other people.

Comment: Re: perform beyond your norm (Score 2) 407

by TaoPhoenix (#49526745) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

This comment is why this topic is so dangerous.

See my note elsewhere to get past the "there is no proof" type responses.

The meds *do* work, *both* normal and ADD people.

So then it's sometimes the tipping point between having a certain job or not. So then your salary is dependent on this choice. I do have ADD, and they DO help. When I don't take them, the results often show up in "irrational blunders", both technical and emotional. "No one cares" why you are "a substandard employee" - they're not going to get into high end ethics.

Science Fiction has been nervous about this for decades, (and a lot of other emerging topics!), so we'd better go back to the classics to see what other people thought before us.


The real problem is not about skipping sleep - let's assume we all get sleep. But these meds for example let us perform more intricate work at a level that makes/breaks our job. So with all the forces of the 99%/etc making us need serious money to survive, even "the right to live" (aka food and rent!), then that's where the real sticking point comes, before it's all the Black Shakes.

Comment: Re:"No Controlled Studies" - incorrect (Score 1) 407

by TaoPhoenix (#49526715) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

"There are no controlled studies that show any productivity benefit to a normal person taking Adderall."

Sorry to hurt your Insightful rating, but looks like some new info just came in.

Link-Chain starting from Wikipedia:
(Best use of Wiki - start there, then follow the sources)
Performance-enhancing section

"A 2015 meta-analysis of high quality clinical trials confirmed that therapeutic doses of amphetamine and methylphenidate result in modest improvements in performance on working memory, episodic memory, and inhibitory control tests in normal healthy adults.[32] Therapeutic doses of amphetamine also enhance cortical network efficiency, an effect which mediates improvements in working memory in all individuals.[21][33] Amphetamine and other ADHD stimulants also improve task saliency (motivation to perform a task) and increase arousal (wakefulness), in turn promoting goal-directed behavior.[21][34][35] Stimulants such as amphetamine can improve performance on difficult and boring tasks and are used by some students as a study and test-taking aid." [21][34][36]

Sources 21,32,33,34, 35 are:
Higher Cognitive Function and Behavioral Control". In Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill Medical. p. 318. ISBN 9780071481274.

  Ilieva IP, Hook CJ, Farah MJ (January 2015). "Prescription Stimulants' Effects on Healthy Inhibitory Control, Working Memory, and Episodic Memory: A Meta-analysis". J. Cogn. Neurosci.: 1â"21. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00776. PMID 25591060.

Devous MD, Trivedi MH, Rush AJ (April 2001). "Regional cerebral blood flow response to oral amphetamine challenge in healthy volunteers". J. Nucl. Med. 42 (4): 535â"542. PMID 11337538.

Wood S, Sage JR, Shuman T, Anagnostaras SG (January 2014). "Psychostimulants and cognition: a continuum of behavioral and cognitive activation". Pharmacol. Rev. 66 (1): 193â"221. doi:10.1124/pr.112.007054. PMID 24344115.

Malenka RC, Nestler EJ, Hyman SE (2009). "Chapter 10: Neural and Neuroendocrine Control of the Internal Milieu". In Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill Medical. p. 266. ISBN 9780071481274. "Dopamine acts in the nucleus accumbens to attach motivational significance to stimuli associated with reward."

Comment: Re:Education is a red herring (Score 1) 289

by TaoPhoenix (#49518487) Attached to: Robot Workers' Real Draw: Reducing Dependence on Human Workers

It is true there is a couple of spots where the worker tradeoff is closer to 1-1, such as how computers used to be the domain of "revenge of the nerds" (is there ever a movie that captures a changing mood better than that one!?) and now everyone wants "good computer skills", but I do agree you can't just replace workers at even 10-1 ratios forever like free lunch.

A big problem as I see it is that the entire science of economics (no snark jokes, please! It *is* a science, just one stuck with dealing with the trickiest phenomena to prove EVER!) often resembles Klein Bottles, so that even if we all agree you are right as a discussion item, then the powers that be can still drag us into a twisty mess of obfuscation long enough to take care of themselves in the "short term" of the next 10 years. After all, 2025's problems are ... "theirs".

Comment: Re:computer program could assist (Score 1) 237

by TaoPhoenix (#49473037) Attached to: Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament

I guess I am getting old - the relentless Slashdot decline is finally getting to me. Slashdot couldn't be bothered to report (much?) on *either* of the chess world championships (the Women's just finished), but they pick up the story about cheating ... and it's not filed under "Games ... Classic Games", but ... wait for it ... filed under iPhone. And then only 20% of the comments are intelligent, and the rest are silly snarks about what is basically the biggest issue facing chess today. You'd think with the brainpower this site commands when we're not exhausted fighting Beta, there could be a couple of cool chess discussions...

So I'll reply to you because your guesses are very close.

Unlike that Romanian guy from last year, this guy is not a putz. He is well into the high master range, leaving the first question "exactly how high without help". So let's just suppose at least low 2400's. As well as checking proposed moves, there is a huge component of "energy saving" where you just let the program "blundercheck" so that in a nightmare mess on the board, just tell the program "look five moves ahead and don't drop a piece or get crushed". So while your opponent is doing things to his hair trying to work out the interlocked chains of variations, the computer just says "hey, take a serious look at this other rook move - looks like it holds everything together for your requested five moves or more". So you play that, and a couple of the resulting forced followup moves, and then four moves later you're fresh and finally, out of exhaustion, your opponent blunders and you just mop up.

And it's getting so bad that AC's are wondering about bathroom rules ... just do the math on 175 bodies in a room for over four hours. You can't easily at all start a regulated tracking system on that!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy