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Comment Prelude to Mars? (Score 1) 105 105

With a thick atmosphere and oceans and wide open plains everywhere there is little engineering justification to landing a rocket when you can simply pop a parachute.

But Mars has a thin atmosphere and you need a working rocket to come home. Are the fins a lattice to simulate mar's thin air?

Elon is nothing if not forward looking...

Comment Don't forget the 12C Financial and it's forbearers (Score 1) 702 702

Used to be on conference calls to close a deal and could scribble with one hand on a yellow legal pad and work the N, PMT, I, PV, FV buttons with my other thumb. Still emulated on the IPad (and sold by HP)... In it's realm nothing better came along after. Do you miss the good old days?

Submission + - Cognitive Computing For All: IBM Releases A Legion Of Watsons

malachiorion writes: The first examples of what developers can do with the new Watson API are pretty lame—health coaching, personal shopping... But the tech behind Watson, and its transition from a single system to a cloud-based species, essentially, of cognitive computing software, is a very big deal. My analysis for Popular Science:

Comment John McCarthy once said... (Score 2) 88 88

John McCarthy, who coined the term Artificial Intelligence, once said:

"We sent a grant proposal to ARPA a while ago. We proposed to build an AI Robot system that could read the instructions and assemble a Heathkit radio. We estimated the project would take 18 months and cost $87,000."

Everyone sitting in the Stanford AI class laughed.

"It always seems we're just 18 months and $87,000 away from everything in AI..." John concluded.

The year was 1975...

Comment Mars life will be DNA based (Score 3, Interesting) 79 79

Panspermia is the theory that life is ubiquitous and travels from planet to planet and star to star. Less unlikely than it seems. For example, dormant spores trapped in salt crystals 25 million years old rejuvenated themselves when released. Life is hardy.

Which of three theories seems on the right side of Occam's Razor:
    That life is unique to Earth (where it is all DNA/RNA based)?
    That life originates in novel non-DNA based ways independently on each planet?
    or that DNA-based life is mobile, seeds planets from above, and then evolves to suit each new environment?

(Wait, I think that could be a Slahdot poll...)

I believe we will find the same is true for life in the the seas of Europa, and elsewhere, too.

Comment Ugh! Is Microsoft is the best BI value? (Score 4, Funny) 57 57

Dreaded Microsoft has SQL Server packages including SQL Server, SSIS ETL tools, SSAS OLAP and SSRS Reporting with licenses starting well under $2,000. Much better than Oracle's cobbled-together BI at a fraction of the price.

Hold your disgust and consider this fully functional, enterprise quality BI suite. Good support and good community, too.

Comment You can't move a coal mine overseas but... (Score 1) 510 510

... you can automate it.

Service workers are the only group with a chance to defend their unions. (but watch out for those proposed McDonalds robo-flippers) Nurses, teachers, fireman, DMV workers, etc can't be offshored.

But imagine the uproar if DMV and other government backshop workers were offshored to India. Your taxes processed in Bangalore. LOL (or not)


Submission + - Is Facebook hacked?

Invisible Now writes: I've been trying to get Facebook since I got to work on the West Coast and all I get is text hash. I wanted to post a funny item satirizing Facebook's decision to override the 88% of voters who want to keep voting on privacy policies one of Facebook's policies. Facebook says voting didn't meet it's 300+ million quorum requirement. Did someone take this personally?

Comment Clean water example (Score 1) 412 412

I work for a clean-tech company that generates and reuses the ultra-pure water wet lines need for the manufacture of semiconductors, solar, disk drives and other high tech items. As importantly, not only the water is recycled, but as an integral part of our patented processes, production chemicals are recycled,and never leave the four walls of the fab. Fabs can use more than one thousand gallons of water per MINUTE. Water resources are growing scarce and have become a major constraint on available sites for new plants. Even worse, the toxic chemicals that get discharged can screw up everything for people downstream.. The irony is our point of use solutions can reduce costs compared to conventional technologies by 70%. We are growing fast, but the word needs to get out that there are better, more ethical ways, to produce the high tech goodies we all enjoy.

Submission + - Who's cracked iTunes?

Invisible Now writes: I just went through an onerous, repetitive reset of my iTunes account. Like they're panicked about security. Email send back. Strong password reset. A goofy and mandatory three security questions. (My least favorite teacher...really!!?). What happened to the classic favorite pet'sname?
Somethings afoot... Who know's why Apple's panicked?

If you didn't have to work so hard, you'd have more time to be depressed.