Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:The London Bus is a good place to start (Score 2) 485

by JakartaDean (#47868305) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars
I've long thought flywheels were an ideal component of an urban bus, but you wouldn't need them for an electric bus with batteries since the motors are efficient-enough generators under braking. For a diesel bus they make a lot of sense in theory, but machining them is expensive, and to be really efficient they would need to spin really, really fast, with possibly deadly results if it begins to wobble.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1, Insightful) 465

by JakartaDean (#47727051) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

But the bottom line is: people aren't as stupid as you'd like to think they are...

Your post is strong evidence that at least one of us is. Since you're taking on and defaming scientists as a group, perhaps you would care to share your analysis leading to your figures of "trillions" and "5%".

+ - IBM Creates Custom-Made Brain-Like Chip

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a paper published Thursday in Science, IBM describes its creation of a brain-like chip called TrueNorth. It has "4,096 processor cores, and it mimics one million human neurons and 256 million synapses, two of the fundamental biological building blocks that make up the human brain." What's the difference between TrueNorth and traditional processign units? Apparently, TrueNorth encodes data "as patterns of pulses". Already, TrueNorth has a proven 80% accuracy in image recognition with a power consumption efficiency rate beating traditional processing units. Don't look for brain-like chips in the open market any time soon, though. TrueNorth is part of a DARPA research effort that may or may not translate into significant changes in commercial chip architecture and function."

+ - Origami-inspired robot folds itself—and walks away->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Using origami-inspired computing, researchers have built a crawling robot that assembles itself in 4 minutes. The team made a five-layer composite out of paper, a flexible circuit board, and shape-memory polymers that contract when heated to 100C. Heat generated locally by the embedded circuits triggers hinges in the composite to fold, while mechanical features in the composite determine how far and in what direction each hinge bends. The precise folding pattern is generated by origami design software and programmed into the robot’s microcontroller. Once the machine is assembled, a motor interacts with linkage structures in its legs to drive it crawling and turning without human intervention. The researchers hope this early prototype will eventually lead to cheap, quick, and customized robot manufacture. One possibility: mass deploying the flat robots into collapsed buildings to navigate small spaces in search-and-rescue missions."
Link to Original Source

Schneier: The US Intelligence Community has a Third Leaker->

From feed by bsfeed
Ever since The Intercept published this story about the US government's Terrorist Screening Database, the press has been writing about a "second leaker": The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration. The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after...
Link to Original Source

+ - US Supreme Court affirms legislative prayers are constitutional

Submitted by JakartaDean
JakartaDean (834076) writes "Eugene Volokh, in the Washington Times, says, "The Court is unanimous in its view that, generally speaking, some legislative prayers are constitutionally permissible." Even the dissenters agree that "such a forum need not become a religion-free zone." Apparently the whole thing is based on tradition: "Under Marsh, legislative prayer has a distinctive constitutional warrant by virtue of tradition." Is this really the best the USA can come up with in terms of decision making at the highest level?"

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 119

by JakartaDean (#46882199) Attached to: Bloomberg's Trading Terminals Now Providing Bitcoin Pricing

Everybody who's against Bitcoin is mad because they didn't mine it in the early days.

I didn't invest in google in the early days either, but I don't hate them.

I hate bitcoin for a number of reason. The few that top the list: 1) I hate the idea of having all of these computers working harder and harder, using more and more energy, and every day there being more miners setting up more computers, all of it in an unproductive pursuit of nothing but wealth. The energy wasted for no real societal gain makes it more socially useless than a marketing department for a law firm.

2) The price varies so wildly, but it's all based off of nothing. At least with stocks, you have company metrics and financials you can at least try to use to figure out where it's going. At least with national currencies, you can look at what the country is doing politically and financially to try and guess where the currency is going. With bithcoin, it's like it's decided by a magic eight ball...there is nothing you can base decisions on other than a random guess.

Here's where we disagree. I don't believe fundamentals influence, in any way, exchange rates. What influences exchange rates is only expectations of future exchange rates. These are regularly very different from past experience. I speak from intense personal experience in Indonesia in 1999, when the rate of the local currency dropped from 2,500 to the dollar to more than 15,000 in a little more than a month.

Stock prices yes, exchange rates no -- they are solely based on subjective impressions of future trends.

Comment: Re:yes, I've used a Professional Engineer. also a (Score 1) 183

by JakartaDean (#46798213) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

That's actually an interesting engineering ethics issue: Can you, as a licensed software engineer, in good conscience release software under any license with such clauses, without totally violating your responsibilities and duties as an engineer?

Why not? As long as you explicitly note that you are NOT guaranteeing it under your engineering license, and you aren't providing it under conditions where signed-off software would be required, why would it be unethical?

Ethics -- in general, not in the sense of a legislated code of ethics -- requires I stand by any guarantees I make. It doesn't require I always make such guarantees.

Actually, in Canada I believe you can't do what you're proposing, and that is probably true for many other common law countries. You can't turn off your professionalism, because you can't withdraw from the duty of care you owe to your customers (even if you're not paid). This is due to the Hedley-Burne decision

I learned this almost 30 years ago in Engineering school, but I'm reasonably certain it still holds.

+ - Born to RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Still hanging on to a dog-eared copy of BASIC Computer Games? Back issues of Creative Computing? Well then, Bunky, mark your calendar for April 30th, because Dartmouth College is throwing BASIC a 50th birthday party that you won't want to miss! From the "invite" to BASIC at 50: "At 4 a.m. on May 1, 1964, in the basement of College Hall, Professor John Kemeny and a student programmer simultaneously typed RUN on neighboring terminals. When they both got back correct answers to their simple programs, time-sharing and BASIC were born. Kemeny, who later became Dartmouth's 13th president, Professor Tom Kurtz, and a number of undergraduate students worked together to revolutionize computing with the introduction of time-sharing and the BASIC programming language. Their innovations made computing accessible to all Dartmouth students and faculty, and soon after, to people across the nation and the world [video — young Bill Gates cameo @2:18]. This year, Dartmouth is celebrating 50 years of BASIC with a day of events on Wednesday, April 30. Please join us as we recognize the enduring impact of BASIC, showcase innovation in computing at Dartmouth today, and imagine what the next 50 years may hold." Be sure to check out the vintage photos on Flickr to see what real cloud computing looks like, kids!"

Comment: Sony not Youtube? (Score 3, Interesting) 306

Well, first of all many major copyright holders have special deals with YouTube where they don't actually send DMCA requests. In that case it's just a private agreement between Sony and YouTube on content monitoring, at best you have a slander suit but no basis for a perjury. Secondly, they may have a legal claim to copyright on the whole clip reel as a collection - basically the selection and composition of clips - and that's enough to get them out of the perjury part. In generic terms, "Under penatlity of perjury, we are the copyright holders of movie X. We believe that the posted scene Y is in violation of our copyright on X." Even if that last part is wrong because it's freely licensed or in the public domain or for some other reason not eligible for copyright it's not under perjury. It sucks, but any competent lawyer will manage to wiggle Sony out of any trouble.

The youtube page in fact says: "This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

Assuming they're as careful with their language as I am, that says the Sony, not Youtube, initiated the takedown.

Comment: Why??? (Score 5, Insightful) 232

by JakartaDean (#46627005) Attached to: Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video

Why would she allow a prejudicial video when an alternative, with no products from either side, is available? The entire text of her ruling reads:

Samsung’s objection to Apple’s proposed version of the Federal Judicial Center instructional video (ECF No. 1534) is overruled. The parties shall bring the November 2013 version of the video, “The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors,” and shall include the handout referenced in the video in the jury binders.

The article apparently originally appeared on so better to use primary source (which has the ruling and both videos.

Comment: Re:Not to be too cynical but (Score 1) 49

by JakartaDean (#46618795) Attached to: How Ford's Virtual Reality Lab Helps Engineers

The old Beetles were so light that it was often possible to simply _lift_ or push them out of trouble when they got stuck in snow or mud: they actually floated for a while if they ever landed in water. Lifting them out of trable happened repeatedly when I was much younger and snow plows buried my old car.

I recall many years ago in high school a great prank. An occasional supply teacher we didn't much like drove a Beetle. One day six of us lifted it from the parking lot and placed it between two trees, one touching each bumper. I never learned how he got it out.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.