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Hardware

How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-man's-trash dept.
anavictoriasaavedra sends this quote from Wired: "Eccentric billionaires are tough to impress, so their minions must always think big when handed vague assignments. Ross Perot's staffers did just that in 2006, when their boss declared that he wanted to decorate his Plano, Texas, headquarters with relics from computing history. Aware that a few measly Apple I's and Altair 880's wouldn't be enough to satisfy a former presidential candidate, Perot's people decided to acquire a more singular prize: a big chunk of ENIAC, the "Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer." The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world's first true computer. The hardware that Perot's team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion.
Science

Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice 216

Posted by timothy
from the take-two-of-these-and-I'll-make-breakfast-in-the-morning dept.
Chipmunk100 writes In a research article in the journal Cell scientists report that there is a subset of neurons that are vital in social interest of female mice for males during estrus, the sexually receptive phase of their cycle. They say that these neurons are responsive to oxytocin. The level of oxytocin rise when we hug or kiss a loved one. The BBC has an article on the findings as well, and reports that Without [oxytocin], female mice were no more attracted to a mate than to a block of Lego ... [The affected] neurons are situated in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain important for personality, learning and social behaviour. Both when the hormone was withheld and when the cells were silenced, the females lost interest in mating during oestrous, which is when female mice are sexually active.

Comment: Re:FCC wants to preserve the monopoly (Score 3, Insightful) 188

by LocalH (#47277361) Attached to: Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

You seriously equate jammers with the "right not to be killed by some idiot on the road who decides that his right to text supersedes the fact that he's supposed to operate his vehicle in a safe manner"? What, are you jamming from your mobile vehicle? Great, so when you're passing a wreck, your jammer floods out the call they're currently making to 911, requiring a redial, costing precious seconds which could quite literally cost that person their life. All in your quest to stamp out texting and driving. News flash - all it takes is a single packet to make it through for a text to send.

Comment: Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (Score 2, Insightful) 646

by LocalH (#47267837) Attached to: Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

The person it's deriding gets to decide if it's offensive. That's kind of how it works. The white guy doesn't get to decide if Nigger is a bad word. The white guy doesn't get to decide if Chink is a bad word. The white guy doesn't get to decide if Redskin is a bad word. Etc etc etc...

In this day and age, the white guy doesn't get to decide if Cracker is a bad word, either.

Comment: Re:Infectious diseases ... (Score 1) 493

by LocalH (#47123973) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

The right to control your own body's count of infectious diseases ends when you associate with other people who may or may not be vaccinated, and thus spread the diseases to some of them. Similar to the fact that your right to punch into random directions ends when my nose is in one of those directions.

Comment: Re: Books aren't special (Score 4, Insightful) 211

by LocalH (#47116711) Attached to: Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

Spot on. I take issue with Amazon's handling of this not because of anything to do with whether books are a "consumer good" or not, which they clearly are in the first place (they're sold at retail, buyer gains first sale rights concerning the physical object, sounds pretty much like a good to me). It's because it's anti-consumer. It punishes people who dare to buy from vendors or publishers which the marketplace provider has some sort of issue with. It's exactly like the fights between cable/satellite providers and distributors. The only thing they do is punish the people who enjoy the things they air. Exactly like those situations, we have public communication from each entity blaming the other and confusing the average person. I half-expect Amazon to start putting a little ad-size box on pages for Hachette books "explaining" to the potential buyer why they shouldn't even buy the book in the first place, and Hachette adding extra pages into Amazon-destined copies explaining how shitty Amazon is.

It's all a big dick-waving contest and doesn't help anyone but the one with the biggest dick.

Comment: Re:Books aren't special (Score 3, Interesting) 211

by LocalH (#47115623) Attached to: Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

But things that are considered consumer goods, like many technologies, are not completely fungible by that standard. Sure, you have devices that can serve the same purpose, but in most cases they're not really interchangeable without some major changes in what you're doing. You can't really replace a Wii U with an Xbox One and consider them "completely fungible".

Comment: Re: Yeah, but.... (Score 3, Insightful) 1198

by LocalH (#47114999) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

The problem isn't misogyny itself, on an individual basis, any more than the problem is invidualized misandry. The problem is when such hate is institutionalized, and I think it's arguable that institutionalized misogyny is at its lowest point in decades. If you start trying to tell individuals what's right and wrong to think, then you are dangerously close to Orwellian thoughtcrime for my tastes. What matters is how people act, which is where any protections need to be placed.

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

by LocalH (#46708289) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

When you gain the power that comes with being a police officer, then everything you do when on duty and filling that official capacity should be open to public scrutiny. Since abuses of that power have very direct and damaging effects on the victims of said abuses, I feel that all officers must sacrifice some of their freedom, while on the job, in order to help protect civilian rights. Those who are good officers that go by the book in every situation (outside of emergency situations that can and do occur, that require nearly instantaneous reaction time) and don't abuse their power have nothing to worry about - if something bad happens that is questionable, having a record of it would also protect the officer.

Yes, I realize that's dangerously close to "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide". However, there is a difference between applying that to civilian individuals (including off-duty police officers) who have a very real right to privacy, and applying it to people who we have allowed to have legal power above and beyond what we allow civilians to do (for example, while civilians in many areas have the right to make a "citizen's arrest", they most likely do not have the right to use physical force to detain that individual, whereas the police do have that right). With power comes the responsibility to ensure that those powers are used properly, and having such interactions recorded as a matter of law protects the civilian and the officer.

I personally think this would be a good idea with civilians too, but the difference is, with officers (and other public officials with power above an ordinary civilian), those recording devices should be mandated by law and such footage available for review by any member of the public, but with civilians, the control over such devices (and indeed, the entire decision to wear them at all) should rest with the individual device owner. I really wish people would get over their Google Glass hangups and realize that, while in public, there is no right not to be recorded. Having a record of the day's interactions (that would automatically fade into the ether after, say, 24 hours, unless a segment is explicitly reviewed by the user and saved) would help prevent or at least reduce the "he said, she said" arguments that sometimes occur when a claim is made, because there is an impartial record of what happened (and in fact, in a society that doesn't have such a hangup about "public privacy", all parties would be recording, making for a way to corroborate what happened and have a fighting chance at detecting editing or other tampering).

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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