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Earth

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels 635

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-this-doesn't-mean-global-warming-isn't-real dept.
schwit1 writes Scientists have declared a new record has been set for the extent of Antarctic sea ice since records began. Satellite imagery reveals an area of about 20 million square kilometers covered by sea ice around the Antarctic continent. Jan Lieser from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) said the discovery was made two days ago. "Thirty-five years ago the first satellites went up which were reliably telling us what area, two dimensional area, of sea ice was covered and we've never seen that before, that much area."
Shark

Scientists Record Quantum Behavior of Electrons Via Laser Lights 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the spinning-lasers dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about a breakthrough in recording quantum behavior in electrons. A group of researchers has said that they have come up with a new method to record and control electron behavior at the quantum mechanical level. The research team, headed by the scientists at the University of Chicago, used laser lights in ultra-fast pulses for the experiment. The laser light controlled the quantum state of electrons. It contained inside nanoscale defects in a diamond. The researchers observed changes in that electron over a time period. They focused on the quantum mechanical property of electrons known as spin. Lead author David Awschalom, a molecular engineering professor at a university in Chicago, said, "These defects have attracted great interest of the scientists over the past decade. They provide a test-bed system for developing semiconductor quantum bits as well as nanoscale sensors."

Comment: Re:A truly smart person ... (Score 0) 391

by Maow (#47653543) Attached to: Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Not true. I work with EE faculty, and a number of them can't seem to grasp the concept that the being a brilliant engineer doesn't automatically confer one with expertise in diverse other areas such as patent law, accounting, videography, etc.

I'll agree and add a couple more topics that engineers often make fools of them self in: politics and climate science.

And, to be fair, it's not just engineers that suffer this; it's any highly trained individual who lacks humility.

United States

Leaked Docs Show Spyware Used To Snoop On US Computers 135

Posted by timothy
from the who's-zoomin'-who dept.
Advocatus Diaboli writes Software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain, according to a leaked trove of documents analyzed by ProPublica. It's not clear whether the surveillance was conducted by governments or private entities. Customer e-mail addresses in the collection appeared to belong to a German surveillance company, an independent consultant in Dubai, the Bosnian and Hungarian Intelligence services, a Dutch law enforcement officer, and the Qatari government.
Power

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use 710

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-build-a-few-nuclear-reactors dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes with news that a UK study has found that folks concerned about climate change don't do much to conserve power at home. From the article: Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is "too far into the future to worry about," the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and climate change found. That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a "weak trend" to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use. The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. The report (PDF), by experts from Loughborough University and Cambridge Architectural Research, was commissioned and published by DECC. High power use doesn't have to be dirty: Replace coal, methane, and petroleum with nuclear, wind, solar, etc.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 3, Informative) 178

by Maow (#47429875) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

1. I'm not interested in being brow beaten by some fool more interested in winning an argument then in addressing the argument.

If you're going to keep attempting an ad hominem then I'm going to simply not talk to you. And then what will you have accomplished? ...you're going to get asinine...

Jeez, pot meet kettle.

To top it off, he addressed your points quite well and it appears that it's you that seems intent upon winning an argument with your long-winded reply, which, of course, doesn't specifically and concretely address the issues raised by the person you're replying to.

Funding to reproduce coming from same institution? So they'll have half the money for original research then. And the suckers tasked with the reproduction won't be advancing their own careers under the Publish (original, ground breaking work) Or Perish model used today.

Like it was stated, in a fairly appropriate analogy, reproducing others' work is akin to re-writing a new software project - in software dev, it's a losing game.

In science it's important, but like in software dev, the boss isn't interested. And while the result may be beneficial, it's hard to convince people that it's a rewarding career move to play catch-up to others' work.

Having said all that, I think we all agree that reproducibility is important -- question is, how to go about it as the current system kinda disfavours it in all but the most important projects.

We need to implement specific, concrete changes -- having grad students do some of that is a good idea, but not sure if it'll completely solve the issue.

But laymen will at least understand what has and has not be verified. That is important. Science cannot be something only scientists understand any more then the law can be something only lawyers understand.

Laymen will never understand cutting edge science (unless they're quite keen on the topic at hand - a miniscule minority), and any layman that thinks they understand the law as well as lawyers generally get their arses handed to them should they attempt pro se representation.

Specialization in complex fields is natural.

Robotics

Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots 530

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the human-workers-sent-to-protein-bank dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes The largest private employer in all of China and one of the biggest supply chain manufacturers in the world, Foxconn announced it will soon start using robots to help assemble devices at its several sprawling factories across China. Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest partners to help assemble its iPhones, iPads, will be the first company to use the new service. Foxconn said its new "Foxbots" will cost roughly $20,000 to $25,000 to make, but individually be able to build an average of 30,000 devices. According to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, the company will deploy 10,000 robots to its factories before expanding the rollout any further. He said the robots are currently in their "final testing phase."

+ - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?"
Shark

Many Lasers Become One In Lockheed Martin's 30 kW Laser Weapon 202

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ready-main-phaser-array dept.
Zothecula writes "In another step forward for laser weapons that brings to mind the Death Star's superlaser, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser produced by combining many lasers into a single beam of light. According to the company, this is the highest power laser yet that was still able to maintain beam quality and electrical efficiency, paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land, and sea military platforms."

Comment: Re:For all the USA haters on Slashdot (Score 1) 198

by Maow (#46137559) Attached to: First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

"Inventing the Internet" gives you the same rights over the international Internet as "inventing the English language" gives over English speakers.

I think I lost your point. Are you saying that England has the right to decide if it's spelled "colour" or "color" in the US?

Perhaps you're playing stupid on the Internet, or maybe you're just thick, so I'll spell it out for you.

If the USA wants to spell colour "kulor", England can't stop them.

England "invented" English. USA can do with it what they want.

USA "invented" the Internet. The world can do (or ought to be able to do) with it what it wants.

I believe that is what the +5 Insightful AC above you was getting at.

Comment: Re:The real motive (Score 1) 218

by Maow (#46137419) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

No unions? Sign me up!

Yet conservatives may be shocked to learn that their idol Reagan was once a union boss himself. Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement.

And Reagan said this regarding unions:

By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.

So you modern conservatives even make Ronald Reagan look like a leftist. And guess what? He was no leftist.

That ought to give you reason to consider your blind partisanship, but something tells me that would be highly unlikely.

AI

Silicon Brains That Think As Fast As a Fly Can Smell 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Researchers in Germany have discovered what they say is a way to get computers to do more than execute all the steps of a problem-solving calculation as fast as possible – by getting them to imitate the human brain's habit of finding shortcuts to the right answer. A team of scientists from Freie Universität Berlin, the Bernstein Center Berlin, and Heidelberg University have refined the idea of parallel computing into one they describe as neuromorphic computing. In their design, a whole series of processors designed as silicon neurons rather than ordinary CPUs are linked together in a network similar to the highly interconnected mesh that links nerve cells in the human brain. Problems fed into the neuro mesh are broken up and processed in parallel, but not always using the same process. The method by which neuromorphic processors handle problems varies with the way they're linked together, as is the case with neurons in the brain. The chips are designed to copy the layout and functions of brain cells, but the way they're interconnected is based on another highly efficient biological model. 'The design of the network architecture has been inspired by the odor-processing nervous system of insects,' said one of the researchers. 'This system is optimized by nature for a highly parallel processing of the complex chemical world.' In tests using real-world datasets, the prototype was able to match the performance of specialized Bayeseian pattern-matching systems. Even better, the stable decisions reached by 'output neuron populations' take approximately 100 milliseconds, which is the same speed required by the insect nervous systems on which the network design is based, according to the paper."

Comment: Re:Voice assistant (Score 1) 113

by Maow (#46084957) Attached to: Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

No they weren't. Cellphones were cool from the start. At least, around here anyway. Everyone wanted one. The problem with glass is the same with bluetooth headsets. People ware them even when they're not using them... which makes you look like a douche. Once Google has these embedded in regular glasses this will stop being an issue.

Agree with the first part, but on BlueTooth headsets - what's one supposed to do with them, take them off and pocket them? That risks losing them. I leave mine in place, even when turned off, when I'm out and about. 'Cause I know I'd lose it otherwise.

Maybe it helps that I grew up in a household where hearing aids were worn by a family member, so having something in the ear was normal. On the other hand, I hated wearing ear buds for the longest time, 'til I recognized the usefulness of them.

+ - Edward Snowden says NSA engages in industrial espionage-> 2

Submitted by Maow
Maow (620678) writes "Snowden has been interviewed by a German TV network and stated that the NSA is involved in industrial espionage, which is outside the range of national security.

He claims that Siemens is a prime example of a target for the data collection.

I doubt this would suprise AirBus or other companies, but it shall remain to be seen what measures global industries take (if any) to prevent their internal secrets from falling into NSA's — and presumably American competitors' — hands."

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