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+ - NASA awards "space taxi" contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX->

Submitted by ugen
ugen (93902) writes "Contrary to the rumor posted on Slashdot earlier today, "NASA will partner with Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday... Boeing was awarded $4.2 billion to SpaceX's $2.6 billion. ""
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+ - The evolution of PTSD treatment since WWII

Submitted by storagedude
storagedude (1517243) writes "In the course of writing an article on my father’s WWII experiences, it was interesting to note how PTSD treatment has evolved since then. For a crippling case of PTSD, my father received “sedation and superficial psychotherapy,” according to his military records, which seems to have been the standard practice of the day (and better than the lobotomies inflicted on roughly 2,000 soldiers).

Fast forward to today. A number of treatments have been developed that have had some success reducing the symptoms of PTSD. And a new book by former Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder has noted some success from controlled treatment with psychedelic substances. PTSD is notoriously resistant to treatment, so it is encouraging to see new avenues explored, however taboo."

+ - Astronomers find star-inside-star 40 years after first theorized->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "After 40 years, astronomers have likely found a rather strange celestial body known as a Thorne–ytkow object (TZO), in which a neutron star is absorbed by a red supergiant. Originally predicted in the 1970s, the first non-theoretical TZO was found earlier this year, based on calculations presented in apaper forthcoming in MNRAS .

TZOs were predicted by astronomer Kip Thorne and Anna ytkow, who wasthen postdoctoral fellow at CalTech. The pair imagined what might happen if a neutron star in a binary system merged with its partner red supergiant.

This wouldn’t be like two average stars merging. Neutron stars are the ancient remnants of stars that grew too big and exploded. Their cores remain small—about 12.5 miles—as they shed material out into space. Red supergiants are the largest stars in the galaxy with radii up to 800 times that of our sun, but they aren’t dense."

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Comment: Re:Linux, cryptography, HTML and JavaScript. (Score 2) 144

by NitsujTPU (#47894859) Attached to: Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

I can shed some light on this.

This course is an introductory course for non-majors. That's why it's not like "Intro to Computer Science."

The big deal with Harvard's CS50 course isn't that everyone wants to enroll in computer science, but that it is being taught in a very unorthodox way. Students have the option of attending lectures or watching video lectures online. There is a great deal of supplementary online material. They have all night coding sessions with food and games which are sponsored by businesses such as Microsoft and Google.

More info can be found here:

Comment: Re:CS Core Curriculum? (Score 1) 329

by NitsujTPU (#47744311) Attached to: ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

Where did you go that theory *wasn't* part of your core?

Also worth noting is that the reason that we teach so much programming is because that's the job associated with the degree. If you don't plan on programming with your degree in computer science, then you'd probably better plan on some graduate school. I suppose you could treat it as an, "I just needed a degree" subject, but it's a lot of work if all you're after is the ability to say that you finished your BS.

Comment: Why not let this one go? (Score 1) 327

by NitsujTPU (#47668909) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

California already has number of big, powerful companies headquartered there. They've got a number of great universities. Why pull out all of the stops to get Tesla to set up shop in-state? The US is a big country, and a few other states might want a share of the wealth that a company like Telsa could bring in.

Comment: Selling for parts (Score 2) 113

by NitsujTPU (#47552461) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Just a quick note. You probably won't make much on the proceeds for a sale for parts. Used tablet parts don't fetch very much on the open market. If the tablet is non-working, there is no guarantee which parts work and which don't. Taking tablets apart is difficult and time-consuming, so there is a lot of labor involved. Also, due to the ways that tablets tend to be assembled (lots of epoxies and thin plastics), it is very easy to damage the parts during disassembly.

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 206

by NitsujTPU (#45469753) Attached to: Xbox One Controller Cost Over $100 Million To Develop

This is actually the opposite of something that's wrong with a company. They used the money that they had in order to fund research in order to produce a better product, and somewhat simply to do new and interesting research. I can't see why you would think that this is a bad thing.

People cite the "nimble" bit when they mean that a company is stuck in its ways or unable to adapt to change. Doing major research and development is the opposite of that. It's where people who are experts in a field use their talents to really thoroughly explore new ideas.

Moreover, your assertion lies on the idea that, somehow, this research isn't paying off. The consequence of that would be that they somehow fail to make money on the XBox One. It's a little early to be calling the XBox One a commercial failure, given that it won't be.

Comment: Re:should slashdot be asking if the U.S. should bo (Score 1) 659

by NitsujTPU (#44814965) Attached to: Should the U.S. bomb Syria?

I agree, and I mean no offense to the admins when I say this. If every tech site tries to be a general news site, there will be no tech sites. Content like this dilutes the technical content of sites like Slashdot. There are plenty of places to talk politics. There should be a place to talk tech.

Comment: Cialdini (Score 1) 252

by NitsujTPU (#39677517) Attached to: FBI Wants To "Advance the Science of Interrogation"

The FBI should just pick up this book:

There's a chapter that discusses North Korea's program for dealing with POWs during the Korean War. It was astonishingly effective, and, at least the parts in the book, didn't seem to involve much torture.

Comment: Thanks (Score 1) 1521

by NitsujTPU (#37210542) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

Honestly, Slashdot has been one of my favorite websites ever since it was shown to me in high school. Within a year or two after I started reading Slashdot, it became *the* place to become "in the know" with what was going on in technology.

A big part of the direction that Slashdot has moved in has been a product of this. More and more people knew that Slashdot was a place to go to to get "in the know," but the pool of truly enthusiastic, sharp, science and engineering minded people became diluted with people who simply wanted to be associated with that. Everyone wanted to participate, and the signal to noise ratio went down. It's unfortunate, but the thing that initially attracted people here was largely due to your vision and your efforts. I don't believe that your departure is likely to improve the site. I know that I, at times, have been critical of the direction that Slashdot has gone in (and at times you have expressed frustrations with the site yourself, or at least, frustrations with what you should do with it), but this change in direction has largely been a product of the change in readership. It has been your vision that has managed to keep it sane.

What is truly unfortunate is that, looking around the Internet for a site that gives me the same enjoyment that Slashdot did in its heyday, I have come up empty-handed. It really does feel like there is nowhere online for the old-school geek anymore. Everyone wants to be part of that now. In fact, being a "hipster" now involves saying how geeky and quirky you are. It's pretty annoying seeing kids who can't even program move in on my turf like that.

Anyway, thanks for all of the effort that you've put into this site, and I honestly do hope that we meet at an Open Source convention of some sort someday. If we do, I'll buy you a beer.

This is now. Later is later.