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Comment Re:Problem in AI? (Score 1) 114

Oh that's been solved. We know everything there is to know about human intelligence. Don't believe me? Well, that's just because you're not smart enough.

I think the Brian Kernighan quote may be relevant here

Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?

Comment Re:wtf is this article (Score 4, Insightful) 215

Apparently it's some apologism for Windows 10, but an unbelievably poor one. "Oh no, no no! Please don't panic because Windows phones home to over 100 different servers even when you turn the telemetry off. It's probably, eh... nobody's quite sure, but I'm sure everything will be okay!"

Is this another one of those quizzes where the answer is "People who did't read TFA"?

Either you read the TFA and are totally mis-representing what was in it, or you didn't read TFA. Because in TFA it clearly identifies and describes the network traffic that was identified by the Voat user and points out 1) how innocuous it is, 2) how bad the methodology was, and 3) How Forbes sensationalized it.

If you have counter points then make them.

Submission + - Engineers Devise a Way to Harvest Wind Energy from Trees (

derekmead writes: Harvesting electrical power from vibrations or other mechanical stress is pretty easy.Turns out all it really takes is a bit of crystal or ceramic material and a couple of wires and, there you go, piezoelectricity. As stress is applied to the material, charge accumulates, which can then be shuttled away to do useful work. The classic example is an electric lighter, in which a spring-loaded hammer smacks a crystal, producing a spark.

Another example is the heart of a piezoelectric system described in a new paper in the Journal of Sound and Vibration courtesy of engineers at Ohio State's Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research. The basic idea behind the energy harvesting platform: exploit the natural internal resonances of trees within tiny artificial forests capable of generating enough voltage to power sensors and structural monitoring systems.

Submission + - SPAM: 10 Maps That Explain Russia's Strategy

Patrickw1 writes: Many people think of maps in terms of their basic purpose: showing a country’s geography and topography. But maps can speak to all dimensions—political, military, and economic.
In fact, they are the first place to start thinking about a country’s strategy, which can reveal factors that are otherwise not obvious.
The 10 maps below show Russia’s difficult position since the Soviet Union collapsed and explain Putin’s long-term intentions in Europe.

Link to Original Source

Comment IRS computer shutdown last week? (Score 2, Interesting) 89

Seeing this makes me wonder if this was the real reason for the IRS stopping to accept electronically filed returns last week. No mention of it in TFA, but the Christian Science Monitor was a bit cynical when reporting Tax filing halted by IRS computer outage. Will refunds be delayed? by putting quotes around the "hardware failure".

A "hardware failure" forced the shutdown of several tax processing systems, including the e-file system, the IRS said in a statement.

whereas the actual IRS statement was (in the same article)

The IRS experienced a hardware failure this afternoon affecting a number of tax processing systems, which are currently unavailable. Several of our systems are not currently operating, including our modernized e-file system and a number of other related systems. The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible. We anticipate some of the systems will remain unavailable until tomorrow.

Comment Re:green? (Score 1) 278

Sure, that's easy... I did not say that traditional energy sources had a zero footprint, they do have a footprint. But things like coal, oil, natural gas come from underground. Most of the refineries, processing facilities and power plants are already in place. Mining more coal or extracting more oil to generate power will not consume much more surface area of the planet (zero in the case of existing mines and wells). Any expansion of solar will consume more surface area and destroy vegetation (even in a desert), unless we get smarter and utilize the roofs of existing structures....

By ignoring existing infrastructure you are already starting off with a false equivalence. You have to count everything in order to have a far comparison. And that also includes the byproducts of those power stations.

Anyway, I have nothing against solar, but it's not as "green" as everyone seems to pretend it is. Any source of energy has a "cost" associated with it. Even if you covered every square inch of the planet in solar panels, you still couldn't generate enough power to meet demand. Solar is great, but it's not the end-all be-all solution for energy. We need to responsibly use multiple sources. Coal, oil, and gas are natural products, btw. Wind is nice too, unfortunately the big turbine blades are killing a lot of birds.

You say you have nothing against solar, but you used "green" as a pejorative and as an absolute. And this comment about "Even if you covered every square inch of the planet in solar panels" is totally wrong. These calculations are easily done and the total area needed is less than 0.5% of the earth for 100% solar power to meet all requirements.

And as for birds and wind turbines .. yes they killed, but how is that compared to the number of birds killed by flying into buildings? Does it represent a larger or smaller amount? So again, you can't just trot out an absolute and make a proclamation about it.

Comment Re:green? (Score 2) 278

So they're destroying 6,178 acres of vegetation and covering it with solar panels and/or other collectors, which are made from caustic chemicals and other non-biodegradeable materials, in order to generate power.... How is that "green"?

Until you compare that 6000 acres with the equivalent area effected by a coal mine or a uranium mine or a bunch or natural gas wells, plus all the area needed for the ancillary equipment to process and supply those fuels to their respective power station types, then your complaint of this solar plant not being green is meaningless.

Care to try for round 2?

Comment Re:Environmental concerns (Score 2) 278

Nuclear power: 500MW is considered a "small/compact" nuclear plant, costing about $1.5 billion with a footprint of a few acres with a lifetime of approx. 40 years.

So where did you get your costs from? My quick google pops up the current cost of a nuke plant as up to $9B nowadays.

Comment Re:But when ? (Score 3, Informative) 278

So these types are systems are interesting in the long run only if the energy storage question is answered, permitting a shift between the time the solar panels are producing and the when the energy is consumed. So to me the big "Green" energy question is not Wind or Solar or whatever your favorite renewable is, but how to store large amount (We're talking GWh at least on the scale of a country) energy and release it when needed


If you read TFA* you would see that this is a solar/thermal and not solar/voltaic power station and that there is energy storage via thermal mass already built into the system.

*You did read TFA didn't you?

Submission + - World's Largest Solar Power Plant To Supply Enough Energy For 1.1 Million People (

Lucas123 writes: The world's largest solar power plant is now live and will eventually provide 1.1 million people in Morocco with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year. Phase 1 of the Noor concentrated solar power (CSP) plant went live last week, providing 140 megawatts (MW) of power to Morocco. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed by 2018 when the plant is expected to generate more than 500MW of power. The Noor plant, located in south-central Morocco, will cover 6,178 acres and produce so much energy, that Morocco may eventually start exporting the clean energy to the European market.

Submission + - Drones of the sea learn to swarm (Video) (

An anonymous reader writes:

A team of researchers from the Institute of Telecommunications at University Institute of Lisbon and from University of Lisbon in Portugal are the first to demonstrate a swarm of intelligent aquatic surface robots in a real-world environment. "Swarm robotics is a paradigm shift," says Dr. Anders Christensen, the principal investigator on the project. "We rely on many small, simple and inexpensive robots, instead of a single or a few large, complex and expensive robots."

The researchers resorted to nature-inspired approaches for designing their robotic swarm. Instead of manually programming the robots to carry out a mission, aptly-named "evolutionary algorithms" are used to synthesize the controller of each robot. Evolutionary algorithms mimic Darwinian evolution to automatically generate the artificial intelligence that controls each machine. "The robots basically learn how to cooperate with each other by themselves," says Christensen. Each robot is controlled by an artificial neural network, an "artificial brain" that allows the robots to carry out the missions autonomously, without a human operator or a central control station.

Submission + - Standup Bot - Automated Standups In Slack (

An anonymous reader writes: So Fetch just released a new bot that automates daily standup meetings for Slack users. Standup Bot is an app that integrates directly with Slack, saving teams time by automatically conducting daily standup meetings.

How it works: Standup Bot works in both Slack channels and private groups, and automatically asks each team member to stand up one by one. It asks three questions, which gets them to list daily priorities and roadblocks. It then creates a daily report of the standup and sends it to each team member involved. The bot integrates with Slack at the push of a button, no developer required.

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