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Submission + - MIT Inches Closer to ARC Reactor Despite Losing Federal Funding (

Lucas123 writes: Experimenting with a fusion device over the past 20 years has edged MIT researchers to their final goal, creating a small and relatively inexpensive ARC reactor, three of which would produce enough energy to power a city the size of Boston. The lessons already learned from MIT's even current Alcator C-Mod fusion device — with a plasma radius of just 0.68 meters — have enabled researchers to publish a paper on a prototype ARC that would be the world's smallest fusion reactor but with the greatest magnetic force and energy output for its size. The ARC would require 50MW to run while putting out about 200MW of electricity to the grid. Key to MIT's ARC reactor would be the use of a "high-temperature" rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconducting tape for its magnetic coils, which only need to be cooled to 100 Kelvin, which enables the use of abundant liquid nitrogen as a cooling agent. Other fusion reactors' superconducting coils must be cooled to 4 degrees Kelvin. While there remain hurdles to overcome, such as sustaining the fusion reaction long enough to achieve a net power return, building the ARC would only take 4 to 5 years and cost about $5 billion, compared to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world's largest tokamak fusion reactor due to go online and begin producing energy in 2027.

Comment Re:The moderationg system needs an overhaul. (Score 1) 1819

I posted this below, but now in browsing down through deeper replies, I see that the GP's comment is tied to what I suggested about Karma and I'd like to expand on it.

Use Karma to decide starting moderation score. Sure, some people will abuse this by shitposting once in a blue moon because they can, but that will get moderated down. That's really a long tradition here.

I' d forgotten about New York Country Lawyer, but that's a great example of someone who consistently posted amazing stuff, and who should have often started off with a bit higher moderation than he did. It doesn't have to be much either. If most people are browsing at +2, having really high Karma might allow you to post at +3. Then you'd start above the noise.

99% positive moderation? Maybe +4.

If it's easier to lose Karma based off of downmods than it is to gain it through upmods, people will need to regularly post decent comments to stay above the noise. This is going to take some delicate balancing and some trial and error, but it could do wonders for the comments here.

Submission + - Researchers Equip Mario Characters With Social Intelligence (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have designed artificial intelligence software to apply social skills to popular video game characters such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Toad from the Super Mario Bros franchise. The researchers taught the game characters to watch and communicate with each other, as well as to learn from their surroundings. This was achieved through attaching a cognitive control loop to each agent [video], integrating insights from cognitive science, linguistics and psychology. Characters were programmed to develop a motivation system, inspired by the need for wealth, progress, and full health. These drives then triggered specific game events, for example with a stronger longing for wealth, Mario would strive to reach more coins. The gamer is able interject and influence a character's actions by giving abstract orders or motivational instructions through speech control. The characters can also ask for help or further information from the gamer to achieve their mission.

Comment Re:Firehose stories on front page (Score 1) 1819

Yes, with one condition. That you don't automate this, and reserve the right to prevent them from showing up.


Because I've been here long enough (refused to sign up and posted AC for years until signing up was sort-of necessary to be visible) to know that we will always have a bunch of stupid yahoos with too much free time on their hands dicking around. Internet posters have a serious quality problem that's fine when you have checks in place (moderation isn't half bad here, e.g.) but which destroy sites when you don't. You can't count on enough 'News for nerds, stuff that matters' people to counteract a bunch of morons with a lot of free time when it comes to what gets posted on the front page.

The firehose is a great asset, but only if you leverage it properly and put some limits and checks on it. You can't rely on us doing that for you.

Comment You've convinced me to log back in.... (Score 1) 1819

So I haven't had the time recently to participate as a commenter, but I still skim a bit. This opportunity made me log back in - well done. Check my sig from 2-3 years ago - I've hated what /. has become for a long time, but I'm still lurking. Thanks for reaching out to try to make this place better.

Consider leveraging Karma much more.

* Karma impacts posting frequency limits and initial comment moderation level upon post
* Gain Karma for upmods, lose for downmods
* Gain Karma for metamoderating and voting on the Firehose
* Lose Karma for moderating
* Sell a little Karma to support the site
* Trade Karma for Ad Views. View to get Karma, spend Karma to not see Ads

As long as you can get 90% of the benefit from participating, nobody will bat an eye at being able to buy 10% more Karma to help support the site. If you go too far into 'pay to say', you'll find a hostile crowd.

Comment Re:Feedly looks ok (Score 4, Interesting) 287

This has been a pet peeve of mine for ages now as well. However, this particular instance is what convinced me to finally get off my ass and do what I've been meaning to do for about 2 years now:

1) New Gmail account
2) Fake Facebook account
3) Fake Twitter account
4) Use these for every sign-in thing on all the stupid websites that have a boner for social media.

These accounts will never have friends. They won't have any followers to spam. "Will you allow us to post to your feed?" 'Sure. Even I will never ever see it.' I'm happily experimenting with a couple news readers now despite their asinine requirement that I sign in or otherwise attach one of the above.

Submission + - Carmageddon 4: Reincarnation is 50K short of a Linux Port on KickStarter (

An anonymous reader writes: Stainless Games, the developers of the classic & controversial "Carmageddon" demolition-racing games of the 1990s, have been fundraising on to make Carmageddon 4: Reincarnation, a modern 2012-tech remake of the old 90s racing games, a reality for several weeks now. They overshot their original goal of raising 400,000 Dollars several days ago, and are currently at 550,000 Dollars pledged, with 32 hours remaining in the funddrive. Here's the kicker: If Stainless manage to reach the "Stretch Goal" of 600,000 Dollars pledged before time runs out, they will commit themselves to making a Linux version of Carmageddon 4: Reincarnation. For those of you itching to play good old Carmageddon again, with 2012-level gfx & physics, multiplayer over internet & LAN, and natively on Linux to boot, you have 32 hours to put your money where your gaming desires are. Lets hope Stainless Games can raise enough in the next day-and-a-half — the missing 50K — to make a Linux port of the next Carmageddon game in the series financially viable!

Submission + - Original Carmageddon Studio plans new game, DRM free Linux and Mac Versions (

An anonymous reader writes: After losing the rights to their break-out game years ago, Stainless is back with a new incarnation of Carmageddon.

Their Kickstarter campaign ends Wednesday evening, and they're a measly $50k from their stretch goal of offering DRM free Mac and Linux versions of the game. It's refreshing to see an original author scratch back their IP from a major developer and refresh their beloved franchise. Perhaps we'll see more of our old favorites rise from the dead like this as Kickstarter campaigns allow indie studios to raise the capital they need to give fans what they want.

Comment Re:If true... (Score 1) 339

I don't think high speed rail and stealth fighters are in the same category....sure, both take some serious tech, but one requires fly-by-wire, and the other doesn't need any way to maneuver. Yes, the materials science aspect of both requires some impressive technology. But there's a ton more to stealth planes than just the materials.

Comment Re:There's no such things as shortages... (Score 4, Insightful) 376

Problem was it greated more work without benefit.

Of course it did! It's a major infrastructure change! It's not like we were "upgrading the internet" to make it run faster. The entire issue was that our current addressing infrastructure was inadequate. It's like saying, "this road doesn't go to the housing development that they're building up the road - we should make it longer", then complaining that the existing drivers didn't see any benefit. Everyone on the internet right now is fine - it's everyone who's not that this will benefit. So of course it's work without benefit for those of us here now!

Comment Re:Ick (Score 1) 156

I don't ever look at my mouse, unless it's hung up on something or otherwise not working. I'm not even sure how I'd break 20 years of training on that front, much let alone why I would want to.

Apple has made some nice mice - this just seems ridiculous.

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