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Comment Re:hmmm... (Score 1) 247

Saying "Don't be evil" isn't a semantically null phrase though. They're not saying it for the benefit of shareholders or the public; it's for the people working there. It's a virtual smack in the back of the head, a way to say "use your common sense", or "think about how you would feel if someone did this to you", I think. "Do the right thing" just doesn't have the same focus on users that "Don't be evil". It feels more... slippery, at least to me.

The Handheld Analog Computer That Made the Atomic Bomb 45

szczys writes: When the physicists and mathematicians of the Manhattan Project began their work they needed to establish which substance was most likely to sustain vigorous fission. This is not trivial math, and the solution of course is to use an advanced computer. If only they had one available. The best computer of the time was a targeting calculation machine that was out of service while being moved from one installation to another. The unlikely fill-in was a simple yet ingenious analog computer called the FERMIAC. When rolled along a piece of paper it calculated neutron collisions with simple markings — doing its small part to forever change the world without a battery, transistor, or tube.

Japanese Scientists Fire the Most Powerful Laser On the Planet 117

Sepa Blackforesta writes: Scientist from University of Osaka claim have fired the world's most powerful laser. The beam was intact for 2-petawatt, pulse lasted just one picosecond. While it produced a huge amount of power, the energy required for the beam itself is equivalent to that needed to power a microwave for two seconds. An associate professor of electrical engineering at Osaka University Junji Kawanaka says “With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts.”

Comment Re: Wow ... (Score 1) 289

I've seen tons of 17" and 19" 4x3 LCDs, as has probably everyone else here older than the age of 14, but I couldn't tell from a distance what the native resolution was, or whether the pixels were square or not. That's the kind of thing I'd check with a test image or a magnifying glass, to verify published specs. I also don't think I've ever personally seen a physically 5x4 LCD (or CRT, for that matter), which a 1280x1024 resolution would require, in order to have square pixels.

Comment Re: marketing opportunity (Score 1) 141

Yeah, that would work too. I don't see any use case where biometrics are necessary, if it isn't essential that exactly that particular kid and nobody else is to use a service. But this is elementary school, so I'm sure the kindergarten teacher or whoever will be able to vouch for a kid if the lunch lady decides to go to defcon 2 because the kid has no arms or something.

Comment Re: marketing opportunity (Score 1) 141

Dude, no. What I'm suggesting is that Google could partner with a bunch of restaurants, where Google would pay for the orders made by people, and collect the data. Then the companies could subscribe to the entire data pool from google, and get valuable consumer information. Kids get free lunches, companies get data, and google gets revenue.

Comment marketing opportunity (Score 1) 141

It just occurred to me that this kind of thing would provide useful data to fast food companies, if used in the general population. Imagine something like "Google Lunch", which would provide a free meal to people who swipe their thumb. One would think that the data on where, what, and when people prefer to eat would be worth some serious money to those companies.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department