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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 3 accepted (16 total, 18.75% accepted)

+ - Burger-Flipping Robot->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "Momentum Machines cofounder Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy his "device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them." Indeed, marketing copy on the company's site reads that their automaton "does everything employees can do, except better."

He seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth later in the article when he says that employers will be able to expand services and will hire more people but also says that customers will benefit from lower-cost burgers. It seems unlikely that hiring new people will result in lower prices for a machine-made burger."

Link to Original Source

+ - U.S. Secret Service wants to identify snark->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "

The U.S. Secret Service is seeking software that can identify top influencers and trending sets of social media data, allowing the agency to monitor these streams in real-time – and sift through the sarcasm.

“We are not currently aware of any automated technology that could do that (detect sarcasm). No one is considered a leader in that,” Jamie Martin, a data acquisition engineer at Sioux Falls, SD based Bright Planet, told CBS News.

Why not just force Twitter to change TOS to require sarcasm tag?"
Link to Original Source

Television

+ - Are the Simpsons going to die?->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "The future of animated TV comedy "The Simpsons" was up in the air on Tuesday after 20th Century Fox Television said it could no longer afford to produce the show without a huge pay cut for its cast.

Fox Television, a unit of News Corp, issued a tough statement after a report that it had threatened to end the subversive series unless the voice actors take a 45 percent pay cut.

"We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model," Fox said.

"We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows 'The Simpsons' to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come," the statement added."

Link to Original Source
Japan

+ - Radioactive Iodine in IL from Japan?-> 1

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes ""Radiation believed to be from the nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been detected in Illinois.

The radioactive iodine similar to what was released in Japan was found in a grass clipping in the Joliet area by the Radiological Assessment Field Team, which regularly checks on vegetation, air, milk and eggs to determine if any radiation is leaking from Illinois’ nuclear reactors."

I get the idea of what was found being similar to what was released in Japan. As a complete novice to this kind of stuff, I ask if being similar is enough to say it came from Japan? Maybe there's more info that wasn't included in this very short bit of news?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists build the world's first anti-laser-> 1

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "Physicists have built the world's first device that can cancel out a laser beam — a so-called anti-laser.

The device, created by a team from Yale University, is capable of absorbing an incoming laser beam entirely.

But this is not intended as a defence against high-power laser weapons, the researchers said.

Instead they think it could be used in next-generation supercomputers which will be built with components that use light rather than electrons."

Link to Original Source

+ - Pioneering Edsac computer to be built at Bletchley->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "The first recognisably modern computer is to be rebuilt at the UK's former code-cracking centre Bletchley Park.

The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (Edsac) was a room-sized behemoth built at Cambridge university that first ran in 1949.

Creation of the replica has been commissioned by the UK's Computer Conservation Society (CCS).

The three-year re-build will be carried out before visitors to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Oriental hornets powered by 'solar energy'->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "From BBC News:The Oriental hornet has a unique ability to harvest solar energy, scientists have discovered. The large wasp species has a special structure in its abdomen that traps the sun's rays, and a special pigment that harvests the energy they contain.

Still a lot to understand, but how long until humans with brown and yellow hornet stripes?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Nobel Prize in physics 2010 goes to graphene->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes ""Imagine a sheet of material that's just one atom thick, yet super-strong, highly conductive, practically transparent and able to reveal new secrets of fundamental physics. That's graphene, isolated by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, 2010 Nobel Laureates in Physics."

And they're pretty young as far as Nobel laureates go. Congratulations!"

Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Digital marketing at warp speed

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes ""Minneapolis digital marketing firm Space150 understands that keeping up with the latest technology — these days, that would include the explosion of social media, smartphone apps and the mobile web — can be confusing or downright daunting for clients looking for the newest ways to reach their customers.

So, to ensure that its offerings are fresh, relevant and at the "leading and the bleeding edge'' of technology, as CEO Billy Jurewicz says, the company undergoes an agency-wide reinvention every 150 days."

They've been doing this successfully for ten years. What's it take to be this nimble?"

Link to Original Source

+ - From Ascension Island to Mars?->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "BBC writes of "terra-forming" Ascension Island, one of the islands Charles Darwin visited. He and a friend encouraged the Royal Navy to import boat loads of trees and plants in an attempt to capture the little bit of water that fell on the island. They were quite successful. The island even has a cloud forest now.

From TA: [British ecologist] Wilkinson thinks that the principles that emerge from that experiment could be used to transform future colonies on Mars. In other words, rather than trying to improve an environment by force, the best approach might be to work with life to help it "find its own way".

Could this actually be a viable approach to terra-forming Mars?"

Link to Original Source
Digital

+ - Slow acceptance of digital radio in UK->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) was developed as early as 1981. After launching in the UK 10 years ago, only 24% of listeners listen on DAB. The article credits a good part of the delay to the fact that the technology was largely developed under the Europe-wide Eureka 147 research project. How does government vs. commercial development help or hinder acceptance of new technology? From TFA:

[analyst Grant Goddard says] "If Nokia develop something, they'll be bringing out the handsets before you know it," he says. "Because DAB was a pan-European development, you had to have agreement from all sides before you could do anything. That meant progress was extremely slow." But this alone did not account for the hold-up. The sheer complexity of introducing and regulating the system was also a major factor, Mr Goddard adds."

Link to Original Source

+ - Video screens hit paper magazines->

Submitted by beschra
beschra (1424727) writes "BBC reports that Pepsi, US TV and CBS are doing a test of advertising with an embedded LCD display in Entertainment Weekly. It takes several seconds to load, is expensive and, I'm predicting, annoying. Add toxic waste to the mix and I'm wondering what the possible upside is? Is this anything more than singing Hallmark cards on steroids?"
Link to Original Source

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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