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Comment: Optional? -- or -- Default? (Score 1) 301

I suspect early Autonomous Vehicle systems will be 'optional', or 'on demand', like an advanced version of Cruise Control.
A regular Driver's License would be appropriate for this implementation.
As capability and reliability evolve the systems may become 100% Autonomous; no PASSENGER intervention required or allowed.
Even then a prominent red [Emergency Stop] panic button may be mandated.
This implementation would probably not require any special license or qualification.
Think public transit, buses, light rail, & the aforementioned Johnny-Cabs.

Comment: Re:Thanks Jenny (Score 1) 747

by eskayp (#46490359) Attached to: Measles Outbreak In NYC

As long as she stays on Faux News it's all for the better.
Those viewers will "go with their gut", avoid vaccinations like the plague, and eventually eliminate themselves from the gene pool.
Future candidates for the Darwin Awards.
Surviving humanity will continue to advance and the world will be a better place.

Comment: Re:Why was he there? (Score 1) 233

by eskayp (#45808973) Attached to: Convicted Spammer Jeffrey Kilbride Flees Prison

Violence shouldn't be the only determinant of punishment.
True: Armed Robbery, Assault, Rape, & other violent crimes are a priority for removing people from society.
But they are not the only crimes that can ruin people's lives, sometimes lethally.
Ask anyone who has been devastated by fraud committed by a bank, wall street, or some corporation.

If the non-violent offenders are willing to provide complete restitution to their victims then Club Fed prisons are in order.
If they don't do complete restitution to the victims & society then give them hard time with a violent offender as cellmate.
That's not likely to ever happen considering which segment of our population finances our politicians and calls the regulatory shots.
Several commenters mentioned that Federal Prisons are more capable and professionally managed than State Institutions.
Maybe that's a hint to Federally finance our election campaigns too, in order to level the playing field & minimize buying of elections.

Idle

Physicists Discover Universal "Wet-Dog Shake" Rule 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
Dog owners can sleep easy tonight because physicists have discovered how rapidly a wet dog should oscillate its body to dry its fur. Presumably, dogs already know. From the article: "Today we have an answer thanks to the pioneering work of Andrew Dickerson at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and a few buddies. But more than that, their work generates an interesting new conundrum about the nature of shaken fur dynamics. Dickerson and co filmed a number of dogs shaking their fur and used the images to measure the period of oscillation of the dogs' skin. For a labrador retriever, this turns out to be 4.3 Hz."
Hardware Hacking

Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the from-scratch dept.
MMBK writes "It's the ultimate salvagepunk experiment, building a telegraph out of things found in the woods. From the article: 'During the summer of 2009, artist Jamie O’Shea of the organization Substitute Materials set out to test whether or not electronic communication could have been built at any time in history with the proper knowledge, and with only tools and materials found in the wilderness of New Jersey.'"
Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

Posted by timothy
from the erasing-the-analog-hole dept.
SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"
Science

Invisibility Cloak Created In 3-D 113

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-see-me-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have created the first device to render an object invisible in three dimensions. The 'cloak,' described in the journal Science (abstract; full text requires login), hid an object from detection using light of wavelengths close to those that are visible to humans. Previous devices have been able to hide objects from light travelling in only one direction; viewed from any other angle, the object would remain visible. This is a very early but significant step towards a true invisibility cloak." The "object" hidden in this work was a bump one micrometer high. The light used was just longer than the wavelengths our eyes detect. To get a visible-light cloak, the features of the cloaking metamaterial would need to be reduced in size from 300 nm to 10 nm.

Comment: Re:Idea (Score 3, Insightful) 404

by eskayp (#31312154) Attached to: New Wave of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Business Plan:
1: design new class of antimicrobials
2: patent and market new antimicrobial for widespread use
3: virulent microbes quickly evolve resistance to misapplied product at no cost to corporation
4: repeat steps 1 thru 3 repeatedly to maximize profits at customers' expense
( Hey, it worked for Microsoft, why not biomeds? )

Biotech

New Wave of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria 404

Posted by kdawson
from the gram-of-prevention dept.
reporter writes "New strains of 'Gram-negative' bacteria have become resistant to all safe antibiotics. Though methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the best-known antibiotic-resistant germ, the new class of resistant bacteria could be more dangerous still. 'The bacteria, classified as Gram-negative because of their reaction to the so-called Gram stain test, can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream, and other parts of the body. Their cell structure makes them more difficult to attack with antibiotics than Gram-positive organisms like MRSA.' The only antibiotics — colistin and polymyxin B — that still have efficacy against Gram-negative bacteria produce dangerous side effects: kidney damage and nerve damage. Patients who are infected with Gram-negative bacteria must make the unsavory choice between life with kidney damage or death with intact kidneys. Recently, some new strains of Gram-negative bacteria have shown resistance against even colistin and polymyxin B. Infection with these new strains typically means death for the patient."
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"
Space

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Posted by kdawson
from the toil-and-trouble dept.
Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

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