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Comment: NRC ... NASA Strategy Can't get Humans to Mars (Score 1) 206

In the short term of two decades there is no meaningful purpose in sending humans to Mars. The way robotic and human exploration of the solar system is: 1. Start an OPEN Foundation Model of exploration: open to all (government institutions, enterprises, institutes, individuals). 2. Start with the Moon surface. 3. Define a road-map for explorations: locate suitable sites on the Moon surface. Land (Selenize) a robotic colony on site. 4. Have the robotic colony establish energy grid and communications infra-structure on site. (Practice on a remote Earth environment with a reality show environment for entertainment, collect funds, and generate visibility to the project. 5. Have robots assemble a shirt sleeve human environment on the Moon surface. May in underground caves or inflatable tents. 6. Send people to live on the Moon. 7. Then ... on to Mars?!

Comment: Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousne (Score 1) 426

I would not assume human consciousness and human memory are not binary and deterministic the way machines are. Human memory and human consciousness are the results of multi-state (almost continuous) arrangements of the brain cells and the diffuse connections between these cells (dont's ask me to explain these! Yes I talk to God!!!)

+ - White House announces reforms targeting patent trolls

Submitted by andy1307
andy1307 (656570) writes "According to Politico and The Wall Street Journal, the White House on Tuesday plans to announce a set of executive actions President Barack Obama will take that are aimed at reining in certain patent-holding firms, known as "patent trolls" to their detractors, amid concerns that the firms are abusing the patent system and disrupting competition. The plan includes five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations. They include requiring patent holders and applicants to disclose who really owns and controls the patent, changing how fees are awarded to the prevailing parties in patent litigation and protecting consumers with better protections against being sued for patent infringement."

+ - Open source crusade blocks Esri standards effort->

Submitted by littlekorea
littlekorea (1656839) writes "Open source advocates have successfully waged a campaign to halt voting on a proposed geospatial standard sponsored by mapping giant Esri. Protestors claimed that designating the 'GeoServices REST API' as an industry standard would have guaranteed further dominance for Esri's industry-leading ArcGIS server and replicated existing open standards. The unfolding case smacks of Microsoft's efforts to have the OOXML format approved as an ISO/IEC standard — only in this case, it appears Esri has backed down, while the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) does some soul searching on what a standard should achieve."
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Comment: Re:Because it's valuable, duh. (Score 1) 210

by hinckeljn (#43711303) Attached to: Why Is Science Behind a Paywall?
Actually there is a difference between grocery store goods and publications. Grocery stores goods consumption is rival (if I eat this lettuce you cannot eat the same lettuce). Publications and information goods in general are non-rival. Once provided an indefinite number of individuals can use the information from the a publication without depleting it. The problem with collecting the value of publication is that it is very thinly distributed and very difficult to valuate a priori. So individual producers of the publications don't bother to try to collect on it's value. Publisher houses, working on bulk have the means to collect at least part of the value. It is arguable that the actual value of all the publications is higher than what is collected by the publishers, and if universally and freely available would generate even higher returns for society in general. The problem is in determining a priori what is the value of individual publications. It is also arguable that a the value of a very high percentage of the publications is NULL. We just do not have the means to validate and accredit the value. The best that can be done is open everything and let time and usage determine true value... Still there are no guarantees..

+ - DNA Reveals Common Ancestor for Europeans that Lived 1,000 Years Ago->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists analyzed and compared DNA samples and discovered that Europeans might have a lot more in common than previously believed. Based from the DNA samples from people throughout the continent, scientists unveiled that most of the people shared common ancestors just over 1,000 years ago. This discovery reconfirmed previous mathematical models that suggested a link between Europeans. Despite those previous models, this finding still plays a huge part in understanding how people relate to one another in a region that has been so accustomed to existing as distinctive ethnic groups."
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