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Comment But the assumption is proven wrong already (Score 1) 426

Memories do degrade the more we remember them. A number of studies have proven this ( The tiniest amount of research would have shown them that their whole model is based an a false premise (lossless memory in humans). Our memories are fantastically-crazy lossy. The act of remembering pretty much rewrites the memory each time.

Submission + - UPenn's GRASP Lab Unleashes a Swarm of Nano Quadro (

Zothecula writes: Remote-controlled quadrotor robots have been around for some time, but in video just released by a research team at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, science fiction edges much closer to science fact as a swarm of Nano Quadrotors perform some astounding maneuvers. Admittedly, use of the term "nano" may be stretching things a bit, but even so, the capable little robots provide an interesting glimpse into what the future may hold for surveillance, search and rescue, light construction and warfare.

Comment Thermodynamic definition of life (Score 5, Interesting) 299

Overly inclusive perhaps, but life could generally be defined as the ability to actively resist entropy (maintain low entropy) coupled with a method of passing that ability along. You could say that crystal structure represent a low entropy state, but they have no method to actively propagate it or pass it along other than growing. Throw out counter arguments at will, but I say it's pretty good.

Comment Re:Do you plan to work in the real world? (Score 5, Insightful) 173

A Ph.D. like all degrees has very little to do with genius. It is a signifier of your ability to work independently for long periods of time (3-6 years), and adapt to changing circumstances. This is the kind of aptitude that employers in nearly any field look for. A high schooler, even a genius, remains unproven in that area. This is why many genius people don't get any degree's yet companies still like to hire Ph.D.'s (even though most of them are not genius).

Comment Re:Do you plan to work in the real world? (Score 2) 173

Yeah, as a Biology Ph.D. I have watched many of my friends go into finance and consulting and a number of other fields. No one gives a crap what your Ph.D. is in. They will look at your publication record (academic jobs) or just interview you to asses your specific skills/reasoning abilities.

Comment Re:Phew... (Score 1) 760

Actually efficiency is the fallacy. Because of the huge latency involved in CO2 emissions (what we put up now will be there for ~100 years), the burn rate doesn't matter that much. If we use all of the fossil fuels available it will be the end of the planet as we know it. Whether we draw it out over another 50 years because of increased efficiency doesn't really matter. Increases in efficiency combined with transition away from fossil fuels is the only way to go.

Submission + - Italian Wikipedia Shuts Down for the Day (

Teancum writes: "After a lengthy discussion within the Italian language edition of Wikipedia, the volunteers decided to shut down the Italian language edition of Wikipedia for a day with a protest message addressing a new law passed in Italy which the editors of Wikipedia perceive as being harmful to their participation in the collaborative on-line project. The Wikimedia Foundation (the organization who runs the server farms supporting Wikipedia) issued a statement in support of this action."

Submission + - Secrete Messages Encoded in Bacteria ( 1

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have invented a new form of secret messaging using bacteria that make glowing proteins only under certain conditions. In addition to being useful to spies, the new technique could also allow companies to encode secret identifiers into crops, seeds, or other living commodities.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark