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Comment Re:This Slashdot Not GenericDot! (Score 2) 56

How important is Chile in the global supply chain?

30% of world copper production, and the earthquake struck right next to one of the more important copper mines. But more important than that is the fact that we live in a planet with several hazards for living safely, and technology has to play a major role here. In Chile, we have greatly improved the building standards over the past century, to the point where the damages are negligible compared to a similar earthquake elsewhere. That's a very big triumph of technology applied to societal welfare.

In a way, we have an advantage, the earthquakes keep us prepared. But there are areas where they occur every 500 years ( and they may cause a huge catastrophe there.

As we have witnessed in several parts around the world (remember Katrina?) besides prevention and warnings, the logistics of the aftermath are very challenging as well. How can we improve this? How to help isolated people self-organize in order to improve their conditions until outside aid arrives? For example, could we include a microgrid-style strategy everywhere that interacts seamlessly with the "traditional" grid? Another thing is how to keep the communication lines open and the information flow as lean as possible, in order to help the authorities make better decisions on the spot.

Therefore, Chile may present a unique opportunity to develop and test different prevention and emergency response strategies. And this may be one of the more important things we can do for humanity in our role as responsible engineers.

Cheers from Santiago, Chile

Comment Re:About storage: Renew (Score 1) 2

Thanks! It was a very helpful answer. I didn't think about renewing everything every X years. Somehow I was set on staying with the original files/media and keeping the technology needed to read them... Is the DVD as a third option maybe too much? I know it may look as overkill, but only until shit happens... Of course the optical media should be also part of the renewal process before it becomes obsolete.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Storing family videos and pictures for posterity? 2

jalvarez13 writes: I'm in my early 40's and I will become a dad in less than a month. Until now I've been quite happy with a Canon Powershot S110 for taking pictures and video, but now I'm thinking in longer terms. If some of you have already thought or done something about this, what did you consider when buying photo/video equipment? I guess there are important decisions you made about to image quality, file formats, storage type, organising and labelling software, etc.

I'm also wondering if there are any other technologies (stereoscopic cameras?) that I haven't thought about and may be interesting to look at.

Comment Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (Score 1) 307

There are certain benefits of doing at least some of those tasks periodically. For us who work mainly in front of a computer, the extra exercise is more than necessary, even if you work out or run. The muscles you use are different and/or the same muscles are used in different ways, which in turn benefits you whole musculoskeletal system. Also, focusing on manual tasks allow our brains to take a break from the intelectual work and then go back with renewed energy.

Comment Technically, it's still winter here... (Score 1) 148

... in Chile. Anyway, this winter has been quite "normal" in terms of rainfall, which is good after several years of drought in the central part of the country. Here, harsh means heavy rainfall, which causes floodings and severe disruptions. But mild is bad too as a little less rain would throw us back into the drought scenario. Hopefully it will be similar to this one.

Comment A recovery approach (Score 1) 552

Have you heard about Dr. Norman Doidge? He is a leading researcher in brain neuroplasticity and wrote a book about it titled The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. There you will find many cases of surprising recovery where traditional approaches didn't work. I'm not a doctor and I don't have a personal account of how this approach performs, but I thought I would do no harm if I told you about this. I hope all goes well.

Comment Just the beginning (Score 2) 82

Look at this: New 3D Printer by MarkForged Can Print With Carbon Fiber Definitely more companies are going to develop products like these...

Imagine the possibilities it opens for elder and disabled people care. And with the current ageing of the population in developed countries, this will certainly be a huge industry.

Submission + - Global-Warming Denial Hits 6-Year High

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Chris Mooney writes at Mother Jones that a new study, from the Yale and George Mason University research teams on climate change communication, shows a 7-percentage-point increase in the proportion of Americans who say they do not believe that global warming is happening. And that's just since the spring of 2013. The number of deniers is now 23 percent; back at the start of last year, it was 16 percent (PDF). The obvious question is, what happened over the last year to produce more climate denial? The answer may lie in the so-called global warming "pause"—the misleading idea that global warming has slowed down or stopped over the the past 15 years or so. This claim was used by climate skeptics, to great effect, in their quest to undermine the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report in September 2013—precisely during the time period that is in question in the latest study. "The notion of a global warming "pause" is, at best, the result of statistical cherry-picking," writes Mooney. " It relies on starting with a very hot year (1998) and then examining a relatively short time period (say, 15 years), to suggest that global warming has slowed down or stopped during this particular stretch of time." Put these numbers back into a broader context and the overall warming trend remains clear. "If you shift just 2 years earlier, so use 1996-2010 instead of 1998-2012, the trend is 0.14 C per decade, so slightly greater than the long-term trend," explains Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at NASA who was heavily involved in producing the IPCC report. This is why climate scientists generally don't seize on 15 year periods and make a big thing about them. "Journalists take heed: Your coverage has consequences. All those media outlets who trumpeted the global warming "pause" may now be partly responsible for a documented decrease in Americans' scientific understanding."

Submission + - Metered Internet pricing results in protest by EBTC members

An anonymous reader writes: The East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative started charging cellular prices for home DSL internet service starting on January 1st, 2014. A 5GB plan costs $24.95 a month while a 25 GB plan will run $99.95 per month. 100 GB is the most data you can get in a package for $299.95 per month. Each additional GB is $5. They argue that the price increase is justified because their costs have increased by 900% since 2009. About half of their customers use less than 5 GB a month while their largest users use around 100 GB a month. They argue that the switch to measured internet will appropriately place the cost on their heaviest users. With the landmark Net Neutrality ruling this week will larger providers try to move to similar price models?

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.