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Comment: Re:Actual PhD students getting slandered? (Score 1) 448

by ldbapp (#47316603) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now
He did not confirm a device, though I didn't ask. He confirmed his involvement in, and said it was only part time. He expressed personal confidence in the project, but that's all.

There was one odd thing. I sent email to him @ucla. He replied from explaining that it is because iFind isn't related to UCLA. Then he offered to send an empty message from the UCLA account. I glanced at the headers of his email and found references to, which seems to be implicated in SPAM related stuff. It could be innocent. He may just be being careful to separate his professional activities, and his email provider/ISP may use eigbox. Or there could be a MITM thing going on. A group looking to KS scam $1/2M could certainly be savvy enough to impersonate the people who's names were stolen.

My level of curiosity isn't high enough to pursue any further. ;)

Comment: Re:Actual PhD students getting slandered? (Score 2) 448

by ldbapp (#47305435) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now
Similarly: Wotao Yin, according to google, is a mathematician working on the mathematics of optimization. Yet, he is listed as a guy who, "leads the business and marketing strategy development". That's a leap right there. I'd guess his name has also been used without his knowledge.

+ - Bird Flocks Shatter on Impact->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A flock of birds flows like a liquid, but in one respect it acts more like a solid, according to a new computer simulation. Flocking birds can fly together as an impressive fluidlike mass, and a team of physicists wanted to know whether a flock possesses a cohesion similar to surface tension in a real liquid. So they used a computer simulation to fire into a wall a flock of virtual birds, each programmed with a bird brain that keys off the direction and speed of its neighbors much as an actual bird would. As the flock smacked against the wall, it shattered into uneven clusters as a brittle solid would, rather than splashing into equal-sized drops as a liquid would. The result suggests that, like a solid, a bird flock has no apparent surface tension even though interactions between the birds promote the overall cohesion of the flock. The work could help scientists decipher the dynamics of animal herds and other "materials" made up of active agents."
Link to Original Source

+ - New DARPA Program to Develop Prosthetics With Lifelike Sensory Feedback->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Many modern prosthetic limbs are so intricate that they seem like something from the sci-fi cyborg realm. Unfortunately, to the wearer these marvels still feel like lumps of dead metal and plastic. DARPA's recently announced Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program aims to change this. Using implantable sensors linked wirelessly to external modules, the goal is to provide lifelike prosthetic limbs with such a high degree of sensory feedback that they bring a sense of being part of the the wearer’s body, not something just strapped on."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Offer/Demand Law (Score 1) 537

by ldbapp (#45552799) Attached to: Why Bitcoin Is Doomed To Fail, In One Economist's Eyes
I second this idea. If at some point the gov't becomes convinced bit coin is viable, they could just start their own new block chain . If they bless it with some sort of official "approval" (e.g. Their coin is legal tender for taxes), then that one can supplant any other. And as the parent comment mentioned, any sufficiently large market force can do the same. Eventually, bitcoin won't be the only crypto coin. And if the gov't can create its own competing coin, it can create two, or N, new block chains. thus, it can mint crypto currency just as with fiat money.

Comment: Sony BD-S3100 (Score 1) 165

by ldbapp (#44278905) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Streaming For the Elderly?
This is a combo DVD/Blu-Ray wifi internet connected device. I got it solely for the blu-ray player, but discovered how convenient the internet connection is. A netflix interface is built in. The remote control even has a "netflix" button. There's a tiny bit of setup that you can do, and after that, my over-70 mother can operate it just fine. It also has interfaces for hulu, vudu, and music services like pandora and slacker built in. I used to hook my laptop up to the tv to watch netflix, but no more. There's a selection of other lesser-known services available in the interface, too.

Comment: A nugget with a menu of optional interfaces (Score 5, Interesting) 171

by ldbapp (#42702997) Attached to: Accessorize Your Phone With Another Phone
What I want is a computing nugget that I can carry in my pocket (on a necklace, whatever), and then carry any number of different task-specific interfaces to it. You don't even have to carry them. Just walk up to your desk, and your keyboard and monitor connect and you have a desktop. Pick up your "smart-phone" interface, and go. Pick up your candybar interface and go. But all the computing and storage stays the same. It's your cloud in your pocket. Sell me that HTC.

Comment: Agents, not unions (Score 2) 761

by ldbapp (#41882847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For Developers To Start Their Own Union?
What tech talent needs are agents, not unions. That is people to represent them in negotiations who are skilled at negotiating, and motivated to get a good deal. Very much like entertainers (actors, singers, sports stars). The agents focus on the "business" while the talent focuses on delivering value. This is especially true in job interviewing situations, especially when interviewing with a company that has a HR department. They have advantages in that interaction that are unbalanced. I personally would love to have an agent. The idea has it's hurdles, but no more so than the idea of starting a union.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis