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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Star Slime Molds (Score 1) 300

by littlewink (#48755281) Attached to: The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun
I'm more concerned about star slime molds: they work as individuals, eating planets, comets and asteroids and, when the food supply in a planetary system gets low, aggregate with other individuals to form a star slime mold body that migrates to another planetary system (rinse, repeat). I am especially fearful of Fuligo septica astrophagus, the dog vomit slime mold star eater.

Comment: NSAIDs and Ice Interfere With Training, Healing (Score 3, Interesting) 122

by littlewink (#47058299) Attached to: Even In the Wild Mice Run In Wheels

At least one study says NSAIDs Interfere with Proper Training. Surprisingly, so does ice!

Here's an interesting page with a small study(search for "McMaster" of a group of 11 subjects that seems to indicate massage is very useful (even better than exercise?) - Weird! Also it has a note on ibuprofen and NSAIDs.

Comment: Yes, Adrian Thompson's Discriminator GA (Score 3, Informative) 84

by littlewink (#46111119) Attached to: Silicon Brains That Think As Fast As a Fly Can Smell

See On The Origin of Circuits:

"As predicted, the principle of natural selection could successfully produce specialized circuits using a fraction of the resources a human would have required. And no one had the foggiest notion how it worked."

"Dr. Thompson peered inside his perfect offspring to gain insight into its methods, but what he found inside was baffling. The plucky chip was utilizing only thirty-seven of its one hundred logic gates, and most of them were arranged in a curious collection of feedback loops. Five individual logic cells were functionally disconnected from the rest-- with no pathways that would allow them to influence the output-- yet when the researcher disabled any one of them the chip lost its ability to discriminate the tones. Furthermore, the final program did not work reliably when it was loaded onto other FPGAs of the same type."

"It seems that evolution had not merely selected the best code for the task, it had also advocated those programs which took advantage of the electromagnetic quirks of that specific microchip environment. The five separate logic cells were clearly crucial to the chip's operation, but they were interacting with the main circuitry through some unorthodox method-- most likely via the subtle magnetic fields that are created when electrons flow through circuitry, an effect known as magnetic flux. There was also evidence that the circuit was not relying solely on the transistors' absolute ON and OFF positions like a typical chip; it was capitalizing upon analogue shades of gray along with the digital black and white.'"

Dr. Thompson's publications seem to be difficult to find in free viewing form on the Internet, but the daminteresting article gives the gist of it: evolution will eventually make use of whatever characteristics are available to solve a problem.

Comment: Use Design I Saw As a Boy (Score 1) 267

by littlewink (#46102011) Attached to: The Human Body May Not Be Cut Out For Space

One bright cloudless summer's day I climbed over our back fence to visit my friend Billy. The day was beautiful: I looked up into the blue clear sky and saw...what? To this day I don't know but I know what it looked like: A solid metallic body with two elongated pods at it's extremes, slowly and silently rotating in a plane about it's longitudinal center parallel to the ground and moving slowly across the sky. No rotors, no blades, no extensions on the pods, no sound, no lights.

It appeared to be very high, above the height of a commercial jetliner. I ran in to get Billy (who did see it), then to to get a camera but he could not locate one before the craft passed over the forest's horizon.

One of my greatest regrets in life is not getting a picture of this: the optical conditions were absolutely perfect.

I have searched all my life and never found a picture of a craft like the one I saw. I believed it had to be a spacecraft of some sort in an orbit but this was in circa 1957 and at that time only small probes were being launched according to the history books.

Anyway, build a craft like that: it's within our technology and it could create an artificial gravitational field that would suffice. And it's a tested design!8-))

Comment: Microsoft and NSA Can "Inject" Malware (Score 0) 383

by littlewink (#46091533) Attached to: Congressmen Say Clapper Lied To Congress, Ask Obama To Remove Him

Do you suppose that the NSA's injection system is a derivative of Microsoft's or vice-versa?

Microsoft can remotely remove programs from people's computers.

I suppose if I were interested enough, I'd be able to "inject" code too. I always thought of security as a waste of time, since there are so many much more productive things to be done with software. It is hard to build something, easy to tear it down.

But it seems that the IT world now views "injecting code" as a primary mission. It's a sad, sad world we live in.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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