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Comment Re:Not foolproof (Score 1) 106

Perhaps not creepy but, by itself, not foolproof. I have a tendency toward Bradycardia (slow heart-rate). My normal is in the 50's and at times will slow even down to the mid-40's while fully alert and functional. I don't know whether the system in mind incudes other input in order to determine impairment - the article doesn't really say - but heart-rate alone would be far from reliable. To be universally useful, I think that a "fatigue detector" needs more than just one parameter.

Comment Re:Were Denisovans really a DIFFERENT SPECIES? (Score 1) 133

From the article:

Either way, what is most interesting, Nielsen says, is that the results show that mating with other groups was an important source of beneficial genes in human evolution. “Modern humans didn’t wait for new mutations to adapt to a new environment,” he says. “They could pick up adaptive traits by interbreeding.”

I have a bit of issue with the notion of the source as "important". Useful perhaps. Maybe even "potentially important". The thing is that we don't know whether the alleged interbreeding produced many other variations that were undesirable - with high mortality rates so that they failed to survive multiple generations. It could even be that most of the offspring were still-born or sterile. That doesn't take away from it being an interesting conjecture to explain an unusual variation.

Comment Re:RTFA, only in the tropics (Score 2) 112

True on both. The idea has been around long enough to know the more obvious limitations. You need warm surface waters and access to deep cold water. Back in the 70's the only US sites viewed as suitable for land based OTEC was Hawaii and the territory of Puerto Rico. There were designs for grazing platforms that could float in tropical deep water but the problem was always how to get the energy from the platform to where it is needed. Biofouling is a tremendous problem as well. I think that it is a pretty sound concept but like most others, there is a lot of engineering needed to make it all work.

Comment Re:Says Something About High-Schools in the US (Score 1) 728

I don't disagree with that; however, the public education failure compounds the issue. When the employer has a large pool to pick from, he tends to "hedge his bet" by choosing from the pool that are more likely to show up and work. It is also true that employers often take a short term perspective. If the economy does an upturn, their now-experienced employees will tend to look for a better job and the employer will have to start over. I get the feeling that is taken for granted anyway for an large number of jobs.

Comment Says Something About High-Schools in the US (Score 3, Insightful) 728

Unfortunately, it is also a reflection on the ease with which a lot of people make it through high-school without ever having to learn much in the way of responsibility. For example, when you work, your employer actually expects that you will show up on Monday morning and be somewhat functional. The college degree is no guarantee to the prospective employer but it usually has required more self-discipline than high-school.

Comment Re:Summary does not answer title (Score 1) 209

Part of the reason is that several of the very earliest attempts at the scam, using standard postage, did originate from Nigeria. In the 1970's, I received a couple of them. (I worked in the petroleum industry at the time.) They were hand written and both were postage stamped from Nigeria. Over time, they have modernized their approach only slightly but still follow the basic outline. Now, it hardly matters where the email originated; they only need a story that can be made to sound credible to a few recepients in order to make it worthwhile.

Comment You Probably Haven't Spent Much TIme Near One (Score 3, Interesting) 533

In general, the sounds are not all that pleasant to live with. The make a lot more noise that most people would think until you actually get close to one or, even more, close to a whole wind farm of them. Most (but not all) people who complain about the noise of nearby trains or airports are at the disatvantage that the tracks or airport was there first. In this case, if you already have a home and someone else wants to put this unpleasant noisemaker near by, it seems that you might have some right to complain.

Comment Re:Dart Maybe? (Score 1) 421

The reference to 10-cm is (probably unintentionally) misleading. I was thrown off at first until I went to the gismag article. The 10-cm is the length of the projectile. In the picture, the bore appears more on the order of .50 cal. This is why so many replies have referred to it as a dart.

Submission + - DIY Phased Array Radar Sensor From Pegboard and Wi ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Yes, you read that correctly.

No hard technical details are out yet, but this amazing project from MIT radar hackers Drs. Bradley Perry, Jonathan Paul Kitchens, Patrick Bell, Jeffrey Herd, and MAKE regular Gregory L. Charvat is soon to be published as part of MIT’s open courseware initiative. Cost of parts is about $950. The course abstract describes a “laptop-based phased array radar sensor capable of imaging moving targets in real-time, like a ‘radar video camera’.”....


Submission + - Exploits emerge for Linux privilege escalation fla (

angry tapir writes: "Linux vendors are rushing to patch a privilege escalation vulnerability in the Linux kernel that can be exploited by local attackers to gain root access on the system. The vulnerability, which is identified as CVE-2012-0056, was discovered by Jüri Aedla and is caused by a failure of the Linux kernel to properly restrict access to the "/proc//mem" file."
The Internet

Submission + - Harvard Business Review comes out against SOPA (

hype7 writes: "The Harvard Business Review has come out with an article extremely critical of SOPA. As opposed to a battle of "content" vs "technology", they are characterizing it as a battle of "giants" vs "innovators". From the article: "If you take a look at many of the largest backers of SOPA and PIPA — the Business of Software Alliance, Comcast, Electronic Arts, Ford, L'Oreal, Scholastic, Sony, Disney — you'll see that they represent a wide range of businesses. Some are technology companies, some are content companies, some are historic innovators, and some are not. But one characteristic is the same across all of SOPA's supporters — they all have an interest in preserving the status quo. If there is meaningful innovation by startups in content creation and delivery, the supporters of SOPA and PIPA are poised to lose.""

Submission + - Scammers replacing iPads with bags of clay in Cana (

An anonymous reader writes: A group of thieves in Canada managed to upset a number of legitimate consumers come Christmas morning when they opened their iPad 2 packaging to find nothing but a bag of clay, in some cases even the charger had been replaced with clay.

What the scammers had managed to do was purchase iPad 2s, remove the tablet, and then make up the weight and shape with clay. They also had the necessary tools and materials to professionally reseal the iPad 2 box so it looks as if it had never been opened. The stores accepted the tablets back as returns without further checks because they were sealed, and then proceeded to resell them to other customers.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.