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The Military

DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software 84

Posted by timothy
from the panzer-naturally-speaking dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes with a story about an interesting (or, you might think, creepy) institution at the University of Washington's Seattle campus. It's the Center for Game Science, a research lab that makes educational video games for children, and that received the bulk of its funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the wing of the U.S. Department of Defense that supports research into experimental military technology. Why is DARPA the original primary funder of the CGS? According to written and recorded statements from current and former DARPA program managers, as well as other government documents, the DARPA-funded educational video games developed at the CGS have a purpose beyond the pretense of teaching elementary school children STEM skills.

Comment: Same tech, but as a normal heatsink (Score 2) 171

by nullchar (#47567835) Attached to: Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink

I would rather have a normal heatsink (in popular form factors) for CPU and GPU out of this material. You would still want airflow through your case, or even on top of the heatsink, but RPMs of those fans would hopefully be much lower, making much less noise.

Silent is a noble goal, but I would be happy to use standard cases and components being very quiet.

Japan

One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the spreading-the-glow dept.
AmiMoJo writes The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material.
Transportation

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet 928

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-some-good-costumer-service-work-there-lou dept.
CanHasDIY writes The old saying goes, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." A man learned the consequences Sunday, after Tweeting about his experience with a rude Southwest gate attendant: "A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent. Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane. The agent told him that he would have to wait if he wanted to board with his children. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read 'RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. KIMBERLY S. GATE C39. NOT HAPPY @SWA.' Watson told TV broadcaster KARE in Minneapolis on Wednesday that after he boarded, an announcement came over the plane asking his family to exit the aircraft. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard." He gave into the threat, deleted the Tweet, and was allowed to board a later flight. Southwest, as one could have predicted, offered a boilerplate "apology" and vouchers.

Comment: Re:I made the switch (Score 2) 143

If you show them a few good ones they will want more, but I wouldn't start to rewrite all the legacy code.

This. Submitter should build a few small projects that give a different end result than the current code base. If you're just swapping R for SAS but delivering the exact same output, no management will care. The sample projects either needs to report the data in different ways, or visualize the data, or even as this parent suggested, simply provide a copy of the output as a spreadsheet.

Innovation will come by thinking about the problem differently and exploring different ways to ask questions to gain insight into your business. If you're just crunching the same numbers, don't bother. For the submitter personally, it's great to learn R and Python, but don't expect an organization shift unless it provides something unique.

Comment: A great book for learing D3.js (Score 2) 50

by nullchar (#47332499) Attached to: Visualizing Algorithms

I'm not affiliated with the author in any way, but I did buy the book (though you can get it for free).

This is an amazing resource for someone new to D3.js's declarative javascript and helps you put it all together: https://leanpub.com/D3-Tips-an...

After using D3.js, I've come to the conclusion Mike Bostock is awesome! But it doesn't stop there, people have expanded it like Crossfilter and dc.js.

Tech that allows a javascript n00b like myself to build a simple race results visualization.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise (Score 1) 62

by nullchar (#47269479) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

I did have to re-add the slashbox... but as I was too lazy to setup an RSS feed or even manually load the page, the slashbox was my portal to freshmeat.

I used to frequent it much more often back in the day, when I had time to explore and experiment with software. Still, there's always something interesting there to someone.

I even have an old Freshmeat.net black tee shirt from back in the day, with a fun "nutrition facts" label. Can't find even a close pic online.

Here's a random snapshot from circa 2000: http://gd.tuwien.ac.at/.vhost/...

Space

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox 686

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-me-to-your-leader dept.
First time accepted submitter sayhem (1842674) writes Various explanations for why we don't see aliens have been proposed—perhaps interstellar travel is impossible or maybe civilizations are always self-destructive. But with every new discovery of a potentially habitable planet, the Fermi Paradox becomes increasingly mysterious. There could be hundreds of millions of potentially habitable worlds in the Milky Way alone. This impression is only reinforced by the recent discovery of a "Mega-Earth," a rocky planet 17 times more massive than the Earth but with only a thin atmosphere. Previously, it was thought that worlds this large would hold onto an atmosphere so thick that their surfaces would experience uninhabitable temperatures and pressures. But if this isn't true, there is a whole new category of potentially habitable real estate in the cosmos.

+ - GPS Fitness Data Sold to Oregon Transportation Dept

Submitted by nullchar
nullchar (446050) writes "The Oregon Department of Transportation has signed up for the Strava Metro GPS service for $20,000 USD. Strava is a mobile fitness app used by cyclists and runners to track their performance with GPS. Strava says the data set of over 300 billion GPS points it has collected worldwide are anonymized and aggregated to protect privacy. Oregon wishes to use the data to enhance it's bike lanes.

The active.com article poses some interesting questions (beware annoying "More:" links between every paragraph):

Strava pulls in position and speed data so accurately that it can often be used to identify what lane a cyclist is using on a particular road. With such accuracy, could the government use Strava data to figure out if a cyclist ran a stop sign or a stoplight? Could it be used in the event of an accident involving a vehicle to map a cyclist's behavior prior to a collision? This is just speculation, as the data is intended to be anonymous.

It would be easy for them to create a database of Strava's user-created "segments" to identify "hot spots" where cyclists may be riding in especially aggressive fashion. In his piece in Bicycling magazine on the Strava-related death of Kim Flint in 2010, David Darlington compared some of the site's "KOM" segments to illegal street racing. He even showed how easy it is to identify cyclists breaking the law by finding several KOM segment leaders who recorded speeds in excess of the posted speed limit.

"

Any program which runs right is obsolete.

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