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Comment: Re:Broad question, but, (Score 2, Insightful) 200

by odyaws (#23138032) Attached to: What is the First Day in a University Lab Like?

Lab work is not always glamorous.
Correction: lab work is almost never glamorous. Generating real, publishable results is a long, slow, often boring process. Actually getting those results, though, can be immensely rewarding. As the parent post said, keep an open mind, do a good job at whatever you're asked to do, and keep an eye open for places where you can contribute without being asked.

+ - DARPA announces Urban Challenge teams->

Submitted by jazz11man1
jazz11man1 writes: Today, DARPA announced the 36 teams (pdf) that will be able to compete in the National Qualifying Event (NQE) for the Urban Challenge. They also announced that the competition will be held at an army training facility in Victorville, CA. Of the 36 teams that compete at the NQE from October 26-31, 2007, the top 20 will continue onto the final event on November 3.
Link to Original Source

+ - A Gateway for Hackers

Submitted by odyaws
odyaws writes: The Washington Post is carrying a story about an unintended consequence of Congress allowing telecommunications surveillance without even a FISA warrant if one party is outside the United States: the infrastructure required could provide a juicy target for foreign intelligence agencies and rogue hackers. By making it possible for the NSA to listen in (particularly since they need to be able to listen in only on conversations including a party outside the US), it could also be possible for others to access our phone calls. The author points out that this threat is not just theoretical, citing specific attacks in Greece and the US. While it's natural to be suspicious of any government wiretapping program, have we been missing the larger threat of the security hole it opens?
The Courts

+ - The Brain on the Stand

Submitted by odyaws
odyaws writes: The New York Times is carrying a long article on the up-and-coming methodology of using techniques from neuroscience, particularly fMRI, in criminal cases. As defendants are winning trials or gaining leniency based on brain abnormalities ("the tumor made me do it"), it brings to light difficult questions of legal culpability for criminals with neurological problems, a natural extension of the insanity defense. Particularly chilling is the speculation on the future use of brain scans to determine likelihood of future criminal activity in potential parolees and others such as terrorism suspects.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton