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Comment (Score 4, Informative) 368 368

They weren't afraid of damaging the drones, they were afraid of the drones crashing the planes dropping the water. The air dropping planes end up flying rather low to avoid dispersing the water too far since the heat in the fire is enough to otherwise boil it off before it hits the ground, making it roughly useless in that case. Since the drones are flying high enough that they could hit the planes or end up in the jets there's a real risk of a crash which isn't going to help anybody at all.

Comment Re:How much you got? (Score 1) 184 184

That's exactly what was happening at my last company. Between all the locations/departments etc. they had a total contract with Oracle on the order of ~$4m. They recently finished the migration from what I've heard to completely shutting out Oracle entirely.

Submission + - Linode hacked, CCs and passwords leaked 6 6

An anonymous reader writes: On Friday Linode announced a precautionary password reset due to an attack despite claiming that they were not compromised. The attacker has claimed otherwise, claiming to have obtained card numbers and password hashes. Password hashes, source code fragments and directory listings have been released as proof. Linode has yet to comment on or deny these claims.

Intercontinental Mind-Meld Unites Two Rats 176 176

ananyo writes "The brains of two rats on different continents have been made to act in tandem. When the first, in Brazil, uses its whiskers to choose between two stimuli, an implant records its brain activity and signals to a similar device in the brain of a rat in the United States. The U.S. rat then usually makes the same choice on the same task. Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says that this system allows one rat to use the senses of another, incorporating information from its far-away partner into its own representation of the world. 'It's not telepathy. It's not the Borg,' he says. 'But we created a new central nervous system made of two brains.' Nicolelis says that the work, published today, is the first step towards constructing an organic computer that uses networks of linked animal brains to solve tasks. But other scientists who work on neural implants are skeptical."

Comment Re:user space drivers (Score 1) 102 102

It's usually because it requires the actual talking to the hardware to require a context change from userspace to kernel space on x86 based systems (I suspect the other major archs have similar issues but don't know for certain). This is because userspace is normally protected from touching hardware so that it can't cause side effects to other processes without the kernel knowing about it. A good microkernel should be able to give that access directly to userspace but I don't believe most CPUs play nicely with that idea currently, though if they did it could greatly reduce any performance hits to where it's negligable for most loads.

Comment Re:...Why? (Score 1) 328 328

The US also has the ability to disable GPS for certain areas and has in the past degraded the quality of data for national security reasons ( ). Though this has been changing (new satelites don't have it, though really it's just a software update), it puts pressure on other places to put up their own systems that are either compatible or at least non-interferring so that should the US ever do anything like that again, they cannot be impacted by it. It's a bit like MAD but instead of destruction, nobody can ever get degraded service (assuming enough players). This also raises the question of who should pay for it all, since with three systems now going that all work, it could let each place share only a part of the costs (eventually).

Comment Re:write a new story? (Score 1) 396 396

For example, take the recent Avengers movie. It's a typical run-of-the-mill superhero movie - several superheroes (including the Iron Man) band together to save the humanity from strange invaders from the outer space. Could we instead see a movie about the technology beyond the Iron Man's suit being duplicated and mass-produced? After all, the Iron Man is roughly equal in power with the other superheroes in that movie so a battalion of them would have easily kicked invaders' asses.

You missed Iron Man 2. That's roughly what was going on (but the originals still managed to take down the army, same basic plot just different villian).

Such a movie would inevitably have to deal with lots of interesting stuff: the effect on society, governmental structure, place of humanity in the universe, etc. There are superhero movies that attempt to do this, but they are few and far between ("Watchmen" being the only recent one).

Unfortunately they only touched very lightly on that in Iron Man 2, despite doing nearly entirely what you were talking about before. This I think is one of the big problems with these movies at least as far as them being much more than just action for the sake of action.

Another example - science. In most superhero movies scientists are immoral and/or evil. They mostly do experiments on people (usually without consent of the test subjects) that later backfire. Alternatively, scientists along with their backers work on evil world domination schemes. And if a scientist is not evil, then he or she is most likely going to be exposed to their own experiment resulting in them gaining some superpower by accident. Is it such a wonder that science loses popularity in the USA?

There's a few counter examples in this, most notably would be the scientists in the captain america movies, but in the long run a number of the story all of them end up dead (according to the comics, cartoons, etc.). So it's just a slightly different take on the same concept. I've got to agree with you there.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.