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Submission + - Houston firm NanoRacks to take Chinese experiment to International Space Station->

MarkWhittington writes: The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Berger reported on that for the first time a Chinese experiment will fly on the International Space Station, thanks to an arrangement between a research group based at the Beijing Institute of Technology and a private firm in Houston called NanoRacks. The deal seems to have been designed to avoid the prohibition against space cooperation between the Chinese regime and NASA, since the space agency is not directly involved. The experiment, which involves the effects that space radiation has on DNA, will be carried to the ISS by another private firm, SpaceX. Presumably the experiment would be run by a non NASA crew member to avoid any direct involvement with the space agency.
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Submission + - The Web We Have to Save-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Hossein Derakhshan endured a six-year prison term in Iran for doing something most of us would take for granted: running a blog. He has a unique perspective — he was heavily involved in internet culture, becoming known as Iran's "blogfather," before suddenly being completely shut off from the online world in 2008. Seven months ago, he was released. When he got settled, he took up his old work of blogging, but was surprised by how much the web has changed in just a few years. Now he decries our reliance on monolithic social streams that prioritize image and meme sharing over the thing that makes the web the web: links.

"The hyperlink represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web—a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization—all the links, lines and hierarchies—and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Blogs gave form to that spirit of decentralization: They were windows into lives you’d rarely know much about; bridges that connected different lives to each other and thereby changed them. ... Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realized how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete."

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Comment Re:They should make them all core subjects (Score 1) 107 107

Given how exceptional has been used lately, my first thought after reading that was, "too late", because the way some people use it they seem to mean by it that the United States is superior to all other countries in every way imaginable. Though I'm not sure that it's become normal for every country to claim exceptionalism.

Comment Re:And it's a stupid statement (Score 1) 67 67

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The law of diminishing returns states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower incremental per-unit returns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

There are three basic resources or factors of production: land, labour, and capital. ... Materials and energy are considered secondary factors in classical economics because they are obtained from land, labour and capital.

Is only one factor of production being changed? The prices of microchips have gone down, (capital) one can fit more transistors in a given amount of space, and more space is devoted to computers.

Submission + - CollegeBoard: Analyses of CS Study Benefits Shouldn't be Interpreted as Causal

theodp writes: Code.org, backed by some of tech's wealthiest individuals and their companies, is this close to getting computer science declared a 'core subject' in K-12 public schools. So, when the non-profit recently asked CollegeBoard for more evidence that learning computer science is linked to improved learning in other subjects, it must have been disheartened by the study results. "The purpose of this brief note," wrote the CollegeBoard, "is to document some exploratory analyses linking participation in AP Computer Science to subsequent performance in SAT Mathematics and AP Calculus and Statistics. None of these analyses should be interpreted as causal. Although there appears to be a relationship between AP CS participation and subsequent outcomes, it is highly likely that this is the result of one or more omitted and confounding characteristics of students that are not able to be controlled for given this research design."

Submission + - Non-invasive spinal cord stimulation gets paralyzed legs moving again->

schwit1 writes: Five men with complete motor paralysis have regained the ability to move their legs voluntarily and produce step-like movements after being treated with a non-invasive form of spinal cord stimulation. The new treatment builds on prior work to generate voluntary movements in paralyzed people through electrical stimulation â" in particular, two studies (one completed in 2011, the other in 2014) that involved surgically implanting an electrode array on the spinal cord. This time, however, the researchers found success without performing any invasive surgery.

The new treatment uses a technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which involves strategically placing electrodes on the skin of the lower back. While receiving stimulation, the men's legs were supported by braces that hung from the ceiling. At first their legs only moved involuntarily, if at all. But they soon found they could voluntarily extend the distance their legs moved during stimulation. They doubled their range of voluntary motion after four treatment sessions.

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Submission + - "Happy Birthday" Public Domain after all?->

jazzdude00021 writes: No song has had as contentious of copyright history as "Happy Birthday." The song is nearly ubiquitous at birthday parties in the USA, and even has several translations with the same tune. Due to copyrights held by Warner Music, public performances have historically commanded royalty fees. However, a new lawsuit has been brought to prove that "Happy Birthday" is, and always has been in the public domain.The discovery phase for this lawsuit ended on July, 11 2014, yet this past week new evidence surfaced from Warner Music that may substantiate the claim that the lyrics were in the public domain long before the copyright laws changed in 1927. From the source:

And, here's the real kicker: they discovered this bit of evidence after two questionable things happened. (1) Warner/Chappell Music (who claims to hold the copyright for the publishing, if it exists) suddenly "found" a bunch of relevant documents that it was supposed to hand over in discovery last year, but didn't until just a few weeks ago, and (2) a rather important bit of information in one of those new documents was somewhat bizarrely "blurred out." This led the plaintiffs go searching for the original, and discover that it undermines Warner Music's arguments, to the point of showing that the company was almost certainly misleading the court. Furthermore, it definitively shows that the work was and is in the public domain.


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Comment Re:If you think Windows is bad (Score 1) 367 367

But his statement is based on the fact that many software sellers don't have a version of their software for anything else but Windows. In the cell phone space you are more likely to find something you want done in both iOS and Android. There are also more apps you can use in Android than in iOS because you are not limited to the Google app store.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics

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