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Music By Natural Selection 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the survival-of-the-grooviest dept.
maccallr writes "The DarwinTunes experiment needs you! Using an evolutionary algorithm and the ears of you the general public, we've been evolving a four bar loop that started out as pretty dismal primordial auditory soup and now after >27k ratings and 200 generations is sounding pretty good. Given that the only ingredients are sine waves, we're impressed. We got some coverage in the New Scientist CultureLab blog but now things have gone quiet and we'd really appreciate some Slashdotter idle time. We recently upped the maximum 'genome size' and we think that the music is already benefiting from the change."
Earth

+ - Jewel Tone Solar Panels Generate Energy From Indir-> 1

Submitted by
MikeChino
MikeChino writes "Solar panels go disco in these jewel-toned transparent solar cell sheets. Developed by Israel-based GreenSun Energy, the fresh technology uses 80% less silicon than traditional solar cells and is capable of generating energy from diffuse light rather than relying upon direct sunlight. As the direct or indirect sunlight hits the panels, it diffuses across and the nanoparticles of metal direct and concentrate the sunlight to the edges where the silicon is."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Raptorex Challenges Dinosaur Evolution

Submitted by
chrb
chrb writes "BBC News and ScienceBlogs are reporting on a new paper by Paul Serano titled "Tyrannosaurid Skeletal Design First Evolved at Small Body Size" (subscription required). The paper presents Raptorex kriegsteini, a newly discovered species of dinosaur that resembles a miniature T. rex, but predates the actual Tyrannosaurus rex by 60 million years. The discovery has challenged the accepted dogma of paleontological evolution, where it has traditionally been accepted that T. rex features, such as small arms, developed over time in response to increasing body size. Raptorex kriegsteini shows all the features of a T. rex on a scale 1/90th the size, measuring 3 metres from head to tail, and weighing 65kg, suggesting that the design "worked" on a small scale, and was subsequently scaled up to the large."

Comment: Re:Depends on the parents (Score 1) 1345

by thered (#29314263) Attached to: Schooling, Homeschooling, and Now, "Unschooling"

Yes, success in unschooling very much depends on the parents.

Unschooling, properly done, is much more difficult for the parents than typical homeschooling. Most homeschoolers depend on cirricula written by others. For unschoolers, its all done on the fly.

Is your kid interested about
  - Ancient Egypt? Learn about mining limestone, or the chemistry of mummification.
  - Robotics? Lego Mindstorms.
  - Justice? Attend actual trials, discuss the issues that come up.

Most of the comments here are confusing "un-schooling" with "no-schooling", or "non-schooling". The meanings of the two terms couldn't be further apart.

Comment: Re:logic? (Score 1) 267

by thered (#28734301) Attached to: Belgium Tries to Fine Yahoo for Protecting US User Privacy

Maybe the (Belgian) logic was something along these lines:

Yahoo email accounts were used by Belgian citizens to commit some sort of crime. If Yahoo allows Belgian citizens to open an use Yahoo email accounts from computers located in Belgium, then Yahoo is "doing business" in Belgium, and thus is subject to Belgian laws, at least as far as these "Belgian" email accounts.

Sci-Fi

+ - Simon Pegg is Scotty in Trek prequel

Submitted by
ndogg
ndogg writes "The crew list for the Trek prequel keeps getting bigger, and the newest addition is probably the most interesting one. Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead is to play as Scotty. Well, at least they'll be ready if they run into any alien zombies."

Comment: Re:Break By Design (Score 2, Interesting) 554

by thered (#17020124) Attached to: Why Do Gadgets Break?
>1. Design specifications intentionally limit durability
>2. Business decision to make the device fail. If I can't sell any more widgets, then how will I stay in business?
>3. No consumers want something to last for decades.

Aren't the first two of these points business decisions that got American auto manufacturers in trouble. Ever since the Japanese started taking the lead in quality, the market share has been going in their direction.

And doesn't this go against point 3 ? For many products consumers do want reliability.

Our cordless phone's "1" stopped working after two years, conveniently past the 1 year warranty period - I'd be happy if it lasted decades. Personally, I've never seen an AT&T rotary phone fail, nor even an older touchtone phone.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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