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+ - SPAM: Functioning brain follows famous sand pile model

thelanrecoke writes: In 1999 Danish scientist Per Bak made the startling proposal that the brain remained stable for much the same reason a sand pile does; many small avalanches hold it at a balance point, where — in the brain's case — information processing is optimized. Now scientists have showed for the first time that a brain receiving and processing sensory input follows these dynamics.
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Comment: Communication Methods and a True Poll (Score 2) 292 292

Perhaps ask people go to a place and let their preference be known. Let's call the place a "polling place" and let's call their preference, say, a "vote". We can get rid of the term "poll" and use some new fancy term like "election".

But, polling really does need to change with people's communication preferences. ID verification was ALWAYS a problem on phones. I think that knocking on doors, trusted e-mail, text messages, and other alternatives exist. Harder to do, but oh well. If you want good data, its ALWAYS really hard to do. Good data is very difficult to come across. All data is wrong, but sometimes it tells you something interesting... (something like that...)

The talking heads and candidates care who is "leading in the polls". I don't. I choose my candidate based on what is best for ME and then I ALWAYS vote. I ALWAYS lie to pollsters. Or do I?

+ - Disney backs off plan to have its IT staff train their H1B replacements->

helixcode123 writes: Apparently in response to backlash, Disney has reversed their plan to replace U.S. workers with foreign replacements. According to one employee “We were told our jobs were continuing and we should consider it as if nothing had happened until further notice.”
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+ - The Weak Force does more than just cause radioactive decays

StartsWithABang writes: There are four known fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. But while we often speak of gravitation as an attractive force between masses (or anything with energy), of the electric force as charged particles attracting or repelling, of quarks and gluons attracting one another and keeping nuclei bound together, we describe the weak force as “responsible for radioactive decay.” Is this right? Shouldn’t the weak force, you know, be a force? Shouldn’t there be a weak charge and attraction or repulsion based on that charge? As it turns out, there ought to be one, but due to the fact that it’s less than one-millionth the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, we were unable to measure it. Until 2013, that is, when we did for the first time!

+ - Pornhub is going to make a porn film in space->

schwit1 writes: In one small thrust for man and one giant leap for mankind, two people are set to have sex in space for the first time in human history, but for porn not procreation — Pornhub is crowdfunding a space mission to shoot an adult film in low-Earth orbit.

The site hopes to launch the mission and shoot Sexplorations in 2016, covering the pre and post-production costs itself but seeking $3.4 million from IndieGogo crowdfunders.

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Comment: Robots ahead of time... (Score 1) 46 46

The next step is to realize that we should be sending a robotic mission with this stuff a few years earlier. That way whenever the first people get there, they'll find a cleared landing field and radio guidance towers, as well as a place to stay after they debark.

Of course the fly in the ointment is that you send robots and have them spend a few years building your base. Then someone else comes in before you and claims "rights of salvage" over all of that "abandoned property" they just found.

Comment: Re:"There will come soft rains" (Score 1) 403 403

I too read this when I was young, as a part of a science fiction anthology book we had in school. It is the one story from that time that has always stuck with me. The over-shadowing sense of futility and loss in the story really triggered something in my brain.

When all else fails, read the instructions.