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Comment Other option (Score 0) 392

A car without electronics.

`My` (family owned) car hits 27 years of age, diesel, runs 1:21 to 1:23 (around 51 mile per gallon). And it actually makes that number.

Admittingly it has no fine-dust filter. But i also believe it's far less polluting simply because it's efficiency, and a 1.3 liter engine, which is small for a diesel. It's no speed monster, yet it comfortably reaches 150km/h.

The only electronics in the car is the radio playing my mp3's.

I believe regulations lead to this 'cheating'. We had fine and pretty clean engines 25 years ago! Apart adding catalysators (whats your USA word for it) and dust filters, there's not much to improve on it. Yet, govs want to because they think and believe like economists do: that technology can always improve.

Well, it simply can't. You have to achieve a good combustion. Of course electronic timing and fuel pump control / injection control may help, but it will be very marginal. We had excellent engines without any electronics, and the added electronics will only help improving the last few percent that mechanic solutions can't.

Off-topic: this car was made by VW...

Submission The $9 Computer is Shipping Today!->

An anonymous reader writes: The $9 CHIP computer is shipping. According to Dave Rauchwerk, CEO of Next Thing Co., single units will go out to early backers in 5 to 9 days; additional orders will arrive in December. But if you backed the project at the Kernel Hacker Backer level on Kickstarter, you will receive two CHIP computers — the second by mid-October.
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Submission Can living in total darkness for 5 days "reset" the visual system?->

the_newsbeagle writes: That's what one neuroscientist is aiming to find out. He wants to put patients with a type of amblyopia, the vision problem commonly called lazy eye, into the dark for 5 days. His hypothesis: When they emerge, their brains' visual cortices will be temporarily "plastic" and changeable, and may begin to process the visual signals from their bad eyes correctly. Before he could do this study, though, he had to do a test run to figure out logistics. So he himself lived in a pitch black room for 5 days. One finding: Eating ravioli in the dark is hard.
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Submission The 2015 Underhanded C Contest has begun->

Xcott Craver writes: The 8th Underhanded C Contest is now underway. The goal of the Underhanded C Contest is to write C code that is as readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible, but which performs some malicious function that is not obvious from looking at the source code. This year's challenge is based on a real problem in joint development for nuclear treaty verification, and the prize is $1000.
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Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 4, Insightful) 132

Valid points - however, most European countries have some form of national TV.

When i am abroad, i'm often annoyed with the dutch public TV digital online channels not being available, due to whatever IP issue causes it. Which i find quite absurd, since it's available for free within my country.

I would welcome a situation where i can watch British, German, French, Italian, Belgian and Dutch television stations online. If all countries open op public stations, i see it as win-win for everyone.

Commercial thinkers should realize i can only watch one TV channel at a time. The BBC will obviously put up the argument that 'everyone speaks English and not everyone speaks French or German, hence their audience is bigger and thus the market is skewed'. And while their may be some truth in that, the British tax-payer will not pay a penny more or less if half Europe watches their shows, since the cost is in creating them, not in distributing.

Likely, IP issues only play with purchased shows (overseas content, sports, etc). Everything produced by public broadcasters themselves - payed by taxpayers - will only profit from a bigger audience in my view.

Submission Do you have aphantasia?->

bravni writes: "Certain people, researchers have discovered, can’t summon up mental images — it’s as if their mind’s eye is blind. This month in the journal Cortex, the condition received a name: aphantasia."

Until reading this article, I myself never really understood that for most people "a mental image" was more than a figure of speech.

Who else has aphantasia? Did you find out long ago or only recently? How would you describe your thought processes, for example if you are asked what colour is your front door, how would you know the answer?

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Submission Coming Soon - Robots With Bacteria-Controlled Brains->

giulioprisco writes: Scientists used a mathematical model — a computer simulation — to demonstrate that bacteria can control the behavior of a robot. Though the research has been limited to computer simulations so far, the researchers are building real-world robots controlled by bacteria engineered in the lab. Robots with bacteria-controlled brains could have important theoretical and practical applications to agriculture, health care, and environmental engineering.
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Submission Siri "Charge my phone to 100%" calls 911

mrspoonsi writes: After much fanfare and publicity on the company's part, Apple's conception of a personal assistant is now ingrained in popular culture; you won't be able to find a comedy show without at least one joke about Siri and for good reason. Using natural language to communicate with our gadgets is still a relatively new technology and, as a result, often leads to particularly hilarious situations. Today, we have the latest in a string of bizarre responses by the virtual assistant. Tell Siri to "charge my phone to 100%" and she will immediately call 911, giving you just 5 seconds of respite to stop the virtual assistant from sending out an SOS. There is no official word on what the cause of this is but the two possibilities are that it's either a bug or a hidden function that allows you to call the police in an emergency. There has been no official communication from Apple referring to such a feature, however.

Submission ELIoT, distributed programming for the Internet of Things

descubes writes: ELIoT (Extensible Language for the Internet of Things) is a new programming language designed to facilitate distributed programming. A code sample with less than 20 lines of code looks like a single program, but really runs on three different computers to collect temperature measurements and report when they differ. ELIoT transforms a simple sensor API into a rich, remotely-programmable API, giving your application the opportunity to optimize energy usage and minimize network traffic.

Using less resources than Bash, and capable of serving hundred of clients easily on a Raspberry Pi, ELIoT transparently sends program fragments around, but also the data they need to function, e.g. variable values or function definitions. This is possible because, like in Lisp, programs are data. ELIoT has no keywords, and program constructs such as loops or if-then-else are defined in the library rather than in the language. This makes the language very flexible and extensible, so that you can adapt it to the needs of your application.

The project is still very young (published last week), and is looking for talented developers interested in distributed programming, programming languages or language design.

Submission Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s

sycodon writes: A new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645.

Submission Adblock Plus Reduces University Network Bandwidth Use By 40 Percent

Mickeycaskill writes: Simon Fraser University in British Colombia, Canada claims it saved between 25 and 40 percent of its network bandwidth by deploying Adblock Plus across its internal network.

The study tested the ability of the Adblock Plus browser extension in reducing IP traffic when installed in a large enterprise network environment, and found that huge amounts of bandwidth was saved by blocking web-based advertisements and video trailers.

The experiment carried out over a period of six week, and involved 100 volunteers in an active enterprise computing environment at the university. The study’s main conclusions were that Adblock Plus was not only effective in blocking online advertisements, but that it “significantly” reduced network data usage.

Although the university admits there are some limitations of the study, it suggests that the reduced network data demand would lead to lower infrastructure costs than a comparable network without Adblock Plus.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM