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Just Months After Jeopardy!, Watson Wows Doctors 291

kkleiner writes "Following its resounding victory on Jeopardy!, IBM's Watson has been working hard to learn as much about medicine as it can with a steady diet of medical textbooks and healthcare journals. In a recent demonstration to the Associated Press, Watson showed a promising ability to diagnose patients. The demonstration was a success, and it is the hope of IBM and many medical professionals that in the coming years Watson will lend doctors a helping hand as they perform their daily rounds."

Project Icarus: the Gas Mines of Uranus 155

astroengine writes "When considering the fuel source for a fusion-powered interstellar probe, wouldn't it be a good idea to set up a colony on the moon and start pillaging the lunar surface for its helium-3 riches? Not so fast, says Adam Crowl of Project Icarus, there may be a far more viable source. What about the gas giants? Although Jupiter's gravity could pose a problem and Saturn's rings might get in the way (and forget Neptune, that place is one hell of a commute), perhaps the helium-3 in the Uranian atmosphere could be mined using atmospheric balloons?"

Comment Re:Won't touch the cloud now. (Score 1) 117

Cloud computing is a marketing architecture, not a technical architecture.

Cloud computing is a form of shared hosting, just with more encapsulation; Clouds fall over the same way a server can fall over. It's hard to blame "The Cloud" when the reality is the people that were suckered in by obtuse, non-specific marketing are the ones at fault. The argument can even be made that Clouds are worse becuase instead of many discreet isolated servers you start sharing more single points of failure, which lead to IO bottlenecks, etc.
Hardware Hacking

DIY Laser Pistol Shoot 1MW Blasts 284

An anonymous reader writes "It doesn't get cooler than this — a German hacker put together a 1MW laser pistol capable of shooting straight through a razor blade with a single pulse. Quoting: 'Fitted with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, it fires off a 1 MW blast of infrared light once the capacitors have fully charged. The duration of the laser pulse is somewhere near 100ns, so he was unable to catch it on camera, but its effects are easily visible in whatever medium he has fired upon.'" Update: 03/17 18:22 GMT by T : Too bad; turns out it's "only" 1KW, rather than 1MW. I still want one.

Comment Re:In a free country (Score 1) 586

To be the devil's advocate - gathering evidence IS the attempt of proving guilt.

That makes no sense. You can't break-into someone's house to gather evidence just because you feel like it. There are rules that must be followed, and yes, the law applies to the govt. too. Even if they have the means to skirt the law via warrants, etc, they must follow procedure. TBH, I'm glad the judicial branch is starting to get a backbone.


Watch IBM's Watson On Jeopardy Tonight 293

JohnMurtari notes that the media hype machines are massively promoting tonight's battle between Jeopardy champions and a super computer. Yes it's a PR stunt. But I imagine the actual research probably had a lot of interesting problems to address. Anyway, you can learn about IBM Watson if you're interested. I'm sure the most amusing bits will be on YouTube about 30 seconds after air time.

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Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind... - Percy Bysshe Shelley