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Comment Re:Pay? (Score 2) 133

Well, that's fine. The interns don't have any useful skills anyway, they're not even up to the level of entry-level fresh grad. And 99.9% of them think programming is all about social apps or other web sites. If they go somewhere else to get trained at someone else's expense then there's no problem. Interns are a major pain to hire, you have to hand hold them the entire time because they have little idea how a corporation works, how their computer works, how to work independently without bothering everyone else. Or you get an EE intern doing a job requiring some programming and you have to waste time telling them why their program doesn't compile.

I interned at a start-up while working toward my S.B. EE/dual Ph.D. and left a self-made millionaire before completing the latter due, in no small part, to all of the contributions I had made, ideas I handed out, and so forth; one of the other interns there, who was also from my alma mater and working toward her Ph.D., also left a millionaire for the same reasons. Suffice to say, your comment about interns being worthless and having no skills is utter nonsense. Moreover, I'm sure there are plenty of students from places like MIT, CMU, Cornell, UIUC, Princeton, GaTech, Stanford, and Berkeley who could corroborate this assertion.

Comment Re:Finally doing what Microsoft should have done.. (Score 1) 181

How would something like this make money for Microsoft? I'm serious. It's a cool research project, but it has few concrete applications, in the near future, at least, and a very high chance of failure.

There are an enormous number of applications for this type of functionality, especially once they stop running NEURON ( on supercomputing clusters and start developing smaller, more computationally efficient hardware-based solutions.

In machine vision and learning, for example, there would be an enormous potential for a simulated brain that could accurately mimic most, if not all, of the same visual and low-level thought capabilities as humans. As an overview, such a system could be deployed in nursing homes, independent living facilities, and homes to detect falls, monitor residents for early warning signs of various critical events/conditions and alert the appropriate staff, remind those with early Alzheimer's disease how to perform certain activities of daily living, and so on. In robotics, the same system would allow for the development of fully-autonomous platforms that would be aware of their environment, complete verbally-supplied instructions, work together to complete complex tasks, and much more. Both of these applications, let alone many others, would be multi-billion dollar industries for Microsoft, the former due to the sheer number of elderly people that would spring for such a system, especially if it was reasonably priced, so that they could "age in place", and the latter for basically revolutionizing the automated manufacturing industry.

Comment Re:Dairy for 25k years? (Score 4, Interesting) 77

Lactase persistence into adulthood is a relatively recent, as you speculated, and is thought to have been introduced approximately 10,000 years ago. For a nice overview, you can peruse:

D. M. Swallow, "Genetics of lactase persistence and lactose intolerance", Ann. Rev. Genet., 37: 197-219, 2003
E. J. Hollox, M. Poulter, M. Zvarik, V. Ferak, A. Krause, et al., "Lactase haplotype diversity in the Old World", Am. J. Hum. Genet., 68: 160-172, 2001
M. Slatkin and G. Bertorelle, "The use of intraallelic variability for testing neutrality and estimating population growth rate", Genetics, 158: 865-874, 2001
M. Slatkin, "Balancing selection at closely linked, overdominant loci in a finite population", Genetics, 154: 1367-1378, 2000
J. Metneki, A. Czeizel, S. Flatz, and G. Flatz, "A study of lactose absorption capacity in twins", Hum. Genet., 67: 296-300, 1984
G. Flatz, "Gene dosage effect on intestinal lactase activity demonstrated in vivo", Am. J. Hum. Genet., 36: 306-310, 1984
T. Sahi, "The inheritance of selective adult-type lactose malabsorption", Scand. J. Gastroentrerol., 9: 1-73, 1974
G. Flatz and H. W. Rotthauwe, "Evidence against nutritional adaption to tolerance to lactase", Humangenetik, 13" 118-125, 1971

Comment Re:I have a very amazing and interesting reponse . (Score 3, Informative) 82

Most, if not all authors, will be more than happy to send you the final copy of the manuscript if you email them, even if you aren't affiliated with a university or a researcher yet want still to learn about their work. In the case of old papers that can't be found on the Internet, which is common for some math journals that are no longer in print, I've found authors to be especially accommodating in sending hard copies.

Comment Re:Blamestorming (Score 3, Informative) 248

But I do agree most of the graduating "computer engineers" I've interviewed barely knew how to code and had a few canned routines like bubble-sorting memorized. The ones claiming to be Microsoft certified were even more embarrassing.

I'm not sure you're aware, but, depending upon the school, an S.B. in computer engineering can be much more akin to an S.B. in electrical engineering than one in computer science. To elaborate, some computer engineering programs are part a joint department that focus almost entirely on circuit analysis and design, solid-state theory, (non-)linear/stochastic control, architecture design, electromagnetics, and much more, with very little, if any, emphasis on programming.

Comment Re:Yeah, because thats exactly who I trust. (Score 2) 154

Like how in the 70s scientists all over the world proved and knew nuclear energy was causing an ice age but of course we all know how good their factual evidence turned out to be.

Or like how you're wrong about that, since there was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that Earth was headed into an ice age:

T. C. Peterson, W. M. Connolley, and J. Feck, "The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89: 1325-1337, 2008.

Comment Re:Weekly homage (Score 1) 21

Stuff looks promising indeed, it's just sad that so many people refuse to even consider the possibilities.

I will admit that there are plenty of possibilities, as there are with every embedded platform/microcontroller that I have either designed or utilized in my research over the years. However, the Raspberry Pi, while nice for some, is nothing about which people should be constantly harping week after week, especially on Slashdot.

Comment Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (Score 3, Interesting) 142

Including a processor on the backside of the PaperTab wouldn't likely be a huge problem, as there are multiple research groups investigating ultralow-power, flexible, organic electronics, e.g.,

G. H. Gelinck, et al., "Flexible active matrix displays and shift registers based on solution-processed organic transistors", Nature Mater., 3: 106, 2004
K. Nomura, et al., "Room-temperature fabrication of transparent flexible thin-film transistors using amorphous oxide semiconductors", Nature, 432: 488-492, 2004
B. Yoo, et al., "High-performance solution-deposited n-channel organic transistors and their complementary circuits", Adv. Mater., 19: 4028, 2007
H. Klauk, et al., "Ultralow-power organic complementary circuits", Nature, 445: 745, 2007
W. Xiong, et al., "A 3-V, 6-bit C-2C digital-to-analog converter using complementary organic thin-film transistors on glass", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 45: 1380-1388, 2010
H. Marien, et al., "A fully integrated delta sigma ADC in organic thin-film transistor technology on flexible plastic foil", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 46: 276-284, 2011
K. Myny, et al., "Unipolar organic transistor circuits made robust by dual-gate technology", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 46: 1223-1230, 2011
K. Myny, et al., "An 8-bit, 40-instructions-per-second organic microprocessor on plastic foil", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 47: 284-291, 2012

Beyond that, there are already flexible batteries on the market.

Comment Would have loved this... (Score 3, Insightful) 164

I would have loved this when I was growing up, considering that programmable robots at that time were limited to industry and research labs at universities.

In any event, the asking price seems a bit too high for what LEGO are offering and with what's now available today; touching on just one facet, after a cursory glance on Mouser/DigiKey, PCB manufacturing companies, and 3D printing shops, the so-called intelligent brick, along with its circuitry innards, could easily be fabricated on a one-off basis for under $75-100 USD. For $350 USD, they should have at least thrown in a decent CMOS camera and more servos.

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