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The Military

Meet DARPA's New Militarized Earthworm 83

derekmead writes "Meshworm is a toughened, robotic earthworm that can crawl virtually silently at a speed of about 5 millimeters per second. DARPA wants to send it into battle. Believe it or not, the Pentagon's been working on building a robotic earthworm for a while. They tried putting one together with gears. They tried with air-powered and pneumatic pumps, but the results were bulky and untenable. Then, researchers at Harvard, MIT and Seoul National University in Korea put their heads together and designed an 'artificial muscle.' It's essentially a polymer mesh that's wrapped with nickel and titanium wire designed to stretch and contract with heat. When an electric current is applied, the mesh mimics the circular muscle system of an earthworm to scoot forward."

Comment Really? (Score 1) 650

So where's the data that shows that rich people aren't left lane hogging road raging jackasses like most other people? How about the guy last week in a Z4 that almost caused an accident as he tried to cut me off in the left lane, the only reason being he thought I was going too fast. Anecdotal evidence for sure, but at least I have some form of evidence.

Comment Re:Lots of failures there. (Score 0) 297

Assembly failure - leave a rag.
Inspection failure - did not check for rag.
Pre-flight final inspection - still did not find the rag.

Wow, complete failure all the way down the line from assembly to mating with the launch vehicle.

You could say it's 3 failures - but it's not. What it is is that no single person really cares about this launch, it's just a jobs program for many many people. I see it happen everyday - fortunately we don't lose $2 billion dollar satellites, but the same principle applies.

If there was a Orville Wright or a Steve Jobs or even a Jeff Bezos in charge of this satellite, this wouldn't happen. Although this is easier said than done, I'm sure there are many dedicated people who would make it their life and death mission to make sure it succeeded - but they are held in check by everyone else participating in the "jobs program". I have no idea how to fix this, but it's a problem everywhere around the world.

Comment You don't (Score 1) 659

Clearly the technical stuff he will educate himself on, and ask for the things he needs in order to do so. The only thing you have to be concerned about is social skills, and having some semblance of normality in childhood.

Comment Re:I agree, *however* (Score 1) 476


could you please explain this to me a little more, as you would for, say, your wife (supposing she does not develop mac os' kernel extensions, too)? This is not a provocation, it's just the fact that for the first time in my life, the mouse movements felt "natural" were on a mac machine. I've been using mice since the 80s with a 256x192 screen (a msx: the mouse didn't even had the ball - the wheels touched the surface), and it always felt, don't know how to say, ackward. Windows feels strange to me, linux feels just weird. But OS/2 actually felt a little better.

So I would like to understand the question a little bit better, if possible.

Turn the "Tracking Speed" to the fastest possible. Now to try to use the mouse. You will notice the lower "step" does not change in speed, however when you cross the step boundary, the cursor starts flying (though still not that fast). the step boundary is arbitrary and not something a human can learn by muscle memory. In fact the most precise mouse users (gamers) usually turn off mouse acceleration so that they can have muscle memory for mouse vs screen locations. In the real world however some acceleration is good because you may be trying to pin-point 1-2 pixels, and at the same time want to be able to move the cursor to different parts of the screen without getting visual feedback because it's slow. You want to click a button, move the mouse and click without thinking - it should be natural.

Comment Re:I agree, *however* (Score 1) 476

So faster is better? Lower mouse sensitivity is for people who aren't distinguishing?
I can cross my 30" monitor without lifting the mouse (total of about 3" of movement), but it's fine enough for photoshop work. If I need to move the mouse that often, I'll use the command line instead.
I would say the onus is on you to explain why we're all idiots and your preferred mouse sensitivity/acceleration curve should be the default.

Yes actually it is, fast and precise. The default setting are for novices, and there are no possible settings that allow you to get *really good* at using it. Sure it's good enough for most people. Most people don't take high performance driving classes, they are content to treat their cars like appliances- but if they wanted to they *could* be really good at it. The same applies to a keyboard and mouse, however I repeat again, my gripe is that it never allows you to become proficient with it.

Currently I cross 1920 pixels in ~1 inch of mouse movement, that's at the highest DPI setting. I'd ideally like it to be less that 0.5", I see there's a 5000+ DPI logitech out now, I think I'm about to buy it.

The retina display is a retina display for *most people*. I like how my original post got marked as a troll even though I was backing Apple. LOL.

Comment Re:I agree, *however* (Score 3, Interesting) 476

Either that or he insists on using a third-party mouse with inadequate driver support for Mac OS X, so what he thinks is helping him is really causing his problem.

Actually my solution is to not use any third party fixes, to use the default (or lower) mouse sensitivity setting, and then use a logitech mouse which will by hardware switch have a huge input DPI. This minimized the acceleration "step" behavior while still allowing me to cross two monitors with a very small and precise mouse movement. This is opposed to the normal mac mouse and user which consists of - elbow move the mouse across the desk, pick it up and move it back, repeat several times.

Comment Re:I agree, *however* (Score 4, Informative) 476

No offense but you have issues. Either your integrity or your dexterity are in serious doubt.

I'm simply a more distinguishing user. Try the google search below. Note: I develop OSX kernel extensions and I'm writing this from the WWDC right now - Apple broke the API's all of the "fix" programs you will find below use to try and fix the acceleration curve.

Comment Re:Won't be needing 3D TV (Score 4, Interesting) 218

Won't be needing 3D TV ... ever.
Just saw my first full length film in 3D, and I don't need that in my house. It just doesn't add that much to the viewing experience.
I'll be skipping blu-ray.

Let me guess you have no depth perception and are partially blind? Watching Avatar in RealD 3D was quite an experience. It wasn't just me either, people were standing up in the theater trying to grab the RealD introduction out of the air. No flicker, no headaches, no red/blue tinting.

I am not easily impressed.


Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games 169

A recent report from a games industry analyst suggests that among a number of factors leading to the purchase of a video game — such as price, graphics and word of mouth — the game's aggregated review score is the least important measure. Analyst Doug Creutz said, "We believe that while Metacritic scores may be correlated to game quality and word of mouth, and thus somewhat predictive of title performance, they are unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game. We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores. We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."

Comment The bold new face of science fiction! (Score 5, Funny) 829

1. Scientists are evil scheming power hungry liars that screw everything up.
2. Politicians are selfless and caring human beings who will gladly give up their lives for you.
3. Thirty year old gamers living with their mom are solving for the Grand Unified Theory by playing Warcraft 18 hours a day.

Well, at least they didn't leave out the patronization.

*sigh* to me it feels like the era of good science fiction is over.

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