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Comment Re:Yikes. (Score 2) 76

It's not just any video game, it's specific video games made specifically for this purpose.

The most interesting part of the article IMO, they are using EEG 'mind reading' controllers, so when your readings show up in a certain way, you progress in the game.

Also, the summary makes it sound like they are prescribing this to everyone who comes along, when actually they are still doing preliminary studies. The preliminary studies seem to show good results, so they will probably continue deeper investigations into the topic.

Comment Re:How about no? (Score 1) 101

A technical solution to a moral/ethical problem is doomed to failure,

I'm not sure this quote is being understood correctly. Locks work fairly well for keeping people out of my house, for example. They aren't 100% perfect, but you can absolutely increase the security levels to the point where it is more effort to steal the thing than the thing is worth.

Comment Misogyny and liquid diamonds. (Score 4, Interesting) 177

Political correctness has no place in science, and neither does 'dumbing down'.

Neither does rampant misogyny.

It's interesting that you point all the fault of the paper at one "brainless female," when the paper had 11 authors, 7 of which were male, including her post-doctoral adviser, Dr. Ronald Oremland, who is a noted expert on the metabolization of toxic elements. Dr. Wolfe-Simon was the lead author on the paper, but it could not (or at least should not) have gone forward with those 10 other names without each of them approving. And if any of them were so much smarter and better than someone "only employed for reasons of political correctness, then why did all of them sign onto the "rebuttal" paper in response to criticisms of the original paper? Why does only she get the blame for this and none of them, and where do you get the notion that all of these people worked under her (much less were forced to do so for political reasons)?

One would also suspect, given her list of published papers on biochemistry, that she knows a wee bit more about chemistry than some AC blowhard on Slashdot, despite having been very wrong about GFAJ-1. The ability of arsenic to substitute imperfectly for phosphorus is in fact the very reason it's toxic. It's not impossible that there would be some biological use for arsenic, though it seems highly unlikely given the relative abundance of the two elements and the havoc that arsenic causes because of its similarity. The follow-up research in the wake of this is proving fascinating. At the very least, she's kicked off a whole new interest in arsenic biochemistry.

So, while you pat yourself on the back on your true "scientific understanding," it's clear that you haven't done ANY real research on this subject matter and are just relying on snap judgments -- not surprising considering the sheer hatred you seem to be able to call up for an entire gender. Speaking of which...

It turns out that the liquid state of carbon is mostly an unknown due to the temperatures and pressures required, but there's been a recent consensus that it acts very differently at "low" and high pressures. Computer simulations and experiments have suggested that under high pressures, carbon orders itself into an irregular but still recognizably diamond-like structure with four neighbors for each atom. In fact, high pressures make the formation of solid diamond when the liquid cools more likely as a result. At low pressures, it's more like graphene or strings of carbon, with bonding to neighbors in 2's & 3's instead of 4's. At even higher pressures it develops into a metallic structure. So the term "liquid diamond" actually has significant meaning and isn't just media buzzwords.

Comment Re:Yeah, right (Score 1) 81

That would be a small attache case full of $100 dollar bills. Good luck stopping that. ...
Not really. These people can live in caves. Or as the guest of Pakistan. Good luck drying up a bunch of very small cash flows.

I think you have a very... media-cultivated view of how terrorists work. Just because they can survive off the land doesn't mean that they can be effective terrorists while doing so. According to the CIA, al Qaeda had operating expenses in the range of $30 million per year before 9/11. That's not a "small attache case full of $100 dollar bills" enterprise -- that's a major, international criminal enterprise / political movement. We have confiscated hundreds of millions of dollars from them and their major financial backers.

Keep in mind also that militant Islamic groups aren't just a bunch of skulking, "easy pickings" criminals, though that's what the West has mostly encountered at home. They're actively involved in several large, open, armed conflicts like in Syria and Somalia, just to name two recently in the news. They're fighting a war, and supply chain logistics is a major issue for them.

And the results? Well, while we may have fostered the growth of many, smaller groups by cutting the head off the hydra, each of those groups is small with a fraction of the global reach al Qaeda had before.

I recommend reading the CRS 2013 report on terrorist tactics -- in particular their financial links to other criminal organizations as well as fundraising methods listen in the appendix.

Comment Re:Oh Look (Score 1) 118

Sometimes I wonder why science is a religion for these people since they obviously have some kind of emotional need to destroy what it produces?

Same reason that many religious people do the same -- to prove they're "better" at it and satisfy their own ego, regardless of what their own faith supposedly teaches them.

Comment People also say that about voting for incumbent (Score 3) 289

People say, I am am beginning to agree, that voting for the incumbent office holder is throwing your vote away. If that is the case, then you only have two choices: The main party challenger or the third party challenger.

Therefore, voting for the third party is not throwing your vote away. Its voting for one of your only two options for not throwing your vote away.

Comment Re:14c/kWh (Score 1) 377

...the primary cost is up-front installation, and maintenance costs are virtually zero thereafter.

This is more true of photovoltaic panel ("solar cell") systems, where the panels themselves are the largest cost, the only moving parts in the system are slow-motion, low-load sun-tracking motors, and where maintenance consists of washing dust off the panels from time to time. Sunlight is converted directly to electricity in a single solid-state device.

Solar thermal power plants are more complicated beasties, with a lot more moving parts. In the facility described by this article, moving reflectors focus sunlight on a network of light-absorbing pipe containing some sort of heat transfer fluid; this array of pipes carries hot fluid to a central location where it is used to boil water, which in turn drives conventional steam turbines to generate electricity. The whole thing has miles of pipe through which substantial volumes of very hot liquid must be pumped, and will be subjected to frequent swings in temperature due to passing clouds and unavoidable day/night cycles. It's a nontrivial bit of engineering that will be subjected to some very real wear and tear.

Sure, your heat source is free sunlight, but one shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that maintaining the plant will only have a negligible cost.

Comment Re: Maybe there is hope (Score 1) 745

Fair enough - I live about 75 miles somewhat west of you most likely, and while I don't mind the occasional foray into North Jersey I definitely would not want to live there.

Maybe 10min from a farm is stretching it, but the suburbs of many cities in the US are not nearly so congested as the NYC metro area. I also generally prefer the outer suburbs - not the areas just outside the city limits.

While I usually work from home, if I need to drive into the office it only takes 20min during rush hour. Even a commute of that length is annoying, but it is nothing compared to my coworkers who live in Jersey.

Obviously all of this is a matter of preference. Many of my coworkers doubtless consider me a hick. :)

Comment Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 118

What's the actual value (not market value, actual value) of BlackBerry? What are they going to get for that ~$5bn? It seems to me BlackBerry aren't competitive in the handset market any more and don't stand any chance of becoming so any time soon. They are pushing BBM for other platforms now, are they trying to pivot and become a messaging company? Again, I don't see how they are competitive or how they will make money.

Comment Re:7790 gets no love (Score 1) 75

Because most users don't care about power - they care about cost and performance. The reviewers are comparing to cards of similar cost.

The cost is only comparable if you don't factor in having to buy a new power supply or whatever.

I had a video card die, and a decent portion of the costs to replace it went into a power supply because the best bang-for-buck GPU was just not going to work on the power supply I had in the system (which could only supply a single PCI-E connector - and didn't really have much headroom to use an adapter). I had half-considered downgrading just for that reason.

By all means make the comparisons, but pointing out the power angle would be useful in a review.

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