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Robotics

A Mind Made From Memristors 320

Csiko writes "Researchers at Boston University's department of cognitive and neural systems are working on an artificial brain implemented with memristors. 'A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance changes depending on the amount, direction, and duration of voltage that's applied to it. But here's the really interesting thing about a memristor: Whatever its past state, or resistance, it freezes that state until another voltage is applied to change it. Maintaining that state requires no power.' Also theoretically described, solid state versions of memristors have not been implemented until recently. Now researchers in Boston claim that memristors are the new key technology to implement highly integrated, powerful artificial brains on cheap and widely available hardware within five years."
Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover 646

An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"

Comment Lawyer Up (Score 2, Insightful) 390

You need to retain competent counsel. Do not file a pro se suit against anyone. Do not try to go it alone. Unfortunately, with the primitive protections provided in most At-Will states, you will be hung out to dry in short order. Your reputation will be damaged, possibly beyond repair, and you will have difficulty working as a sysadmin. Posting as much detail as you did on Slashdot was probably not the brightest idea you've ever had.

Comment Re:More like a flaw in statistics (Score 1) 437

Your arguments are spurious. I provided a legal precedent where the "general welfare" clause in the pre-amble had been used to support the government doing something in the public interest. I don't personally think that the healthcare reform bill passed by Congress was actual reform, but I also don't think it was unconstitutional. Yes, it helps that insurance companies are no longer allowed to refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions or, presumably, to charge people with pre-existing conditions so much for coverage that they can't afford it, but it still doesn't address the problem of a for-profit, predatory insurance industry, either.

Comment Re:More like a flaw in statistics (Score 1) 437

The Preamble to the Constitution seems to give the government the authority to provide for the "general welfware" of the people of the United States. Healthcare is a pretty big part of "general welfare" for most people. My job had to stop providing health insurance last year. I have COPD and some other chronic conditions... I can't afford to pay for healthcare 100% on my own and still pay my rent and other bills. So... I have untreated medical conditions. I get sick more often. I can work less and am less productive. If I could go to the doctor when I needed to and get the appropriate care, I would miss less work due to illness and probably overall be healthier. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Most other "First World" countries realized this a long time ago. I'm really surprised the conservative element in the United States hasn't latched on to universal healthcare due to increased worker productivity.
Government

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

Comment Re:"insomnia" is probably the wrong word (Score 1) 234

Yes, insomnia and having atypical schedule are different. The OP equates the two. But I'd like to discuss the prejudice there is against people who get up late. For some reason generally people believe someone who gets up at noon is lazy. And someone who gets up at 3:00 pm is a misfit. Actually, civilization wouldn't function without people getting up at those times.

Comment Re:In Principle vs. Practical (Score 1) 391

Although I agree with Zombie Ryushu in that in principle the PP's ideals are far better than in practice, I do not agree that copyright should "go back to what it was around 130 years ago". Instead, copyright should be entirely optional. Indeed, perhaps copyright could be sold by the govt; if the creator of something wishes to copyright it, he must make a one-time payment to the govt, and perhaps they could sell the copyrighting rights for certain things to private bodies as well. That way, copyright would exist but most things would not be copyrighted and the state would keep money, and so the country would prosper.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 391

By the same logic that mime artist who performs on the high street has a right to be paid by everyone who sees his act .... ...You have two options
      hire a venue, charge people to watch your act, and hope they come...
      perform in public, and hope they pay...

Published works should be the same : give me something physical and hope I am willing to pay for it, or give it away and ask for payment if they like it...

The current copyright system works on the principle of selling something that people are forced to pay for when they don't need to ...

Comment Infection (Score 1) 1051

I've refused to block ads for well over a decade. I want to support the sites I visit. I grumble, but endure the slow downs caused by hitting up ad servers. The ads on my girlfriend's site give us some extra money each month. However, twice in the past 6 months I've been infected with horrible viruses through someone's compromised ad network. Each time I was on a perfectly reputable site running third party ads from third party servers. So now I have ad block and no script and all of that. Sending slashdot a couple bucks isn't worth hours and hours of virus removal. (Yes I have a virus scanner. No it didn't stop it. Yes, I could run Linux, but my TV card isn't fully supported.)

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