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Comment Data Mining Tools (Score 1) 268

Flow-based Programming reminds me very much of current data mining suites like IBM SPSS Modeler or RapidMiner. The prefered way to model an analysis is to build a graphical flow chart using various building blocks connected to one another. Those high-level blocks can be as diverse as data transformations (filtering, aggregation) or data mining algorithms (decision tree, regression analysis).
The input for the analysis usually comes from one or many database systems. The output is usually also written to databases. FBP makes it very easy even for non-experts to build data mining analyses using these tools.

Comment Reality check (Score 1) 808

I think, the professor in TFA is pretty much wrong. For a reality check, please look at this Wikipedia link. It describes the current research status in the field of object recognition, a typical task in computer vision. From the article, it should become clear that there are numerous approaches to the problem, but there is not one really capable approach that solves the problem. This is independent of computing power - we just don't know yet how to make a machine recognize non-trivial objects under real-life conditions, not matter how many CPUs it has. This fact currently limits the development of autonomic cars already.

Comment Point is moot (Score 1) 210

According to Quantum_decoherence, there is no superposition of quantum states. As the radioactive element interacts with the cat and the box, its decoherence time becomes very short, so the wave function collapses almost instantly. The cat is either dead or alive, but there is no extended state of superposition.

Submission + - Cold War Nuclear Missiles and Analog Computers (

An anonymous reader writes: From the 1950s until the 1970s hundreds of Nike batteries guarded urban centers and military installations against Soviet bombers. Nike Hercules surface to air missiles were armed with nuclear warheads to guarantee the destruction of any attacking airplanes. The missiles were guided from the ground by analog electro-mechanical computers.

Most of the batteries were dismantled in the mid 1970s because they were ineffective against the newer Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. Nowadays most of the former missile sites are empty concrete shells with rusting steel doors here and there.

Nike Missile Site SF-88 near San Francisco may be the only battery left that looks the way it did when it was in operation. The place has several Nike Hercules missiles and the associated launch equipment, including an analog servo computer. Most if it looks as if it could be used tomorrow:


Submission + - Minecraft troll calls SWAT on mod, cries murder (

dotarray writes: A disgruntled gamer sent the cops around to a moderator's house after being kicked out of an online chat. Law enforcement personnel from four different agencies arrived at the Washington state home late Saturday night, after receiving reports that a man had shot his 14 year-old daughter who had just told him she was pregnant.

The problem? There was no pregnancy, and there was no daughter. The handcuffed man lying on the ground, Dave Neumann, only had sons — one of whom, Jake, was a moderator in a Minecraft serve


Submission + - US Judge Has Outbreak of Common Sense in Apple/Motorola Patent War (

sl4shd0rk writes: Federal Judge Richard Posner seems to be a man who "gets" the screwed up patent system in the US. As Apple pressed for more injunctions against Motorola regarding alleged patent infringement, Judge Posner has stressed the two companies should just "get along" and pay each other royalties. A jury trial set to start last week was cancelled when Posner ruled that neither side could prove damages, and grilled Apple's legal team saying an injunction against Motorola would be "contrary to the public interest,". Furthermore, as Apple tried to plead its injunction case concerning four patents, Posner called the U.S. patent system "chaos" and said an order barring the sale of Motorola phones could have "catastrophic effects.".

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