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Comment Re:This is only a toy (Score 1) 157

"Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it." Do you say this to your beginning students? The fact that this robot has the ability to track its opponent's sword, and using its programming, place its own sword in the "best" (in the minds of the programmers, who are clearly not swordsmen, as you and I are) position for anticipatory defense is a milestone. Give it time; it will be a relatively short step to add heuristic algorithms to this, and then the machine will simply learn what works and what doesn't. After, of course, a decent programmer works with a decent swordsman to give the robot access to the techniques of I.33, Talhoffer, Durer, Agrippa, and personally, I'd hope Donald McBane.

Comment Re:Nearly Impossible? (Score 1) 254

Amen to this. I got hired on by a company on Madison, WI in January of 1999 and was told on my first day that "this Y2K thing" was my first priority, since my predecessor had put in maybe 3 hours of work on the project. Oh, and I had to do it while getting our network up to date. Frankly, it was a cinch, once they'd approved the budget. *That* took until June, too, so I really did the entire project in 6 months.

Comment Re:And it slows things down (Score 3, Informative) 254

As someone who's working with this stuff right now, I can say if it's slowing you down, you're not taking advantage of the available tools. They're out there. Keep looking. Moreover, "data entry" is one way of looking at it. A different way to call it is "documenting what they're doing with sufficient detail". That was the entire point of these kinds of standardized coding systems: to (as best as we can) remove the fuzzy documentation in the systems before, and to remove the idiosyncrasies from medical records. With the proper coding systems in place, a patient in Allentown who moves to Duluth can have his PHI moved to the new caregiver and be (for the most part) confident that the Iowans will be able to understand what the Pennsylvanians did for him before. Yeah, there's going to be transitional pain. There always is. But as has been pointed out in other posts, it's not like ICD-10 ambushed anybody. Frankly, if you haven't been moving toward ICD-10-capable systems for at least 2 years, you've been slacking. There's a penalty for that at crunch time.

Submission + - Solar cell breaks 40% efficiency barrier.

Fysiks Wurks writes: From the DOE web site:

New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology: WASHINGTON, DC — Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner announces that with DOE funding, a concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab has recently achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, establishing a new milestone in sunlight-to-electricity performance.


Just imagine a solar powered iPod, or Zune....never mind.

Submission + - Mobile payments finally in the US

donkeykongisnotamonk writes: A few weeks ago I came across a thread on FatWallet that mentioned a new mobile payment service offered by Obopay. Since Obopay is giving away $5 to new users, I decided to give their service a try and sign up. My biggest concern was providing Obopay my SSN, but after reading the posts on the thread I decided to go for it. The experience so far has been satisfactory, I even received the $5 they promised me on signup and the service has been practically free to use. I have been able to send money to my friends using my cell phone. I even got $5 for referring one of them to the service. Obopay mailed me a MasterCard that I can use along with the phone app to access my money. The card did take a week to arrive after I signed up, but I had access to my money right after signing up.
United States

Submission + - Middle America's Crime Wave

gollum123 writes: "From an article in TIME after 10 consecutive years of lowered crime rates, crime suddenly begin to rise in 2005, with the most violent crimesleading the trend (,9171,1 565527,00.html ). Homicides shot up 3.4%. Robberies, 3.9%. Aggravated assaults, 1.8%. Hardest hit were not metropolises like New York City and Los Angeles but cities with populations between 400,000 and 1 million — such as Baltimore, Md.; Charlotte, N.C.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Oakland, Calif. — and this year looks to see similar rates of increase, if not worse. The article analyzes some likely explanations for this phenomenon which include fewer cops on the beat, more parolees on the street and highe unemployment."
The Internet

Submission + - Domain Name Theft By Reseller

An anonymous reader writes: Many years ago I purchase a domain name with a reseller ( of a real registrar (, they then registered it under there name rather than mine. I finally decided to escape this company, and transfer 'my' domain elsewhere, but they won't do it unless I pay them $499. This company has never been anything but trouble, and a mistake from the start, but a mistake I am sure many have made.

How can I get my domain name back? They have it registered, with my money, till 2010, so waiting isn't really an option, and I certainly won't stump up that kind of money for a personal domain name. Further to this I'm in England and they are in the US, so the court system is outside of my reach. And I do not believe the ICANN resolution system applies, as I have no trademarks, only the fact its my money they are using!

I am somewhat doubtful I can make a recovery, so if not, how much (non-criminal.) damage can I do?

Feed Mum's the Word on NSA Spying (

Under questioning, the White House's new privacy oversight board admits its knows how many Americans were targeted by a controversial surveillance program. But it won't share the data and won't say if it recommends the data be shared. In 27B Stroke 6.

Feed Is Battlestar Galactica Doomed? (

Once an official member of the Commander Adama fan club, Annalee Newitz examines the top 10 reasons why Battlestar Galactica is dying in deep space. Cylon threesomes come in at No. 6. In Table of Malcontents.


Submission + - Why Novell's deal with MS is very very bad

jamienk writes: PJ from Groklaw has taken the time and really explained the big picture of the Novell/MS deal and how it all fits into the SCO case and the strategy some have employed to attack Free Software. If you thought PJ was becoming too shrill before, or if you don't understand what the big deal is it's really worth a read.

From the article:
This is Groklaw's 2,838th article. We now have 10,545 members, who have worked very hard to disprove SCO's scurrilous claims, and we did. We succeeded, beyond my hopes when we started.

But here's the sad part. As victory is in sight, Novell signs a patent agreement with Microsoft...
Linux Business

Linux Desktops Catching On In Education 379

digihome writes to point us to an appreciation of the state of Indiana's project of moving students from Windows desktops to Linux. In about a year, 22,000 students have made the switch, using a variety of Linux distributions. The writer tried switching his own two children to Linux laptops. From the article: "'So Dad,' [the 10-year-old son] asked. 'What is the difference between Linux and Windows?' I tried to explain but it was a waste of breath. 'What difference do you see?' I asked back. 'Nothing, really.'"

Submission + - NASA to build moon base

DaemonDazz writes: According to a story run on the Australian ABC news site, NASA is planning to start building a permanently occupied base on the moon by 2020. From the article ( 286.htm):

"NASA has announced it plans to build a permanently occupied base on the moon, most likely at the lunar north pole.

The habitat will serve as a science outpost as well as a testbed for technologies needed for future travel to Mars and construction will follow a series of flights to the moon scheduled to begin by 2020."


"NASA is not expecting a budget increase to pay for the program.

Rather, it will transition funds currently being used to support the space shuttle into the moon exploration program as the shuttle fleet is phased out.

The shuttles are set to retire in 2010 and by that time NASA plans to have finished building the space station, leaving the moon initiative as a successor to both programs."

The press release is here: ESMD_Lunar_Architecture.html

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