Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Hardware

Submission + - Department of Defense outlines Skynet development (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Zachary J. Lemnios holds the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the US Government. Yesterday he released a letter (PDF) entitled, “The Department of Defense Is Placing a Big Bet on Big Data.” through a new government site called the Defense Innovation Marketplace. It broadly outlines how new systems are being developed and brought online to “understand and interpret” the growing amount of data being gathered by military sensors.

The project does not have a name yet, but it could be multiple projects as far as we know. The aim is clear, though. The DoD wants to create a system that combines sensing, perception, and the ability to make decisions to create a “truly autonomous system.” The end result? A system that will be “agile maneuver and understand their environment make decisions by themselves know when to call upon a human.”

I think they should call it the T-100 as it’s a first attempt, don’t you?

Submission + - Polyurethane eating fungus (digitaljournal.com)

cs0nro writes: In a report by NZ Herald it was stated that a group of students from Yale University found a species of fungus which appears to be happy eating plastic (polyurethane) in airless landfills.

Does anyone else remember this from Niven's books ?

Submission + - National Engineers Week - February 19th through February 25th (eweek.org)

Webcommando writes: For all you scientists and engineers, National Engineers Week is this week!

From the site:

The theme for 2012 is based on the projected world population of 7,000,000,000. There are many challenges facing our world that require immediate engineering solutions. The National Engineers Week Foundation delivers programs and resources used by partners locally, nationally and internationally to help the next generation of talent to meet and overcome these challenges.


Submission + - Carbohydrate-Based Synthesis to Replace Petroleum Derived Hydrocarbons?

__aamdvq1432 writes: From PhysOrg's Taking biofuel from forest to highway, University of British Columbia biofuel expert, Jack Saddler, offers that:

we will become less dependent on fossil fuels and will become more dependent on fuels made from the sugars and chemicals found in plants.

Nothing too new there, i.e., the idea of biofuels eventually taking over from petroleum distillates. However, Saddler contends further that:

Similar to an oil refinery that processes crude oil to make thousands of supplementary products like plastics, dyes, paints, etc., the biorefinery would use leftover agricultural and forest material to make many of the same products, but from a sustainable and renewable resource.

I remember my organic chem instructor back in '81 telling us that eventually the textbooks would have to be rewritten. There would be no presumption of fractional distillation of thousands of basic compounds from petroleum, and the teaching emphasis would shift to synthesis from simple hydrocarbons. He noted that we'd all miss 'the good, ole days' when synthetic fibers, plastics, etc. were cheap...or even an economically viable option. I can live without rayon, but, dang, I'm gonna miss polyvinyl chloride!

Slashdot Top Deals

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

Working...