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Comment Re:Uh... Yeah? (Score 1) 242

One point: It's only Orwellian IF it affects our lives.

The NSA's aim is to have zero detection, universal metadata mining, and eventual action items for law enforcement to follow up on, as the FBI has the most broad authority to act within the US, on such information, as opposed to NSA, DIA, CIA, etc.. This takes the argument past the "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" level. If you aren't acting in a pattern with a certain correlation to patterns of known and suspected terrorist/foreign-militants, then you have nothing to fear. Frankly, it might be a step in the right direction to further narrow focus away from random individuals who just have casual relationships with any dangerous-foreignly-motivated-entity: lived next door to, went to high-school with, played on a team with, worked with, had children at the same childcare facility as, etc.

SO... as they use data mining to shrink the "drag-net", we may all have more freedom.(?)

That is one position.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is The Most Painless Intro To GPU Programming? 3

dryriver writes: Dear Slashdotters. I am an intermediate level programmer who works mostly in C# NET. I have a couple of image/video processing algorithms that are highly parallelizable — running them on a GPU instead of a CPU should result in a considerable speedup (anywhere from 10x times to perhaps 30x or 40x times speedup, depending on the quality of the implementation). Now here is my question: What, currently, is the most painless way to start playing with GPU programming? Do I have to learn CUDA/OpenCL — which seems a daunting task to me — or is there a simpler way? Perhaps a Visual Programming Language or "VPL" that lets you connect boxes/nodes and access the GPU very simply? I should mention that I am on Windows, and that the GPU computing prototypes I want to build should be able to run on Windows. Surely there must a be a "relatively painless" way out there, with which one can begin to learn how to harness the GPU?

Comment I hate to say it... (Score 1) 317

But... Advertisement (Marketing) is what drives the (global) economy. The economy runs on marketing creating a "want" out of thin air which creates commerce. Everything else just supports that consumerism.

Even toilet paper is advertised (Charmin Bear Commercials, as an example) but it doesn't need to be because you need to wipe your *** everyday you stay alive to get that next thing you don't actually need. Same with toothe paste, electric bills, and *credit cards*... all things we may not want but *need* in western society, to at least maintain our current lifestyle. Food? You need so McD's actually gets a pass as they are trying to shift your pre-existing need in their favor. But if you want to enjoy your crappy McD's you better brush often and stock lots of toilet paper. If you are using a credit card to buy food, you are already a victim.

So, yeah, this seems like a great idea but on a large scale its going to disrupt economies.


Bionic Contact Lens May Lead to Overlay Displays 213

pfman writes "A University of Washington researcher has developed a contact lens including circuitry and a matrix of LEDs. Although not yet a working prototype, this may be a foundation for terminator/robocop style overlay displays in which computer graphics could be superimposed on your normal vision. 'Building the lenses was a challenge because materials that are safe for use in the body, such as the flexible organic materials used in contact lenses, are delicate. Manufacturing electrical circuits, however, involves inorganic materials, scorching temperatures and toxic chemicals. Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across.'" Kotaku notes that this has some obvious gaming implications.

Submission + - Sperm power could drive nano-scale robots

gemada writes: CBC News is reporting ( that "Scientists are examining whether they can harness the energy driving human sperm to propel nano-scale robots or deliver medicine to targeted sites in the body." Since Slashdotter's don't use their sperm for much else, they would make the perfect test subjects.

Submission + - Potential cure for sleep discovered

An anonymous reader writes: Wired has an article on what might be "a promising sleep-replacement drug". In a test with monkeys it was discovered that snorting Orexin A "reversed the effects of sleep deprivation [...] allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests".

The research follows the discovery by Siegel that the absence of orexin A appears to cause narcolepsy. That finding pointed to a major role for the peptide's absence in causing sleepiness. It stood to reason that if the deficit of orexin A makes people sleepy, adding it back into the brain would reduce the effects, said Siegel.

"What we've been doing so far is increasing arousal without dealing with the underlying problem," he said. "If the underlying deficit is a loss of orexin, and it clearly is, then the best treatment would be orexin."

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