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Submission + - Brain-Zapping Gadgets Need Regulation, Say Scientists and (Some) Manufacturers (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: You can now buy gadgets online that send electric current through your scalp to stimulate your brain. Why would you want to do that? Because the easy technique, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), is being investigated as a treatment for depression, a rehab aid for stroke patients, a learning enhancer for healthy people, and for many other neuropsychiatric applications.

However, the technique is so new that companies selling brain-zapping gadgets aren't bound by any regulations, and experts are worried that consumers will end up buying devices that aren't safe or simply aren't effective. So scientists and some manufacturers recently got together to discuss the scope of the problem, and what can be done about it.

Comment Re:Perpetual motion machine of the first type (Score 1) 377

Absolutely nobody actually involved in any of the experiments has made any such claim. Stop spreading FUD.

The claim is that when power is applied, a propulsive force is measured. I see no reason to believe that deeper observation and understanding won't find the equal and opposite reaction.

So while you're sitting in the corner punching yourself in the forehead shouting "IMPOSSIBLE!", we'll be looking to see if this is a thing (or at least watching the people confirming that this is a thing) and how useful it might be.

Comment heat (Score 1) 377

While there may be no mass escaping from this device, it absolutely is consuming energy. Where does that go?

In most of the mundane pursuits we understand, it goes to producing heat. In physics, one fairly valid viewpoint is that heat is motion, in that a "hotter" result has more motion activity going on at the particle level.

One of the reasons that perpetual motion is impossible is that within a closed system, we can't make anything 100% efficient. Typically the lost percentage wanders off in some fairly easily identifiable thermal guise.

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all energy expended does useful work.

But that's not really the problem here. the problem is that motion in space, as we understand it, depends entirely on imparting momentum to something. The only way we have practically been able to do that is to send stuff out one end of a spacecraft, which causes, due to the equal and opposite rule of newtonian physics, the spacecraft to go in the opposite direction.

But it's not really about "where does the energy go." This thing is being sold as "doesn't send stuff out one end of spacecraft" and "imparts momentum." The physics folks are looking at that claim very dubiously, because so far, there's no generally accepted science that could account for such a thing.

If it turns out to be a real effect (and I'm not saying it will), then we're going to have some new science to learn.

Comment science fiction, fantasy, etc (Score 2) 377

...science fiction I read when I was young ... violates laws of physics big-time.

Then you were reading (very likely mislabeled) fantasy. The whole point of science fiction is to embed a story within the context of plausible science. Nothing wrong with fantasy, but it isn't, and never has been, science fiction.

Between the "speculative fiction" rendering down of that specific distinction, and the marketing-driven labeling of fantasy as science fiction, and the tendency of bookstores for decades to lump fantasy and science fiction together, your experience is the rule, rather than the exception.

But there's still science fiction being written. The trick is finding it.

Submission + - Teenager kills herself after backlash over her "racism" (heatst.com)

mi writes: A British girl posted a photoshopped image of herself with darkened skin and wearing a headscarf on Instagram. She suggested, that's how she'd have to look to win the approval of her boyfriend's parents. The joke was shared wider than she intended and the resulting racism-accusations, apparently, drove her to kill herself.

Is not it convenient, when thought-criminals are programmed to take care of themselves?

Comment Non-recurring engineering costs (Score 1) 82

There is no way a modern ARM SoC will cost less than an 8-bit NES SoC to make.

Unlike an accurate NOAC, an ARM SoC is available commercially off the shelf. Are you including non-recurring engineering costs in your estimate or excluding them?

But all we can do is speculate. No authoritative reply is possible because everyone who knows about its internals is under NDA, and Slashdot will close this comment section before NES Classic Edition is available to the public. (Slashdot has a policy of closing all comment sections 14 days after they open.)

The licensor has a choice: make $1/$2 per game or make nothing at all. How is that difficult to understand?

A licensor might rationally choose zero in order not to devalue its copyright and/or trademark. If a licensor chooses $1 or $2 now, it can't choose $3 or $5 down the line when subsequent would-be licensees complain about not being given a comparable deal.

And no matter which way you hold it, it's still not a NES controller.

Neither is the controller included with NES Classic Edition. It's a Wii Classic Controller shaped like an NES controller.

Submission + - Mysterious sudden demise of world's most dangerous exploit kit Angler is solved (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: On June 7, Angler, possibly history's most advanced financially-driven exploit kit went silent and nobody knew why. Now Kaspersky's lead intelligence researcher has revealed it was the progeny of some 50 arrested hackers known as the Lurk group. The report is the culmination of some six years of research and bookends the mysterious demise of one of the biggest threats to end users on the internet.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 1) 221

That's fine, if the goal for the language is to whither. 10 years ago, I'd have recommended learning C and giving C++ a wide berth. I started new projects written in C. Now I'd recommend avoiding C for anything where there is another option. If a project is already written in C, I'd consider using C++ for new code and gradually migrating rest.

If the goal is to provide a good portable systems programming language then C is no longer succeeding.

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