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Comment Re:This wasn't an engineering decision... (Score 1) 569

Some flavors of Engineering are licensed, many are not. The computer side of ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) doesn't have any license required at all, at least in the US. You don't even need a degree, although most have one. Programming is even more of a free-for-all.

Comment Re:Bad title (Score 1) 416

The EM drive MIGHT be a reactionless drive which is NOT a warp drive at all, but would be rather useful. In Star Trek terms this would be the impulse drive they use to scoot around whenever the warp drive is off. In real world terms it could be useful for long range space travel as it frees you from devoting most of your weight budget to reaction mass.

Submission + - Being Overweight Reduces Dementia Risk (

jones_supa writes: Being overweight cuts the risk of dementia, according to the largest and most precise investigation into the relationship. The researchers were surprised by the findings, which run contrary to current health advice. The team at Oxon Epidemiology and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed medical records from 2 million people aged 55 on average, for up to two decades. Their most conservative analysis showed underweight people had a 39% greater risk of dementia compared with being a normal healthy weight. But those who were overweight had an 18% reduction in dementia, and the figure was 24% reduction for the obese. Any explanation for the protective effect is distinctly lacking. There are some ideas that vitamin D and E deficiencies contribute to dementia and they may be less common in those eating more. Be it any way, let's still not forget that heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and other diseases are all linked to a bigger waistline. Maybe being slightly overweight is the optimum to strike, if the recent study is to be followed.

Submission + - SpaceX to try a first stage recovery again on April 13

schwit1 writes: In its next launch on Monday, SpaceX will once again try to safely land its first stage on an ocean barge, allowing it to reuse that stage on later flights.

Monday afternoon is certainly going to be an exciting day for space cadets. First, at 4 pm (Eastern) the head of ULA will reveal the design of that company's new rocket. Then, at 4:33 pm (Eastern), SpaceX will launch Dragon to ISS while attempting to return the first stage safely.

Comment Re:Pebble? (Score 5, Informative) 232

I have a pebble as well. It has it's limitations but it have a few nice functions that make it worthwhile.

1. See who is calling without taking out your phone, button press will tell your phone you've decided not to answer the call to it stops ringing.
2. See the text of new messages from SMS/email/twitter and likely any other source you care to see. You can scroll up and down to read them.
3. 5-7 days between charges. Some apps or faces will shorten this by a LOT. 99% of the time I use the two functions above, on a 4 day trip out of town now, didn't even bother to bring the charging cable.
4. See how many voicemails, texts, email you have waiting.
5. Control Tasker (Android only) which brings up a bunch of simple things you can do.
6. Current weather

I wouldn't want to try to enter text on it, only has 4 buttons, but if you want to see if it's worth leaving the clean room it's great. You could likely set up a couple stock messages and send them if you really wanted to, not sure if there is an app or if you'd have to get Tasker to do it.

Comment Don't we already have this? (Score 1) 131

You can already print your postage at home, on any printer. So, they're adding an expensive but fancy way to print and some kind of nebulous destination locating service. Oh, and an App. I forgot, everything is brand new it you tie it to a smartphone app.

Comment Re:The nasty facts (Score 0) 148

I'd be amazed if Carmack's employment agreement (likely reworked when they bought id) was broad enough to encompass work he did on other projects. At least some of the code base he used for the OR was from his Armadillo Aerospace side project, I'm betting he made sure they didn't have any rights to his space project IP at the very least. I hope Greedymax gets slapped down hard enough they have to pay the legal fees for FB to discourage this kind of crap.

Comment Re:Heat related? (Score 1) 190

Except that a neutron hit throws off a bunch of alpha particles which do the actual bit flips. Think hand grenade not bullet. So if you have physically adjacent bits in the same ECC word there is a good chance you will have a multi-bit error. Usually they do try to spread the bits out within the DRAM for any one word but sometimes they fail to do this. There are some ECC codes that are able to tolerate adjacent double (or even more) bit failures so if you're willing to pay the price for the more complex algorithm and have large ECC words then you can tolerate multi-bit errors from a single device as well.

Comment Re:This will help the Occulus Rift A LOT!!! (Score 1) 125

The current Rift is a lot better than 100ms, but yes, there is room for improvement. I've been able to use mine for over an hour and only had issues when HL2 hits me with a load screen or otherwise turns off the head tracking for a bit. I'm wondering if some people have checked their frame rates and tried turning down some settings to make sure they are running at 60FPS. I had disorientation nausea for the first week but then it has mostly gone away and only persists for a few minutes after using it. I also didn't try long sessions until after the driver update that had the calibration tool with it, so that might have helped. I'm also immune to motion sickness in cars/planes/boats/roller coasters IRL so far (never been out in REALLY heavy seas) so I probably have an easier time than most with VR motion effects.

Comment Re:This will help the Occulus Rift A LOT!!! (Score 2) 125

I think they have been making good progress at improving the experience. One big one will be when they get the full positional tracking into the next version of the kit. Right now it only does orientation tracking and some inferred positional tracking. A couple demos use a Razer Hyrda to hack this in a bit and I found it helps the disorientation a LOT. If you follow some of the blogs of people working on it there is still a lot of work to be done in the prediction algorithms which will improve the effective latency as well, which again, should improve the disorientation people feel.

Comment Re:This will help the Occulus Rift A LOT!!! (Score 1) 125

The Rift already has development support from the Crytech, Source, Unity and Unreal engines, and Carmack had already announced the next iDTech would support it as well. So nothing new there.

All of those use the driver from Oculus which is what I will assume Carmack will be key in improving, along with the firmware running on the Rift. His experience with Armadillo will be directly applicable (and already has it seems) to aspects of real time head tracking that have a big impact on VR. I'm guessing the time to get the software in a more polished state just got shorter with him joining the team and it wouldn't surprise me to see a few new algorithms that noone else though of either.

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