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Comment Re:Quantum Theory is not relevant (Score 1) 729

Unfortunately, I think you can only talk about consciousness in the Neuroscience world if you have a Nobel prize. However, I think the argument still stands that it's a reasonable assumption that your entire conscious facility derives from the brain. Unless you want to make an argument for a soul, then it's fair to assume neurons and glial cells are the responsible parties.

Do we know for certain that quantum effects within neurons don't contribute to consciousness? No, but the most parsimonious answer would likely be that that's not the case. We have neither evidence nor reason to require such a mechanism to exist. What do neurons lack that cannot account for consciousness? If you can answer that, then I would allow the possibility of some other force in effect.

Comment Re:Quantum theory is at least a little relevant (Score 1) 729

There are plenty of Neuroscientists who study parts of neurons, so it's not quite atomic, but overall you are right. If you take a patch of a neuron (separate it out from the rest of the cell) and record from it with an electrode, you can actually see random fluctuations in voltage that are unitary in size (that is, the voltage will jump in set units). What you are observing is the channels that conduct current, made up of proteins that span the membrane, opening and closing. These fluctuations are actually caused by random events in the dish. However, these fluctuations stop if you look at the same channels in an intact cell. What happens is the membrane of the cell helps to average out all of these random fluctuations. Thus, biology is relatively good at dealing with the randomness of Nature, and is unlikely to be affected by quantum fluctuations.


Submission + - Apple Confirms iPhone Development Kit (

jason1 writes: "Apple has confirmed that the iPhone and iPod Touch will have a Software Development Kit available in February 2008 for 3rd party developeres. The news comes after some rumors began to build only days ago."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Did Apple Lie to Mac Gamers? (

ThinSkin writes: "In the wake of the WWDC 2007 keynote, Jim Lynch over at ExtremeTech is scratching his head wondering if EA's return to the Mac gaming platform is all it's cracked up to be. With EA's allegations as a sweatshop to its employees and Apple's mid-range graphics hardware, are Mac owners really going to embrace EA and Mac games? Jim doesn't think so."
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone to support for 3rd party "web 2.0"

mrspin writes: At WWDC Steve Jobs announced a way for third party developers to build applications for the iPhone. Taking advantage of the fact that the iPhone runs a version of OSX along with full web browser support, developers can create web-based applications which, Jobs claimed, will be able to look and behave just like the applications built into the iPhone, as well as tie into the device's core functionality such dialing a call or sending email. Anybody who can write modern standards-based web apps can develop for the iPhone, stressed Jobs. However, there are a number of downsides to this solution: in spite of what Jobs says, third-party applications won't be as rich as those iPhone apps bundled with the device and built by Apple. It's hard to imagine how browser-based apps will be able to fully utilize the devices multi-touch interface or its processing power. The second drawback is that these apps will have to run on a web server and so will rely on being connected to the web. How will Apple solve off-line access, if at all?

Submission + - NASA 'Absolutely' to Work with Private Moguls (

mattnyc99 writes: Just before the successful launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis this weekend, Popular Mechanics sat down with NASA administrator Michael Griffin, who gave some very revealing answers to their "10 tough questions." In addition to sharing his opinions on the Moon vs. Mars manned space debate, the 2008 elections and NASA's global warming research, Griffin acknowledged that he's been working on partnerships with the Richard Bransons and Elon Musks of the world in a collaboration that might—just might—make all this private and public space research funding add up to something truly meaningful. From the article: "Absolutely. I see a day in the not very distant future, where instead of NASA buying a vehicle, we buy a ticket for our astronauts to ride to low-Earth orbit, or a bill of landing for a cargo delivery to space station by a private operator. I want us to get to that point."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Volunteers to build RPG.

MrShaggy writes: According to an article over on the bbc, Acclaim, is making an RPG. However this RPG is going t be written by volunteers. '"I want it to be a title they own and feel excited about," said Mr Perry, a 24-year veteran of the games industry.' They already have 20,000 people ready to go. This is the link: .stm
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Why the iPhone was not ready for Macworld

Aaron Lidis writes: "Was the iPhone ready for Macworld? Azzamallow seems the think it was not. "We saw plenty of the phone applications, with Jobs making calls, merging them, browsing contacts etc. We saw the photo application in action, which was absolutely brilliant in my opinion. We also saw SMS messaging, grouping messages as conversations rather than by date. But what about the calendar?". "The presentation was written assuming the calendar would be ready, but as it turns it out the calendar was not ready.""
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Developing apps for the iPhone?

abes writes: Since Steve's keynote on the iPhone, the media has been celebrating the next big thing(TM). Meanwhile, looking through posts on the tech sites, there have been many complaints about being tied to Cingular, it not being 3G, being overpriced, and (the same old) issues with the battery. One thing that has barely been mentioned is the openness of the system. If it's going to function as a PDA, it seems fair to have other people develop applications for it (document viewer, scientific calculator, encyclopedia, etc.).

Besides a few random claims in postings, the most authorative piece I could find on the subject was from Gizmodo:

The OS: It isn't OS X proper, as you'd expect. And like an iPod, it won't be an open system that people can develop for. Remember, this is both an iPod and a Phone.

So my question is this: does anyone else have more info on this subject? And more importantly, if the answer is no, what is the best way to start a petition to Apple to try to get them to open the system up? I am more than willing to give them my money, but if I'm going to spend the money for a PDA, it would be nice to get an actual PDA. In theory Apple's mind could be changed by the time June comes around...

Submission + - Ball lightning successfully reproduced in lab

secretsather writes: " ll-lightning-successfully-reproduced-in-lab/

Aleister Crowley once reported what he referred to as globular electricity in 1916, "what I can only describe as calm amazement, that a dazzling globe of electric fire, apparently between six and twelve inches in diameter was stationary about six inches below and to the right of my knee." Mr. Crowley, it may not be all in your head.

A Brazilian team has managed to make similar spheres of light in the lab, while getting them to bounce around for several seconds.

The real mystery here is that ball lightning is a rare occurrence, where few people (approx. 3,000 in US) have actually encountered it. Ball lightning reportedly floats in the air and looks like a sphere, teardrop, or rod-like shape. Many have been said to be red, yellow, blue, or white in color, sometimes transparent, and are commonly associated with large thunderstorms; although, some claim to have experienced this phenomenon during normal weather.

It is typically the size of a grapefruit and lasts for a few seconds or minutes, sometimes hovering, even bouncing along the ground.

Many have made valiant efforts to explain ball lightning including Nikola Tesla in 1904, but a theory proposed by John Abrahamson and James Dinniss at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, claims this is the result of lighting striking soil; thereby converting silica within the soil into a vapor.

Antonio Pavao and Gerson Paiva from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil decided to test this theory by placing silicon between two electrodes and running a current through them. Moving the electrodes away from each other created an electrical arc which shot out glowing pieces of silicon.

This continued to occur until, suddenly, a sphere the size of a ping pong ball formed, and lasted around 8 seconds. "The luminous balls seem to be alive," says Pavao.

They suggested the ball lighting was spinning by the movement of smoke trails that were left behind the orb, and estimated that they were approx 2000 Kelvin; hot enough to burn a hole in Paiva's jeans!

Few have had little success reproducing ball lightning using microwaves; which some disagree on whether it is the same phenomenon for they disappeared milliseconds after the microwaves were taken away.

These silica based orbs of lightning are by far the longest-lived made in the lab to date. These amazing spheres of light can be seen at"

Submission + - Donut of Destiny...Freespace Pointing Device

TheTechLounge writes: "The Hillcrest Labs Freespace works similarly to a wireless gyro-based pointing device, if you're familiar with those. What makes it unique, however, is that the orientation of the device in your hands does not limit its functionality. Whether you're holding it upright, to the side, or even upside down, it still accurately tracks movement in every direction. Max and I both took a few minutes to try it out and we even got to put its groundhog-smashing functionality to the test."

Submission + - iRiver's new Clix 2 and more at CES

TheTechLounge writes: "In 2007 iRiver will be introducing the second generation of the Clix, the Clix 2. iRiver has garnered a faithful band of loyal enthusiasts and the original Clix was very well received. I anticipate the Clix 2 will be an even bigger hit...and we got to play with one of the few existing examples (the Clix 2 is so new that even the iRiver reps hadn't seen one in person until CES). We also have a look at some of iRiver's other new players for 2007 in the article."

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