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Comment Re:SONY was breached a bunch of times (Score 0) 81

Let's see start with an ad hominem with a questionable premise (if the person doesn't have any skills or "object knowledge" about the things they decide the competition would eat them up fast). More ad hominem.

The heart of the solution sounds good to me, but the particulars given seem a bit extreme. I would think if a customer wants the kind of security where someone's life is on the line then the customer would have to pay a lot. Salary being tied to performance sounds possible. Surprise audits sounds unreasonable. Why is IT security top priority?

Followed by cynicism and jumping to a conclusion.

Comment This is all the summary needed to include (Score 5, Insightful) 163

The relevant excerpt:

It turns out that very specific patterns of internet use are reliably related to depressive tendencies. For example, peer-to-peer file sharing, heavy emailing and chatting online, and a tendency to quickly switch between multiple websites and other online resources all predict a greater propensity to experience symptoms of depression. Although the exact reasons that these behaviors predict depression is unknown, each behavior corresponds with previous research on depression. Quickly switching between websites may reflect anhedonia (a decreased ability to experience emotions), as people desperately seek for emotional stimulation. Similarly, excessive emailing and chatting may signify a relative lack of strong face-to-face relationships, as people strive to maintain contact either with faraway friends or new people met online.

Sounds like it's easy to dismiss on first glance. How do you define heavy emailing? Heavy emailing could be a symptom of a job that demands good communication skills -- which would you lead you to believe that the person is not depressed and functioning normally.

Comment IPV6 on AT&T Residential DSL (Score 5, Interesting) 155

As of June 2012, I noticed I had an IPV6 IP address. The MAC address of my wireless card was used in the actual IPV6 address itself. However, I am not sure what I can really do with this. The IPV6 address is more cumbersome to remember. Can I reasonably expect any tangible benefits as a guy who doesn't really do much IT related activities (i.e. web surfing, email, etc.)?

Comment Re:Chicken/Egg (Score 2) 53

I see a lot of applied physics journals gaining recognition slowly. Though it's now been about 23-24 years since Advanced Materials came out, it's consistently one of the best journals I read. It's actually fun to read the articles because the authors pay attention to detail and at the same time understand how to explain the point of their experiments within the context of the what other researchers are studying. That may sound a bit generic, but take a look at their figures and their articles if you have access. Another one that seems to be growing is the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics. If you can latch on early enough and help grow a journal's reputation, then you can more easily publish in that journal and your rise to prestige will be quicker. Alternately, if you are already famous, you can afford to take a chance with a new journal (perhaps by strongarming them into giving you access for deeply discounted rates).

Comment Re:About time.. (Score 1) 278

I keep reading that it's a trade secret.

But trade secrets don't have any legal protection do they? I could collect that fluid and run it in a chemical analysis lab (the analytical chemists are just a floor away...) or do the experiments myself. If I revealed it all, they big energy companies wouldn't be able to do anything would they? There's definitely an incentive to find out exactly what's in that fluid from a science perspective. I imagine something trendy and fashionable like that would get sent straight through Nature or Science if assessed by the right person with the right connections (the number of times I've heard 'Oh the editor is my friend, just send me a manuscript and it'll be accepted'...).

Comment Re:Good Riddance (Score 1) 426

I know you say it playfully, but with Flash support phased out, how much does this really affect Linux users in the short term? It's not like websites will immediately start using new Flash features that are incompatible with the Linux flash player. I guess another question is how long is this "short term" period?

Comment Re:California (Score 1) 398

I take this shit with a grain of salt, practically EVERYTHING in excess can harm you. Expose yourself to too much sun, you burn or get skin cancer. Drink too much water, die of electrolytic shock. Breathe too much concentrated oxygen, suffer from hyperoxia. Consume too much caffeine, suffer from caffeine overdose. Consuming too much of any food items can be toxic, or health averse at least. Common sense folks, everything in moderation. I know that's hard for people to understand these days, but why the fuck are we wasting tax money creating a nanny state to tell us something that every other (undomesticated) animal on the planet has already evolved enough to figure out? We can either thrust ourselves back to the stone-ages to protect ourselves from all these modern refined foods, CO2 and cancer spewing machines, or we can continue to advance and find ways to deal with it.

(Emphasis mine). So heroin in moderation? Hydrofluoric acid in moderation? Gamma ray exposure in moderation?

Comment The details (Score 5, Interesting) 102

So I'll save anyone wanting to read the article for scientific details the trouble: they don't even mention the material used!

So I searched around and found this.

I thought I knew polymers, but my biochemistry is a bit weak. 96L/4D poly-L/D-lactide copolymer fiber. Seems to be porous, is that the key to making a bodily joint?

Apparently it loses it strength as quickly as within 15 to 24 weeks and then completely loses its strength within a few years. Meanwhile, your body is allowed a framework to develop around after physical trauma.

Comment The heart of the "memory" (Score 3, Interesting) 36

From the Nature News link:

When a particular wavelength of light shines on the cell, the material’s refractive index changes so that it either will or will not transmit a pulse of light, to create either a "1" or "0" bit. Another light pulse can reverse it. A second laser provides constant background light, called bias, which helps the memory cell maintain its state.

So the key is that the medium is able to change its refractive index sufficiently so that there is total external reflection apparently (0) and (almost) complete transmittance (1). Thus, the medium's optical properties (index of refraction which is ultimately a measure of the speed of light in that medium due to the material's permittivity and permeability) dictates its nonvolatile memory applications. You change the medium's optical properties itself with a "write" laser.

The "read" laser (which they call bias but is a bit confusingly used to me) allows you to read off the "memory value" (really just transmittance as a function of the index of refraction set again by the "write" laser).

So the power consumption comes from using two lasers. So it makes me wonder, can you cut down the power requirements by using an LED with a monochromatic wavelength filter? Sure it won't be very efficient in getting a single wavelength, but perhaps you don't need that much optical energy?

Comment Re:Practical Applications? (Score 4, Interesting) 46

I research in the related field of memristors. While I agree with skepticism, someone has to first demonstrate that the technology can work. There are typically grants handed out by the government (e.g. SBIR) that spurs interest in first showing that it works over a half a year period, in second developing that idea into more production-worthy product over two or so years, and in finally taking the training wheels off to let people find their own funding to start a small business around a relatively new technology.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1, Troll) 84

A viable zombie diversion.

My frustration with Slashdot (and no I'm not new here, I'm not really old either, just observing without instantly being pidgeonholed by unfunny nerdy douchebags) is that for actual serious technical matter such as this memristive system, we have idiots making really lame jokes using rehashed memes. You would think people who pride themselves on learning new, esoteric things would also have new, esoteric material.

Bitching aside, this appears to be a GaIn alloy that functions like a fluidic memristor. What is interesting to me is that for the past few years people have been researching flexible substrates so that electronics could fit on the human body (e.g. integrated on a wet suit to control "electropositive shark repellent" when in suspected regions full of sharks [and turned off when not in dangerous territory to maximize battery life]), but I had not heard of actually changing the otherwise solid-state, nanometer-thick, memristive, metal oxide into an amorphous state, organic device to get flexibility as well. The only honest, non-jealous-that-they-thought-of-that-but-i-did-not thought that came to me was: I wonder how durable the devices are...

Comment Re:Hire a professional... (Score 5, Insightful) 260

It isn't that at all. I've worked in the field and taken plenty of calls from guys like this. Guys who thought, yeah, I know just enough to be dangerous, let's see what I can do. Then he's sitting there, no backups, no duplication of media, nothing to keep his ass out of the frying pan, and then he's on the phone to me because he's got some hot project that he needs the system for and it suddenly becomes my priority to unfuck the mess he's in.

Either way, he should call the pro. It's cheaper if he calls before he fucks everything up beyond belief.

You non-science, non-engineering types, especially in IT, love to exaggerate and use pontificating language. You clearly don't mean "fucks everything up beyond belief" because it's a meaningless phrase that you picked up from your stupid colleagues in IT. "nothing to keep his ass out of the frying pan" -- is that really necessary? Get to the point and move on.

How hard are backups? rsync, RAID, different storage media, onsite and offsite backups, and cost / benefit analysis to defend the choices. Some of it will be subjective (the "benefit" of something is obviously difficult to gauge and liable to debate). You could suggest some points of reference. That's what every good scientist and every good engineer I've met does -- because they know their worth is not limited to learning some quirks about programs. They design and build stuff. They often debug it. The bad ones constantly overstate their worth and present themselves with a really irritating know-it-all attitude. The bad ones think that by communicating their ideas and helping others out, they are risking job security. The good ones help others learn how to learn. The good ones demonstrate that they know their stuff and understand their worth is not rooted just in knowledge or wisdom, but also in interpersonal skills, often overlooked or downplayed in STEM fields.

I used to be like you in high school. I had worked at a few Fortune 100 companies as a coder / sysadmin type and I didn't realize my douchiness until I left the field in college for computer science, electrical engineering, physics, and chemistry. I know my comments sound a bit harsh, but maybe my tone may make you reevaluate how you behave.

Comment Re:Privacy? (Score 1) 549

If the data is collected then someone will find a way to abuse it.

Think about your insurance company or employer. If they could go back and pull your auto's history of your intoxication logs. They would find a way to use this to their advantage.

The collection and retention is data is generally to the disadvantage of the little guy...

How is that an abuse of data collection?
After all, insurance is a way to spread the risk out over a larger pool of people.
In fact, it's only fair that people who take stupid risks like driving drunk share more of the burden.

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