braindrainbahrain writes: David Hahn, who achieved some notoriety as a teenage boy scout with his attempt to build a nuclear reactor in his garden shed, has passed away. His "reactor" ended when the EPA declared his backyard as a Superfund cleanup site due to hazardous levels of radiation. His story was captured in a Harper's magazine article, and later the book "The Radioactive Boy Scout" by Ken Silverstein. It was also a Slashdot topic at the time.
braindrainbahrain writes: Having conquered checkers, chess, and more recently Go, artificial intelligence research now looks at the next frontier: the popular real-time strategy game of Starcraft. Deep Mind, the Google company that defeated the Go champoin, is now considering the game which would require the AI to deal with hidden information and player bluffing..
braindrainbahrain writes: Udacity, one of the first MOOC schools, is now offering a guarantee with their Nanodegree Plus program, in which they claim they can get you hired within 6 months or they will refund all your tuition. There is fine print of course. Only four of the nanodegree programs have this guarantee and it applies only in the US.
braindrainbahrain writes: Why is classical music so hard to enjoy on streaming services? It's not a matter of lossless compression or sound quality, availability, or even quantity of material. No, the problem is metadata.
braindrainbahrain writes: Undergoing research by NASA, the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M (not-so-coincidentally named after German aeronautical engineer Ludwig Prandtl) program is developing an airfoil with the ultimate goal of flying in the Martian atmosphere. The program has flown 12-ft. span models, the Prandtl-D1 and -D2, in Earth's atmosphere to prove that the flying wing design could overcome adverse yaw effects without including a tail. A larger 25 ft. model will be tested shortly and further tests call for prototypes to be balloon dropped at 85,000 feet and later at 115,000 feet to simulate Martian atmospheric density. If all goes well, it could be deployed from a cubesat container after hitching a ride to Mars with a rover in 2022.
braindrainbahrain writes: This comes as no surprise to the slashdot readership, but motivational speaker and author Paul Smith lists ten reasons why you should have your kids do robotics rather than organized sports as an after-school activity. The reasons range from the very practical (what are the chances of becoming a pro sports player?) to... sportsmanship (the losers congratulating the winners). Won't someone please think of the children?
braindrainbahrain writes: Fast Radio Bursts are a rarely observed phenomenon in radio astronomy consisting of, well, very short bursts of radio signals. Astronomers have measured the dispersion of recorded bursts and determined that the dispersion measures occur in integer multiples. No known physical cause of this is known. Have we stumbled upon the activities of ET?
braindrainbahrain writes: Hacker Oscarv wanted a PDP-8 mini computer. But a buying a real PDP-8 was horribly expensive and out of the question. So Oscarv did the next best thing: use a Raspberry Pi as the computing engine and interface it to a replica PDP-8 front panel, complete with boatloads of fully functional switches and LEDs.
braindrainbahrain writes: The new CEO of the United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno shows his funny side as he pokes fun at his main competitor in the space launch business, SpaceX. So much so, that he got a mention, along with some of his twitter barbs, in Adweek, a publication not generally known for reporting on the aerospace industry.
braindrainbahrain writes: President Obama's announcement of an executive order to reform immigration was a big news item, but little was said about the order's impact on the technical workforce. “Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us?" While there were no immediate changes to the H-1B visa system, there are changes to the Optional Practical Training and the National Interest Waiver programs that would make it easier for foreign workers to legally work in the U.S.