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Submission + - Beer on the Moon!... (

braindrainbahrain writes: ... well sort of. Students at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are finalists in a competition held by TeamIndus, one of the teams with a launch contract to send a spacecraft to the Moon as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge.

Their proposed experiment will test the viability of yeast on the moon—and result in a freshly brewed batch of beer. Understanding how yeast behaves on the moon isn’t just important for brewing beer in space. It’s also important for the development of pharmaceuticals and yeast-containing foods, like bread.

Submission + - Radioactive Boy Scout Passes Away ( 2

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.

The cause of death was not given.

Submission + - After Go, the next frontier in Artificail Intelligence is Starcraft (

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..

Submission + - Udacity guarantees you can get a job (

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.

Submission + - Currency exchange website accused of Cyber Terrorism by Venezuelan Government (

braindrainbahrain writes: A US based website that has covers the unofficial exchange rate between the US dollar and the Bolivar, the Venezuelan currency, has been accused of cyber terrorism in a civil complaint. Venezuela, suffering from ever increasing inflation, maintains very tight controls on currency exchange and in the suit is accusing the website operators of racketeering and conspiracy. In an earlier speech, Venezuelan President Nicola Maduro stated he would ask the President of the United States to hunt down the operators of the DT Site and extradite them to Venezuela to be tried as criminals.

Submission + - Elon Musk, SpaceX, and the quest to send mice to Mars (

braindrainbahrain writes: The name of Elon Musk and SpaceX, the rocket company he founded, are well known to slashdottters. This article and book excerpt tells the story of the creation of SpaceX and their first rockets, how it almost sank Musk's other company, Tesla Motors, and how the inspiration for the SpaceX in the first place was the idea of sending mice to Mars.

Submission + - Robotics is better for kids than sports! ( 2

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?

Submission + - Evidence of ET? Regular pettern observed in Fast Radio Bursts (

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?

Submission + - Rebuilding the PDP-8...with a Raspberry Pi (

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.

Submission + - A posthumous tribute to Maxis, Creator of Video Games with no Characters (

braindrainbahrain writes: RIP, Maxis, the video game company that developed and/or published several big hits such as SimCity, The Sims, and Spore. Maxis had been acquired by EA in 1997, who finally dissolved the division this March Note: The closure already made the Slashdot front page). In this time of controversy over the diversity and representation of characters in video games, The Atlantic has an article dedicated to how Maxis thrived developing games which had no characters.

Submission + - Mars One does not renew contracts for Robotic Missions (

braindrainbahrain writes: Mars One is, of course, the highly speculative, low credibility project to land humans on Mars after a one-way trip. In 2013 they had announced that two contracts had been awarded to the aerospace industry to develop a Mars orbiter and a Mars lander to carry a science experiment payload to the surface. Both contracts have been completed, but so far, Mars One has no immediate plans to renew the contracts and pursue further development of the crafts.

Submission + - Mario Lives! Mario becomes self aware and plays the game himself. (

braindrainbahrain writes: Many Slashdotters are familiar with the Infinite Mario game (developed by none other than Markus Persson aka Notch of Minecraft fame) and the game's close relative Infinite Adaptive Mario. Now, researchers at the University of Tübingen, Germany, have developed an AI Mario, capable of playing the infinite game unaided by human hands. The AI Mario learns about his virtual world, has emotional states and includes speech synthesis to communicate with human observers.

Submission + - All in good clean fun! United Launch Alliance CEO pokes at SpaceX via Twitter (

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.

Submission + - Obama's Immigration Reform and the Technical Workforce ( 1

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.

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