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Submission + - Brain to Brain Communication (

clegrand writes: University of Washington researchers have connected their brains together via the interweb. A neuroscientist at Duke got 2 rats pressing the Pavlovian lever in sync, then Harvard one-upped them by getting a researcher to wag the proverbial rat's tail. But UW put to rest the Steinbeckian dystopia and enabled 2 human brains to interact directly without relying on the outmoded aural interface. Science has given rise to the new meaning of "2nd person shooter".

Submission + - NSA Revelation Leads FTC To Propose "Reclaim Your Name" Initiative (

clegrand writes: Ms. Julie Brill, a member of the Federal trade Commission, has proposed a voluntary big data industry initiative to allow consumers access to their personal records and the ability to correct them. She has coined it "Reclaim Your Name". While some big data companies such as Acxiom ( already allow such access, it is not an industry-wide practice. She sees this campaign as a natural extension of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a logical partner for the ongoing effort of the Do Not Track mechanism currently under standardization review with the W3C. The New York Times has a take on it here: Link to full text of her speech is listed below.

Submission + - Los Alamos has a functioning Quantum Internet (

clegrand writes: Scientists at Los Alamos National Labs have revealed that they have a solution for secure quantum internet communications. For 2 and a half years, they have been using a novel approach where the nodes on the network feed one-time pads via quantum laser links to the hub which provides for secure encryption over the classical network. They have dubbed it "network-centric quantum communications (NQC)". While this solution will become obsolete once someone successfully devises a true quantum router, it works NOW. More info from the The Physics arXiv Blog at MIT Technology Review —

Comment Re:Again, just a few winners (Score 1) 192

Well.. let's take a look at that .. if the winner is one of the young guys at 47 and we expect him to live into his 80s .. then we have to cover his life for 40 years. The median available 3 bedroom house in Berkeley right now is $1M. Add up 40 years of property tax (~$775K), house insurance (~$120K), health insurance (~$192K), a new Prius every 10 years (~$120K), car insurance (~$48K), food (~$438K), computers (~$24K), communications (~$48K).. and ...well, you know, a life. $3M barely gets you there.

Submission + - NBC purchases MSNBC rights from Microsoft, rebrands to (

flatt writes: Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the website has been immediately renamed to Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup.

Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005.


Submission + - Not a Dwarf: Is Pluto a Binary Planet? (

astroengine writes: "If the Pluto-Charon system were viewed in a similar way to binary stars and binary asteroids, Pluto would become a Pluto-Charon binary planet. After all, Charon is 12% the mass of Pluto, causing the duo to orbit a barycenter that is located above Pluto's surface. Sadly, in the IAU's haste to define what a planet is in 2006, they missed a golden opportunity to define the planetary binary. Interestingly, if Pluto was a binary planet, last week's discovery of a fifth Plutonian moon would have in fact been the binary's fourth moon to be discovered by Hubble — under the binary definition, Charon wouldn't be classified as a moon at all."

Comment Re:usage based (Score 1) 463

One simple change could be to make progression depend on skill, not trivial success and grinding.


Absolutely non-trivial to implement and balance, so it's probably not the end of the idea. But it might be a start.

The Trouble With Trivials ....ummm.. which end are we starting at?

Comment Re:skill? (Score 1) 463

I'd have to agree. In the end, general familiarity with a given genre leads to uniform gaming experiences where the only differentiators are the relative coding skills of the programmer responsible for the module your are currently playing. A couple of examples might be: an out of place poly in an FPS can catch your toon or give an unfair advantage; aggro range on mobs in MMORPGs can directly affect the difficulty of an encounter. As skill, or

... intimate knowledge of a game's mechanics ...

increases, you are in effect, playing against the programmer directly. A programmer who is hobbled by the required script.

Comment Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (Score 1) 171

... All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando...

I am disappointed at the news .. I fly out of San Francisco regularly and it was an incredible convenience. Of course, traveling with family who DIDN'T have the card meant I had to walk thru the normal line with them while I stared longingly at the Clear lane.. heh.

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