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Man Wants to Donate His Heart Before He Dies 456

Gary Phebus wants to donate his heart, lungs, and liver. The problem is he wants to donate them before he dies. Gary was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2008. Phebus says he'd like to be able to donate his organs before they deteriorate, and doesn't consider his request suicide because he's "dead anyway."

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."

Sound As the New Illegal Narcotic? 561

ehrichweiss writes "The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is warning parents and teachers of a new threat to our children: sounds. Apparently kids are now discovering binaural beats and using them to get 'physiological effects.' The report goes on with everyone suggesting that such aural experiences will act as a gateway to drug usage and even has one student claiming there are 'demons' involved. Anyone who has used one of those light/sound machines knows all about the effects that these sounds will give and to state that they will lead kids to do drugs is nonsense at best. It seems the trend in scaring the citizens with a made-up problem has gone to the next level."

Sticky Rice Is the Key To Super Strong Mortar 194

lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."

A Genetically Engineered Fly That Can Smell Light 111

An anonymous reader writes "It sounds like a cool — if somewhat pointless — super-powered insect: a fly that can smell light! Researchers added a light-sensitive protein to a fruit fly's olfactory neurons, which caused the neurons to fire when the fly was exposed to a certain wavelength of blue light. Adding the protein specifically to neurons that respond to good smells, like bananas, makes for a light-seeking fly."

Marine Mammals Used To Fight Terrorism 131

pinkstuff writes "The Navy unveiled its terror-fighting marine mammals at a two-day homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise in California this week. From the article: 'A Navy seal — actually a sea lion — took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near San Francisco's AT&T Park. A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur's ankle so authorities could reel him in.' Queue the 'frickin lasers' jokes."

Comment Re:Dangerous (Score 2, Insightful) 104

An application of Gödel's incompleteness theorem proves that in any sufficiently powerful formal system, there's always a question that can break that system (or at least break it with respect to that system). So basically the only secure computer is one that's incapable of actual computation. Once it becomes useful, there will always be a way to break it...


Saying a perfect computer can't be secure because one of the things it can compute is how to break it's own security is absurd. You can simply define the computer as having limitations as to what it can do. To imply that such a computer is useless is to imply that all computers we have today are useless. All existing computers have physical and logical limitations.

Saying that this is then not a "perfect" computer is also bullshit. You can always wrap your output. You can always spit out the doomsday code instead of executing it. You can always escape your special characters.

The computer can still solve any problem you give it. It just won't execute it's own automatic suicide code. You can make one that does execute said code, but requires the user to confirm. You can make one that does execute said code, automatically. It all depends on how you want it to behave.

Defining a system that behaves in a certain way, then trying to get it to break that behavior is simply retarded. It's the nerd version of "Can God make a boulder so big he himself couldn't lift it?".

There are zero real-world implications of this "thinking" exercise, regardless or which end you look at it from, any conclusions you draw, etc.

Comment Re:Police State (Score 1) 289

Eh, no. According to NSA whistleblowers, all domestic voice and data traffic was monitored as well.

And, again, no, it does not require House vote, Senate vote, and POTUS signature to take your rights away. For eight years of Bush, all it took was a decision by POTUS, and complicity of DOJ. DOJ says "waterboarding is not torture" and poof, it becomes so. DOJ says habeus corpus can be suspended and poof, it becomes so.

The real problem here is not that "The decider" made these things happen, it's that if his administration is not investigated, prosecuted, and sentenced, then there will be precedent for future presidents, including this one, to act outside the bounds of law (the Constitution), unilaterally, and effectively, dictatorially.

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