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Submission + - Flash-charging allows deployment of electric buses without overhead wires. (

jackchance writes: "Onboard batteries can be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kilowatt boost at select stops" This technology seems like a pretty massive breakthrough in charging technology, but there are few details available about how this works. For example, the tesla supercharger runs at 120kW but still takes 20 minutes for half of a charge for a car. Is this 15 seconds just a trickle charge for a bus? How do they get around battery heating problems?

Comment Titans! (Score 1) 396

The best DC comic book of the 80's was the Teen Titans, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
Probably the best storyline in that book was how a badass mercenary, the Terminator hires a young evil superpowered hotty to infiltrate the Titans and learn their secrets and weaknesses. Tara and the Terminator are amazing complex villains. It's a great story. Would be hard but doable to make into a single movie..... but i think they could do it.

Comment Re:Been a IT Pro for 15 Years (Score 1) 388

If that story is true, then your college sucked. I realize that CompSci is not "software development", but the crossover is large enough that there is no excuse what so ever for a professor to not already know that you could see his data. Your story would require that the professor be incompetent.

This is simply wrong. I did Comp Sci at a world class university in the 90's. There was a separate Comp Eng department. Comp Sci was pretty much applied math. There were brilliant faculty there who never used a computer. And some who just barely used a computer. Still nobody cared about porn and there is no way you could blackmail a faculty.

Comment Re:"Truly random numbers" (Score 1) 326

However, as a programmer, this simulated reality is an big waste of computational power. It takes far more power to track down a probability waves position and interference in a probability wave as quantum physics outlines then it would have been to just implement a Newtonian version of reality.

That's only true under the assumption that they are not running the simulation on quantum computers!! Actually I wonder whether their computers have to be quantum or just analogue.

Comment Re:"Truly random numbers" (Score 1) 326

Although we can't totally rule out QM as having a meaningful effect on neural circuits (and thus "consciousness") Brownian noise is almost certainly a bigger player. The brain in humans sits at a cosy 37 C. Molecules are bouncing around in there like crazy. Interestingly, the basic currency of neural communication, the action potential, seems to be an attempt to achieve something like digital signaling on inherently noisy and probabilistic hardware.

One of the most interesting papers arguing that QM has an effect on living systems is here (behind a paywall, sorry):
Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature

Comment Re:Whiners... (Score 1) 574

My "cable" company (if you consider AT&T U-verse cable; it's close enough) wanted $120+. So now it's $50-60/mo on internet plus $16/mo for Netflix, $8/mo for Hulu Plus, and I can still buy $96 worth of TV off Amazon or iTMS and still break even!


The truth is, i think Netflix wants people to cancel their DVD subscriptions and move to an all streaming model.

Comment Re:To all "They're not REAL scientists!" posters (Score 1) 308

They are certainly scientists. They are just not very good scientists.

Science is a method that involves using experiments to test hypotheses.
The mythbusters are definitely doing that. However, there conclusions are often too broad considering the specifics of their experiments. The ice bullet episode comes to mind. They attempt to make ice bullets in a few ways, and fail. They conclude that you can't make an ice bullet, but they certainly did not exhaust the ways in which one could make an ice bullet.

Additionally, they often make conclusions from a single experiment. In the case of showing something can work, a single sample, an existence proof is enough. But demonstrating something is impossible is much harder.

FYI, I am a scientist. Also, the best scientists are generally pretty good engineers because testing new ideas often requires building new devices.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 450

I've done similar tests and i the cutoff for AAC is 128kbps while MP3 was much higher > 256kbps. I did this on relatively good Sony MDR headphones and on audiophile quality Axiom Audio speakers.

This push to 24-bit is sheer nonsense. The biggest limitation to sound quality is for sure speaker/headphone quality.

I've read a paper showing that people cannot tell the difference between CDs and AAC 128 bit. But i can't find it at the moment.


"Farming" Amoebas Discovered 49

Researchers from Rice University have found a type of amoeba that practices a sort of "primitive farming behavior." When their bacteria food become scarce, the Dictyostelium discoideum will group together and form a "fruiting body" that will disperse bacteria spores to a new area. From the article: "The behavior falls short of the kind of 'farming' that more advanced animals do; ants, for example, nurture a single fungus species that no longer exists in the wild. But the idea that an amoeba that spends much of its life as a single-celled organism could hold short of consuming a food supply before decamping is an astonishing one. More than just a snack for the journey of dispersal, the idea is that the bacteria that travel with the spores can 'seed' a new bacterial colony, and thus a food source in case the new locale should be lacking in bacteria." It's good to know that even a single celled creature is not immune to the pull of Farmville.

Comment Re:Non-human intelligences (Score 1) 785

I agree that the comparison to slavery takes it a bit far, but there is a kernel of truth there. Slaves are treated as resources, not persons. And when European colonists first encountered "natives" they were often considered sub-human savages. Sure, there were some who understood that they were human, but many people did not see them that way.

On another note: shouldn't rights come with responsibilities?

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 779

If God knows all, we have no free will. simple as that.

Convince me of this.

In the future I freely chose some action, and a transtemporal being can see me chose that in the future how does that invalidate my free will. I think you have to make some assumptions about time and causality in order for your argument to stick.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 779

Uh...actually, if anything, the bible proves free will doesn't exist either. god's supposed omnipotence makes free will an impossibility.

If someone already knows what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

Free will is a foundation of Judaism. Ergo, free will certainly is not "disproved" by the old testament.

Also, while there is much debate as to the "qualities" of the Jewish God, a central theological tenant of Judaism is that "God is unknowable" . This is emphasized above any concept of omnipotence or omniscience.

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One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.