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Comment Re:The two purposes are not mutually exclusive. (Score 1) 398

> The price is about to crash as the new ASIC miners come out

The mining rate is self stabilising. Throwing more CPU at mining simply changes the distribution of who gets the newly mined coins, not how many coins are mined. (There's a threshold in the hash space that gets lowered to make mining coins more difficult).


Submission + - How does modularity evolve? ( 1

JimmyQS writes: "As programmers know, modularity is critical to making reusable, adaptable software. However, modularity is not instinctive for beginners and must be learned via painful training. Biology faces a similar problem: modularity is useful to make species more adaptable, but how did it evolve in the first place? Surprisingly, computational simulations of 25,000 generations of evolution reveal that modularity does not evolve because it makes organisms more adaptable. Instead, modularity evolves as a by-product for selection to reduce the "wiring costs" of a network. The discovery greatly advances research into evolving artificially intelligent robots, a field where the inability to evolve modular designs has long been thought to be a key roadblock to evolving truly complex, intelligent neural networks.

The paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. You can also watch modularity evolve in this video."

Submission + - Absolute speed barrier broken? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Puzzling results from Cern, home of the LHC, have confounded physicists — because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.

Submission + - Crowdsourced evolution of 3D printable objects (

JimmyQS writes: "The Cornell Creative Machines Lab, which brought us chatbots debating God and unicorns, has developed, a site using evolutionary algorithms and crowdsourcing to design objects that can be 3D printed in materials such as silver, steel or silicone. MIT's Technology Review says "The rules EndlessForms uses to generate objects and their variants resemble those of developmental biology—the study of how DNA instructions unfold to create an entire living organism. The technology is 'very impressive,' says Neri Oxman, director of the MIT Media Lab's Mediated Matter research group. She believes the user-friendliness of the evolutionary approach could help drive the broader adoption of 3-D printing technologies, similar to how easy-to-use image editors fueled the growth of digital photography and graphic manipulation. Oxman [notes] that this could ultimately have an impact on design similar to the impact that blogs and social media have had on journalism, opening the field to the general public." The New Scientist has a quick video tour and describes how the same technology can evolve complex, artificially intelligent brains and bodies for robots that can eventually be 3D printed."

Comment Basic probability maths (Score 1) 97

Clearly the statistical analyses' are wrong for at least two of those companies. The prior probability of risk for a given disease is 'average', and if you don't test enough polymorphisms or if the correlations are weak then it remains average. Trouble is you can't make a business case on selling such weak information, so there's an incentive to spice up the summary info they provide.

Comment Re:well thats more just the processor... (Score 1) 143

True, and you're also one software/hardware bug away from creating the infamous grey goo - or at the very least killing everyone on the planet without creating a grey goo. I'm not sure if Kurzweil has ever addressed this specific issue, I guess he would say that biological life would be defunct at that point and we'd all hav either uploaded our minds to an artificial substrate or will have been wiped out and replaced by some machine intelligence. Happy new year!

Comment Re:well thats more just the processor... (Score 5, Insightful) 143

OK but what if you want to put them inside nanobots designed to target and kill cancer cells or a zillion other applications that are made possible by smaller and less power hungry computation? Smaller also means more powerful computers at the 'classic' scale, for which we know there is demand for right now by way of the very existence of supercomputers.


Submission + - A Convenient Truth - Preview goes online (

Feature length preview of "A Convenient Truth", a film about the world getting better, goes online.

Shot in late 2006, after watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, Jack Guest was inspired to find a A Convenient Truth about climate change. He invested his life savings and took a film crew to Sweden (by boat), a country aiming to break its dependency on oil by 2020. There he met a full range of people, from politicians and scientists, to families and entrepreneurs.

The feature length preview film tells the story of Jack's journey to Sweden, with part one released today:

In December of the same year Jack continued his journey, crossing the Atlantic by cargo ship in search of love, a low carbon footprint, and time to enjoy the ride. Things didn't go exactly according to plan. With a light hearted tone A Convenient Truth's positive message is that things can get better and that change does not have to mean sacrifice.

The film is heading for release in early 2008.

Jack Guest, Director of Participate Productions said: "We've split our feature length preview of A Convenient Truth into five parts and will be releasing a new part online weekly following the launch on the 15th November, so it can reach as many people as possible. The film's global message is that things can get better, that the world can work for everyone, and that we will make it happen.""

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