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Comment Re:rst Gene Drive In Mammals Could Aid Vast New Ze (Score 1) 301

The gene drive won't be able to jump species to get to humans. It won't get even to rats, as mice and rats are too different. Yet, it is likely that all species of mice on all continents will be gone if this is implemented. That's a much huger effect than wiping some mosquito species.

Comment A bit too much hype (Score 4, Interesting) 78

First, it is a tiny continental fragment, not a whole continent. Second, their evidence is based only tiny crystals washed ashore, as all island is covered in more recent lava. I will trust this more when they actually drill through that one or two km of lava to recover the actual ancient continental crust.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 311

Universal basic income is good and all, but with free time, leisure and this supposed surge in creativity also comes all sorts of problems that happen when you have a bunch of people with nothing else to do.

There have always been a largish (10%-30%) proportion of the population who are able adults but not holding a job. They don't just go rioting or drinking themselves to death. The hope is that more leisure and abundance will decrease conflicts and extreme ideology, which is at the source of many of today's problems.

Comment even more turbulence (Score 1) 184

> As a result of pilots needing to dodge strong turbulence, flight paths will become longer, and fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions will increase—possibly leading to even more turbulence."

To say that the longer flight paths will add enough carbon dioxide to increase the turbulence even more is just plain silly. This is a second order effect.

Comment Hopefully it is more than just rebranding (Score 1) 162

Hopefully they won't just rebrand their services, but make them work better with each other. I think it is still not possible to attach pictures from Picasa and documents from Google docs when sending mail from gmail. There are other places where Google's services don't talk to each other very well.

Comment It is not only about making people click on ads (Score 2) 388

Google, for example, is doing a lot of things except making people click on ads.

* Intelligent search, this one day will progress into natural language understanding and even AI * Image recognition, this one day may help robots understand their surroundings * Voice recognition, again, useful * How to efficiently manage massive data centers, great for creating future infrastructure

Even clicking on ads, requires sophisticated AI techniques which are useful in many other areas

Submission + - Aiming to Learn as We Do, a Machine Teaches Itself (

olegalexandrov writes: NELL is a Carnegie Mellon University project in a widening field of research and investment aimed at enabling computers to better understand the meaning of language. Unlike many other semantic learning systems, NELL is highly automated. Its tools include programs that extract and classify text phrases from the Web, programs that look for patterns and correlations, and programs that learn rules. "The technology is really maturing, and will increasingly be used to gain understanding," said Alfred Spector, vice president of research for Google. "We're on the verge now in this semantic world".

Comment Go with the master's (Score 1) 834

Do get your master's if you can, I am telling you that as somebody working in the industry. A master's (or a PhD) is a very distinguishing feature, while two years of experience is not. Also, two more years in school can give you (different kind of) insights and deep knowledge which two years of work can't. Having achieved a high level of education before you start a full-time job and getting family will reward you handsomely in long term.

Submission + - How Kiva robots automate warehousing (

olegalexandrov writes: "Kiva Systems of Woburn, Mass., sells robots that retrieve items to be shipped from a warehouse, doubling the productivity and speeding up order processing. The ottoman-shaped robots are used in warehouses run by Staples, Walgreen and The bots communicate wirelessly with servers sending directions and navigate using cameras to read barcode stickers on the warehouse floor."

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