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Submission + - MIT Making Super Efficient Origami Solar Panels (inhabitat.com)

ByronScott writes: Could the next solar panels be in the shapes of origami cranes? They could be if MIT power engineering professor Jeffrey Grossman has his say. Standard flat solar panels are only optimized to capture sunlight at one point of the sun’s trajectory — otherwise they need automated tracking systems to follow the sun. But Grossman found that folded solar cell systems could produce constant power throughout the day sans tracking and his new designs are up to two and a half times more efficient per comparative length and width than traditional flat arrays.

Comment Re:Wait a minute here (Score 1) 1364

So it is up to you to decide what is best for someone else's child?

The psychological research that claims that a single motherhood prevents unfit offspring is the same group that believes that as long as there are two viewpoints of the world (A stern figure, and a tender figure) attribute to a healthy growth environment. They have actually stated that it does not have to be two people of opposite sex. It's the emotive value that is in concern.

So, effectively, if you have two stern parents, and noone to offer soft emotions, you will potentially have a child who is "unfit" for the "normal" society... But they'd make a great soldier!


Hardware Hacking

Submission + - New Look at Brain Control (harvard.edu)

one_neuron_two_neuron writes: Researchers at Harvard have taken a new look at how electricity can make neurons in the brain fire.

The scientists found some surprising things: if you stick an electrode in the brain and apply current, you don't just make a small group of neurons fire — many neurons fire a long way away from the electrode. That's probably because instead of activating the cell bodies of the neurons, what happens instead is that their axons fire. Those axons are the wiring of the brain. Your cerebral cortex is something like a big pile of unwound yoyos — if you stick an electrode into the cortex you're much more likely to hit the strings (the axons), and the yoyo connected to the string can be really far away.

So now how will you ever hook up a computer to your brain? This data shows that we need to rethink how to do that with electrical current. Stick an electrode in one place, and neurons in a totally different place will fire. New optogenetic methods (e.g. using viral delivery of proteins) might work. Or possibly we will figure out how to make the brain learn to interpret these sparse, widespread electrical patterns.

New optical techniques have made a dramatic impact on neuroscience recently, and this study uses pulsed-laser-scanning microscopy (two-photon microscopy) to take pictures of neurons deep inside the living brain. There are some pretty pictures from the journal (Neuron). And the paper is free on the authors' site.


Submission + - Arthur David Olson Retiring from timezone duties

problah writes: "Arthur David Olson (Ado) has announced on the Zoneinfo Mailing List that he will be retiring, and is looking to find a new home for timezone information.
So far CalConnect has thrown their hat in the ring, as well as the Unicode Consortium as seen here. However , there seems to be a general consensus to keep the current format employed by ado, with a few trivial changes, as it has proven to be effective.

This could get interesting, as the tz database (or Olson Database) is used in a fair amount of software today.

"I'll be eligible to start drawing a pension in mid-2012. Since I'm accustomed to slow-moving Quaker process, that makes it time to get serious about finding a new home for time zone stuff.

There are several pieces of the puzzle (some of which haven't seen much work of late):
Data maintenance
Data distribution
Code maintenance
Code distribution
Mailing list maintenance
Mailing list hosting
Standards work (for example, tweaking POSIX TZ environment variables so Godthab can be represented)
Code enhancement (for example, year zero work and Julian calendar work)

There are different types of landing place:
Governmental organizations
Non-governmental organizations
Commercial entities

Everything could be moved under one new roof or different pieces might go different places.

While I'm happy to continue time zone work in the future, I also understand that it may be best for others to do the work.

Anyone? Bueller?


Submission + - Build an Open Source SSL Accelerator (o3magazine.com)

Amin Zelfani writes: "SSL Accelerators like Big-IP 6900 from F5 Networks typically carry a $50k or more price tag. An article over at o3magazine.com shows you how to build an SSL Accelerator thats on-par with the commercial solutions using Open Source projects. SSL Accelerators off-load the encryption / decryption process from web servers, reducing load, reducing the number of certificates needed, thanks to o3magazine this technology is now available to everyone."
United States

Submission + - Getting out of IT, where to start?

cavtroop writes: I've been doing IT for almost 12 years now, with the typical progression: pc support, server support, network support, etc. I used to love my job, and look forward to coming into work, learning something new, and surmounting challenging obstacles. After years of doing this and that in IT, I'm now an IT Generalist, and finding a job is getting tougher and tougher — most hiring managers are looking for subject matter experts. My lack of a degree (I joined the military, and went straight to work after that) is also beginning to hinder me greatly.

I've been giving some thought to getting out of IT lately. I find I no longer enjoy my work — most of the work I do provides little challenge, and I honestly don't remember the last time I learned something new and interesting. With the recent news of IBM possibly laying of 100k people plus (and the years long trend towards out-sourcing), the prospects of ever getting a meaningful IT job again are looking dim.

I think its time to hit the eject button on my IT career. But where to begin? I tried searching for a career counselor, but most of the hits were shady fly by night places, or people that just want to sell you a book.

Has anyone out there in /. land had a similar experience? What can I expect, and where can I start? Any tips, etc would be beneficial.

Submission + - Open Source WebEx functionality

KD7JZ writes: Where can I find WebEx functionality in Open Source? I know about VNC for remote desktop access. What I want is the ability to have a remote user share a session with me where I can take control of their machine, and do things. Ideally as a downloadable java app, so it is easy to set up on an ad-hoc basis.

Submission + - Massive IBM Layoffs!

number1scatterbrain writes: "150,000 U.S. layoffs for IBM? Last year I wrote a series of columns on management problems at IBM Global Services, explaining how the executive ranks from CEO Sam Palmisano on down were losing touch with reality, bidding contracts too low to make a profit then mismanaging them in an attempt to make a profit anyway, often to the detriment of IBM customers. Those columns and the reaction they created within the ranks at IBM showed just how bad things had become. Well they just got worse. This is according to my many friends at Big Blue, who believe they are about to undergo the biggest restructuring of IBM since the Gerstner days, only this time for all the wrong reasons. The IBM project I am writing about is called LEAN... http://www.pbs.org/hplink/redir/http://www.pbs.org /cringely/?campaign=pbshomefeatures_5_icringely_20 07-05-07"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Sprint Nextel vs. 41 schools and non-profits

netbuzz writes: "A case of corporate bullying, or good network citizenship? ... Sprint Nextel has let loose its lawyers on the FCC and 41 non-profits, most of them school systems, in an effort to get the FCC to stop granting these organizations special dispensation when they fail to renew their wireless spectrum licenses granted as part of the Educational Broadband Service. The school systems argue that they don't have the staff to keep on top of the paperwork and shouldn't be punished — some generate revenue by leasing unused portions of the spectrum to carriers such as Sprint Nextel — for such bureaucratic lapses. That may sound a lot like "the dog ate my homework" to some, and Sprint Nextel makes a fairly compelling case that a greater good would be served if the FCC would stop enabling such tardiness.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1491 4"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The future of wireless broadband?

Adroit Ape writes: "The FCC is scheduled to begin auctioning the radio spectrum salvaged from analog television by February 28, 2008. Public interest groups are calling for auction rules that give new entrants a fair shot at the spectrum, which includes 60Mhz in the 700Mhz band. Are we likely to see groundbreaking innovation in wireless broadband? Who do you foresee to be the major players in the auction and subsequent technologies?"

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