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Submission + - Breakthrough optical rectenna turns light directly into usable electricity (

Taffykay writes: A new breakthrough from Georgia Tech is likely to revolutionize the renewable energy industry. The optical rectenna is composed of tiny carbon nanotubes and rectifiers that capture light and convert it directly into DC current. The nanotubes create an oscillating charge that moves through the rectifier, switching on and off at high speeds, thereby creating a small electrical current. Billions of rectennas together can generate a more substantial current, resulting in renewable energy that is both significantly cheaper than conventional solar and more efficient.

Submission + - The difficulty getting a machine to forget anything (

An anonymous reader writes: When personal information ends up in the analytical whirlpool of big data, it almost inevitably becomes orphaned from any permissions framework that the discloser granted for its original use; machine learning systems, commercial and otherwise, end up deriving properties and models from the data until the replication, duplication and derivation of that data can never hoped to be controlled or 'called back' by the originator.

But researchers now propose a revision which can be imposed upon existing machine-learning frameworks, interposing a 'summation' layer between user data and the learning system, effectively tokenising the information without anonymising it, and providing an auditable path whereby withdrawal of the user information would ripple through all iterations of systems which have utilized it — genuine 'cancellation' of data.

Submission + - Damaged Spinal Cord "Rewires" Itself With Help of Electrical Stimulation (

the_newsbeagle writes: Many prior experiments that tried to restore function after a spinal cord injury have used electrical stimulation to replace the signals from the brain, essentially implanting a replacement nervous system. But a new project instead used electrical stimulation to encourage the natural nervous system to adapt to a severe injury. When researchers repeatedly jolted a rat's damaged spinal cord at the precise moment that it tried to move a paralyzed limb, its nervous system developed new neural pathways that detoured around the site of injury in the spine. Researchers don't think it grew new neurons, but think instead that new connections formed between surviving neurons.

Submission + - i can has kickstart? (

rewindustry writes: (RFC)

am fifty this year, been working on a thing since basically it was possible, back in the soundblaster, gravis, etc era. by this time am pretty sure it already has been done, but perhaps not quite the way i've been doing it, on my own machines.

it is essentially an audio tape loop with digital advantages. you begin an instance by defining a length, and you get a recording space which simply goes around and around, continuously, and in which you play.

from there the options expand as you like — for instance i like spaces of 32 to 128 bars, and i add a click track or other guide beat, to begin with. because everything is continuous, having no beginning or end, this can be multiplied out to be any new length i might like, in production.

i can then create a new space, the same integral multiple of the original, with perhaps an extra 8 bars inserted, for count in and out, if am working on a 'final' length.

this is only one method i settled into using. of the many i have been fiddling with, perhaps the most fun is to set things to fade slowy into the background, as new ideas are inserted — the effect is like playing in a hall of mirrors, which is great for not-very-good musicians like me. after the fact i like to select the best bits, and set them to fade in and out and around at random endlessly, or until bored.

all of the above, built to an RFC standard, can be distributed across the net in pseudo real time — it does not matter that each instance of a given "space" is running in it's own time, as long as you accept that any submission to a multi-user space will only appear the next time around (assuming your connection is fast enough). no matter how long it takes to arrive, a simple protocol will ensure it appears in the right place.

my overall thesis is that this very simply concept should be enough to easily make global recording a comfortable enough experience — as comfortable an experience, for instance, as participating in slashdot.

in fact a comment system like slashdot would form an ideal basis for a control system, by impementing an extention allowing users moderate which parts are mixed into what spaces.

i think — which might explain why i am posting this here. first off, has this already been done, and conversely — if it not, how do i get it out there? i'm a bit tired of playing with this thing by myself, and so far have not seen the app/gadget on the market that already does the thing i've been dreaming of... and suddenly it occurs to me that slashdot is the place to find out, for once and for all.

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"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977