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Comment Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456

Why replace it if it works today? All their systems are probably as old as that computer so the whole shebang is becoming less and less reliable. Having the heat kick off in the winter can be a problem. Damage from the heat going off over a winter break could easily be over a couple million. Also kids will hack the heck out of it now that the cat is out of the bag that the whole system goes down if a walkie talkie is left on in the area. And cell phone signals might be messing up their radio system too and a lot of people have cell phones these days. Plus blasting a whole school district with modem communication over walkie talkie frequency probably breaks a few FTC rules. So to me, this sounds like a system that was put in due to budget desperation but it's not a good system for the school district to keep using.

Comment Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456

This seems like a reasonable price estimate to me. Sure $90,000 per school sounds steep, but consider the following: 1. If the computer hasn't been updated, nothing has been updated since 1980, so there is no way we're talking about just a computer. Their custom fan rigs and AC is probably all about to die along with that computer. 2. It's all custom hardware, have you ever heard of a radio controlled thermostat for a school district? Yeahhh, no. Kids would hack it so fast if they knew the school was running something like that. So this is all local made lowest budget hardware, probably because the school couldn't afford an amiga for each school and it's all hardware that can't be simply connected to a modern HVAC control system. 3. And don't forget the cost of hiring a crew to install all the hardware and get it working in 24 schools before the school year starts! Priceless. Based on what I know about big projects, this all sounds quite reasonable to me.

Comment Why just fossils? Maybe organics too. (Score 1) 88

I think it I would be interesting if we found terrestrial organic contamination on the moon. As in what's called panspermia, organics from earth spreading out into space. It would be really cool if a moonbot found something like spores protected under lunar dust and wicked cool if they found a tardigrade!

Comment Re:interesting times... (Score 1) 221

Better color eyesight is a disadvantage for hunting and probably military type games where the enemy may hide. Color differentiation is great for picking the right berries, but in hunting, more colors means more visual noise. Since it's a game, women could possibly set their screen colors to simulate deuteranopia (red-green colorblindness) and possibly pick up that advantage.

Example of what camo looks like to color blind:

Camo picture is from this source:

Military experiences:

Colorblindness is a hunting advantage for primates such as capuchins.

Submission + - EIA Trillion Dollar Monterey Shale Estimate Cut By 96%, US Shale Oil Cut By 2/3

steam_cannon writes: The U.S. Energy Information Administration ( is planning to release a major 96% reserve downgrade to the amount of oil and gas recoverable from the Monterey Shale formation, one of the largest oil/gas reserves in the United States. After several years of intensified exploration the Monterey oil shale play seems to have much less recoverable oil and gas then previously hoped. This is due to multiple factors such as the more complex rippled geology of the shale and over-hyped recovery estimates by investors. By official estimates the Monterey Shale formation makes up 2/3 of the shale reserves in the US and by some estimates 1/3 of all crude reserves in the US. Not a drop in the bucket. Next Month the will be announcing cutting it's estimates for Monterey by 96%. That's a huge blow to the US energy portfolio, trillions of dollars, oil and gas the US might have used for itself or exported. Presently the White House is evaluating making changes to US oil export restrictions so this downgrade may result in changes to US energy policy. As well as have a significant impact on US economy and the economy of California.

News Sources:


Additional References:
"Monterey Shale...Comprising two-thirds of the United States’s total estimated shale oil reserves" (2013)

Comment Iron Man is made of LEGO! (Score 1) 301

Quote: "So it appears that Iron Man is either powered by Open Source software or made of Lego. I’m not sure which is cooler." I agree with this sentiment. This is both cool and enhances believably. If I was stuck in a cave, with a magnet in my chest and I had some code I know is reliable, I might not spend too much time building a new code-base.

Comment The common "crank" fusion claims... (Score 1) 140

The common "crank" fusion claims are awfully similar to this article. Many "crank" LENR claims like those "Blacklight power" makes involve short pulses of operation pumping light into a metal plasma, with no neutron radiation and some other "cranks" make similar claims including claiming helium as a bi-product. So if this research indicates fusion is possible without neutron radiation, that is a big deal because it means missing neutron radiation may not be proof against fusion. Example: "Rossi's 2011 demonstrations[5] showed neither measurable gamma nor neutron radiation" Reference: rationalwiki org wiki Energy_Catalyzer Also regarding this article "the same laser, that pushes away electrons in the boron plasma, allowing the protons more of a chance to collide with the boron nuclei and initiate fusion.", I've heard the same effect can be made to happen in the lab using x-rays, temporarily making aluminum effectively clear to ultraviolet light. Perhaps an x-ray source or x-ray laser would help in their process of clearing electrons that would normally block the nucleus at lower temperatures. Example: " that a short pulse from the FLASH laser ‘knocked out’ a core electron from every aluminium atom in a sample without disrupting the metal’s crystalline structure. This turned the aluminium nearly invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation..." Reference: 2009 Science Daily "Transparent Aluminum Is ‘New State Of Matter’"

Comment Re:The only question I have is: (Score 1) 311

Also these are very easy to make. Here are some links and notes for informational purposes only. In it's most basic form wires with cloth dipped in salt water connected to a battery. More refined DIY designs include an electrical meter. Most of the components: - A battery, I've seen designs using 9 volts and I know of some designs that use 6 volts. - Some cut off pieces cotton as cotton can be less drippy then sponge. - salt shaker + water - Wires, regular radioshack UL-Recognized RED Hookup Wire 22AWG (though thicker electrical wire will work too). Strip off the ends to contact the cloth. - Duct-tape to hold the cloth to the wires. - Optional, an electrical meter to get the current in the range you want. - Optional, you can modulate the amps though battery selection, resistors, salt water resistor or just moderating the salt water concentrations. - Possible bonus, the salt water connection is imperfect and provides a crackly connection as in slight random current pulses without special circuitry. Rubbing the contact wire on the battery terminal will also create staticy pulses somewhat similar to what some of the more complex devices produce. - Common sense, take it off if it's burning or injuring your skin.

Comment Re:Normal. (Score 1) 265

I see a lot of good advice here. Highschool isn't going to have overwhelming turnout. But I think you can get more people involved. 1. Make the club useful for other people. Have workshops on wordpress, blogging, have career speakers maybe from local colleges. Have discussions on 3D printing to bring in the DIY crowd. Computer Science means you have access to all the information and systems that have ever existed. It's core is founded on helping people do things they want to do and make their lives easier. Think about it that way and you'll see that you have plenty of material generate interest. 2. Bring pizza! People often skip meals to make meeting times. Understand that and use a large portion of fundraiser money for pizza. It works. 3. Get lists of emails/text and send them weekly updates with really useful information. You have "old" computers available. Buy 15 licenses of quake 2 for a few dollars and hold a game-off! Have fun! But don't make the club about the computers. Clubs are about people and what your interest can do for people. Myself, I was a former CPSC Club president and a UPE president, I can tell you what worked and didn't work in college for me. In college successful meetings involved: Going deeper then just one layer of meetings and make it a club. Making it something useful. Advertise! Chalk sidewalks, make chalkboard notes in cpsc classrooms, put up flyers, email lists, reminder emails, phone calls sometimes. Have a big pizza meeting and get a group list to text. Keep people thinking of your club with signups for updates on related campus events and important industry changes, like updates to google posted on searchengineland. Updates on the most popular programming languages/web systems with reports from google trends. Talking about trends students need to know. Holding meetings at Lunch times or common hours for the best turnout. A big key for meetings is food. Free Pizza / soda / fresh coffee can be paid for by coffee pot fund raisers, sometimes alumni and other general fund raisers. The students must have food, even if it's just a 75cent slice of pizza and a 10cent free cup of coffee. This makes up for the lost lunch/break time students use to go to your meeting. Hold the meeting in an accessible public location like a central hall with lots of chairs. Plan speakers: Speakers from industry often go over well and so do discussions of student projects. DIY robot demonstrations, Speakers on server/web security, Discussions on getting experience though open source projects, Career planning, Book reviews on the best book for X, Best twitter/feed resources, project management softwares, specific topics like content development... More modern topics like social media, VR web apps, phone app programming, 3D printing, computerized stencil cutters, factory robots and google glass stuff would all go over well too. Make your meeting important and worth going to! What were the 10 most important articles/web trends on slashdot in the last year? If the speaker has a printable guide say on networking, have printouts or sharable files you can email to people who sign up for a copy. Your adds for the events should say there will be guides available at the events. Talk with professors to help arrange speakers, they often know a few people. And try to get them asking these people about internships. Then you can help arrange internships for students. Also saying on a flyer you'll be announcing internship opportunities will also bring a lot of people in. Speak but don't spend too much time talking yourself unless you're presenting or if you can magnetize an audience. Ideally spend your time helping speakers talk and come with a few guiding questions for your speaker. Have one page handouts with a summary of the topic and the next meeting/time/schedule. Have a texting/email list signup for people and mention that to them. Post meeting minutes and event summaries online, with links to documents/resources if available. Announce meetings and club events that are related, like web graphics design discussions or writing for the web workshops or resume workshops. Have a writers workshop to introduce them to web resources and writing resources like tvtropes! Hold Saturday morning workshops as part of your club and to make your club useful. Help organize study groups, computer help, programming contests, note sharing, career planning and problem solving workshops. Hold a web publishing workshop and use it for inviting people in different majors to a social. Hold a club meeting looking for volunteers to holding workshops (for resume experience) and for getting lists of people for inviting to a social. Have a robotics workshop and coordinate with the art department as they often have tool shops and DIY enthusiasts. Don't just hang out! Make connections! Have field trip events, like paid/subsidized field trips to science museums. Everyone loves a big group trip at the end of the semester. Organize multi-player computer gaming events with pizza. If you have everyone together and have breaks from the games, it becomes a social. Once a month coffee & coco & cider fundraisers in building lobbies worked pretty well. But don't hold them too often because most people are buying coffee/snacks to donate to your club and won't buy more often then that. At the meetings, recruit people who would like to help with fundraisers. Mention that fundraisers and club involvement are good resume experience. That tends to wake a few people up. What didn't work: No Potato chips, popcorn, cookies or other cheap junk food. Also bad locations, like a lower level auditorium won't give you a good turnout. Computer labs aren't the best place for meetings either, they are distracting and are in use when you need the space. Classrooms aren't good either because students are used to them being used by a teacher. Multi-club socials are a challenge. Like getting the Math club involved won't work. We take a lot of the same courses, but at my school "pure math" math club students were too young and stuck up to hang out with "applied math" computer science losers. Honors clubs (besides maybe UPE) are also often stuck up. At my school the main honors group was trying to make that group women's only. So they had lots of women, but they had a had a political issue with groups that have a lot of men and I couldn't arrange a social with them either. So it's good to try to involve everyone, but for a good social don't spend too much time trying to involve groups with a chip on their shoulder. How to make socials work: Talk to some art or writing department heads. Art/Graphic design clubs are less stuck up and more flexible minded, and are often involved in web design as a commonality and they have more women, so if you want to have a multi-club social, that can work. Also writers are sometimes a good mix, as writing and web publishing have become more closely tied. A "web publishers social" or a "design online social" can work. A "web marketing social" could also work. Just think about commonalities you have with groups that don't a chip on their shoulder. In the club, deal with problems. If a secretary isn't showing up, not posting notes online, not putting up flyers, depressed, uncle died... Address the behavior as a group and ask if rearranging things makes sense. The person may not go and they may create drama, but try not to make it dramatic yourself. There will be people elected who aren't right for the position or are too busy spend the time. Just rearrange things and find volunteers to do the work that's being slacked on. Also sometimes speakers don't show up. Come with a plan B speech on your favorite topic X and roll with the punches. Ok so a lot of this might not apply to your high school Computer Science Club. But I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you realize just how helpful a computer science club can be for your school!

Comment Re:WE live in a virtual world (Score 1) 89

Sure if they are using a low resolution wire frame simulation with very little detail then we can assume it is the lack of detail. But cameras can take pictures and display them at higher resolutions then we can see let alone a rat, so that should be testable. And then if it's not a resolution issue then it would have to be some other element of the simulation environment or how the rats brain processes simulations. It would be very interesting if this same effect is seen in humans and if humans solving problems in simulated environments process things differently then say solving a problem with pen and paper.

Comment Quantum consciousness and nerve activation (Score 1) 89

This also might be due to quantum effects. If the brain uses quantum effects in processing and nerve activation is affected by quantum probabilities, there are less possible outcomes in a simulation then in real life. So that might cause less nerve activation when processing for a simulation... There is the idea that the consciousness may be a quantum effect in the brain, basically in neurons there are molecule pockets that act like switches but may be in a quantum both "on and off" state until their state collapses. These Schrödinger's cat like molecular formations may act like data switches that are in an unresolved quantum state which collapses when they reach a threshold, with clusters eventually resulting in decisions possibly resulting in the process of consciousness. Consciousness or not, anesthetic gases target these molecule formations in such a way that they are likely forcing a collapse of their quantum state. So based on features of structures used for processing it's likely that the brain uses quantum effects for some parts of processing... In quantum physics the real world might be considered to be a negotiation of quantum possibilities, what ifs that may or may not happen. There is also the more far fetched idea that these Schrödinger's cat like quantum states in neurons could be weighted by quantum what if possibilities in the world around us. Maybe this could result in partial nerve activations for what ifs that only have a probability of happening. If so, the real world is very complex and filled with true randomness and quantum butterfly effects... If the brain uses quantum processing and if it is effected by quantum probabilities, then reduced nerve activation in simulations might be expected. So if there are Schrödinger like interactions with the real world by neurons that affect activation weighting and thus processing, then these partial activations would happen much less when interacting with a nonrandom virtual world. Less quantum possibilities affecting conscious processing might result in less nerves being active, no matter how detailed the graphics or sensory input in the simulation... I've been reading Stuart Hameroff lately, he has some good lectures reprinted by the MIT press. This isn't something he's said regarding simulations, but I'm reading between the lines and taking some liberties with my own interpretation here.

Submission + - Say NO to software patents ( 1

hAckz0r writes: The (!/petitions ) now has an online petition to stop the USPTO from issuing any more software patents. One must register first with the petition site, wait for the confirming email, login, then locate the "Open Petitions" menu to go to the list of petitions. Scroll down to the one called "Direct the Patent Office to Cease Issuing Software Patents", and then do what you think is right. They need 3,428 petitions total to make it meaningful, and has logged 1,572 as of my entry.

Submission + - Particles found to break speed of light (

steam_cannon writes: "Research at OPERA (run jointly by CERN) suggests that neutrinos can travel faster then light. The experiment was run over three years with a total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos fired from CERN and detected at the research facility. This research hasn't been fully confirmed/accepted yet and is now being reviewed by peers. If this research turns out to be correct this would mean there are exceptions of holes in special relativity and may even point to significant changes in our understanding of physics."

Submission + - Microsoft clears up Linux confusion over Windows 8 ( 1

CSHARP123 writes: Redhat employee Matthew Garrett speculated that OEM machines that ship with copies of Windows 8 may lock out support for Linux installations. Garrett highlighted Microsoft’s new Secure Build OEM requirements for Windows 8 systems. Microsoft chose to directly respond to confusion surrounding its Windows 8 Secure Boot feature on Thursday.

Tony Mangefeste on Microsoft’s Ecosystem team revealed that Microsoft is working closely with its OEM partners to improve the security experience of Windows. “Microsoft supports OEMs having the flexibility to decide who manages security certificates and how to allow customers to import and manage those certificates, and manage secured boot,” says Mangefeste. ”We believe it is important to support this flexibility to the OEMs and to allow our customers to decide how they want to manage their systems.” Mangefeste believes the customer is ultimately in control of their PC. “Microsoft’s philosophy is to provide customers with the best experience first, and allow them to make decisions themselves. We work with our OEM ecosystem to provide customers with this flexibility.”

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