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Submission + - Visualisation solution for genealogy of philosophy

stevenmenke writes: "I’m planning to start working on a genealogy of (philosophical & religious) thought.
I want to visualize this data, as I believe this the supreme way to get a ‘feeling’ of the development and interconnectedness, facilitating the learning process.
I have something like Khanacademy’s knowledgemap in mind, or, for those who know it, the ‘scienceview’ of the game ‘Ascendency’ (better for showing a lot of interconnects and 3d), but more flexible. It needs to be able to zoom out to a constellation view (philosophical 'schools') and have multiple interconnects per node. And it would be awesome if the interconnect between two nodes could have data attached to show the relationship between them. And besides all that, set on a time axis.
It needs to be simple to add new nodes, preferably for multiple users (Wiki style). And it needs to be online, as I want others to benefit and contribute.
I don't have any programming experience (except for a bit of php/mysql years back), but of course willing to learn. What do you think the best place to start is? Are there any 'plug and play' solutions? If so, I haven't found them. Any help would be extremely helpful."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Father of RFID dies at 89 (

alphadogg writes: Charles Walton, inventor of the RFID technology now common everywhere from warehouses to retail stores to public libraries, has died at the age of 89 in California. Walton, whose technology beat out barcodes for many applications and is paving the way for technologies such as near-field communications (NFC), died on Nov. 6 and a memorial service will be held Dec. 18 in Los Gatos.

Comment Not all sounds totally without long term effect (Score 1) 561

I would just like to point out that, although it differs from the binaural nature of the sounds described in the article, there are some kind of sounds which can have a long term and significant effect on humans. These sounds cause bilateral stimulation. My father is a clinical psychologist and uses them in (Emdr) therapy to kind of 'erase' or 'overwrite' negative memories of people suffering from ptss to a neutral state. These sound are very simple in nature but the effect is astounding. Within a few sessions the disorder can disappear completely. Just an example to show that not all uses of sounds should be regarded as without long term effect. Although I believe the type of sounds discussed in TFA are.

Doubled Yield For Bio-Fuel From Waste 97

hankwang writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor of two compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."

Comment Re:Continuous Shufling Machine (Score 1) 597

> People like to play Blackjack because they know it can be beaten.

No, people like to play blackjack because they *think* it can be beaten. Whether they're right or wrong about this has little impact on their desire to play.

> Whether they actually will beat the house is another matter entirely

Exactly. It doesn't matter if they *can* win. Frankly it's better if they can't. What matters is that they *think* they can win. Casinos love optimists.

> Having enormous, permanently shuffling decks
> completely blows that illusion away.

Only if you have any understanding at all of probability. Granted, we're talking here about extremely elementary prob and stats, but the target demographic for casinos consists of people who think balancing a household checkbook is hard and know even less about probability than they know about finances.

Such people see a shuffling machine and if anything probably think it makes the game more fair, on the theory that a machine would shuffle more randomly, and thus more fairly, than a human. A human can stack the deck, but a machine would be fair, right?

People who know any *math* understand that randomness favors the casino because the odds are stacked that direction. But gamblers don't know that, and even if they're *told* they don't really believe it, because it's counterintuitive if you don't know any math. (If they *did* understand how the odds are stacked, they wouldn't want to gamble. Math geeks don't play casino games.)

> I can see it turning more people away than bringing them in.

People who are turned away by not being able to win don't go to casinos in the first place -- well, not to gamble against the house at any rate.

Submission + - Laser 'tattoos' for labelling fruit ( 3

arielCo writes: Those helpful-yet-annoying little stickers on fruits that tell the cashier the variety and brand may be replaced with a CO2 laser etching. Quoth the PhysOrg article: "the laser cauterizes the peel, much like when a laser is used on human skin. The cauterized area is impenetrable to pathogens and decay organisms and resists water loss". Demonstrated on a grapefruit, it is due for testing on "tomatoes, avocado and other citrus fruits". The original paper (abstract) requires a paid subscription.

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