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Comment And the community (Score 1) 93

And if you're interested in following up on this perhaps with a community of open source hardware advocates and engineers, you might want to try something like the open manufacturing mailing list. "We bring free and open source software development methodology to the physical world."

Some of the more interesting threads have been documented here.

- Bryan

Comment About damn time (Score 1, Interesting) 318

About damn time, I say. For the past few years I have browsed the web with hundreds of tabs at a time. Firefox tends to crash after 50 tabs. Opera tends to crash at about 450 tabs. Some of this varies with RAM, but we're all familiar with the firefox single-thread issues, which really puts a downer on things. Let the window manager do its job: tabbing is for losers. Also what's with the insistence on keeping all tabs in RAM anyway?

I've been working on some scripts to use with uzbl .. in particular, I hate the web, surfraw is great, if it only worked. Web scraping utilities don't always work because webmasters insist on changing layouts, templates, HTML, and don't understand how to make long-term APIs for their content. So, my plan is to make something like xpather (from firefox) that allows a user to select elements on a page and figure out the xpath to retrieve the data. This can be dumped into a standard scraper definition file format or something, and then uzbl only has to pop up whenever some idiot changes a web page. Until then, these scrapers harvest data for me.

Then all of us web-haters can send these xpath scraper template files around and live in harmony, or something.

Submission + - A Call for Changes at the U.S. Patent Office (

the_kanzure writes: "Thomasnet wrote up a piece about a "call for changes": "While the U.S. economy simply cannot prosper without a viable patent system, a 750,600-application backlog and other internal efficiencies are keeping the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from being a well-run entity. As such, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a set of recommendations for the Obama administration in dealing with the USPTO. The United States Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) recently released a set of recommendations for President-elect Barack Obama in dealing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)." I wonder how F/OSS, GPL, the Creative Commons, and open source in general could help out the USPTO."

Submission + - Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home (

the_kanzure writes: "AP is running a story on amateur genetic engineering: "The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.""

Comment Re:Brain Hacking (Score 1) 269

This is very exciting as it could point to a future where you can literally hack your own brain.
Do you have a backup?
You have to sandbox it. You do not want to randomly delete a random neurotransmitter receptor from the brain, as an example. You need to make experiments that test this on organotypical slices of neurons [or grow brains in a jar]. Kind of like in a neurofarm. But the problem with neurofarms is that you need to have millions of nodes of experimentation, or massive Markram simulations because of the number of chemical possibilities at all of the receptor sites, plasma membranes, dendritic/axonic connectional possibilities, minicolumn rules, etc. How are you going to get that many nodes, that many instances of experimentation? Sounds like a job for a clanking replicator, really. Maybe automated manufacturing. And while you are working on this, how about some open source rTMS?

Submission + - Artificial maturation of human eggs (

the_kanzure writes: "Medical scientists report on a new hormone-bath protocol that can cause immature eggs to mature after being cryogenically frozen and banked. Though the technique is unperfected, and might take five years to become reliable, there are interesting possibilities: artificial wombs, wombs-on-a-chip, and basically 'faking' babies. Throw in some stem cell research, and the scene could easily be mistaken for something right out of scifi. How long until somebody connects the dots and we start to see human cloning, true test-tube babies, etc.?"

Submission + - Massive lift system recovers sunken oil platforms (

bigzigga writes: "The 4000-ton capacity lift system, affectionately known as the "Bottom Feeder", was used to salvage oil platforms destroyed by hurricanes in recent years. The Bottom Feeder, consisting of of twin 1,250 ton steel truss frames and four 200-ton winches, brought four such topsides to the surface in its successful June 2007 debut."

Submission + - Universities that bust paywalls? (

the_kanzure writes: "The recent article on tense situations for students accessing information has left me wondering, which universities are known to bust as many paywalls as possible? Which ones are working with the students, and which against? Paywalls include the databases that store papers, conference proceedings, editorials, reviews, etc., and are generally highly educational resources ... if you can get the keys."

Submission + - Science resources and study methods?

the_kanzure writes: "For those of us in professional environments, or in university, etc., what databases do you see as essential? PubMed Central, EBSCOHost, ScienceDirect, arXiv, CiteSeeR, STINET,, Google Scholar/Cache, ezProxy terminals, Merck indexes, these only scratch the surface of Internet databases for useful scientific information — especially chemistry (of all sorts), physics, aerospace, engineering, and so on. So, what databases and what sort of study sessions do you implement? Those of you who drink from the Internet as though a fountain of information, this means you too."

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