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Submission + - Neuroscience Does Not Compute (economist.com)

mspohr writes: The Economist has an interesting story about two neuroscientists/engineers who decided to test the methods of neuroscience using a 6502 processor. Their results are published in the PLOS Computational Biology journal.
Neuroscientists explore how the brain works by looking at damaged brains and monitoring inputs and outputs to try to infer intermediate processing. They did the same with the 6502 processor which was used in early Atari, Apple and Commodore computers.
What they discovered was that these methods were sorely lacking in that they often pointed in the wrong direction and missed important processing steps.

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 1) 127

Yeah we've seen the "no commercials" promise before when cable TV was becoming a thing and it was bullshit then too. They'll only stay away from commercials long enough to get a subscriber base. Commercials are where most of the money is and it will be hard for them to ignore that fact. I have a hard time imagining Netflix being immune to the siren's call of that much cash forever.

Is it really? Take the Superbowl which is one of the few items where we have pretty much all the numbers. In 2014 there was 49 minutes 15 seconds of commercials, $4.5 million average per 30 second slot and 111.4 million viewers. That works out to a little less than $4 per viewer. So if you offered $5 to watch it ad-free you'd be beating the advertisers. That's not bad for about four hours of entertainment with both a football game and the half time show and it's supposed to be super-expensive compared to normal ads. Granted one display != one viewer so they'd have to charge more than $5 but still I bet there's a lot of people who'd like to out-bid the advertisers.

Submission + - Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaiians to force property sales to him. (msn.com)

mmell writes: Apparently, owning 700 acres of land in Hawaii isn't enough — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has filed suit to force owners of several small parcels of land to sell to the highest bidder. The reason? These property owners are completely surrounded by Zuckerberg's land holdings and therefore have lawful easement to cross his property in order to get to theirs.

Many of these land owners have held their land for generations, but seemingly Mr. Zuckerberg can not tolerate their presence so close to his private little slice of paradise. Landowners such as these came to own their land when their ancestors were "given" the land as Hawaiian natives.

If successful in his "quiet title" court action, Mr. Zuckerberg will finally have his slice of Hawaii's beaches and tropical lands without having to deal with the pesky presence of neighbors who were on his land before he owned it. Who knew that Hawaiians were just another kind of Native Americans?

Submission + - The Mind-Reading Gadget for Dogs that Got Funded, but Didn't Get Built (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: Crowdfunding campaigns that fail to deliver may be all too common, but some flameouts merit examination. Like this brain-scanning gadget for dogs, which promised to translate their barks into human language. It's not quite as goofy as it sounds: The campaigners planned to use standard EEG tech to record the dogs' brainwaves, and said they could correlate those electrical patterns with general states of mind like excitement, hunger, and curiosity.

The campaign got a ton of attention in the press and raised twice the money it aimed for. But then the No More Woof team seemed to vanish, leaving backers furious. This article explains what went wrong with the campaign, and what it says about the state of neurotech gadgets for consumers.

Comment Re:Pussy says what? (Score 1) 486

I actually thought he might do it just because he's effectively in prison now, as a way out that lets him save face.

Clearly, I gave him too much credit. He's apparently content to live out the rest of his days in a gilded cage, grasping at any pathetic attempt to stay in the spotlight-of-disgrace.

Submission + - Google Uses Its Search Engine to Hawk Its Products (wsj.com)

schwit1 writes: A Wall Street Journal analysis found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to such items; and 43% of the time, the top two ads both were for Google-related products.

The analysis, run by search-ad-data firm SEMrush, examined 1,000 searches each on 25 terms, from "laptops" to "speakers" to "carbon monoxide detectors." SEMrush ran the searches Dec. 1 on a desktop computer, blocking past web-surfing history that could influence results.

The results show how Google uses its dominant search engine to boost other parts of its business and give it an edge over competitors, which include some of its biggest advertising customers.

A Google spokesman said the company has "consciously and carefully designed" its marketing programs not to affect other advertisers.

The Journal's analysis highlights a rarely discussed apparent conflict of interest in the $187 billion digital-advertising industry: The leading sellers of online ad space, including Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., also compete with their customers for that space.

Google searches for "phones" virtually always began with three consecutive ads for Google's Pixel phones. All 1,000 searches for "laptops" started with a Chromebook ad. "Watches" began with an Android smartwatch ad 98% of the time. And "smoke detector" led with back-to-back ads for internet-connected alarms made by Nest, a company owned by Google parent Alphabet. In all instances, the stores these ads pointed to were also owned by Alphabet.

Comment Re:liar (Score 1) 486

How could you possibly interpret his statement like that?

Because he said almost exactly that? Fuck the bankers? Cool. Fuck the DNC for rigging their own primary? Hey, no fair!

People seem set on ignoring the single most important detail about this "partisan" issue - The people wanted Sanders vs Trump; the GOP grudgingly honored the will of its constituents (even though they largely expected to lose as a result), while the DNC rigged every step of their primaries to get the "right" woman on the ticket (and did lose as a result).

As for "one sided" - Nope!, the Russians hacked both sides, they just didn't find anything "juicy" enough about the GOP to bother with.

Comment Re:And ISPs are jacking up rates (Score 1) 127

The real reason net neutrality is on the ropes is this: the idea was barely discussed by anyone during the election, in comparison to other issues. The companies that stand to profit from net neutrality are electronic media companies, and the companies that stand to profit from its removal are electronic infrastructure companies, and both will continue their fight under the covers. There wasn't much input from the electorate on the topic at all this cycle.

Actually I think it's way more old media vs new media, here in Norway where the main broadband revolution was DSL from telcos and the fiber revolution was lead by a former power company the "electronic infrastructure companies" seem pretty happy just to sell you bits and bytes. My impression is that in the US it's different because so large a part of the American population get their broadband through cable. It seems both bandwidth caps and anti-net neutrality gouging is primarily driven by cable companies wanting to drive customers to their own services instead of using online services and remain the gatekeeper and middle man between the content and the customers.

Submission + - Alberta Man Turns Table on Laptop Thief (nationalpost.com)

jbwiebe writes: Cochrane’s Stu Gale couldn’t believe his eyes when a notification popped up on his computer telling him someone had logged on to his recently stolen laptop.

The B.C.-based 51-year-old computer security and automation expert couldn’t let the opportunity to try to find out something about the apparent thief pass him by, so he attempted to remotely log on to the pilfered laptop.

Comment Re:WHat I said on ars: (Score 3, Informative) 486

There is a difference between a pardon and commutation.

...which doesn't matter, of course, because the Wikipedia specifically said "clemency" (which is explicitly defined as including commutation). There is also a difference between jeans and grapefruit, but that's also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Submission + - How the Human Brain Decides What Is Important and What's Not (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: A new study in Neuroscience News sheds light on how we learn to pay attention in order to make the most of our life experiences.

"The Wizard of Oz told Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in an effort to distract her, but a new Princeton University study sheds light on how people learn and make decisions in real-world situations.

The findings could eventually contribute to improved teaching and learning and the treatment of mental and addiction disorders in which people’s perspectives are dysfunctional or fractured."

Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 1) 149

Yes, and we already have that. There are people who die every day waiting for a transplant organ. There's a limited amount available so they must be rationed and someone (or a panel of people most likely) has to determine where the limited supply will do the most good.

That's what other western countries do. The US goes by who has the best health insurance, like how big of a bill can we justify sending...

Comment Re:Down with Putin - Down with Trump (Score 1) 245

Yes. Timing is the key to understanding it. Sanders would have defeated Trump easily. The timing of the releases were carefully placed so as to build suspicion with independants while not hurting her primary bid. Then once she clenched that, proof that it was a rigged primary sent a lot of independants away from the DNC to either Green, Libertarian, and even a number to Trump. If they had released it all in the beginning, we would be swearing in Sanders tomorrow.

Let's not forget that the DNC wanted Trump to win the Republican nomination. So first Trump let Hillary drag him center stage as the enemy, then he let her eliminate Sanders before landing a final blow nobody saw coming until late election night? If all of that was planned Machiavelli could take lessons from him. If could simply be that they know the media has the attention span of a humming bird on speed, let's just pace this out so we get a good buzz and can keep it going until the election and that the rest was plain lucky. It's either that or we're in a Bond movie.

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