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Submission + - Neuroscience would Fail to Make Sense of a 1970's Era Microprocessor, Says Paper (biorxiv.org)

wherrera writes: According to a preprint entitled "Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?" on the biology preprint archive bioRxiv.org, using the same techniques as used in with latest probes used to inspect the function of the mammalian brain and its connectome fail spectacularly when used to probe a running simulation of the MOS6502 processor used in playing the classic Atari era video games Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and Pitfall.

The investigators used probability analysis of correlation in signals as well as such techniques as "lesion studies" which used the destruction of a simulated transistor to imitate the process used by researchers investigating the effects of a lesion on the nervous system. They conclude that reverse engineering the brain is likely not to succeed until we have a better understanding of what the brain as a system is doing, since "we do not generally know how the output relates to the inputs" in the brain to even begin to properly guide such investigations.

Link to the preprint is here.

Comment Re:Where's the beef? (Score 2) 240

Why not use google and a calculator yourself? Anyway,

see here for counts: http://www.cattlerange.com/cat...

Biggest cow states: Texas and Nebraska.

Cattle in Texas plus cattle in Nebraska: 11,700,000 + 6,250,000 = 17,950,000
Methane output per year per cow per Google: about 95 kg per year, or 8 kg per month

Therefore, Texas plus Nebraska cattle make about 143,600,000 kg = 143,000 metric tons of methane per month. And there are a lot more cattle in other Western states.

The spill was of 98,000 tons, or 98,000,000 kg. ...you are welcome :)

Comment Same as the ITunes DRM cat-and-mouse game (Score 1) 405

Remember back in the Jobs days when Apple sold music with digital rights (mis)management? Back then, they would re-update iTunes to re-encrypt every time the music player's encryption dll was (re)cracked.

So now it's a new decade, but same old same old cat-and-mouse game, except that:

This time it's Apple doing the cat and mouse game with its own people :).

Comment Re:I have a bridge to sell you, says Mr. Oliphant (Score 2) 138

That those prehistoric people were probably at least as intelligent as the average slashdotter, and they likely spent decades testing, reviewing, debating, and verbally sharing various hunting skills. It's likely that they had many ways of crippling or killing large game other than the ones we can see by marks left on old bones.

Comment Warming may increase average world rainfall. (Score 1) 222

See: http://www.engineeringtoolbox....

Since the water carrying ability of saturated air goes up with temperature, there should be a trend toward heavier rainfall with temperature increases. Of course, places that are in a "rain shadow" like most deserts would not be expected to benefit as much as places near large bodies of water.

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