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Funding Goal
For period:
   2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30.
Base Goal: $3000.00
Progress So Far: $1430.41
Stretch Goal: $2000.00
Progress So Far: $0.00

Covers the period:
  2017-01-01 .. 2017-04-23
  (SPIDs: [586..642]) --martyb

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How many hours' sleep do you average every 24 hours?

  • Less than 5 hours
  • 5 <= hours < 6
  • 6 <= hours < 7
  • 7 <= hours < 8
  • 8 <= hours < 9
  • 9 <= hours < 10
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  • Sleep is for wimps!

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:44 | Votes:350

posted by martyb on Friday April 28, @07:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the just-take-a-long-nap dept.

After some serious number crunching, a University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) researcher has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine.

Ben Tippett, a mathematics and physics instructor at University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus, recently published a study about the feasibility of time travel. Tippett, whose field of expertise is Einstein's theory of general relativity, studies black holes and science fiction when he's not teaching. Using math and physics, he has created a formula that describes a method for time travel.

"People think of time travel as something as fiction," says Tippett. "And we tend to think it's not possible because we don't actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible."

"The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower," says Tippett. "My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time -- to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time."

The division of space into three dimensions, with time in a separate dimension by itself, is incorrect, says Tippett. The four dimensions should be imagined simultaneously, where different directions are connected, as a space-time continuum. Using Einstein's theory, Tippett says that the curvature of space-time accounts for the curved orbits of the planets.

[...] "While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials--which we call exotic matter--to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered."

[...] For his research, Tippett created a mathematical model of a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.

[Abstract] Traversable acausal retrograde domains in spacetime

What do you think ?

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday April 28, @05:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the distracted-reality dept.

Nintendo says the success of its new Switch console will help it to double annual profits.

It has become the fastest-selling games console in the Japanese firm's history, with 2.7 million units bought in March - the first month it was available.

But Nintendo's profit estimate of 65bn yen ($583.9m; £453m) for the year to March 2018 was below market forecasts.

Like other console makers, Nintendo is having to counter the rise of the smartphone as a tool for gaming.

And because - unlike Sony and Microsoft - Nintendo relies on games and consoles for almost all its sales, it is arguably more vulnerable to this trend.

Does gaming on phones really cannibalize gaming on consoles and PCs, or is it in addition to?

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday April 28, @04:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the venezuexit dept.

Various news outlets are reporting on an announcement by the Venezuelan government that it will leave the Organization of American States (OAS), a process that takes two years. The country will stop participating in OAS meetings immediately. No country has left the OAS since its founding in 1948.

According to Venezuela-based teleSUR, the move comes in response

[...] to a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States to discuss Venezuela scheduled for Wednesday, which violates the rules of the organization because it does not have the consent of the affected country.

[The foreign minister] indicated that there is also a group of countries with right-wing governments working under U.S. imperialist orders against Venezuela.

According to ABC News,

Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets demanding [President Nicolás] Maduro hold elections and denouncing his government as being responsible for triple-digit inflation, food shortages and a rise [in] crime.

It also says that 29 people have been killed in connection with the protests.

Additional coverage:

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday April 28, @02:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the flying-high dept.

Early Monday morning, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson set a new record for the longest time in space for any US astronaut, hitting a landmark 534 cumulative days in orbit. Fellow astronaut Jeff Williams set the previous record only last year.

Dr. Whitson will continue to extend the new record for the duration of her stay as current commander on the International Space Station, ultimately to more than 650 cumulative days, setting a high bar for those looking to break her record.

This is not the first time Whitson has made NASA history, however. The astronaut and biochemist also became the first woman commander of the ISS in 2007 and the first woman to command the station twice, earlier this year. She is also the oldest US woman to have completed a spacewalk, and has done more spacewalks than any other female NASA astronaut.

It's not just girls who are inspired by accomplishments like Dr. Whitson's.

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday April 28, @01:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the dear-little-Bottle-of-mine dept.

Various news outlets are reporting on work published in Nature Communications (open, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15112) (DX) on:

[...] a system that incorporates a pumpless oxygenator circuit connected to the fetus of a lamb via an umbilical cord interface that is maintained within a closed 'amniotic fluid' circuit that closely reproduces the environment of the womb. [...] fetal lambs that are developmentally equivalent to the extreme premature human infant can be physiologically supported in this extra-uterine device for up to 4 weeks.


Related stories:
Scientists Keep Human Embryos Alive Longer Outside of the Womb
Prematurely Born Lambs Kept Alive With Artificial External Placenta - Human Babies Could be Next

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Thursday April 27, @11:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the check-the-software-first dept.

China has the world's most aggressive electric car goals. Communist leaders are promoting them to clean up smog-choked cities and in hopes of taking the lead in an emerging technology.

Regulators have jolted the industry with a proposal to require electrics to account for at least 8 percent of each brand's production by next year.

At the auto show, the global industry's biggest marketing event of the year, almost every global and Chinese auto brand is showing at least one electric concept vehicle, if not a market-ready model.

Heizmann said VW, which vies with GM for the title of China's top-selling automaker, expects annual sales of at least 400,000 "new energy vehicles" – the government's term for electric or gasoline-electric hybrids – by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025.

The vast majority of Chinese get around by smog-free vehicles already. They're called bicycles.

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Thursday April 27, @09:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the modern-psychos dept.

A Thai man live streamed the murder of his own daughter as well as his suicide:

A Thai man filmed himself killing his baby daughter on Facebook Live, before taking his own life, Thai police say. The 21-year-old hanged his daughter, and then himself, at a deserted hotel in Phuket on Monday, reportedly after an argument with his wife. Facebook sent condolences to the family for the "appalling" incident and said that the content had now been removed. The company pledged a review of its processes after footage of a US killing stayed online for hours this month. The footage of the Thai killing had also been available on video sharing website YouTube, but the company took it down after the BBC alerted it to its presence.

Another story discusses the aftermath of the killing. This follows an incident where a man streamed his murder of a randomly picked stranger in Cleveland. That murder had already led to a "backlash" against Facebook:

It is an issue that Facebook, the world's largest social network, has had to contend with more frequently as it has bet big on new forms of media like live video, which give it a venue for more lucrative advertising. The criticism of Facebook over Mr. Stephens's video built swiftly Monday, with critics calling it a dark time for the company and outrage spreading on social media over how long it had taken — more than two hours — for the video to be pulled down. Ryan A. Godwin, the victim's grandson, pleaded with other users on social media to stop sharing the video online.

[...] Justin Osofsky, a vice president of Facebook, said in a public post late Monday that the company knows "we need to do better" to stop videos like that of the shooting from appearing. He said the company was working to ensure that such content and reports of it can be flagged faster, including through the use of artificial intelligence and a better review process.

NSFW: You can watch the Cleveland murder on LiveLeak. This video purportedly shows the murder in Phuket, Thailand, but you won't see much.

Some other incidents and related news:

Facebook Launches Live Video and Photo+Video Collages
Muslim Terrorist Kills French Cop, Wife While Livestreaming on Facebook
Falcon Heights, Minnesota Police Shooting Facebook Live Video [WARNING: GRAPHIC] [UPDATED]
Police Request Shut Off of Armed Woman's Social Media Accounts During Fatal Standoff
Hate Crime Charges Filed Over Beating Live Streamed to Facebook
Facebook Turns to AI to Prevent Suicides (eventually, your intention to murder and commit suicide will be countered by a compassionate chatbot)

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Thursday April 27, @08:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the hopefully-them-tcells-don't-fall-off-that-scaffold dept.

Cellular therapy hasn't had much success in fighting solid tumors, partly because it's been difficult to deliver anti-cancer T cells to the tumors.

A strategy developed by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center could help. The team equipped a synthetic scaffold loaded with cancer-fighting T cells and a mix of nutrients to keep the cells healthy and primed to attack cancer.

The study, to be published April 24 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, revealed that the scaffold loaded with T cells shrank tumors in mouse models of pancreatic cancer and melanoma more effectively than T cells that were delivered via injection.

"The key to our scaffold is that it's not just a structure," said Fred Hutch's Dr. Matthias Stephan, the study's senior author and an expert in developing biomaterials. "The components we've engineered into these scaffolds include an optimal mix of stimulating factors and other ingredients that allow the T cells to survive and proliferate and to maintain a sustained fight against cancerous cells."

In the study, the researchers equipped the scaffold with chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR T cells, which are engineered in the lab to seek out proteins that are specific to cancerous cells and then destroy the cells.

Original Submission

posted by charon on Thursday April 27, @06:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the poking-the-madman-up-north dept.

U.S. Begins Installing Missile Defense System in South Korea

The U.S. has begun the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles system:

The US military has started installing a controversial missile defence system at a site in South Korea, amid high tensions over neighbouring North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions. The Thaad system is designed to protect against threats from North Korea.

Hundreds of local residents protested against the deployment, as vehicles carrying equipment arrived at the site in the south of the country. China argues Thaad will destabilise security in the region. The US has in recent days deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, amid fears North Korea could be planning further missile or nuclear tests.

Admiral Harry Harris said that the THAAD system would bring Kim Jong-un "to his senses, not to his knees".

FireEye recently claimed that China is attempting to hack South Korean targets to delay the deployment of THAAD.

U.S. Moves Anti-Missile Kit to S. Korea

Reuters reports that the United States has transported components of the THAAD anti-missile system to the site chosen for it in South Korea, amid protests:

[...] and was denounced by the frontrunner in South Korea's presidential election on May 9.

A spokesman for Moon Jae-in said the decision "ignored public opinion and due process" and demanded the deployment be suspended until the next administration was in place and had made its policy decision.

China has expressed opposition to deployment of the system. AFP via Yahoo! reports that:

The South's tourist industry has been hammered by Beijing's boycott over THAAD, with Chinese visitor numbers -- normally more than half the total -- plummeting 40 percent last month even though the ban only came into force on March 15.

Retail conglomerate Lotte -- which provided the Seongju golf course site to the Seoul government -- has also been targeted, with 85 of its 99 stores in China shut down.

Additional coverage:

Previous stories:
International Relations Strained over S. Korean Anti-missile Plans
G20 Summit Roundup
South Korea to Receive U.S. Anti-Missile Interceptor System

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

posted by charon on Thursday April 27, @05:06PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-mean-i-have-to-leave-the-house? dept.

Mac Rumors reports that Apple Inc. has announced that it

[...] will be expanding its "Today at Apple" educational sessions to all of its 495 retail stores around the world in May.

The free sessions, which have been offered at Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco since last year, will cover topics such as photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design.

The article says that some stores have been remodelled to accommodate the seminars.

Additional coverage:

Original Submission

posted by charon on Thursday April 27, @03:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the unicorn-cannibalism dept.

According to a Monday report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Square has acquired the "five- to ten-person" engineering team of Yik Yak for $3 million. That leaves just a handful of employees at the Atlanta-based social networking startup. In December 2016, the company already fired 30 of its 50 employees.

Since late last year, Yik Yak has largely gone silent. Its Twitter account hasn't posted since January 4, and its corporate blog has not posted since a month before that. According to Bloomberg, Square has not acquired any other companies since it bought the food delivery startup Caviar in 2014. (Square was founded as a mobile payment company in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter.)

Sounds like bad news for Yik Yak, good news for Yik Yak's engineers.

Original Submission

posted by charon on Thursday April 27, @02:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-you-believe-it dept.

Mass hacking seems to be all the rage currently. A vigilante hacker apparently slipped secure code into vulnerable cameras and other insecure networked objects in the "Internet of Things" so that bad guys can't corral those devices into an army of zombie computers, like what happened with the record-breaking Mirai denial-of-service botnet. The Homeland Security Department issued alerts with instructions for fending off similar "Brickerbot malware," so-named because it bricks IoT devices.

And perhaps most unusual, the FBI recently obtained a single warrant in Alaska to hack the computers of thousands of victims in a bid to free them from the global botnet, Kelihos.

On April 5, Deborah M. Smith, chief magistrate judge of the US District Court in Alaska, greenlighted this first use of a controversial court order. Critics have since likened it to a license for mass hacking.

General warrants were a key reason cited by the Founding Fathers for their rebellion against King George.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Thursday April 27, @12:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the failing-upwards dept.

Investopedia reports[1]

Marissa Mayer's disappointing reign as CEO of Yahoo (YHOO) is looking pretty rich for her. According to documents filed on [April 24], Mayer will make $186 million once the internet company that she was criticized for running into the ground finally sells its core holdings to Verizon (VZ). The protracted $4.48 billion merger, which was delayed following a number of big security breaches, is expected to be completed in June.

Security filings state that Mayer's Yahoo stock, stock options and restricted stock units are worth up to $186 million, based on Monday's share price of $48.15. That hefty payout, which will come on top of Mayer's regularly salary, bonuses, and stock that she has already sold, will be rewarded to her if Yahoo shareholders vote to sell the company June 8.

[1] They should validate their HTML--especially if they are going to put styling in that. (It's been a long time since I've seen something with anywhere near 388 flagged items.)

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Thursday April 27, @11:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-charles-coward dept.

A study published earlier this month in the journal Science Advances examines the effects of onymity – that is, the opposite of anonymity – on Chinese students in a classic two-player social experiment in which the most rational choice is betrayal. What researchers found, however, seems to defy rationality: Participants who learned each other's names opted for cooperation over treachery.

In an age marked by xenophobia and political polarization, studying onymity may offer insight into practical ways of helping strangers get along. This particular study suggests that even small steps toward getting to know one another can bring big benefits for society as a whole, whether it's in a town hall meeting, on a jammed roadway, or in an online discussion forum.

"Since the spirit of cooperation that social cohesion is based upon is crumbling away in some places, be it on Facebook or in societies that are about to be torn apart about issues such as immigration, we sought insight into what enhances cooperation," said co-author Jürgen Kurths from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, who contributed statistical analyses, in a statement.

No self-respecting geek would ever cooperate with others.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Thursday April 27, @09:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the illegal-to-doubt dept.

Running red lights can get you a ticket. But in Oregon, you can be fined just for talking about it.

Mats Järlström learned this first-hand last year when the state of Oregon fined him $500 for publicly suggesting that yellow lights should last for slightly longer to accommodate cars making right turns.

[...] He did a little Googling and found the formula used to set traffic-light times. The length of time a traffic light stays yellow is based on a relatively straightforward mathematical formula, originally drafted in 1959. Mats realized that the formula is incomplete, because it fails to capture the behavior of drivers making right turns.

[...] Mats's work was generally met with interest and praise, but when Mats e-mailed the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, things took an abrupt illegal U-turn. The Board told Mats they had no interest in hearing about his ideas. Fair enough. But the Board didn't stop there. They launched a full-blown investigation, alleging that he'd engaged in the unlicensed "practice of engineering."

After a two-year-long investigation, the Board fined him $500. According to the Board, "critiquing" the length of yellow lights and talking about his ideas with "members of the public" made Mats a lawbreaker because he's not an Oregon-licensed professional engineer.

The Board also told Mats that he couldn't refer to himself using the word "engineer" either. Most people would probably agree that "engineer" is a sensible way to describe Mats, given his education, experience, and skills. (He has a degree in electrical engineering from Sweden, and he's worked in a range of technical fields for decades). But in Oregon, none of that matters; the word "engineer" is off-limits to everyone who is not a state-licensed professional engineer.

Source: Institute for Justice

Original Submission