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Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 518

Solar panels would not be very useful for constant acceleration in interstellar space. An RTG would have been a better example, but you might be missing the point. The whole point of a so called 'space drive' would be to be able to produce a continuous thrust without having to carry around large amounts of reaction mass to do so.

This drive does not appear to emit any mass. At least nothing that we are currently able to measure. And yet it somehow seems to produce thrust. Usually there is a proportional relationship between thrust and reaction mass. Of course it may simply be that we are failing to measure the form of mass/energy being emitted and that it actually does consume some new form of mass about which we have been previously unaware.

Comment Re:Some clarifiications (Score 1) 518

A photonic rocket does not use reaction mass, and expels massless photons

Photons have mass: inertial mass. They have momentum and it has been measured experimentally. So it is merely a quantitative difference. Not a qualitative one.

The EMdrive does not require reaction mass

This statement really needs to be qualified more with 'may/might/could'. I believe this has not yet been proven. Experiment so far simply cannot measure any form of mass being emitted. That does not mean it is not present. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This experiment may have discovered a new form of matter or energy of which we have previously been unaware. All we know so far is that the apparatus appears to be generating thrust by some unknown means and that is all that can be concluded from this and of course even that is very uncertain at this point.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 518

>If this thing were to truly work, it would have insane implications to some basic assumptions about the universe - namely about the very laws of physics themselves.

Only if you assume that we are capable of measuring every particle that actually exists. Only if you assume that there is not some form of mass here that we simply do not know how to detect. I would consider a new sort of wave/particle, some new form of inertial mass that we do not yet know how to detect, to be more likely than a violation of the conservation of momentum. The assumption of the opacity of the container in this apparatus is also no more than an assumption. It may be transparent to an unknown particle type. Something completely unknown to current physics or just something that we haven't thought to look for yet.

If such a form of mass/energy actually exists it may be the breakthrough to space propulsion that we have all been waiting for. If this form of mass results from EM radiation it could certainly be the sort of thing that overturns the current paradigm though. But perhaps without violating something as fundamental as the conservation of momentum.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 518

Photons have inertial mass. They just don't have rest mass. Although has anyone ever observed a photon at rest? If the state never occurs then I'm not sure I understand the point of positing a 'rest mass' and claiming that photons wouldn't have any if they could somehow be stopped. If there is no experiment through which you can show that a photon does not have rest mass then I don't see how one can make that claim. We would just like to believe they have no rest mass because that is what is consistent with current theory.

Comment Re:ah, Tajmar eh? (Score 1) 518

And extreme criticism requires equally extreme credentials.

And just what are your credentials, sir? Does your criticism not require credentials? Argument from Authority is a common logical fallacy. Learn to think independently and logically and you will soon discover that authority figures are unnecessary and that credentials do not change the scientific validity of any claim. Either the evidence and experimental data are there to be observed by anyone or they are not. No one else can do your thinking for you.

Comment Re:Physics time! (Score 1) 518

>The EM drive creates a momentum by pushing virtual particles

By a 'virtual' particle do you mean one that does not actually exist except in our imagination? If it only exists in our imagination does that mean the thrust they impart as massless reaction mass is also a figment of our imagination? I would imagine that virtual particles would be more useful for accelerating imaginary spacecraft than real ones.

The thrust created with the experimental apparatus is simply unexplained. That is all.

Comment Re:So long and thanks for smelling like fish (Score 2) 431

I do think it was in Greece's long term interest to essentially treat their loans as if it was a bank heist and keep the money. I don't know why people have trouble understanding this. Greece managed to steal literally billions from Germany and France and have gotten away with it completely. The Greek people, at least the ones who voted no, are all morally equivalent to bank robbers.

People who lent money to them were just suckers and fools. Germany and France have been scammed. Try not lending money to people who obviously will never be able to pay it back or who at least have no real intention to do so. I mean duh. It was essentially aid rather than a loan. Just an issue of semantics at this point.

What will happen to Greece now? In the short term it will be a mess, but once Greece realizes that money cannot magically materialize out of thin air, at least not the sort of money you can buy actual goods and services with, they will be better off and will be more likely to have a real future, a real economy. They are the same as the rest of us in their economic policies. They just have less productivity for their government to leech off of. To expect such policies to end in anything other than this outcome eventually is ridiculous. It's just simple logic or as the Puerto Rican Governor so famously said, "math".

Greece was the canary in the coal mine. Keynesian borrow and spend economics never made sense. The same logic of living your life entirely from getting more and more credit cards has to end at some point. Greece and Puerto Rico are merely the most egregious examples and will be just the first to tell creditors to go fuck themselves and learn to stand up on their own feet or become the third world countries they so richly deserve to be (looking at you Greece and Puerto Rico). The sad part of this is after some time has passed the lenders with short memories will jump at the chance to lend money again to these people who again will borrow more and more money using one credit card to pay off another, until it all comes crashing down yet again. These dumb bankers never learn. Just look at Argentina.

Comment new games play differently (Score 1) 102

Some old games really are better if you like a certain type of game mechanics. For instance if you like crpgs with tactical combat there just isn't much being made like that now. The console gamers prefer a different type of game and that is the type that is being made now most of the time. Faster, twitchier, and imo more repetitive. Popamole. I guess it's really more about faster non-tactical combat that is the problem for players like me. I prefer combat that is more like chess where you have to carefully consider all of your moves and search for an optimal set of moves to win.

I am currently playing Icewind Dale for instance. If you like that type of game there really is not much out there anymore. I have had to resort to replying Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate II, Icewind Dale I and II, Planescape Torment, Temple of Elemental Evil, Fallout I and II, and Arx Fatalis just because these sorts of games just aren't being made anymore. I suppose the most recent games that I like are Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer and Fallout 3: New Vegas.

I can't speak for everyone, but I don't have any nostalgia for games just because they are old. I don't seek out the first games I played from the late 70s like Super Star Trek that I played on my friend's DEC PDP-11 or text adventures like Colossal Cave or Zork or Atari 2600 games like Adventure or Combat. I don't care about the games from the early 80s like Archon, Castle Wolfenstein, Crush Crumble and Chomp, and Choplifter either. Yes I used to love playing them. They were fun to play at the time when nothing else was available, but I would have much rather played modern games with their far superior graphics. There are games that I know I would enjoy replaying but can't due to the graphics. Might and Magic 6, 7, and 8 for instance I used to really enjoy but can't anymore and of course games like those are not being made anymore either.

Only certain types of gamers are being catered to now. Only certain play styles. If you are not one of those people you have no choice but to replay old games if you want to play computer games at all. It's not nostalgia. It's desperation for any computer game you can actually enjoy and that means saying no to popamole twitch style combat if that isn't what you like. If I actually want that style and sometimes I do it is easy to find, but what about a more thoughtful style where you carefully plan your moves? You just don't see it much at least in crpgs.

There are some smaller independent and mostly crowdfunded developers now that are at least claiming to try to cater to that style of play but so far there hasn't been much in that regard and at least one attempt, Pillars of Eternity, failed utterly in terms of the combat imo. It ended up playing more like Dragon Age: Origins or other modern Bioware games. Again, catering to what the majority of gamers like despite being funded by gamers like me who wanted something that played more like Icewind Dale or Baldurs Gate II.

It is unfortunate that some developers seem convinced that nostalgia is everyone's reason for replaying old games because then you end up with games that intentionally go backwards and try to emulate things that were done solely because they had to be done that way because computers were so much slower or because rendering techniques at the time just weren't advanced enough. They are copying not only the good things about the older games but the limitations as well. I'm sure the developers who actually made those games would have loved to have been able to use more realistic graphics and smooth, continuous movement, but they didn't really have the choice back then.

This is the danger of attributing our love for older games to nostalgia. Maybe for some people that is all it is and they are perfectly happy with modern games, but that is not always the reason.

Comment Re:shooting themselves in foot (Score 1) 76

Either you want them to flog the latest and greatest, or you don't. You've complaining that they're pushing 4K, and then saying they should totally push 4K.

I don't personally care what they do. If they want to be idiots and sell fewer products that's their business. Do they sell 4k monitors or do they sell video cards? Maybe they should ask themselves that. They should push 4k *and* they should push non-4k applications. Both. If they have trouble finding a current game that can make use of their processing power then they can write something themselves. Maybe a video encoding GPGPU app. Or a short game with photorealistic graphics. What you don't do is try to tell your customers that a 4k monitor is the only thing the product is good for.

So, you're a wannabee, who doesn't use these, doesn't have the gear to run it ... but you'd totally buy the biggest and baddest out there just because

No. What I am to AMD is a potential customer. A potentially profitable customer. I never said 'just because'. I gave my reasons. I'm not a wannabee anything. I don't give a fuck about 4k at the moment, but I do respect processing power. To me there is no such thing as 'enough'. I can always find a use for those cycles. Just like I can find a use for 16 GB or even 32 GB of RAM. I don't need RAM manufacturers telling me that 32 GB of ram is useless and that I only need 16GB.

I am a programmer *and* I work on games, but at the moment I don't feel the need to purchase a 4k monitor. Seems like they are doing a better job selling 4k monitors than selling their own products. Maybe they are trying to be honest, but it just seems stupid to me.

You can make the same argument for CPUs to an extent. At high resolutions most games are bottlenecked by the video card. So why buy the lastest and greatest CPU? Most people just use their computers for web browsing and checking email. Even a Conroe Core2 is way way more power than you need for what most people use their computers for.

Do you see Intel trying to convince people not to upgrade because it's not necessary? Well unless they also want to purchase another product X that they don't make. I guess I'm just glad I don't own any AMD stock with genius marketing like that.

Comment Re:shooting themselves in foot (Score 2) 76

If you want 4k, you want the 4k offerings.

They are also implying that anyone with no immediate plans to buy a 4k monitor should not buy their high end cards. They are telling a whole segment of potential customers not to buy their products. At least not their high end flaship product. For someone with a video card that isn't that old that means they won't be upgrading until/unless they buy a 4k monitor.

It's very nice of them to be worried about me wasting my money on their products but maybe they should let us worry about that. I don't need them to convince me not to buy their products. I can figure that out for myself.

Comment Re:shooting themselves in foot (Score 1) 76

People can already get performance for 1080P, so why advertise it?

To sell products and make money. Because it's up to the client to determine what they use the cards for. Not the manufacturer. If anything you should be trying to suggest new applications for the device rather than excluding them.

You don't say, "Don't buy this card if you don't have a 4k monitor because it will be useless. There is nothing you can do with it. No reason to own one. Just stick with your old card until you decide to buy a 4k monitor."

If a marketing droid came up with that genius campaign for my company he'd be out on his ass. If you sell exotic sports cars do you really want to emphasize how their current car is 'good enough' since both cars can reach the speed limit quite easily? No. You want to talk about the excitement of getting thrown back in your seat from the acceleration and even try to show how exciting it is to drive like 100mph in the desert or something like that.

I don't even have a 1080p monitor but I would only consider buying the highest end card because I only buy video cards like every 5-6 years or something and want to be future proofed for a while. I also do my own programming and want to explore various GPGPU options. Current games are not the only application.

Comment shooting themselves in foot (Score 2) 76

I don't understand why the marketing people are so intent on telling us what we must do with their products. This whole 'gaming at 4K' seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot by excluding a huge segment of enthusiasts who are looking for any excuse to find a use for all that power. Why try to only sell your top of the line products to people with 4k monitors? I realize that consoles and just the overall cost of photorealistic graphics have somewhat reduced the need for high end cards, but jeez. At least try to sell high end products. Pathetic marketing strategy.

Comment computer models can't be wrong (Score 0) 193

Computers are infallible. If a computer 'says' something we know that it is correct. The link between the assumptions that make the model and the model itself is seamless and is science. In this 'science' experiment is not needed and is possibly even harmful.

You learn the truth about the world from building your computer model. This isn't the 19th century anymore. Now we have computers. Actually doing something out there in meatspace to observe what happens when you try it is crude and unnecessary and in any case is subject to human error.

Don't question the assumption-model connection because computer models = science and the people who code the models are scientists. The fact that those people are 'scientists' also means they are correct. Who are you to question them? You'd better at least have a PhD in the relevant field.

If you question what human assumptions the model is built from you are anti-science and should be ignored as a religious nutjob and no it doesn't matter if you claim to be an atheist.

Comment Re:Meet the New Act (Score 0) 294

About twice as many Democrats voted for it. Only 1 Democrat voted against it compared to 30 republicans. That's a very significant difference. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. The petty squabbling between near identical political parties means little to me. But it was a highly biased post.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982