Who died and made this article God?
Nobody. We're discussing the article here.
As for the relatively recent evidence of dark matter showing its imprint in the CMB, well, again, doesn't this support my thesis that this is a rapidly evolving field? Cosmology textbooks have a short shelf life. Thirty years ago, for example, one of the big questions was whether the universe was open or closed. Now that we know it's open, and in fact expanding at an accelerating rate, we find that wasn't quite the right question. My physics textbooks, by contrast, are still readable. If a science gets dated quickly, then isn't that reason to think it's speculative?
I'm a bit skeptical of such cosmological estimates. If there is more dark matter in the universe than ordinary matter (by a factor of 4:1 they say), wouldn't you expect it to somehow figure in the "calculations" going back to the big bang? I saw no mention of it in the article. In fact, come to think of it, you seldom hear much about that big elephant dark matter in the room in the first minutes after the bing bag.
Love reading about cosmology, but I think readers should be warned this is a very speculative field of study. Ideas and models in vogue today will likely not be in a few decades. I'm reminded of my physics professor of many years ago who claimed "Cosmology is as mature as botany was before Darwin."
Pew! And I was worried about kilobots turning on us. It's them yottabots we should be worried about. Oh, wait a minute.. I think they've so throughly won we call their collective reality.
For you and I further down the food chain, it'll probably be a while. For researchers, though, it's arguably already useful. FTA:
Generally people who want to experiment with large swarms have had to be content with computer simulations, which is fine, but at some point you have to try things out in the real world (or as close as you can get in a lab), and Kilobots can make that happen.
We can have the benefits of the placebo effect without rip-offs and mumbo-jumbo.
How? It's the very fact that the people are deceived that empowers placebo. You MUST have believed deception to make placebo work in any fashion.
Not quite. The current wisdom is that You Can Have the Placebo Effect, Even If You Know It's a Placebo.
Remind me again, why is this story in the idle section?
What part of paying with a credit card in a store doesn't reveal your identity, location, and time of purchase?
No part of it. Apologies for being vague. I was trying to say that though in both transaction types, credit card and NFC, your personal information is revealed, in the case of Google's NFC implementation, this personal information will likely be fed into a live, real time "adworks" infrastructure that cross-correlates this information with information unrelated to the transaction (GPS location, connecting other dots). I don't imagine the credit card companies are anywhere close to such an infrastructure: their business models are not anchored around selling your personal information, so they have less incentive to build such a personal information capturing pipeline.
The scary thing about this, I think, is that companies like Google and Facebook will only get better at capturing, slicing and dicing this personal information as time goes on: their business models depend on it. And as the tools of their trade become ever more powerful, they will end up in wrong hands. But I digress..
Or is it enabled when you tap a button while holding it up to the terminal device?
Sure, it's better if you have to tap that button. But you still give up a lot of privacy through this payment method. Every time you pay this way you advertise your identity, your location, and the time of your purchase.
This personal information leakage is a lot different than that the type that can be gleaned from say ordinary credit card transactions. It'll no doubt be captured in a way that makes connecting the dots easier, faster and more real time.
I'd use this technology if it implemented something like digital cash. Until, then, I'll be holding up checkout stand traffic--like the guy in that commercial..
...are looking forward eagerly to this.
I found it clever and funny too.
Tip to moderators: funny is already both interesting and insightful. That's how humor works.
Right. The video didn't explain how this cryptography works. I'm no expert in this area, but I imagine this might work something like this.
Suppose one can devise a crypto scheme in which you need all of the ballots to compute the sum of the choices cast (uncast ballots get a special null value). So to boil it down to the simplest possible example, if there are only 2 choices a and b, and only 2 ballots cast, then sum routine allows us to compute which of the following 3 outcomes occurred: (2, 0), (1, 1), or (0, 2). For the middle outcome (1, 1), we cannot tell which ballot cast which vote..
I can see holes in the strategy I describe, but I bet these cryptographers have devised something cleverer that stands up to the kinds of attack discussed here.
That would be a fundamental flaw, but I doubt it's like you describe it. I don't think you'd be able count the individual ballots yourself: you'd only be able to verify that the declared aggregate count is indeed correct.
The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it. -- Anthony Burgess