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Comment: I would be happy if I wasn't so bitter. (Score 1) 115

by ArcSecond (#41078191) Attached to: Mirrors Finished For James Webb Space Telescope

You know what would have REALLY been able to "see back to the beginning of time"? A proper gravitational observatory like the LISA/Pathfinder project, which would have used three satellites to measure fluxuations in space-time less than the width of an atomic nucleus. It was planned to be operational by 2015 and would have been able to "see" better and farther than light-based telescopes.

But I probably will never see anything as cool as that, because it lost funding when the Webb sucked up all the oxygen in the room.

Comment: Re:Recording devices are banned in McDonalds (Score 1) 1198

First, the guy is a Canadian, not an American.

Second, as he CLEARLY STATES IN THE ARTICLE, his device does *not* record images by default. The only reason it recorded images is that when he was assaulted and his system was damaged, it stopped over-writing images in the buffer, which were then recovered later.

Bloke was being who he is: a geeky techno pioneer with a focus on developing augmented sight for the seeing impaired.

You, sir, are the dick.

Comment: An alternative to DM: MOND (Score 2, Interesting) 125

by ArcSecond (#39750699) Attached to: Survey Finds No Hint of Dark Matter Near Solar System

I like to think I have an open mind when it comes to cosmology, but I've never liked the Dark Matter "theory". If they ever find direct evidence, fine, but I will remain unconvinced until then.

My personal favourite alternative hypothesis is called Modified Newtonian Dynamics, which is based on the idea that gravity exerts a stronger pull between objects that are more or less in the same inertial frame (ie at very low relative accelerations, that "acceleration is not linearly proportional to force at small values").

Obviously, a lot of people find this blasphemy, but I don't see what is so bad with modifying the law of gravity as compared to invoking "ghost matter".

Comment: Finally! Some evidence that Dark Energy = entropy (Score 1) 111

by ArcSecond (#39324239) Attached to: IBM Scientists Measure the Heat Emitted From Erasing a Single Bit
So in an expanding universe there is a loss of information -- and by Landauer's principle this loss of information should release dissipated energy -- and Gough claims that this dissipated energy accounts for the dark energy component of the current standard model of universe.

There are rational objections to this proposal. Landauer's principle is really an expression of entropy in information systems -- which can be mathematically modeled as though they were thermodynamic systems. It's a bold claim to say this has a physical reality and a loss of information actually does release energy -- and since Landauer's principle expresses this as heat energy, wouldn't it then be detectable (i.e. not dark)?

Well, so much for *that* objection. :)



Woman Wins Libel Suit By Suing Wrong Website 323

Posted by samzenpus
from the close-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It appears that Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones and her lawyer were so upset by a comment on the site that they missed the 'y' at the end of the name. Instead, they sued the owner of, whose owner didn't respond to the lawsuit. The end result was a judge awarding $11 million, in part because of the failure to respond. Now, both the owners of and are complaining that they're being wrongfully written about in the press — one for not having had any content about Sarah Jones but being told it needs to pay $11 million, and the other for having the content and having the press say it lost a lawsuit, even though no lawsuit was ever actually filed against it."

Open Sarcasm Fighting Copyrighted Punctuation 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-language dept.
pinkushun writes "SarcMark is a copyrighted punctuation mark, that claims 'It's time that sarcasm is treated equally!' Pretty damn cheeky while they're charging for their software, which only inserts their punctuation through a hotkey. Open Sarcasm is destroying SarcMark by advocating a new punctuation mark (not displaying here properly — alt+U0161) as the new open and free sarcasm symbol. Either way, this will be one interesting turnout. With bad unicode support across the web, displaying the characters properly might be an issue. PS Left out sarcastic end sentence as Slashdot doesn't display the U0161 character."
The Internet

The Puzzle of Japanese Web Design 242

Posted by kdawson
from the how-to-pack-five-eggs dept.
I'm Not There (1956) writes "Jeffrey Zeldman brings up the interesting issue of the paradox between Japan's strong cultural preference for simplicity in design, contrasted with the complexity of Japanese websites. The post invites you to study several sites, each more crowded than the last. 'It is odd that in Japan, land of world-leading minimalism in the traditional arts and design, Web users and skilled Web design practitioners believe more is more.'"

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.