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Comment: Re:Doesn't smoke or drink or have tattoos (Score 5, Insightful) 569

Dear mother, smoking, drinking and having tattoos are not good traits, but they are not necessary for someone to be a nasty criminal.

Curious - what is necessarily wrong with those traits? Obviously, from the story, one can be quite devastatingly evil (causing an incident resulting in innocents at gunpoint) without them.

Smoking gives you cancer, drinking ruins your liver and can result in uncontrolled behavior (brawls, DUIs, etc), and tattoos basically ruin your chance at a lot of jobs. They're also all correlated somewhat with anti-social behavior (of various kinds) in general, which I think was the point the mother was relying on. "Because he lacks traits correlated with bad behavior, he must not have engaged in bad behavior." Obviously, this is faulty, but mothers often aren't rational when it comes to defending their kids.

Comment: Re: 8 bit per photon on my desktop: spectrum analy (Score 1) 91

by Baloroth (#49314077) Attached to: How To Encode 2.05 Bits Per Photon, By Using Twisted Light

Quantum crypto. Isn't of much use to the industry.... compared to say....... getting 100 Terabits of second worth of data down a single fiber optic cable.

Bulk data transmission and quantum crypto have somewhat different target industries (though anyone using quantum cryptography is probably using it to secure high-speed fiber lines). Quantum crypto is used (as in used, right now, today) for quantum key distribution in environments that need/want extremely high security so they can communicate extremely securely over regular (but fast) channels.

Comment: Re: 8 bit per photon on my desktop: spectrum analy (Score 1) 91

by Baloroth (#49311501) Attached to: How To Encode 2.05 Bits Per Photon, By Using Twisted Light

That's great, but totally worthless for quantum cryptography. Quantum cryptography relies on quantum properties of the photons (spin/polarization/orbital angular momentum), so that someone in the middle who makes a measurement will disturb the system. Using spectral encoding or modulation or any one of a dozen other ways of encoding data will result in a much higher data rate than the one given in TFA, but almost all of those are worthless for quantum cryptography.

Comment: Re:space business (Score 1) 105

by Baloroth (#49309183) Attached to: Virgin Could Take On Tesla With Electric Car

Well, if we want to extend the analogy of SpaceShipTwo vs. Falcon 9 + Dragon (with delta-V as range), compared to a baseline Model S, then Virgin's car would go about 30 miles with a top speed of 20mph and would cost $750.

In short, Virgin's electric "car" would actually be an electric bike.

Electric vehicles with more or less those specs already exist: they're called golf carts. They're actually reasonably popular as a method of transport in a few communities.

Comment: Re:I thought I did know the principles (Score 1) 162

by Baloroth (#49308685) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

And it does not say anything against going faster than light, just about accelerating from below the speed of light to the speed of light. Which would need unlimited energy. But actually just going faster than light is no problem at all.

No, it says nothing can go faster than the speed of light. At the speed of light, objects with mass would have infinite energy, and anything faster than light would require imaginary space-time to exist (since the factor for transformations involved a sqrt(1-v^2/c^2), if v is greater than c that means the object under the square root is negative, and you get an imaginary number, which is an unphysical result, i.e. it cannot happen).

Comment: Re:wait what? (Score 4, Insightful) 416

by Baloroth (#49272455) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

the EPA can worry about the environment, leave NASA to what NASA is supposed to do. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Arguably, the "aeronautics" bit could be taken as justification for NASA to study the planet. Even if you disagree, NASA's job is to study planets in general, and the easiest example of that is the Earth itself. I mean, the Earth is in space just as much as Mars or the Sun is, after all. And the effects of various gases in the atmosphere is definitely of interest to planetary science, even aside from any general human concerns over climate change.

Comment: Re:VR Demands Specialized Input Devices (Score 4, Informative) 124

by Baloroth (#49263867) Attached to: Valve's SteamVR: Solves Big Problems, Raises Bigger Questions

Valve already had a pair of position-detecting wands for your hands (similar to the playstation Move system). The bigger problem is movement. Movement by pressing a button detaches your apparent movement from your physical movement, which is going to be incredibly disorienting. The treadmill-style system someone else has been working on will probably work as a solution, but it's likely to be very expensive.

Comment: Re:In which way is it "bigger?" (Score 3, Interesting) 59

by Baloroth (#49230581) Attached to: The Milky Way May Be 50 Percent Bigger Than Previously Thought

Volume. Well, maybe area, TFA isn't terribly clear (or possibly even radius, now I read it again. Size could refer any of the three. Pretty sure they mean radius, though, now I look at it closer). Not mass, though, that'd be a hell of a lot of extra mass. Basically, the problem is there is a ring of stars around the outer edge of the Milky Way. Astronomers aren't entirely sure where it comes from: if it originated from the Milky Way, and therefore is part of our galaxy properly speaking, or if it's the remnants of a dwarf galaxy that was scattered when it ran into us, or came from some other source. That would tell us a bit more about galaxy formation (or raise more questions about formation, which is almost the same thing).

Comment: Re:Well, I guess I've got to watch it now. (Score 4, Insightful) 356

The fact the you just blamed the victim by saying it's their fault shows that it is common in the States. Most rapes are about control, so the messed up people who are rapists think that have to put women (and men) in their place. It's not the victim's actions but how people react to them that is the problem-worldwide.

No, he didn't "blame the victim by saying it's their fault", and the fact you claimed he did means you are part of the problem. Look at it this way: if I drive a Porsche into a bad neighborhood, leave it unlocked with the keys inside, and it gets stolen, are you going to say I didn't mess up? No, of course I messed up, because failing to lock the doors on your car is stupid. That doesn't mean I'd bear the responsibility for the car being stolen, but it does mean what I did was stupid, and I would partially bear responsibility for a chain of action that lead to the car being stolen, and I could maybe have prevented the car being stolen. Since I cannot control the actions of other people, only my own, what I can do to prevent my car from being stolen is to take the proper precautions: lock the doors, don't park in bad neighborhoods, install a tracking system, etc.

For women (or men: rape works in both directions, though it's generally a vastly worse problem for women, especially attractive ones), that means not wearing revealing clothing while drunk at 3AM in a bad alley, watching their drinks closely, only hanging out with groups of people they trust and know well, etc. None of that means they're the ones responsible for the rape if they do get raped: but it does mean they can lower the probability of rape happening by being smart, and since the goal is to stop rapes from happening, we should encourage them to be smart, and discourage them from being stupid.

In other words: we can't blame the women for being raped, but we certainly can blame them for being stupid. Yes, everyone should be able to be as stupid as they want with no fear of other people doing bad things to them, but so long as we live in the real world, that will never happen (though we can still strive towards it, of course), so we should tell people to stop being stupid, because that means bad things are less likely to happen to them.

Comment: Re:Neat, where's HL3? (Score 1) 52

by Baloroth (#49192541) Attached to: Valve Developed an Open-Source Intel Vulkan GPU Driver For Linux

And of course, where the bloody hell is Half Life 3? Or the steambox? Or a stable release ready version of steamOS?

No news on HL3 (and that's actually kinda a fact a lot of people miss: no news. They've never announced they've been working on it at all, all the expectation is fan hype, not DNF-style vaporware... which, as a Half-Life fan, is annoying, true). As far as the Steambox goes, well, they've got a release data. SteamOS they've been working on with fairly regular patches, apparently, and I'd assume the November date holds for that too. As far as the internal drama goes: that was almost two years ago, by a fired employee: not exactly an objective source, generally speaking. They've shown few signs of being internally fractured otherwise.

The thing about Valve is: they do a lot of experimentation. Some of it doesn't work out. Some of it works out fantastically. But they're actually experimenting, and in the world of video gaming, that's not all that common from AAA game developers.

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 1) 247

by Baloroth (#49189127) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail

Basically, anything that violates International law almost always also violates National laws. Genocide is multiple counts of murder, War Crimes are torture, rape and murder.

And if the nation has no laws against those crimes? Because the people in charge of the laws are the people who committed the action? And yes, that does happen. Frequently. I'm not even going to give examples, because if you can't think of them, you really need to open a history text sometime.

No offense, but the idea that a country can't prosecute someone for anything they did outside the country is just plain stupid.

Comment: Re:Alternate Bank of Canada Press Release (Score 1) 223

by Baloroth (#49184677) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

Actually there is no legal requirement to take cash, debt or no debt. You can refuse to accept cash if you want.

Actually, there is, sort of. You can refuse to accept cash: however, they are valid legal payment for the debt, so if you refuse the payment, you are either de facto implying the debt no longer exists (because you're not accepting repayment for it), or you're breaking the law by refusing legal payment. You cannot refuse repayment in cash and then claim the debt still exists. IANAL, so I'm sure there are subtleties involved with, for e.g., contracts (i.e. you agree to give them 10 widgets later in exchange for 5 doohickeys now, offering cash instead would be a violation of the contract), but generally, creditors must accept cash in repayment of debts.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 3, Insightful) 127

by Baloroth (#49176121) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

Like what? It's designed to detect gravitational waves. It's not designed to detect not-gravitational waves. Since we can't produce artificial gravitational waves (the detector would be almost pointless if we could, since it's meant to prove the existence of gravitational waves), we can't use a known test to confirm it's detecting gravitational waves and only gravitational waves, but since all our theory and all our observation says it should be detecting them and only them, it's fairly safe to assume it's actually doing so (assuming no systematic errors: a large assumption, but not an unreasonable one if everyone involved did their job). In fact, if what it detects isn't gravitational waves, it's almost more interesting, because that means it's detecting something else which isn't accounted for in our theory. If it detects nothing at all, well, that too would be interesting, since (again) our theory says it should. Either way, interesting.

Comment: Re:not the first time (Score 1) 136

by Baloroth (#49168161) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

every dual slit experiment shows light behaving as both particle and wave, because every photon only interferes with itself. Two or more photons never interfere with each other.

Uhh, yes they do? All the time? Hell, I could have laser beams from two completely independent sources and generate an interference pattern. The dual slit experiment shows absolutely nothing about the wave/particle duality of light, and is in fact absolutely completely 100% explained by classical electromagnetism. Seriously, this comment is simply dead wrong. The dual-slit experiment in it's classical form only shows that something is propagating as a wave, not anything about the particle nature (of course, you can modify it with detectors at each slit to show the particle behavior, but that's really a different experiment).

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.