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Comment: Re:Better definition of planet (Score 1) 119

by Beck_Neard (#49156623) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

It's important to define a common vocabulary in science, because the less ambiguity you have in communicating your intent, the better.

If you think this is just something that's done in astronomy, you're incredibly wrong. Mathematicians and physicists and all other types of scientists put in a lot of effort in naming and standardization. It's important.

I agree that it's a *bit* rare to change terms that are already in wide use. But in this case they had to. Their hand was forced because of all the new KBOs that were found.

Comment: Re:Better definition of planet (Score 1) 119

by Beck_Neard (#49156581) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

I'm just going to concentrate on your last point as all the rest have been taken care of by Your.Master.

> This sounds a bit lame as justifications go... lose efficiency? Since when are scientists in the business of conserving syllables? In astronomy especially they seem to be preoccupied with naming things after _all_ the principals who discovered them.

It's not just scientists, it's human beings. Language evolves towards better efficiency. That's why the word for 'house' isn't supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and you use the word 'me' to refer to yourself, not 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis' (that's an actual word).

There is such a tight relationship between how often a word is used and how long it is, that you can actually use that as a metric for discriminating natural and non-natural languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z...

Even in science, over time people tend to abbreviate and contract words. In scientific writing, you don't write "The force is 11 Newtons", you write "The force is 11 N", or just "f = 11 N" and most other scientists know what you mean even if you don't explain those symbols.

Comment: Re:Better definition of planet (Score 5, Insightful) 119

by Beck_Neard (#49155759) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

Holy balls, how many times have we had this conversation? Will you people ever give it a rest?

First of all, the IAU's definition is for technical and scientific discussions/communications. If you want to call Pluto a planet on your blog or whatever, go fucking wild. The IAU neither has the power (nor the desire!) to dictate language for all human beings for all time.

Now about technical language. The purpose of technical language is to provide a common agreed-upon vocabulary that is consistent, precise, and efficient. If you named everything a planet, you'd lose precision. People would inevitable invent a new set of categories for the eight 'big' planets and the other 'smaller' planets. Some people's new terms would conflict with other people's terms. It would be a mess.

On the other hand, if you named the 'big' planets anything other than 'planet', it would lose efficiency. They are the planets that are talked about most often, so it makes sense to give them a short, concise name.

Yes, the IAU's definition of planet WAS DESIGNED explicitly so that the eight 'main' planets would be the ONLY ones in our solar system called planets. There are very good reasons for this and the IAU did its job quite well in this regard.

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 1) 128

by Beck_Neard (#49134319) Attached to: Inventors Revolutionize Beekeeping

1. You can already get local honey most places in the world where it's possible at all to make honey. And you can get several year's worth for $600 (probably longer than this device will last).

2. Facepalm. No, fluids don't always run downhill. They especially don't run downhill when they have to overcome pressure. Which they do here.

3. Yes, bees do occasionally uncap honey cells and add more honey... but I can't see that as a basis for a continuous working system, not the way that it's being advertised here.

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 1) 128

by Beck_Neard (#49132075) Attached to: Inventors Revolutionize Beekeeping

Bullshit on everything but 1.

1. As I said, way too expensive.
2. Nope, that's literally impossible and is false advertising. Now I *know* they are full of shit. Even if honey weren't viscous, that would still be impossible, even with free-running water.
3. Again, bullshit.
4. Are you telling me the bees *uncap* a *capped* honey cell, take off the cap, and refill it?

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 2) 128

by Beck_Neard (#49131657) Attached to: Inventors Revolutionize Beekeeping

Aside from not being good for the bees, there are a bunch of other problems I can think of, even assuming the whole thing isn't another crowdfunding scam (a la hoverboards and solar roadways) and works as advertised.

1. The system can't be cheap.

2. There's no way it can drain all the honey from the hive. I'd be extremely surprised if it got even 50%. Most of the honey is going to remain in the comb and stick to the tubes. There's no way you could flush that out without ruining the honey.

3. Commercial honey extraction involves multiple centrifuging and filtering steps to get a nice clear consistency. Crystal-clear honey on tap sounds dubious.

4. What happens to the hive after extraction? Bees produce honey cells and cap them with wax. This system apparently drains the honey from behind, without uncapping. Great, but then you're left with a bunch of half-full combs that the bees won't touch again. Seems like you'd have to remove the combs from the hive and uncap 'the old-fashioned way' anyway if you want the bees to keep producing.

I can't imagine this system being useful for anything other than small-scale, one-off, hobbyist honey production. And, again, that's assuming it works as advertised.

Comment: Re:Dumb question (Score 1) 239

by Beck_Neard (#49123731) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

> After reading an account of doctors fighting to save the life of a child who was given a *teaspoon* of milk - in a controlled hospital setting - I have a new appreciation for the fear these parents have.

There is a world of difference between giving someone with milk allergy milk and getting some peanut dust or butter on someone's skin. Namely, the latter could cause you to die, but the former won't do anything except in incredibly rare circumstances.

Not all allergies are the same. Not all methods of exposure are the same. The refusal of the allergy nuts (see what I did there?) to acknowledge this fact is why they should be ignored.

And I'm sorry that you're unable to realize that protesting the rules isn't always anti-social. Sometimes it's pro-social and anti-idiocy.

Comment: Re:Dumb question (Score 2) 239

by Beck_Neard (#49121771) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

Nut allergies are mostly mass hysteria.

They were never that common, and are still not that common at all. And it's even rarer that exposing someone with a peanut allergy to a few peanuts will cause them to die. There is _zero_ justification for not allowing peanut-based foods in schools. It's mass hysteria with no basis in reality.

If I ever have a kid, I'm going to give them peanut butter sandwiches every week. FUCK the overprotective assholes.

Comment: Re:Well maybe future improvements (Score 2) 279

by Beck_Neard (#49117511) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

You can't just stack cpu chips on top of one another. They'd melt and vaporize. You either have to develop really good cooling tech or ways of reducing power consumption.

One near-term solution is to stack memory (cache levels and main RAM) on the cpu chip. Memory doesn't produce that much heat so cooling would be straightforward. It would be a huge boost to speed to have memory right on top of the cpu. A few companies are working on this.

Comment: Re:InGaAs? (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by Beck_Neard (#49117499) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

> CMOS is by far the only architecture

No it's not. Complementarity is great, but there's no requirement for it to be MOS-based. MOS is just the best choice for silicon. There are transistors using Schottky barriers and other technologies that are far better suited to InGaAs. Five minutes of googling would have revealed this and nullified your "Score 5 Interesting" argument.

No, the main issue with InGaAs is manufacturing difficulty and expense. You can buy InGaAs chips right now. It's just really expensive technology and not nearly as developed as silicon, both in terms of manufacturing steps and lithography tech.

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