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Comment: Re:misunderstanding of the internet? (Score 1) 484

by Bryan Ischo (#47316449) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

Obviously you can construct any complex scenario closer and closer to the imaginary line separating legal from illegal, for pretty much any law. As you get closer to that line, each such concocted scenario gets harder and harder to argue about because the issues become more and more subtle. All you're doing is trying to define that line exactly, when typically laws cannot be defined so exactly. Getting closer to the line just means you are "more likely" to be found guilty. There is never a perfect line that can be drawn, on one side being 100% guilty and the other side being 100% innocent.

The best answer to your question is that scenarios that close to the line are typically going to be decided on a case by case basis. Who knows what the decision would be until a court actually decides it, and we're not going to be able to go through all of the arguments and predict what the outcome would be here.

However, if you enjoy speculation, the I'd say the scenario you described is probably legal because you own the device in question, and are not profiting from using it in the way you describe. Profiting from your actions tends to bring your actions into much closer scrutiny because of the implication that your profit may represent illegal gains at the expense of whoever is losing profit because of your actions.

Comment: Re:Most interesting part... (Score 1) 461

by Bryan Ischo (#47315951) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Read the other comments before posting, it will save us all some time. All that Germany proved is that in ideal conditions on one afternoon solar contributed significantly to their energy supply. Solar only contributed 5% of their total power over the year. That is hardly proof that such a methodology can scale as you suggest.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47315865) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

That doesn't make any sense to me. Any pull that has any component other than directly and exactly away from Earth would bend the direction of the light so that it completely missed Earth. Even the tiniest deviation thousands of light years away would cause the light to miss Earth by a huge, huge distance.

Or is the light somehow being pulled into a different direction and then pulled back on course to aim directly at Earth? How in the world would that work?

Comment: Re:So, what's the correction? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312451) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Are you sure that the cause-effect relationship between an electric field propogating a magnetic field, and vice-versa, is included in this theory? Because there is no time component in the equations and therefore there is no unit of time to be made shorter.

There actually isn't any time between the change in the magnetic field and the change in the electric field; and there isn't any distance, either. But the ratio of these two values does produce a finite number, just like how calculus can calculate the ratio between the limits of two formula converging on zero at infinity.

Comment: Re:I've quit two jobs, due to overwork (Score 1) 710

by Bryan Ischo (#47312441) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

You probably are in the 5%. Also, what kind of office has more distractions than a home would? Don't people specifically *have* homes so that they can fill them with all of the distractions that they love? Don't offices exist so that people can get work done away from those distractions?

I guess if I worked somewhere with the kind of environment that you are describing, then it wouldn't matter if I worked at home or at work. But I work somewhere that the work is taken seriously and most those distractions are kept where they belong - at home.

And to counter your jab, I also find the best workers don't feel to need to be seen in the office to prove their worth. They feel the need to be in the office to maximize their productivity.

Comment: Re:So, what's the correction? (Score 2) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312213) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Agreed. But that's kind of my point. It's easy to wonder why light has to be bounded by a maximum speed because we can easily ask "why not faster"? For me it makes it clearer that there are fundamental aspects of physics/reality at work here to keep in mind that it's really the ratio of the smallest distance to the shortest time.

Yes, you do then have to ask "why is there a smallest distance" and "why is there a shortest time", but at least for these questions, I have an answer I can live with: because there has to be a separation between cause and effect, so there has to be a shortest time in between which two things can happen. If the time that it takes for an electric field to propogate a magnetic field and vice versa, which has no time component as far as I remember in the equations governing how this happens, has nothing limiting it to happening with a shorter time duration between the cause and the effect (which I believe is true, at least according to electromegnetic theory), then this is the shortest time.

A similar argument can be applied to explaining why there is a shortest distance.

So basically, for me, it is more directly meaningful to think of there being a smallest possible time increment (because there *must be*, otherwise zeno's paradox and all that), and a shortest possible distance (once again because there *must be*, for the same reason), than to think of there being a limit to the speed of light, which otherwise logically I can't understand, except in the terms that I described in this and in my prior post.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312137) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Why is the force of gravity pulling these electron/positron pairs away from Earth? Why is there any net effect at all? Is there "more stuff" on average on the other side of that supernova than on this side?

Correspondingly, if a supernova were to happen here and direct photons in the other direction, would the light get there "faster"? If not, why not? Why is the net drag caused by gravity always away from the direction that the light is travelling?

Sorry if this is a double-post, Slashdot eats my comments sometimes, I swear.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312103) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

In this explanation, why is there a net gravitational pull away from Earth? In those brief moments where the photons disassociate into electron/positron pairs, why are they pulled in any direction in particular? Why are they more likely to be pulled in a direction that slows them down rather than speeding them up?

Comment: Re:Don't mess with "c" (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312053) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

You're playing games with words. Viscosity is "a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress, due to friction between neighboring particles that are moving at different velocities". How could any part of that definition have anything to do with light?

Or do you intend viscosity to mean "a force which slows down photons"? In which case your sentence is "Space-Time could have a non-zero force which slows down photons, and slow down photons", in which case you aren't really saying anything other than, "something could be causing these photons to slow down", which isn't actually saying an explanation at all given that the whole question is *why* these photons appear to be slowing down.

Comment: Re:So, what's the correction? (Score 3, Interesting) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312021) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

In my conception (which may be flawed; I came to this conclusion after university physics classes that I didn't always understand as well as I should have, and these were 20+ years ago), the speed of light is governed by "the rate at which things can happen".

Electromagnetic waves propogate because a changing electric field produces a changing magnetic field which produces a changing electric field, etc. For reasons that I can't remember these changing fields occur in a slightly offset position each time, so that the fields move through space as they create each other.

If causes and effects could occur at an infinite rate, the waves would move infinitely fast; but since there always has to be a time gap between a cause and an effect, there is a fixed upper bounds for the rate at which these fields can produce each other.

There is also a fixed lower bounds on the minimum offset that can occur between the electric and magnetic fields.

So what you have is essentially effects occurring as quickly as possible over distances as small as possible. The ratio of the smallest possible time between a cause and an effect, and the smallest possible distance between an electric field and the magnetic field it produces and vice versa is ... the speed of light.

So why can't light go faster than c? Two reasons really: a) things "can't happen" faster than the cause-effect relationship of a magnetic field producing an electric field, and vice-versa; and b) distances between an electric field and the magnetic field it produces, and vice-versa, can't be smaller.

I vaguely remember that this is related to one of the cool aspects of Calculus - the ability to take the ratio of an infinitesimally small number to another infinitesimally small number, each expressed as a limit approaching zero, and get a calculatable, real number result.

In this case, if you take the limit as distance approaches zero, divided by time as it approaches zero, you get the speed of light - the ratio of two infinitesimally small numbers (the smallest unit of distance over the smallest unit of time).

Anyway that's how I explain it to myself.

Comment: Re:I've quit two jobs, due to overwork (Score 2) 710

by Bryan Ischo (#47311853) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

In my experience, telecommuters as a whole are only a fraction as productive as in-office workers. Notice I said as a whole - there is the rare telecommuter who is more productive. But most are not. So I completely understand corporate policy that lights fires under telecommuters' butts. It's what I would do if I were the boss.

I speak as someone who was a telecommuter at one time. I have a very hard time believing that the factors that made it difficult to be productive for me are not common for everyone. There are more distractions at home. There is a natural tendency to spread the work over a larger period of time because you can, and because the aforementioned distractions make that appealing. And that leads to habitually intending to "do more work later" but not getting to it because the day runs out. It must happen to alot of people. It happened to me.

Then there's the physical disassociation from the people you work with, which reduces communication effectiveness and tends to turn what would be small roadblocks into big ones. Not to mention having an impact on morale as you miss out on the spirit of comeraderie that often plays a role in office dynamics.

I am generalizing my explanation for what causes the ineffectiveness of telecommuters, but I am sure the factors are different for everyone. Regardless, in my expereience working with people who work from home (or worse, from far away), in the vast majority of cases, they produce at a much slower rate than I would expect from someone working in the office.

If you're one of the 5% of telecommuters who can be as or more effective as you would be in the office, then I guess it does suck when that option is taken away from you because the other 95% can't hack it.

Then there are people who are just as ineffective in the office as they are at home. I guess they'd be OK working at home too, but those people, I'd rather show the door than accepting their mediocre output, even if they can do it from home.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.