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Comment: Re:Maybe the numbering system is the problem... (Score 1) 284

by Bryan K. Feir (#33479870) Attached to: New Calculations May Lead To a Test For String Theory

I suspect it's similar to the concept of fractional dimensions used in fractals. With a Sierpinski cube/Menger sponge, for example, if you triple its size in all three dimensions, you end up with 20 times the volume, rather than 27 times for a solid cube, or 9 times for a square. So it has an effective dimension of log 20/log 3, which is an irrational value between 2 and 3.

Comment: Re:Best way to fix it (Score 1) 322

by Bryan K. Feir (#33146614) Attached to: No, Net Neutrality Doesn't Violate the 5th Amendment

That's because there is no incentive for a company to provide an open standard unless absolutely necessary.

Well, there's the case of a startup with some backing attempting to break into a market already sewn up by a company with highly proprietary systems. In that case, having an open standard works in your favour to help encourage people away from the sealed system. It doesn't always work, of course, but it usually has a better chance of working than creating another locked-in system.

Of course, that probably falls under the 'unless absolutely necessary' of your comment.

Comment: Re:Innovation (Score 1) 764

by Bryan K. Feir (#33099440) Attached to: To Ballmer, Grabbing iPad's Market Is 'Job One Urgency'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_for_UNIX

Back in 1997, Microsoft did have Internet Explorer for UNIX versions, particularly Solaris on the SPARC processor, and HP-UX on the MIPS processor. It never went beyond IE5, and development pretty much ended in 2001. It's worth noting that there was never a Linux version, and there was never a Solaris/x86 version, either: Microsoft's entire reason for IE for Unix was to get a foothold in places where Netscape was the only option at the time, and they didn't want to support any systems that were actually directly competing with Windows. And, of course, it couldn't run ActiveX.

As a result, when Netscape finally fell over (due as much to their own mismanagement as anything Microsoft did), Microsoft dropped the whole idea.

Comment: Re:Just wait a little while... (Score 1) 364

by Bryan K. Feir (#32558404) Attached to: How To Destroy a Black Hole

But precisely because the rules of topology FORBID a torus to become a sphere, it would be impossible for a genuinely infinite-gravity singularity to evaporate completely.

Of course, the same rules would make it impossible for a genuinely infinite-gravity singularity to form where there wasn't one previously. Which leads into your later points of black holes never forming at all...

Comment: Re:In case you want hear from a physicist (Score 2, Interesting) 304

by Bryan K. Feir (#32261666) Attached to: Matter-Antimatter Bias Seen In Fermilab Collisions

There have been many 3-sigma descrepancies in the past ...

I have just three words on this:

"Alternating Neutral Currents".

(For those confused, Neutral Currents are interactions mediated by the Z boson. In the early 1970s, there was a race on to provide evidence for these, and there were press releases that had to be retracted because somebody jumped the gun and reported finding a Z before it was verified. This jokingly became called 'Alternating neutral currents', and several physicists had their credibility rather damaged in the process...)

Comment: Re:Try to give them help and this is what they get (Score 1) 265

by Bryan K. Feir (#30883174) Attached to: Radio Hams Fired Upon In Haiti

Yes, well, there are reasons why the more recent Canadian aid shipments have gone in through Léogâne and Jacmel rather than through Port-au-Prince. Avoiding the logjam of bureaucrats has been the main one. (The fact that our Governor-General was born in that area doesn't hurt.)

Comment: Re:Is there a flash plugin? (Score 1) 59

by Bryan K. Feir (#29385651) Attached to: Foxconn and Hon Hai Both Planning ARM Smartbooks

Also, Adobe would probably just snicker for a few seconds if anyone asked them to port Flash to anything other than x86 or x86_64.

Sorry, already done.

Adobe Flash now widely available to Android device vendors

There's been a version of Flash available for ARM on Android since June.

That sort of thing was the whole reason for Flash Lite.

Comment: Re:it's why Windows took over in the first place (Score 1) 948

by Bryan K. Feir (#28154539) Attached to: Harsh Words From Google On Linux Development

You know, my purchased copies of the Loki ports of Civilization: Call to Power, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and Heroes of Might and Magic 3 still run just fine, and that's been at least eight years.

So we have graphics and audio-based games which still work a lot longer than the 'two years' you're talking about. It's all based on writing your apps properly in the first place.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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