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Comment: Re:Sign Me Up (Score 2) 135

by CptJeanLuc (#49149499) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

I actually did this (though 2 hours not 40 mins) when studying for an exam. I had gotten myself into a really bad rhythm getting up around noon or so on a regular basis (this was during a period of only exams and no classes), and decided I should reset my biological clock before the exam. However I knew trying to get up early would fail, because I just loved sleeping in too much - even with a 3-alarm-clock system.

The exam was in 10 days, so I decided to just prolong my day to around 26 hours, which would land me perfectly on exam time - and this is what I did. It was a great experience, I was well rested each "cycle", and during the night it is easy to study with no distractions or interruptions. I had not told the other students living in the dorm about my project, and I remember the priceless look of surprise on one of them as he was getting out from his room at 7 AM in the morning wiping his eyes and coming into kitchen, and the first thing he saw was me taking a lasagne out of the oven (for dinner).

A Mars day with not even 25 hours? Bring it on ... the only thing better would be if we could find a 26-hour planet.

Comment: VR based on current technologies will not be real (Score 1) 71

OP is asking for "real", IMHO it cannot be done. In order to properly experience the forces on your body on a bicycle, you would have to follow the same trajectory as the real thing in a gravity field - or alternatively another experience which provides the same forces, simulating gravity. In order to do that, the simulator would basically have to be put inside a spaceship which simulates those forces. This is something we cannot do with current technology because a spaceship can only provide thrust for so long.

Then there are "VR glasses", which though I have never had the chance to try the latest models, I can say that the only 3D-like experience that technology based on two separate 2D images can provide the user, is one with a predefined focal depth which will not be perceived as true 3D by the brain, i.e. more like watching a 3D movie than being in the real thing. I don't foresee any mechanisms witih eye tracking which would simulate user controlled natural change of focus.

So "true VR" will only happen when we are somehow able to interface directly with the brain at a level that the experience is directly projected into our conscience, thus bypassing our sensory organs. Obviously we are nowhere near that type of technology and perhaps it is not even possible, so in answer to OP's question when do we get true VR, I would answer hard to say, probably not in our lifetime, and perhaps never.

Comment: Unfortunately, we no longer have real "journalism" (Score 1) 645

by CptJeanLuc (#49004499) Attached to: Does Showing a Horrific Video Serve a Legitimate Journalistic Purpose?

Well, there are a few niche news outlets which tries to focus on real news, but that is not what most people are following. Instead, we get whatever is going to make us buy, click or watch, and whatever is going to keep us buying, clicking or watching. You either get something very tabloid which has next to no news value, or you get something heavily politically laden which is basically a marketing machine for some political or corporate agenda - or a mixture of both.

Unfortunately, as "journalism" is gone and journalists love to sit on their high horses and play the pretend game that they are still journalists, there is noone to tell us about this trend in an honest way.

Of course, showing 22 minute videos of people burning has no journalistic value whatsoever. Probably 99.9% of people have enough imagination they know a 22-minute burning is a very bad thing, without having to actually watch it and be desensitized to watching snuff. A real journalist would leave it at mentioning the incident, and then talking about some important relevant stuff.

This is the problem with "newsotainment", the important stuff gets ignored and coverage has no proportion to the importance of the subject matter at hand. There is always the "personal angle" on anything, and whereas before you could get some relatively neutral coverage about e.g. a court case, these days it is all about how everyone in the process are "feeling", behaving and reacting. As the criminal behind some event which happens to get news coverage, you immediately become a focus of news attention, and their lawyers get lots of coverage about how the accused is "shocked", is "sad for the victims", etc. Everything is told as if there are two equal sides which sort of have 50/50 value, whereas in real life if there was a murder and there is already enough evidence that the accused fleeing from the scene with a bloody knife observed by 20 people, then why on earth do we need coverage about their perspective on the whole thing. Why? Because it is some kind of emotional porn/snuff/whatever, and in some ways similar to the burning incident though not as graphically horrible.

I wish we had real news. And in the absence of that, at least one would hope that newsotainment channels could show some self restraint.

Comment: Re:What scientists "know", not know (Score 1) 514

by CptJeanLuc (#48945663) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

I am not saying scientists are not aware other scientists are people (who are all imperfect one way or another), but they behave as if the scientific processes are more solid than they actually are. It is easy to hide behind science as being the true method of understanding the world, and scientific facts being better than everything else.

Failing to recognize that the scientific process is flawed, is similar to observing the universe through the Hubble telescope with a bad mirror, whilst either being unaware of or ignoring the fact that the mirror is not properly shaped. That is my problem with a lot of the science out there.

It is easy to see how it can happen. You come into science as a young idealistic student, then you suddenly get bogged down by political realities of competing for positions, getting publications and citations, getting funded, catering to eccentric professors, etc. And in the end the practicalities of the situations means that most make the trade-offs required to fit in - either that or leaving the scientific community to do something else. So those who remain are those who are willing to work the system.

In the areas where I find the scientific process to be flawed, I believe it is not self-correcting as you mention in your post - it is "correcting" yes, but it makes the correction in the direction of the flawed process.

It is easy to find examples of how research is biased. Research follows where the money is, and money is granted by institutions with agendas - either governments with all the politics which goes with that, or companies - even worse. Even history is subject to being twisted, as I was told by a friend who is a historian - the narrative of a country's history is selectively told so that it fits with whatever political gains can be made from that. If humans cannot get right even something as simple as recording and retelling what happened in the past, then that does not bode well for other scientific disciplines.

Comment: What scientists "know", not know (Score 1) 514

by CptJeanLuc (#48940603) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Let's be honest about it, every scientist is not Einstein and every scientist is not altruistic and truly pursuing the interests of mankind. There is enough mediocreness, politics and hidden agendas in the realm of science that being sceptical makes sense. Plus the public mostly get filtered access to scientists through "media", which looks increasingly less like media and more like a circus. And let's be scientific about it ... a lot of the "facts" we had 30 years ago have been replaced by new "facts". Most science seems to be about finding statistical correlations and then making confused and incorrect conclusions mixing cause and effect. A lot of the statements from scientists seems to be speculations outside their true field of expertise. And then there is "science" like some corners of cosmology which includes layers and layers of wild speculation which gets presented as things we "know".

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with science or scientists. I am just saying that scientists are people, with all the flaws that people have and all the problems with outputs of processes of people working together, and it would be unscientific to ignore that - as most scientists regularly do.

Comment: Scientists raise DPISs (doomsdays per year index) (Score 0, Offtopic) 216

by CptJeanLuc (#48897373) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Newsflash: after analyzing recent world events, new astrological analysis of improved data on planetary bodies, measurement of comet gases from the Rosetta mission and observations of the direction of travel of a newly beheaded chicken as compared to the earth's magnetic field, scientists raise the Doomsdays Per year Index Scientifics (DPISs as defined by 1000 times the expected number of doomsdays per year) from 25 to 41. In related news, sales of canned food and generators are up 25%.

Comment: Open source to create walled gardens? (Score 1) 51

by CptJeanLuc (#48516891) Attached to: Samsung's Open Source Group Is Growing, Hiring Developers

I recently replaced my problem-ridden Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with a Motorola Moto G, and the switch has been pure joy despite lower spec and a low quality camera. But gone are all the Samsung customizatons, the extra apps that came with the phone which you could not be sure whether you could uninstall, and the annoying Samsung account. I would be more enthusiastic about their open source efforts if they built less cumbersome products, rather than taking stock Android and adding layers of unneeded and unwanted stuff - just so they can "own the customer" by bringing them into their own ecosystem.

Comment: Become a professional gamer (Score 1) 720

by CptJeanLuc (#48489853) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

With your lightning fast reflexes you are wasting your talent by making compromises about your gaming. And when I say lightning fast, I mean literally lightning fast, or at least within some small factor. Also, figure out whether this is really a PC noise problem, or a "I hate that he is always playing games" kind of problem. The first one is solved by bying different gear, the second one by talking to your wife.

Comment: Parachuting isn't worth dying for either (Score 1) 594

by CptJeanLuc (#48292765) Attached to: Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

Yet people die in parachuting accidents all the time, and there is no big fuss about it in the media. There are probably some brave guys trying out the new parachute designs for the first time as well. And no testing rocket designs it is not just about space tourism for the rich; this is just the first step towards whatever comes next. Plus I expect being a test pilot is something more than just a regular job; I would expect there is some adrenaline rush which comes with the uncertainty of the whole thing, which is part of the appeal. No risk means no excitement.

Comment: Now waiting for a proud to be gray statement (Score 1) 764

by CptJeanLuc (#48273635) Attached to: Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

For me this news is about as interesting as if Tim Cook made a statement about being proud to be gray. As a fellow gray haired person, I wish someone would stand up publicly for the gray - we are just like everyone else, but too many people feel they have to hide their true colors from the public.

Being gay ought to be about as controversial as being gray.

Comment: Similar to cell "unlimited mobile data"? (Score 1) 145

by CptJeanLuc (#48246153) Attached to: OneDrive Delivers Unlimited Cloud Storage To Office 365 Subscribers

It seems when it comes to mobile data, "unlimited" always means unlimited up to a point, when the service gets throttled unless you pay more. So "unlimited within the envelope of activity that we decide to allow". Even having no information about this particular offer, I would guess there is either a "reasonable use" clause hidden somewhere in terms of service, or somehow being able to throttle the service, e.g. by limiting upload bandwidth.

"Unlimited" seems to be one of those words that are used mainly for marketing, leading consumers to think it actually means there is no limit - but then redefining the meaning of unlimited in terms of service to something else. Just as misleading as e.g. offering "transfer speeds _up to_ 20 Mbps", "reliability _up to_ 100%", or being "guaranteed to be _possibly_ the best service available". At some point we should have laws against language which is intentionally misleading to consumers.

Documentation is the castor oil of programming. Managers know it must be good because the programmers hate it so much.