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Comment: atheism is just another religion (Score 1) 885

by drolli (#47901169) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

we have no idea what is outside our universe. we can only test theories inside the universe.

making testable predictions is the realm of science.

making untestable predictions is the realm of religion.

the hypothesis that there is no god/higher force outside the universe is as untestable as the hypothesis that ther is any kind of god outside the universe.

as a physicist I therefore am agnostic, buy I expect religions not to make any conclusions which affect my life by conclusions from unproven fairytales

Comment: Matlab is full of strange features (Score 1) 728

-Possibility to access the "parent" scope
-Distinction between "workspace scope" and "global variables"
-Really weird stateful behaviour when using/declaring global variables
-Impossibility to redirect the output of commands under special circumstances
-Lazy copy in combination with slices (yeah, awfully practical, but run a profiler to see what happens)
-At least two different ways of associating data with "handle objects"
-"handle objects" (feels like the early 80s)
-weird scopes for function declarations
-absence of a decent "map" operator
-half-assed "function handles"

Comment: A complicated question. (Score 1) 203

by drolli (#47833539) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

I worked for 10 years as a researcher in quantum computation. Looking back, i would say that i see a mixed bag. On the negative side i have to say that many groups try to jump on whichever direction the most recent five papers in the field had been in, very often with little or no result at all. (if the Nature paper is out, the other group already followed the new path for five years).

On the positive side, we come to the other groups/leaders, which follow a direction which adresses aa problem until it's solved. In the superconducting QC field that would be for example (There are many other good and creative groups in the field) the group of John Martinis. They adressed the problems they saw over years in hard work (and that started in 2002 or earlier), at least such effort is usually rewarded in science on the long term.
But again on the negative side: the papers they managed to put in Nature or Science were focused on the final results of the engineering - the papers which really adressed the problem puzzeling the community for years, where they really found out how to reach the goal were published in Physical Review B, Physical Review Letters and some other Journals. (Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 077003, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 210503, Phys. Rev. B 68, 224518, Phys. Rev. B 67, 094510, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 117901, Phys. Rev. B 77, 180508). The fact that enhancing the building blocks for a final result gives you much less impact factor than obtaining the final result make the stategy not be creative and hope for others to fix problems a reasonable one. Even catching a Nature paper every few years is enough for a conservative, non-abitious group leader, so you can burn a few postdocs in average, which you put up to the current topic, and if you a lucky, your results look accidentally good every few years, even if you did not contribute much to science.

Comment: Depends (Score 1, Insightful) 546

by drolli (#47819545) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

I hoold a PhD in Physics, but coding is a important part of my usual jobs (i am a consultant).

Educating myself in conding and following a master, and then a PhD in Physics trained very different aspects of my skills.

None of each outweiths the other, and i am feeling very confident that i will never be without a job

Comment: Re:Sponsored post (Score 1) 237

by drolli (#47814867) Attached to: Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

Yes i would have hoped that the most plausible theories (IMHO) for the cell towers would have been examined closer, but then it turned into a diffuse "china is so bad" speech.

IMHO there are several reasons why such towers could be close to military bases:

a) Some enemy to the US tries to spy on the solidiers phones (trying to uncover their identities etc) - unlikely

b) These cell towers serve to protect the identity of all (or some) phones (by filtering the network protocols, hiding location information) on the base, and are operated by the military.

c) Some US intelligence organization tries to spy on the soldiers to figure out who is spying, or whistleblowing, or something else of interest to them.

d) The primary fundtion is not to intercept phones of other providers, but to have a private 3G network

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 2) 635

by drolli (#47789889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

If anybody related to unix adminstration does not know vi then he should not be hired.

Not because i think that vi is great or not, but plainly for the reason that vi is installed with the bare minimum installation, which means you will be able to edei config files long before any other editor is installed.

This system will self-destruct in five minutes.

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