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Comment: Re:Rotation (Score 5, Interesting) 62

by Dan East (#47421891) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different

But really, did the earth stay hot enough for "a few million years" - hot enough to affect the locked side of the moon more than the other?

The moon has no atmosphere, thus radiation from the earth cannot affect the far side of the moon at all. So obviously, even to this day, the earth still affects "the locked side of the moon more than the other". The question is simply how much. The moon and earth were both molten after the collision, so it was not a matter of the earth being hot enough to melt the moon, but merely the earth imparting energy to prolong the cooling of the near side. No matter what, the near side must have cooled slower than the far side - it's a straightforward matter of thermodynamics. One side of the moon was receiving energy from the earth while the other side was not. The near side didn't need to stay so hot it was incandescent, but merely "softer" so that small impacts would heal more on the near side than the far side, and the duration only needed to be long enough to result in some degree of visible difference, which is what we still see today.

The whole thing sounds plausible to me.

Comment: Pascal (Score 3, Interesting) 393

by Dan East (#47410073) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Wait!!! What happened to Pascal?!?!? On a more serious note, Pascal was the premier teaching language back in the day, but it really wasn't used much in the real world. It was a stepping stone for learning C, which is where the real power was at and what "real" applications were developed in. I believe there is less disconnect today between the popular learning languages and what is actually utilized in the real world.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 4, Insightful) 453

by Dan East (#47333511) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

...which indicates that the gun was bought specifically for that purpose in those 50% of handgun suicide deaths. It wasn't the other way around - people didn't die because they happened to have bought a handgun, which is the way you phrased it. They wanted to die, so they bought a handgun. I've owned my handgun for over 20 years, and I've not wanted to die, hence I'm not dead by it.

Comment: Appalachians (Score 4, Insightful) 501

I live in the Appalachian mountains. As I watch weather radar, observing weather systems come at us from the west, I've seen dozens if not hundreds of times over the years where very powerful, well-defined weather systems (individual cells as well as frontal systems) totally disintegrate as they cross over from flat regions of North Carolina and Tennessee into Virginia, because they hit a literal 1,000 foot wall of mountains. Tornadoes are extremely rare here. A few years ago we had small one that messed up a couple sheds and the canopy over a gas station, and that was the first in decades. So I do believe this physicist is onto something that would be effective. Whether or not it's practical or acceptable to construct such a thing is another question.

Comment: C#? (Score 5, Interesting) 254

by Dan East (#47285605) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

Why C#? Develop your game in C++ using OpenGL ES for rendering. Your code will compile as-is for iOS, Android, Windows, OSX, and others. You will only need a couple hundred lines of native code (java for Android, Objective C for iOS, etc) to handle events and pass execution into your C++ code. My game engine runs on all the above platforms and 99.9% of my code is shared across all of them.

Also, these days many, many developers simply use an existing game engine and only bother with the high level code specific to their game. Mundane stuff like the low level rendering, Audio APIs (which unlike OpenGL ES, differ quite a bit from one platform to another), physics, etc, is ground that's been treaded several thousand times nowadays, and most game developers leave that stuff to the experts in the various fields to handle the nitty gritty. Optimization of those routines is usually where the "expert" part comes into play.

I work with a game designer / artist who implements all the high level game stuff in Lua, and my engine takes care of all the aforementioned "boring" stuff, freeing him up to actually develop games, and not worry about crap like polygon tessellation algorithms and tons of other very boring stuff that would just be a waste of his time.

Comment: Nothing to do with languages (Score 1) 309

by Dan East (#47222499) Attached to: Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

This has nothing to do with programming languages. It's the entire server / HTTP / HTML / web browser infrastructure he's complaining about. You've got a document format (html), originating from servers (PHP / Java / whatever) with embedded scripts (javascript), which can dynamically modify the HTML document (DOM / DHTML), as well as making additional requests to and from the server ("AJAX"), most recently extended via rich multimedia standards (WebGL, Web Audio API). The whole thing is a kludge that has expanded from HTML into.... whatever this huge mess has become after layer after layer of more stuff thrown on top (HTML5?).

Replacing the one little part of all that, javascript, with some other language, would only make things even more convoluted and complex. What he really wants is Flash and Java Apps. And how well did those technologies pan out as universal cross platform environments in the long run (and no, Java as used in Android does not count, as it only runs inside a single platform called Android). IMO, Apple has done us a favor in rejecting both Flash and Java on iOS. They've given two developers choices. One, feel free to use HTML as far as you're willing to try and push it. Good luck with that beyond anything reasonable as far as interactivity and responsiveness with HTML on a mobile device. Two, create dedicated applications for the target platforms (iOS, Android, whatever).

What this Google engineer is wanting is to be able to create dedicated applications without having to create dedicated applications. He wants to implement something that runs optimally on iOS without having to do any iOS software development. I have news for him... Apple has 100% control over that universe right now, and he will not be getting his way any time in the near future.

Comment: Fingerprints (Score 4, Informative) 143

by Dan East (#47198693) Attached to: Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

This is nothing more than the type of fingerprint matching that's been going on for many decades. It just puts a name to a person after the fact. Now on the other hand, if he was actively recognized via facial recognition as he was out and about in public and then apprehended, well that would be a different story.

Comment: Re:Reflected EM Waves? (Score 2) 66

One word: polarization. Man made radio waves for communication are almost always polarized. Further, reflected radio waves are often very polarized even if the source was not (which is why polarized sunglasses reduce glare). They did not see the polarization expected from reflected radio signals. It appears they are actually emitted.

Comment: Skeptics (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by Dan East (#47177929) Attached to: Evidence of Protoplanet Found On Moon

And the rest of the article discusses the skepticism of this "evidence". To sum it all up, the evidence is the different ratios of oxygen isotopes found between 3 moon rocks and Earth. Most experts are saying the difference in the ratios should be much, much larger, because of how different the ratios of isotopes are in meteorites and other outer solar system bodies. The difference between the earth and moon is so small that other theories are just as likely for explaining it. The counter argument is that maybe all of the inner planets have the same ratios of oxygen isotopes as one another, and it was an inner planet that struck Earth and basically everything involved was made of the same stuff so the differences are small.

I think that until we have actually measured the ratios from Mecury or Venus, we can't assume that every inner planet is exactly the same in that regard, and thus the "evidence" this study has found is actual evidence one way or another. The only thing we know for certain is all the extraterrestrial material we have analyzed so far from the rest of the solar system has had very different ratios of the isotopes, and so this evidence requires a whole new theory about the homogeneousness of the solar system to be true.

Comment: Facebook (Score 3, Informative) 166

by Dan East (#47137417) Attached to: After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out

Facebook intentionally left a few Sun signs up when it took over the former Sun campus in Menlo Park to remind people of what can happen to a company

Let's hope Facebook's successor doesn't bother doing them the courtesy. After all, at least Sun left a legacy of something tangible behind.

Comment: Re:Somewhat off-topic: why not uncut LED panels? (Score 2) 93

by Dan East (#47132421) Attached to: How LEDs Are Made

All the value and cost of the LEDs is in the silicon dies they get from Taiwan. That's why they cram 4,000 dies onto a silicon sheet the size of a postage stamp. The labor required to manually pull them off is cheaper than the material and manufacturing process of the die.
The surface area of a stoplight led panel would be at least 40 dies worth. That's 160,000 LEDs worth of silicon and production time in the fab plant. Just to get 200 LEDs worth of illumination using your technique. Plus, setting up the fab to produce the silicon would be a large initial investment. There's no way it makes sense to make that manufacturing proprietary to something as specific as the stoplight application. It makes about as much sense as building a plant to make custom nails to build one house.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 2, Informative) 490

The GP did not say murder rates. He said violent crime rates. Even the most conservative comparisons I can find, which attempt to compare like types of crimes in UK and USA (because they are classified differently), shows at least 200% more violent crime in the UK compared to the USA.

http://www.politifact.com/trut...
http://blog.skepticallibertari...
etc, etc.

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