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Comment: Re:TopSlot (Score 1) 167

by Dan East (#48278839) Attached to: Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless


But if you do the math, that means for every star-orbiting planet like ours in the galaxy, there may be up to 100,000 planets that not only don’t orbit one now, but most likely never did.

The sun is around 330,000 times more massive than the Earth. Thus those 100,000 other Earths out there have a mass of 1/3 our sun. But, there are of course several other planets in our solar system. So the mass of all those rogue planets (100,000 : 1 ratio of rogue planets to planets in the solar system) would be several times greater than the sun. Not exactly a trivial amount of mass there. That could explain a big part of dark matter, but of course people a lot smarter than me have already considered and dismissed that already for whatever reason. Maybe they've already accounted for that much extra mass and there's still the "dark matter" that's missing.

Comment: Re:Hard to base decisions on this (Score 1) 273

by Dan East (#48269115) Attached to: Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

Yes, exactly. I visited them all looking for some new insight into the factual state of what's going on with Ebola, and ended up just wasting my time. One of the sites has predictions that are over two weeks old. Useless. Another is tracking the social media discussion of Ebola by region (which regions are tweeting the most about Ebola). Useless. Another is a page regarding some statistical software package. Useless. The only real data is a paper modeling what impact flight restrictions might have, expressed in the number of extra weeks of delay before Ebola is transmitted. The entire thing was a waste of time.

Comment: Re:Why is he worried (Score 5, Interesting) 582

by Dan East (#48240929) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

He obviously must see and be directly involved in some aspects of AI that are causing him to be concerned. Telsa is working on self driving cars. Part of that AI must involve the computer making a decision about who may live or die in certain accident scenarios. For example, a child walks out in front of the vehicle. Does the AI direct the car into inanimate objects (with the assumption that the car will protect the occupants) or does it try to stop as fast as possible even if the AI knows it cannot stop in time and will hit the child? If the car is travelling at high rate of speed and has 5 occupants, does the AI then decide that multiple people may die from driving into a telephone pole at a high speed, so it decides to hit the child?

It might be those kinds of things that are making Musk think about what kinds of control we're already starting to turn over to AI.

Comment: Sound waves as quantum particles? (Score 3, Interesting) 66

by Dan East (#48130017) Attached to: Hawking Radiation Mimicked In the Lab

This stuff isn't my strong suit at all, but I'm having a hard time grasping how sound waves can behave like subatomic particles in this way.

Pairs of sound waves pop in and out of existence in a laboratory vacuum, mimicking particle-antiparticle pairs in the vacuum of space.

Sound is a wave through some medium, so how can they pop into existence in a vacuum? Are particles of some kind (and what are they? Hydrogen atoms? Helium?) popping into existence long enough for them to physically interact with one another so a physical wave can propagate from one particle to another before they pop back out of existence, and thus "sound waves" are appearing?

All this is pretty amazing to me, but the amount of complexity involved (using dual event horizons to reflect the waves back and forth to amplify the audio signal because its so weak, etc) sure would leave a lot of room to screw something up along the way. Seems the signal to noise ratio would be pretty bad.

Comment: Funny and entertaining (Score 4, Interesting) 55

by Dan East (#48126087) Attached to: Crowdsourced Remake "The Empire Strikes Back Uncut" Now Complete

I just finished watching it. It has quite a few really funny clips, and a few that are somewhat disturbing LOL. The great thing is seeing the amount of creativity and artistic styles people can come up with. Definitely worth watching. Now I'm watching Star Ward Uncut, since I hadn't heard about it until now.

Comment: Summary (Score 3, Informative) 254

by Dan East (#48118881) Attached to: What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

Alex Hutchinson writes at Runner's World that runners have cut the distance to the sub-two marathon in half since 1998, but it will get progressively harder to trim the remaining seconds.

Writing fail. Don't use the term "distance" to discuss intervals in time, especially when the topic specifically involves covering a specific distance as fast as possible. At first I thought they meant that the distance the runners have to race has been reduced in order to be able to run it in two hours.

Comment: Offer (Score 1) 107

by Dan East (#48065071) Attached to: Cyanogen Inc. Turns Down Google, Seeing $1 Billion Valuation

The article doesn't state what Google's offer was. It could have been $1 million for all we know. Cyanogen Inc. *wishes* it were worth $1 billion, and hopes investors actually believe that and thus will pump money into their company, but its actual value is probably far, far short of that, and more in the realm of whatever Google offered. The question is how will Cyanogen monetize the version of Android it produces. Is Micromax going to pay Cyanogen for its version of Android? And if so why pay for what is already free (custom features, quality assurance, etc?)

Comment: Lifespan (Score 1) 481

by Dan East (#48065037) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Octopuses have a relatively short lifespan - only up to 5 years, and as short as 6 months for some species - which is far shorter than the natural lifespan of most of the other animals we consume. Males die shortly after mating, and females die shortly after eggs hatch. So most of their life cycle simply revolves around reproduction (more like an insect or fish in that regard), so it's not like they are happily frolicking around in the sea until mean humans come and end their long, happy existences. Also, their "intelligence" is rather relative. A bigger factor is what they sense and what causes them fear, pain and suffering - these are things that humans can empathize with and thus a bigger factor in whether or not we feel sorry enough for them not to eat them (and I believe the answer to that is solid no, as pigs, etc, are far easier to empathize with than an octopus, and yet most people have no qualms about eating pork).

Comment: Bullcrap (Score 2, Informative) 349

by Dan East (#48060309) Attached to: Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

That's a load of BS. Is there even an API that returns the "marketing" version of the OS name? I know of no way to programmatically get the text "Windows 95" or "Windows 98", etc, in the Windows API, unless I build that string myself. The APIs that return the OS version use a completely different versioning convention (one that actually makes sense and is consistent). Maybe there is some way to dig through the registry and find that, but any app doing that deserves to be broken anyway.

Further, the example and "proof" in that second link is also a load of crap. That is only via some Java API, which does exactly what I said above, which is turn the actual internal version into some higher-level OS name. Trust me, MS doesn't give the slightest concern about any broken Java apps.

They named it Windows 10 for marketing reasons. End of story. Quit being retarded.

Comment: Not sure about this. (Score 5, Insightful) 195

by Dan East (#48023527) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

I'm not sure about this legally. The software does not infect devices, nor does it get installed through deception. It is purchased and installed by someone who has access to the device. The person who installed the software without the owner's permission (assuming that person doesn't own the phone in the first place) would be responsible for any illegal actions. An analogy is trying to bring a lawsuit against a company that produces baby monitors, because someone put a baby monitor in someone else's home without permission or notification in order to stalk them. There are legitimate uses for the software, for example a parent wanting to monitor their minor child's use of the phone. Or I might would put it on my own phone in case my phone is stolen or lost.

Comment: Re: Hodor (Score 1) 127

Stephen King did the same thing in The Stand. He ended up with too many characters and no actual story arc, so he had to abruptly kill a few off. Even then, the book still had a lame dues ex machina ending, and other major characters (Stu) ended up totally irrelevant at the end.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.