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Comment: Re:Which string theory? (Score 1) 146

There may be 40 things called string theory, but they all boil down to a few things:
  - point particles are actually vibrating strings
  - there are extra spatial dimensions
  - there isn't much in terms of specific testable predictions made by string theory

The LHC tests may show things that hint at extra dimensions (of small but testable size, not planck length). This in and of itself wouldn't prove any of the individual string theories. But showing nothing that could indicate super symmetry or extra dimensions or other 'stringy' things would be an issue for strong theory.

Disclaimer, I am not a physicist (string or otherwise).

Science

A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science 613

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-it-out dept.
StartsWithABang writes: If there's nothing else that science has to offer, it's this elegant notion: that anyone, anywhere, at anytime, can investigate and uncover the mysteries and workings of the Universe simply by asking it the right questions in the right ways, listening to its answers, and putting the pieces together for themselves. Anyone can do it. Only, for various and sundry reasons, not everyone gets to do it. Some people don't have the economic ability, some don't have the sustained drive or interest, and some simply can't cut the mustard. But some people — some really, really good people — are driven from their passions for a sad, simple and completely unnecessary fact: that they were treated in unacceptable ways that they refused to just accept. And in a great many cases, that unacceptable treatment came simply because of their gender. Sexism sometimes looks like what you expect, and sometimes not. Here's one opinion on what we can all do about it to create the world we really want: where science really is for everyone.

Comment: Remote opening? (Score 0) 385

by DarkFencer (#49355541) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Seems like the easiest thing in this situation is to have the ability for someone on the ground (flight control, the airline, etc.) to be able to override any locks on the cockpit and open the door. Just put some sort of satellite communication device outside, near the door of the cabin.

This would be available in a situation like the Germanwings flight, or if the pilot became legitimately incapacitated.

Comment: Re:More than curious, (Score 1) 188

by DarkFencer (#49191267) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

Their management tools are transitioning, slowly to web based. There are tasks that ONLY work in the web client now but there are also tasks that ONLY exist in the Windows only desktop client.

If you're only running guests, then you can get away with the slow web client. If you're managing the hosts you need to use both, for different things now.

Comment: Barrier will reduce over next couple years (Score 1) 186

by DarkFencer (#49116455) Attached to: Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay

The biggest challenge however is one that both Apple and Google face: Only a small fraction of the 10 million or so retail outlets in the U.S.â"220,000 at last countâ"have checkout readers that can accept payments from either system.

That is definitely true, but most credit card readers in the US that do not support EMV (aka Chip & Pin or Chip & Signature) have to be replaced if the merchant doesn't want to bear the liability for fraudulent transactions.

The liability for compromised cards is shifting in October of this year (aside from some unattended systems like gas pumps which happen later). If a merchant does not support EMV and an EMV card is compromised or used fraudulently, the merchant is liable.

Many of the new EMV capable terminals are also capable of NFC/contactless transactions. It will get a lot more of the physical readers out there. Whether the payment processors/acquirers support it is a different question.

Television

Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-fox-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes Fox News and Fox Business were pulled by Dish Network over the weekend, as both continue to argue over a fee agreement. From the article: "Dish said in a statement early Sunday morning that 21st Century Fox had blocked access to the two networks after Dish balked when rates for other networks owned by the media conglomerate were made a part of the negotiations. Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution at Fox News Channel, countered in a statement that "Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations. It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately."

Comment: Customer-centric? (Score 2) 419

by DarkFencer (#47793133) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

I don't see them as customer-centric as much as self-serving. There is definitely a trend of non-US companies moving or thinking of moving their data off US servers. Moving them off US company/subsidiary servers in other countries is a huge threat to Nadella's cloud-focused Microsoft.

It is a rational self-interested decision that may be good for consumers.

+ - Dragon Quest X Can Now be Played Outside of Japan 2

Submitted by Yew2
Yew2 writes: From Hardcore Gamer:

It’s safe to assume that the gaming community in North America wants to play Dragon Quest X. After all, it combines the joy of MMORPGs with the awesomeness that is Dragon Quest. Add to that the pent of demand we have for a new Dragon Quest and you have a recipe for a frenzy.

Online petitions begging for localization have been springing up everywhere since the game first released in Japan on the Wii in August 2012. As the first MMORPG in the series, Square-Enix has since added support for the WiiU, PC, Android, iPhone, iPad and very recently Nintendo 3DS. As actual translations and platform porting may not be so pricey, a release outside Japan would likely require adding server and network infrastructure which requires capital and operating funds Square-Enix or a partner has yet to lay out.

In the mean time there is quick start login guide for the English speaking world here with corresponding pictures here to help enthusiasts get the PC version installed and logged in via a yahoo.co.jp account to play the free trial version. Controller and keyboard settings are here and Chrome gives a decent translation. Ingame translations are summarized here for the Wii version but are generally the same in the PC version. Enjoy!

Comment: Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (Score 4, Funny) 70

by DarkFencer (#47467157) Attached to: Time Warner Turns Down Takeover Bid From Rupert Murdoch

Yes, Time Warner, Inc (what this story is referring to) is a different company from Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is looking to acquire).

Its also different from TW Telecom (formerly Time Warner Telecom, which is being acquired by Level 3.

Its a complicated mess of mergers and spinoffs...

Comment: Re:Tenure should be available but not inviolable (Score 1) 519

by DarkFencer (#47208587) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Therein lies the problem. What should it be based on? How many students pass? Standardized test scores? How about teachers that are good but get a job at a school whose students are generally poorer-performing vs teachers that aren't as good but work at a school with a higher caliber of students?

Oh - I completely understand that it is a difficult question. Many of the evaluation options thrown out by people involve more standardize testing (which will favor students, and in turn teachers in better socioeconomic classes and with less English language learners).

I'm not an educator myself, but I think an honest review for tenure purposes would have to consist of a comparison of student results from year-to-year, not just comparisons between students district/state/nation-wide. Then you could possibly see how a teacher has had a negative or positive (or net-zero) effect on student progress in their subject area.

But again, this is my own layman's guess.

Comment: Tenure should be available but not inviolable (Score 4, Interesting) 519

by DarkFencer (#47208455) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

There are important reasons for tenure in K-12 education, especially in this era. K-12 schools (and in turn teachers) in many areas receive incredible pressure from parents. It used to be if a child got poor grades the teacher wasn't the one blamed. Now there are many parents who have spoiled brats who they believe can do no wrong.

That being said, tenure's protections should exist but should make teacher's positions far less invincible than they are in many areas now. There should be a process of discipline and removal for poor teachers. It should be as objective as possible so as to avoid undue parental pressure.

Otherwise it creates a perverse incentive for teachers to inflate grades of their students.

Comment: Not sure why anyone was surprised (Score 3, Insightful) 49

by DarkFencer (#46942031) Attached to: The Strange Death of Comet Ison

All the coverage I saw (from astronomy writers, NASA, etc.) said there was definitely a chance of it burning up.

If the non-science media hyped it up somewhat, well they do that for everything. Yes, I a (and many others watched for ISON). Yes, we were disappointed, but no one should have been surprised.

Comment: Re:Visiting a Site Isn't Cheating (Score 1, Informative) 511

by DarkFencer (#46275729) Attached to: Gabe Newell Responds: Yes, We're Looking For Cheaters Via DNS

Assuming Gabe is being truthful when he states that this is a secondary check triggered by some other evidence for cheating, then just visiting these sites wouldn't be enough.

Its suspicious activity (reported by players? detected through other methods? not sure) that triggers the additional check(s).

Comment: Re:Level the playing field (Score 4, Insightful) 715

by DarkFencer (#45939269) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

the point is to take students who's parents care from bad schools and put them in an environment where they can get a decent education.

Its not always about level of care the parents are providing but what they can provide. How much care towards education can a low-income single parent working two full time jobs provide?

What is the parent doesn't have a great education themselves and aren't able to help their child academically (and only motivationally)?

Should that child suffer, not only because of that, but because of dwindling resources in the public school system that are being drained by the charter schools?

The students who are struggling are the ones who need the best resources/teaching/etc. If charter schools are as great as they are made out to be - they should be VOLUNTEERING to take students who are struggling academically, not shunning them like lepers.

Comment: Level the playing field (Score 5, Insightful) 715

by DarkFencer (#45939045) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

If charter schools are allowed to operate, then they shouldn't benefit from special privileges that public schools don't have. They should have to accept any students in the area (regardless of academic level, just like the public schools). They also should be required to have all students take the standardized tests (instead of finding reasons to exclude children who they know won't do as well, so the school looks better ranked in comparison).

If charter schools aren't cheating and they are showing an improvement that is one thing. But too often they are cheating to make themselves look better compared to public schools.

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