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Comment Re:All the proof we need (Score 3, Informative) 260

The parent is drawing their own conclusions from the article. Here is a key quote, but please read the whole article. It is actually quite good.

At this point, it’s time to ask what the heck is going on here. And while there may not yet be any scientific consensus on the matter, at least some scientists suspect that the cooling seen in these maps is no fluke but, rather, part of a process that has been long feared by climate researchers — the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation.

The Atlantic ocean's circulation patterns for that area are driven by density differences. Warm water from further south moves north along the surface and when it gets to Greenland it freezes as sea ice. That process greatly increases the salinity, and therefore density, of the remaining water and so it sinks and circulates south again.
This loop is critically important for certain favorable climate features of Western Europe.

If this is in fact what is occurring then this isn't evidence against climate change, it was one of the more extreme predictions OF climate change.

Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 1) 260

It is a thing.

One anecdote that is related indirectly to the topic is the ignorance of the nature of stars. Someone in my family didn't know that stars are like our sun but much further away. There was no malice or contradiction of beliefs and they took it as a VERY awesome fact, but that sort of gap in knowledge combined with religious fervor can, and does, lead to the outright denial of even the possibility of life elsewhere.

Bear in mind that many people are in the dark about the nature of the universe as we understand it. There is no need to know and religious teachings are more accessible and repeated very often and so are positioned to become a, if not THE, dominant factor in shaping world-views. Those world views have a tendency to exclude that which the person perceives as 'other'.

Comment Re:so nasa is really a pr machine? (Score 1) 58

Is worship really the right word to use? It seems to be chosen to mock unjustly.

Adoration is natural when one appreciates something. There seems to be the implication that this is wrong, or that the attention is undue.
Certainly you aren't obliged to participate yourself, and it is natural that if one express hostile opinions then there is a natural urge to sway or discredit that person.

There is no way to know your mind from the outside, but it really does seem that you've got an axe to grind here.
If you have a specific criticism then express it, please. if not then it might be better to question your own feelings, as should everyone from time to time.

Comment Re:Need a new cryptocurrency (Score 2) 59

I tend to not think of Bitcoin as currency. A commodity fits rather well but isn't quite perfect.
I view it as a medium for the transfer of value. That gives it some value since it is competing with costly and complex alternatives such as credit card processors.

Everything else that people do with it can be seen as being derived from that. Speculation and trading are natural consequences of anything that people ascribe value to.

When used as an individual not wanting to engage in futures or investment, but only in the exchange of value for goods and services Bitcoin is interesting.

People mining bitcoins are the facilitators of that exchange, hence the reward for mining a block. The focus for many has been on the act of mining, but the actual use of it in buying / selling is much more compelling for most. You can use the exchanges to turn money into bitcoins and vice-versa and then use them to buy goods or services.

You're right that is isn't money, but that is the goal. To take it from a commodity-like to a full blown fiat currency. It is a great experiment.

Submission Open source web apps, installed with one click->

paulproteus writes: Sandstorm is an open source project whose mission is to bring open source and indie web apps to a wider audience. Most web apps exist in the software-as-a-service model, where the app author runs a hosting service. But for open source web apps, the developers aren’t a big corporation with resources to run servers for you, so you typically arrange your own hosting.

To make open source web apps viable, installing apps on a server needs to be so easy that everyone can do it, so today we launched a new, open source server app marketplace. You can use it to install any app packaged for Sandstorm, either on your own Sandstorm install or, also new today, on Sandstorm hosting.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Earth brighter than Moon - surprise? (Score 1) 77

There is actually a concept that explains this sort of thing!
It is called 'qualia'
The big idea is that no matter how much you understand an idea, no matter how detailed your mathematics, abstract understanding, or information about underlying biological processes may be the actual experience is different than be be imagined or described. These experiences are qualia.

Another way of thinking about it is a short story:
    Anne lives in a world that is monochrome. There is only shades of grey to her eyes. She has studied color, however. She understands the quantum mechanics of light emission, the wave particle duality, the idea of perception of color using cones in the eye, how that information is combined in the brain and can be distinguished. She has several PhDs on the topic of color in various disciplines.
    Anne then leaves the world without color and enters ours. She sees a blue sky for the first time.
    On that day Anne has learned something new about color.

Even though that scientist could conceive of the brightness difference the experience could still surprise him.

Comment Re: Hidden Blackholes (Score 1) 92

I'll agree that the burden of proof is on the people making the claim, but isn't that a reasonable division of labor? If a non-mainstream theory is (more) correct than other theories it may not be popular at first but it will be able to provide clear predictions and satisfy deeper mysteries than a less complete or flawed theory.
The fact that people don't tend to work on new and radical theories seems to simply be the dual onus of that theory being untested and being less known.
Theories in physics are becoming huge mathematical puzzles, so it is natural that those unfamiliar with the theory aren't keen on working with it until it has shown some merit.
In the long run anything better than what we have will win, simply by being better at what it does.
Is that so unfair?

Comment Re: Hidden Blackholes (Score 1) 92

That is a very interesting article. Note that the effect was achieved using a carefully constructed silicon crystal. Their ability to alter the light's path electrically is dependant on that changing the properties of the crystal. I tried to find a better abstract, but those are the gross details.
Regarding thinking of science as an indoctrination; I encourage you to see for yourself the level of agreement that some of these theories have with observation. They have amazing predictive power and any theory that may supplant them will have to explain at least those phenomena.

What makes you feel science is indoctrination? It does not seem to be to me. Perhaps it is a simple misunderstanding of the rigor that theories are put through? Let me know.

Comment Re: Hidden Blackholes (Score 1) 92

A magnetic field can only bend a charged particle. Photons are not charged and so are not bent.
There is a quantum effect called Delbrück scattering, but that is not bending and also the effect is weak enough to be negligible even in controlled experiments.
Further the fields Bing deflected like the tail of a comment is an interaction between the sun's magnetic field, ours, and the solar wind. It is not a "wake" in the sense that it would need to be in order to cause these effects even if magnetic fields bent light.

Comment Re:Hidden Blackholes (Score 1) 92

Time dilation effects alone cannot account for the bending of light which gravitational lensing accomplishes. Since time dilation does not change the metric of space it cannot bend light. We know that these observed effects are proper bending of light because of multiple images of the same objects as well as their distortion.

Another thing to note are that gravitational waves travel at the speed of light and so any lensing effect (and time dilation effect) that could be observed in the gravitational "wake" of a massive object would dissipate extremely rapidly relative to the motion of the object.

It is an interesting take, but it just doesn't pan out. That isn't to say that time dilation is absent, far from it, but it is not what is causing the lensing effects.

Comment Re:Hidden Blackholes (Score 4, Informative) 92

No and for two reasons.
This observation is in accordance with our models, so these aren't adding to the mass we had already inferred was there (but confirms that it is organized into massive black holes, so that is good to know)
Second, the amount of mass that is currently "dark" is about 5.4x what we can account for with all traditional forms of matter (atoms, neutrinos, light's mass-energy, etc). We know it is there based on its gravitational effects and have really good reasons to believe that it is a distinct physical phenomena (e.g. the Bullet Cluster's gravitational lensing agrees with dark matter's physical reality as opposed to a many of the proposed modifications to gravity)

Obviously dark matter is an active topic of research and so there are many areas of it that are fraught with misconceptions. Beware of simple answers which claim to be complete solutions.

I am not a researcher in this field, and this is obviously not anywhere near a complete explanation but I hope that at least clears up your question!

Submission MediaGoblin 0.8.0 "A Gallery of Fine Creatures" released

paroneayea writes: GNU MediaGoblin has released version 0.8.0 dubbed "A Gallery of Fine Creatures". This release includes a number of improvements including an upgrade to GStreamer 1.0, improved video thumbnailing, and preliminary Python 3 support. Additionally, an improved Social API support making use of the Pump API means that existing clients like Pumpa and Dianara are now compatible with MediaGoblin. This coincides with work underway by MediaGoblin developers working with the W3C Social Working Group to build a general federation standard, of which a draft submission to the group is already in progress.

Comment Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 5, Informative) 433

First I'd love to cite an extremely good video on this topic

I'll try to distil down the relevant portion here.
Nyquist showed us that a bandwidth limited signal sampled by a discrete time system can be reproduced perfectly using 2n samples per unit time where n is the bandwidth of the signal in hertz.

Perfectly isn't hyperbole here. That is mathematically shown.

The other half of digital audio is the accuracy of measurement of those discrete samples. “Bit depth” or bits. While we can reproduce a signal perfectly with perfect samples there is some noise that is added by imperfect sampling of a signal. This is mathematically identical to tape hiss and can be manipulated to less noticeable frequencies using a technique called dithering.

Digital audio can and does faithfully reproduce the original signal with levels of noise below human perception even at a meager 16 bit depth and 48KHz sampling rate (44.1 is also very popular but 48 allows easier low pass filter design).

The stair-steps don't come out of the audio jack, the signal is reproduced by the imaging circuit.
Fast attacks that fall “in-between” the samples are NOT delayed or lost since, again using Nyquist, the signal can be perfectly reproduced (and this is demonstrated directly in the video).

There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding when it comes to digital audio, and there is a lot of truth too. The loudness wars, as other posters have pointed out, has done more to damage the reputation of digital audio than anything else and there are plenty of examples of compressed (both kinds) audio sounding just terrible. One being too low a data rate combined with a terrible encoder, the other just using a small fraction of the overall dynamic range. Those are real issues but they aren't fundamental to signal reproduction.

Hope that explains some of it!

Submission Pitivi Video Editor surpasses 50% crowdfunding goal, releases version 0.94

kxra writes: With the latest developments, Pitivi is proving to truly be a promising libre video editor for GNU distributions as well as a serious contender for bringing libre video production up to par with its proprietary counterparts. Since launching a beautifully well-organized crowdfunding campaign (as covered here previously), the team has raised over half of their 35,000 € goal to pay for full-time development and has entered "beta" status for version 1.0. They've released two versions, 0.94 (release notes) being the most recent, which have brought full MPEG-TS/AVCHD support, porting to Python 3, lots of UX improvements, and—of course—lots and lots of bug fixes. The next release (0.95) will run on top of Non Linear Engine, a refined and incredibly more robust backend Pitivi developers have produced to replace GNonLin and bring Pitivi closer to the rock-solid stability needed for the final 1.0 release.

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe