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Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 1) 132

by DrJimbo (#49549233) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

I'm not sure I understand what prevents me from transmitting FTL. If I take it to the extreme and use very distant particles, what happens between when I measure one and the time at which light would reach one from the other?

The part you are missing is that the effect is very subtle. It only shows up in a statistical analysis after the fact. You can only notice/measure the effect if you repeat the experiment many times and compare the statistics of what is happening with particle B to the measurements made on particle A. If you look only at particle B then you have no clue about what was going on with particle A and if you only look at particle A then you have no clue about particle B. It is only when you combine information from particle B with information from particle A, after the fact, that you see any effect at all.

To learn more search for "EPR paradox". Basically what happens is that quantum mechanics violates locality without violating causality. This violates our common sense which is based on classical mechanics. Since wormholes are also non-local, connecting entangled particles with wormholes is more appealing to our common sense (for certain values of "common sense"). The interesting thing is that quantum mechanics already explains (predicts the outcomes of) entanglement experiments without any wormholes. So if you add wormholes (in any meaningful way) then you might need to change quantum mechanics. This is interesting because it might lead to a way of combining relativity with quantum mechanics which has been the unobtainable holy grail of theoretical physics for many years.

The chances of this working out are very very small. The chances of getting a Nobel prize if it does work out are very high.

Comment: Re:Somewhere in the middle... (Score 1) 338

by DrJimbo (#49524403) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

1. Why have vaccines and autism rates both grown exponentially in the last 25 years? (no, detection does not come close to answering)

Oh for goodness sake, are you claiming these are the only things that have grown rapidly over the past 25 years. Sugar consumption has grown rapidly. Maybe, just maybe, the mother's freakin' diet has something to do with autism. Why, yes it does. That one study does not explain the majority of cases of autism but it is a big red flashing neon sign pointing in a direction to look. In addition to eating too much sugar, which we now know can trigger autism, there are many many other things mothers are exposed to on a daily basis in modern societies that may also be detrimental to the health of their babies such as: an overabundance of drugs (in food and water), other highly processed foods, chemicals from plastics that get into food and water, and many forms of pollution. Perhaps it is related to increased stress or lack of sleep.

Many years ago, some shyster dickhead of a scientist made a bunch of money (from a firm that was already planning a law suit over the MMR vaccine) by concocting lies about a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. The science system worked, the lies were caught, the paper was retracted and the shyster lost his "scientist" badge.

What baffles me is that so many people cling to the results from the exposed shyster who truly was only in it to make a bunch of bucks while they ignore all the reputable scientific studies that don't agree with the conclusion they have already jumped to. I'm reminded of Feynman's description of cargo cult science. One problem with your completely irrational position (on the fence or not) is that it causes us to waste valuable and limited resources following up on things we already know are dead ends so we can't use those resources to look for the real cause of the increase in autism.

Comment: Re:We can learn from this (Score 5, Insightful) 163

Great post! But I take exception to this statement especially in the current context where people think it is wrong that we have the best government money can buy:

You have to accept that we are a competitive species, not a collaborative one. We may do things together, but only in the perspective of self-fulfillment. It's as if individual growth is hard-coded in our genes. Maybe not you, certainly not me, but in average, yes.

I agree that in general we all want to improve our lot in life. I disagree that it is built into our genes for us to screw over our fellow humans in the process. It has been documented in books such as Mutual Aid: a factor of Evolution that cooperation within a species is a much more effective (and prevalent) strategy than competition within a species.

In addition, even if some mild forms of competition within a species are beneficial, I totally reject the carte-blanche you offer to even the most sadistic and psychopathic behavior in the name of "my genes made me do it".

If your assumption that we are for the most part all psychopaths is true then we as a species are completely and totally fucked. The overwhelming evidence is the vast majority of humans are not psychopaths. The problem is that almost literally by hook and by crook we have developed a system where psychopaths tend to rise to positions of leadership in corporations and they have used their power to almost totally subvert the government to their antisocial whims.

If you look up the definition of "psychopath":

a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.

you will see that what you described is psychopathic behavior. While this aberration may have a genetic component, that doesn't make it right; it doesn't mean it is widespread; and it certainly doesn't mean we should develop a system that puts psychopaths in positions of great power.

Comment: I like the tablet/laptop two-in-one design (Score 4, Informative) 161

by DrJimbo (#49208207) Attached to: Ultralight Convertibles Approaching Desktop Performance

Speaking of Slashvertisements, I'm running Linux on a Dell 11" 3147 two-in-one. I can use it as a small laptop machine and I can also use it for watching Netflix in the tablet configuration. Although the two-in-one is thicker and heavier than a tablet, it can be better than a tablet for watching videos because there are several configurations where the keyboard acts like a stand so you don't have to constantly hold it.

For me, it was $260 well spent (via the Dell outlet store). I'm pleased with the device even though the Linux support is merely adequate. No multi-touch for the touchscreen and I can't access the accelerometer. AFAIK, everything else works. I wrote little scripts to rotate the display and disable the keyboard and touchpad. I get over 5 hours of battery life while mostly watching videos. I like that the Linux desktop and/or virtual consoles are only a click or two away because I like to tinker. There are a bunch of hardware improvements that would be nice, starting with a lighted keyboard, but for the price, I'm not complaining.

IMO, if the price is decent you might as well buy a laptop with a touchscreen that folds all the way back. I think it is a good use of resources and it makes the device much more versatile. For me personally it is better than a separate tablet and laptop. I may never buy another laptop that doesn't convert to tablet mode.

Comment: Re:Full blooded American here (Score 1) 671

by DrJimbo (#49175451) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

The Wikipedia article you linked to supports what the GP said:

This decision was weakened by the Court's ruling in Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court (1973), when the court found that the key to jurisdiction was whether the Court could process service to the custodians. Braden was relied on by the Court in Rasul v. Bush (2004), in which it held that it did have jurisdiction over the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay detention camp because it could reach their custodians, the policymakers and leaders of the Bush administration, who were responsible for their detention.

+ - Why I'm Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft->

Submitted by DrJimbo
DrJimbo writes: Dan Gillmore says; "When I became a technology columnist in the mid-1990s, the public Internet was just beginning its first big surge. Back then, I advised my readers to avoid the semi-political, even religious battles that advocates of this or that technology platform seemed to enjoy. Appreciate technology, I urged, for what it is—a tool—and use what works best.

So why am I typing this on a laptop running GNU/Linux, the free software operating system, not an Apple or Windows machine? And why are my phones and tablets running a privacy-enhanced offshoot of Android called Cyanogenmod, not Apple’s iOS or standard Android?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:CLimate "Deniers" actually more knowledgeable (Score 3, Interesting) 681

by DrJimbo (#49109313) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

The abstract of the article you linked to ends with:

This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public's incomprehension of science but from a distinctive conflict of interest: between the personal interest individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties and the collective one they all share in making use of the best available science to promote common welfare.

FFS, how you can you interpret that in any other way than the failure of science education? The paper says the failure is not because people know too little science but because they don't believe in science because they are surrounded by people who don't believe in science.

How on earth can you interpret the abstract of that paper to be a vindication of science education and a justification of your disparaging comments about Bill Nye? If nearly half the population disbelieves in science and doesn't use science to form opinions on matters of vital importance and public welfare then how is that not a failure of science education? Did you even bother to read all of the abstract?

To make a car analogy, it's like you are saying an advertising campaign for car was a rip roaring success because it created a lot of brand recognition. But sales were dismal because even though many people knew the brand, they had very negative associations with it.

Comment: Re:Don't plead guilty (Score 5, Insightful) 188

by DrJimbo (#49050311) Attached to: MegaUpload Programmer Pleads Guilty, Gets a Year In Prison

Can be sure as shit that Kim isn't going to part with his money to defend him even if he didn't have his own case to worry about.

You are correct but not for the selfish reason you imply. Kim Dotcom's assets have been frozen so they were not available to defend this programmer. He is only being allowed money for living expenses and his own legal fees. You may hate Kim Dotcom but he is not stupid. It would have been in his own best interests to pay for this guy's defense (assuming that fact couldn't be use to malign the defendant).

Comment: Re: Perl is more expressive (Score 1) 192

by DrJimbo (#48955791) Attached to: Perl 6 In Time For Next Christmas?

@Lines = sort { $a->{Name} cmp $b->{Name} } @Lines;

to assign to @lines, when not raising lines is a sign your not just another Perl hacker.
@names would be the better choice, @sorted_names is another.

The Perl code is sorting hashes based on the value associated with the "Name" key in each hash. Presumably the other data in the hashes are what make a "Line" and the Name is just one of possibly many attributes. Therefore you suggestions don't make much sense to me. Perhaps you were thinking of the much simpler:

@Names = sort @Names;

Comment: Obligatory: 12 Second Mini Van (Score 1) 823

by DrJimbo (#48879143) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret


I reached my (1st) goal of getting into the 14's in the quarter mile, last year. I feel that any car running in the 14 seconds is faster than most cars on the road, but this speed stuff is like a drug. You always think of some little thing to make it a little faster. If a 14 second mini van will beat most of the cars on the road, a 12 second Mini Van mini van will beat almost all the cars on the road!

Comment: Re:Fuck the libs! (Score 1) 216

by DrJimbo (#48762339) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

[...] there should be no problem with prioritized packets as long as you are not slowed down or interfered with in order to deliver them.

I did read your sentence to completion and I still vehemently disagree with it. At first I thought you were suggesting there be a fast lane as long as there is not a slow lane but, of course, that makes no sense. Then I figured out you are fine with a fast line paid by the sender as long as the slow lane meets some minimum bandwidth requirements. How can the customer complain since they are getting the extra fast line bandwidth "for free"?

One of the many obvious problems with this scheme is that it can quickly devolve to a situation that squeezes out all of the mom and pop content providers (the general public) who can't afford to pay for the fast lane. It reminds me a little of those idiotic "deals" from ISPs that let you lock in your current bandwidth and payment rate for life. As technology improves, increases in bandwidth should far exceed increases in costs.

I admit that in a static situation where my bandwidth to and from certain corporations suddenly increases is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. This seems to be the situation you envision. The problems start when the original static situation evolves over time. You can easily get into a situation where bandwidth to and from certain corporation is basically free while all other bandwidth is exorbitantly expensive. In the US, at least, the last mile is already a big corporate, unregulated rip-off. Why open the door to make it much much worse? The only way it could possibly be feasible would be for massive regulation of the minimum bandwidth and maximum fees of the slow lane. If the fast lane (and especially the slow lane) are unregulated then it will become a consumer nightmare. If you regulate it enough to work so consumers are not "slowed down or interfered with" going forward into the future then it will be a nightmare for everyone and the fast lane will be worth little.

I am also reminded of the RICO laws and things like civil forfeiture where the government can basically steal stuff from you without ever even charging you with a crime. Those bad laws were passed under the guise of "we are only going to use them on the really bad guys". Perhaps those were the intentions when those laws were passed but a few years down the road some police department reads the law carefully and figures out it can be used as a great way to raise sorely needed funding for the department. And, guess what? It is also legal. A rough rule of thumb is that any law that can be abused will be abused eventually. Why needlessly open up another channel for abuse when we gain nothing by doing so?

If you are a poor person on a sinking ship would you like a policy where the rich people get the fancy lifeboats and the poor people get lifeboats that were deemed adequate many years ago? Or would you prefer a policy where the poor and the rich are all put into the same lifeboats?

Comment: Re:Palladium foil with just the right parameters (Score 1) 183

by DrJimbo (#48678345) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

why can't the electrons get between two nuclei and cancel their repulsion (rather like muons can do)?

The problem is that the conduction electrons are spread out so they can't clump together in the space between the nuclei. This is due to the low mass of the electron. A muon is very much like an electron but is over 3,000 times more massive; this means it is 3,000 times "smaller" and thus can fit into the small space between the nuclei just fine.

The problem is not that the electron wave function can't get close to the nuclei. The problem is that the electron wave function can't get clumped together into a large enough peak to counteract the Coulomb repulsion of the nuclei. One way to see this is with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Since a muon is 3,000 times more massive than an electron, it has 3,000 times more momentum for the same motion. This extra momentum allows it to be more localized without violating Heisenberg.

One of the best physicist of the 20th century, Julian Schwinger, investigated cold fusion and felt that the physics community as a whole was closed minded about it. I *think* his idea was there was some sort of collective phenomenon (getting the palladium just right) that accounts for cold fusion. It can't be as simple as simple screening by conduction electrons. TBH, I think Schwinger was past his prime and was grasping for things he could apply his formidable intellect to that would be useful for humanity.

I believe the reason most physicists have a problem with cold fusion is the lack compelling experimental evidence combined with the lack of any satisfactory theoretical explanation. Remember that almost all of the interest in cold fusion was sparked by the totally discredit experiments by Pons and Fleischmann. The experiments could not be replicated and in new experiments there was no indication of nuclear activity.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics