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Comment: Re:Men and women not the SAME!! (Score 2) 75

by Geoffrey.landis (#47659689) Attached to: Maryam Mirzakhani Is the First Woman Fields Medalist

Men and Women are not the same. Men tend to spread out wider both dumber and smarter then the mean aka they have larger standard deviation then women in both intelligence and sanity level.

This is a hypothesis. You are stating it as a fact.

The evidence for this hypothesis is, at the moment, quite weak.

Evidence for this hypothesis would be best found by examining a society in which males and females are given identical treatment, and not given different social cues childhood or raised to different expectations. I'm not sure where you find that society.

Comment: The problem is false negative (Score 3, Insightful) 383

by Geoffrey.landis (#47646663) Attached to: DARPA Wants To Kill the Password

What happens if you get sick or injured? Can you imagine pink eye with retinal scanners?

Yes, this is the serious problem-- just as serious as the problem of people fooling the password-alternative is the problem of the false negatives: getting locked out.

Notice that most of these weren't fingerprint scanners or retinal scanners-- they were stuff like gait monitors, or even more bizarre stuff, like listening to your heartbeat. So, if you twist your ankle--or even buy a new pair of shoes-- you're out of luck. Taking pseudoephedrine for a cold? Ooops, your heartrate is different. You're locked out.

--instead of using these instead of password, however, what about if you use alternate ID as a second check. It doesn't lock you out, but it does trigger a watchdog alert that pays attention to what you're doing.

You can change a password, you can't change your retina print. What do you do when your account is compromised? Get new eyes?

Yes, we've all seen dozens of those science fiction stories where they steal people's eyes, or cut off their fingers, or take swabs of their DNA.

Comment: 2nd law [Re:microwave bright [Re:Oh good lord.]] (Score 1) 224

by Geoffrey.landis (#47645921) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

If a civilisation could create a Dyson sphere, don't you think they'd have some use for all the wasted energy "radiating in infrared"?

If they can get usable energy out of waste heat, they have a means of getting around the second law of thermodynamics. It's hard to guess what a technology with that much sophistication can do, but if they can do that, they don't need to surround a star with a shell to harvest energy.

Comment: microwave bright [Re:Oh good lord.] (Score 3, Insightful) 224

by Geoffrey.landis (#47642631) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

well, if Dyson spheres are anywhere near the size of the solar system, they would radiate in the infrared. Longer infrared the larger they are.

You could imagine a Dyson sphere that is vastly larger than a solar system -- like, a hundred AU across, or so--that would radiate waste heat in millimeter wave, or even something vastly larger than that that would radiate in microwave.

But, of course, that doesn't solve the problem-- they would be shine like beacons to radio telescopes.

Comment: Re:More money just increases the price (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by Geoffrey.landis (#47631417) Attached to: Cornering the Market On Zero-Day Exploits

If a new buyer comes into the market - a buyer with lots of money, then all that happens is that the price goes up. It's simple economics

Well, yes, but that's exactly what was desired:
You want the price to go up, so that it's more valuable to disclose the bug than it is for some thief exploit it.

If the price becomes high enough, new exploiters will enter the market and start discovering exploits

Exactly. You mine out the easy-to-find exploits until they are depleted, and start in on the harder-to-find bugs, so that you get to the point where amateur hackers simply aren't sophisticated enough to find them.

... After all, we haven't seen a government agency buying up all the drugs, in order to stop them being supplied to the population

Well, of course you can always manufacture more drugs; you don't "find" them. They don't get harder to make as the market increases.

If the objection here is "software companies will start deliberately introducing vulnerabilities, so that they can make money by selling the vulnerabilities to the government"-- yes, that might be an objection.

Comment: Re:A little behind the times (Score 1) 315

by Geoffrey.landis (#47630001) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

That your comment got modded 5:informative is hilarious. How about you RTFM and not phrase your comment in the form of questions? This was NASA. If NASA believed any of those alternate explanations you cited, do you think they'd be stupid enough to damage their reputations by presenting this absent those prominent criticisms?

Just as a minor correction, this was one lab group, at one NASA center. It was not "NASA" collectively.

NASA is not a monolithic entity. Other scientists at other parts of NASA have expressed some amount of skepticism about the conclusion that the experimental results quoted are best explained as the thruster producing anomalous thrust. We all want to see these results carefully replicated.

It would be better if these results had been reported as "here's a preliminary anomalous result that needs to be verified," instead of "OMG, a space drive!"... but they weren't.

Comment: What it was not about [Re:The article is flat-o... (Score 1) 315

by Geoffrey.landis (#47629875) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

Oh for fuck's sake... Time to debunk this shit, again.
TFA got it wrong as well, so I suppose I can't blame you people for getting it wrong too, but please try doing a little more research?
A little background: The EmDrive was invented by a guy named Shawyer.

I have have a copy of the paper in question, "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum," and have read it in detail. It does not reference Shawyer. This paper is not about the "EmDrive."

It was tested by NASA, among others, and found to produce about 91 microNewtons. (I'll address the 30-50 that TFA talks about too.) That's way less than the Chinese found, but NASA was also testing it at much lower power and say they are planning to test a higher-power version.

"Way less" means "over four orders of magnitude less." The Juan et al. test-- reference 1 in the paper-- did not test a thruster at hundreds of kilowatts input power! At best, you can say that the JSC test was testing something different form the Chinese test. They did not replicate the Chinese tests in any way.

...To test this, two versions of the Cannae Drive were (also, separately from the EmDrive test) tested by NASA: one with and one without the slots. Those tests both produced the same thrust (30-50 microN, about half what the EmDrive produced), which disproves Fetta's theory as to how the Cannae Drive is supposed to work.... and nothing else The null test device that everybody is so dismissedly claiming claiming disproves the EmDrive wasn't even supposed to be an EmDrive!

The EmDrive was not mentioned or referenced in the paper being discussed.

Fetta, inventor of the Cannae Drive, was disproven.

Correct. This is a valid conclusion of the results of the paper.

Shawyer, inventor of the EmDrive, was actually vindicated because according to his theory, the Cannae Drive (slots or no) is basically an inefficiently-shaped EmDrive.

Shawyer was not mentioned nor referenced in the paper. The EmDrive was not mentioned nor referenced in the paper.

I don't know why this is so hard for people to understand.

It is hard for people to understand because in an article about the results of a paper "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum," you reference a garbage-dumpster full of other stuff that is not mentioned nor referenced in that paper.

Comment: Re:BLINDED BY SCIENCE !! (Score 1) 315

by Geoffrey.landis (#47629583) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

Any 2nd year physics student should be able to laugh this garbage right off a lab bench without even running an experiment.

And laughing this off without even running an experiment is precisely the wrong thing to do.

Science is about replication. Replication requires doing the experiment. Or, at a minimum, not laughing at other people who do the experiment.

Now: the actual results of the experiment are pretty minor. The results they show, first, didn't replicate the results that they were attempting to verify, second, falsify the hypothesis that they were testing, and, third, are pretty low in magnitude-- probably spurious, in my (professional*) opinion.

The article explains why any good scientist should be able to laugh this off based on the reported experimental results.


This is the way science is done: you test stuff. You present your results. Other scientists then critique the results, point out flaws and sources of noise and bias.

It's rather brutal, actually. But if your result holds up to the criticisms (and most don't), maybe you've pushed the boundaries of science.

These results don't-- yet. They are not yet reporting consistent results (in that their results differ significantly from those of other researchers). They have not yet eliminated possible spurious effects.

That's science.

*in fact, I am a rocket scientist

Comment: Mostly Dutch (Score 1) 81

"The Wikimedia Foundation this morning reports that 50 links to Wikipedia from Google have been removed under Europe's "right to be forgotten" regulations,..."

Looking at the Wikipedia page listing the notifications they've received of pages removed from the european search engine https://wikimediafoundation.or... , two were english wikipedia, two wre italian, and the remainder are all nl.wikipedia-- Netherlands.

So, apparently the Dutch have much more desire to be forgotten than the rest of Europe. (Or else, possibly, they're just more efficient at getting the right-to-be-forgotten notices out)

Comment: Polar [Re:Curious] (Score 2) 113

by Geoffrey.landis (#47606687) Attached to: SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

1) can't launch to polar orbit.

They have the pad at SLC-4 at Vandenberg to launch to polar orbits.
And there's not much in the way of large commercial satellites in polar orbit anyway-- it's the GEO comsat market they're after with this launch site, I think.

Comment: Re:How much cheaper would a a puerto rico launch b (Score 2) 113

by Geoffrey.landis (#47606429) Attached to: SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

The big deal isn't the amount of extra orbital velocity you get from the equator, it's the inclination of the resultant orbit - inclination changes *really* cut into your delta-V budget, so if you're launching into an uninclined orbit you really want to be doing it from the equator coz otherwise you have to expend a lot of fuel correcting your inclination.

Partly true-- but orbital inclination changes get easier the higher you go. It's hard to launch into low equatorial orbit from high latitudes... but nobody goes to low equatorial orbit. The higher it is, the more impulse you're putting into simply getting altitude, and the less impulse is needed for plane change.

If you're launching from the surface, the delta-V for the plane change to get an geosynchronous orbit into the equatorial plane is remarkably small.

Comment: Form 278 [Re:What is the story here ] (Score 4, Informative) 200

Typically financial disclosures, such as the ones covered by OGE Form 450 (Confidential Financial Disclosure Report), are not public information and are exempted from FOIA requests

The form in question isn't the 450, which is confidential (hence its name). It's form 278, "Public Financial Disclosure", which is public (hence its name.

Public Financial Disclosure

The Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires senior officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches to file public reports of their finances as well as other interests outside the Government. The statute and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics's (OGE) regulations specify which officials in the executive branch file an OGE Form 278. Unlike confidential financial statements filed by some mid-level employees, the OGE 278 is available to the public. Reviewing officials within each agency certify and maintain these reports. Agencies do, however, forward reports of Presidential appointees confirmed by the Senate and certain other reports to OGE for additional review and certification.

Comment: Re:Apollo 11 (Score 1) 46

by Geoffrey.landis (#47568405) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

So they can photograph wheel tracks on the moons surface? It should then be a snap (pun intended) to take a pic of the Apollo 11 landing site and put that conspiracy to rest once and for all.

Uh, you think that people will believe that the entire moon landing program was faked, a hoax going on from 1968 (Apollo 8) through 1972 (Apollo 17), with tens of thousands of photographs, live television, and movies; with hundreds of thousands of people involved, and watched in minute detail by a hostile superpower (the USSR) that was ready to devote its entire resources to discrediting America... but you think these same people would instantly believe a photograph from Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter, because satellite photos can't be faked?

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.