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Comment: This. (Score 1) 186

by tlambert (#47940771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I can only spend maybe 10 hours a week on this

Since you already have a full life, something would have to give. The amount of time you estimate to be available would get to hobby level: the same as the other thousands of amateur astronomers in the country. But it's not enough to do any serious studying, get qualified or do research to a publishable quality.


I read through the comments to find this comment so that I didn't just post a duplicate if someone else had covered the ground.

Let me be really blunt about the amount of time you are intending to invest in this project. If you were taking a college course, you should expect to spend 2 hours out of class for each hour you spend in class, and given that you only have 10 hours to dedicate to the idea, that's effectively 3 credit hours for every interval. So if you picked a community college, and they offered all the classes you needed, you should expect to have your Bachelor's of Science in any given degree field in about 23 years. That gets you to the necessary 210 credit hours for an Astronomy degree.

Let's say, though that you are a super genius, and can do 1:1 instead of 1:2 for in/out of class. That only cuts your time by 1/3, which means that you get that degree in 15 years instead.

Now add to this that most major contributions in any scientific field occur before someone hits their mid 20's; there are exceptions, but let's say again that you are exceptional. What contributions do you expect to be able to make after age 61 / 53, with your shiny new Bachelor's, since you're unlikely to find someone to hire you at that age, and you're unlikely to be able to afford instrument time on the necessary equipment on your own?

Comment: Re:did my answers include words you don't know? (Score 1) 102

by s.petry (#47940709) Attached to: NSA Director Says Agency Is Still Trying To Figure Out Cyber Operations

I think I answered them quite clearly.

No, you did not, you immediately started to muddy the waters again and then diverted the topic. Instead of answering why a power plant needs to be connected to the internet, you made up a new scenario about banana boats being shot at by a foreign military.

You completely ignored the primary question regarding two forms of justice, and cherry picked a fragment of that statement to add more bullshit about foreign super powers.

At no point did you answer either question, you are just spinning mud.

The question you just asked is not only complete nonsense, but it's not related to either of my questions. Just another attempt to muddy waters and maintain broken logic. Immediately followed by more intangible statements which avoid the questions.

At this point, there is no incentive to continue the discussion. It's impossible to debate irrational thought and a continual barrage of fantasies. If you and rationally answer my questions, I will be happy to respond but I won't hold my breath.

Comment: Typical statistics (Score 2) 57

by s.petry (#47936211) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Expounding on your statistics point as I agree that there is no significant increase in accuracy, notice the key phrase in the article.

The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period.

In other words, they took everything they gathered and pulled a subset that matched criteria that would back the claim that they could detect future crimes.

Computers can surely show what law enforcement already knows. E.G. That area is a known crime area. Computers don't make tea leaf reading possible, which is the claim that both Governments and Tech companies peddling software claim. Even worse, this type of technology does absolutely nothing to address the problems that actually cause most criminal activities. It exacerbates those problems because the economy this generates does not transfer down to desperate and impoverished people.

Comment: I would say you have it right. (Score 1) 286

by tlambert (#47935385) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

I would say you have it right.

Apple initially didn't open up the iPhone to Apps at all because Steve was deathly afraid of building another Newton.

Then they wanted to open them up, but there was not rational set of APIs, there was just an internal morass, because it had never been designed with the idea of hardening one app on the iPhone from interference by another app on the phone, or hardening the phones functions against a malicious app.

This is a single App on a single use, incomplete, API, one which was built only to host this App and nothing else. Could that API be exposed, and used for other applications? Yeah. Would that enable all possible NFC applications which you might want to implement in the future? Not a chance in hell.

This is just Apple wanting some bake time so that they can rationally support an API that they happily demonstrated opening hotel doors and other things which they are not prepared to open up at this point in time.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 5, Insightful) 117

by s.petry (#47934265) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

The reference to 4G limits has exactly what to do with this story? This was not 32Gb/s over a 4G network, it was 32Gb/s over an unknown protocol at a very short distance. I'm guessing that the basement was isolated from signal noise, which means this pretty much a non story or extremely premature.

There are many people that invent some batshit crazy things that simply don't work in the real world. Honestly that is not an insult directed at the inventors, because their work tends to lead to other developments down the road. It's more an insult at media which focuses on hyping everything possible.

Comment: We can always hope... (Score 2) 1

by s.petry (#47934217) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Most of _us_ already knew all of this, we have debated the points over and over again (sock puppets and shills know it too, they just argue to keep the water muddy). Politicians on the other hand are all still on the "Snowden is a traitor" pulpit and I don't see them leaving any time soon.

Sadly the media that most people read, hear, and see will never cover this topic. That will prevent politicians from receiving the needed pressure to change. Correcting the media monopolization is going to be a huge task, but necessary to start correcting our current problems.

Comment: WTF? It is not a slow news day (Score -1, Offtopic) 117

by s.petry (#47934193) Attached to: Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

Did all the real mods get fired, or did they all just take a PTO day at the same time? Maybe Dice is facing too much pressure from big business and the Government, so we can't get discussion worthy topics on the main page? With all of the other submissions in queue I really don't get it. I guess this one is not as bad as the crappy robot video story, but neither of them are worthy of the main page.

This and this story may at least generate some dialogue.

Comment: Re:I thought it was worse than you describe (Score 1) 34

by s.petry (#47933891) Attached to: Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video)

Probably to you I am old, but I have a critical ear for music. I proably know more bands than you youngsters, and bet I play music at least as loud. I have played Drums since age 4 when I received my first Ludwig concert snare, kit since 11 when I received my first Rogers kit, and percussion since it was required for concert and jazz band since age 13. I listen to a variety of music, which in my opinion requires some ability with a musical instrument or real (not synthesized) vocals. I dig progressive rock because it's the most challenging to play (usually) so you will usually find me working on playing Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, etc.. but I also play a lot of metal for warmup and exercise.

I prefer a band that can perform live as well as they can in the studio, to me that's the mark of great musicians. I don't really have anything against a synthesizer because a great keyboardist integrates that into music. "Everything" being synthesized to me is just not music. It's one person with enough skill to enter some input into a program.

+ - Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Submitted by onproton
onproton (3434437) writes "The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health."

Comment: Re:okay, so the dry cleaner DOES need a private ar (Score 1) 102

by s.petry (#47933821) Attached to: NSA Director Says Agency Is Still Trying To Figure Out Cyber Operations

In the true spirit of the Socratic method I should have also added that my question number 1. is not really required to gaining the rational answer to primary question. It does however relate\ directly to the answer I gave in my first post.

The primary question is why anyone would believe that 2 forms of justice can exist simultaneously in the same society? The separation of infrastructure is not necessary in the grand scheme of your claim that certain people should be excluded from justice. Just like accident vs. attack should be no different in seeking justice.

Comment: Re:okay, so the dry cleaner DOES need a private ar (Score 1) 102

by s.petry (#47933789) Attached to: NSA Director Says Agency Is Still Trying To Figure Out Cyber Operations

Why do you keep introducing invalid and unrelated arguments? Did I or anyone else claim that a dry cleaner needs a private army? The latter question I can answer, and that answer is "NO". Further, it does not at all relate to the debate. The first question I can only answer with the fact that that you continue to muddy the waters instead of answering the questions I posed earlier. Contrary to your 2nd paragraph, I have never shifted my position even the slightest. I stated that if people are not accountable society fails, and we have seen a massive growth in this exact issue in the US. My position that accountability and liability must exist has never changed in the slightest, in fact my first post explicitly stated that people must be held accountable for their actions, which you argued against.

Stick with the arguments and the Socratic method (reduce the arguments to their lowest form). Prove to me that your argument that politicians and some executives in charge of other people's "things" should not be held accountable for their management of those "things". You are the one claiming that a double standard should exist, not I. As Socrates stated, Justice never changes form. If person A does something just and person B does the same thing, it is also just (and visa versa). It can not be any other way and still be called "Justice".

If you can prove to me that there is a logical reason not to hold politicians and certain executives accountable while they manage other peoples property (including public property), I will concede the debate. If you can not, your belief is simply not rational.

Remove everything you just said and start over with where you were a post ago and answer the questions I posed. These two in particular.
1. Why should the boat (infrastructure) be in the Ocean (attached to the Internet)? As previously stated, "profit" is not an answer.
2. Why should any politician or executive in charge of property they do not own not be held accountable, when everyone else in society is held accountable?

As stated above, if you can not answer those two questions rationally your opinion is not rational. In my last posts, I demonstrated that an attack is no different than an accident in terms of accountability. The difference _may_ be in liability, but that would be for a court to decide. I may not have explicitly stated this, but it should have been obvious enough not to need calling out (I am assuming you read and write English).

Alternatively, if you can prove to me that nobody should ever be held accountable for anything they do with other people's property I will also concede the debate. I seriously doubt you would take that position, as that would indicate advocacy for complete lawlessness. E.G. Someone breaks into your house and rapes everyone inside, then steals everything of value you have no recourse.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein