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Comment: Re:this report is inconsistent (Score 1) 115

by radtea (#48682039) Attached to: New Paper Claims Neutrino Is Likely a Faster-Than-Light Particle

This is a scientific paper being written for the author's peers, none of whom would ever misinterpret it. I've seen this issue come up in a couple of places where laypeople are confused by the language of physics.

This is not a problem with the language of physics: it is a problem with laypeople.

I'm all for clear scientific communication, but at the end of the day, communication is hard and worrying about how some random person on the 'Net might misinterpret a term you use every day in your professional work is just not a good use of anyone's precious attention.

When I write poetry I do so in a pretty technical way. If people don't appreciate that, sucks to be them, because they are not my audience. I'm the same way in scientific communication: I write for my peers, and everyone else does the same. Let the popular science authors do the translation. They need the work.

Comment: Re:Difficult to reconcile with SN 1987A (Score 2) 115

by radtea (#48682025) Attached to: New Paper Claims Neutrino Is Likely a Faster-Than-Light Particle

The primary difficulty here is going to be the same data that was really tought to reconcile with in the OPERA experiment, namely the data from SN 1987A.

I had the same thought, but it turns out not to be the case. Given the model he's working with, the neutrinos will be as much above the speed of light as they would have been below it if they had the same real mass (0.3 eV or something like that.)

For ~10 MeV neutrinos this gives gamma absurdly close to unity, and it's as impossible to distinguish neutrinos traveling just over c from ones traveling at c from ones traveling just under c.

The paper actually mentions SN1987A and talks a bit about the time resolution required.

Comment: Re:Nobel? (Score 4, Interesting) 237

by MillionthMonkey (#48681799) Attached to: The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea
I think Seth Rogen and James Franco should make dictator-mocking their shtick- they're way more likely to succeed with that strategy than anything they'll dream up by themselves. The jokes practically write themselves; in fact KJU is the only interesting character in this movie. So here are some ideas for sequels:
  • Benjamin Netanyahu: While on a trip to congratulate Netanyahu for winning a beauty pageant, Rogen and Franco realize that he won by launching missiles at all the other contestants.
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Rogen and Franco are held hostage by the ISIS leader until he realizes that nobody in the U.S. cares if their heads get chopped off.
  • Vladimir Putin: Rogen and Franco score an interview with the shirtless ruthless dictator. Unfortunately Franco enters the country with a dollar bill in his pocket and inadvertently causes a currency crisis. Then one day Rogen drinks tea laced with polonium 210 and things get wild.

Comment: Re:Didn't they announce it? (Score 1) 194

Once the Trans Pacific Partnership goes through, the North Korean government can be sued by Comcast for failing to honor the company's right to throttle bandwidth across the North Korean border. There will be a "fast lane", but also an "extra fast lane" which will allow Kim Jong Un to watch The Interview through a gateway that uses TWO 56K modems instead of just one. If North Korea does opt for a fast lane, the NSA will have only half the time to flag his tweets as Inappropriate before they finish uploading.

Comment: Re:LENR is not fusion (Score 1) 179

by radtea (#48677161) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

the best theory so far is that of Widom-Larsen

Widom-Larsen requires an implausible mix of scales. The effective mass of heavy electrons in the solid state is a collective phenomenon happening over distances and time-scales that are large relative to the nucleus and nuclear time-scales and affect the dynamics of the electron's interaction with the lattice, on those scales. To impute to these large-scale effects efficacy at the nuclear scale is very unlikely to be correct.

Consider a car analogy: a car moving along a freeway in dense traffic interacts with all the cars around it. If the driver accelerates, they will pull up close to the care behind and that driver may speed up a bit too, sending a diminishing wave of acceleration through the traffic, so compared to the same car alone on the road the car in dense traffic appears to have a much higher effective mass. Alone, you hit the gas and speed up a lot. In traffic, you hit the gas and speed up a little bit. That's what the electron in the surface looks like: a car in traffic.

But on the scale of car-car interactions, the "bare" mass of the car is what matters. If two cars collide you get an energy of 0.5*m*v^2, not 0.5*Meff*v^2.

Yeah, there are multi-car pileups that muddy the analogy, but they add up to nothing like the effective mass of the whole traffic block, so there. And the difference in scales between "cars and traffic" is tiny compared to the difference in scales between "nuclei and the lattice", so the effect that analogy hopefully makes obvious will be that much larger in the latter case.

Comment: Re:I think the bigger issue (Score 4, Informative) 32

by MillionthMonkey (#48676831) Attached to: Net Neutrality Comments Overtaxed FCC's System
See link: http://sunlightfoundation.com/... Half of the petitions were anti-NN, and mostly came from a Koch-backed organization's form letter:

Dear Mr. Wheeler, As an American citizen, I wanted to voice my opposition to the FCC's crippling new regulations that would put federal bureaucrats in charge of internet freedom, and urge you to stop these regulations before they're enacted. If the federal government goes through these plans to regulate the internet, I know that the internet will change -- and not for the better. [ INSERT VARIANT PARAGRAPH COMMENT HERE ] Like many Americans, I believe that the internet should remain free of government control and unnecessary regulation -- just as it has for the last twenty years of unprecedented growth. Please stop the FCC's dangerous new regulations, and protect the future of internet freedom here in America. Sincerely, [APPLICANT NAME] [APPLICANT HOME ADDRESS]

As for the "VARIANT PARAGRAPH COMMENT", apparently you were given several selections to choose from, including the following:

The Internet is the biggest economic, intellectual, and artistic success story of the century, and it rose up because of free people, not stifling government. The federal government needs to keep its hands off the Internet. It is not broken, and it does not need to be fixed. It is the federal government, not the Internet, that is broken, and in need of fixing.

One can make an appeal to justice for persecuted cable companies:

Before our government can handcuff a citizen, it must have some reasonable evidence that they have done something wrong. Before the FCC places regulatory handcuffs on Internet providers, shouldn't the government present evidence that they have actually done something wrong?

Or maybe this is your style:

The ideological leader of the angry liberals calling for you to reduce the Internet to a public utility is Robert McChesney, the avowed Marxist founder of the socialist group Free Press. In an interview with SocialistProject.ca, McChesney said: âoeWhat we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility...At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.â In a country of over 300 million people, even an extremist like McChesney can find, perhaps, millions of followers. But you should know better than to listen to them.

Comment: Re:How ghey (Score 1) 43

by MillionthMonkey (#48667375) Attached to: NuSTAR Takes Beautiful X-ray Image of Sol

If we start doing major exploration of deep space we're gonna need to use less ambiguous names for the sun and moon, as other planets may have a sun and moon.

We will never do major exploration of deep space where we get closer to another star than to this one. If we do, humanity can define two constants in file headers.

Comment: Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (Score 1) 291

by MillionthMonkey (#48655023) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
My "Brainfuck for Dummies" book will have a lot of buggy sample code now that Amazon has decided I can only make 1 decrement per 10000 instructions. So I have to implement Brainfuck unit tests... and I just finished the chapter on how to write the code delinter and the JIT compiler!

Comment: Re:I see now (Score 4, Insightful) 58

by radtea (#48650339) Attached to: 26 Foot Long Boat 3D Printed In 100,000 Different Pieces

Ah, so he's an idiot.

Pretty much. He seems unaware of the huge selection bias--and logical contradiction--implied by the claim about "the inability that humans have exhibited in rectifying uncontrollable catastrophic challenges"

We've dealt with a huge number of challenges successfully, but a pretentious git like this would never even be aware of them, so his estimate of our track-record is off by light years.

Bacterial disease: rectified.

Unwanted pregnancy: rectified.

Polio: rectified.

Smallpox: rectified.

Growing enough food to feed ourselves: rectified.

And so on.

Sure there are hard problems left. They will be solved by engineers, scientists, bureaucrats and businesspeople willing to take risks and test ideas by publicly testing them via systematic observation, controlled experiment and Bayesian inference, not pretentious gits telling us how awful we all are.

Comment: Perspective (Score 3, Informative) 74

by radtea (#48638823) Attached to: NASA Video Shows What It's Like To Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere

For those like me, who just watched the video and didn't understand the point of view 'til quite late on, the camera is pointing back along the direction of flight.

Also, for some reason the video has strange out-of-focus side-pieces that are distracting and annoying. The view itself is gorgeous and amazing.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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