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Comment: Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (Score 4, Informative) 92

Gravity can be formulated as a gauge theory, like the other forces in Standard Model. It's just a different mathematical representation of General Relativity, and it also captures the gravity-as-curvature idea quite neatly. You don't see it that often because the math gets a little tricky, unless you use something like Geometric Algebra, which made it easy enough for Master's courses.

Comment: Re:Oh it'll happen... (Score 2) 672

by TeknoHog (#47716105) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

What's with all this KDE shit? We all know GNOME is the real package to go with. Only losers use KDE.

Yes, I'm kidding, but now you know exactly why we don't have Linux on the desktop. Linux Ignorance sat around for the better part of a fucking decade bitching back and forth over which desktop package to go with.

Desktop schmesktop. I want to use an application, not stare at some fscking icons, menus or panels all day. Fluxbox with no panel and a dozen virtual screens gives me just that. I basically have one v-screen for each task, for 100% focus. Out of sight, out of mind. The point of a computer is that it can handle much more information than me -- I'd just get lost in all that, instead I'll just do one thing at a time, and do it well.

Of course, that's just, like, my opinion, man. If someone wants to recreate the Windows experience on Linux, by all means, just do it. That's the whole idea of open source, use your computer the way you want. (Why "PC" means "Windows" in common parlance is beyond me -- Linux and other open OSes make computers much more personal.)

As for binary compatibility, just by assuming x86-64 (or just x86?) you're breaking a whole lot of opensource/unix tradition. The portable way of installing software involves ./configure and make, and it doesn't care about architecture. Unfortunately, most distros break this by not including basic stuff like compilers by default. The distros themselves are pandering to the Windows way of binary assumptions.

Linux on the desktop won't have much hope unless people get the whole idea of open source. With the typical binary distro, it's not much better than Windows or OS X. The kernel won't matter that much when the user experience is crippled to that Fisher-Price level where you're allowed to do these certain things, and not be the master of your own machine.

Comment: Re:When I rode a motorcycle... (Score 1) 471

by TeknoHog (#47706461) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

...I always drove about 5 MPH faster than the prevailing traffic speed.

Does this include the systematic error of all speedometers that show a few % more than the actual speed?

It's totally subjective, but it felt a lot safer to be determining my own path through traffic than merely fitting into the herd.

Erm, sorry, my bad. You know everything, O wise master. *baaa*

Comment: Re:UnderMINING Bitcoins? (Score 1) 267

by TeknoHog (#47702445) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

I was half joking... I don't think the term "mining" has anything to do with Mr. Malmi, it's just a nice coincidence.

Also, people still talk about "mining", even though it's really about verification / running the network. It's just a nice, compact term, though it can be a little misleading.

Comment: Re:Nah, Bitcoin destroyed their credibility when (Score 1) 267

by TeknoHog (#47694171) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

that assumes that the total real wealth (like mass and energy) of the Earth is constant

Which is also an entirely wrong assumption :)

The Earth gains energy from the Sun, and thus mass. It also loses mass via radiation. I'm not sure which direction the net is moving in, but there is no way its constant.

It's wrong in the sense of "not exactly right", but for these purposes I'd say the mass is practically constant. We're talking over the lifetime of society, not the Solar system. (As a physicist, one thing you learn is the power of approximation -- don't waste too much time on measurements that won't really affect the end result.)

First of all, let's consider the classical (non-relativistic) mass of Earth. I understand it's increasing due to meteorites etc., basically the same process that made Earth in the first place, but much slower nowadays. I think you can see it's not contributing much to world economy.

Of course, my main error was in saying that mass would have much to do with economy in the first place. Energy is of course much more important; the flow of low-entropy radiation from the Sun, and the roughly equal higher-entropy radiation into space. This flow isn't changing very much over the lifetime of a society, either.

Also bear in mind the exponential nature of the so-called economic growth, i.e. doubling every N years. Now if the surface area of Earth (which is what limits both the radiation flux and things like agriculture) were to double every N years, then we could have real economic growth at the same rate. This is why we can basically ignore the _relatively_ small changes in mass and radiation above, as they are dwarfed by any exponential growth over time.

Of course, we keep improving technology to get more usable energy/food from this limited surface area per year. But the physics does exhibit some hard limits.

Comment: Re:UnderMINING Bitcoins? (Score 1) 267

by TeknoHog (#47691575) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Bitcoin "mining" stopped when Satoshi's second-in-command moved on to other projects. His last name is Finnish for "ore".

Nowadays, we call it "verifying transactions" as it should have been from the very beginning. It's not about being a greedy gold-digger, it's about maintaining a network to provide a service, and it's a job like any other, with a reasonable pay.

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"