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Comment: And the problem is? (Score 1) 240

by PvtVoid (#48024119) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Studies suggest that if solar adoption continues growing at its current rate, incumbents will be forced to raise their prices, which will only persuade more people to switch to solar.

Which means the subsidies are effective and successful, and we should have more of them.

Oh, wait. I thought I lived in a sane country for a second there.

Comment: Gratuitous LIGO Slam (Score 5, Insightful) 25

by PvtVoid (#48009939) Attached to: Astrophysicists Use Apollo Seismic Array To Hunt For Gravitational Waves

The work shows that good science on gravitational waves can be done without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars for bespoke gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, which have yet to find any evidence of the waves either.

Do you mean aside from the cost of putting seismometers on the moon in the first place?

The experiment referenced is a fabulously clever re-use of existing data, but it has nothing whatsoever to say about the funding case for LIGO. LIGO, like many cutting-edge experiments, requires very long-term technology development before it can produce a positive result. Some science requires long-term thinking, not just until the next quarter or the next election cycle.

+ - iPhone 6 rollout makes $23 billion in Apple market cap evaporate->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Apple's stock has now dropped below $100 per share, wiping out more than $23 billion dollars in market capitalization since the botched release of the iPhone 6.

'Despite the iOS 8 bugs and bent iPhones that have cost Apple approximately $23 billion, the company’s stocks are still up this year by over 20 percent, leading the race ahead of Standard & Poor’s 500’s general gain of seven percent. But a market slump just days after a crucial new product release is a major blow for any company. The iPhone, Apple’s most widely recognized and critical product, accounts for over half its stock value. With such serious problems hovering over its new release, this drastic change in stocks comes as little surprise.'

Does it make sense that a messy software update and some bent cases should be responsible for that much value disappearing? Is there too much market cap tied to a single consumer product to begin with?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Why did he lose tenure? (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by PvtVoid (#47972605) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

There are two possibilities: He lost his tenure because there was an anonymous, incorrect peer review negative towards him. His work was actually good. In that case he should sue the university to make decisions based on anonymous, incorrect peer reviews.

There's a third, more mundane possibility: he lost his tenure because he quit. When he lost his new job offer, he went back to Wayne State asking for his old job back, and they said no. The devil is in the details here. If he had a written employment and tenure agreement with Mississippi all signed and finalized, he would have a damn good case against Mississippi. TFA is not clear on this point, but I would hazard a guess that he got an informal notice that Mississippi intended to hire him, quit at Wayne State before the offer was official, and then Miss yanked the offer before they were legally committed. This kind of shit happens all the time. So sorry.

Moral: never, ever, quit your current job until the ink is dry on the legal papers for your new one.

Comment: Re:Still some wiggle room (Score 1) 133

by PvtVoid (#47972197) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

I'd like to bet somebody a dollar that we go to a steady-state universe in our lifetime.

As several other posters have pointed out, whether BICEP2 is seeing gravity waves or dust has very little to do with whether or not the Big Bang is right. Even if BICEP2 is entirely explained by dust, the Big Bang is still just fine as a theory. Sorry to disappoint you.

Comment: Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (Score 1) 133

by PvtVoid (#47972185) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

The first is not specifically wrong. Thermodynamics implies that the big bang's energy had to some from somewhere.

No. This is specifically wrong. Thermodynamics implies no such thing.

The Big Bang does have thermodynamic issues, but the primary problem is entropy, not energy. And the problem is that the entropy of the early universe is too low, not too high. (Inflation, BTW, is one way to explain the initial low-entropy state of the universe, but even that is an incomplete explanation.)

Comment: Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (Score 2) 133

by PvtVoid (#47968363) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

- The universe did not come from nothing. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe did not create itself. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe was created by an intelligent Creator is the sole, logical conclusion.

At least the first point above is just plain wrong, and the second is either wrong or meaningless, depending on exactly what you mean by "create itself".

Comment: Still some wiggle room (Score 4, Informative) 133

by PvtVoid (#47967995) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust
The Planck dust measurement in pretty damning, but it is not the final word.

(1) Planck measured the dust contamination with greatest sensitivity at 353 GHz. It was not sensitive enough to measure the dust signal at 150 GHz, where BICEP was observing. They had to extrapolate the dust contribution from the higher frequency to the lower. This is actually a pretty big extrapolation, since the dust emission at 150 GHz is less than 1% of the dust emission at 353 GHz.

(2) The uncertainty in the dust emission amplitude is still pretty high, so the Planck measurement is consistent with an "all dust" model, or with a "mostly dust" model, or with a "mostly primordial, with some dust" model. It does pretty conclusively rule out a "no dust" model.

(3) They have not released the results of a joint analysis of Planck and BICEP2, which is what is necessary to actually shed some light on exactly how much of the BICEP2 signal is likely to be dust.

But it's clear that the BICEP team was being over-optimistic in their assumptions about galactic dust, which is a bummer.

Comment: Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (Score 1) 80

by PvtVoid (#47966133) Attached to: Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but I really don't like how they do this extrapolation stuff. Like the universe is currently expanding, and based on the current rate of expansion (or the rate of change of that expansion) we assume it has always been expanding and that 14 billion years ago everything was crammed into something the size of a golf ball. I'm not anti-science, but that seems to be making a pretty big leap.

This is mostly because you apparently don't understand the theory (or the data) very accurately, which is fine. But to take a layman's understanding of something and concluded that "all teh scientists are idiots" is really, really not a good idea.

The evidence that cosmological expansion occurred in the distant past, not just today, is compelling, and direct. We can actually see light that has been traveling unimpeded since the universe was only 300,000 years old, which means that we can directly observe the conditions in the universe at that time. And it was hot, and dense.

Comment: Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (Score 2) 80

by PvtVoid (#47966059) Attached to: Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

This is another thing that bothers me. If we can see stars as far away as the universe is old, then we (or the matter we are composed of) must be moving away from them at very close to the speed of light, since we were once very close to them.

Things as (almost) far away as the universe is old are moving away from us at (close to) the speed of light. Things farther away from us than the universe is old are moving away from us faster than the speed of light. This is perfectly consistent with General Relativity: it seem to contradict Special relativity, but it actually doesn't.

Comment: Re: No surprise (Score 3, Informative) 222

by PvtVoid (#47944377) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

There is no such thing as "right" or "wrong" in nature and no delusions of morality can change that.

Don't be silly. Traits such as altruism, empathy, and a sense of justice are also evolutionarily advantageous, and have just as much of a Darwinian origin as dominance and brute force.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS