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Comment: Re:Putin actually speaks the truth (Score 1) 396

Indeed! Russia also requires all telcoms and ISPs, at their expense, to install monitoring equipment of the internet and telephones, This project is called SORM (wikipedia entry for SORM). The system was put into place around 1996-2000, but it has been used as recently as the Winter Olympics (source). It is explicitly a mass-surveillance system, so either Putin is lying or he is bending the truth: Russia doesn't pay for it... but by law the telcoms have to pay it. They don't do illegal wiretapping because it is explicitly legal. And you're right, they might not have the ability to store all that data for long periods of time, but you can be sure they are targeting people. And you can be sure they are targeting foreign governments too (of course). Heck, there were several diplomatic leaks at the beginning of the Crimean crises in order to strain US-EU ties. You can be sure that's due to Russia's intelligence services.

Comment: Read the statement (Score 3, Insightful) 627

Am I the only one that read the statement? It seems to me that they are collecting information. In fact McDonald's doesn't deny they attacked him, they only state that their employees denied it. It's an important distinction. Their employees are quite naturally saying, "We're innocent!" while Mann's saying "They're guilty." Mann provided proof that one of their statements - namely that they didn't damage any of his property - is incorrect. But it doesn't seem McDonalds, as a whole, is calling Mann a liar. Here's the statement:

We share the concern regarding Dr. Mann’s account of his July 1 visit to a McDonald’s in Paris. McDonald’s France was made aware of Dr. Mann’s complaints on July 16, and immediately launched a thorough investigation. The McDonald’s France team has contacted Dr. Mann and is awaiting further information from him.

In addition, several staff members involved have been interviewed individually, and all independently and consistently expressed that their interaction with Dr. Mann was polite and did not involve a physical altercation. Our crew members and restaurant security staff have informed us that they did not damage any of Mr. Mann’s personal possessions.

While we continue to learn more about the situation, we are hearing from customers who have questions about what happened. We urge everyone not to speculate or jump to conclusions before all the facts are known. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment and stellar service to McDonald’s customers around the world.

Comment: Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (Score 1) 82

Sorry for all the responses. I asked Professor Strassler on his website. He replied that it's actually a mystery where the Higgs gets it's mass! It's a very good question. All the other standard model particles, except the neutrino, get their masses via interacting with the Higgs field. We don't really understand neutrinos very well, though.

Comment: Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (Score 1) 82

Whoops. Allow me to correct my own post. Not all of the Higgs particle's mass is from the Higgs Field:

In particular, as you can see in Figs. 3 and 7, the Higgs particle itself does not get all of its mass from the non-zero Higgs field — and the strength of its interaction with itself is not directly related to its mass. [There is a correlation, but not proportionality.] This is not unusual.

I wonder how it gets the rest of its mass? That's a good question.

Comment: Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (Score 5, Informative) 82

They get their masses from the Higgs Field. The W Boson is like a ripple in the W-Field. An electron is like a ripple in the electron-field (not the electrical field). Et cetera. So a Higgs Boson is like a ripple in the Higgs Field. But it still gets is mass by interacting with that field, like most other elementary particles with mass. Here's a good article that explains that: If the Higgs field were zero.

Comment: Re:Yay America! (Score 1) 226

by Quantum Jim (#36660678) Attached to: Are Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player Legal?

The RIAA and Co. have never sued anyone for using their own music digitally. They have sued when a third party is involved. The issue isn't that you are able to stream your music to you from your own system, or even from a web server somewhere else that you operate. The problem is that you are uploading your songs to Google or Amazon, which may very well be copyright infringement.

The DVD-CCA (an organization run by the motion picture studios) sued Kaleidescape for making a personal server where you could upload your DVDs and then play them anywhere in your house. Kaleidescape won their suit, fortunately. Of course the DVD-CCA isn't the RIAA; however, I feel they are cut from the same cloth.

Comment: Re:so naive (Score 2) 286

by Quantum Jim (#34927526) Attached to: Google Releases Software To Iran

I concur. The export restrictions are frankly ridiculous in this case. If they wanted to, the Iranian government could just send someone to US to download Google's software for free. If Iran can import centrifuges to purify Uranium, they can surely use proxies to download the software directly too (spoofing their country of origin). It's probably a face-saving gesture for he more "senile" members of congress.

Indeed, Google says they worked with US government officials before releasing the software with these restrictions according to TFA. They believe that releasing the software to Iranians will help promote the flow of information and help them exercise more freedom of speech and assembly, as shown in during protests of the 2009 election in Iran. Someone in the US government probably thinks so too.

Comment: Re:Told but didn't understand..... (Score 2, Interesting) 332

by Quantum Jim (#31944840) Attached to: After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

So, were they mislead, or is this more of a type of "buyers remorse"? There are plenty of places where the local population is uneducated and unlikely to fully understand genetic testing, should we stop studying them, and in the process deny them the good (potential treatments for disease that they suffer from) to protect them from "the bad" (the possibility that their world-view will be challenged, or that the data will be applied to larger studies)?

Also, one of the big issues here seems to be that the findings contradict their folklore: Another article, suggesting that the tribe’s ancestors had crossed the frozen Bering Sea to arrive in North America, flew in the face of the tribe’s traditional stories that it had originated in the canyon and was assigned to be its guardian. Listening to the investigators, Ms. Tilousi felt a surge of anger, she recalled. But in Supai, the initial reaction was more of hurt. Though some Havasupai knew already that their ancestors most likely came from Asia, “when people tell us, ‘No, this is not where you are from,’ and your own blood says so — it is confusing to us,” Rex Tilousi said. “It hurts the elders who have been telling these stories to our grandchildren.” So science showed that their fable about springing from the ground in this canyon was, at best, unlikely. So what. We don't accept that the Earth is the center of the universe, that sex with virgins cures disease, that human sacrifice improves crop yield, or that it's turtles all the way down, why should we care about this story either. I'm not inclined to "turn off" science just because results show that a stone-age story is just a story.

I agree with your second part. Challenging anyone's worldview is always a good thing. Whether they are Christians, Havasupai, or even athiests, challenging people with evidence contradicting their ignorance is a good thing! It keeps society from stagnating by encouraging free thinking!

Comment: Re:I assume you mean MD-diagnosed (Score 1) 423

by Quantum Jim (#30382082) Attached to: I know X people with diagnosed H1N1 flu, where X is:
Yes, it was a nasal mucous swab. It tickled... haha. I was diagnosed after I was on the way to recovery. The meds they gave me helped a ton. I think it took only a few days (it was over a weekend iirc). I seriously thought I had a concussion earlier that week because of the headache. I live in Pittsburgh, and we have a CDC location here IIRC. Maybe that sped up the process.

Comment: Re:I assume you mean MD-diagnosed (Score 1) 423

by Quantum Jim (#30296664) Attached to: I know X people with diagnosed H1N1 flu, where X is:
I'm a little confused. I am pretty sure I had H1N1 flu in late October for about a week. I had a 102 degree F temperature, clogged sinuses, really bad headache, fatigue, and lost about 5 pounds of weight. The doctor prescribed Tamiflu and Mucinex, and he told me to take 48 hrs off after my fever broke to reduce the risk of contamination. I tested positive for H1N1. It didn't take weeks to be notified. Actually it took 4 days (and a few were over a weekend). Are things worse now?

Comment: Re:Linearization (Score 1) 553

by Quantum Jim (#29153555) Attached to: Initial Tests Fail To Find Gravitational Waves

Here's the part that I find interesting. The whole gravity/space-time curvature is merely an abstraction of gravity into a new dimension.

Ancient people's idea of gravity was simple. Stuff goes down.

Then people figured out that the earth's surface is curved, and "down" didn't work anymore. The new theory of gravity said that stuff moves toward other stuff, and the earth is a big blob of stuff that all our little stuff moves toward. Kinda simple, but you don't have the nice, straight, linear sort of system. You've got a radial one, and other planets and stars have their own gravity fields that pull stuff toward them, and it's a bit more complex.

So, with this notion of mass curving the surface of space/time in some higher dimension, we envision space/time as a sort of elastic surface. Mass sinks into the surface, and smaller mass will "roll" into the depression caused by the larger mass. Why does the "mass" roll downhill? Well, there's the kicker: this higher dimension apparently has its own sort of gravity, and, like the ancients' theory, it's nice and straight: it always goes down!

That's not actually true. Take a square apiece of paper. Draw a straight line parallel with one side in the middle. Then tear the paper perpendicular to the line from one side to the line. Now pull one side of the tear over the other. See how the paper bends into a cone? That's what gravity does. It causes "space" to not be flat just like that. However, look what happened to your line. Now it curves around toward the direction of your tear. So it is the geometry of the paper that causes the gravity. It isn't about anything rolling downhill, or about there being another type of gravity pulling everything down a rubber sheet. Instead, the shape of surface causes anything going in a straight line to be deflected towards that tear. And why does your object tend to go in a straight line? Because of Newton's first law, of course!

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The Twitter Book 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
stoolpigeon writes "Microblogging service Twitter has undeniably been a hit, with growth rates that were at times in excess of 1400%. The growth was rapid enough that the site became well known for its periodic, and, at times, extensive downtime. Even with these issues, the service continued to grow rapidly, and with celebrities getting into the mix Twitter was quickly on the radar of mainstream media. The ubiquity of Twitter and ever-increasing coverage of 'tweets' has also brought the inevitable backlash. As with anything that gains high-profile popularity, there are plenty of Twitter haters out there, though the role Twitter has played in the recent Iranian elections seems to have brought more legitimacy to Twitter in the eyes of many. With popularity come books, and quite a few are already out there about and for Twitter, but my favorite so far is The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein." Read below for the rest of JR's review.

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