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Comment That depends... (Score 1) 827

Free speech means that you are free to say whatever you want. But it does not place any entity, private or public, under any obligation to offer you a platform.

That depends where you are. In Europe if you offer a public service to people then generally you are not allowed to refuse service for a variety of reasons one of which is usually the political views you hold. Unfortunately though most European countries ban certain times of speech outright.

What we need is a hybrid system: the American rules on what we are allowed to say and the European rules to protect our ability to say where others can hear it if they choose to.

Comment THz != GHz (Score 3, Insightful) 78

That's great but Google are using gigahertz frequencies, not terahertz frequencies. There is a three order of magnitude difference. This roughly the same as the difference between visible light and extreme UV/X-rays and there is clearly a huge difference in how these two types of radiation interact with the body.

Comment Possible, not probable (Score 1) 96

But hey, it's only probable that it'll also give you "leukemia, lymphoma, and other stem, blood, and bone marrow cancers", so let's totally play it down.

Actually it is only possible, not probable, and as such from a carcinogenic point of view is technically less dangerous than bacon which the WHO classes as "probably carcinogenic". As far as the summary is concerned it is more a case of "let's just mention this slight possibility of cancer and not mention any other of the apparently proven and very serious effects of the gas". If this summary had been written about the dangers of guns it would have probably only have discussed the possibility of lead poisoning.

Comment Don't Worry (Score 4, Interesting) 96

Apparently one of the gases is "probably not carcinogenic" and the other is only classed as a "possible human carcinogen" so really the title should read "Desktop 3D Printers Shown to Emit Gases some of which might be hazardous". Not to mention that if the safe exposure level is 50g/m^3 that's almost 5% by weight of air so either someone messed up the units or one of the gases emitted are safer than carbon dioxide and nobody suggests that we ban candles.

Comment Re:Speed of Light (Score 1) 234

While that could explain why sunrise reaches two points of the globe at different times, it fails when considering the timing of sunset for the same two points.

Not at all. You see where the sun rises will have a longer day because it will take longer for the sunset to reach them. As the disc rotates the point where the sunrises will change through out the year which is how you get seasons. Provided that you don't do anything silly like actually think about any of the details then it works just fine. As an added bonus it also means that somewhere like Canada that has a large seasonal variation in temperature must be very close to the edge so anyone who believes in a flat earth should definitely stay a long way away from Canada just to be safe because the edge is not marked on any map.

Comment 9kA Wireless Transmission? (Score 2) 169

LHC.....No wireless.

The magnets in the LHC require a ~9,000 amp current and the ability to dump it somewhere fast in the event of a quench. Care to explain how you plan to do that wirelessly? It's also worth pointing out that the part of the accelerator complex they are recabling was built in 1954, 13 years before Fermilab existed and 17 years before the first wireless packet network.

Comment Bad Idea (Score 2) 169

Since the cables have been bombarded by high energy particles,....

...they are now likely to be slightly activated and so radioactive. I'd not want cables which have been in a high intensity environment like the injectors in my house. While much of the activity is short lived because it involves light elements (we used to have to wait about an hour after beam before we could go anywhere near the upper end of a fixed target experiment I used to work on in the north area of CERN) copper is a heavier element and so likely to have longer lived activity.

Comment Speed of Light (Score 2) 234

Having said that, I would be really interested in their explanation of how it can be noon in Hawaii at the same time as it's the middle of the night in Paris. That's got to be a good one.

Simple it's the incredibly slow speed of light. That way when the sun rises over the rim it takes hours for the dawn to reach the hub. Of course now you have to add all us physicists to the conspiracy theory.

Comment Science (Score 1) 307

Seriously, why would anyone lie? Did you even think through your argument

You are clearly not a scientist. When doing a scientific study you need to be able to measure how good your result is not merely cross your fingers and hope that it is accurate. Why would people lie on a poll about voting in an election? I don't know but given the number of polls which get things very, very wrong there is clear evidence that they do.

With marijuana there used to be a stigma attached to having smoked it. Perhaps the more intelligent twins realized that this was no longer case but that the less intelligent ones did not? When you are doing a study on intelligence and you are relying on that intelligence in the first place to get accurate data you have a bias problem.

Comment Specific Exemptions (Score 1) 301

Cops violate civilian law all the time for the sake of enforcing the law. The main thing that comes to mind is speeding, running red lights, and blocking traffic.

Aren't those specific exceptions to the law granted to police officers? i.e. the law specifically allows emergency vehicles to go through red lights and for them to speed when responding to an emergency. I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty certain there will not be an exemption to the laws about distribution of child pornography to let the police do it.

In similar types of cases involving lures to catch criminals in the act the police stop short of actually committing the crime themselves: if posing as a hitman they don't actually kill people to see if they can get more criminal clients. What I don't understand is why this strategy would not have worked here. If you blurred out the pictures and videos or arrange for the links to just timeout then you would still get the IP addresses without actually distributing the material. You might catch fewer of the criminals before they knew something was wrong but, like the hitman example, surely that's better than actually committing the crime?

Comment Result of Poor Secondary Schools (Score 2) 75

Attending lectures works for many. But some reads on their own and do just as well that way. Nothing wrong with attending the gym or the bar either

All this is true the problem is getting the balance correct: you can't spend ever night in the bar, you must spend a reasonable amount of time reading etc. The problem students have getting this balance right is that the standards in secondary schools has dropped significantly over the past few years. Couple that with insane new initiatives at schools such as "no grade zeros" and retakes of exams if they don't do well enough the first time and you have incoming university students who don't expect to need to work hard and who expect to be able to retake exams if they don't do well the first time. We've even had students who were surprised to learn that when they failed courses they could not carry on at university!

One solution is what seems to be proposed here: programme a computer to nanny them. I'd argue a better solution is to fix the schools, bring back the level of academic rigour they used to have (at least in the UK), dump all these silly "no grade zero"-type policies that they have introduced (at least in Canada) and instead of programming a computer to monitor performance we would have taught the students how to do this themselves which would be a far, far better outcome because they need this skill in the real world.

Comment Already been done...sort of (Score 3, Informative) 126

It has already been done - sort of - by a town in Norway that uses mirrors to reflect sunlight down into the valley to extend the daylight hours. At a reasonably high latitude in the northern hemisphere there are not many flora or fauna to worry about in the middle of winter in an urban setting.

The only time you'd need to worry about it is if they focus the light a lot to create a heat based-death ray. That would also be far more like the plot of a bond film...

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