It's great they're talking about reforms to prevent this happening again, but there's one critical element no one is talking about: prosecuting people for the crimes they already committed. The NSA has been breaking laws on a massive scale all over the world, but there hasn't been one single prosecution of anyone for any of them. Until they see the law applies to them too, they'll have no reason to not just keep ignoring it. And then all the reforms in the world will be nothing but paper, things to ignore just like everything else they find inconvenient.
This thing won't be allowed to fly over densely populated areas
Why do you assume that? We already allow huge metal tubes (also known as airplanes) to fly over densely populated areas. Sure, you need to establish that they're safe, but that's entirely doable.
There's really no point in flying solar cells, they don't work any better than down on Earth
Not true. Aside from the fact that solar intensity does increase with altitude, the really big benefit is to get above all cloud cover.
Of course, you then have to beam the energy back down to earth, which means getting it through those clouds again. But you're free to chose what wavelength to use for doing that, so you can choose one that passes through clouds much more easily.
Even weak scaling to millions of processors is incredibly hard. It also isn't always useful. If the problems you care about take too long to be practical, then trying to solve even larger problems isn't an option. And if your calculation scales nonlinearly in problem size, those larger problems would take even longer to solve, even on a bigger computer.
I gather you're new to slashdot? Most people on here have signature quotes like that. They get added automatically to every post. It's not part of the message.
I think the exascale race will turn out to be a dead end. Tightly coupled calculations simply don't scale. To effectively use even current generation supercomputers you need to scale to thousands of cores, and there just aren't very many codes that can do that. Exascale computers will require scaling to millions of cores, and I don't see that happening. For all but a handful of (mostly contrived) problems, that won't be possible.
So like it or not, we need to settle for loosely coupled codes that run mostly independent calculations on lots of nodes with only limited communication between them. And for that, you don't need these specially designed systems with super expensive interconnects. Any ordinary data center works just as well for a fraction of the cost.
Why do you believe that?
First of all, if you look worldwide you find that fossil fuels still receive enormously more subsidies than renewables: $409 billion vs. $60 billion in 2010. Second, even if you just look at the U.S. as your link does, the situation has only changed in the last few years, and before that, fossil fuels received far more money. Between 2002 and 2008, the U.S. spent $72 billion subsidizing fossil fuels but only $29 billion on renewable energy. Third, solar energy is now cheap enough that even if all energy subsidies were eliminated, it could still compete. And fourth, if we ever implement a carbon tax to make people pay for the greenhouse gases they generate, that will favor solar even more.
Ok, maybe "fraud" is a slightly strong term, but it's pretty close. There are thousands of "open access journals" created only to make money by sounding as if they were legitimate journals, getting people to send them articles, and then charging to publish them. I get spam from them on a daily basis. They aren't legitimate, they have no interest in quality, and they have no reason ever to reject an article.
Please don't confuse legitimate open access journals like PLoS with these scams.
See if you can top this:
Even when you have to sign over the copyrights, they almost always grant you the right to give out copies to anyone who asks, as long as you only do it on an individual basis, not in bulk. Anyway, that's been true for every journal I've ever published in.
The mice, without fail, decided to eat the Oreo over the rice cake, proving once and for all that mice like cookies better than tasteless discs with a styrofoamy texture.
Did this person even bother to read the story? No, they didn't reach their conclusion based on mice preferring Oreos to rice cakes. They looked for specific signs of addiction, both behavioral and physiological. And they repeated the experiment replacing the Oreos by cocaine or morphine, and found that all measures of addiction were just as high for the cookies as for the drugs.
Fortunately, the authors of the study were very specific about what drugs they compared to: cocaine and morphine. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Some journalist wrote a headline using a non-specific word to describe a study, therefore the study must be nonsense?
You can either start with QM alone and not assume the collapse postulate because it's unneeded, then conclude: "Oh, this implies there's a multiverse out there. Interesting."
But you can't conclude that, because it just isn't a valid conclusion. Absolutely nothing in QM implies the existence of a multiverse. Remember, QM itself is nothing more than a set of rules for predicting experiments. Various interpretations try to associate aspects of those rules with aspects of ontological reality, but that's a matter of those interpretations, not of QM itself. And many different interpretations are consistent with all available experimental evidence, so by definition QM cannot imply that any one of those interpretations is correct.
For example: MW assumes that the wavefunction is a real physical object, and furthermore that it is a complete description of reality. The wavefunction is all there is. Those are fine assumptions to make, but they're still assumptions, not anything you concluded from experimental evidence. Other interpretations assume the wavefunction is a physical object, but is not a complete description (for example, pilot waves). There's more to reality than just the wavefunction. Still other interpretations assume the wavefunction is not a physical object, but rather a description of our knowledge of a particular systems (for example, time symmetric hidden variable theories). We can only make probabilistic predictions because our knowledge of the system is incomplete. The wavefunction changes discontinuously when you perform a measurement, not because the physical system changed discontinuously, but because you've just gotten new information about it.
Again, all of these interpretation are consistent with all available evidence, and all of them can reproduce the predictions of QM. QM therefore does not implies any one of them.
I don't think they're assumptions really. Many-Worlds is understood by its defendants basically as the default option.
But they are assumptions. MW asserts that all the other realities we don't observe (all the rest of the white noise) is part of ontological reality. And it doesn't present any evidence to justify that assertion. You may find it a plausible assumption, or a completely implausible one, but it certainly is an assumption. MW has no more claim to being a default option than any other interpretation—and, I would argue, less than some.
I would certainly agree that the Copenhagen interpretation has lots of problems. It was one of the very first interpretations ever proposed, and the only good argument for it was the lack of any alternatives. Now we have lots of alternatives.
But many worlds has pretty serious problems too. It doesn't actually explain anything, much less make any testable predictions. It essentially comes down to 1) the universe consists entirely of white noise, 2) white noise can be viewed as a superposition of all possible patterns, 3) therefore, whatever you observe, that just means you are part of a particular piece of the white noise that includes that pattern. There's no evidence for the claim that the universe really does consist of white noise (that is, that all those other possible realities actually exist).
All arguments in favor of MW basically seem to come down to, "Assume standard QM is a complete and accurate description of reality, assume the wavefunction is the most fundamental ontological object, then remove the collapse of the wavefunction, and you're left with MW." Which isn't very convincing and involves a lot of unjustified assumptions. Especially when there are much better interpretations available (transactional, time symmetric, etc.) that actually have explanatory power, not to mention being potentially testable.