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Comment: Re:why- just why? (Score 4, Insightful) 306

by Spinalcold (#47644309) Attached to: New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One
You should always look at the funding path. It tells you a lot about the quality of research. In the past 60 years funding towards 'think tanks' has gone into making bad science to combat good science research, all in an effort to move political goals. I'm not saying this particular research is bad, however it is good to know some of the funding came from the NSA.

Comment: Re:Dark matter and dark energy (Score 1) 225

by Spinalcold (#47643551) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?
Why is parent modded up? Everything stated is wrong. Modified Newtonian Gravity (MOND) has been attempted to explain away dark matter for decades with no success. The Bullet Cluster pretty much put the nail in the coffin of MOND. Dark Matter is the simplest and currently only idea that actually explains all the observations. That's not saying anyone knows what it is but lots of experiments are getting close to getting first glimpses at possibilities.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 342

Scientists should be political, scientists are not separate from the world, nor is science separate from what it is to be a human being. Scientists need to take part in a democracy, and that does not just mean voting, it means participating. They should be sharing science to educate the public on issues, they will have a different perspective even if the science isn't the whole story.

Second point is Fox News can say anything they want for two reasons; they don't have to tell the truth because they and argued that they are an opinion station; 2, the policy on 'balanced reporting' is so utterly stupid. Any issue can be shown to be decisive if they want it to be, get an expert on one side and an 'expert' on the other. It's what they do anytime they talk about climate change.

Comment: University (Score 1) 201

by Spinalcold (#46027253) Attached to: Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:
I took an astronomy course last semester and haven't given back my keys cause I still may go up there periodically for a comet or maybe to take more exoplanet data. The head of astronomy really encourages participation and made an extra project any volunteers, so if time is willing, I hope to measure the expansion rate of the universe this semester :-)

Comment: Already doing this in Physics (Score 3, Informative) 106

by Spinalcold (#45651935) Attached to: Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'
Pretty much every physics paper is pre-submitted to arXiv and after it is published in a paper the final copy is again resubmitted. The arXiv archive is there for peer review too, so it goes through two rounds of peer review. This has been the case for a decade now, I don't understand why this hasn't been taken up by other fields by now.

Comment: Not only Iron Maiden (Score 1) 246

by Spinalcold (#45568985) Attached to: Piracy Offers Heavy Metal a New Business Model
MP3's have helped so many heavy metal bands gain exposure and allow them to tour. Most metalheads have found new bands by talking with friends and then downloading albums. This in turn gives the band enough exposure to allow them to tour. On tour they actually don't make much per concert, most make about 100-200 which would be losing money. However, at these shows they are able to sell album and merchandise. Can anyone think of another genre that people are so willing to advertise for? There are so many people walking around with metal band t-shirts and hoodies, and, like me, all they own are band t-shirts.

In talking to most of these bands, they are happy you hear of them through downloading MP3's. Most of these bands can't do it for a living, they have regular jobs so they just want their music out there. And every once in a while a band gets enough exposure that can do it for a living. But the only way to get that exposure in through the internet. Hell, you ask any metal band how they found their musical influences and how they find new bands, they'll all tell you they downloaded the music.

Comment: wavelength (Score 3, Informative) 107

by Spinalcold (#43633215) Attached to: Fermi and Swift Observe Record-setting Gamma Ray Burst
To me one of the most surprising things is the wavelength. Back of the envelope calculation gives me 4.4 *10^-26m. That is amazingly small, 8 orders of magnitude smaller than the proton. This also came from 1/4 of the universe away, which makes me wonder how much smaller it is due to the expansion of the universe. Probably not much, but DAMN that is small.

Comment: Re:equal amounts at the beginning of the Universe (Score 1) 129

by Spinalcold (#43541009) Attached to: LHCb Experiment Observes New Matter-Antimatter Difference
Not only that but conservation of energy doesn't hold for the universe on a whole, only locally. At least that's the current theory, it could be proven wrong. For evidence look at the expanding universe and the cosmic microwave background. All the energetic photons created after the big bang have lost energy as they have shifted down to 3 K. Again, this could be proven wrong because we have no clue what the vacuum energy really is, any time it's calculated from quantum mechanics the energy is thousands of orders of magnitude too large. But the current theory is that energy is NOT conserved in the universe as a whole.

Comment: Re:when I want to maximize entropy ... (Score 2) 233

by Spinalcold (#43520085) Attached to: Physicist Proposes New Way To Think About Intelligence
This is an old idea that is really about emergence. Terrence Deacon pointed out a flaw in this argument and shifted the idea about emergence from the 'many states' to directional states (I forget the term he used for it). It's the limiting number of states in the system that leads to life, these constraints need energy and so the entropy around them increases. It's a fascinating idea and I hope more work is done on it, listen to it here. []

Comment: My CS textbooks have been free (Score 1) 96

by Spinalcold (#43245677) Attached to: CS Faculty and Students To Write a Creative Commons C++ Textbook
My CS department writes their own 1st year notes and posts them online for free (yes, it'll cost if you want to print them, but most people have laptops now). The school kinda 'forced' them to put a textbook down for website, the first class my prof said that we'll not be following that book so we can return them, or keep them if we want extra reference material. My experience has been quite good, the first class was extremely well structured and the notes very easy to understand. My second class is more difficult to follow but the professor that wrote the first class is teaching the second for the first time, he never wrote the notes and I can tell he wants to rewrite it all so that it's much easier to follow. By doing this, they can structure the notes around the class, not trying to fit the class to the textbook. I think it works much better.

Comment: So many problems for so many people. (Score 3, Interesting) 436

by Spinalcold (#42393081) Attached to: Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?
I know they target the normal vision for these movies, but the fact is that a huge amount of people don't have normal vision and can't watch these 3d movies well. I have astigmatism, and most others I have talked to with a string astigmatism have a hard time with these movies. Personally, my eyes can't focus well, but I know others that get dizzy or headaches. It isn't main steam because they ignored a huge population base!

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 135

by Spinalcold (#42364641) Attached to: Mini-Tornadoes For Generating Electricity
This proposal utilizes entropy, like any energy source, not heat. Sure, if it provides a clean energy source, that will help global warming. I listened to an interview on the radio and what they want to do is use the waste heat from fossil fuel plants to produce these high entropy states, and thus tornadoes. It's a great idea, but in the larger context will it increase our reliance on fossil fuels? Or it can be used on nuclear plants to increase their efficiency. I don't know which way it could go.

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson