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Comment Our Solar System Isn't Necessarily Special (Score 1) 88

We still have too little data to guess whether our planetary system is special. Transits and Doppler wobbles are being detected in only a small fraction of the stars we observe. One reason is time: it takes an a few orbits to establish a pattern. So it's only natural that most of the systems we've found have been compact. They're they low-hanging fruit. It will take a bit longer to get a good statistical understanding of the proportion of less compact systems.

Submission + - How music listening programs can be easily fooled (qmul.ac.uk)

An anonymous reader writes:

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. ... One particular area of intense research has been devoted to getting these “computer ears” to recognise generic attributes of music: genres such as blues or disco, moods such as sad or happy, or rhythms like waltz or cha cha. ... So far, we see some systems achieve accuracies that equal that of humans. The appearance of this human-level performance, however, may instead be a classic sign of unintentional cues from the experimentalist — a danger in experimental design recognised for over a century.


Comment Re:This just makes sense (Score 1) 1345

A story's effect does not prove its intent. Take Ed Wood's _Plan 9 from Outer Space_ for example. People laugh at his serious effort.

What actual evidence do you have that, "The message of Abraham and Isaac is about learning that sometimes what you feel is right emotionally is actually wrong, and sometimes what feels wrong emotionally is right"?

Comment Brown (Score 1) 79

I have one question: Will the sequel also be monotonously brown?

Between Fallout 3, New Vegas, the caves in Oblivion, and Borderlands, I've had just about all the grey and brown I can stand.

Comment Re:No warp drive for you! (Score 1) 196

Light has momentum, not mass.

Beside that, special relativity has been corroborated again and again, tachyons are shown to be unstable due to their imaginary mass component, and physics as we know it simply doesn't hold up well in the presence of closed spacelike paths.

This isn't to say FTL travel is impossible. *Maybe* some way exists that gets around these huge obstacles, but when they say there's no known way it could work, it's not for lack of imagination.

Comment Re:Single photon with controllable waveforms? (Score 1) 196

Ah, okay. Right. So then I guess different waveforms represent different superpositions? What is the basis? The only one I can imagine is complex exponentials, but the closest thing those have to a "location" is phase, so I don't see how they could exhibit a propagation velocity. Maybe I'm just going to have to read a book about this.

Comment Re:Indies? (Score 1) 179

I'm not a big fan of Terraria, but I do feel it's different enough from Minecraft that it deserves to be its own game. Its RPG-ish sense of progression is much stronger than Minecraft's and its sidescrolling style is not to be overlooked. I can totally imagine Terraria being born from someone looking at Minecraft and wishing it had gone in a different direction.

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