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Comment: Re:a microscopic black hole won't hurt you (Score 1) 111

by HiThere (#49787035) Attached to: Prospects and Limits For the LHC's Capabilities To Test String Theory

Are you sure? ISTM that it would initially prefer either electrons or protons, and when it had swallowed a couple of them it would repell any more. (Electrons are smaller, so it might prefer them, but they are also more uncertain as to their position, so it might prefer a proton.)

So say it swallowed an iron nucleus. This would give it a strong positive charge, so it would repell any additional nucleus. The question is could it also swallow electrons, or would they go into orbit around it?

*My* guess says that it would need to be sufficiently larger that gravitational effects would dominate over electromagnetic effects. OTOH, since 6 picometers is around 1000 times the size of an iron nucleus perhaps I'm overestimating the problem. That said, what's going to slow it down? This is an accelerator, so even if it created something with the mass of Mt. Everest, it wouldn't be at rest, and would, in fact, be moving far above escape velocity.

Comment: Re:View from a patent holder ... (Score 1) 76

by HiThere (#49785645) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Patent Troll

Given how bad many issued patents are, I feel that it's the presumption of validity that is the mistake. And that the baby being thrown out is a baby predator...which we would be vastly better off if it were killed.

There actually *is* a good case to be made for certain patents, but for such a small percentage that with the current system even eliminating all patents would be a net gain.

Comment: Re:Creationism (Score 1) 392

by HiThere (#49785413) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Sorry, but you fall afoul of the problem of "What constitutes reasonable proof?" This is a serious problem, as if we are Bayesian reasoners, then what consititues reasonable proof is highly sensitive to our priors. It is also provable that for certain sets of priors there is *NO* evidence that could possibly switch one from one set of beliefs to the other.

You outline what you are currently considering a set of proofs, but that means that you think they would suffice to convince anyone. This is not true. And "Creationist" is not a single set of priors, but rather several such sets, so even if an argument would suffice to convince one particular "Creationist" it might well fail on others. Now flip this around. Would you really change your opinions if they produced what they considered was good evidence? I truly doubt that. You are just certain that they can't produce what *YOU* consider good evidence. But be aware that you, also, cannot produce what they consider as good evidence.

What we call "reality" isn't what we sense, it's what we believe about what we sense. And that's all the reality we can ever know. And this is mathematically provable if you assume that we are Bayesian reasoners. (It's probably true anyway, but you can't prove it without the assumption.)

Comment: Re:100 degree plus temp and dryness (Score 1) 129

by TWX (#49782879) Attached to: Heat Wave Kills More Than 1,100 In India
Or if people are outdoors, they actually try to drink enough cool water to survive.

One thing that the Israeli army has right is they require their soldiers to take regular water breaks if conditions are safe to do so, and they enforce that enough water is drunk each break. It's amazing how high the temps can be and still be survivable if one isn't dehydrated.

Comment: Re:Someone Please Provide a Better Explanation (Score 1) 346

What if my dishwasher is old and not as good at washing dishes as new ones, and if due to a lack of volume of dishes generated on a daily basis, dirty dishes loaded into the dishwasher might sit for a few days before being run? I don't want to attract bugs or have a stinky kitchen...

Comment: Re:Hobbit (Score 1) 252

by invid (#49781423) Attached to: How To Die On Mars
It's actually more plausible to colonize the Moon than Mars. In both cases you're going to be living underground. In both cases you're extracting water and oxygen from local resources. In both cases you're going to be wearing a pressure suit on the surface. The advantage of the Moon is it only takes a couple weeks to get there instead of months. You can bring a heck of a lot more resources from Earth to your Moon base for the cost of bringing it to your Mars base. An emergency escape craft to bring you from the Moon to Earth wouldn't cost a trillion dollars. If you believe a Mars base would be easier to bring to self-sufficiency you are fooling yourselves.

Comment: Re:autotune (Score 1) 149

by TWX (#49780323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?
Probably none who achieved their initial popularity in the last twenty years. There are probably performers who rose to prominence before it was commonplace that still don't use it, but there probably even large numbers from that generation that have started using it as their voices have aged and their vocal control isn't what it once was.

That said, what I have heard of Lorde, which is probably only two or three songs, doesn't sound especially overproduced, but I don't know if they've tweaked anything to take it from great to outstanding or not.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan