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Comment: Re:Revelation 9:1 (Score 2) 129

by VanessaE (#48529111) Attached to: How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole

Except....that a black home has a bottom. There's nothing infinite about them, except in some formulas (i.e. the _mathematical_ singularity at the center). If the black hole is big enough (around 150 billion solar masses), you could even stand more or less comfortably on its surface, normal earth-like gravity, provided the radiation doesn't kill you.

Comment: Re:What PSY is costing YouTube (Score 2) 164

by VanessaE (#48520013) Attached to: Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

If the values are straight storage, well that's an extra 4 bytes per video for the count. Some quick googling turns up a couple of figures that aren't too terribly old, and which don't actually add up to much:

As of 2008, there were around 83M videos on YouTube, so that's 332 MB for storage for the counters, assuming every video's record were updated and the count data is stored uncompressed. I'd guess double that amount for 2014, but I couldn't find a reliable figure.

Currently, about 4 billion videos are watched per day (!), so allowing for four extra digits on the displayed "watched" count, that would add up to 16 GB of added bandwidth, were every one of those videos to significantly exceed the former 32-bit counter.

Comment: Re:Humans are supposed to be vegan (Score 1) 252

by VanessaE (#48451601) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

Just because YOU say humans are somehow supposed to be vegan does not make it "normal" either; humans don't have razor sharp teeth and claws, but we evolved the intelligence to develop simple weapons and tools to make killing for food and cooking it efficient enough for humanity to thrive.

Your argument is invalid.

Transportation

World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK 139

Posted by timothy
from the department-of-redundancy-department dept.
hypnosec (2231454) writes General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) has announced that they have deployed a World War II technology called Long Range Navigation system, which they have named eLoran, in seven ports across Britain to serve as a backup for the existing Global Positioning System (GPS). GLA notes that modern ships have a lot of equipment that rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems for functioning and in case of failure the consequences will be disastrous. For this reason technology that doesn't rely on the GPS was required as a backup. eLoran is a ground-based system rather than satellite-based and is designed to be used in the event of a GPS failure. The system was quite successful and post-WWII era, the system was updated and crowned a new name Loran-C. The navigation system was adopted by mariners across the globe and was used until GPS was deployed. Loran has now been renamed as eLoran because of the upgrades to the technology as well as the infrastructure. The more accurate system generates longwave radio signal, which is 1 million times more powerful than those from positioning satellites, are capable of reaching inside buildings, underground and underwater. According to GLA, eLoran and GPS are quite different from one another and hence there is no common mode of failure.
Science

Researchers At Brown University Shattered a Quantum Wave Function 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-step-on-the-pieces dept.
Jason Koebler writes: A team of physicists based at Brown University has succeeded in shattering a quantum wave function. That near-mythical representation of indeterminate reality, in which an unmeasured particle is able to occupy many states simultaneously, can be dissected into many parts. This dissection, which is described this week in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics, has the potential to turn how we view the quantum world on its head. Specifically, they found it's possible to take a wave function and isolate it into different parts. So, if our electron has some probability of being in position (x1,y1,z1) and another probability of being in position (x2,y2,z2), those two probabilities can be isolated from each other, cordoned off like quantum crime scenes.
Businesses

Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-see-other-people dept.
jones_supa writes Since 1960s, we have been seeing the oil company Shell logo being featured in some Lego sets, and Legos being distributed at petrol stations in 26 countries. This marketing partnership is coming to an end, after coming under sustained pressure from Greenpeace. The environmental campaign, protesting about the oil giant's plans to drill in the Arctic, came with a YouTube video that depicted pristine Arctic, built from 120 kg of Lego, being covered in oil. CEO of Lego, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, wants to leave the dispute between Greenpeace and Shell, and the toy company is getting out of the way.

Comment: Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (Score 3, Informative) 80

by VanessaE (#47966011) Attached to: Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

Well for starters, the observable universe is something closer to 90 billion light years across, not 14 (or 28). The universe's *age* is about 13.7 billion years or thereabouts. You can thank the inflationary period after the Big Bang for that difference. It's the space itself that's expanding and *pushing* or *carrying* the matter with it.

Space can expand/move far faster than the speed of light - that universal speed limit simply doesn't apply to the fabric of spacetime itself. Same idea that makes warp drive so appealing.

Comment: There are alternatives... (Score 2) 174

by VanessaE (#47947911) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

I don't mean to advertise here, but if language, "adult content" and so on is as big a problem as it's being made out to be on Minecraft servers, you might want to try an alternative game instead.

Those of us who run Minetest (the open source game/engine) usually very careful about policing the users on our servers, to the point at least that adult discussions are usually not tolerated at all, and coarse language/cursing is usually equally shunned. Sometimes, depending on the server, it's okay to "blur" your curses if they're not directed at someone in an insulting manner.

Some servers have PvP enabled, but I guess most server owners have that turned off.

We're small, and we're not Minecraft, but I think we do okay, and besides - its fun.

Freenode channel #minetest or http://minetest.net/ if you want to take a look. And no, it's not supposed to be a Minecraft clone and it does not use any code or assets from that game. It's just supposed to be similar enough to appeal to same "sandbox" audience.

Full disclosure: I am a modder and texture pack author for this project and have contributed a couple of small things to the engine.

Technology

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up? 635

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-touch-that-dial dept.
An anonymous reader writes: It's the year 2014, and I still have a floppy drive installed on my computer. I don't know why; I don't own any floppy disks, and I haven't used one in probably a decade. But every time I put together a PC, it feels incomplete if I don't have one. I also have a Laserdisc player collecting dust at the bottom of my entertainment center, and I still use IRC to talk to a few friends. Software, hardware, or otherwise, what technology have you had a hard time letting go? (I don't want to put a hard limit on age, so you folks using flip-phones or playing on Dreamcasts or still inexplicably coding in Perl 4, feel free to contribute.)

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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