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Comment: Re:massless photons vs black hole (Score 4, Informative) 175

by XiaoMing (#44966309) Attached to: Scientists Create New "Lightsaber-Like" Form of Matter

Slightly OT question but TFA mentions that photons are massless particles. I've read that elsewhere, too.

I've also heard that black holes are so massive that the force of gravity does not let anything escape including light.

So, if photons have no mass, how do black holes keep the photons from escaping?

Gravity bends the fabric of space-time itself, which the photons are travelling through.

Comment: Re:Very educational game (Score 2) 58

by XiaoMing (#44460653) Attached to: The History of <em>The Oregon Trail</em>

I took away exactly one thing from this game.

Q: Why did buffalo become an endangered species?

A: Because hunting buffalo is fun.

For me, that takeaway was actually a pleasant consequence of the very educational fact that it's way more cost-efficient to start your cross-country wagon trip with 99 boxes of bullets in lieu of "real food" and whatnot.

Comment: Re:Too much of a good thing. (Score 1) 327

by XiaoMing (#44407997) Attached to: Tim Cook May Not Know Why, But Samsung Is Winning in China

Really? Last I heard, that isn't a popular thing to do anymore.

And now you've "heard" differently.

What's really changed in the last 5 years is that import/export laws have become more strict, and the regulations are better enforced. This means that just straight-up shipping things back over to China is a much less common practice. But this also drives up the attempts at more hands-on methods of transit such as travelling with said items in your luggage.
Random luggage searches still run about the same frequency, so people just run a higher risk of paying taxes on gifts when they return.

Comment: Re:Too much of a good thing. (Score 1) 327

by XiaoMing (#44407981) Attached to: Tim Cook May Not Know Why, But Samsung Is Winning in China

This is simply not true. Maybe 10 years ago everybody brought back stuff to import, sure.

It's cute how you've taught your gluteus muscles to manipulate a keyboard.

Go to any outlet mall (from experience: at least three different malls in Norcal and one outside of Chicago), and you will see a line outside of the Coach outlet, dominated entirely by Chinese nationals. They are there to fill aforementioned suitcases. The kicker? The Samsonite suitcases still have the tag on them from the outlet they were just purchased at.

Comment: Too much of a good thing. (Score 4, Interesting) 327

by XiaoMing (#44404669) Attached to: Tim Cook May Not Know Why, But Samsung Is Winning in China

The irony is, Samsung phones aren't marketed as "special" as iPhones, and that's why the Samsung phones are winning.

To elaborate:
Any relatively affluent Chinese national who's had the privilege of making a trip to the states and is returning to the motherland will most likely have a top-of-the-line Samsonite suitcase full of Coach purses and brand new unlocked apple iPhone 5's (and maybe a couple of iPads), but how many Samsung products will they be bringing? Likely none.

The reason for this is that when quality is an issue, the Chinese have this adamant belief that anything created in China that is exported to be sold to Americans is, without question, of higher quality than the same item were it sold to Chinese consumers. This includes the same iPhone, made in the same factory, by the same people, the "better" one being shipped overseas.

That's why in the mainland, the spoiled middle-class children (starting at around middle school) with re-imported U.S. iPhones will actually look down on those who are using a "domestic" iPhone.

The fact that Samsung has been a major player in Chinese appliances still helps to set it apart from domestic (to China) brands such as Huawei in terms of overall quality, but because Samsung phones are marketed as largely being a different alternative to Apple phones (in terms of features, screen size, etc.), there's less of a need to re-import that je ne sais quoi from the U.S.

But Apple? Those phones are claiming to be the epitome of fit-and-finish, and that's just shooting themselves in the foot in this case.

Comment: Re:Survivor Story (Score 4, Informative) 506

by XiaoMing (#44205703) Attached to: Boeing 777 Crashes At San Francisco Airport

Then proceeds to teach CNN some manners

They wanted to talk to him about the crash and he said he didn't want to divert attention away from the crash. I'm not even sure what that means.

If you've watched any of what passes for "news" at all today, it's full of talking heads speculating on every possible thing, from the myriad of ways people could have died (ranging from blunt trauma to smoke inhalation because gee fucking golly, the plane carries so many people it must have taken forever to get everyone off and who knows what happens to your lungs in that type of environment!) to just who's fault it could have been that it went down in the first place. And that's all from aerial helicopter footage and an interview with an idiot who used to in some way work with traffic control.

Now can you just imagine what would happen if they got even the slightest tidbit of first-hand information? Oh wait you don't have to, there are half a dozen 5-star "informative" threads on here already discussing just why the plane's wing was or wasn't sheared off while doing some kind of barrel roll a-la Starfox64.

So yeah, when this guy posts as much information as he feels confident doing, including a very uplifting and hopeful picture immediately after the crash showing survivors leaving what looks to be a mostly intact plane, and then doesn't feed the media's desperate attempt to capitalize on the situation any more than they already have been, I am kinda grateful.

Comment: Checks and balances, anyone? (Score 1) 621

by XiaoMing (#43637427) Attached to: Former FBI Agent: All Digital Communications Stored By US Gov't

This is probably the most telling bit of it:

CLEMENTE: We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

Basically, this capability exists, can and does get used, BUT the fruits of which aren't directly presented in the courts, because that would divulge too much as to its existence. Instead, it gets used to get the suspect to admit what might otherwise be unattainable through a normal interrogation.

Now the scary part:
This could probably directly provide evidence for not just the Boston Marathon case, but many many other criminal cases in this country right now. For all those other cases though, we risk not convicting a criminal, or worse wrongfully convicting innocent people.

It's kind of sad/scary to think that the FBI effectively has a digital oracle that could provide the information to make many trials look like daytime soap operas.

Comment: Re:wait, will wiping off help? (Score 3, Informative) 275

by XiaoMing (#43609163) Attached to: Condensation On Your Beer != Good

By the time there's any condensate to wipe off the glass, hasn't the damage (i.e. heat from condensation) already been done? That's what warms the glass and its contents, not the water remaining on the side. So wiping it off won't prevent the warming.

What you said is correct: wiping will not help, as the condensation process is what causes the heating. The most telling bit comes from TFA:

“Probably the most important thing a beer koozie does is not simply insulate the can, but keep condensation from forming on the outside of it,” said Dale Durran, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences.

So either we start seeing stein-shaped koozies at our local dive bar... or nothing will really change from this "finding".

Comment: Re:Whats with the weird garbled text on slashdot? (Score 3, Insightful) 35

It's not every post... but it's nasty.

It's an april fools joke where they used the ROT13 "cypher" (replacement cypher where each letter is replaced by a letter 13 increments down the 26-letter english alphabet) on the posts. It's received quite a bit of "backlash" (bitching by people who can't be bothered to click twice to read the original post in english) which may explain why you're seeing this normal summary here.

Comment: Re:I am shocked (Score 1) 133

by XiaoMing (#43299625) Attached to: Bees Communicate With Electric Fields

If that is true, I guess the mother nature is far more advanced than I could even imagine. Sonar, ok, infrared sensors, ok, antibiotics, ok, aero/hydro dynamics, ok, but electric field communication, wtf? I thought this domain solely belonged to human race.

If that is true, I guess the mother nature is far more advanced than I could even imagine. Sonar, ok, infrared sensors, ok, antibiotics, ok, aero/hydro dynamics, ok, but electric field communication, wtf? I thought this domain solely belonged to human race.

Haha was the remainder of that post just used to justify your punny subject line? Sharks have actually been using electric fields for quite awhile to hunt various prey. And while I woudln't be surprised if it were true, the summary doesn't really suggest causality or even correlation with the bees, it just says "this number is big, it must be useful for something!". Odd for scientists to do that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini

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