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Comment: But which constant isn't? (Score 3, Interesting) 273

by YTMDetc (#37936112) Attached to: Fine Structure Constant May Not Be So Constant
Alpha is actually made up of several constants, as shown in the wikipedia article. So, the question is, if this is indeed the case that alpha isn't constant, which of these 'constants' is actually not a constant? e is the elementary charge. The charge on a proton (-e for an electron). Somehow I think this is unlikely not to be a constant as for all intents and purposes all protons are the same as any other proton, same with electrons. h is the Planck constant, which relates energy to frequency of electromagnetic waves, for example. I'd say that it's a relational constant to create different ways of saying the same thing, so I wouldn't think this is a variable. c is the speed of light in vacuum, 0 is the permittivity of free space, 0 is the magnetic constant or permeability of free space. All three are related by Maxwell's laws. My guess is that it might be one (or all, or some) of these that would be the most likely to not be a variable. Of course, as with the faster-than-light neutrinos, we'll just have to wait for the results to be checked before we can jump to any radical conclusions...

Comment: People seem to be confused as to who Anonymous are (Score 5, Insightful) 481

by YTMDetc (#37805630) Attached to: Anonymous Hackers Take Down Child Porn Websites
Looking at some of the comments, it seems that a few people don't seem to get Anonymous. Anonymous isn't a group, really - they don't have a common agenda, they don't have common opinions or necessarily common skills. Rather, Anonymous is a label people have claimed and since it seems to be a similar type of person each time (e.g. from a certain part of the Internet, hacks sites or brings them down, may be vigilantes or may well be trolling), people still hold the misconception that they are somehow a unified group. They're not. Anonymous are anonymous. That's the point. There is no link between anything they do except people copycatting each other, and using the label. Thus Anonymous is not a group - I would say it is more of a phenomenon that has arisen, with the help of the Internet.

Comment: Filing is useful (Score 1) 434

by YTMDetc (#37663162) Attached to: Putting Emails In Folders Is a Waste of Time, Says IBM Study
Hmm. I use Gmail, and even though the search on Gmail is pretty good, I still file my emails. Why? Because I use my Inbox very much like an in-tray - I leave emails in it that are yet to be dealt with, and anything that is not immediately important I file away. This leaves my inbox less cluttered, and makes it very clear what still needs replying to or otherwise dealing with, without me having to write it in a to-do list. It also looks aesthetically pleasing and makes me feel overall less stressed about my emails when I can see how many need dealing with all at once, but I guess that's more personal preference. Not to mention the other points raised such as usability for shared accounts. Ultimately, though, I think everyone has their preferred way of dealing with emails, and if you're after efficiency your best bet is just to let them get on with it.

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977

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