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Technology

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture 507

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
First time accepted submitter Maddie Kahn (3542515) writes "Deaf culture has its own language, its own social norms, its own art forms, its own theater. But it's under threat. Why? Because most parents of deaf children now choose to use technology to help their kids hear. This piece explores why a revolutionary technology stands accused of killing a culture."
Math

P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the schrodingers-cat-is-both-alive-and-equal-to-NP dept.
KentuckyFC writes: "One of the greatest mysteries in science is why we don't see quantum effects on the macroscopic scale; why Schrodinger's famous cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time. Now one theorist says the answer is because P is NOT equal to NP. Here's the thinking: The equation that describes the state of any quantum object is called Schrodinger's equation. Physicists have always thought it can be used to describe everything in the universe, even large objects, and perhaps the universe itself. But the new idea is that this requires an additional assumption — that an efficient algorithm exists to solve the equation for complex macroscopic systems. But is this true? The new approach involves showing that the problem of solving Schrodinger's equation is NP-hard. So if macroscopic superpositions exist, there must be an algorithm that can solve this NP-hard problem quickly and efficiently. And because all NP-hard problems are mathematically equivalent, this algorithm must also be capable of solving all other NP-hard problems too, such as the traveling salesman problem. In other words, NP-hard problems are equivalent to the class of much easier problems called P. Or P=NP. But here's the thing: computational complexity theorists have good reason to think that P is not equal to NP (although they haven't yet proven it). If they're right, then macroscopic superpositions cannot exist, which explains why we do not (and cannot) observe them in the real world. Voila!"

Comment: Re:A lense cover (Score 1) 363

by afxgrin (#46563303) Attached to: Google Tries To Defuse Glass "Myths"

Google Glass as an assistive device for the legally blind would fit a similar role. Especially with facial recognition enabled and audio feedback to the wearer, and just disable the display or make it a big block of colour output for people who are still 'blind' but can see a bit of light.

I imagine they would need two so they could obtain enough spatial information to aide in navigation.

However, I would feel bad for the legally blind to be assaulted for wearing Google Glass.

Comment: Re:Well done, Vladimir! (Score 2) 88

by afxgrin (#46540943) Attached to: Russian Civil Law Changed By Wikimedia

Still incomparable:

a) Kosovo doesn't share a border with the United States

b) Crimea had an ethnic cleansing attempt by the Russians - you can't argue that Kosovo had all sorts of Americans move to Kosovo to make a majority American population so they can vote to be annexed by America....

c) Kosovo is recognized by 108 UN member states. Crimea ... I think only by Russia so far.

d) Kosovo, another "autonomous region" was part of a country that was falling apart. Funny how Milosevic revoked Kosovo's autonomous status triggering the breakup of Yugoslavia to further his "Greater Serbia" agenda.

e) If you want to compare Puerto Rico, I guess lets go back to the 19th century and compare things:
The Imperial census of Crimea in 1897 found that the population of the governorate consisted of 1,447,790, with 762,804 male and 684,986 female.
Language Number Percentage (%)
Ukrainian (Little Russian) 611,121 42.21
Russian (Great Russian) 404,463 27.94
Belarusian (White Russian) 9,726 0.67

By this standard Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

It is grossly undemocratic and unethical to hold a referendum in Crimea when:

1) the Parliament of the so called "autonomous region of Crimea" was raided by Russian paramilitaries

2) the federal government which the "autonomous region of Crimea" lies within: Ukraine, is under civil strife and is holding elections in a few months.

3) Russia itself conducts massive military exercises near the border, in addition to holding a port they lease from the Ukrainian government while having their own forces step off the base and surround Ukrainian military bases.

For the above reasons no one at the UN should recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, and no referendum result should be observed until Ukrainian federal elections are held under international supervision until international observers agree on the election result. All of this is bullshit otherwise.

"Russian self defence forces" - what a fucking joke.

Science

'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the did-it-cross-the-road dept.
sciencehabit writes "A newly described dinosaur might look like a chicken, but don't be fooled: It was nearly 4 meters long, weighed about 250 kilograms, and lived 66 million years ago in what is today the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota. That's why its discoverers are calling it the 'chicken from hell,' and indeed it was related to early birds and to feathered, birdlike dinos that brooded over their nests, such as Oviraptor. The creature had a toothless beak, sharp claws, and a tall crest on top of its head. It is the largest Oviraptor-like dinosaur found in North America."

Comment: Re: And in other news... (Score 1) 506

by afxgrin (#46361425) Attached to: Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

Funny how the Chinese immigrants in Quebec prefer to learn English over French - supposedly the reason PQ supporters want provincial level immigration controls. Don't make this into an Anglophone's not wanting to learn another language thing - it clearly extends beyond English speakers. Tabernac!

Comment: Re:Alright already (Score 1) 401

by afxgrin (#46266435) Attached to: US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

I don't understand what difference Keystone XL plays into climate change considering the choice is between burning American, Canadian, Norwegian, Venezuelan, or Saudi oil. The demand for fossil fuel burning will only continue to increase as global population increases, if the price increases in the short term eventually the demand will outweigh the cost from increasing population and we're back to where we were. Leaks from global increases in natural gas production is probably having a greater impact on climate change despite it being a cleaner burning fuel source - methane is quite good at absorbing infrared, far better than carbon dioxide, but we're creating carbon dioxide in much higher volumes.

Anyhow, the greenhouse effect goes back to Fourier, this isn't anything new in terms of the basic science, it's just modelling a complex system like the Earth reliably is difficult. All you can do is correlate the general trend of the system to some variables and point to them as the cause. Even if we assume the Sun is mostly responsible for global temperature rise the only variable we can have any hope in controlling is the atmospheric composition.

Otherwise if we do nothing about the issue nature might forcibly relocate us back to caves.

The solution with the least impact on our standard of living, which is also within our means to achieve is : Electric cars and electric heating sources, while investing in low or no-carbon emission sources of energy such as solar, wind, fission and fusion.

Short of massive engineering projects to reflect heat back into space, condense carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it underground, or some other ridiculous proposal, the reduction of burning fossil fuels is the most practical and brings other benefits (except for oil producers).

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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