Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:So live underground (Score 1) 101

by Penguinisto (#49148883) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

A good idea, especially since the Moon has a two-week rotation. (by the way, many early drawings of lunar colonies did have underground living featured prominently. There was even a (IMHO dumb) idea to use nuclear weapons to carve out the caves with.

That all said, I think your body (or at least mind) would be in for a shock if you stepped outside on midnight colony time to see the sun high in the sky. But then, folks who live within the Arctic Circle have to put up with seasonal day/night cycle shifts that have some weeks in total darkness during winter (and the opposite in summer). They seem to adapt well enough (though to be fair, they still can rely on a 24-hour rotational cycle no matter where the sun is at any given moment.)

Comment: You get used to it. (Score 5, Interesting) 101

by Penguinisto (#49148833) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Seriously - people aren't as fragile as TFA surmises. In the spelunking world, cavers have discovered that after a few weeks without a day/night reference, their circadian cycles stretched out to a 24/24 cycle. In the case of a newly-minted Martian, it won't go that extreme, which means that at least within the timeframe of an exploratory journey, it would be no big deal, and they can adjust between the two on the way there and back (there's plenty of time on the journey to do that.)

Long term is a bit more difficult to predict, but only in how it affects the body overall. It would certainly adjust and stay adjusted, but I can guess (with no evidence either way) that the effect would be no different than Daylight Savings Time cycles would have on the typical adult here on Earth.

Comment: Re:Split Shifts (Score 1) 244

Actually, the best method for avoiding union interference is to not treat employees like shit, thus removing incentive to join a union.

On the other hand, I hear Walmart does quite well with their "burn anyone who so much as mentions the word 'union' alive" policy, so I could be way off base.

Comment: Re:The Real Lie - faking statistics (Score 1) 376

by radtea (#49144137) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics

Dyson is a physicist and mathematician, so his opinion on this matters exactly the same as yours - not a jot

So will you take my word as a computational physicist that climate models--which are nothing but computational physics done by climate scientists rather than computational physicists--are far too uncertain to be robust guides to public policy?

Because that is my professional opinion, and it happens that my profession is the one that matters when judging computational physics, whether it's done by climate scientists, Freeman Dyson, or anyone else.

I've read climate modelling papers. I've looked at climate modelling codes and there documentation (mostly AR4, which is somewhat out of date now.) I was appalled by what I saw: it's all a good attempt to work things out, there's nothing wrong with it as science at all, but I'd rather use Wall Street financial models to guide public spending policy than climate models to guide climate policy. They have a much greater chance of being accurate.

This is not to say that climate models aren't useful inputs to the policy debate, but their accuracy if fantastically over-estimated by policymakers. GCMs have gotten Arctic warming badly wrong (the Arctic has warmed much faster than anyone anticipated) and missed the current--likely temporary--flattening of "global average temperature" increase. This is no surprise you a) look at the models and b) have the professional competency of a computational physicist to judge them. They just don't do the things that accurate models integrated over long timescales have to do, like conserve mass and energy natively.

Models before around 2005 were especially bad with energy conservation, fixing it up by redistributing energy across cells after each time step. Climate scientists were apparently OK with that, because they didn't know enough computational physics. Anyone who has spent a career building models that eventually get checked against reality knows that that is a virtual guarantee that the result will be unphysical nonsense. This is not a political statement: it is simply a fact.

So by all means dis Dyson for not being a climate scientist. But since GCMs are computational physics, you must take my word as a computational physicist over climate scientists, or admit you really don't care who is saying what so long as they say what you agree with.

Comment: Re:ignorant hypocrites (Score 2) 323

by naasking (#49142955) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

You now have min, max, and average times for a maze of that size/complexity

Estimating the size/complexity of a software project is exactly where all the error lies. The original quote was correct that it's like solving a maze, you just assumed they were talking about mazes on paper that you could estimate size and complexity at a glance. No, this is a full sized maze that you walk through and have no idea how deep and complex it is.

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 499

by Penguinisto (#49141929) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Anyone can mine quotes, but unless you provide the context for each, you have no strength in your argument.

I did. I provided the book, chapter and verse for each, and you can read all the context you need.

Fair enough - you did cite the sources. That said, you still have a problem (which you have not resolved), and I should've pointed it out earlier: none of what you quoted is contradictory or an endorsement of what you intimate.

Mark 10:21 was a challenge to a wealthy man, who subsequently failed said test. Luke 14:26 is a statement as to how you should prioritize Christianity over the objections/demands of anyone else, including your own family. 1 Timothy 2:12 is your closest to an actual argument, but it only concerns the role of women in the church itself (and the reason why, for instance, there are no female priests in the Catholic Church). 1 Peter 2:18 was written when slavery was common, and yet it held/holds true - it also aligns perfectly with the Gospels, in which all Christians are to love their enemies, be kind to those who harm you, work the extra mile, etc.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum: All of what you quoted can be followed without contradiction *or* violation.

Here's the fun part - applying it to robots; the first two are superfluous, since robots have no property rights or family, though the lessons could still apply. The third fails because gender in that context is a human-specific thing, and so robots could simply relegate that as a human-only thing. The fourth is the only relevant verse you provided, and I'd damned sure want a robot to hold to it.

Nice try on the pre-emptive "cherry pick" charge BTW, but the burden is now on you to prove that I did such a thing. ;)

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 3, Insightful) 323

by Penguinisto (#49141567) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

One would hope that a good manager would have enough practical and direct experience in writing software to at least come up with a half-decent estimate, no?

Most shops I've seen lately have the scrum masters spend a part of a planning session simply asking individual contributors "Here's a rough outline of the proposed project [...] now how long do you think doing that will take", and they come up with an estimate adjustment from there... most of the time, it's fairly close. PMs pad things a little of course, but the results tend to be fairly close.

YMMV of course... depends on who is posting the final estimates - is it devs, or is it the MBAs.

(If it's the latter, run like hell.)

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 499

by Penguinisto (#49141357) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Funny how all Christians claim that their path is the original path, and everybody else has perverted it, yet they all pick and choose the pieces they want to believe in.

I never said that 'my' path is the "original path" - I said that humankind has perverted the original ideal; nobody escapes this statement.

Also, I noticed that in your haste to quote scripture, you made a rather large mistake.

Anyone can mine quotes, but unless you provide the context for each, you have no strength in your argument.

"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific." -- Jane Wagner