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Comment Re:Overkill (Score 1) 134

Most people probably haven't experienced total darkness. I experienced it while working late at a campsite (astronomy camp). I had to walk from the lab to my cabin on a moonless night with thick fog, no lights. You literally cannot see your hand in front of your face. You can't even tell if your eyes are open or closed. It was one of those epiphany moments where you're experiencing something completely new for the first time in your life. I remember thinking, wow, so this is what it's like to be blind. I had to find my way back to the cabin entirely by feel and my memory of the path.

Anyway, a mask or bag over your head isn't going to cut it. Even the photographic dark rooms I've been in always had a faint glimmer of light leaking in somewhere - a point of reference that told me which way I was facing. Fortunately the walk back to my cabin was downhill with grass on the edges of the path so I could tell I was sort of going in the right way. I don't think I would've made it if it had been completely flat and all grass.

Comment Re:Turing Test (Score 1) 304

Same reason the advertising industry relies heavily on attractive females: it overrides some higher function of the male brain.

"Same reason the advertising industry relies heavily on attractive females: it overrides all higher functions of the male brain in the vast majority of cases."


Comment Trying to meet someone, how? (Score 1) 304

...because in my experience 80-90% of the women on the paid site were working, self-sufficient adults...

So... that's like, what, eight or nine women?

Or are you counting law enforcement trolls, male impostors, and corporate shills, too? That'd probably get you up to 40% or so of these site's supposedly "female" accounts, the rest being bots pretending to be women, which don't count as "working, self-sufficient adults."

I'm truly glad you met someone you found worthwhile, but in the vast majority of situations, these sites are not good hunting grounds for an actual reasonable partner.

The old standbys are still by far the best, assuming one can pull their head out of their phone or laptop or ipad long enough to actually look around them and actually speak to people. Laundromats, grocery stores, libraries, classes of various types, museums, music stores (what few are left.) You know, places where reasonable, normal people tend to go and can be engaged in the creaky old technique of face-to-face, physically-present conversation. Where you can smell each other, sense each others body language, see how the other person moves, how they do at/with eye contact, make physical contact, engage in courting and other courteous behaviors...

I truly think the current crop of young people have gone and shot themselves in the foot with their overwhelmingly present "everything is online all the time" mentality. Not that you can't find someone online, of course you can, but the real world is still a much better place to try. If, of course, you have at least basic social skills and at least a few desirable characteristics. If not, then things haven't changed one whit -- you're screwed, and not in the "OMG I scored" way. Online won't help such a situation either.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 304

How many people do you think read all of the T&Cs? How many people do you know who have read the Facebook T&Cs, for example (I know two, but I don't know anyone who has both read them and agreed to them)?

I read them and didn't agree with them, hence have zero facebook presence. Does that count? :)

Comment Re:https? (Score 1) 140

Probably TrueCrypt, given that's what Snowden told Glenn Greenwald to use, and Greenwald is probably pretty close to the Vice news guys. Also, anyone wanting to protect their data from government surveillance would have been looking at the Snowden story very closely, so it's at least plausible, but very likely IMO, that ISIS uses TrueCrypt as well.

Comment Re:Another technology to be avoided (Score 1) 140

To be fair, outside of Japan, that watch pretty much screams social ineptitude, and terrorists are nothing if not socially inept.

Come to think of it, that watch might be single-handedly responsible for the decreased birth rate inside Japan. It's like a birth control watch. Well, if it had hands anyway.

Comment Re:Something about a bank funded study.... (Score 1) 246

Why not? The bank has lots of money to invest. It wants to know where the smartest place to invest it is. So it commissions a study to figure that out. Assuming they follow through with their investment, they're putting their money where their mouth is. Which is more than I can say for both sides of the climate debate (one side wants to control how other people's money is spent, the other side doesn't want to pay for damage caused by their own choices).

Comment Re:Short answer? (Score 3, Interesting) 177

Data Transmission: Shannonâ"Hartley theorem

It's worth noting that current trends in wifi technology are moving in a direction which overcomes Shannon's law. The theorem assumes a shared communications channel. That is, if you transmit your signal at -45 dB, then everyone else using that same channel sees -45 dB of noise (your signal is noise to them).

Beam-forming and MIMO (multipath) techniques subvert this assumption. For a visual analogy, it's why you can see your smartphone display in the sunlight, even though the sun is much, much brighter (its signal strength at optical wavelengths far exceeds your phone display's signal strength). Although the sun is very bright, the light it gives off is highly directional. By using sensors (the lens structure of your eyes) which can "tune in" to light coming from a narrow angle, you can basically filter out all that sunlight noise and pull out a clear signal from the smartphone display.

We're still a long way from this being able to beat out a direct fiber connection. But with phased array antennas (basically what MIMO does except using a lot more transceivers for much finer angular resolution) acting like a "lens" to "focus" radio waves, it's not outlandish to think that in the future all wireless communications could effectively be point-to-point with little to no interference from other wireless sources. Even though everyone is transmitting at the same frequencies, the highly directional nature of the transmissions would mean Shannon's law almost never comes into play, and you get to use all that bandwidth as if you were the only one transmitting on it.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.