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Comment: Why disappointed? (Score 5, Interesting) 44

by captainpanic (#46703881) Attached to: Last Month's "Planet X" Announcement Was Probably Wrong

Only the mad conspiracy hatters will be disappointed, because they already know that planet X is on a collision course with us. But then, they don't care about new findings,unless they support their theory. Amateur astronomers however will be just as excited when a planet is found much further away.

It's actually a very exciting and interesting article... it means that in the near future, we won't be searching for a needle in a haystack. We know pretty much where to find the needle, if there is any. To me, that is even more reason to search, which hopefully opens up some funding for the scientists who produce these awesome results.
For me personally, the really exciting thing is that there is so much out there. Perhaps no earth-sized planet, many more dwarf planet than I had ever dreamed...

Comment: Re:Won't work (Score 1) 342

by captainpanic (#46683461) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

There's basically 3 types of information for traders:
1. Official public information from the company itself (press releases, annual report, etc).
2. Analysis by external parties
3. Unofficial (non-public) information from within the company - trading using this is called insider trading, and this is already against the law.

So, when companies release information (category 1), everybody can trade. I do realize now that large companies have press releases on a daily basis. So, maybe the timespan of a week/month was a little long. But at least something that reflects the timespan between press releases (hours? at least not milliseconds) would still be a good idea.

Comment: If they can survive and thrive where they end up. (Score 1) 307

by captainpanic (#46683341) Attached to: Should NASA Send Astronauts On Voluntary One-Way Missions?

It is acceptable to send people on a one-way if the goal is that these people survive and colonize. I would add a condition that they have a fair chance to grow old and possibly have offspring who themselves can survive there as well... meaning that (on the long run) the colony is large enough to be self sufficient.
If the goal is to set up a base camp (e.g. on Mars) with the intention to grow this base camp into a colony later, this condition is met, and I would think it is ethical to send someone on his/her way.

And it doesn't matter if it is NASA or anyone else who is organising the mission.

Comment: Re:Won't work (Score 5, Interesting) 342

by captainpanic (#46683141) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

The way I understand it is that traders (computers) have to hold on to shares for a minimum of 500 ms, which means that whatever the market does in those milliseconds cannot be acted upon. However, others can act in the meantime.

Personally, I think that it should be law that if you buy shares in any company (or fund or whatever), you have to hold on to them for a minimum of a week or a month. Shares represent actual physical companies which own factories and employ real people. Those things don't change in 500 ms. They change over a much larger amount of time. And I believe that the stock market would be healthier if this was reflected in its trading. Obviously, when new information comes out (press release: "The factory of company X has just gone up in flames"), everybody's counter should be set to zero, but shares sold in such a case cannot be bought back a fraction of a second later (because whoever just bought them has to hold on to them for a week/month).

I don't pretend that this plan is waterproof. I'm sure someone will shoot a big hole in it in the replies below... I just wish that the stock market would represent what it's supposed to represent: a place where people can invest in our real economy.

Comment: I can wear my phone just fine, in a pocket (Score 4, Insightful) 180

by captainpanic (#46638009) Attached to: A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

Pants have pockets. Phones fit in pockets. Problem solved. And I know that women tend to not use pockets - I cannot understand why - but they have purses and handbags that are specially designed to hold many things including a phone. Either way, the problem that a wearable smart gadget tries to solve is not a problem in the first place.

Also, I don't have to track my fitness, because I am usually there myself to observe my fitness with my own eyes.

Comment: No way soar losers will abuse his... (Score 2) 183

by captainpanic (#46591151) Attached to: Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly

There is absolutely no way that soar losers will totally abuse this.

Also, there is no way that people will get upset buying an expensive gaming system, and subsequently being unable to play with the 'green' accounts because of some highly subjective moderation system.

Comment: Re:Dwarf-like? (Score 1) 63

by captainpanic (#46590899) Attached to: Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto

The difference is that, together with Sedna, this is only the 2nd object found so far out.

From what I understood, the importance of this is that it may shed a new light on how the solar system came to be. I thought that the general theory of small dwarf planets in weird orbits is that they were flung into that orbit by the larger planets that passed by them at some point in the past. However, Sedna and the new object are so far out that they don't cross any orbit of a larger planet. So, something else is going on.

Contrary to popular belief, scientists get excited when observations do not match the current theories (they're often accused of defending the old models).

Some more about these 'detached objects' can be found on wikipedia:

Comment: Impressed yet disappointed with Lego (Score 1) 60

by captainpanic (#46522913) Attached to: Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube Puzzle In 3.253 Seconds

I'm impressed that Lego can do such heavy tasks nowadays. I am sure that my old technic Lego blocks would simply have snapped in two under such stresses. However, I think that the new Lego is so customized that there may exist thousands of different blocks, which means you must now design first, and then order the blocks. It's no longer a matter of having a box full of blocks and just start building. It seems also many blocks are specialized and can only be used in one (maybe two) different way(s), whereas I seem to remember that I invented new ways to use my old blocks all the time.

Call me an old fart, but I am not sure all of this is actually progress.

Comment: Title is incorrect (Score 1) 94

by captainpanic (#46471601) Attached to: Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered

From TFA:

Although it’s located moderately far from Earth, HR 5171 can just about be seen on a clear night in the constellation of Centaurus with the naked eye and has been measured to have a magnitude of between 6.10 and 7.30.

So, the title "Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered" is a little exaggerated. "Observations reveal new information about hypergiant star" would be better. Then again, it is the Discovery Channel who put this on their website. Maybe we should just be happy they don't express the size of the star in terms of football fields, and the volume in terms of schoolbuses.

Comment: More broad than just maths (Score 1, Interesting) 384

by captainpanic (#46453605) Attached to: Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

Men just don't trust that women can do something important right. This includes math problems, but also meeting an important deadline, hiring important people, or taking decisions.

I know this sounds like a troll post, but I am serious. The gender gap is not just a problem with maths, or because women get pregnant and care for a baby for several months. It is much broader, and women are indeed held back by men, because men prefer to stay in control in certain cases.

However, I think we should approach it from another perspective: Those in charge (in a company, government) don't trust many people to take important decisions or to do any calculations right. However, women are overrepresented in the group of people who are not trusted with these tasks, but men are present in that group too.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison