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Comment: Re:what is computer science nowadays? (Score 1) 327

by ceoyoyo (#47747039) Attached to: ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

Have to agree with the other guy who replied to you - when I took it, pure CS was sort of an applied math degree with a bit of engineeringish stuff like operating systems theory and digital design mixed in. From what I hear, it's now hard to find that, and most CS programs have turned into software engineering, at best.

Maybe women just don't want to slam energy drinks and sit in front of a screen in a cubicle seventy hours a week. I've always suspected they were smarter than men.

Comment: Re:So misleading. (Score 1) 161

by ceoyoyo (#47660187) Attached to: New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

Of course a program can do things that it is not explicitly programmed to do, at least in the sense you're implicitly using "explicitly programmed to do." Any learning algorithm, from simple regression on up, changes it's output based on the training data it's presented with.

If you want to use that phrase in the most general way possible, then your brain can't do anything it's not explicitly (by genetics) programmed to do either.

Nobody knows how to program "general intelligence." Virtually everybody has given up on the idea of doing so and has turned to the idea that you don't have to.

Comment: Re:A little behind the times (Score 1) 315

by ceoyoyo (#47631257) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

You're being pedantic (yes, in your other post too). NASA is a US government agency. Individual researchers in that agency are US government employees. As far as I can tell, this study was funded by internal NASA funds.

Somebody convinced someone in a responsible position within NASA, with the power to allocate funds and probably assign personnel, that this was something worth looking into. Normal people understand that when you say "NASA did this" or "IBM did this" or "Microsoft did this" that you don't mean that every individual associated with one of those entities was involved, but that someone was, and that there was some kind of institutional involvement. Funding certainly qualifies.

Comment: Re:A little behind the times (Score 1) 315

by ceoyoyo (#47630337) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

Which NASA is working towards gathering. What's the problem?

Somebody convinced NASA that it was worth spending some money checking this out, so they build a small scale version and tested it. Results were positive, with some compromises in the experiment. The next step is to do a more rigorous experiment. If that's positive you invest a little more. Eventually, if everything goes well, you launch a test satellite. There's your extraordinary evidence.

Many crazy ideas are not worth testing. This one isn't nearly as crazy as the media likes to make it sound. The leading theoretical explanations don't involve any violations of conservation of momentum.

Comment: Re:Another case, perhaps? (Score 1) 315

by ceoyoyo (#47630289) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

All (known) forces are between two charge carriers: electric charge for electromagnetism, mass for gravity, colour for the strong force, etc. You can use electromagnetic interactions to accelerate mass out the back of your rocket and because of that force symmetry the result is that your rocket accelerates in the opposite direction. You can drop a rock and it will accelerate towards the Earth, but the Earth also accelerates towards the rock. The symmetry means that momentum is conserved. Essentially, in order to change your momentum, you need something to push (or pull) on, thereby changing it's momentum, conserving total momentum.

For a reactionless drive you want to be able to change your momentum without pushing or pulling on anything. That idea has all sorts of problems. One of the proposed mechanisms for the EM drive is that it isn't actually reactionless at all: the asymmetric design of the drive canister causes the microwaves to push asymmetrically on the sea of virtual particles that are always popping up and annihilating. So the drive actually would have an exhaust, it would just be virtual particles that were encountered along the way instead of fuel you brought along.

Comment: Re:Nerd fight!!!! (Score 1) 315

by ceoyoyo (#47630191) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

I was surprised. He's usually pretty good. But this article is crap. Maybe someone hacked his blog.

The results, as he described them OR as actually reported in the paper, are weak support for the EM/Cannae drive. You can't conclude that it actually works from those results because there were some compromises in the experiment, like not running everything in a vacuum. But you also can't conclude it doesn't work.

This is a far better article.

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.