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Comment: Re:The same as ever: Android (Score 4, Interesting) 439

by lgw (#49553039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

Most of the stuff you highlight can be handled by a feature phone, though, except reading books. I use my 6-year-old Android, doesn't seem to crash or need to reboot unless the battery is on empty (and shocking the battery still works pretty well after 6 years - will go 12+ hours between charges). You don't need anything fancy - what you want is something stable.

I'm really struggling with what to get next - the screen on my phone has been cracked for a couple of years now, so I should probably replace it one of these days. But now it's all these damn giant phones that don't fit in my pockets, don't have replaceable batteries - what ever happened to cell phones getting smaller?

When someone sends me a text or an email, there's no "he said - she said" disputes over what was said. Try doing that with your home phone.

If you have that problem often enough to care, you need better friends, not a better phone!

Comment: Re:Kludgy Mess Requires Kludgier Foundation (Score 1) 44

by lgw (#49552163) Attached to: Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved

Inflation was cooked up to explain most of that after the fact, though, so it's unsurprising that it does. The fundamental problem with inflation is that too much is tunable. Penrose's cyclic cosmology explains all the same stuff, and at least has the decency to make some bizarre (and very likely false) predictions outside of the early universe.

Theories of the very early universe that require new fields that there's a way to detect today are interesting. Certainly there are ideas to explain dark energy as an extension of inflation that fit that bill. But theories that propose a bunch of cool new physics that all conveniently vanished early on are a bit sketchy, at least until we can somehow make an equivalent of WMAP for the neutrino background radiation, and observe the very early universe directly. I hope I live to see that!

Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 1) 154

by lgw (#49552095) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

If you can avoid traveling in normal space-time, then you've just potentially solved the problem entirely.

That doesn't help in the least. It doesn't matter how you travel: two events, separated in space, that happen "at the same time" in my frame of reference don't do so in another. If I depart A and arrive at B "instantly" in some reference frame, then I have travelled backwards in time from another. There's no getting around that: we live in a relativistic universe.

Comment: Re: me dumb (Score 1) 154

by lgw (#49552071) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

You seem to think the QM guys cooked up this really weird story while particularly high one night, then went looking for a way to make it fit the universe. It's the observations themselves that bring the weirdness. Sure, the universe at these scales far from human experience doesn't fit with our intuitions, but that shouldn't surprise, as our intuitions are based entirely on human experience. Sure the math is intricate, far from simple or elegant, but there's no actual reason to believe the universe is simple and elegant, other than it would be nice if it were so.

Is this all some complex expression of some simpler, underlying truth that we just haven't found yet? Certainly everyone working in the field hopes so! But the horrible, crufty Standard Model just keeps making accurate predictions, and all the clever ideas of physicists to create a simpler underlying model that could explain everything we measure keep failing to do so.

Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 1) 154

by lgw (#49551993) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

It seems like you're missing a key concept here: "simultaneous" depends on reference frame. If two events separated in space, A and B, happen at the same time in my reference frame, there's a reference frame in which A happens before B, and a reference frame in which B happens before A. There's no one true order of events.

This causes no paradoxes in relativity, precisely because you can't send information, or cause an action, faster than the speed of light. The propagation delay between A and B ensures cause precedes effect in every reference frame, and the order of events can't quite shift enough to overcome that propagation delay.

But moving FTL breaks all that. If I move "instantly" in my reference frame, then there's a frame in which I move back in time, and a frame in which I jump forward in time. I don't move back in time in my own reference frame, sure, but I really do in another. And if you're moving quickly relative to me, I can use that to relay a message from you to your past self - either by a series of accelerations between the frames, or by using a friend in your reference frame who can teleport as well.

If I want to visit my own past self, I would need to teleport some significant distance, accelerate up to relativistic speed, again teleport a significant distance, then accelerate again to match location and speed with my former self - elaborate, but possible. Or, if I could travel a great distance, say 1 billion light years, "instantly", then I don't need much acceleration at all, just the difference in velocity the Earth achieves in 6 months as it makes half an orbit would do it.

Comment: Re:Done in movies... (Score 3, Insightful) 212

You are loved and help is available.

LOL, aww, that's sweet.

Honestly, it's not a cry for help or expression of despair.

People can be, and frequently are, good people. But in the aggregate, I don't ascribe "goodness" to humans -- especially when nobody is looking.

As a species we're capable of a lot of good. But we're also capable of a lot of other stuff.

Comment: Re:Threats (Score 1) 212

No Bruce Lee here, just a man who has handled himself in various situations both CONUS and overseas. If your life is that sad, why don't you do something with it.

Look, if you want to flap your gums and wave around your penis, do it elsewhere.

Maybe on a chat room with your buddies while you're playing Xbox.

Mostly you sound like a total wanker.

Comment: Re:Threats (Score 1) 212

So basically you'd be streaming your criminal activity on YouTube all the time? Because that would be stupid.

Or you'd bust our your super ninja skills and enable the streaming as the police were knocking on your door with a carefully placed deadman switch? Why not just go all Bruce Lee on them and beat them up and take their guns?

Because, honestly, when I hear Slashdot people saying all of the tough shit they'd be doing in that situation I just really have to laugh -- seriously, stop fronting ... nobody believes you're a thug or a criminal mastermind. It's lame.

A bunch of pasty nerds talking tough on the internet who would really just pee their pants and cry like little girls.

And, yes, I'm not claiming to be any different.

Comment: Re:Done in movies... (Score 5, Insightful) 212

You seem to be under the illusion that people in general act on a moral, principled basis in all (or even most) aspects of life.

You are sadly mistaken and delusional if you think that.

You haven't spent nearly enough time around people if you are expecting moral condemnation from most movie goers.

People are, not nearly as deep down as we'd like to think, complete fucking barbarians. And don't ever forget it.

Most people don't commit crimes for fear of punishment, not because they morally object. On balance, the human race is far more amoral than people like to believe.

And anything which relies on the inherent goodness of humans is probably useless. Because humans aren't inherently good.

Comment: Re:Done in movies... (Score 2) 212

Some of of can tell the difference between fiction and reality. They get away with lots of things in movies that are not acceptable in real life.

And you can rest assured, the shit they get away with in movies they wouldn't in real life ... have happened in real life. Many many many times. In many many different places.

Police have been muscling up suspects as long as there have been police.

That "fiction" you're talking about is straight out of real life. If anything, the "fiction" is probably tamer than some of the shit which has been done in real life.

If you think this is the first time cops have threatened a suspect (or possibly even done so), you are hopelessly naive.

Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 1) 154

by lgw (#49548161) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

Well, there are several "kinds" of wormholes. In one, the distance really is 3 ticks, in every way that matters, and the fact that there's also a 10-tick path (which used to be the shortest path before the wormhole) means nothing, as there are an infinity of circuitous paths. But that's not this kind of wormhole.


To see the problem, imagine 2 wormholes, A and B, each with widely separated endpoints. In my reference frame, the endpoints A1 and A2 are stationary - I'm standing by A1 and can send a message instantly to A2. The endpoints B1 and B2 are stationary relative to one another, but are moving close to c relative to A. In B's reference frame, my message goes back in time.

If my message gets relayed A1-A2-B2-B1 just as the endpoints pass, I'll get it before I send it. In my reference frame, A1-A2 is instant, but B2-B1 goes back in time. In B's reference frame, A1-A2 goes back in time, and B2-B1 is instant. Either way, it's a causal mess.

A simpler example: you can get a straightforward time machine simply by accelerating one end of a wormhole up to relativistic speed for a few years, and then bringing it back, parking it at rest near the other end. Like the twin who visits a distant star and returns, one end will be "younger" than the other. Now the wormhole moves you back (or forward) in time by a few years when you traverse it.

Comment: Re: And no one cares (Score 1) 33

Our problem is those of us who have set our preferences to now show images or video links still get this.

Which means the editors are by-passing our selected preferences to hawk their own crap.

We don't care if you post videos. But having them forcibly show up in our news feed against the settings we've selected?

That's just plain annoying.

In no other story this week do I see images or embedded video. And yet when timothy posts something, there it is.

So how about you guys stop making your own posts extra special and obey the rules of the user settings instead of just bypassing them and deciding to show it to us anyway?

Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 2) 154

by lgw (#49547911) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

OK, I tried to read your first sentence 3 times, and I still can't parse it, so I'm not sure what you're saying. Naturally, slower-than-light state transfer doesn't introduce paradox. FTL state transfer does allow inversion of cause and effect - the clear examples of this involve two pairs of wormholes, moving quickly relative to one another, which allows you go send a signal out through one pair and back through the other, and get the signal before you sent it.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson