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Comment: Re:This Chimanzee video amazed me... (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by Charliemopps (#47440097) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

You'll have to do some diging, because I don't remember where I saw it... but they now understand why they are so good at that kind of task. It has to do with "working memory" and some other kind of memory that we're good at. I forget which, but having working memory that good would actually hinder us. The chimps have their plan DONE in their mind when they start pressing buttons. They do not need to be able to see the numbers anymore, because they no longer matter. The chimp saw the numbers, decided a course of action and executed. Humans on the other hand decide what to do for each key press. We make a new judgement call and continue. This is what makes us so creative. If something were to happen to the numbers, like they get rearranged we'd still be about as good. It's just as much work for us to deal with the new state as the old. The chimps on the other hand would have to stat over. This is, at least how I remember it. I'd research if you're really interested.

Comment: Solar activity (Score 5, Interesting) 77

I confirmed the effect of solar activity countrywide myself a few years ago...
I used to work in the NOC (Network operations center) for a major Telco. The job is pretty strait forward, there's an application that gets alerts from a vast and very diverse set of equipment all across the country and displays "alarms" when they are having problems. There are always alarms, but many are transient and a lot of the equipment will fix itself. Your job is to know what's bad, how bad it is and how to intervene if you need to. A remote in the backwoods of Georgia has a fire alarm... Call the fire department who will break down the door, hose down the equipment and put 10,000 people out of service for a week? Or notice that the same remote has a minor fan alarm thats not on your display because of the severity and know that what really is going on is the fan burned up and you can just send a field tech to replace it.

Anyways, that jobs a lot like war. Long periods of boredom punctuated by brief periods of terror. 100k people without 911 service wares at you. But in the slow times it's really boring so I was surfing one day and found this:
http://spaceweather.com/
It's a NASA website that shows the activity in space around the sun/earth. You can even download spreadsheets of past data.
This got me thinking so I exported alarm activity on the millions of pieces of equipment I watched for the same time period.
At first it didn't match up, but then I remembered there are local causes to. So I found some data on electrical storms and subtracted that...
Tada! I had a perfect graph showing the rise and fall of solar activity that matched nicely with my alarm activity. There were a few anomalies, but I'm not scientist. I could see that the effect was more negligible on our fiber networks, but still there. I attributed this to power fluctuations.

Excited I ran into my bosses office and told him to look at my charts. He said "That's fantastic! Good work! Really interesting! But useless I'm sad to say..."
I was baffled...
"Do you want me to block out the sun? This really is neat, but that's about it. We can't do anything about it."
I thought about it and finally agreed. It's is neat, but also unavoidable. At best we could use it to put more techs on staff on certain days, but that would be about it. And the fact is, there's ALWAYS someone on call... so, though being interesting, it's also irrelevant. About the most interesting part was that fiber made the issue go away... but we already knew fiber was better in just about all cases. This was just more proof.

Comment: Re:countermeasure (Score 2) 160

So... am I incorrect in thinking that a decent countermeasure would be to ground yourself in some way? Shoes with a hole in the toe... or if the put a grounding mat on the floor you could have a capacitor in your pocket...

I would imagine that alarms would be set off if you didn't discharge into the mass spectrometer inlet even if it was just a "test malfunction, redo test" alarm. Also, grounding yourself while touching a Van de Graaff generator can be a very painful experience which would (hopefully) be noticed by the operator...

And would give you a good excuse to refuse another test...

Comment: lol (Score 1) 139

The Television networks really like bullet holes in their feet don't they? I'm always amazed by their insane drive to live in the 1960s while the rest of us have moved on. If Aereo has wanted to really play unfair, they'd have moved to a country without copyright law, hid their Antenna arrays and VPN's the signal overseas to redistribute it. There'd be nothing the networks could do. Instead they offered them cash and are getting frowned on... pfft.

Comment: Re:There's something Germany can do right away... (Score 1) 215

by Charliemopps (#47427047) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Not going to happen. The US bases bring in a lot of money to Germany. Also, the Germans are in on it too. This is just a dog and pony show to pretend they're doing something about spying.

It's a tad more than that. These agreements are NOT equal. Germany knows there's nothing they can do about the US spying so they try to co-operate to avoid being targeted themselves. But really it's kind of an Uncle Tom situation, they thought they'd found a way into the house, but really they're getting whipped in the end just as bad as everyone else.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

Let me guess. All of you who claimed the US overstepped it's bounds in the previous Slashdot article will now claim that the Maldives is lying to cover for the US. Rather than simply just admit your knee jerk reaction was wrong.

I don't remember anyone spinning any conspiracies and this doesn't counter what everyone was complaining about. The US took the son of a Russian politician into custody during a military crisis without talking to Russia about it first. What would your reaction have been if, while on vacation to England (or any other country for that matter) John McCains kid was arrested and flown to Russia overnight? The uproar would be insane. The double standard we hold for other countries is a bit of a joke.

Comment: Sad... (Score 2) 146

by Charliemopps (#47424251) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

70yrs ago, England stood alone in Europe against the shackles of tyranny. A few years later, and millions lives lost, England prevailed. Little did they know at the time that less than a century later the same arguments made by the Nazis regarding an imaginary immigrant threat and terrorist would be used again by their own government. The government will save them from criminals, but who will save them from their own government?

Comment: Re:"Very Long Time?" (Score 4, Insightful) 79

by Charliemopps (#47421503) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different

Unless you're a creationist. In which case the number is more like 6,000 years, which is still a pretty long time in my book.

Even most creationists think the earth being 6k years old is nuts. Most think science is right for the most part and it just explains "how god did it" Keep in mind, the age of the earth is no-where in the bible. The 6k figure came from some idiots counting up begots and such... most of the christians I've talked to about the subject simply don't care and if God wanted them to make a big deal about the age of the earth they're pretty sure he'd have put a line there "and the Lord sayeth the world is 6000 years old and woe unto he who talkith about giant lizards"

Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once. Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.

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