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Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 132

For such an experiment to work, you have to get the ratios to do the magic, and, an exaggerated case would be having a lead ball the size of Jupiter inside the lab pulling on the spore of a plant suspended on a hair of quartz torsion spring, exerting a huge force on the spore by virtue of Jupiter's gravity. Then you suddenly pull Jupiter through the door out of the lab with a blast at the other end of the shaft outside the lab, and, because the spore does not have much inertia due to its own weight, the torsion sensor almost has to fight its own inertia as opposed to the spores, but the system is light and reacts fast to a gravitational change, you get a reaction, a sort of high speed gravitational sensor by virtue of its light weight that has just been influenced by huge gravity. If anything a super light sensor like spider web suspended stuff might be better than a quartz hair, and again you're looking for ratios, strength vs. mass, to minimize the mass of suspension equipment vs. the suspended small weight weight, and even going under a microscope to watch position vs. time of a 10 angstrom carbon nanotube suspended 1 microgram weight as a 50 kiloton "Jupiter" suddenly gets jerked out of the lab with a blast on the other end, might come up with some results. Even one significant digit, or just a hint, like a half a significant digit, might be useful, in the measurement of the speed of gravity, or at least provide a lower limit, as in is it the same or more than the speed of light. So one could budget for at least 2 light speeds, and if the experiment does not give a measurement, but comes up with no result in the sense that the speed is still infinite within the confines of the experiment and we can't measure it accurately, but definitely higher than 2 speed of lights, that would be a step forward.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 132

If by GR you mean general relativity, it does not conclude or arrive at as a result, but postulates, presupposes, just like special relativity does, as an axiom, that the speed of light is constant. Also I just read the speed of gravity wikipedia page, and it smells like absolute bullshit, other than Laplace saying something that the speed of gravity must be 7x10^6 times the speed of light, which is an interesting number, but I don't know how he arrived at it. Then the page goes on discussing how Earth would be attracted to where the Sun was a while ago, as I assume, just like we see light get to us from the Sun in 8 minutes, so we see where the Sun was 8 minutes ago, and would have no idea if it disappeared or some extraterrestrial invaders suddenly stole it from us and towed it away, 2 minutes ago, for another 6 minutes, and see where it is now. Duh. But the arguments that finite speed of gravity would make the Earth spiral out of orbit is ludicrous. It is the direction and intensity of force vector that matters as it is encountered by Earth, and just because you see where the Sun was 8 minutes ago, and with gravity you feel where the Sun was distance/speed ago, it does not mean you get a forward or backward pull, because, where ever you are on the orbit, you meet up with the force or wave the Sun sent there 8 minutes ago, pulling you in a direction and intensity just right to maintain the same orbit as if it was sent 1 minute ago or 2 minutes ago, or even two millenia ago if that's how slow gravity propagated, or even instantaneously, you see the same force vector, pointing in the same direction at that point, with the same intensity. So why do you care it was sent right now or a while ago if it does the same thing? There is a lot of fallacy around this. Also observing a quasar as Jupiter passes in front of it, to measure the speed of gravity? What a fucking quack! A quasar and Jupiter are not gravitationally interacting, nor are you with the Quasar or Jupiter, practically speaking. The quasar does interact with its nearby objects. You can't measure speed of gravity between distant galactic objects, they don't interact, unless the mass you're dealing with is huge, and their corresponding distance is very small, so you're dealing with huge gravity forces, and almost the same dots in the picture image from the Hubble telescope. Then theoretically you could get some time measurements, as Kepler kept record, and once you calculate the GM (gravitational constant x mass) for the interacting objects, and can predict their orbits in the Kepler-like relativistic way, and then measure distance accurately too of a 3rd object flying by so close that it's a 3-body system instead of two, and affecting the quasars time periods by turning them into this 3-body system, and plotting the quasar frequency vs. distance of the 3rd object as it collides with them, and knowing the accurate distance, could let you calculate the speed of gravity. There are no accurate ways to measure distances in far galaxies. And good luck waiting out such a collision as they take millions of years to happen, and you need one that slams into a quasar with a timing on the order of the quasars pulses, so that's very fast, and the chances of catching one of these happenings in the sky, i.e. a 2 second event, colliding object position accurately plotted vs. time for those 2 seconds, while it blasted away the quasar, the chances of seeing one of these are pretty much zero in a lifetime, probably zero in a millenium too.

So quit trying to measure the speed of gravity waiting for and hoping to catch high speed gravitational events far away in the sky, and accurately plotting positions too, or computing them from a system of equations, for which you still need measurements of some kind, even if less accurate, for all the 7 actors involved in the system of 7 equations). So the best chances to measure speed of gravity are in the lab, repeating Cavendish's experiments (see the wikipedia page). Just like in the formula for attraction between electric charges, F=k.q1.q2/r^2, k is the Coulomb constant, equal to 1/(4.Pi.epsilon), you could measure the speed of light by jerking either the large charge or the small charge and plotting the force on the other vs. distance of charge on a high speed camera, you might be able to do the same experiment with the Cavendish setup relating to masses instead of electric charges, where F=k.m1.m2/r^2, k is the gravitational constant measured when the masses are sitting still compared to each. However it's really hard to get sensitive force measurements down to picograms on tons of weight (as in measuring weight to 2153.0000000000000000017 kg accuracy, that's too many digits), and while with charges you can concentrate a lot of charge and have small weight into a small object, easily jerked and position changed suddenly, with gravity you must have a heavy ball that's hard to jerk if you want to measure the quartz hair suspended torsion force on the smaller one, at say 0.0215300000000000017 kg. It's like you have to blast the heavy ball away from the sensitively suspended little one with an explosive pull through a strong shaft that does not shatter from the pull (you have to pull, you can't push by having an explosion blast going on between the balls), (capturing its motion on an ultrahighspeed camera,) to get a sudden effect, and then watch as the little balls inertia damps almost all of it away, and barely starts moving the torsional sensor. The torsional recovery force accelerating the mass back is extremely small, but you might be able to compute when it started from plotting and extrapolating back the accelerating positions vs.time. Such an experiment is extremely impossible to conduct, as even with the measurement of light, such as Fizeau, he gets a couple miles of distance by sending light out of the lab with a mirror for a few miles, then back into the lab, and now he's got a couple miles of path length vs. time, as opposed to the Cavendish experiment of 2 inches or 2 feet.

Comment: Re:Not in visable uses... (Score 1) 78

by mcrbids (#47578853) Attached to: HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

The most bad-ass server I've ever had the pleasure of working with was a Digital VAX 11/750 generations ago. It was *built* to be reliable from the very first rivet.

Oh sure, my pocket phone has far more power, memory, and storage. Despite the ample square footage of my "McMansion" house, It would not have fit in my kitchen. It ate power like global warming really was a myth. But as a server, it was in its own class.

It would automatically detect memory that was failing and rebuild from memory (like ECC) but then would remap that address so it would no longer be used.

You could upgrade its CPUs one at a time without shutting it down.

It was like a hoover with data, versioning files was intrinsic to how the O/S worked.

One time, the A/C in the computer room went out. It mapped *everything* in RAM to disk as the temperature rose and the chips became unreliable. We literally pulled the plug on it because it was completely unresponsive, as all operations were working directly off HDD. When the A/C was fixed and it was powered up late that night, it spooled all of RAM out of the HDD swap, and everybody's workstation resumed exactly where they had left off that afternoon - we couldn't find any data loss at all.

I will forever bow in deference to the greatest server I have ever had the pleasure of working on. How HP managed to acquire such a legacy and turn its back... part of me cries inside.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 132

OK, you're right. So I correct myself: In absolute void the speed of light is not infinite, but just simply does not exist, because it's undefined, 0/0 division, and there is actually no wave at all, because there is no medium to carry it. The speed of any wave is the square root of a driving force term divided by an inertial term, as in sqrt((1/epsilon) / mu) for electromagnetic waves, or sqrt(E/Rho) for mechanical waves, E being the Young modulus, or stiffness (potential energy), rho the mass density (inertia), epsilon the dielectric permittivity(potential energy), mu the magnetic permeability(inertia). In an almost perfect void inertial terms are zero, or very nearly so, infinitesimal, but we don't know how zero the potential terms are. It is the ratio of these residual infinitesimal quantities that determines the speed of the wave, and for light the potential energy inverse permittivity factor is much greater than the magnetic inertia factor, that's how we have a huge velocity. Obviously, in absolute void there is neither inertia nor potential energy, just as there is sound in air, but in absence of a medium, such as in outer space, you can yell all you want in your space suit, the other astronomers can't hear it, there is no air to propagate it, but through a radio that transmits waves through the non-perfect-void between you two he can, because the "aether", the electromagnetic medium between you two is still present, and were it not, there would be no means of communication such as light or radio, you'd be immersed in a completely blind and deaf world, other than actually shooting dee deet dah dah Morse code bullets at each other and maintaining the sense of touch, or even various chemicals, to maintain the sense of taste (imagine you were a metal robot with HF-like(hydrofluoric acid-reacting like) heavy liquid, that does not boil in outer space vaccuum, acid saliva, tasting rocks.) As a different view, imagine you only had ears like bats, and you were in outer space, and you did not even know light existed, so without air you can't see anything with your ultrasound ears, or talk to each other, but if you use a bunch of ping pong balls to shoot around you instead of ultrasound, and a sensor to detect if any bounce back at you, you got a rough image, and your buddy can ping ping some balls at you in a tee tee tah tah Morse code fashion and communicate. So in absolute void there is no wave of any kind, because there is no transmission medium of any kind. It's like saying what is the speed of sound in outer space? It is zero. It stops at the interface of the sound propagating medium, the hull of your spacesuit, and the high or low impedance outer space, with total reflection. I'm not sure the concept of "aether" that has been abandoned as a scientific concept deemed superfluous because we can't measure our speed against it in the Michelson Morley experiment, so it would require complicated behavior to adapt to these experiments, so I'm not sure this concept is useless, because it does provide a medium to discuss, through which a wave propagates. Enabling it with funky but complicated behavior might be an worthwhile thing to do, and maintain Newtonian absolute time and space, and all electromagnetic things bending in it according to the Lorentz rules, but space itself or time itself would not bend. If you can find any non-electromagnetic objects around you (good luck), you could see if that cares about the constancy of speed of light or not. We still don't know what Newtonian gravity is, is it a force that propagates through a medium, and then what are the potential and inertial terms of that medium that would determine the speed. Obviously gravity propagates either infinitely fast, or very fast, as a simple force measuring experiment along the lines of Eotvos Lorant suspending 50 kg lead Pb balls via a quartz hair, and a mirror to bounce light to measure the torsion and force, you could measure how fast the force signal reacts when you suddenly remove the gravitationally interacting objects, vs. initial distance, i.e. how long it took the other ball to realize the first ball disappeared or got moved away. It's really difficult to move big weights really fast, or get any kind of gravity between widely separated objects, as it decays by r-square. So gravity may or may not move through electromagnetic "aether", and once you have a medium, you have one type of wave, as in sound is sound, and you can't really have transverse oscillations as sound, but interestingly, in aether you can have transverse and polarized waves, like on a water surface. On the water below it you could have a longitudinal wave, and the two waves propagate with different velocities, as the potential energy terms - one dependent on the gravity of earth or moon or space station you're one, the other one the Young modulus of water - are different from each other. So is there a way to also send longitudinal waves through "aether", and what would those be like? A charge exerts an electric field in an inverse r square just like gravity does, but there is two kinds of charges, and one kind of gravity, and magnetism arises only when you move not along the charge lines, but perpendicular to them, so "aether" must be some really funky substance or thing or model, and it may be a useful model just like caloric and phlogiston were for a while, until its deficiencies are highlighted. But we need a medium to intuit a wave with our stupid minds, and absolute void should mean no wave, and possibly no action at a distance?

A bat has no idea there is such a thing as light in the Universe, and misses out on looking at distant galaxies. I wonder how many such interactions there are that we have no sensors for. I mean a bat could still detect light just like we detect radio waves through a radio speaker, but it would be a hard job for him to adapt an speaker to depict Hubble telescope images in ultrasound for his ears to see. Picture a Hubble telescope image viewed in ultrasound, then transduced back into light for us. The image resolution must be horrible for bats, if they look at stuff like we look at pregnancy ultrasounds, but they are able to catch bugs with their sound vision, so maybe there is ways to go with our pregnancy images to get more quality. So just because we can't see an interaction with our present biological sensors like eyeballs and technological sensors like infrared detectors it does not mean it's not possible to transduce it to the other methods, and we probably know of all interactions there are out there, but there is always a possibility of something not very interacting escaping our attention, and it may be a while before we discover it, just like it may take thousands of years for bats with intelligence equivalent to humans, to happen upon light sensors, even if they know all about lightning strike thunders.

Comment: Re:When will we... (Score 1) 209

"Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want."

Uh, the CIA has been pretty much like this since its inception during World War II as the OSS and the CIA immediately after. It was reined in briefly by the Churck and Pike Committees in the 70's but that oversight and those reforms were pretty much rolled back by Reagan. Sure, they got to reach new lows after 9/11 with no hold barred torture, but the CIA has been torturing people through proxies for its entire history, so that wasn't exactly new either.

Not exactly sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of revelation or anything new, other than its kind of amazing Brennan was foolish enough to admit to it. I predict his career at the CIA will soon come to an end, and he will be replaced with someone with larger brass balls.

The chances you all are gonna change any of this airing your indignation on /. are vanishingly small.

Comment: Re:House of Lords? (Score 2) 179

by Austerity Empowers (#47577163) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The political fervour that is whipped up in the populace, from security theatre / war on terror, the war on drugs, etc, takes a life of its own in a pure democracy.

Who whips up that fervor, the war on drugs wasn't started as a grass roots campaign, for sure, it came from the top. It's the same in the US and UK, I think, certainly with the same dark motivations and same ill-gotten power. Anonymity is a friend to the masses and an enemy to power. Whistle-blowers, leakers and disharmonious speech are threats to the status quo, the same one that provides the wealth they wield to have this alleged long-term view.

I don't disagree with the concept of having a ruling body that is not beholden to the mob, I just haven't seen any mechanism by which that body can be kept honest and magnanimous. That is the same spirit which brought down monarchies to begin with.

I'm certainly too ignorant to decide in what ways the UK system or the US system are better or worse, but in this particular example I do not see any significant difference.

Comment: Re:And it's already closed (Score 4, Informative) 66

by timeOday (#47575571) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory
Does nobody remember this headline from a few months ago? Tesla could start on Gigafactory in 2 states, then cut 1:

"We are going to proceed with at least two locations in parallel, just in case one of them encounters some issues after breaking ground," Musk said. He said Panasonic was likely to be Tesla's partner in battery production.

The fact that construction started and then stopped makes it sound more like this is that - who else would do such a thing?

Comment: Headline trifecta (Score 3, Interesting) 66

by timeOday (#47575285) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory
I was going to write something snarky about the silliness of getting excited about this one factory, of all things. But it really does hit all the right points, doesn't it: (1) the manufacturing industry in the US, (2) the geopolitics of our oil addiction and resulting involvement in the middle east, and (3) environmental harm from fossil fuels.

Morgan Stanley is excited about the potential use of gigafactory batteries for home energy storage and grid independence, and thinks they might make more on that than on cars. (I would have thought good old lead acid car batteries were cheaper for this?)

Comment: Re:What the hell? (Score 1) 156

You could just leave your vacuum cleaner running I guess... (even Shop Vacs have HEPA filters available, and they move a lot of air!)

But it makes more sense to filter the air at the inlet if you can, or at least as it recirculates through the HVAC system already built into your home. Check your air filter once in a while, people!

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Journal: Nobots: now in paperback 1

Journal by mcgrew

It annoys the hell out of me that my books are so damned expensive, which is why I wanted Mars, Ho! to be 100,000 words. I'd hoped that possibly Baen might publish it so it would be, oddly, far cheaper. I can buy a copy of Andy Wier's excellent novel The Martian from Barnes and Noble or Amazon for less than I can get a copy of my own Paxil Diaries from my printer, and Wier's book is a lot longer.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 132

by sillybilly (#47571383) Attached to: More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties
Elliptical galaxies must have a lot of collisions as stars go about in perpendicular planes to each other. As there has to be a centrifugal force keeping the stuff from falling together right away, like in a vortex the spinning sets up a delay, and keep things from collapsing into each other, in the ellipsoid's vertical plane too, not just everything going about orderly in a horizontal plane.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?