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Comment: Re:Open source isn't enough (Score 1) 246 246

The language alone is not good enough, but it is simple to share. By contrast, building a complete web browser today is a bit difficult, and even a smaller "graphic" language like Tao3D is not that easy to build, in particular if you include all the dependencies. For Tao3D, you need Qt with WebKit, OpenGL, VLC, XLR, LLVM and I forget half a dozen. So I think that exposing the language-only part is interesting. For a while, Tao3D was the same project as XLR, but we decided to split early on. We wanted XLR to remain a non-graphical, non-reactive, non-networked, easy to port language.

Comment: Not enough innovation (Score 1) 260 260

While Go and Swift are interesting incremental improvements, they are not taking into account what we learned about programming languages. In many ways, these two languages seem firmly stuck in the 1980s. For example, Go has no generics, and as far as I can tell, Swift still does not have the kind of true generic types I introduced in XL in 2000, i.e. the possibility to call "ordered" all types that have a less than, and then define functions with "ordered" instead of having to use <T> all over the place just like in C++ (and please, could we stop using angle brackets?)

More generally, there was a lot to be learned from more dynamic languages deriving from Lisp. Being able to treat code as data (homoiconicity) completely changes things. It means your language can be extended in itself, just like Lisp integrated object-oriented capabilities effortlessly. It means you can do metaprogramming, introspection, reflection, dynamic code generation, in a natural way rather than with specialised ad-hoc features. All things that Go or Swift spectacularly fail to do.

A real language redesign does not bring you incremental benefits, it should bring orders of magnitude on many tasks. I speak from experience. In XL, I can do complex arithmetic in 11 lines of code. What about Swift or Go? Ask yourself why Go can't offer complex arithmetic as a library package? Similarly, in Tao3D, I can do things HTML5 just can't, in a much less verbose, much higher-level language, and simple animations take 30 times less code than in JavaScript. The 30x factor tells me that I invented something new. Many others can demonstrate similar innovation.

I fail to see benefits of a similar order of magnitude with Swift or Go, and it annoys me. Companies like Apple and Google have the means, if only the financial ones, to make bigger things happen, in particular when smaller teams like ours already did a lot of investigative work.

Comment: GTR and quantum mechanics are NOT incompatible (Score 1) 62 62

I'm crazy enough to believe I have found a path to unification that is actually quite simple: add a new relativity principle that states that laws of physics must be the same irrespective of the measurement instrument we use. Here is a parallel:

- Special relativity states that the laws of physics must be the same irrespective of your state of motion. So a complete description of an experiment must include which referential you are using. There is no absolute space, no absolute time, no aether. And we need to add new transformation laws from one referential to the next, which are Lorentz transforms.

- General relativity states that the laws of physics must be the same irrespective of acceleration. So a complete description of an experiment must include accelerations, including gravitation. There is no flat space-time anymore, but something that is curved by gravitation fields. So we need to add new transformations from one curved space-time to another, use tensor math, covariant and contravariant quadrivectors, etc.

- My still incomplete theory of incomplete measurements (TIM) states that the laws of physics must be the same irrespective of the measurement instruments used. So a complete description of an experiment must include which instruments were used, including calibration and range. Just because two instruments are calibrated to coincide on a given range cannot be used to postulate that they match at any scale. Space, time, mass and other measurements are no longer continuous, but discrete (because all our physical instruments give discrete results). We need to add new transformation when going from one physical instrument to another, which correspond almost exactly to renormalisation in quantum mechanics, but give an explanation as to their origin.

The TIM focuses on what I learn about a system using a physical measurement instrument. This starts by defining what an instrument is:
- It's a portion of the universe (i.e. it's not "outside the matrix")
- which has an input and an output (e.g. the probe and the display of a voltmeter)
- where changes in the state at the input yield a change in the state of the output (change in voltage result in changes on the display)
- which ideally depend only on the input (the voltmeter picks the voltage at the probe, not somewhere else)
- and change the output (nothing being said about the change in the input, since even macro-scale experiments can be destructive)
- the change in the output being mapped to a mathematical representation (often a real number) through a calibration

The instrument gives me knowledge about the state at the input. Since the instrument has a limited number of states in the output, my knowledge of the system through this instrument at any given time is described by a probability for each of the possible states. If I have N states, the probabilities p_1...p_N are all positive, and their sum is 1. So the knowledge state can be represented by a unit vector in dimension N.

For example, if I care about "is there a particle here", the possible measurements are "yes" and "no". The knowledge state is therefore represented by a unit complex number. If now you want to answer that on a plate with 1 million possible positions, you have a field of 1 million complex numbers, with the additional constraint that the particle must be at only one position (which is expressed as the sum of the probabilities for all "yes" being 1). That field is remarkably similar to the wave function, and this reasoning explains why it is complex-valued, why it is a probability of presence, and why it collapses when you know where the particle is.

But the primary difference with QM and GTR is that space-time is no longer continuous. It is discrete, and the discretization depends on the instrument being used. Because it is discrete, there are never any theoretical infinities in the sums you compute (these infinities being the reason why QM and GTR are considered fundamentally incompatible).

Here is a layman view of the incompatibility between QM and GTR. Imagine ants that try to define the laws of physics on earth. They setup rules, e.g. their anthill is only at one place in the universe, so the sum of the probability to find the anthill over all of space-time is 1. But if they now start realising that the earth surface is not flat but curved, now the method above does not work. If you go to infinity along the surface of earth, you "count" the anthill multiple times, so your integral, instead of being normalized, diverges to infinity. It is only an analogy, but it is an interesting one.

+ - Microsoft Hasn't Given Up On The Non-Smart Phones It Inherited From Nokia->

jfruh writes: Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's handset business was mostly focused on gaining a hardware line that ran the company's Windows Phone OS; but in the process, Microsoft also gained ownership of some model lines that are classified as "feature phones" and some that are straight up dumb, and they're still coming out with new models, confusingly still bearing the "Nokia" brand. The $20 Nokia 105 as billed as "long-lasting backup device" and comes with an FM radio, while the $30 Nokia 215 is "Internet-ready" and comes with Facebook and Twitter apps.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:A holographic TV and a quantum teleporter (Score 2) 557 557

that thorium reactor is fission, not fusion. Not exactly interchangeable.

Obviously, which is why I wrote thorium / fusion, with a slash. You want the combo. Jumpstarting a fusion-only reactor from the wireless power line? That takes forever! Last time I checked, you need at least two to three frigging minutes!

A thorium reactor, on the other hand, is a good little backup, underpowered, sure, but largely enough to fire up a Fusion Drive 6G almost instantly. Also, many small thorium generators fit in your pocket, whereas even the latest Mr Fusion are big enough that you need a car to haul them around. So when I want a senso-holomovie on the beach, I always carry a little thorium booster with me, just drop it n the seawater for a few seconds, and I'm good to go!

Also, I forgot something essential in my list. You probably want a temporal adjustment controller. I just realized mine is on the fritz, and I'm no longer sure which year I'm in. Can you imagine if you make a mistake and talk about recent technology to, say, early 21st century Slashdotters? That would be cruel.

Comment: Re:A holographic TV and a quantum teleporter (Score 1) 557 557

Um ... what exactly do you need the battery for ?

How would you otherwise teleport when the martians attack and the grid is down? Plus, I think that if you have a quantum teleporter, having at least a couple of terawatts locally is basic construction code in most places.

Comment: A holographic TV and a quantum teleporter (Score 4, Funny) 557 557

Here is my quick list:

- 80' holographic TV with 360 channels 4D surround sound
- Two parking spots for the hovercars
- A quantum teleporter (ask for the free subscription to Andromeda Quantum Tours Weekly)
- A six terawatt home battery and thorium / fusion nuclear reactor (don't go for the cheap Tesla stuff, nuclear is what you need)
- A robosquid and a set of batteries
- Six packs of pills for instant beer
- An iPhone9 with the Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple ID, Apple Travel, iThink, assortment of overpriced cases, cables and chargers
- At least one DNA decoder / recoder per room
- A 65536-qbit game console for the kid

+ - First electric hoverbike takes to the skies->

MikeChino writes: A team from Hungary has developed an all-electric flying bike that just took off on its first test flight. The tricopter vehicle—dubbed Flike—has so far stayed aloft in controlled tests for over a minute, and with lithium-polymer batteries to power the cycle’s six rotors it has the capacity to sustain a 30-40 minute flight.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Predict when no current is flowing... (Score 1) 258 258

This one is somewhat specialised, but may still be worth sharing. Back then, I was working on HP ECUTEST, a refrigerator-sized machine that simulated all electrical inputs and outputs for a car engine control unit (ECU). Basically, it was "The Matrix" for an ECU: you plugged the car's brain into it, and it couldn't tell it wasn't in a real car.

The customer wanted a way to create defects on the ECU pins, e.g. short them to the ground. Problem is that an injector signal is 60 amps or so for a diesel engine, and an ignition coil signal is easily 500V. Try shorting this with a low-cost relay, and your relay gets fried pretty fast. But then, we were emitting the "cogwheel" signal that the ECU used to know the position of the engine, A pretty complicated signal in its own right, that varies in shape, amplitude and frequency as engine speed increases. Generating that signal was a story in itself.

Anyway, we wrote software that would synchronise the flipping of the relays to create defects with the rotation of the engine, so that we knew that at the moment we were switching the relay, there was little current and little voltage in the corresponding circuit. Of course, you can imagine how many relays it cost to make the stupid software work as it was supposed to. Well, actually, not that many, all things considered, but the hardware guy who had to replace the relays still cursed me whenever I goofed up.

Comment: Re:A Fan of Security (Score 1) 258 258

Did a similar thing back at engineering school, with an old IBM 4341. That machine was a big time-shared computer with tons of students. Someone noticed that your account got a temporary priority bump whenever you had a screen refresh. So in order to speed up compiles and other things, we had a variety of contraptions that would hit the page-up/page-down keys to force the screen to update continuously.

Beware the new TTY code!