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Comment Good riddance to bad rubbish. (Score 4, Informative) 221

Flash? You mean the Fucking Large-Ass Security Hole? I have had it disabled on my machines for years now, all the way back to the "FlashToggler" software of from the early 2000s. It's about time the rest of the world ditches it too.

The only good thing about Flash is it made blocking animated ads trivial simply by disabling the plugin. I have not had similar success with HTML5, and fear that the rise of HTML5 will signal the return of pages with so much animated ad content that I can't concentrate on the text. :(

Comment Re:this report is inconsistent (Score 2) 142

Actually, "mass squared" is a completely relevant concept in this context. The reason is that the equation everybody thinks they know as Einstein's special relativity equation is NOT E = mc^2. That is the simplified version for objects at rest. The version that includes particles in motion is E^2 = p^2c^2 + m^2c^4, where p is the momentum of the particle. Note the presence of an m^2 term in that equation. Thus, a negative mass squared -- which others have pointed out should be read as "negative (mass squared)" -- implies that the particle's energy is *decreased* by its mass rather than increased by it. This is a counterintuitive idea, but quite plausible mathematically.

One thing that I should point out is that it is possible that Erlich wrote this paper not because he actually believes it, but because he did the math. Got a surprising result that did not obviously contradict known principles of experiments, and is challenging the world to tell him where he went wrong. We used to do this all the time when I was in grad school. It was a lot of fun. The main difference is that when you stake out an outrageous position and your friends catch your mistake over some beer, no one calls you an idiot on Slashdot. When you publish a paper, the results can be less ... um .. . "civil."

Comment Re:this report is inconsistent (Score 5, Informative) 142

Ummm...according to my calculator, 0.33 eV / 510998 eV = 0.646 x 10^-6, which is reasonably close to "two thirds of a millionth" quote

As for the imaginary mass, let's say that some particle had 0.33i eV as its mass. Then if you squared that, you would end up with -0.108 eV^2. How is that not "negative mass squared" ?

There are lots of potential problems with Erlich's theory, but the ideas you chose to nitpick are not at issue..

Comment Re: That's amazing (Score 2) 53

You seem to have a really bad case of apples and oranges syndrome. I'm really not trying to get on your case -- rather, I want to help you understand the way things really work.

1. "for example "light" can travel faster than light if they are travelling in different mediums."

Whether you realize it or not, what you're saying here is that the speed of light depends on the medium. This is true. It seems like you are saying that this is some sort of contradiction, when in fact it isn't. Consider your own running speed: do you run faster in air or in a pool? Light faces a similar situation; in denser media it has a slower speed. Saying "light can travel faster than light" is just silly. Light always travels at the speed of light -- just not always at "speed of light in a vacuum."

2. "a vacuum has really high resistance and I seem to remember that electrons travel at different speeds depending on the resistance."

If you are talking about electron drift velocity in a conductor, then I recommend you start reading here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.... If you are talking about the velocity of free electrons in a vacuum, that's a completely different story. A free electron in a vacuum has no single speed, no more than a free cue ball in a vacuum would have. Either object travels at a speed consistent with its momentum and energy. If you're talking about electrons shot out the back end of an accelerator, they're going close to c (the dreaded speed of light in a vacuum). If you're talking about electrons accelerated by some other mechanism, well, then the speed is going to depend on what energy the accelerator imparted to the electron.

Comment Re:That's amazing (Score 5, Informative) 53

You should really read the "abstract," because the entire paper is available there at no cost. The discovered relationship is not a*C = b, but rather x = A y ** (-B), which is a much more complex relationship, and quite startling in this arena. Also be sure to look at all his graphs so you will understand what this guy did, what he discovered, and why this is a Big Deal (tm). Then maybe you won't be so quick to mock this discovery...

Comment Re:Natural immunity (Score 3, Informative) 122

This. For the love of god, people need to mod the parent up. In classic Slashdot fashion, the entire conversation on this thread has missed the point, which is that the farm workers are carrying these antibiotic-resistant bacteria BECAUSE THEY CAME IN CONACT WITH LIVESTOCK THAT CARRY THE BACTERIA.

Why do the livestock carry these bacteria? Because they were fed low doses of antibiotics for long times. Antibiotics work great when you use a nice high dose for a specified period of time, and kill all the targeted bacteria. If you use low doses that don't kill all the bacteria, then some survive and eventually the survivors evolve a resistance to the antibiotics.

By using these low doses of antibiotics in livestock, we are *helping* bacteria develop resistance to the very drugs we use to treat those same bacterial infections in humans. In other words, we are setting the stage for an epidemic of disease that we can't treat because we rendered the treatment tools ineffective.

MRSA is the first. What this article is pointing out is that more are on the way, because they now have direct evidence that the resistant bacteria have a means of getting from the livestock to human populations.

This article ain't a political discussion, folks. It's a canary in a coal mine.

Comment Seems like a small detector assist is in order (Score 1) 105

There are lots of ways of detecting gamma rays, but one really common way is through scintillation and/or fluorescence. Most common scintillators are small blocks of plastic. I'm thinking you could increase the sensitivity of the smartphone gamma system by simply taping a small piece of plexiglass to the outside of the camera lens, using plain old black electrical tape. Then the plexiglass would convert some of the gamma energy to visible light and the camera sensor would do the rest.

Total cost? Probably around $0.05 total.

Comment Re:CMMI is a scam (Score 1) 228

So here's the part the press doesn't cover thoroughly: CGI Federal was not the Prime or Lead System Integrator on this contract. We had no authority to issue orders or assert requirements on any other contractor. Sure, CGI made some mistakes, but we can't be responsible for the other contractors when we have no contractual relationship with them!

Testing, in particular, was something CMS reserved for themselves to manage as the LSI on the program.

Again, I don't work for the CGI division that had the contract, but I do read newspapers and follow the internal chatter on this sort of thing, so I'm pretty well "up" on CGI's experiences on this project.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer