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Comment: Re:Stability (Score 2) 414

by drerwk (#49742979) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

A huge standard library that has been stable for 20 years (backward compatible as much as humanly possible) has a lot to do with it as well.

In other languages, I feel like I have to re-learn basic elements every decade to "how it's done now"...

No kidding - especially the socket libraries that let me write network code in the later 90s that would work on Sun, Mac, Windows, and Linux. Getting cross platform network code to work in C at that time was quite painful. And I don't recall any C++ libraries that I found pleasant to use before boost, and now Qt. And even now, while I consider boost essential, it's really only pleasant in the same way as no longer having to get your braces tightened qualifies as pleasant.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 5, Informative) 480

by drerwk (#49596389) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

If I were to peer-review a paper on this, I would insist on a plausible physical explanation for the claimed measurement. The burden of proof is on them: they are making a truly extraordinary claim, one that, if true, would entail revising all of physics from its very foundation.

When somebody sounds like a total fucking crackpot, they almost always are.

You might have missed high temp super conductivity entirely then. The phenomenon was measured and replicated in many labs - but it was at least a few years before any plausible theory came out - and 20 years on we do not have firm agreement on the cause.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by drerwk (#49440317) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"
It is a little more extensive in Texas - you can use deadly force against a fleeing robber to recover property that could not be replaced.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and (3) he reasonably believes that: (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Comment: Re:Current minimum is 30 min by car. (Score 2) 149

by drerwk (#49041303) Attached to: Mooted: An Undersea Link From Finland To Estonia
It may be people at work were kidding me: However, apparently it is common to drive into the sea at Talinn.
As for temp:
Helsinki Airport recorded a temperature of 34.0 C (93.2 F) on 29 July 2010 and a low of 35.9 C (33 F) on 9 January 1987. - so maybe I'm thinking with wind chill.

Comment: Current minimum is 30 min by car. (Score 1, Insightful) 149

by drerwk (#49039501) Attached to: Mooted: An Undersea Link From Finland To Estonia
I had the great pleasure of staying in Helsinki for Dec/Jan - love the Finns. It finally got down to -44 or so and there was much celebration at work as the gulf had frozen over and the booze run to Tallinn could be done by car. I gratefully declined the invite to go along for the ride.

Comment: Re:100% Pure USDA-Disapporoved Bull (Score 1) 119

The juror is there to determine the facts of the case. The prosecution and defense are both giving their sides. The jury may decide that there's reasonable doubt, doubt but it's not reasonable, or no doubt one way or another. It's their call. They really don't care about the agent's theories, because they are not FACTS.

I assume that the agent's theories were developed to support some set of facts that he had at hand and that those facts can still be pointed to in support of the previous theory. I've not studied this case in any detail, but I know that the goal of any prosecutor is to get a conviction, sometimes more so than being sure they have the right guilty party on trial. While in the ideal world, justice and truth might converge, in our world justice is on a clock and the truth is not.

Comment: Re:100% Pure USDA-Disapporoved Bull (Score 4, Insightful) 119

by drerwk (#48824549) Attached to: Silk Road Trial Defense: Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts
I don't think the soundness of the theory is so important to the jury as is the fact that the agent was sure this other guy was the DPR, and now the agent is sure the defendant is the DPR - the agent has to admit to being wrong before and can be asked why in 6 months he would not have a new theory about who really is the DPR. I think it leaves a lot of doubt about the certainty the agent ought to feel about his theory.

Comment: Re:Science, bitches, that's *how* it works! (Score 2) 197

by drerwk (#48635871) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

"wave-particle duality is simply the quantum uncertainty principle" gets a "no shit" straight away from me, though I guess a rigorous proof of it is kind of news.

That's how science work.

That more about how math works. Physicists did not care that the calculus of infinitesimal was not rigorous; see especially the Dirac-Delta function. It gave them answers that agreed with experiment which for a Physicist is the best proof. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Comment: Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (Score 1) 81

by drerwk (#48618811) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship
Right, but the sentence you are make fun of is talking about stabilizing the rocket as it is coming back into the atmosphere, ass first in a no longer particularly aerodynamic configuration as it is missing the whole second stage and payload section. Flight stability in the nose going first direction is much better than in the engine going first direction. They are not complaining how hard it is to go that last 10m to the landing; I agree with you that stability control at that point is pretty easy. You know the first attempt they made for power re-entry failed because the axial rotation of the booster caused fuel starvation to the engine due to centrifigal force. Full tanks and no rotation at launch save you from that worry.
And as for less mass being easier to stabilize - can you balance a pencil on your finger? How 'bout a broomstick?

Comment: Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (Score 0) 81

by drerwk (#48616933) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

And I don't mean the speed of light kind.

At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm.

EXACTLY the same as takeoff. NO difference.

Same amount of fuel? No, so not the same moments of inertia. During launch the engine is pushing in the direction of travel, during re-entry no. During launch, the aerodynamics include that nice fairing on the nose, which should be a bit less chaotic than coming engine first down. The period of 1300 m/s travel that you quote and compare to launch is not during launch (0 m/s) - it is probably closer to the period of maximum dynamic load and clearly during super sonic travel. The reverse part of that travel, the period of maximal dynamic load during re-entry in a non-aerodynamic configuration is rather more difficult than getting off the pad.

Comment: Re:The video game crash of 1983 (Score 1) 191

by drerwk (#48612753) Attached to: Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case
The crash happened across platforms, though I have a limited view of it - I co-wrote Repton for Sirius Software, available on Apple II, C-64, and Atari 400/800. Sirius went out of business because 20th Century Fox failed a promised payment of $20mil. But I also worked for Infocom around '85 - and they were also crushed - maybe due to being text based.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team