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Comment: Re:Red dwarfs form from so little matter (Score 0) 31

by erice (#47877233) Attached to: The Exoplanets That Never Were

I'm not surprised that there are no planets. Red dwarfs form from very small amounts of matter, and don't have the luminosity or stellar wind to stop the in-fall of matter into the central star. I don't doubt they can form, the same way double stars form, but the odds are lower. Just a lot less initial material to start with.

What a strange statement.

1) The star in question was a pulsar, not a red dwarf.
2) Red dwarfs while small for stars are still much bigger than planets.
3) Exoplanets have been found around red dwarfs
4) Pulsars are the remains of large stars.

Comment: Re:Improving on the lethality of nature (Score 2) 68

by erice (#47874815) Attached to: The Grassroots Future of Biohacking

The statement "it’s extremely difficult to ‘improve’ on the lethality of nature" dodges the fact that one does not need to 'improve' it, one needs only 'combine' existing forms of lethality:

You don't even have to combine different forms of lethality, just combine lethality with ease of propagation. Airborne ebola, anyone?

Comment: If IV make products, where are these products? (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by erice (#47829361) Attached to: Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

The article mentioned a handful of startups but there is no mention of any of these startups actually producing a product that people can buy. If you actually could buy a product or service from an Intellectual Ventures backed company this would be a powerful affirmation that IV is a real contributor and not just a troll.

That this PR piece makes no mention of such a product, making it very clear this has not happened. I expect this will never happened. IV startups are not meant to produce and sell product. They are meant to be bought out and bought out for a much larger sum than IV could get from just licensing the IP.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a startup selling out before it can bring it's product to market but it is a little bit dishonest to plan it that way.

Which, I suppose is an improvement over IV's normal policy of simply sitting on technology until a practicing entity re-invents it and then suing them. Still, it is a long way from showing that the world is better with Intellectual Ventures than without them.

Comment: Re:A change in diet - from what? (Score 1) 588

by erice (#47809299) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

The whole point of studies such as this is to find out exactly what is the crap that you need to avoid, really. That part certainly isn't common knowledge.

IMHO, your point is the wrong way around and likely the real cause of why people are eating so badly as well as getting fat.

The question is not: "What should I not eat?". The question is "What should I eat?" Eat for nutrition. Eat for the benefits to your body that come from eating a food. If a food does not offer anything you need, don't eat it.

It is not necessary to micro manage the ingredients in your food to ensure that it doesn't contain anything on the current "bad" list. If you pursue food that is helpful, you are not going to get so much of the "bad" stuff anyway and, for the most, what you do get isn't going to matter anyway.

Comment: Re:Talking to "different" people is bad for you (Score 1) 76

by erice (#47788331) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

This is a new result, and needs confirmation. Are homogeneous societies happier ones? Should that be replicated on line?
Should efforts be made in Facebook to keep people from having "different" friends?

That is probably not workable. One of my real life friends has discovered that some of their extended *family* express rather "unfortunate" opinions on Facebook. When they get together in real life, these opinions are muffled but on Facebook the filters come off.

I've seen a little of this from people I have known for my many years (long before Facebook) but have been out of frequent contact with for a decade or more. They post things that make me cringe a little.

Comment: Re:Not putting up with jerks (Score 1) 257

by erice (#47733859) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

You don't have to put up with jerks.

  • Internet provider - DSL. No packet filtering, good support, no nonsense.

For almost every crap business, there's a competitor that isn't crap. Find them.

I like Sonic. But 6Mbps is not fast anymore and that is all that Sonic will likely be able to offer you. (Yes, the service is technically "up to 20Mbps" but unless you share a parking lot with CO, you are not going to get that)

Comcast starts at 6Mbps and goes up to 105Mbps. AT&T is running VDSL up to 45Mbps. Unlike at the ADSL generation, they are not required to share and so they don't.

Any ISP that doesn't run their own wires is doomed to offer increasingly uncompetitive speeds. Sonic has run fiber in a couple of areas but it doesn't seem likely that they will be able to fiber everyone who has service with them now. Or even close.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 441

by erice (#47731887) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

When Google offered me a job, I could not believe how little they wanted to pay me. 67% of what I was making at a megabank

Er, you could probably replace "Google" in that sentence with any company. You're comparing your salary to one at a fucking bank, companies so famous for absurd compensation packages that it triggered street protests ....

Street protests were over compensation of executives. I never heard any suggestion that the lower level workers were overpaid.

Comment: Big fusion reactor unnecessary for boosting (Score 4, Informative) 305

by erice (#47707907) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Fusion reactors capable of producing net power are big, or seem to be being as we haven't actually built one yet.

However, if you just want to produce tritium for a boosted fission bomb, you don't need to generate net power. A farnsworth fusor will do and they are small and inconspicuous.

As for deuterium: Deuterium is produced for industrial, scientific and military purposes, by starting with ordinary water—a small fraction of which is naturally-occurring heavy water—and then separating out the heavy water by the Girdler sulfide process, distillation, or other methods.

So, no point in securing your fusion reactor because the bad guys don't have any real motivation to break in. At least, not to steal anything.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 191

by erice (#47659239) Attached to: Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

I know, one more USB connector to have an adaptor for... But this is how the mini/micro and even old USB 'A' should have been from the beginning.

There's nothing worse than having to blind mate USB, and having to flip it four bloody times before it works. (except maybe blind mating 'F' connectors, or sometimes D sub..)

I can think of a few things that are worse, including:

1) Arriving at your destination needing to charge your phone and finding that, although you have the charger and the phone, you forgot the adapter.
2) Having to mate and secure two connections instead of just one.
3) Unplugging phone cable from adapter leaving converter behind. This already happens with car adapters where you can easily walk off with the cable and phone, leaving the 12V adapter behind.
4) Arriving at far off destination to find that you have a new style power adapter (for another device) but old style microusb on your phone with no converter and you may not even be able to get a converter at any price because everyone assumes that people migrate old to new and not the other way.

Comment: Re:Non transferable to another game, (Score 1) 146

by erice (#47634169) Attached to: The ESports Athletes Who Tried To Switch Games

but throwing a ball is use full like all other? if useless means you can earn a living doing it, is it still useless?

Even if you don't manage to make money at it, throwing a real ball around is a good way to stay in shape which is important for overall health. Throwing a virtual ball? Not so much and you are even more likely to need a day job which also will not give you the exercise that you need to stay healthy.

Comment: Re:What would true color vision be like? (Score 1) 267

by erice (#47633259) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Even painting would be completely incapable of producing realistic "colors," and we'd all just have to agree than the ochre blob really looks like a rose.

You could still mix the paint to be the color of a rose, since the rose's color is also just a pigment. Worst case, you get an actual rose and try to find some way to stabilize the pigments. We might have developed sophisticated organic chemistry at an earlier stage, simply so we could produce art. More likely, the artist's palette would simply have a lot more colors on it. Mixing would take more time and skill. Paintings would be more expensive. High-end painting was always for the wealthy anyway though, so I don't think art would have been hurt too badly. If mixing colors was too difficult, then the worst case is that art might have been dominated by grey scale techniques for a long period of time.

The task of developing a decent computer monitor sounds harder. Even then though, there would be some binning of frequencies. How much spectral resolution do you need to appreciate music? If I can barely tell the difference between C and C#, I will never be a great musician... but I might still be able to appreciate it on some level. If each pixel had 16 different frequencies and 16 levels, it would obviously not look real to people with high spectral resolution. OTOH, it would probably look better than monochrome. It might be like listening to a scratchy old AM radio--better than nothing.

I think color representation would be like 3D: a fad that comes and goes but never quite sticks because it is so hard to do and because it can never be right.

Color paintings would be mostly highly abstract with a few rare and remarkable specimens painstaking created over many years. Most realistic art would gray scale.

Photography would be almost entirely black and white.

Computer monitors might well have color but, without effective mixing, could only display the actual color present in the phosphors. CGA would be state of the art color.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr