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Comment: Errata (Score 2) 81

by excelsior_gr (#48273281) Attached to: The Most Highly Cited Scientific Papers of All Time

Pythagoras — 520, in: Euclid — 300, Elements, Book I, Prop. 47 (Athens).

The citation is probably wrong. Although we don't know exactly where Euclid's Elements were written, he lived in Alexandria and not in Athens. The oldest known complete edition was also edited in Alexandria.

Yes, I'm a citation nazi.

Comment: Re:Captain Scott (Score 0) 63

by excelsior_gr (#48235011) Attached to: Century Old Antarctic Expedition Notebook Found Underneath Ice

How is knowing more about the environment and being properly equipped cheating, exactly? It just sounds that Amundsen was just a better explorer and leader, to me. He knew that the dogs were the best option and focused on them, instead of coming up with a ridiculous combination of dogs, ponies and motorised vehicles. The motor vehicles were not robust enough and Scott had to carry the horse food all the way. Scott also relied on his orders being followed to the letter, and he got properly screwed by his mates that completely ignored him and left him freeze to death. If you want to accuse Amundsen for anything, accuse him of designing an expedition with the sole purpose of reaching the pole first with only a bare minimum of science. Cheating, however, is a totally empty accusation.

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 1) 224

by excelsior_gr (#48162577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

A patent does not guarantee freedom to practice. Due to its format and wording, a patent can be easily rendered useless by a "counter-patent" (at least according to the EU law that I'm familiar with). This then leads to a deadlock and the only solution is cross-licensing. I can hardly see any benefit from a situation like that for anyone except the involved lawyers.

The best way to make sure a technology remains free is to publish as much as possible (in journals, conferences etc.) and to release as much material as possible using an open license. Using the patent system for supporting openness is to me like feeding the trolls.

Comment: Titanium dioxide nanotubes not in soil (Score 1) 395

Most applications of titanium dioxide use amorphous nanoparticles, not the crystalline structures found in soil. These take quite a bit of chemistry and energy to produce, like a flame aerosol reactor and precursors like TiCl4. I suppose that the nanotube production is similarly complicated and energy-hungry.

Optimization hinders evolution.