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Comment: Gender and skin color (Score 5, Interesting) 90

by gsliepen (#49270253) Attached to: Interviews: Ask SMBC's Creator Zach Weiner a Question

Dear Zach,

I noticed that your comics feature a remarkable balance in gender and skin color of the people you draw. There are also many same-gender couples. How do you do this? Do you decide yourself for each comic, or do you roll some dice? Do you randomize other things this way as well, like glasses and clothes?

By the way, I noticed that you maintain a list of things you cannot draw. But don't worry, you're way better than that Randall guy who can only draw black&white stick figures.

Comment: Re:Define 'observe' (Score 1) 223

by gsliepen (#34290298) Attached to: Uncertainty Sets Limits On Quantum Nonlocality

I am a physicist. However, both physicists and non-physicists wonder about that. However, this is just some meaning we attach to the formulas. It is unlikely we can determine the "truth". Personally, I don't let this bother me, the answer will not change anything anyway. It's much more productive to use physics to get results people can use. If we can use physics to make quantum key distribution work, does it really matter if it is because of "spooky" action or by a more mundane interpretation of the physics?

Comment: Re:Branching Universe (Score 1) 223

by gsliepen (#34290282) Attached to: Uncertainty Sets Limits On Quantum Nonlocality

Well, you could argue that within each universe, the laws of thermodynamics hold. There is no rule that says that if you have an infinite number of universes, the sum of the energy contained in each universe couldn't be infinite.

But remember, what we are discussing here are just interpretations and simple descriptions. Things like "spooky action at a distance" or "collapse of the wavefunction" are just meanings we attach to the formulas, it is not truth itself.

Comment: Re:Define 'observe' (Score 5, Informative) 223

by gsliepen (#34283262) Attached to: Uncertainty Sets Limits On Quantum Nonlocality

The best definition I have heard is this: suppose we have an observer O in state A, and a system S which is in the superposition of the states 1 and 2. When the observer observers the system, the state of S does not collapse, rather the observer and system become one, say OS, and is in a superposition of the states A1 and A2.

You can interpret this in various ways; one could say that this means the observer, or even the whole universe for that matter, branches all the time, and/or all possible states of the observer/universe exist simultaneously, however that again is just a description, not what might really be the case.

Disclaimer: I am a physicist.

Comment: DROD (Score 2, Informative) 460

by gsliepen (#29716509) Attached to: Linux Games For Non-Gamers?

Try the DROD (Deadly Rooms of Death) series, which are puzzle games with story lines and lots of humour. They are also very playable for beginners, you don't have to be a die-hard puzzle lover to play this.

You can play one or a few rooms per day if you want, the game will automatically save your progress so you can stop any time you want. They released the source code of the first game in the series, not unlike what id Software does.

Wireless Networking

Broadcom Crams 802.11n, Bluetooth, and FM Onto a Single Chip 174

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bang-for-your-amp dept.
Broadcom has managed to cram 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and FM reception/transmission all into a single "combo wireless chip." Designed to be a better wireless implementation for portable devices, the chip seeks to lower chip counts and integration costs. "Broadcom is the second firm — following Atheros in a single-function chip — to announce a single-stream 802.11n product, in which one of 802.11n's advantages is shaved off in favor of a faster baseline performance and lower battery consumption. This move is meant to replace 802.11g in portable devices without draining a battery faster and providing other advantages that make up for what's become a slight cost difference."

Australian Judge Rules Simpsons Cartoon Rip-off Is Child Porn 612

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-we-can-all-rest..-hey-wait dept.
An anonymous reader was one of several to note a bizarre story in which an Australian judge ruled that drawings can be child porn. In this case, it was knock off drawings of the Simpsons doing naughty things. Good thing they're going to be censoring the Down Undernet soon. Who knows what damage this could cause.

Google To Sell Truly Open Android Dev Phone 219

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-were-they-waiting-for dept.
binary.bang writes "Google has announced an unlocked version of T-Mobile's G1 for sale at the same unlocked price of $399. The Android Dev Phone 1 is the G1, except being truly open: no SIM-lock, no hardware lock. Feel free to flash your customized Android build — the bootloader won't be checking for signatures. Don't be misled by the word 'Dev,' looks like all you need to qualify is an Android Market account. This looks like the Open Handset Alliance delivering the promised Open Handset: yes root, yes flash-your-build, no contract, no strings attached. Anyone else relieved & thrilled?"
The Courts

RIAA Sues 19-Year-Old Transplant Patient 663

Posted by kdawson
from the kicking-dogs-on-the-way-home dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Just when you think they've reached rock bottom, it seems the RIAA always finds room to sink a little lower. This time they've sued an innocent, 19-year-old transplant patient, hospitalized with pancreatitis and needing islet cell transplants. Although the young Pittsburgh lady claims that she did not infringe any copyrights, she failed to answer the complaint in time, and a default judgment was taken against her. A Pittsburgh area lawyer has stated that he will represent her pro bono and make a motion to open up the default."

IEEE Says Multicore is Bad News For Supercomputers 251

Posted by timothy
from the unexpected-downsides dept.
Richard Kelleher writes "It seems the current design of multi-core processors is not good for the design of supercomputers. According to IEEE: 'Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, in New Mexico, have simulated future high-performance computers containing the 8-core, 16-core, and 32-core microprocessors that chip makers say are the future of the industry. The results are distressing. Because of limited memory bandwidth and memory-management schemes that are poorly suited to supercomputers, the performance of these machines would level off or even decline with more cores.'"

+ - LiberTV has launched

Submitted by
Octavian writes: "LiberTV — the free video distribution platform launched Bucharest, Romania, March 05, 2007 — - — LiberTV, a high quality video distribution platform has been launched internationally, after 6 months of testing and huge success in Romania. The application includes a channel guide, a video collection manager and a built-in video player, all combined in an easy to use interface, which enables anyone to easily find, download and watch high quality video content. LiberTV supports all widely used video formats and implements a peer-to-peer data distribution technology, similar to BitTorrent. LiberTV was designed to be accessible to everyone — it's simple and easy to use, requires no additional installations and is efficient in terms of memory and CPU usage. "We have designed LiberTV for my grandmother, who is 84. If she can watch Internet video with LiberTV — everyone can", says Florin Braghis, company founder and development lead, who is also a TV producer and a comedian. "We wanted to create an alternative video distribution technology, so that independent artists, like myself, could share their work with the entire world and break the dependency on corporate TV stations without spending a fortune on bandwidth bills or having to sacrifice video quality", he adds. Currently, LiberTV aggregates hundreds of free internet shows, available as podcasts on the Internet. The company currently seeks contracts with TV and film producers around the world in order to expand their content. You can check out the application (still in beta) at Interview Contact Florin Braghis, Telephones: +40 31 808 82 91 +40 788 328 308 +40 21 326 63 40 E-mail:"

+ - AnyDVD updated, now removes Blue-Ray DRM

Submitted by
mariushm writes: "SlySoft has just updated AnyDVD HD, offering users the possibility of watching Blue-Ray media without DRM. This comes after only two weeks from the first release which was able to remove DRM from HD-DVD.

Version has lots of features but probably the most important one is stripping the evil DRM infection from Blu-Ray and restore your fair use rights.

The free upgrade can also remove region encoding, works on Windows XP-64 and Vista-64, and fixes a ton of bugs. You can get the update or a trial copy here."

+ - ESA to create backup satellites

Submitted by
Matthew Sparkes
Matthew Sparkes writes: "The frequencies allotted to the Galileo satellite navigation system, the European GPS, will be safeguarded with a new backup satellite. Under the rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an operator risks losing frequency rights if a break in service lasts longer than two years. Therefore, if their satellites malfunction, ESA could lose the frequency altogether. "From now on, there will always be a European navigation satellite in space," the ESA announcement promised. Of course, China could still blow up and replace the system."

+ - Automagic parallelization with Codeplay Sieve C++

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes: "From an article in the Inquirer:

What Sieve is is a C++ compiler that will take a section of code and parallelize it for you with a minimum hassle. All you really need to do is take the code you want to run across multiple CPUs and put beginning and end tags on the parts you want to run in parallel.
Is this the Silver Bullet of parallelization? There's more info on Sieve on Codeplay's site."

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin