Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I hope there'll be no supersymmetry (Score 1) 89

by hweimer (#49067565) Attached to: Scientists To Hunt For Supersymmetric Particle In LHC

Other than muon g-2 (which might or might not be there), none of the things you mention actually contradict the standard model because it simply makes no statement about them. It's way too early to send the standard model down the drain because the alternatives either contain more speculative physics than known physics or are conceptually elegant but still wrong (see SU(5)).

Comment: Supersymmetry already has strong constraints (Score 4, Informative) 89

by hweimer (#49060881) Attached to: Scientists To Hunt For Supersymmetric Particle In LHC

The observation that the electron electric dipole moment is less than 10^-29 e cm (as measured by the ACME experiment in 2013) already places strong constraints on supersymmetric partner masses, making it rather unlikely that the upgraded LHC will see anything.

Comment: Re:so? (Score 4, Interesting) 157

by hweimer (#48978161) Attached to: Major Record Labels Keep 73% of Spotify Payouts

Well, that's similar to raising awareness among burger flippers so that they negotiate better and refuse offers if necessary. If you want to get your first record deal, then you will have to accept pretty much anything. There are thousands of equally eager and talented musicians round the corner who don't ask such nasty questions. Guess who will get signed in the end?
Also, note that the reported sums are averages. This means that a handful of top artists actually get a decent cut, while the huge majority of artists actually gets nothing because they first have to pay back the label for recording costs, marketing, any advances the artists have received, etc.

Comment: Re:Mac OS is too susceptible to viruses (Score 1) 592

by hweimer (#48848811) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

I think the worse problem when it comes to malware is that on OS X, there's no one-stop solution where you can get all your software from. People therefore usually download their apps from various more or less shady sites. For example, installing VLC is just one apt-get away under GNU/Linux, and it has been built by the same people who built your entire operating system. Under OS X, the standard procedure is to use a binary built by a third party, and the download is unencrypted and therefore easily tampered with.

Comment: Re:How about someone who groks the math, comment? (Score 4, Informative) 197

by hweimer (#48636003) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

I just had a brief look at the published version of the paper. Unless you work on fundamental aspects of quantum information theory, the actual implication is that some old debate that took place back in the 90s has been resolved. As others have already pointed out, the relationship between uncertainty relations and wave-particle duality intuitively makes sense, but actually coming up with a mathematical proof that the two concepts are equivalent to each other is certainly a non-trivial amount of work. However, this paper does not significantly change our understanding of quantum physics, nor does it allow us to magically find an efficient way to simulate quantum physics on classical computers. It will also not change the way quantum physics is usually taught, as wave-particle duality basically plays no role there (and uncertainty relations are mostly a side remark).

Also, notice that the paper has been published in Nature Communications. Usually, this means that the paper was rejected by Nature Physics (or any other of the "Nature Something" journals), so the authors sent it there instead (BTDT). So we probably have at least an editor (and maybe some referees) who thought that the paper was not as sexy as the press release seems to imply.

Comment: Re:Nethack needs an upgrade (Score 1) 186

by hweimer (#48562811) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Nethack needs full multi-user, and an overhaul on the generated story (what there is of it), so that the core process can be daemonized, and users attaching to the system can play against each other.

There's a fork called NetHack 4 that is pretty much identical to vanilla as far as gameplay is concernced, but provides a client-server architecture. While I don't think that NetHack can ever be turned into a massive online game with thousands of players meeting each other, small scale PvP or co-op mode might be doable and actually fun.

Comment: Re:Yeesh (Score 2) 584

by hweimer (#48521239) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

I'm all for removing artificial barriers, but once they are down we're gonna have to accept that maybe girls really do want to be princesses

That's the naturalistic fallacy right there. Little kids really want all sorts of things (like lots of candy, for instance), but this doesn't mean that it's a good idea to let them have their way. If the parents believe that their kid shows a behavior that could lead to a disadvantage later in life, then they have to take action. It's called parenting, by the way.

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by hweimer (#48507909) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

It tells me that IQ scores are related to other things besides genetics. Of course children who are educated, raised in a stimulating environment, and have years of practice at critical thinking are going to do better at these tests.

Sure, but that runs against the racists' "blacks are genetically stupid" claim.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!