Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: Can we use this? (Score 1) 157

by mattpalmer1086 (#49551903) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

Well, OTP also ultimately requires a *very* classical basis of trust to authenticate communication partners!

Keeping a smaller secret you can re-use to establish an extremely secure session seems a better proposition than keeping a very large amount of difficult to transport data which, if compromised also breaks all prior and future communications.

But we have pretty reasonable key agreement protocols right now... I'm wondering how vulnerable they are to quantum computers...

Comment: Re:Can we use this? (Score 1) 157

by mattpalmer1086 (#49551775) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

It doesn't work like that, the parent poster is right - you cannot send information using quantum entanglement.

If you measure a property of an entangled particle, then *you* know the other particle has the complementary property. This doesn't help the man on the submarine, or vice versa. He will measure his property and see a value, and know that *you* have the complementary property to his.

But since you can't fix the result of the measurements in any way, each measurement is just an independent random value for both of you. You just know what the other guy will find when he looks.

Comment: Re:Which vaccines? (Score 1) 607

by Spazmania (#49544397) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

I made no contention that HPV wasn't contagious. Read the words I actually wrote. What I said was that in a society that respects individual liberty, merely meeting the medical definition of contagious is insufficient to compel a citizen's behavior. It must meet a higher standard which lacking a better phrase I described as "involuntarily contagious." That is, I'll catch it as a stranger just by being near you in ordinary situations.

HPV does not meet that standard. HEP A/B and HIV don't meet that standard. Measles does.

As for deadly, cancer is deadly. HPV leads to increase -risk- of cancer. Not a certainty. Maybe I'm picking nits and the comparison to tobacco is more apt. From my point of view, that doesn't matter: regardless of whether its deadly, HPV doesn't meet a sufficient standard of contagion to merit compulsory behavior.

Now, I had all my vaccination when I was a child and I'm glad of it. But respecting individual liberty means allowing people to do stupid things. Because they have the right.

Comment: Ring of Fire? Not Sphere of Fire? (Score 2) 37

by pz (#49541819) Attached to: Virtual Telescope Readied To Image Black Hole's 'Ring of Fire'

I'm not an astrophysicist. I'm not even a physicist. I never took quantum mechanics. I don't understand GR, and many of the often-discussed effects completely baffle me. But given that accretion disks are, you know, BIG, why do all of the standard depictions I see of black holes make them look black? Shouldn't the accretion disk, spewing tons of energy as it heats up on the death spiral, obscure the black hole? Black holes -- at least ones like at Saggitarius A -- have huge accretion disks, much, much bigger than the event horizon. So won't it just look like a fuzzy bright area?

Comment: Re: Grandstanding, or stupidity? (Score 1) 196

by Spazmania (#49541505) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Patterns (plural) is creativity. The more novel patterns you can envision without falling off the edge into schizophrenia, the more creative you are. Quantity and quality, not time.

Intelligence is about puzzles. The faster you can find the one correct solution to each progressively challenging puzzle, the smarter you are. Time, not quantity or quality.

This is where researchers often get in to trouble. The language is slippery - the concept of a "pattern" can have a lot of different meanings. You have to intuit the relationships between the elements of a puzzle to solve it, the pattern which connects the pieces, right?

But that's very different from intuiting the many useful ways pieces of something that isn't a puzzle could be put together. Seeing the many patterns which connect them and, even more importantly, intuiting the missing pieces which complete far more.

Which yields this interesting observation about AI's: the problem isn't making computers smart. They already are. The problem is getting them to evince the slightest bit of creativity.

Comment: Re:Which vaccines? (Score 1) 607

by Spazmania (#49541281) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

The wisdom of taking the vaccine is not at issue here. That's obvious and well documented. Your right to compel my behavior is at issue. Unless it poses an imminent threat to your well being, you don't have one.

If we have to have sex to facilitate contagion, if that's the only way to get it, there can be no imminent threat.

Comment: Which vaccines? (Score 1) 607

by Spazmania (#49532581) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Which vaccines must parents accept? Measles? Sure, that makes sense. Don't want to spread Measles. Flu? Flu vaccine is really hit or miss and the damage from not getting it is minimal. Requiring that would be less reasonable. HPV Vaccine? Just what is going on at these schools anyway...

Comment: Re:Drink the kool aide (Score 1) 185

by Spazmania (#49529715) Attached to: The Key To Interviewing At Google

Do you see the groupthink? Fine example this week: mobilegeddon.

When the search re-rankings were being discussed, where was the guy who stood up and said, "Wait a minute... slow down. Are the mobile web browsers we wrote always rendering flexible pages reasonably? What about 90's-style HTML 2.0 re-flowable web pages? Might there be others we mis-render as eye charts? Let's take some time and study this more carefully. Take action when we can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem."

That person wasn't a part of the group. He didn't "think on his feet" in the interview. You didn't hire him.

Comment: Re:Grandstanding, or stupidity? (Score 1) 196

by Spazmania (#49527767) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Actually, intelligence and creativity are both reasonably well defined.

Intelligence is how fast you can solve intuitive problems (e.g. "Cheryl's Birthday"). The faster you get it (and if you get it at all) marks your raw intelligence.

Creativity is how many solutions you can come up with to intuitive problems over time. A typical test is to give you a couple of squiggly lines and two days to come up with as many explanations for the lines as you can. A smart guy may only come up with a dozen that he can justify. A creative guy will come up with scores.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 356

by pz (#49524193) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

I have a feature phone. I spend 40 minutes a day, over two stretches, where I'm away from a full-sized keyboard and large, readable screen. For my lifestyle, I fail to see the need to fill those additional minutes with connectivity when I might otherwise, you know, enjoy my immediate physical environment!

And feature phones still have the attractions for me that are mentioned --- relatively rugged, reliable, instantly resettable by popping out the battery, inexpensive to replace if lost or inadvertently damaged, etc --- even though I'm not out hiking.

What do I miss not having a smart phone? I don't have games at my fingertips. No big deal, I've never been too keen on computer games. I don't have a super-small screen that I can read an e-book on. No big deal, I carry a normal-sized book when I want to read something, and it's much easier to read printed text on a page. I can't keep in touch with my email. I'm not so important that being away from email for 20 minutes is a death-knell. I can't update my social media pages. Why would I want to do that on a small keyboard and screen? I can't have easy text conversations -- this is the only downside, and only because it seems most people these days spent lots of time doing that. But, instead, I can actually TALK to people (because my phone is, you know, a *phone*) that has a much higher communication bandwidth, and eliminates all of the tonal ambiguity of texting / emailing. Manufacturers can't market to me based on my instantaneous location. That's a plus. The authorities can't trace my precise travels over every waking moment. Also a plus. I need to be able to read, digest, and understand directions when driving rather than having a crutch tell me when to turn. All-told a plus, since it hones my ability to navigate by dead reckoning.

Did I forget something?

Oh, yes, I can't take decent quality photos. That's a downside. So when I know I want to take photos, I carry a camera that beats the pants off any cell phone (especially in low light), and deal with the low-quality snapshots that my feature phone takes when I forget.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe