Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 1) 341

by number6x (#49334543) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb
Dr. Ford is a former President of New Mexico Tech, where the mythbusters go when they want to create a really big explosion.

Maybe they can bust the myth that there is enough information in the book to build a real H-bomb!

Dr. Ford is quite a character, and brilliant. He wasn't as colorful as the president of New Mexico Tech he repleced, Dr. Stirling Colgate, but Dr. Ford was pretty impressive.

Comment: Re:Throwback? (Score 4, Insightful) 170

by number6x (#49283709) Attached to: Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah

Why does the summary fail to mention the many outstanding charges that IBM has against SCO, some already decided against SCO, with hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties on hold while SCO works through its bankruptcy?

As soon as SCO pokes its head out of bankruptcy court the Nazgul will be there, waiting for the payment owed. Do those silly bumpkins in Utah think IBM is going to not notice? Darl and his telemarketing scheme buddies are scam artists with a long history of swindling people (check out IKON Office Supplies). SCO is a bunch of petty criminals with no moral integrity, very small pea brains and only the ability to annoy people until paid to go away. If Martha Stewart was sent to a tennis-club prison for her 'crimes', these people should be doing hard time. They should certainly be shunned by the people of Utah, for their long history of immoral criminal activity.

Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 5, Informative) 139

by number6x (#49138309) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

A cosmologist's 'dark matter' (non-baryonic) is different than an astrophysicist's 'dark matter' (baryonic). To an astrophysicist, the term 'dark matter' has historically meant matter that is not lit up. It is not reflecting ar emitting light. Also it is not blocking light from some other source. There is nothing exotic or strange about it. It is just in the dark and so it cannot be seen.

There were many observations of matter within the milky way, and within other large spiral galaxies that showed the velocity and orbits of matter were not explained by the mass that could be seen. We only saw mass in the visible light for a long time. The matter had to be emitting light, reflecting light, or blocking another source of light for us to see it in telescopes.

It was simply assumed that Einstein's theories of gravity were still correct and there just had to be more matter than we were seeing. It wasn't seen becuase it was dark, hence the name 'dark matter'. Nothing wierd or strange, just stuff we didn't see.

As time went on our observations expanded into more regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. We saw that there, indeed, was a great deal more matter emitting in the infra-red, radio, x-ray, and gamma ray spectrums. This has added greatly to the amount of matter that is known. There is much less missing mass on the intragalactic scale than there once was because we see more of it.

However, it is not enough. Here is a really good explanation.

And there is a new problem. We are now mapping the interaction of galaxies, and of huge groups of galaxies. And there does not seem to be enough matter in sight to fully account for there movements. Enter the cosmologists.

The first 'exotic' form of 'dark matter' was probably the neutrino. While once considered a very exotic beast, it is now considered rather mundane (at least the three known flavors are considered mundane). The neutrino is an almost massless particle that is electrically neutral and has such a small cross section that it hardly ever interacts with other matter. Neutrinos have mass, so they do feel the effects of gravity and due the the equal and opposite reaction thing, they contribute to the gravity that we, our sun, and all the starts in the galaxy feel. While a single neutrino is almost non-existent, the huge numbers of neutrinos within the boundaries of the galaxy actually do add up to an appreciable mass.

Now cosmologists are suggesting even more exoctic unknown particles, like WIMPS, to explain the missing mass. Some people feel that we should be examining new theories of gravity. Maybe on a very large scale gravity behaves differently. We do know that our theories of gravity are not complete. We do not have a good field theory of gravity that works with quantum mechanics. Continued experimentation involving things like the Higg's Boson will help to confirm some of these leading edge theories, and get rid of others. By determining the mass and energy of the particles that communicate the 'mass' field we will be putting constraints from the real physical universe around these theories.

The cosmology stuff is the wierd exotic 'dark matter' that inspires wierd science fiction ideas, but it will probably be needed to explain all of the missing mass. When some of these, currently, exotic particles are observed measured and fit in an overarching theory, they will seem much more ordinary, as the three known neutrinos are today.

Comment: Re:All the more reason... (Score 1) 248

by number6x (#49087043) Attached to: Lenovo Allegedly Installing "Superfish" Proxy Adware On New Computers

I second the recommendation for Linux Mint on the Yoga 2. I never booted the copy of Windows that came with it. Set the bios and used a flash drive to install Linux Mint 17 to the SSD and had a great laptop with no malware, shareware or crapware.

And best of all, no Windows 8!

Comment: Re:On loan??? (Score 5, Informative) 118

by number6x (#49022173) Attached to: Neil Armstrong's Widow Discovers Moon Camera In Bag

The astronauts were paid their regular military salaries, plus hazardous duty pay. It was a pittance. In order to compensate these men more fully The United States Congress authorized, through legislation, that astronauts could keep spent NASA equipment as mementos. It was always one of the 'unwritten rules' at NASA during that era. It wasn't until years later that it was questioned by some bureaucrat and the legislation was needed to end and questions

So no theft or questionable loans were involved.

Comment: Re:Nice in principle but fails at higher temperatu (Score 2) 183

by number6x (#48957231) Attached to: The "Cool Brick" Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water
No, they are describing a good old-fashioned evaporative cooler. We used to call then swamp coolers. They are effective in arrid climates. They can cool the air a few degrees. They also add a little humidity to the air, which is nice in the desert. It would not work in a humid climate.

Comment: Re: Umm, no. (Score 1) 187

Panama, Puerto Rico followed pretty much the same path as the Phillipines. It was a post Spanish-American war thing.

Every June my neighborhood is host to a huge Puerto Rican Independence festival, where all the descendants of Puerto Ricans come back to the old neighborhood and celebrate the end of their dependence from Spain.

I can't wait to see the party they'll throw when they are finally truly independent.

Comment: Re:Dude, wait... (Score 1) 681

by number6x (#48692387) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

If you were a Christian, you would have to blame God, not Isaac Newton. After all, to believers, it would be God who caused Isaac Newton to be born on Christmas day.

Christians often have problems blaming the wrong person for God's works. For example, blaming Galileo for the heliocentric solar system that God made. How dare God refuse to follow the doctrines of the Medieval church? Galileo did not make the planets orbit the sun, he merely observed it and described it. Or blaming Darwin for evolving all the species of the Earth through the process of natural selection. Darwin did not create all those different animals through the process of evolution, he merely observed it and described it. How dare God ignore the doctrine and belief of fundamentalist Christians?

As a christian, I was in no way offended when I saw the post last week. I thought it was a nice reminder.

Comment: Re:This is great news! (Score 1) 485

by number6x (#48302237) Attached to: Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

Not disagreeing with you over all, but the pull out of troops from Iraq was exactly on the schedule set by the Bush administration (

Obama was pretty much locked in to keeping the troops there that long by the departing Bush admin. Obama would have had to re-negotiate the agreement with all the partners to keep the troops longer or to remove them prematurely. And negotiating things is like hard and stuff so you know the Dems weren't going to go there.

Both administrations have pretty much proven that we should have never set foot in Iraq after 9/11. Because we did, we will have to deal with the mess we created (and its consequences) for the next few decades.

Comment: Re:England (Score 1) 54

Is there any place where storing documents would be considered safe at least from spying eyes?

Don't store them anywhere.

Just publish them. Never wait. Never hold them back.

There is no longer any benefit or protection afforded by not publishing. If you are accused of having anything, you are already guilty in the eyes of the security police.

Just publish and hope someone, somewhere cares about it.

Comment: Re:Nobody kills Java (Score 1) 371

by number6x (#47632271) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time
Cobol had an ANSI standard object oriented implementation before C++ did. C++ was born as an object oriented language, but took a long time to publish an ANSI standard version. This does matter for certain industries who care about support and stability. That is part of the reason why banking, insurance and manufacturing industries still use 'dead' languages like COBOL and C so much more than other languages.

The young lady had an unusual list, Linked in part to a structural weakness. She set no preconditions.