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Comment: Re:I run Gentoo (Score 1) 77

by penix1 (#48232563) Attached to: Building All the Major Open-Source Web Browsers

I too use Gentoo and have since 2003. I started using it because it was the only one that had all my hardware working "out of the box" so to speak. Besides, it is a really good way to learn Linux under the hood.

Having said that, you can get some really messed up crap especially if you setup your use flags or compiler options wrong. What I do hate about Gentoo is the seemingly random masking of packages that knocks out other packages that are working just fine. Yes, you can unmask them but that is a PITA. So care needs to be taken when updating. Don't do it willy nilly neigh...

Comment: Re:anonymously sourced evidence? (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by penix1 (#48177751) Attached to: Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

No, it truly is easy if there is probable cause.

This is from: http://legal-dictionary.thefre...

Probable cause is not equal to absolute certainty. That is, a police officer does not have to be absolutely certain that criminal activity is taking place to perform a search or make an arrest. Probable cause can exist even when there is some doubt as to the person's guilt. Courts take care to review the actions of police in the context of everyday life, Balancing the interests of law enforcement against the interests of personal liberty in determining whether probable cause existed for a search or arrest.

If they are not planning to arrest someone, then why the warrantless search? The point is, if the police can articulate their suspicions clearly enough with a modicum of evidence, they get the warrant.

Comment: Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (Score 5, Informative) 83

by penix1 (#48175867) Attached to: NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

What would or should be illegal about it though?

He is using government property for private gain. Namely his access to classified information. Information that will allow him to demand a higher salary that he wouldn't have without that inside access. Also, we have no idea YET if this private company has any government contracts with the NSA since that info would also be classified. Watch for this tidbit to come out much later.


How Curved Spacetime Can Be Created In a Quantum Optics Lab 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-say-lasers dept.
KentuckyFC writes: One way to explore the link between quantum mechanics and general relativity is to study the physics that occurs on a small scale in highly curved spacetimes. However, these conditions only occur in the most extreme environments such as at the edge of black holes or in the instants after the Big Bang. But now one physicist has described how it is possible to create curved spacetime in an ordinary quantum optics lab.

The idea is based on optical lattices, which form when a pair of lasers interfere to create an eggbox-like interference pattern. When ultracold atoms are dropped into the lattice, they become trapped like ping pong balls in an eggbox. This optical trapping technique is common in labs all over the world. However, the ultracold atoms do not stay at a fixed location in the lattice because they can tunnel from one location to another. This tunneling is a form of movement through the lattice and can be controlled by changing the laser parameters to make tunneling easier or more difficult.

Now, a physicist has shown that on a large scale, the tunneling motion of atoms through the lattice is mathematically equivalent to the motion of atoms in a quantum field in a flat spacetime. And that means it is possible to create a formal analogue of a curved spacetime by changing the laser parameters across the lattice. Varying the laser parameters over time even simulates the behavior of gravitational waves. Creating this kind of curved spacetime in the lab won't reveal any new physics but it will allow researchers to study the behavior of existing laws under these conditions for the first time. That's not been possible even in theory because the equations that describe these behaviors are so complex that they can only be solved in the simplest circumstances.

Comment: Re:Research (Score 2) 165

by penix1 (#48122045) Attached to: How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

I do think the bias in reporting used to be less overt than today, but I think it's always been there to some extent. Human nature doesn't change so easily.

There is a big difference between bias and pure opinion. Today opinion is quite often reported as fact. It is the difference between what is reported (bias) and how it is reported (opinion).

The fairness doctrine perhaps made sense in a day when our information choices were limited (I'd still argue against it in principle, as I think it stomps all over the first amendment).

I am having difficulty understanding how giving opposing views on an issue or news item in any way hinders free speech. If anything it enhances it giving the intended audience a broader understanding of an issue. Without it echo chambers such as Fox News and MSNBC exist in a vacuum polarizing even further their respective audience.

I'm not quite old enough to remember the Vietnam and Watergate years, but I certainly do remember the pre-internet media days. For all it's faults, I'll take today's information age any day, even if the mass media has fallen quite a bit in stature and relevance. What we've gained, IMO, more than makes up for it.

I have no problem with the Internet when it is used properly. But as is often the case, too much trust is placed in what is on the net and these days critical thinking skills isn't in great supply. The Internet has caused traditional media to compete with something they can't compete with. Namely instant content creation. This story is just one example of an error on the net going unrecognized by both professional and lay observers. That is the pitfall of the open Internet. Do I want it to change or to go back to a disconnected world? That answer would be a resounding no. But I wish people would take what is on it with a grain of salt and realize that it isn't definitive.

Comment: Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (Score 1) 193

by penix1 (#48121969) Attached to: Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

It teaches hate and violence, but point that out and people call you racist (as if there was some kind of Muslim race) and froth at the mouth.

All religions teach hate and violence of some form or other. Organized religion itself is nothing more than political control of a given populace. The whole concept of "hell" is using the threat of violence to control behavior. The point is, most, if not all, religions have their violent tendencies.

Comment: Re:Research (Score 5, Insightful) 165

by penix1 (#48121475) Attached to: How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

to find that the audience prefers misinfotainment over news. They demand entertainment over learning. Illusion over reality.

I am old enough to remember a day when the news was actually just that... News.... No opinion mixed in. Just the facts. When opinion was offered, usually after the real news, it was labeled as such.

Then media consolidation happened, the fairness doctrine was tossed and newsrooms nationwide were expected to turn a profit. It is that, not the audience, that caused the decline of in-depth reporting. It is expensive to actually check all the facts in a story. It takes time, money and more importantly sources willing to put the story out. In trying to compete with the Internet, broadcast TV and newspapers nationwide have a tough time beating the net to "the scoop". Lastly, corporations (read "advertisers") are the real ones dictating what the audience sees. You will never see a story about an advertiser because that would be biting the hand that feeds them.

I argue the last in-depth reporting really only happened when the Vietnam war brought the horrors of war to people's living room and the Watergate scandal opened people's eyes to government corruption. Since then, the government learned the lesson and wiped out all trace of regulation of what is supposed to be the watchdog of government itself.

Comment: Re:Yet again government agency abuses privacy (Score 1) 191

by penix1 (#48088281) Attached to: DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

Additionally, I don't think any of the major social media companies allow "non-real name" accounts. Didn't Facebook recently apologize to Drag Queens because of that policy. If the government sets up an account to impersonate someone else, then they have just violated many companies' terms of service.

How? They are using a real name... Just not their real name.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the Democratic leadership ... (Score 1) 425

by penix1 (#48079779) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

See what you just did? You went from comparing apples to oranges to comparing apples to apples. Tax percentage per year vs GDP (a yearly measurement) is better than the meaningless mufti-century debt to yearly GDP. Add up the GDP in the history of America and compare that to the debt and you would be comparing apples to apples again. Or, compare the debt incurred this year to GDP and again be in balance. Either way, I disagree with your conclusion since the government "staying out" of the economy lead to the great depression being far deeper than it needed to be under Herbert Hoover.

Hoover undertook various measures designed to stimulate the economy, and a few of the programs he introduced became key components of later relief efforts. However, Hoover's response to the crisis was constrained by his conservative political philosophy. He believed in a limited role for government and worried that excessive federal intervention posed a threat to capitalism and individualism. He felt that assistance should be handled on a local, voluntary basis. Accordingly, Hoover vetoed several bills that would have provided direct relief to struggling Americans. "Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public Treasury," he explained in his 1930 State of the Union address.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the Democratic leadership ... (Score 1) 425

by penix1 (#48079573) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

If you study the debt numbers vs GDP...

That is a meaningless comparison. Here is why:

To quote his baseball analogy:

What would you say if I told you the total number of hits the Chicago Cubs made in 2008 is 47% of the total number of runs the Cubs have scored in all of their 100+ year history? You might well say, "Huh? What does one thing have to do with the other? One is hits; the other is runs. One is 100+ years; the other is one year. It's classic apples vs oranges." And you would be right.

Federal "debt" is the net amount of outstanding T-securities created in the history of America. The GDP is the total dollar value of goods and services creating this year. The two are unrelated. The federal government does not use GDP to service its debt. In fact, federal debt service stimulates the economy, so more debt is stimulative.

Comment: Re:is there any rationale for this requirement? (Score 1) 305

by penix1 (#48066083) Attached to: The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

Am very curious why they would have this requirement.

They claim it is to curtail "cyber-bullying" (AKA- Trolling). There is no reason they can't show aliases instead of real names while still requiring real names to sign up. Even Google is seeing that this option is better than the real name policy they used to have.

Comment: Re:.. and this is new ? (Score 5, Insightful) 83

by penix1 (#48061521) Attached to: It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

Curiosity leads to motivation, stuff you do in an unmotivated or bored state never come out well and (thankfully) will not be remembered.

Actually, I believe it isn't curiosity that was tested. I believe it was interest. Interest != curiosity. Curiosity would involve something the subject didn't know. Interest is something totally different since it relies on a topic the subject already has some familiarity with.

Air is water with holes in it.