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Comment: Re:IAU? Haste? No way. (Score 1, Offtopic) 275

by qc_dk (#40661137) Attached to: Is Pluto a Binary Planet?

You are very wrong. Almost no sects of Christianity believes that the bible is the literal truth and the word of God.
The Pope, even, have stated that at least Genesis is allegory.

There are even more moderate sects, like the state church of Denmark. Where there are priests who don't believe in God.
Here's a quote from the priest Thorkild Grosbøll: "God belongs in the past. He is actually so old fashioned that I am baffled by modern people believing in his existence. I am thoroughly fed up with empty words about miracles and eternal life."

Comment: Re:A good side effect of all this (Score 1) 183

by qc_dk (#39161355) Attached to: A Small Glimmer of Hope For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

The Michaelson-Mauley experiment failed to detect the aether

I'm hoping you mean the Michelson-Morley experiment here....

That was the follow up experiment, after the Michaelson-Mauley experiment did not show conclusive evidence because a couple of grad students got too close to the grizzly.

Comment: 1 pair used to be enough (Score 1) 502

by qc_dk (#39154663) Attached to: The correct number of shoes to own:

I used to get by with one pair but all of a sudden they gang up on you an appear out of nowhere. Shoes are the ninjas of apparel. The exact opposite of socks. They are cowardly escape artists. They disappear but they always leave one of their kin behind to taunt you.

So let's see:
pair of walking shoes used almost all the time.

one pair of sneakers for sports outdoor.
one pair of sneakers for weight training, used to be for fencing. (full of holes on top)
one pair of fencing shoes. (Reinforced. Stopping my toenails from exploding when stabbed. See shoes above.)
three pairs of dress shoes. 2 black 1 brown.
pair of sandals
pair of steel toe work boots.
pair of hiking boots. Only bought to hike across a glacier a 1000 miles from the north pole, when I had to admit that my trusty walking shoes probably weren't going to cut it.

Comment: Re:Meringuoid's Law proven once again. (Score 1) 58

by qc_dk (#37711228) Attached to: More Details On the German Government's Use of Malware

I don't know how things work in common law countries like the US, but here in Denmark such statements by lawmakers are very important.
If a case has to be decided by the supreme court they will not only consider the law in question, but also the interplay of other laws and the protocols from the treatment of the law in parliament. So if a law has been questioned in parliament and the supporters have said it was never meant to be applied that way, the supreme court will take the position that the law as it was passed was indeed not meant to cover the abusive cases.

Comment: Re:Verification test? (Score 1) 1088

by qc_dk (#37489818) Attached to: CERN Experiment Indicates Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

They do not have a way of sending light, and no way of receiving the radio. It is simply the LHC ring dumping the beam into a target pointed at a neutrino detector in Gran Sasso in Italy.
Because the neutrinos interact so little they can pass directly through the Earth's crust. This means you do not have to dig a 700 km long tunnel.

Comment: Re:Linguistics not really useful. The ignorance (Score 1) 156

by qc_dk (#36260788) Attached to: Chapel Hill Computational Linguists Crack Skype Calls

The ignorance of the statement "You might think of linguistics as being interesting but not really useful" is simply astounding.

What ignorance would that be. I read that as a statement as a hypothesis that the common man might hold linguistics to be not really useful. The statement makes no claim whatsoever that linguistics is in fact not useful. In fact it makes the exact opposite claim.

Do you believe that the commonly held opinion is that linguistics is useful? or simply some academic pursuit for bearded people with leather patches on their elbows. I think you can easily get a feeling by looking at research grants to linguistics and compare them to those for generally perceived as useful areas like chemistry. I would not be surprised if linguistics get a lot less funding.

Comment: Re:Not cloud computing (Score 1) 59

by qc_dk (#36237176) Attached to: Australians Look To SkyNet For SKA Telescope

I completely agree with you that this buzzword bingo has to stop.
However you seem to also have messed up the terminology a bit. :)

Cloud computing refers to provisioning of resources across the network normally using virtual machines. You retain "full" control of the machine. Cloud computing could be used for distributed computing.

Grid computing is the connection of supercomputers across the world. This involves things like handling access rights, policies, accounting etc.

Parallel computation involves the computation of a problem spread out over several processors.

Distributed computing is like parallel computation, but distributed across several machines. It therefore has to take into account things such as network latencies, machine failures etc.

Volunteer Computing involves harnessing the power of resources donated by the public. This can be a form of distributed computing, but not necessarily. BOINC is a good example of this.

Their project obviously falls into the last category, and has nothing to do with either Grid or Cloud. Their main difference from BOINC is the ability to run directly in the browser. This is hardly a new idea, and I remember projects like this from at least back in 2003. As far as I can see from the documentation, software such as MiG has been able to do all they do and much more since 2005. I'm a bit disappointed that Oxford Uni is not more innovative and get the terminology wrong, but it is the Physics department so let's cut them some slack. :)

Disclaimer: I'm a researcher in distributed computing particularly Grid and Volunteer Computing.

Comment: Re:Ineligible - political membership rwquired (Score 1) 528

by qc_dk (#36088372) Attached to: When it comes to jury service, I ...

Why do you believe that? There is no such requirement. The only requirements are that you are allowed to vote, which you need no party affiliation for in Denmark, are less than 70 years old, have not been found guilty of a major crime, are capable understanding the proceedings (ie. can speak Danish,not deaf etc.) and finally that you do not work as a lawyer/judge, government official, or in the police.

Comment: Eligible both for jury and judge (Score 1) 528

by qc_dk (#36071576) Attached to: When it comes to jury service, I ...

Here in Denmark(and similarly in the rest of Scandinavia) I can be called to serve as a juror and as a lay judge. In the lowest court the cases are presided over by one professional judge with a degree in law and two lay judges chosen for four years (like jurors) among the ordinary citizens (you cannot work in the police, government etc.). In the middle court there are 3 pros and 3 lay judges. This is for all cases where the accused has not plead guilty and the accused faces a sanction more involved than a fine, otherwise only the professional judges preside.

The trial is led by the professional judge who also decides whether the defendant must remain in jail while the case is running (there is no such thing as bail). Other than that the lay judge has the same rights as the professional. The lay judge may question the lawyers and the defendant, and carry the same weight when voting on the decision and deciding the punishment. In case of ties (possible in middle court) the verdict is what is most in favour of the defendant. The verdict is formulated by the professional judge. If any judge disagrees with the verdict he can require that it is noted in the verdict anonymously.

This ensures "jury nullification" in Denmark, as the public can serve as judges and outvote the professional judges.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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