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Comment: The reasons why these samples went unnoticed... (Score 1) 55

by rusty0101 (#47478949) Attached to: More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

...for so long.

I'm going with some agency who considered obscurity and secrecy to be effective means of insuring safety neglected to pass on the details of what they were securing to the appropriate agencies that were taking over the care and handling of these vials. That and the agency taking over the care and handling never bothered to review what information was being handed over, and possibly discarded and destroyed the records when they met the agencies 'retain until' date for some category that those records were filed under.

Comment: Re:Is it me or... (Score 1) 85

by rusty0101 (#47269999) Attached to: The Game Theory of Life

I think that kid of depends on whether you think that an algorithm that makes something work requires that the universe within which that algorithm appears to be at work, has to be a simulated universe. Is it possible as an alternative that there are several possible processes where these results, or results statistically insignificantly different, might obtain, and it happens that this process wins because it simply uses less energy and produces results that provide better survivability than the other processes, without the universe these processes are running in being a simulated universe?

My suspicion is that the way we will be able to tell if the universe is simulated or not will be if we can demonstrate that everything that works in our universe works under well defined processes in simulations, and I'm not entirely sure that we can. At some level you run into the problem of something within a state not being able to fully describe all of the parameters of that state. I know that there are people who think that's not the case, and others who think that it is the case. I don't know, and I'm not sure it matters.

I'm not sure I'd know what to do if there was a way to definitively prove that the universe I exist in (or at least perceive about me) is only a simulation. It's not like I can use that knowledge to escape this universe, so the taxes will still need to be paid, the interest on loans will still grow, and there will likely still be death at some level. Perhaps the escape from this universe to the universe that has this simulation running in it is death, Perhaps it's finding a way to outlive the heat death of the universe, I don't know, and I'm uncertain as to which would be preferred.

But then that's the nature of metaphysical questions, isn't it? Or is it?

Comment: Re:Local government mismanagement (Score 1) 93

Nah, I think the local government should review the contract to confirm that the provider is meeting their obligations. If they are not, then a simple contract cancellation due to non-performance of the provider should be all it takes to clean up the mess.

Comment: Re:A Question from a Stupid Foreigner. (Score 2) 93

Yes, but they don't live the American Dream. Crushing debt for health care, lifetime fear of being told that you're not employable because of a non-debilitating chronic disorder, the opportunity to give up all rights to have courts redress grievances because you 'liked' the defendant at some point in your life, which mandated that you go through binding arbitration through lawyers paid by the defendant in a non-ethically questionable arrangement. After all, "That's the American Way!" these days.

Comment: Re:ROS (Score 2) 36

by rusty0101 (#47185519) Attached to: Open Source Robot OS Finds Niches From Farms To Space

Based on your observations, I would suspect that the intent of ROS is to let people get started with building a functional robot, without having to delve into the communications system to begin with. Whether the result is the least processor intensive solution possible is at best a tertiary goal. You don't write code in Java because it provides the fastest possible platform to run your code on. You don't develop in Python because you're planning on writing to the bare metal. You use these systems to put together a system that works for you, or that you can deploy in a changing environment, or across different providers hardware, or because you need something that works now.

Comment: I think Feynman may have said it best... (Score 1) 292

by rusty0101 (#46721023) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

...in his first lecture on physics. "The really interesting things in physics are where we thought we understood how things work, yet something new and not part of the known rules happens." He used chess as an analogy with the observation of how pawns rooks, bishops, knights queens and kings all move, and you watch for a while, think you have a good grasp of what's happening, and all of a sudden a pawn disappears from a square, and nothing replaces it, and you learn about 'en passant.' (sp?) You watch for a while, and all of a sudden a pawn reaches the far side of the board and is replaced with another piece and behaves according to that pieces rules. Or suddenly the rook and a king both move during a move.

We're pretty much at the level of understanding how most of the pieces of physics move under most circumstances, and have only the faintest of understanding of some of the special cases. (though a few of the others we understand reasonably well.)

The thing is, some of the special cases may provide some extremely useful solutions to what seem at the moment to be insurmountable problems. Whether they make it possible to implement warp drives, or macro scale teleportation, we don't know, because we don't know what those rules are yet. Though it's almost a trivial prediction to state that it's likely that whatever such rules are found to be usable, we'll probably find a way to make use of the rule in the form of a weapon.

Comment: Re:Mulgrew is an airhead (Score 2) 642

Technobabble and Star Trek seem to go together quite well. I wouldn't criticize her for that.

As to her reading the narration of this whole film, and not knowing the film was earth centrist, a lot of that has to do with how the material was presented to her. Just because the final result that you get to see has a specific view, doesn't mean that what the people doing the voice over, or providing content were presented with that view. As a brief example, content that clearly indicates an earth centrist perspective, may very well have been presented as "we know that scientist before Galileo held this view of the cosmos, present the content as if the show were being staged at that time." Then simply edit it to make it appear that the narration presents the material as a current perspective rather than a historical perspective.

From this, the Ben Stine movie on creation science, and other shows discussed earlier, and I suspect for years into the future, it's obvious to me that the people behind these programs may wish to present themselves as solid fundamental Christians who are simply presenting their perspective of the universe to the world, but either they, or people working on their behalf have no problem misrepresenting that content to people they are trying to get to provide evidence in support of their views. Being critical of the people providing voice-over narration, or content that misrepresents their own views, is at least as short sighted.

Comment: I'm kind of of the opinion that... (Score 4, Interesting) 449

by rusty0101 (#46613473) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

...these supercarriers need to be advised that any service they plan on replacing POTS with, will fall under common carrier regulation, and they will need to get approval from state regulatory boards for price modifications, service level changes, and the like. Under Common Carrier regulation, they will have to open up their service offerings to competitors at the same rates they charge their internal providers, i.e. their Internet Service capability will have to be available to companies like NetZero, at the same rates that they charge their own internal ISP organization.

They will also be obligated to build out their infrastructure to provide universal access to provide coverage to every customer they pull POTS services from. That's not to say that they can't make hybrid service available, where they provide some form of a wireless trunk to an equipment stack outside of town that provides local distribution in the same area that they already do this for with POTS. Essentially they will replace T1 trunk hardware at those remote vaults with a wireless T1 system, and presumably none of the customers would be the wiser.

Note, I don't expect that this is how things will play out, just how I think it should. I'm biased, as I am a customer who's worked in the telecom industry.

Comment: Re:From what I understand... (Score 1) 251

by rusty0101 (#46571957) Attached to: 3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

Sketchup is frequently used for models, and has been for years. In most cases the process involves pulling a single file out of the archive that sketchup generates, and running that file through a program that turns it into tool paths for the printer to follow. From what I recall, that was a free program as well. There is more information, and links to even more beyond it at http://www.printrbottalk.com/w...

Comment: Re:3D printing (Score 2) 251

by rusty0101 (#46571921) Attached to: 3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

I think that a 3D printer is pretty much in the domain of a machinist metal lathe at this time. In short you can get a satisfactory home use variety device for about the same price, or build one yourself from reasonably priced off the shelf components and a little bit of work on your part. If you are going to do something that involves one of these in a professional capacity, it's going to cost significantly more.

Both serve the needs of someone who has developed somewhat specialized knowledge.

That said, I'm actually interested in both, though neither is a part of the domain I work in. That's true of several other interests of mine as well.

The typical page layout program is nothing more than an electronic light table for cutting and pasting documents.

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