Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:This sh*t again? (Score 1) 247

by sg_oneill (#49525529) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Thats a trickier one. The reason Microsoft was held to be anti-competitive was because by tying it to windows , it *leveraged* windows near monopoly to artificially create a an IE monopoly over Netscape Navigator. Chromes desktop dominance seems to be based on consumer preference which is perfectly legal.

Now as to mobile phones, THAT is a completely different kettle of fish and one that might just get it in hot water.

Comment: Re:This sh*t again? (Score 5, Insightful) 247

by sg_oneill (#49476215) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Antitrust isn't really about consumers (although arguable it is ultimately) but about making sure the free market is both a market and free.

When the entire industry is subject to a single companies whim, then its a bad thing. Microsofts anticompetitive practices in the 90s and early 2000s held the IT industry back years, because web browsers stop being competitive and for the web industry that meant we where stuck with a bloody awful lowest common denominator (ie6) for nearly a decade. At least until EU sanctions gave firefox a fighting chance, and web browsers had to compete again and we saw real innovation finally.

Wheres the innovation in searching, when the only engine one needs to care about is google. Wheres the innovation in content, when the only rule in web presence is "does googles algorithm like it". One company holds millions of IT workers fates in their hands, and thats not safe and its not a free market, just a market.

Comment: Re: Dark Energy (Score 1) 199

by sg_oneill (#49467979) Attached to: Supernovae May Not Be Standard Candles; Is Dark Energy All Wrong?

i am not saying the steady state theory is correct. i am saying we cannot say the big bang theory is authoritatively correct

Science isn't very good at conclusively proving things, but its awfully good at disproving things.

For the steady state theory to be true, a few things must be true. We would have near amounts of light bombarding us, since the universe would have been around for an infinite amount of time at an infinite size thus being able to shoot infinite amounts of light in all directions for the forever that preceded. This *clearly* is not the case.

Secondly theres none of this "local" vs "non local" observation in the steady state universe. Its *premised* on uniformity in the universe, that is anywhere in the steady state universe looks the same as anywhere else. This is a problem, because we know that whilst the universe is kinda isotropic in some respects, its certainly not perfectly so. Theres nowhere in the steady state theory for the "but what if its different over the horizon" argument to hide, because 1) No horizons in the steady state, and 2) Steady state predicts perfect spatial isotropy. 3) Steady state predicts perfect temporal isotropy. This *can't* be true . Where are the radio galaxies in the local neighborhood. Where are the quasars. Things are DIFFERENT now then when we look back a bunch of billion years (away)!

Theres also the fact that General Relativity is incompatible with the steady state theory, for reasons outside of my mathematic skillset to fully understand.

Finally theres the MBR, and this is the big one. We know the MBR is basically a black body radiation. Something "banged" that isn't banging now.

To wit

The steady state model does not appear to agree with the observed dL versus z relation or with source counts ... In a sense, the disagreement is a credit to the model; alone among all cosmologies, the steady-state model makes such definite predictions that it can be disproved even with the limited observational evidence at our disposal. The steady-state model is so attractive that many of its adherents still retain hope that the evidence against it will disappear as observations improve. However, if the cosmic microwave background radiation . . . is really black-body radiation, it will be difficult to doubt that the universe has evolved from a hotter, denser early stage. - Steven Weinberg

Steady State is a dead theory , and its been dead for the better part of a century. Time to give it up bro.

Comment: Re:Dark Energy (Score 1) 199

by sg_oneill (#49467939) Attached to: Supernovae May Not Be Standard Candles; Is Dark Energy All Wrong?

In fact, the fact the observable limit tells us was that universe "banged" some finite time ago. In a solid state universe we would have infinite amounts of light coming from infinite distances. And we don't. Whilst this doesn't speak to whether the universe is infinite or finite in size, it does tell us quite conclusively that light has only had a certain number of billion years to propagate, meaning that it *started* , which pretty much rules out the solid state theory.

Throw in a tonne of other evidence for the big bang, and I really don't think its a controversy anymore, outside a few theoreticians on the edge.

Comment: Re:Lobbying and Contributions (Score 1, Troll) 441

by sg_oneill (#49467919) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

The Tea parties foundations where straight up bonkers from day 1 when that stockbroker dude flipped out on TV about how unfair it was bankers might get punished.

screw that noise. Each and every one of those teabag nuts where stooges from day 1. It was a movement born rotten.

Comment: Re:Dark Energy (Score 1) 199

by sg_oneill (#49460371) Attached to: Supernovae May Not Be Standard Candles; Is Dark Energy All Wrong?

even the big bang theory, commonly accepted, was formulated by a belgian priest: i

And newton was practically a religious fundamentalist, Algebra was invented by a muslim cleric (Al-Gebra!) and so on.

The reason we are fairly confident about the big bang is because we have [i]very strong evidence[/i] for it, namely the microwave radio background which more or less lets us *look at* the big bang, or at least its aftermath, and a whole slew of other observations, including the fact the universe seems to be redshifting away from a central point.

Dark matter is a popular theory because it makes the math work. Its not a pseudoscience, its an unproven theory, and there IS a difference.

String theory, ehhhhh thats a bit more on the edge. The problem with string theory is we don't know how to falsify it. It does have the property that it answers a lot of questions, but it seems to be unfalsifiable so whilst its not really fair to call it a pseudoscience, until someone figures out a way to disprove it (And if supersymetery is disproven by the LHC , then it might well be that disproof), or of course prove it, then its more an abstraction than a first class science theory.

Comment: Re:BASIC (Score 1) 315

by sg_oneill (#49444749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Yeah basic teaches some bad habits. However I'd argue Python which is basic like in its simplicity teaches *good* habits.

And theres also LOGO which is somewhat similar to lisp in the way it works, and as a bonus has the turtle which can be fun to drive as a kid.

Heck its probably not too hard to build a physical turtle out of parts from a model shop and an arduino.

Comment: Re:Complete article (Score 1) 442

by sg_oneill (#49376755) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

The effect of CO2 declines logarithmically. The first 20ppm CO2in the atmosphere has a greater effect
than the following 300ppm. The incremental effect of increasing CO2at the present 385ppm level is almost immeasurable. Why don't climate "science" articles acknowledge the actual physics of CO2? It's lower now than it was before there were human beings to invent acronyms like AGW.

We are nowhere near the saturation point. This idea stems from a misunderstanding that CO2 is evenly distributed vertically through that atmosphere.

The mechanism is explained well here .

Your assumption that scientists have overlooked these mechanisms are quite incorrect, and have featured in models of climate change going back to fouriers original work on the topic of the greenhouse effect in the 1800s.

Comment: Re:Complete article (Score 1) 442

by sg_oneill (#49376715) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

So we know that the earth has warmed and cooled many times before. We really have no credible evidence regarding the actual rate of change in these prior instances

Wrong! We have icecores, geological evidence and tree ring evidence (Although since about the 60s the tree ring evidence appears to have gone off the rails, due to the changes in carbon isotopes we put into the air from nuclear testing and cheynobyl).

CO2 levels seem to have varied wildly, up to 7000 ppm, during both heating and cooling cycles. Has anybody isolated the reasons for heating in the past? Can those reasons be ruled out in this instance?

Yes, this has all been accounted for. You should not that 7000ppm is not a CO2 concentration conducive to human life at all.

If not, then AGW alarmists are in thin ice. Natural processes are almost always much more complicated than we realize

And yet you have a strong opinion on it that makes you feel you understand it better than atmospheric physicists. Why IS that?

Comment: Re:Complete article (Score 2) 442

by sg_oneill (#49376699) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

If your theory is so wonderfully complete, why can't you create a computer model that can start with conditions twenty years ago and work out a correct description of the present?

They can and they do. Most models are tested against earlier data to see how it lines up. Current models are pretty damn accurate.

Please note, I'm not denying that it's getting warmer. I simply don't subscribe to the current hubris that makes humanity responsible for all of it.

Physics hasn't got a lot of room for opions I'm afraid, the universe is somewhat oblivious to the whims of political opinion.

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

Working...