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Comment Re:Wait, physics doesn't work either? (Score 4, Interesting) 206

"in terms of what other system could we try to explain the observed phenomena that we call entanglement?" Specifically (while I realize it cannot be used to transmit information), how is it faster than light? Is the concept of locality a defensible one?

Interestingly enough like most effects of quantum mechanics, entanglement does not have an easy macroscopic analog to compare. One way to think about it is that it is a type of emergent behavior because of the rules that QM appear to follow.

More specifically, entanglement is kind of emergent behavior that is a logical consequence of conservation rules and quantum superposition states. If you believe in the QM rules regarding conservation (e.g, conservation of say spin), and QM rules involved with superposition wave function collapse (e.g., so called "observation"), the emergent consequence of these rules is a behavior we call entanglement.

The macroscopic analog is sort of as follows. Suppose you have 1 balls and 2 boxes. By some method hidden from you, the ball into one of the two boxes and it is sealed. If you believe in conservation of balls, The two boxes are now entangled. You can move them arbitrarily far apart and then open one box, if it has a ball, you instantly know the other doesn't have a ball.

Where this breaks down is how you put the ball in the box. In the QM version of this, the method of which you put the ball into the box doesn't really put the ball into the box, it simply puts a type of probability of a ball into a box. Interestingly enough, the box can act sort of like a 1/2 ball in the box until you open it and then it "collapses" and is either a ball or not ball. The strange part is how can it act as if there is a 1/2 ball in the box before you open it? If you think of the decision being made when you seal the box, there is some sort of locality, but if you think of the decision being made when you open the 1/2 filled box, there is non-locality and you need to use a concept like entanglement as an emergent behavior.

That is 1/2 ball in the box (part particle, part wave) is QM and nobody really understands that part, so there's really not an analogous macroscopic system on which to understand it, because the systems we are familiar with don't follow those rules.

On the concept of locality, it's really unknown. We generally think of distance and time (warped by general relativity) as the way we measure locality (e.g., light cones, etc), but there isn't a clear idea if there isn't a macro-dimension or holographic way that alters our understanding what is local or non-local. Using current theories, we already speculate that there are singular violations of locality (e..g, EPR's or worm-holes, etc), and we don't understand the fabric of space-time (e.g quantum gravity) well enough to say if our current theories about this are descriptive enough to yield our current intuitions about space-time locality or if it will be as weird as QM.

Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 1) 275

At the very least, if you have two contracted suppliers who can both provide the same goods, there is no reason your contracts should restrict you from just grabbing shit from Newegg.

Although that theoretically could be made part of a IT hardware support contract, you can bet that will affect the cost of a support contract (if a support contract can't make money on the hw side, they will simply charge more elsewhere). At the end of the day, the highly bundled contracts tend to come in with overall lower cost (and the inevitable lower service) than the unbundled contracts.

If nothing else, for a business, it's generally cheaper to sell more shit to your current customer than pay customer acquisition costs to find new customers, so contracts that bundle more will generally reflect this cost savings.

This is true for IT, construction, to food services, etc. The reason is generally because reducing the uncertainty in the amount of the total dollars to the vendor and reduction of the overhead of a single provider allows them to reduce the gross margin needed to cover the uncertainty and maintain a certain aggregate profit ratio (e.g., if random chance causes you can lose some money somewhere you make it back somewhere else in the contract).

Sure the marginal performance of that contract suffers relative to someone cherry picking cost savings, but at the end of the day, everyone needs to eat, so it is kind of a zero-sum game. Your savings is the contracting companies loss, so they have to make it up somewhere (new customers, charging you more for the rest of it, etc).

Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 2) 275

bidding wars and approved vendor sources don't.

You clearly are not aware of how bad a no-bid procurement process can get. Sadly I've seen it in action and let's say it would put third world countries to shame. Not that the current system eliminates the problem, but it does reduce it's magnitude.

Also, you can't do social engineering w/o approved vendors sources (not that I approve of social engineering by government, but apparently a large majority of people seem to want it). Things like minority or woman owned businesses contract/sub-contract set-asides, living wage requirements, union affinity, steering money to constituency etc, would be basically be moot. You might argue this is a good thing, but apparently that is not the current majority thinking.

Comment Re:Colleges are not for education (Score 1) 274

Maybe they're too busy trying to do anything to repay their crushing debt that they cannot even dream of starting their own business..

Perhaps they should have taken a cue from those that *dropped-out* of school to start their business and avoid those pesky student loans in the first place. I mean, it's likely that many of those that are being *crushed* by student loans weren't taking classes on how to start a business, but rather more likely they were taking classes in an attempt to become more *employable*, not *entrepreneurial* (as most people who attend college tend to do).

Sure, maybe the college game as it is currently constructed is rigged (not enough bang for the buck), and you might argue it needs more bang or less buck to fix it, but that doesn't mean students shouldn't be playing the game as best they can. Right now we see many students taking out monster student loans and attempting degrees that don't help them (either they are not talented enough to benefit from the degree, or the degree itself isn't worth the money they are investing). People shouldn't play the game they want to play and bemoan the outcome, they need to read the rules and play the best game they can (or don't play the game at all).

Play or not play the college game, you can still of course attempt to change the rules, but if you find yourself at the juncture of deciding if/how to play, it's probably too late for you, any change you are working towards is only likely to benefit those that come after you (which may be your kids, or relatives, so you still shouldn't choose to play poorly).

Unless of course you want to be a martyr and *want* to play the college game poorly to make a point.


Mice Brainpower Boosted With Alteration of a Single Gene 105

Zothecula writes: By altering a single gene to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase (PDE4B), researchers have given mice the opportunity to see what an increase in intelligence is like. "They tended to learn faster, remember events longer and solve complex exercises better than ordinary mice. For example, the “brainy mice” showed a better ability than ordinary mice to recognize another mouse that they had been introduced to the day before (abstract). They were also quicker at learning the location of a hidden escape platform in a test called the Morris water maze. However, the PDE4B-inhibited mice also showed less recall of a fearful event after several days than ordinary mice." While many people would welcome such a treatment, the scientists say their research could lead to new treatments for those with cognitive disorders and age-related cognitive decline.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 1) 207

Art detracts from games. It's noise.

Of course..."The image translators work for the construct program. But there's way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it. I...I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head."

What more can you ask for?

Comment Re:WTF does that mean? (Score 1) 222

IANAL, but as I understand it, you only need to register for a copyright if

* you want to be eligible to collect statutory* damages (as opposed to damages for actual loss) and attorney's fees
* you want the US custom's service to enforce your copyright claim (e.g., confiscating recordings)

You also need to register before you can file a copyright infringement claim in court (as opposed to a standard tort or civil claim). But since you can technically register your work anytime during the lifetime of the copyright coverage, you can nearly always wait to register until right before you file your claim for infringement (assuming you discover the infringement before your copyright coverage and the associated statute of limitations expires).

However, if you register too long after you created your work, you risk having to actually prove the retroactive origination date in court to establish infringement, whereas contemporary registration would have established this fact w/o dispute in court. Probably not too hard to prove the date in this case (or most cases)

*getting a judge to statutory damages award would be a pretty good reason to register if say likely infringers would caused damages that you can't easily prove (e.g., the few micro-cents of revenue from missed views on youtube).

Comment Re:Good for experiments, not powerplant ready (Score 1) 337


Of course nowhere near, doesn't mean never, but it's quite possible that "tokamak" might be some quaint historical footnote when we get to something that is actually practical.

If you look at ITER, it's got so many technologies it's trying to research simultaneously, that it's hard to see it actually being a practical step towards DEMO or PROTO (its theoretical follow-ons) where they will actually try and extract the electricity (ITER doesn't include a mechanism to convert energy to electricity)

I have no particular insight into ITER or this new MIT design, but I have studied the Fort St. Vrain attempt at HTGR fission and the Oak ridge Thorium reactors and have tried to survey what they are doing in the NIF (although it's much harder to get good information about what they are doing) and putting things into commercial development is hard to do on a timeline because there is theory and then there is practice (which is why they build all these research reactors).

One big material science problem they are trying to solve with ITER is a way to build a so-called breeder blanket so they can bleed some of the fusion neutrons to create more tritium (which is rare enough to be uneconomical to refine from the ocean to use as fuel). I don't know how the MIT design would even help with this as they appear to concentrating on increasing the magnetic field for tighter confinement, not making a practical reactor.

Of course there are also the material science problems (confinement and super-conducting magnetic materials that can handle the high neutron flux over the operating life of the reactor).

Using the older fission programs as benchmarks, it's a pretty clear feeling to me we are nowhere near getting to where we need to be before fusion becomes a real practical technology and not a theoretical technology and we probably aren't even $100billion in funding away (the cost of the Apollo moon program in today's dollars).

It's not impossible though (apple is a merely a $700billion dollar company), but it's gonna take a while even if "properly funded"

Comment Re:So? (Score 2) 235

Previously, Google would not have been able to sell a new stock of "just" (Internet Search Only) Google, or for any of their individual projects, it was all one thing.

Actually, that is categorically not true. A company can create a "tracking" stock for a subsidiary or even a business function (like search), as long as it was willing to break out the reporting of that function.

The problem is that tracking stocks are not generally favored anymore by the street and probably wouldn't really work anyhow with the current Google structure (where Larry and Sergey have super-voting rights) as such a tracking stock would suffer the same albatross as GOOGL vs GOOG.

The value of what they have done is simply to provide more transparency about their businesses to the street and provide more deck chairs for potential C-level googlers that might want to defect. That's actually good value, but has nothing to do with being able to issue a stock for part of their business.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 235

This does nothing to reduce corporate risk as all the companies are all wholly owned subsidiaries.

This move is simply to create more transparency into the financials that google search/ads/apps is providing the company to the large shareholders and create more chairs to promote C-level people (who might want to leave Google for career development).

FWIW, a good bullet to have on your resume is Profit/Loss responsibility to get/keep a ticket to the C-level clubhouse. If a Googler didn't have a way to get that at Google, they might be tempted to jump ship (and many have done so). By creating more deck chairs (by creating more companies within their conglomerate where they have to actually have to do separate P/L reporting) is a clever way to keep these people in the fold a bit longer (because gives them a chance to get their ticket punched). Of course wall street was clamoring for more transparency anyhow, so this kills 2 birds with 1 stone.

Comment Re:Those making more than new minimum salary (Score 1) 480

Personally, I favor an MGI, and I think the money should come from corporate taxes. But there are more loopholes than there are dollars.

Curious, what is your problem with the currently enacted Earned Income Credit vs a hypothetical Minimum Guaranteed Income scheme?

Do you object to the level of reimbursement the EIC? (phaseout after $31K)
Do you object to the incentives in the EIC for a person to earn more to receive more benefits? (vs a typical MGI implementation where it doesn't matter how much you earn if you are below the absolute level)
Do you object to the fact that it factors in the number of dependents?
Do you object that it draws employees into the workforce which results in an increase in payroll taxes which offsets the cost of the program?
Do you object to the fact that you actually have to file a tax return to claim it?
Do you object to the current level of fraud in the program?


Do you simply object to the fact that is a USA created construct (originally enacted during the Ford Administration in 1975), not a new fangled European construct?

Comment Re:I Guess You're Overpaying (Score 0) 155

You must be one of the couple dozen or so people that lives near a Sprint tower...

About the only time I got 5 bars on my sprint phone was in the airport, at my house and work, it generally got rounded down to zero bars unless I held my phone in the air and positioned my phone just so...

Sprint certainly offers cheap plans, although totally unworkable to me, so count me as one of those overpaying for getting actual service (as opposed to paying less for service that I wasn't able to use).

Comment Re:Samzenpus got hit in the head this morning (Score 1) 528

I think you are mistakenly assuming that driverless means AI will need to be good enough to drive better than average. I don't think that is true. All they need to do is be able to drive better than crappy drivers on the road today (e.g., those who make up the bottom 25% of drivers). Learners, elderly, those that have the attention span of a gnat or chat endlessly on phones whilst they drive, etc... There many more of them than average drivers.

When the driverless cars get good enough to be better than these people, insurance companies will push-out the crappy drivers into the arms of rental cars controlled by companies the size of Google or Uber. The insurance companies would like to do that today, but the government won't let them because in many cases it's a "hardship" to remove driving privileges for them (although they sometimes have license restrictions to daytime driving) so they force an uninsurable motorist pool as a tax on insurance companies. If the government had a viable alternative, don't you think they'd take it?

The problem in this new world will be the affordability of liability insurance for the average driver. If it's your fault and you hit one of these rental cars that is used nearly 100% uptime, the loss of revenue component of liability is going to raise insurance premiums through the roof...

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.