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Comment: Re:Having Read Both Papers (Score 1) 226

by xtieburn (#37739836) Attached to: FTL Neutrinos Explained... Maybe

Wow, wow, your average GPS is nowhere near 1 cm accuracy it is infact around the range that the paper suggests. (It can be much less or much more depending on conditions.)

The only way this technology gets to 1cm accuracy is through a number of techniques built on to the GPS technology. WAAS can get it way down, RTK is by far the best and probably what that receiver youve mentioned works on. However, neither of these technologies are perfect nor can we be certain what technology specifically was being used on this experiment and if we assume they are using top level stuff (Which is a pretty safe bet) I am not sure what effect the ground based improvements to distance accuracy would have on the experiment timings. (Perhaps someone can elaborate on the technology and clear this up for me.)

I do still think it would be surprising if they hadnt taken in to account relativistic effects like those mentioned in the paper but it is still an important possibility to be ruled out and contrary to what multiple /. 'experts' in GPS suggest it isnt immediately ruled out by our current use of the tech. Thats not directed specifically at this post but there are an awful lot of /. posts saying 'My tomtom works fine this guys gotta be an idiot.'

(Note, no I am not an expert either but arguing the point of being ignorant gives me the edge, and I do know enough to be quite sure the accuracy of GPS can get complicated.)

Comment: Re:The MS start menu is a cluttered mess (Score 1) 862

by xtieburn (#37609996) Attached to: Microsoft Killed the Start Menu Because No One Uses It

While its true the start menu gets cluttered its not actually MS that determines what a piece of software shoves in there.

MS cant mandate all companies use the name of their software in the start menu and not their company name its just not possible to do that. They can tell you whats best for the user and they probably already do but if a company says screw that then there isnt anything they can do. (Except remove the functionality entirely...)

Comment: Re:Fuel? No. (Score 1) 208

by xtieburn (#37022062) Attached to: Anti-Matter Belt Discovered Around Earth

Hang on, initial detection rates have nothing to do with the actual quantities you could later harvest. Though that can usually be extrapolated, which it has in the admittedly optimistic paper on the extraction. They measure extraction in micrograms a year depending on the body being harvested and also use the collected material in conjunction with other methods to power any project.

Now I doubt it would ever become a fuel source, Im sure other means will be ready long before we could scoop up that material, but its a fascinating idea to be considered and clearly more viable than trying to fuel something off a handful of particles every year.

Incidentally, someone suggested trying Jupiter for more material, the paper also goes in to that (If only there was some kind of acronym thats constantly posted telling us to read these things.) Turns out Saturn will have a better supply which is interesting in and of itself because it obviously doesnt have the larger magnetic field, its all a bit more complicated than that.

Comment: A slightly different story (Score 1) 323

by xtieburn (#37020174) Attached to: Computers Could Grade Essay Tests Better Than Profs

My story is kind of opposite to most posts here. In second year of university I had a particularly hard time with a key module. I clocked up hours of lab time, went to every lecture, put in a lot of work, but the module wasnt sticking. My grade for that module was ultimately terrible despite my best efforts, but where others got similar grades and werent seen to be working, my lecturer was around for a lot of the time I clocked up and he basically let me pass based on that fact.

It was the _wrong_ thing to do and I shouldnt have accepted that decision, I should have re-sat the year like many many others had (It was a tough year, the course was restructured during us going through it and failure rates were very high.) Ill always regret that decision, and I failed a third year where I was completely out of my depth. It was only on the third attempt at that third year I finally passed with a shoddy mark for the degree. I wasnt nearly so hard working by then and somewhat bitter at seeing everyone else in my old year catchup and surpass me.

There were certainly other factors to all this but when I chose to take the wrong decision no matter how well-meant it was it had a pretty dramatic effect on the rest of my education and likely the rest of my life.

Comment: Did I read a different article or what? (Score 1) 364

by xtieburn (#36995002) Attached to: Finding Fault With the Low, Low Price of Android

Did anyone actually read the article? because everybody seems intent on trashing it for saying this is like MS antitrust when the mainstay of the article is about googles whining that 'bogus' patents are being drawn up against it. Now are apple and MS patent trolling? Who knows! Google certainly havent gone in to detail about it so it has to go to the courts. This isnt some small startup getting picked on by big corporations this is a _massive_ company with the majority of the market share and they are acting like they are being picked on! Whats more they are getting huge support over this when, should google genuinely be infringing on patents, they have the power to immediately destroy any potential for profit on the ideas by distributing it immediately across a vast network. Thats the point of the article, all of that is what 95% of the text was about.

You may think its fine for google to distribute things for free patent or not, especially when the source of the features are from equally big players. Thats a different discussion. You may think the patent system is horribly broken. (well durr.) Also a different discussion. However, if you think google is the kid being bullied by the nasty profiteering giants then youve really got to get a grip, but of course you should know this because its just parroting what the article said...

The comparison to MS anti-trust was daft and the cases are very different but the sites a freakin windows super site. So many calling him a windows shill as if he doesnt pretty much advertise his allegiances... If you didnt go in to it in the knowledge that there was going to be some bias you are being painfully naive. (Incidentally that goes for _any_ site that unashamedly labels themselves after the product they support.) That doesnt mean a lot of the points made werent valid. Google arnt the underdog any more, havent been for some time.

[Note, let me pre-empt a strawman or two by pointing out that neither his post nor mine are saying MS and Apple are any better than Google in this situation.]

Comment: Re:Oh Carmack (Score 1) 280

by xtieburn (#36832968) Attached to: Carmack Addresses FPS Creativity Concerns

What an ironically snooty post...

'Essentially, he's butthurt that people actually are designing games with higher artistic (and conceptual) goals in mind than just pushing the graphical power of another FPS, and he's taking it personally that they find his games boring.' - That is _entirely_ fabricated. He never put down those aiming for originality, he never commented on them finding his games boring, youve invented your straw-man for a good beating.

'You chose your road, live with it, and let people who have other ambitions do what they do.' - Hows beating on that straw-man going for ya? Or would you like to quote the part that Carmack said other people should dump their ambitions.

'Carmack is one of those generation of game designers who were artistically unsophisticated, yet craved the credibility of "art."' Wow... do you know the guy? Were you friends for some period of time? The number of assumptions crammed in here youd have to know the guy or this would just be a really arrogant thing to say. Needless to say Carmack has never claimed to be aiming for fine art, that was pretty much a good chunk of what he was saying.

Carmack basically made one point, originality isnt the be all and end all. He didnt say people shouldnt be original, he didnt say people had to accept his games, most of his references werent even to games he made. He is just sick of the bracket of people that pooh pooh _incredibly_ successful games because each new game isnt 'creative'. Or to sum it up from the article, hes basically down on the attitude that 'if it’s popular, it’s not good'. (and NO that doesnt mean hes saying 'if it is popular, it is good' mister interpret things for vicious straw-man beatings.) You want to disagree with that fine but quit making crap up to get riled about and actually read what the man is saying.

Comment: Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (Score 1) 194

by xtieburn (#36746996) Attached to: Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook

'If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them!' - You cant without ostracizing yourself as more and more social events run through facebook pretty much exclusively. That doesnt mean they are useless or even that those people dont use them, it does mean that they will continue to complain bitterly about them though.

Strawman Number 1: 'Of course maybe you're the guy who announced that he would never again write a letter or mail a check once he got his first piece of unsolicited junk mail from Publisher's Clearinghouse.'
Or you are the guy who complains about the junk mail even today long after the practice was started, which is... well perfectly reasonable, junk mail costs us millions a year to deal with. The crap that social networks throw up shouldnt just be forgotten about because its a few years down the line. This shit _can_ and _should_ still be fixed.

'That boat sailed a long time ago.' - No, no it didnt. Not according to the law, not according to millions of people who still fight for it, not even according to half these companies who make promises about it and lose valuable PR when those promises go wrong. You have to be naive to think data you throw up will be secure, but youd have to be weak or daft to just accept it without complaint.

Strawman Number 2: 'Unless you're the guy who has refused to own a telephone for eighty years because you were pissed off about having your name and address published in the White Pages.'
Or you are the guy who has his name and address removed and wants that kept private, which is exactly what millions of people do and want.

Comment: Re:RTFA (Score 1) 380

by xtieburn (#36746958) Attached to: The Fanless Spinning Heatsink

Im not trolling, Im not trying to get a rise out of people. Just trying to point something out that I see as being quite prevalent on articles such as this.

but you are right, I didnt comment on the article itself so ill try fix that now.

Ive run larger and larger heatsinks with slower quieter larger fans to get my CPU clocking up nice and quiet and cool. The fan provides only a small amount of air movement these days but without it its still a long way off being passively cooled. Ive often wondered if there was a better way of getting that little bit of airflow and abandon the fan altogether all the better if it could reduce the size of my heatsink to smaller than your average breeze block.

This research is fascinating, its a remarkably simple concept at its heart. (That has some complex issues of course.) The idea never dawned on me and seems to solve a lot of issues; those are my favorite kind of discoveries. For the same power Im putting in to my fan at the moment I could have a much smaller quieter setup if this technology works and thats just in my daft desktop PC. Perhaps hes being optimistic with his estimates of how it will improve efficiency across the board but cooling systems are a huge expense and if it can do even a fraction of what is claimed itll be a heck of a boon. (Which, to go back to my previous point, is why if it has to be written-off by people it should be those whove read all the information and built a solid argument against it.)

Comment: RTFA (Score 5, Insightful) 380

by xtieburn (#36735334) Attached to: The Fanless Spinning Heatsink

I know its said a lot and should be common knowledge but I think it pays to stress it more strongly on occasion. This seems like an ideal time, READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE.

Several posts now, numerous mod points and dozens of follow ups all frankly making complete asses of themselves ironically complaining about how the IQ of /. has dropped while they make angry complaints and rants about the story that are fully addressed in the documentation.

and if you think that the fact that the summary screwed up is still a good sign of /. intelligence drop then you really need to look right back in the archives because bad summaries have been around on /. and virtually everywhere else pretty much from the beginning. Unsurprisingly the people posting the stories dont have total knowledge of the often fairly complex material posted and they screw it up good and proper on occasion. Which is probably why you should be judging the posts on the documents they link to and not the quickly thrown together summary by an admitted layman. Anything else is ironically a really stupid thing to do.

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE.

(and no this doesnt mean the documentation is flawless but make commentary on that, not the summary, it will raise that intelligence level a lot of you are so eager to whine about.)

Comment: Re:Gracious Outrage (Score 1) 219

by xtieburn (#36681576) Attached to: Microsoft Pays University $250K To Use Office 365

Anti-competitive doesnt just mean you cant throw discounts at people even if you are the apparently evil Microsoft. It means that you are going so far that all other competition can not keep up. Whether with money or litigation etc.
MS were up against Google, there is nothing stopping google weighing in with a discount that could easily counter MSs offer. They chose not to and they lost the business that is if anything a perfect example of good competition.

So, could people please stop applying anti-competitive to everything that involves a company they dont like succeeding...

Comment: Re:This too was foreseen (Score 1) 902

by xtieburn (#26997191) Attached to: Designer Babies

"That won't ever happen, you guys need to STFU and let us scientists get on with the science."

Id like you to link to the article where someone said that, and I dont mean some 12 year old comment on a forum an actual article where someone of any merit at all said that. Otherwise youve started off your moral outrage with a lie.

"We can't even agree it is a bad idea and will almost certainly have bad consequences."

So its a bad idea because you say so and we are doomed because you say so. So far your argument is failing to convince me, your coverage of the moral and ethical implications is sorely lacking.

Now, ignoring the fact that this news is far far from 'designer babies' and full genetic control. Ill try do better, what can possibly go wrong with designer babies?

1. prefrences that damage gender balances is one of the biggest issues ive seen presented, certain countries prefer male children over female but wait, these are the same countries that people who want male children are actually euthanising girls. So it basically boils down to this, if they want male children they are going to have them you either have infanticide or you chuck away an embryo, your choice.

2. an elite class, perhaps even more troubling than the first issue genetics could bread a superior class of people immune to genetic diseases deformity and highly resistant to anything that could crop up later in life. This doesnt cripple the idea though, it just means we have to be responsible with it. That means places like America may have to man up and provide a bit of socialist genetic health care for the good of the entire nation. Anything outside the cosmetic should be handled by NHSs and controlled on a country level by the entire populace through democratic methods. Dont think that cant happen because the costs of keeping alive hundreds of thousands with genetic based conditions is phenominal. This is a win win situation for the government and the populace.

3. Fashion trends, this is perhaps the most confusing one to me. People get up in arms about the idea of a parent having control of hair colour, eye colour etc. These same parents will ultimately have control over diet, education, and the entire welfare of there child. You know what, if a parent really wants there kid to have blond hair I dont care, I honestly dont give a shit. The moment its born there will be considerably larger issues to deal with.

There are other issues im sure and of course an unpredictable component but this is the same of all technology, when we invented the microchip it could have led to dire consequences but we cant stagnate in fear of what might be.

I find the problems with designer babies are entirely founded on problems that already exist and we are having difficulty sweeping them under the carpet (1). Or in a pessimistic attitude to the way our society will handle and give out the health improvements this could bring about (2). Or are just plain deity loving fear mongering about how we shouldnt play God (Despite the fact we already do on a daily.) for no good reason what so ever (3).

Meanwhile the benefits are an end to the most unpleasant of diseases. Diseases that dont just kill they slowly slowly destroy a person and everyone that person is connected to. Not only this but it could significantly reduce our vulnerability to diseases that arnt direct genetically manifest, that we merely have a predisposition to. You are talking about a health revolution on the scale of having clean drinking water. Millions of lives saved, millions of years of human life improved unimaginably.

It isnt immoral or unethical to consider this technology. Its immoral and unethical to not even consider the monumental impact it could have on so many that are suffering. If there is any reason we would ever face our doom it would be because of blinkered ignorant views of world changing science and technology. I for one am not willing to go back to living in a cave.

Comment: Re:N-dimensions -1 (Score 1) 156

by xtieburn (#26104823) Attached to: Apple's 3D Desktop Patent Filing Examined

You are right but your argument is extremely flawed.

There is nothing to say that regardless of dimensions you will only ever be able to view things in a dimension below. The reason why we cant manipulate a true 3D display is because we dont see in 3D.

3D is an illusion of 2D images and perspective, your brain does an exceptionally good job of it, ask anyone and they will tell you they see in 3D but ask them to tell you whats on the other side of an object and theyll have to go around to the other side to see it. If you were truly seeing in 3D that wouldnt be necessary.

This is something you see demonstrated in programming where in order to display anything you have to effectively remove a dimension in order to project it to the screen. (The same can be said of every representation of 3D, photographs, paintings, neither of them have actual depth.) Everything on your display is 2D whether it looks 3D or not, likewise everything 3D in reality is viewed in our eyes in 2D whether it is or not, and there in lies the problem.

When you make information 3D it doesnt change your ability to only see in 2D and as such you will have to do more complicated tasks in order to get to the information. 2.5D which is what we commonly call the current desktop layout is the minimal amount of effort to get to the information. (Drag and slide something away and you see whats behind it.) ITs precisely how we organise information in real life. E.g. Fileing cabinets.

The more you dabble in 3D the more you have to do to get the information and the less intuitive the interface becomes.

Ultimately it becomes a case of more information on screen weighed up against complexity of viewing it and so far nobody has come even remotely close to beating 2.5D and there have been _a lot_ of attempts.

However, this is nothing to do with some invented axiom of how much something can see in a given number of dimensions. If our eyes were very different and could somehow see and take in the world in length, height _and_ depth then our displays would no doubt be very different. Probably having to be 3D holograms to seem anything other than extremely primitive to something with such visual prowess.

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