Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:I don't understand this picture (Score 4, Informative) 32

The camera is behind and "below" Saturn, and Saturn's rings are "tilted" towards the Sun (you can see this because the planet's shadow on the rings is curved; if the ring was parallel to the light rays, the shadow would have straight edges).
The planet's back is lit by the rings: the upper part gets light reflected by the rings, and some diffused light, while the lower part only gets diffused light, that's why the upper part is better illuminated.
The "black rings" that you can see over the upper part of the planet are just the back of the rings (i.e the part that's in Saturn's shadow). Because the planet is much better illuminated than this portion of the rings, you see them as black on colored background (they must receive some light from the back of the planet, but that's probably below the sensitivity threshold of the camera).
They are "offset" because you only notice the portion between the camera and the planet; the rest of the shadowy part of the rings is dark on a dark background, so you can't see it.

Comment Re:let me know when i can control my dreams (Score 1) 47

I went to the wikipedia page after reading the xkcd comic that had "lucid dreaming" in its mouseover text.
There, I saw that lucid dreaming is taught to people who have a lot of nightmares, while undergoing therapy, so that they can gain control over their dreams.
It sounded intriguing, but I didn't have the patience to learn more about it.

In any case, sorry to hear you ran into stupid people.
But if you did train yourself to do this, I do have a couple of questions:
(1) can you control the passage of time in your dreams in any way?
(2) how elevated is the math you can do without waking up?

Comment Re:Quantum Mechanics cannot be simulated ... (Score 1) 529

You are right.
But, the question is not if we are in a *correct* simulation, but whether we are in a simulation good enough to fool humanity.
For something like this, they would only have to worry about the relatively small number of people who are actually conducting experiments on quantum physics.
For the rest of us, solving for some "macroscopic" quantities such as thermodynamic quantities would be good enough, since we would simply ignore the noise term coming from their errors as being part of thermal noise anyway.

In any case, my feeling is their approach is wrong first of all because when we are trying to simulate the universe we are doing it differently.
Why would the transcedental geeks do it in a way we ourselves wouldn't aprove of?

Comment Re:Half a test. (Score 2) 529

You're right, but to be honest, all of physics is the same.
Theoreticians come up with a mathematical model to explain observations, those models make predictions about stuff that hasn't been observed yet, and experimentalists check those predictions.
If the experiments come out as the theoreticians predicted, we say the mathematical model is "reality".
However, there are clear examples where this method fails: the various competing models of exotic physics, that we can't experiment on, because the experiments are too expensive.

So we never prove that the mathematical model is the perfect description of the underlying reality, we just prove that it is undistinguishable, within experimental error, from the perfect description.


Submission + - Humble Bundle 6 Released (

gentryx writes: "The next incarnation of the indie games Humble Bundle has been released. Games included are
  • Rochard, a sci-fi platformer
  • Shatter, a reloaded breakout clone
  • Space Pirates and Zombies, 2d, top-down spaceship arcade action
  • Torchlight, an RPG in a fantasy setting
  • Vessel, a puzzle/platform hybrid
  • Dustforce, another take on wiping the dust of the platformer genre

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Humble Indie Bundle 6 Released (

quantumphaze writes: "You can pay whatever you want to get these DRM-free games on Mac, Windows, and Linux: the critically acclaimed action-RPG Torchlight; the rugged sci-fi action platformer Rochard; physics-based brick breaker Shatter; top down space combat sim Space Pirates and Zombies; and steampunk puzzle platformer Vessel. If you choose to pay more than the average price, you will also receive the incredible, frantic acrobatic platformer, Dustforce! Many of the games also come with their own soundtrack!"

Slashdot Top Deals

"The voters have spoken, the bastards..." -- unknown