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Comment Re: which he at first found "abominable", (Score 2) 118

Every experiment contains randomness, regardless of quantum theory. Engineers call it noise. Statisticians call it unexplained variance. That's why statistics is the language of science. You can still repeat experiments, including quantum experiments, by collecting a large enough sample size and computing the relavent statistics.

Comment Re:i interpret it to mean (Score 2) 497

I prefer "accepted." The accepted theory is the current state of the art in a field, meaning that it is the best description (in a practical makes-useful-predictions way) that we currently have. Accepted theories are constantly tested, and could be wrong in the details or even in broad strokes, but they're the best thing available, and work in a way that has been fairly well explored.

Of the theories listed in the summary, all are being actively tested and refined today. The only one that really isn't having it's details continually tweaked is Relativity, although that's mostly due to the lack of close up black holes to study.

Comment Re:i interpret it to mean (Score 1) 497

Not quite as wrong as the OP, but still wrong.

Theories are explanatory structures that attempt to describe some phenomenon. Laws are an old-timey name for short, succinct, important bits of theories. Theories are used to generate hypotheses, which are effectively predictions, which are then tested through experiment.

Einstein's theory of relativity was just as much a theory when the ink on his paper was still wet as it is now. All those theories about low energy supersymmetry are still theories, even though there is strong evidence that they are wrong.

Comment Re:i interpret it to mean (Score 1) 497

Pundit "theory" is a good application of the scientific method.

Theoretically, if I hold the bob of a Focault pendulum to my chest and let go, I should be perfectly safe so long as I don't move forward. But being a good scientist I doubt the hypothesis until there are experiments to check. Even then, I might retest the hypothesis whenever some new situation arises in which it might not be true, and I'm prepared to scrap whatever doesn't work as soon as the failing is reasonably demonstrated.

Theoretically, organisms evolve according to specific rules, objects move and are attracted or repelled from each other according to specific rules, microorganisms cause a good deal of disease, and pumping carbon dioxide into an atmosphere will trap heat. But scientists are constantly checking, first the broad sweeps, then the details.

The problem is that pop culture equates doubt to weakness.

Comment Re:i interpret it to mean (Score 1) 497

What's wrong with Ptolemaic cosmology? It explains the things you can see without a telescope pretty well. A couple of little refinements, like switching the frame of reference (which Einstein tells us is meaningless) and letting the planets move in ellipses instead of perfect circles, and you have Copernicus and Kepler. Mix in some Newton to explain the why and you have a model that's still useful today.

Comment Re:This seems to make a lot of assumptions (Score 1) 135

We do. There was a good analysis by somebody I read once looking at how much dark matter you'd expect to find in the solar system. It's not much. Space is really big, and dark matter is pretty well spread around. That's why it doesn't perturb the orbits of the planets noticeably. It also interacts with matter very little, so it's hard to detect.

Comment Re:Scientists hate Microsoft Office (Score 1) 181

Physicists maybe. And some engineers. Anyone who doesn't use a lot of equations, and anyone who has to work with someone who doesn't use a lot of equations, uses Word. Most of the physicians, psychologists and biologists I work with aren't competent to use a command line, never mind TeX.

Word sucks. It really does. But I suspect it's what the majority of scientists use. Thank god for mathML and LaTeXit.


Youtube and Facebook May Be Banned In Turkey, Again 57

Taco Cowboy writes "Istanbul (dpa) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering banning YouTube and Facebook after local elections at the end of this month, according to remarks carried by local media Friday. It may, or may not be related to the criticisms arising from (not-yet verified) leaked recordings of Mr. Erdogan's involvement with corruption. 'We will not let YouTube and Facebook destroy our nation. We will take measures, including closure,' said Erdogan, who has previously made comments against social media sites. YouTube had been banned in the country for two years and was recently unblocked."

Comment Re:Less Intelligent? (Score 2) 42

Such tools have been around for a long time in the Windows world. The reason is division of labour. One of the dirty secrets about malware that lots of people hate to hear is that vast quantities of it get in through people pirating software and movies (which demand special "codecs"). After all why bother finding zero day exploits when you can just bind your malware to a Photoshop crack and watch hundreds of thousands of people come to you?

The opportunity is so vast that the black market divided into different job categories. There were the spammers who would buy bots from bot bot herders. The herders would buy "installs" of their bots from installers. The installers would buy binders from binder developers, obtain cracked versions of popular programs, use the binders to join the bots with the apps and then upload them to torrent sites. The installers weren't programmers so binders needed point and click GUIs, but that's OK, the value add they provided was knowing how to get around the blocks the torrent sites tried (uselessly) to put in place to stop this, along with simple brute force of numbers.

Often binders would also be combined with tools called crypters, which do what you'd expect, they just polymorphically encrypt the newly bound crack+app. Crypter developers competed based on how "FUD" their product was (fully undetectable). When AV companies learned to spot their decryption stubs, they'd modify it a bit and release a new version.

I watched this market for a little while a few years ago which is how I know all this lingo. It appeared to be a large and thriving industry. All driven by the greed of pirates.

Comment Re:Smooth move, judge (Score 1) 519

Personally, when on one of my "Leggings are not pants" rants, I wouldn't think it would be that much of a stretch to say that some people are walking around partially nude. Recently I've been seeing french knickers as shorts as a trend on younger women (late teens, early 20s, mostly east-asian). They're not pants either.

I know I wore a fair bit of lycra when I was their age, so I can't complain too much. It was the '80s though, so I have a bit of an excuse. Looks askance at Olivia Newton-John and Madonna.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow