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Comment Re:Hurry up and die please (Score 1) 339

Until recently, I was regularly shuffling money back and forth between the US and Europe. No matter whether I did an international wire transfer or wrote a check, there were always quite substantial fees associated, although they were considerably lower than with "specialized" sevices like Paypal or XE. I haven't done the full math, but looking at the fee structure of various Bitcoin exchanges, it seems you could end paying much less.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

Your two points are correct, but the work of this Australian guy has been largely overlooked for good reason because:
a) It relies on an extension to QM not backed by any experimental observation.
b) It does not solve an outstanding problem.
I'm not saying that this work is bad or anything. It's good solid work relevant for people working in a specific sub-field, but not of such broad relevance that we have to rewrite our textbooks and give this guy a Nobel prize.

Comment Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (Score 1) 172

So of the choices given, CC-BY-NC-ND is the only one that should be in that list.

I strongly disagree. CC-BY and CC-BY-SA are extremely useful if someone wants to cover your work (e.g., figures) in a textbook or review article and needs to make some editorial changes. Extremely annoying for everyone if non-free licenses are being used and a lot of paperwork has to be done. Same goes for the case when people deem your work so important or interesting that they want to put it into Wikipedia. Great for the scientists, but a real PITA if the license of the paper is incompatible with the one used by Wikipedia.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

Contrary to your claims, the seminal paper on decoherence by Joos and Zeh is from 1985, so this even predates Weinberg's nonlinear QM paper by several years. I'm not claiming that we understand everything about decoherence and the quantum-to-classical transition, but it is extremely unlikely that the gaps in our knowledge can be filled by looking at exotic extensions to QM not backed by any experimental findings, no matter how mathematically appealing they might look in the first place.

Comment Here's what really happened (Score 5, Informative) 99

1. Last May, this guy announced he would GPL his stuff once he gets $4,000 in monthly donations.
2. Eight days later, he received a total of $4,000 in one-time donations and released his code under the GPL.
3. About a month later, he discovered that one-time donations and recurring donations are not the same thing.
4. Apparently until today, he is whining around how bad this all is and that open source is evil.


Submission + - German science minister stripped of her PhD (

An anonymous reader writes: In a move likely to have major political implications, the University of Düsseldorf has revoked the doctoral degree of Germany’s science and education minister, Annette Schavan. The commitee investigating allegations of plagiarism came to the conclusion that she "systematically and deliberately claimed as her own intellectual achievements which she had in fact not produced herself". Schavan wants to appeal the decision in court and has not resigned from her post so far.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

This however is a full mathematical description of how to get from the Schroedinger equation back to Hamilton mechanics. I.e. it exemplifies the correspondence principle. Care to show me some papers that can do the same?

Start with any introductory material on the theory of decoherence, such as the book by Joos and Zeh.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

Anyhow, this dude from down under found a pretty astounding approach to the correspondence principle [] (i.e. how QM gives rise) to classical mechanics in a mathematical framework originally developed by Steven Weinberg. Something the latter astoundingly overlooked. The talkback page on this math can be found here []. The article itself meanwhile has been deleted. Please note: Not because the math is wrong, but because the citation record has been deemed to be too low by the editors.

I like Wikipedia-bashing as much as everyone else, but in this case there is hardly anything to complain about. The Weinberg paper talks about nonlinear extensions to QM, which are widely believed to be nonexistent. So this guy found a statement on an obscure theory almost everyone believes to be wrong anyway, and you expect this to be notable enough for a Wikipedia article?

Comment Re:This ain't the first time ... (Score 1) 470

We have no falsifiable, measurable, or experimentally verifiable explanation for gravity, spacetime, or other fundamental forces.

Semiclassical gravity, i.e., couple the metric to the expectation values of the energy-momentum tensor. Granted, it's not pretty, but it contains all the physics we know and is not refuted by a single experiment.

Comment Re:The real problem (Score 1) 321

While it's true that OSX has way less malware than Windows, the main cause of malware infections is the users who click anything that's offered to them without thinking.

No. Any system that can be botched more or less accidentally is a complete failure. While GNU/Linux and to a lesser extent OS X are far from perfect, they make it considerably harder to run untrusted code, simply because this is an operation typically not needed during daily use.


Submission + - 130,000 Scientists Warn Against EU Research Budget Cuts (

hweimer writes: "In leading up to the European Union summit deciding on its future budget, 130,000 scientists (including 44 Nobel laureates) are warning against cuts on the research budget. In 2006, EU research funding was already slashed by 30%, much more than cuts to sectors such as agriculture or infrastructure development. If you are a scientist, there is still time to join the open letter to the EU member states governments."

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