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Comment I'm in Silicon Valley (Score 1) 395

I'm in Silicon Valley. I want to live in Nevada, far enough from the neighbors that I can't hear their HIFIs in the daytime or see their lights at night.

I want to live in Nevada so much that I built a house there - a few miles over the state line near Lake Topaz. Fully paid for. Marvelous view. Good neighbors. Also rabbits (jack and cottontail), quail, coyotes, deer, antelope, bobcats, cougars, and black bears. Gun laws are a lot different there, and I have a Nevada CCW that's also valid in many other states due to reciprocity (though not in CA).

For the Town House near work I also moved across the bay from Palo Alto. Just off the other end of the bridge, for less than I was paying in rent in Palo, I was able to BUY a two-story four-bedroom with 7,000+square feet of yard and remodel it. 200A electric service (two 20A circuits to each room for starters). Satellite TV and Cat 5E everywhere. (Only running 100M at the moment but I hear that with house-sized runs you can get away with 5e for gigabit Ethernet.) The yard is now a garden and orchard. We get most of our veggies from it - and our eggs. We were also on the Bay Friendly Garden Tour last year.

They tell me the city here on the Back Bay has a gang problem. But for several blocks around our house it doesn't. It's much like in Palo Alto (where the burglars worked their way down Loma Verde street and skipped only two houses - ours and the retired cop two doors down). It seems the crooks don't like to bother NRA instructors, and the wife's "Ducks Unlimited" sticker tells them she can hit a spot the size of a duck (or a human heart) with a shotgun, from 50 yards, even if it is flying at the time. B-)

Of course NV has no such crime issues. Even machine guns are legal there. B-)

Move to a SF or Oakland? By preference? You've GOT to be kidding.

Comment Re:Fixed the summary (Score 1) 158

Not all measurement results can be well-defined deterministic properties of the system. If all of them are determined, they cannot be just system properties, but must depend on the way they are measured (i.e. they are contextual), and if all of them are pure system properties (i.e. non-contextual), they cannot be determined.

I'm not sure whether the problem also occurs with position and momentum, but I'd not be surprised if it does.

See Wikipedia for details.

Comment Re:It Still Doesn't Mean Much... (Score 1) 141

Because a quantum computer has access to operations that a classical computer does not have access to. A quantum computer can evaluate a function on all classical inputs at once; the problem is that you cannot read out the complete result (you can do so by repeating the calculation exponentially often, but then, you lose the advantage over classical computers). Therefore quantum algorithms are about bringing the interesting features into a form that can be easily (efficiently) read out.

Comment Re:worst description of polarization ever (Score 1) 82

I think of it as being analogous to injecting separate beams of light at different angles, having them bounce back-and-forth between the walls at different distances between bounces, and emerge at angles corresponding to the angles at which they entered.

Of course it's not angle of flight that's in question, but another property of the light propagation that can be varied to allow different beams to propagate down the fiber and be separable at the far end. But they're still separate because each beam's cross section at a given plane cutting the fiber has a different distribution of phase and intensity, resulting in different propagation mechanisms that conserve a property which can be used to separate the beams when they emerge.

Comment Re:No Worries (Score 1) 274

Normally I side more with the D's than the R's (not that I have much faith in either), but this time I'm damn glad there's an R majority in the House.

Why the HELL do you usually side with the Ds? They consistently do the opposite of what they promise. It's the Ds that bring you war, censorship, racisim, and a whole host of other junk that they promise to be fixing: Like government in general they're a problem masquerading as its own solution.

The Rs have their own pathologies. But compared to the Ds they're pikers.

Comment Re:We're making this all up anyway (Score 2) 533

The term "weapon of mass destruction" has meant things like grenades, flamethrowers, and improvised explosives for at least a century in law. The term is defined in every state's gun laws, and has nothing to do with NBC weapons. Bush's use of it to describe chemical weapons, which is the first time many people heard the term, was non-standard.

Um, no. You've got it precisely all fucked up and backwards.
The term WMD has been applied to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons since the end of WWII - though the term originated before the war. ( It didn't start to creep into the criminal statutes until the late 1990's.

Comment Re:Fixed the summary (Score 1) 158

But Bell's inequality shows that quantum mechanics isn't compatible with local realism. So you'll at least have to give up locality if you want to maintain that assumption. Moreover, you'll probably get problems with noncontextuality (even in the de-Broglie-Bohm interpretation the measured momentum is not one of the particle's intrinsic properties, but the measurement value only arises through interaction with the measurement apparatus).

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