Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 400

We tend to trust QM as the more likely solution primarily because its much, much, much better tested than GR.

I also saw somewhere years ago a proof something along the lines that quantum systems mathematically couldn't be built on top of non-quantum systems. I wish I could find that again. Though its possibly-to-likely that it wasn't as solid as it sounded at the time or it (and similar proofs) would be pasted all over the internet.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 400

I wouldn't say its uncontroversial since it relies on a) the universe being actually infinite and b) the laws of physics being identical across the entire universe.

We're pretty sure (though not entirely without question) that (b) is true. (a) is a lot more speculative. We already know the universe is bigger than the chunk we can observe, but exactly how much bigger and what (if anything) is at the ends is up for grabs.

We've measured flatness and determined that the universe is (essentially) flat in the parts we can see.. but that could mean its truly flat or it could just mean that we're on a sphere/saddle that's just so large that the curvature is too small to be measured in the same way that a square kilometer field will tell you essentially nothing about the curvature of the earth (and also brings up another point -- if the universal fabric is malleable it could be that something has just artificially flattened our section of it in the same way that you can flatten out the dirt in that field.)

And even if it is totally flat, there's nothing saying it can't just.. end.. if you go out far enough. What exactly that would mean from a physical standpoint is pretty questionable and the idea is certainly unlikely compared to the other possibilities, but it can't (ever) be 100% ruled out unless we manage to figure out FTL travel and go start taking measurements across much vaster sections of space (and that still only puts greater constraints on the question. The only ways to actually answer it is to either find an actual universal end or manage to loop around a giant sphere universe.)

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 400

EVERY SIMULATION always starts from nothing

Not really. Simulations typically set up the world before the simulation starts. So we (as observers) would see it start from "nothing" but any entity within the simulation would see it start from whatever state we had initialized before we hit the go button.

EVERY SIMULATION also has a speed limit

Same logic as before. We as outside observers would see outside time take place, but entities within the simulation would just see "++timestep."

In EVERY SIMULATION new things come into being, where nothing like them existed before.

Not really. I could simulate a frictionless pool table without pockets and nothing would ever come into or leave the simulation without my direct involvement, such as when I set up the initial conditions. I mean it would be a pretty boring simulation, but its still a simulation.

Of course that's not to say you couldn't start a simulation with a blank slate (though exactly what you'd be simulating is a question in that case) nor is it saying that you couldn't implement a (simulated) speed of light -- just that neither of those things are necessary.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 400

I don't know what computers you're used to, but our modern digital computers are really bad at all those things you say are benefits:

1) A single large object is always easier to simulate that billions of small components. A circle can be simulated with two data points (center and radius) but to draw one it can take hundreds or thousands of individual pixels, depending on how big you draw it.

2) Fuzzy logic is horribly computationally-intensive compared to simple binary logic. We add fuzzy logic not to simplify the simulation, but to make it more complex in order to better approximate the complexities of the real world.

3) Why? Is there any real reason why a pure Newtonian universe couldn't be simulated? We do so regularly in our own simulations!

I would argue that none of your points are true -- or at least are only true within some fairly strong constraints -- by the standard of our own technology, and trying to claim they're true in the realm of some unknown superbeing's unknown technology is a pretty baseless assertion, never mind taking that to the next claim that we're "very likely" in a simulation.

Comment Re:Junk Science (Score 1) 356

the Chinese probably *want* global warming

People who say stupid things like this are exactly why they tried changing the name to "climate change."

GW goes way beyond simply getting nicer winters in the north and a bit of flooding on the coastal regions. I've mentioned it a few times in this thread already but significant GW has the potential to cause serious damage to basically all ecosystems on earth, whether through increased acidification or increased average temperatures or changing currents (both oceanic and atmospheric) or any of a host of other issues.. yes, including higher average temperatures and ocean levels.

Comment Re:Alternative competitiveness (Score 1) 73

The trouble is when those "implementation costs" are $20k for the base platform, another $10-15k in addons/extensions/plugins/whatever and then $100-300/hr for consultants to set it all up and suddenly you're looking at 6-12 months and $100k in cost to get it going.

That's out of the price range of many small to mid sized businesses. You have to be pushing the higher end of "mid sized" before that becomes a plausible cost.

To compare with Postgres: Yes, if you need a massive database to handle multiple terabytes of data and thousands of concurrent connections, you're probably going to want someone who knows what the hell they're doing to set it up, and it will cost you.

On the other hand, if you just want a couple dozen small tables to be used internally by your 5-person staff, pretty much anyone with even minimal DB experience can get that up and running.

That's the difference -- PG handles basically any size of operation. Yes bigger is costlier of course, but smaller is possible which is not really something you get with SF. If you can't afford $50-100k up front costs plus who knows how much over the long term in maintenance and support, you're left with good old Excel spreadsheets and other hackjob "systems," which is what many many companies still use.

Like I said, I'm sure there are CRMs (including, though not specifically, open source ones) that are more reasonable but none of them have taken enough market share to be really well-known and common in the same way that Postgres and MySQL have done in the database market.

Comment Re:Junk Science (Score 1) 356

Oceans will rise. Plantlife will die out. Atmospheric oxygen won't get replenished (at least not nearly as fast.) Billions could potentially face long-term droughts and famines.

But yeah, the sky is unlikely to literally fall. Unless we also get slammed by a meteor. That would be just the cherry on top! Which is good because cherries might not exist by that point.

If the only problem with increased global temperatures was a dip in Florida real estate prices, people wouldn't really care that much. But that's just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended.) We talk about ocean rise because its fairly easy to measure and fairly easy for laypeople to understand, but its not even close to the biggest problem we'll be facing, never mind being the only one.

Comment Re:This will be denied by all the idiots (Score 1) 356

Biggest problem will be the food supply. Things that grow where they currently do may not, leading to farmers either having to move or switch crops. Which means our diets are going to have to change to match whatever the farmers come up with.

Natural plantlife will have a much harder time since they don't get to pack up and drive 100 miles north when it gets too hot for them. They just die out and that's that. Animals that rely on that plantlife for food and shelter will of course die out as well, though some of them will probably be able to make the trek toward more hospitable areas and be able to find new food sources there.

The lack of natural vegetation, especially if it impacts the worlds large forest areas to any great degree, will also impact the world's oxygen supply meaning we're going to have to figure out a way to extract oxygen for ourselves -- whether from CO2 like plants do or from other sources. And if we can't do that on the scale necessary to maintain our needed 21% in the atmosphere we're going to have to start building biodomes for our farmed animals. For ourselves we could also do that or just everyone starts using a respirator that can inject extra O2 for us.

I mean this is all conjecture of course, and none of this happens fast on the scale of human lifespans, so we've got time to come up with workarounds in order to save our species.. but our way of life will be changed far more significantly than "move 10 miles inland," and much of the other life on the planet may simply have to be left to die out since a human lifespan is the blink of an eye compared to the geologic and evolutionary timescales that such a massive climate shift would normally require.

Comment Re:Get rid of the X on the tab while you're at it (Score 1) 253

Ctrl+shift+T is your friend.

That said, I'm mixed about the X's. Certainly its annoying to hit one accidentally but there's not really any other easy way to close a tab, never mind closing a bunch of tabs (but not enough to warrant rearranging to make Close to the right effective, for example.)

I mean there's Ctrl+F4 which I use plenty, but we can't expect grandma to be memorizing keyboard commands. And even for my own usage, that requires switching to the tab first and I often find myself closing a bunch of tabs with X that I can identify with just the header text and I don't want to waste the time waiting for the page to redraw (and often even reload) before I can close it.

Comment Re:Firefox conversion progressing as scheduled (Score 1) 253

Heh. I switched to Chrome because FF was getting shittier and shittier back in the day. Now Chrome is following through. Maybe its time for Opera to return to the spotlight? Or some people have mentioned Palemoon.. never heard of that before but might be worth checking out if Chrome continues down this remove-everything path (how long until they remove tabbed browsing all together and call it a "fresh, new way to browse!"?)

Comment Re:So where did these usage statistics come from? (Score 1) 253

Yes.

EULA which directs you to their Privacy Policy, which in turn provides for various forms of data collection.

You're welcome to hate on EULAs all you want, but until the courts have fully come down on one side or the other (and they seem to be leaning more to the valid side,) you should consider this them asking and your using the software to be your agreement.

I would say if you don't like it just use something else but lets face it, all EULA's are basically the same -- "we own everything and you own nothing, but you still take all of the liability if anything goes wrong. Anything you generate using our software automatically grants us an irrevocable license to use your work at no cost and by the way we can unilaterally change these terms whenever we feel like we're not getting a good enough deal out of it."

Comment Re:never understood removing features (Score 2) 253

There's a HUGE difference between cleaning things up and moving less-used options into submenus and other "hidden" places, vs removing those features entirely.

Close tabs to the right is already in a menu many people don't even know exist, never mind use. So why are they singling out those two options when there's say, "Bookmark all tabs" on that same menu which by their own stats is used 1/10th as much?

Slashdot Top Deals

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!

Working...