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The Rule of Three Proved By Physicists 80

An anonymous reader writes "In 1970, Russian physicist Vitaly Efimov developed mathematical proof (PDF) that any three-particle substance, referred to as a trimer, will scale up or down in size by a factor of 22.7 and that if the particles are not all of the same type, 'the scaling factor of 22.7 decreases according to the particles' relative masses.' In 2006, physicists in Austria proved that Efimov's trimers can be created in laser-cooled environments. And now, in 2014, physicists in Austria, Germany, and the U.S. have physical proof that Efimov's trimers do indeed scale by a factor of 22.7 if they are comprised of the same particles or a lower ratio relative to their particles' masses if they are comprised of a mixture of different particles (abstract 1, abstract 2, abstract 3). 22.7 — a.k.a., the rule of three — now appears to be as significant as pi."

Comment Apple, meet orange. (Score 1) 204

The failed attempts at "commercialization" of thorium reactors that the article describes were all for reactors which were designed to breed uranium for other uses. Extraction of that uranium was what made them uneconomical. A thorium reactor designed purely to generate power would not have that problem.

Comment Economist and NYT - but with conditions (Score 1) 361

I currently do pay for The Economist.

I would pay for the New York Times as well if they provided cheaper pricing options. I wouldn't mind paying $10 a month to read 30 articles of my choice, but I don't like having to take a full subscription just to access the handful of content which interests me.

Comment Bad Science (Score 1) 187

The "control" group didn't go on any kind of field trip. They just continued to attend class like normal. So there's no reason to believe that the art had any influence. It could just be that giving kids a day off from the usual school grind, getting them away from their usual neighbourhoods, and showing some kind of interest in them beyond the norm had a positive impact.

I do happen to believe that exposure to art can aid in personal development, but this study does little to prove that.

Submission + - OpenShot Video Editor Achieves $35k on Kickstarter, Final Goal in Reach! ( 5

JonOomph writes: The popular open source video editor, OpenShot, has less than 39 hours remaining on popular crowd-funding site, The lead developer, Jonathan Thomas, has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot.

Comment IR3 And IR4 Are Overlapping (Score 1) 540

120 years passed between the start of the first industrial revolution and the start of the second. Only 90 years passed between the start of the second and the start of the third. I think the gap has now shrunk to the point where the start of the fourth (widespread use of robotics, digital manufacturing, dramatic extension of human lifespan) is actually overlapping the tail end of the third.

Comment It takes one to know one, apparently. (Score 3, Interesting) 56

I find it interesting that the ordering of judges on the "Most human humans" list is the exact opposite of those on the "Best human judges" list. So the more robotic a judge appeared to others, the better they were able to recognize the true bots in the games. A great example of "it takes one to know one".

Comment Off by a factor of 10. (Score 2) 39

The report says that devices in Japan have a 0.04% chance of being infected. If China and Russia are "10,000 times more likely" to be infected then that would give them infection rates of 400%, which seems unlikely.

In fact the report states that the rate for Russia is 41.6% making it "only" about 1,000 times more likely than Japan.

Comment Misleading Title (Score 4, Informative) 144

The title of this article claims that being a blogger in Vietnam could cost you your life. But the only person to lose their life was a non-blogger who set herself on fire in protest at the new law. So a more accurate title would be, "In Vietnam: Being a Blogger Could Land You In Jail. Setting Yourself On Fire Could Cost You Your Life".

Comment Not An "Underwater Vehicle" (Score 1) 186

"Juliet Marine Systems [...] says it is the world's fastest underwater vehicle"

Except that it's not an underwater vehicle. It's a surface boat riding on two underwater pontoons. Not much different from a hydrofoil in structure. So they've built a surface boat that is faster than any underwater vehicle, something which is true for thousands of boats already in existence.

Comment Microsoft All The Way (Score 1) 185

At my place of employ the IT department's mouths are firmly glued to Microsoft's teats. It doesn't matter how slow or inadequate the product is to our needs, if it comes from Microsoft it's gotta be the best, right?

If for some reason MS doesn't make a product that we need then we go with the most monolithic, unresponsive corporate behemoth which does.

There's been a lot of pressure lately to support Macs, which must have scared the bejeezus out of IT. But now that Apple is acting more and more like Microsoft, I think they're starting to come around.

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