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Comment How is this news? (Score 1) 27

You can buy a Cube-Sat online. 10 x 10 x 10 cm^3, and it fits into a standard deployment thingie – which the rocket going up, with a bit of space/weight to spare, is happy to "fill-up the bus" before launch. You can buy double and triple-sized Cube-Sats, and it sounds like this one was 20 x 10 x 10 cm^3.

High-school kids do projects with these routinely. Commercial giants getting into the game is no surprise––they just don't get a subsidy to put the thing into orbit.

It is not news that anyone ran an experiment with a Cube-Sat: http://www.cubesat.org/about/

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 1) 27

The Earth still exerts a gravitational pull at orbital altitudes. They're not doing experiments outside of the influence of Earth's gravity, they're doing experiments in free fall.

You were close. Because the unit was orbiting, it was not in "free" fall. Whatever the decay rate of its orbit, then that's the micro-gravity it was under (ignoring atmospheric braking).

What's the difference between free fall and stable orbit? Well, hmmn, it's got to do with orbital speed and altitude. Take any satellite, like the ISS, and just stop its orbit, leaving it at the altitude it is. The earth's gravity will exert a noticeable effect on it – it will go into free fall.

Difference without a distinction, almost.

Comment Re:Wat? (Score 2) 113

Does anyone think that a person who would use a Internet of things Dildo would are about being tracked? Might even be a form of exhibitionism.

Yes. People who believe that they have privacy through a privately-owned pair of devices should not have to think about the technological perspectives.

Everyone needs to get off, but not everyone has a deep understanding of tech.

Comment Re:What the... (Score 1) 129

Oh wow, I wish I had mod points. This is exactly the kind of post I read slashdot for.

Thx. I always wonder whether my posts get read by any people or not. It's good to hear that effort is not wasted.

I, too, read Slashdot for the good Comments, specifically the detailed or highly insightful ones... voices I would not hear otherwise.

(You can find this also in some FARK threads, although the lack of a mod system means that you have to sift through everything chronologically to find that occasional Comment "from a guy who was there during the ********* event", or "from readers with deep knowledge in a very specific hobby or interest".)

Comment Re:Conservation of energy (Score 1) 129

Shouldn't this violate the Law of Conservation of Energy? Or is this literally the achievement of what would have normally been thought of as an asymptote to infinity, where no energy can be extracted from this closed system and it's perpetuating on merely perfect conservation of the energy that was introduced into the system when it was established?

It's perpetual motion, yes. But, it costs a lot of energy to keep it in that state.

Even within the time crystal, it is a zero-sum game, in the sense that no "excess" energy could be harvested from it.

So, don't go running to the Patent Office.

Comment Re:What the... (Score 5, Informative) 129

Hexagonal lattice in NaCl?! NaCl forms a cubic lattice!

Yes I'm a crystallographer!

A cube looks like a hexagon, looking down the long diagonal.

The NaCl structure is two interpenetrating FCC lattices of A and X, offset by {1/4, 0, 0} relative to the NaCl cubic unit cell (but by {1/2, 0, 0} relatively between the FCC sub-cells. In space-group symmetry notation, it is F m 3-bar m, in terms of its fundamental (that is most-basically-expressible, reduced unit cell).

In the same manner that an FCC atomic arrangement could be expressed as having a hexagonal unit cell, with it not being the fundamental cell, but instead a multiple formula-unit cell – a supercell – one could do the same with NaCl. I've not had my coffee, but intuitively a supercell double-sized this one could similarly be used to define the crystal structure of NaCl. Not optimal, but possible. Look in the front-matter section of your Space-Groups tome to look up the matrix conversion to transform the atomic positions from one fundamental lattice-type to another.

Put more simply, while HEXAGONAL is ABABAB stacking, FCC is ABCABC stacking of close-packed layers of atoms.

Yes, I am also a crystallographer.

Comment Re:Time Crystal == Oscillator? (Score 2) 129

I read the linked article (which is a summary of the real report). It's not my field.

How is what they describe anything other than just a stable oscillator? It consumes energy, since to run it requires regular (although perhaps not periodic?) pulses of light.

The stable oscillation (in time) is not physical, but rather an oscillation of subatomic particle (electron?) spin-flipping.

That is, it's not a 10-atom-long little guitar string oscillating at its (the object's) resonant frequency, with all other frequencies somehow quenched. (This was actually my first thought, too.) But, the linked Nature News article goes on to make it clear this is not a phonon-ralated nor atomic-motion-related phenomenon. Note where that first-described experiment describes the ytterbium atoms as being in a ground (non-vibrating) state.

As for the diamond-defect experiment, I am still digesting that one. Can a quantum physicist chime in to address the diamonds?

Comment Re:Wrong Headline (Score 1) 122

Shouldn't the headline be "Microsoft fails to fix exploit for months"?

Technically, yes, you are correct.

But if this were applied in reality, there would be so many news articles of the same name – each tranche covering yet another un-patched MS exploit, that it would become impossible to follow any individual one.

There are just so many of these things. . . We need a way of telling one from another.

Comment Re:They might but not as a gift. (Score 1) 294

Putin most definitely does not want another Cold War.

That must explain why he invaded Ukraine.

They have some things to fix first. But let's at least leave the door open...

Even if he has the purest of intentions, returning Snowden would make the US less stable.

Crimea was for access to the Black Sea, so they could run a direct oil pipeline to Western Europe without incurring fees and such from Ukraine. Putin wants profits for Gazprom. A war would result in things that prevent that, so I don't think that he wants a big war, such as Cold War II. Russia is rich with oil, and they want access to the markets.

And I wasn't speaking about "pure intentions". I can't read minds. As HornWumps corrected me below, Geopolitics is poker, not chess. And it's definitely not charity.

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