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Submission + - Physicists discover flaws in superconductor theory

XopherMV writes: University of Houston physicists report finding major theoretical flaws in the generally accepted understanding of how a superconductor traps and holds a magnetic field. In the Journal of Applied Physics, the researchers describe experiments whose results exhibited "significant deviations" from those of the Critical State Model. They revealed unexpected new behavior favorable to practical applications, including the possibility of using TFMs ("trapped field magnets") in myriad new ways.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 4, Insightful) 413

Some things simply cannot be solved by laissez faire capitalism. In fact it creates many problems, which is obvious to anyone willing to open their eyes for two seconds. That does not mean that the solution is the opposite, a totally planned central economy, but a sensible mix of the two. The knee-jerk reactionary repugnance to anything with even the mildest whiff of small-s 'socialism' is seriously damaging. It damages the health and happiness of every person, and now it is seriously damaging the planet. Nothing is black or white, perhaps a little subtlety should be given its chance. People have been sold the right-wing view for so long now they've forgotten what the middle ground even is. Centre-right policies are seen as far left, which is ridiculous.

It's not a mild whiff of "socialism". It's a massive restructuring of our society and economy on shaky grounds. What happens when the next imaginary ecothreat comes through? If we continue to use the same decision-making process as we're doing here, then it's going to be a long stream of poor decisions and a descent either into regional dissolution or even a new dark age, if the whole world should buy in for the duration.

Imaginary threats don't harm us. Real threats do. We're facing the real threat of global warming. Instead of taking an honest look at the science and possible solutions, you look the potential bill and say any solution is impossible. Nevermind if the bill would include the price to get the world off fossil fuels and eliminate our gas payments forever. Nevermind if the bill would remove the motivation behind wars for oil and the trillions we've spent for those. Nevermind if the bill would clean up our air and eliminate smog and cut our medical payments for lung conditions. So, we live with your shortsightedness in a worse world where we constantly pay for gas with our money and lives.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 413

I think capitalism could solve it, it's just that by the time AGW began kicking the living shit out of the economy and causing widespread ecological damage, much of it would be irreversible.

But guys like the Koch's want it that way. They'll walk away with vast amounts of money and insulate themselves from the woes being suffered by everyone else.

Hell, the Kochs don't need to spend any money to insulate themselves. At their age, they'll be dead before the worst negative effects are felt.

Comment Re:The root of the problem. (Score 1) 398

My other niece works for Disney.com . My former roommate is now a software engineering intern in Mountain View.

Women can do it. The question is why are male hiring managers and execs so afraid of hiring them?

There's no reason to be afraid. They don't bite.

What world are you living in? Women working in technology are so rare that tech companies bend over backwards to find and hire qualified women. In fact, given the choice of an equally qualified man or woman, tech companies will damn near always choose the woman.

Of course women can do the work. The argument is that they generally don't want to do the work. There's about a million other jobs that women find more interesting. Hence, discussions like this talking about the lack of women in technology.

Comment Re:The root of the problem. (Score 1) 398

What's this got to do with women's interest in STEM?

Pay attention. Women aren't interested in engineering work in modern, egalitarian societies. They'd rather take other options such as teaching or nursing or other professions where they can help care for kids, adults, animals, plants, the environment, etc. When women have options, they move away from topics like engineering which they generally find boring. You see that in multiple cultures across the world. In fact, it's such a universal preference that researchers attribute the cause at least partially due to a biological difference between the sexes.

To get women to accept jobs in engineering, you'd need to take away their other options. You need to make society less equal. That's why we see so many female engineers from places like India. Women from countries like that don't have the same options as women in the US. They study engineering because they don't feel they have any other viable options.

Comment Re:The root of the problem. (Score 3, Informative) 398

The root of the problem isn't what you seem to think it is. The root of the problem is that guys like you continue to push bullshit like

Women like to help. They'll help people, animals, forests, the environment, etc. But in general, they're not interested in working with machines.

Women, it was once believed, didn't have the constitution to be doctors. Women, it was once held true, didn't possess the analytical minds required for a career in the law. Women could do without your sexist arse telling them what they are and aren't, and what they can and can't do.

Gender studies promotes the idea that men and women are exactly the same except for our genitalia. This assertion or hypothesis hasn't been shown true by actual science conducted by biologists. In fact, studies by actual biologists show the opposite. The brain controls hormone levels. The amount of testosterone in the bloodstream effects whether a child is interested in traditionally male-oriented or female-oriented toys. This is has been shown true for children as young as one day old. That's before a child has any chance of getting corrupted by societal influences.

Further, studies across 53 societies show that as cultures grow more egalitarian and allow men and women to do whatever job they like, we actually see more men doing traditionally male jobs and more women doing traditionally female jobs. It's only in less equal societies where men and women face unequal choices of work where we see men and women doing largely the same kinds of work. Were the differences in preference of job only a difference in culture, then we should also see different results in different cultures. That isn't the case. When given the choice, men almost always prefer traditionally male jobs and women traditionally female jobs. That suggests a biological difference between the preferences of men and women for the kind of work they prefer to do.

Here's a good video on these facts. Although, whoever posted the video to Youtube definitely should have chosen a better title. I suggest watching the whole thing.

Comment Women don't want the work (Score 4, Interesting) 398

A bunch of SJWs are wrestling with it. Silicon Valley is doing just fine.

When women wanted to become doctors, they fought their way into med school, fought to earn a proper education, fought for credentials, and fought for equal standing amongst male doctors. When women wanted to become lawyers, they similarly fought their way through the system. Same goes for every other job women wanted to do. Women fought their way to get the jobs they wanted. Some of those fights took decades.

In tech, jobs require less qualifications than working as a doctor or lawyer. You don't need to spend years getting a masters, PhD, or going through a post-doc program. The pay for high-end IT workers can reach the same amount as the pay for low-end doctors or lawyers. The work environment in IT is often better than what doctors or lawyers encounter. Yet, tech companies can't give away the jobs to US women.

Why? Answer that question and you get to the root of the problem.

Women like to help. They'll help people, animals, forests, the environment, etc. But in general, they're not interested in working with machines. Machines don't need help. They don't care about making the next hipster app. They could care less about the coolest new programming language. They don't give a shit about all the things that cause religious wars in the tech community.

Most women don't want tech jobs because they find the work meaningless. Having done a great deal of the work myself, I'd also throw in soul-crushing. I've spent years developing apps for companies that ultimately went bankrupt. The product of my years of work? Gone. Thrown away. Has my work actually helped anyone? Hard to say. Probably not. Definitely not directly. Not in any meaningful sense. Say, I spend 3 months improving the performance of an app. Then users login half a second shorter. Big whoop. Do users even notice? Do they care? No, probably not. Does it really improve their lives? Definitely not.

When tech companies start doing truly meaningful work, then women will beat down their doors. Until then, all this effort to attract women won't matter.

Comment Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

We can't change the fact that we work with machines. However, we can change the fact that we work alone. Make programming more social by adding pair programming at all levels, including academia, and you'll get more women willing to join and stay. You'll also get the rest of the benefits which come along with pair programming such as fewer bugs and higher quality code.

Comment Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

Indeed. I find it more than coincidence that the majority of women stay away from fields where they need to work alone with machines. IT, auto mechanics, construction, and engineering are all male-dominated fields. Why? Sexism? Yes, some fields are more sexist than others. However, medicine and law were also extremely sexist in the recent past. And yet, we have tons of women doctors and lawyers. The main difference I see with those fields is that doctors and lawyers actually work with other people. The work is often group work. Frankly, it appears that most women simply don't like IT work once they get a chance to perform it in the industry. If they truly loved the work, I'm sure we'd see many more women rushing to come into tech and stick around.

This brings to mind an interesting solution. You want to see more women in tech? Then make tech work more social. We already have an answer to that: Pair programming.

Comment Re:No rage over roofers, drillers, and boilermaker (Score 2) 342

Why are companies pushing women into IT? Simple. Follow the money. If companies could find a way to make IT interesting for women, then they could double their workforce. Doubling the supply of workers for the same number of jobs means that companies could cut salaries in half. Cutting salaries means increasing profits and bonuses for executives. That's the real motivation, not some altruistic concern over womens' rights or equality.

Comment Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

You'll have to look beyond school. What is media telling men and women about IT?

Not many third graders pay attention to "the media". Why didn't the media keep women from becoming doctors, lawyers, police officers, and soldiers? Why is it ONLY with professions that involve solitary interaction with inanimate machines, that women suddenly turn into delicate snowflakes and collapse in the face of the slightest, almost undetectable, pressure from "the media"?

Exactly. Why are auto mechanics overwhelmingly male? It's the same damn reason. Most women aren't interested in working alone with machines. If women were interested in this work, then they'd already be doing this work.

Whenever I see articles like this, I keep getting the feeling that we're trying to hammer square pegs into round holes. Then we sit and wonder why we see a problem.

Comment Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

But why is it really frustrating?

Because I want to see flying cars, robotic maids, and real AI, in my lifetime. The chance of that happening is a lot lower if we waste half of humanity's brain power. If there is something we can do to get more girls interested in science and tech, then we should at least try to do it.

Sorry, if end goal is to turn out engineers, then I don't see the logic in pushing uninterested girls to become interested when we're turning away boys who are already interested. From my experience, the kids that do best in any field are the ones most interested in that field. If you really want to see all those technological marvels, then we should be focusing effort on the kids with the interest, motivation, and drive to learn the topic. Let's focus on the kids who are interested regardless of their gender.

Comment Re:Free market economy (Score 5, Insightful) 529

We didn't just build industry. We built the freeway system. We built the space program. We rebuilt our military to defend the world against the Russians. That was all government spending. And yes, our top tax rate was 91%. Millionaires still made buckets of money. But, they paid their taxes and shit got done.

Then, Reagan came into office and lowered that top rate. All of a sudden, the government deficits started going up and work didn't get done. Millionaires started using their new buckets of money for speculation. Now, we're in a recession as a result of Wall Street speculation and we can't fix a fucking pothole let alone pave a single new freeway.

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