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Comment Re:Von Neumann arch = Executable code in ram (Score 1) 90

You misunderstand qubits. A qubit can hold 0, 1, or a linear combination of 0 and 1, and with complex parameters (as in, real and imaginary). These are not discrete like digital information, they are continuous. While two bits can hold two dimensions of discrete information (amounting to 2^2 = 4 combinations), two qubits can hold four dimensions (2 times 2, because the parameters are complex) of continuous information (amounting to an infinity of combinations).

Discretization of qubits only happens when they are measured.

Comment Re:Educate yourselves (Score 1) 520

What about homophones? To, two, too? They're, their, there? The meaning of these words* in written English is well defined because they are spelled differently, yet in spoken English their meaning can only be inferred from context as they sound the same. There are also words spelled the same but with different pronunciations (e.g. desert, bow).

*I realise they're is a contraction, not a word, but you get the idea.

What about abbreviations? How do you pronounce Mr., for example?

What about dollar values? If I gave you $2, would you give me "dollars two"?

Comment Re:huh (Score 3, Insightful) 728

As a scientist who has a fair bit of coding experience, including LabVIEW, ++ this.

What particularly annoys me about visual code like LabVIEW is that you can't diff. So change tracking is a pain in the arse, and forget distributed development.

LabVIEW itself is good for setting up a quick UI and connecting things to it, but any serious processing? ...No, thanks. If I could get my hands on something else that had the UI prototyping ease, connectivity to experimental devices (motion controllers, for example), but based on a textual language, I'd be a happy camper. (There are some things that come close, I'm sure, though I've not had the time to properly search. Busy scientist is busy...)

Comment Re:Get rid of the artifact? (Score 1) 538

Nice idea, but it's circular. Energy is defined in terms of mass (and distance and time). You need Plank's constant to convert from photon frequency to energy, and unless you already have a definition for the mass unit (kg), Plank's constant becomes essentially arbitrary.

Comment Re:Um, what now? (Score 1) 145

No, he's just wrong, or at the very least severely dumbing down the real picture for the sake of placating the lay audience (which Slashdot is, generally speaking, not). There's a few examples of this already on the first page - I didn't even make it to the second...

That seems to be a problem with a lot of modern science: correct, brief, understandable to the layman. Pick two.

Comment Re:Thank you Apple! (Score 1) 461

On something tangential: "mobile phones" versus "cell phones". Where I live, "mobile phone" is synonymous with the (less common) "cell phone" - this is a well known difference in language that's been around for a long while. Its interesting to see you use the two terms with different meanings, when I would still say both devices are "mobile" phones. Considering that what you call "mobile" phones will gradually supercede "cell" phones, do you suppose we are seeing the convergence of language, here?

Comment Re:Yes... (Score 1) 802

The distinction between a religion and a cult, to my mind, isn't the quality of their beliefs-- we all believe utterly ridiculous things. (Do you actually believe in the *electron*? Or that we're all actually collections of waves? Quantum mechanics is as ridiculous as the virgin birth-- in fact, quantum mechanics ALLOWS for the virgin birth, since everything is possible (if highly improbable) in quantum mechanics).

The electron model and quantum mechanics both are predictive and thus testable, experimentally observed, and thoroughly verified to be accurate descriptions of reality. Suggesting that belief in them is "ridiculous" is, well, ridiculous. If something accurately describes reality, how can you distinguish it from reality?

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