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Comment Re:I guess he's never worked on hardware or softwa (Score 1) 951

Well, you're restricting your imagination somewhat. The clock inside a simulation is self-referencing. It doesn't half to self-heal. The operator could run a single cycle, see what happens, then make adjustments before continuing. It doesn't matter how long it takes to calculate or process the physics of the universe, since the referential time-frame of the subjects of the universe is part of the simulation itself. One second in the simulation could take 10 seconds, 10 years, or a hundred million years to process in the "outside world", but it wouldn't make any difference to the operation within the simulation.

A lot of commenters have posted arguments like the scale being impossible (why? our simulated universe could be 10^200 times smaller than the universe one level above us, there's no reason to think it'd contain the same amount of information), or that things like quantum physics would break the bounds of the computer running the simulation (sincere lack of imagination - if it's a simulation, these quantum physics don't "exist", the simulation of them is part of a running program), and other such arguments which keep forgetting that they're talking about a simulation, not something physically real.

It's basically comes down to this - if we postulate that given enough time (billions of years? trillions of years? pick a number) and sufficiently advanced technology, we could eventually simulate the entire physics of our universe (the nature of the physics) and accurately simulate a universe (even if much smaller than our own) right down to every aspect of the physics, then it immediately becomes more likely that we're in such a simulation than not.

Why? Because if we were able to have an accurate simulation of the physics, then it would be possible for the inhabitants of our simulated universe to also do the same, on a smaller scale. And so on and so forth. There's an analogy in computers in that we can write an emulator which accurately emulates in software the hardware of a computer. Then, in that emulated computer, we can write another emulator which accurately emulates in software the "hardware" of the simulated computer, etc etc. The limit of this recursion is only the processing power of the initial "seed" computer. However, each computer in the chain acts as if it is the seed computer, and its processing power is the first step.

Likewise, in a universe simulation, the inhabitants of each universe would think they're the top level "seed" universe. As it's a simulation, there's no way they could ever escape the bounds of the simulation as they don't "exist" outside of it. Thats what makes this simply a thought exercise, because even if simulated, it's still our "real", as you mention at the end of your post.

But, if we accept the initial premise that we'd eventually be able to produce such a universal physics simulation, that makes it logical that we're in such a simulation, and by no means the "seed" universe. After all, if we could run one such simulation, why not multiple. And why would the inhabitants of those simulations once they too were able to do the same (given they have the same physics, it would be possible within the simulation), also not run multiple simulations? If we accept the initial premise, then we have to accept that there could be an uncountable number of simulated universes, only one seed universe, and no way for the inhabitants of any simulation to ever know if they're the seed or a simulation.

And it doesn't matter. If we're in such a simulation, we could never know. Even if the operator decided to program the simulation to be aware of itself, it would still only be operating within the bounds of the simulation. What we think of as self-awareness would just be part of the physics simulation running its course, meaning that although the inhabitants of the simulation would 'act' self aware to an observer, they're only doing so because of the accuracy of the physical simulation.

It's all a fascinating thought exercise, but has no real world applications. For us, the simulation and reality would be one and the same.

Comment Re:Lottery machine? (Score 1) 64

From a code approach it's pointless, because the physical simulation would run exactly the same each time. Unless your randomize various factors such as for example, the release time of the balls, the speed the wheel which "mixes" them up. However, for this approach to work, you still need your underlying random number generator to already be working to generate the randomization required by the physics engine. And at the end of it all, you're putting a whole lot of effort into a limited entropy randomization system when you could just use a couple of dedicated algorithms to achieve a much greater result.

From a device point of view, yes - this is basically what hardware random number generators are. There are lots of different ones out there that use different factors such as background radiation, RF noise, plasmas, etc, to create a non-reproducible value. Most of them are pretty good at what they do, and while some may be "better" than others, the differences in the degrees of entropy they produce are largely academic - almost any of them will do the job.

Comment Re:Better late than never...? (Score 1) 119

Oh yeah, it's real. A quick Google will get you plenty of decent flight video. Here's the "old" one flying at 5000 feet.

The new model looks much sweeter. :) This is video from April last year - not flying nearly as high, but that's because this is one-off unmanned prototype.

Earlier manned footage:

Comment Re: Better late than never...? (Score 2) 119

He left not because it isn't working. It's no pipe dream, their aircraft have been flying for a few years now. He left because the board declared that a personal, consumer version of the aircraft was not a priority. The whole reason he started the company was so that eventually he could have a personal "jetpack", but once the company went public, the board had to look at risk vs return and decided to make the consumer version their lowest priority. He didn't like that, so he left. He can always buy a consumer edition once it eventually (if ever) comes out, but their focus at present is first-responder.

Comment Re:Load of Garbage (Score 1) 119

There's plenty of video of the Martin Aircraft around, and it's been shown at air shows on and off for a few years now. This one is a reality. Here's some nice, manned, 5000 feet flight video for you. (Not great landing though, ha! Better landings in other videos :))

This one is a reality. It's not American, which is maybe why you haven't really been aware of it? The key in ongoing development for this (some Chinese firm recently threw $50 million into Martins IPO) is to get the materials lighter, and fuel efficiency greater. 125kgs is enough for a (healthy weight) paramedic + first responder gear. But for military applications for example, you'd want to be able to carry first of all a person that weighs more than 125kg, but gear as well. So, the machine has to be lighter, or fuel more efficient (ie, requiring less fuel, thus less weight).

Submission + - Save Domain Privacy Tell ICANN Don't Expose WHOIS Data (

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We think your privacy should be protected, regardless of whether your website is personal or commercial, and your confidential info should not be revealed without due process. If you agree, please contact ICANN right away and demand your right to privacy and due process. Let them know you object to any release of info without a court order. There's no time to waste — the close date for comments is July 7, 2015.

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Submission + - BlackBerry can run on Android if it is Secure – CEO BlackBerry (

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent conversation with John Chen CEO of BlackBerry with Bloomberg (Video at bottom), John didn’t comment on the rumors on BlackBerry may be using Google’s Android nor he rubbishes it away. He said -
"People asked me, will you ever build one? And I said, well, if I could make it secure, I will, which is a very honest, true statement. We’re looking at it. I can’t say that it’s conclusive at all right now."

BlackBerry may come up with an Android device with some of the patented features on BlackBerry 10 platform which is expected to showcase the BES12 (BlackBerry Enterprise Services 12) to secure the devices running on other OS.

Submission + - Creator of Black shades Malware Jailed 57 month in New York (

An anonymous reader writes: A Swedish man WHO was the mastermind behind the $40 Black Shades Remote Access Tool (RAT) that infected over 1,000,000 systems round the world was sentenced to virtually 5 years in an exceedingly U.S. jail on Tuesday.

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