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Comment Re:We scientists must improve our reliability. (Score 4, Insightful) 236

More and more information is coming out that "peer review" is sort of a joke. The basic statistics of many studies isn't even verified. Check this on Ars:

While likely true an even more pressing problem is non-scientific clickbait headlines and juiced up summaries and articles about scientific papers/research to simply generate more revenue. No companies seem to care about long term irreparable harm to public consensus. Obligatory xkcd

Comment Re:Who paid for this study? (Score 1) 236


"This editorial is not founded on good evidence. There is no such thing as 'real food' - the authors don't define what it is so it's meaningless."

I always have difficulty in understanding what "real food" is as well. Most of the time it seems to exclude food that is inexpensive, requires little preparation and tastes good while at other times it seems to exclude foods that are simply too easy to eat. Much of the time it dosent translate into a rational discussion about a balanced intake of protein, carbs and fats and moderation of salt.

Comment Ultra light sail craft are the best for now (Score 1) 171

By not needing to bring the bulk of the fuel needed for interstellar transportation, and by efficiently utilizing em from nearby stars, it will be very hard to beat its speed for the foreseeable future. Even things like the em drive, if it's real (tldr extremely unlikely is being nice) require onboard fuel and would take far longer to make the same trip.

Ultimately the best setup possible to move through space in a normal fashion would be to create or mine a miniature black hole of roughly a billion metric tons, and utilize the Hawking radiation to convert mass to energy. The output would be a steady 350 Mw or so and the radius of the horizon would be roughly proton sized. One would need a confinement system similar to, but far more advanced than, particle accelerator beams used in research today. On paper you could even harvest mass along the way. Given the laws of physics, it is unlikely one could design a higher power thrust to weight of the drive system/craft over the long hauls of traditional interstellar travel.

Comment Re:Light Sail vs. EM-propulsion (Score 1) 171

I assume you're joking. Or you haven't done high school physics yet. It's the difference between using your arms to push yourself against a wall, and holding both your hands together and claiming that pushing harder with the left arm your entire body will move right.

Technically speaking, if you hold your hands together and yet push harder with the left arm then that would imply a net acceleration of your left arm to the right. Except in the case of massless arms, this would imply a net force acting to push on the body, moving it left in the absense of any other forces. Simply severing the arms near the end of their travel should suffice to keep the body in motion until it is altered by additional forces.

Comment Re:Light Sail vs. EM-propulsion (Score 1) 171

Why is light sail considered entirely possible, while EM-propulsion remains in the domain of evolution-denying (and even Trump-voting)? Aren't they both using light (of some frequency or another) as, uhm, tangible? Something, against which it is possible to push, however slightly?

The difference is not that the momentum of light is different, it is in fact the same for both cases. The problem lies in the weight of the craft itself. With an onboard em source you would need to carry your own fuel and have a massive em emitter. You may perhaps use solar cells to supplement some of the fuel needs at the expense of lower efficiency per photon at the craft and even more mass is needed. With a light sail you can construct a massive array of base laser stations with huge power supplies, yet the craft can be ultra light. Further the brightness of the star(s) at your destination can serve as a light braking system, whereas this is much less effective with an onboard emitter/power source.

tldr - an onboard light drive accelerates like a super tanker propelled by a trolling motor while an ultra light solar sail accelerates like a French fry flung into a fire hose.

Comment Re:The thing that always worries me about this (Score 3, Insightful) 97

In the very long-run, once we have functionally built in direct brain to computer interfaces, what is going to stop people from sending a lot of half-baked emails and the like? At least with a phone, you can take it away from someone when they are drunk, but frankly given how incoherent my very late night/early morning thoughts are, I'd be more worried about accidental shitposting that way, or sending really stupid emails.

geez, I was under the impression that was presidential.

Comment Missing from the article (Score 1) 73

The main benefit of laser sintering or 3D printing when it comes to these titanium parts is the optimal shapes you can make. Traditional casting and milling processes have many limitations where you need to support/remove the mold pieces, have specific wall thicknesses, or be able to actually mill with real bits. 3D printing, provided the process is roughly as strong and fatigue resistant as the traditional material, allows you to make impossible shapes that are far more optimal for the weight like cardboard which has internal cutouts impossible to create traditionally. This along with software for optimizing loads can easily save 30% on material weight while still maintaining the same load constraints as a traditional part. For an airplane this shaves off huge $$$ in material costs, allows the same plane to carry more weight and/or be more fuel efficient.

Comment Re:About 20-30 years too late on this one (Score 1) 329

Tech workers have been saying the best talent is self trained for decades. No university can teach someone how to be a passionate nerd. As for their motives.... I think it's much simpler. People with degrees want more money, so they can pay off the loans.

Just because someone attends college doesn't mean they can't be top talent, but being passionate and involved in their personal lives as well is the mark of the most capable and talented people.

Comment Re:VocTech 2.0 (Score 1) 329

And on this note colleges shouldn't be afraid to have a more hands on learning approach. Having gone through and gotten an advanced degree myself, it was amazing to see how many graduates never did anything practical with their knowledge outside of a single class project or two. Knowing how to put a hammer to wood reasonably well in this example would make a better engineer/architect.

Comment Re:I think someone without a degree wrote that sum (Score 2) 329

They care precisely because they exist to make money. The pool of skilled labour is limited to the point that is making it hard for them to get the staff they need, so the obvious solution is to expand the pool. Diversity, H1B, education programmes...

Do you really think Intel would invest £300m into improving diversity just because some "SJWs" criticised them? No, it's because they expect a return on that investment.

This and there is a strong belief by many in management that the actual performance of the employee isn't as important as cutting costs. It's driven by short term gains.

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