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Comment Re:Looks like the LHC is our only hope.... (Score 1) 260

Exactly. And in any case, the TeV was already ruled out as capable of producing one, at least 5 years ago, IIRC. I believe this was ruled out by theory *and* other experiments, reducing the possible Higgs range to a really heavy Higgs that would require at least the energy of the LHC to produce. But, maybe things have changed?

Comment Re:ABS works (Score 1) 270

In a situation where normally you would not skid at all, how do you know the ABS will not turn on when it shouldn't?

Does that actually happen? I've lived my life under the impression that adequate pressure in the brake line was necessary to trigger systems like this, making it extremely difficult for the system to just "come on" while you're driving. If it comes on when you're braking, but not braking hard enough to justify ABS, I can't see that you're likely to have much problem. What's the difference in stopping distance, exactly? Apologies for my ignorance here... my car doesn't even have this system.

Comment Break the game to unplayable! LOL (Score 1) 346

In complete contrast to the other players here, who like to explore the entire game or collect all the collectibles or finish with the minimum time or maximum goods, or whatever, I do pretty much the exact opposite: I meta-game to break the game (short of death) until it's unplayable and continuing would require starting over or reverting to some previous save point, at which point I'm usually giggly and ecstatic that I broke it and am no longer interested playing in the game.

For example, in Half-Life 2 I was pretty bored with the game until we got to that part with the speedboat... now HERE was an opportunity for FUN! The developers had added game physics that worked so well, that I was actually able (after several deliberate tries) to get the speedboat to launch up into the air from some obstacle, flip over completely, and get stuck behind some rubble! I didn't die in the process (on the successful break attempt, anyway), just fell out of the boat when it flipped, and watched it get itself into an irreconcilably ridiculous position! Hahahah! It was practically impossible to get anywhere without that damn boat, and thus I had succeeded in breaking the game to unplayable. *^_^* (tears of joy!)

For some strange reason, I get kicks exploring into areas where my character will be stuck for eternity, but won't die, (like falling into wells or off the edge of the world or getting inside a wall), or for destroying the source of some spawning-object that I need to collect or use, etc. Sometimes I even submit bug reports for this behavior. =P

So, if the other guys are OCD for collecting everything, what am I for purposely breaking the game beyond playable?

Comment Re:You are a service, not a policy-maker (Score 1) 149

Let the individual divisions of the school give you their needs, and you meet them.

Yes, the "meet them" part is the part where supposed "agendae" may fall. I believe the OP was asking how to gracefully meet the needs of the school while aligning himself with what he sees to be the ethics of his field, while at the same time dealing with other managers who are in equal-ish positions of decision (for instance on a committee) but possibly of opposite opinions regarding what constitutes a balance of ethics, or possibly in another field where there are altogether different considerations to be made.

Consumers of IT take for granted what a complicated (and often political) process this is in a large organization!

Even a sole-proprietor IT business consulting to a single other person with a technical need to be met faces these issues in deciding what meets the need for the client. In short, what meets the client's needs is what the client agrees meets his/her needs. "Agrees" implies more than just cutting and pasting a spec sheet -- there are arguments to be made based on such foggy things as user preferences, which the user might not even know beforehand, and long-term impact analysis of the various options, which, if the user could do, would negate the need for technical consultation services! Promoting FOSS is likely one of the OP's strategies for maximizing positive impact and minimizing risk, not just an "agenda", but a professional stance based in reason and ethics.

You don't imagine that this process somehow evaporates when the "IT business" and client are parts of the same large institution, do you?

Comment Re:Trinity University (San Antonio) (Score 1) 149

Note that they aren't changing their solutions for political reasons, they are truly better, not just open source and not-Microsoft.

I think that it isn't just better software, FOSS is a better solution for large organizations because they can make custom "in-house" changes, as they like, whenever they like. Changes can mean feature updates or interlinking with other services on campus, security customizations, etc, for which the large organization doesn't have to remain tied to software manufacturers or through ongoing service contracts. It saves money for everyone in the organization, provides students and alums with programming projects and jobs (if even short-term), and contributes humanitarian effort to the free development of technology in the world. ;)

Comment Re:Question for the OP (Score 1) 199

Best results might come from doing this with "Hello World", as well as doing similar activities with art, music, physics, language, and sports, in equal proportions.

Computer programming offers the ability for a child to explore at least the theoretical foundations of every discipline known to man. She can program musical ensembles with tones, harmonics, and rhythms, she can create graphic art and learn about color, light, motion, and composition, she can write games and calculate sports plays, and honestly are physics and math really questionable in the domain of programming? When I was 9, the first thing I did once comfortable in BASIC was to grab my dad's star charts and start writing up a solar system simulator, purely out of interest in physics, math, and astronomy! Programming is a tool for exploration... you're basically handing them the keys to the imaginable universe!

Comment Re:Start them on a tricycle? Or a GSXR? (Score 1) 199

Should we teach our kids how to ride a motorcycle where pedaling isn't needed? Or do they need to learn to pedal before they ride a motorcycle?

Well, if they can't pedal they're not going to innovate better bicycles and tricycles, that's for sure. But back to your analogy with algorithms...

The question becomes, do you want your kid to grow up a mathematician, scientist, or engineer? Though it may not be immediately apparent, different programming mindsets are used for each of these disciplines, mainly due to the difference in the types of information needing to be computed and the types of problems to be solved.
A kid well-schooled in algorithms might build us better encryption (or prove it impossible!) or might solve complex science puzzles that have never before been computable in all of human history!

Clearly *both* algorithm development and library-navigation are important to innovation, just as it's important to know how to solve complex integrals before you go looking up solutions in a table... what other skill would you use when you discover that the algorithm you want doesn't exist (yet) ?

Comment Re:Not as bad as it sounds (Score 1) 370

I'm a straight woman, hooked up with a straight man... we're both damn sexy, and we both work in physics research! We both hang out on Slashdot, and we're only getting sexier the older and smarter we get.

These generalizations are offensive, as generalizations generally are.

Geeks are beautiful *because* they're smart, even more so when they use their smarts to be more healthy and happy. Gender and orientation don't come into it.

Comment Re:Not as bad as it sounds (Score 1) 370

Are there photos around here somewhere?? I wasn't aware...

Otherwise, perhaps you should speak for yourself when evaluating the attractiveness of the crowd. I know MANY sexy geeks, and I'm one of them. :)

As a matter of fact, I think more geeks are sexy than not, since there's some mark of intelligence in figuring out proper hygiene, being creative enough to dress yourself well, and analyzing your food intake habits, especially as a ratio to your physical-motion habits. If you can't do those basic analyses, why would you consider yourself even halfway smart?

Medical conditions and face/shape/fashion-preferences aside, only idiots are fat and ugly (ie: unhealthy). They demonstrate physically that they can't research information, and/or can't think through the consequences of their decisions or adjust their actions accordingly. I fail to believe that they would be any better at it when applied to a technical scope, and I've often found that they compensate for their lack of sound reasoning with arrogance (as though laziness and stupidity are glorious virtues).

Why would anyone *want* to even remotely identify with that set of qualities? Does it make you feel better to think that everyone else in your field is just as ignorant?

Very few people are "naturally blessed" with being "thin and beautiful" (because those quoted statements together imply a medical disorder and skewed notion of beauty!), but just about everyone is capable of being healthy, work which naturally results in being sexy and good-looking, which can be objectively measured (and ego-rewarded!) in supermarket smiles and free drinks from strangers, making public confidence easier for the introvert to muster, inevitably leading to a more rewarding career as well. It's a direct correlation, it's obvious, it's documented, and the methods to achieving it are clear.

This simplicity leads me to believe that there are more good-looking men and women on Slashdot than generally assumed, though perhaps they're quiet about it to avoid offending the fat and ugly people who believe otherwise. I have no such reservation, as I myself am offended to be off-hand categorized as not-good-looking just because I'm here.

Submission + - Australia tests vehicle speed limiting devices ( 1

nemesisrocks writes: "The New South Wales (Australia) Government is testing a device that will limit the speed of drivers because "excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving".

Located on the dashboard, it senses a driver's speed with the use of GPS. If the speed of a car goes over the posted legal limit, a warning sounds. If the driver ignores the warning, the device eventually cuts all power to the car because a cut-off switch has been installed between the accelerator and the engine."


Submission + - Open Source != Communism !

bagpussnz writes: "I have just been reading an article in the NZ herald discussing that the NZ government move to open source software. However, the connotation that open source is communism is an interesting tack (that is going to do nothing to help the "cause"). Full article here"

Submission + - Complexity, Consciousness, and the End of Time ( 1

diggitzz writes: "I recently ran across a Blogspot post from physics student Jamie Hegarty, who makes the argument that complexity may be a fundamental aspect of nature, intrinsically linked to space-time. His argument is interesting indeed, drawing from earlier arguments given by Roger Penrose, David Deutsch, and Alan Turing, to name a few. Ray Kurzweil gets more than a passing mention, as his recent book The Singularity is Near argues for the soon-to-be-created existence of conscious "supermachines" sometime within the century, and some type of universal consciousness following shortly thereafter. Hegarty extrapolates that this might mean the whole universe is a Turing machine, struggling to compute greater and greater complexity, and poses many intriguing questions regarding the resulting possibilities for physics, consciousness, artificial intelligence, and even extraterrestrial life."

Submission + - MacOS X users vulnerable to major Java flaw

FruitWorm writes: Security researchers found that MacOS X users are vulnerable to a critical, 6 months old, remote vulnerability in Java, a component that is enabled by default in Web browsers on this platform.
Julien Tinnes notes that this vulnerability differs from typical Java security flaws in that it is "a pure Java vulnerability" and doesn't involve any native code.
It affected not only Sun's Java but other implementations such as OpenJDK as well on multiple platforms, including Linux and Windows. "This means you can write a 100% reliable exploit in pure Java. This exploit will work on all the platforms, all the architectures and all the browsers" Julien wrote.
Apparently, this bug had been demonstrated during the Pwn2own security challenge this year at CanSecWest, although the details were not made public at that time. MacOS X users are recommended to disable Java in their browsers while Apple is working on a security update.

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