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Comment Re:Small minds, here. (Score 1) 306

We could start by reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It becomes obvious that space will be the next big thing after IT. Billionaires are otherwise running out of options of investing their money. Thanks to Elon Musk et al. in only ten years we'll be looking at another economic revolution, maybe even less than ten years.

Damn, I live in the wrong country.

Comment Re:Population, not resources. (Score 1) 306

In a way, yes. Global warming presumably is caused by less efficient heat removal from earth to space ("greenhouse effect"). Others claim it could be caused by variation in solar radiation (i.e. increased impinging energy flow on earth).

Significant additional energy transport from space to earth could accelerate global warming (e.g. from solar power that wasn't originally going to hit earth). It would be smarter to use the additional power in space for heavy industry, e.g. aluminum electrolysis and only bring the finished goods down to earth (pieces of aluminum won't contribute to solar warming, unless you'd burn them in an exothermic reaction). Of course, you'd mine asteroids, not shoot up raw materials from earth.

Comment Re:Why shouldn't we freeze population growth? (Score 3, Interesting) 306

The problem is that's is very difficult to freeze population to a constant level (see China). You might be able to freeze the head count but run the risk of severly skewing your age pyramid, which can lead to massive problems a generation later. Moreover, birth control isn't popular in the free world, you'd be limiting an essential human freedom (and the purpose of life).

The danger is declining population.
You don't actually want declining population:
1) Most pension schemes rely on at least constant population. Smarter pension schemes rely on economic growth (which is possible with slightly declining population), but not all countries have them implemented.
2) Declining population can also trigger massive problems with economy: You'll have to divest in a controlled and smart way. Example: real estate values are likely to drop if head count goes down. See former East German towns: some of them have become almost ghost towns, many with only retirees living there. This triggers business closings, which in turn makes young people move away. A self enforcing negative trend.

More population is no problem. There's lots of space on earth. If it becomes too crowded people will move to Mars or space. In fact, that could become a driving force, eventually.

Comment Re:Bad arguments (Score 1) 306

Either: population growth stops, and the whole growing economy model falls apart.

That's not true. Economic growth (expressed in dollars) can also be driven by increase in efficiency and automation.
Simple proof: the economic output of 100 US-Americans is much higher than the economic output of 100 Papua-New-Guineans.
The 100 Papua-New-Guineans could increase their economic output (i.e. grown their economy) by employing the same tools and processes as the Americans.

Comment Scientific Article with actual info (Score 3, Informative) 60

You'd think professional journalists would properly cite even link to the original publication.

Oussama Mhibik, Sebastien Chenais, Sebastien Forget, Christophe Defranoux and Sebastien Sanaur: Inkjet-printed vertically emitting solid-state organic lasers, J. Appl. Phys. 119, 173101 (2016).

http://scitation.aip.org/conte...

Comment Re:dont know (Score 1) 254

Some contractual details are given in the article:
the use of the seven images was limited to 3 years (from 2011), to within Austria and for internet/brochures/adverts of maximum A5 size (A5 is about half the size of US Letter format).

The photographer had asked a symbolic license of 6 EUR fee for using of six photos over 3 years and 450 EUR for the seventh photo. In anticipation of further business with the hotel chain, as he explained.

Comment Re:This is interesting (Score 1) 109

It's the human learning principle taken further. The point is that an AI is immortal, whereas human beings are not. It takes 10-20 years for a human child to learn a (meanwhile tiny) fraction of human knowledge and ideas. In contrast, an AI can keep learning as long as you keep the hardware running - you can even copy it's state to a new hardware. That will become a huge difference in future, potentially making AIs more powerful thinkers. It could be that AIs will be used to combine research and ideas from different domains where no human experts exist that are proficient in both.

Comment Re:Labor mobility (Score 1) 474

I believe you are totally unaware of the realities in the E.U. We have the Free Movement principle in the European Union:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/mai...

In fact, there was strongly growing emigration from countries like Spain and Greece (to stronger economies like Germany).

Source:
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/t...

Comment Re:As a Canadian Particle Physicist (Score 1) 58

Well, no. Since neutrino oscillations are confirmed we are good again as we expect to see only 1/3 of the total neutrino flux (the other 2/3 are the two neutrino flavours muon- and tau-neutrinos that our detectors are not sensitive to)

Before the experimental proof, most scientists tended to side with the Standard Model, i.e. massless neutrinos and therefore no oscillations - which meant that seeing only 1/3 of the expected neutrino flux from the sun indicates something's wrong, either with the sun or with the model of the sun predicting neutrino flux.

Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 1) 92

The authors report coherence times of 120us and 61us for the two (slightly different) Qubits. Experimental evidence for Qubit Q2 is provided in the Supplementary Material and for Qubit Q1 in reference 4.

Also, citing:
" the error can be less than 1%, corresponding to a fidelity above 99% for the two-qubit CZ gate. The fast two-qubit operation frequency implies also that over 100,000 CZ gates can be performed within the single-qubit coherence time. [4]"

and further

"The tremendeous progress of quantum error correction codes over the last decade has resulted in schemes that allow fault-tolerant quantum computing with single and two-qubit errors as high as 1% [10]; values that already seem consistent with the fidelities of these silicon quantum dot qubits. These qubit fidelities could be further improved by lowering the sensitivity to electrical noise. This could be achieved by designing the two-qubit system such that it is completely decoupled from the reservoir during qubit control, possibly by additional pulsing on the barrier gates."

Comment Re:Let me be the first to point out (Score 3, Insightful) 105

My feeling is that artists provide a creative source of "noise" and crazy ideas that are critical for breakthroughs. Such kind of out-of-the-box thinking is heavily sought after in the scientific community. Science really needs sometimes a "mutation" of ideas to make the next big leap. Just throwing money at a problem will give you only incremental small steps of improvement. Ideas are the most important ingredient for scientific breakthrough.
Therefore I encourage scientists to expose themselves to art and I also value artists' contributions although many of them don't make sense (to me).

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