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Comment Re:Observation, not math, is what's important. (Score 2) 67

The scientific method is a toy model thrown together by philosophers to attempt what scientists do when they're doing "good science." Very few people in philosophy or science actually subscribe to it. The fact that it's taught as gospel in primary schools is somewhat depressing.

Your other objections are simply not a realistic depiction of modern science or of Meibom's study.

Comment Re:Excellent. Now go repeat with another cluster (Score 1) 67

From the paper, they were using it to determine what stars were cluster members and what stars were field stars (i.e. stars which just happened to be in that direction). It has already been tested as a classifier to determine cluster members versus non-members. Whether it holds up as an absolute measure is another question, but it already holds "outside that one cluster" to a useful error rate.

Comment Re:Observation, not math, is what's important. (Score 2) 67

Good science is testable. Meibom's paper is an example of this. Your post and 36233236 are not; they are nothing more than a bare denial that anything in the universe is knowable. Yours additionally contains several factual errors, which would be more of an issue if the overall thesis wasn't a denial of the potential existence of true knowable facts.

Comment Re:CAT5 to HDMI (Score 1) 399

The propagation delay isn't the reason why length matters. S/N is why length matters. As length increases, noise increases while signal strength drops off. The point where this starts becoming a major problem depends on how noisy the environment is and how good the coupled devices are at dealing with increasingly poor S/N. Digital signaling makes it take much longer before this becomes noticeable - but it's not magic.

But neither are the name-brand cables. Anything with better shielding and a lower gauge will usually help -- and that only if you're at the point where it's creating a noticeable problem. Most home electronics won't have any trouble provided that they're close together. A few models, or if you want them farther apart than is normal, then maybe it's time to hit Monoprice. Otherwise, usually not.

Comment Um, no? (Score 2) 804

College students are ostensibly adults. If they don't want to pay attention in class and want to look like an idiot while they do FarmVille offers in the lecture hall, that's their problem. It's also their right if they want to use it to look up something they didn't understand or to take notes. There's no reason to meddle with this if it's not actively disrupting class. If the bare fact that they have one out is bothering you, get over yourself. If they're being disruptive, sit somewhere else or talk to someone about it. You're in college, it's time to grow up now.

Comment Re:There might be something to it (Score 3, Informative) 229

Also, note that it's not "3D" itself that's the problem. We look at the real world all the time, right? The problem is that the methods used to create the illusion of 3D do not completely mimic the real thing. Stereoscopy is something of a first step. There has been research into systems which do a more complete job, and they can significantly cut down on things like headaches and simulator sickness. We'll probably see this in our consumer electronics one day, but all modern consumer 3D display technology has these issues.

Comment Re:There might be something to it (Score 4, Informative) 229

It's not over-cautiousness. This issue has been known for some time.

Children under about 10-12 shouldn't be exposed to any artificial stereoscopy as it can cause developmental impairment. Whether it's used for games is beside the point - movies and television pose the same risk. Really, any use of stereoscopy to create the illusion of 3D. The technology imperfectly replicates real visual stimuli from a 3D environment. Exposing children to it, particularly regularly or for long sessions, can cause the brain to try and adapt to the wrong set of stimuli.

Watching Avatar in 3D once is probably okay but should probably be avoided. Watching movies in 3D every weekend is probably bad. Using a 3DS daily for several hours at a time is probably going to cause some degree of harm. Gaming tends to long sessions, frequent use, and attentive focus.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 3, Insightful) 534

Okay, I'll give you 12 months. The difference is negligible. The techniques used to root the PS3 are so fundamental and well-known that it was largely a matter of trying them out. There was nothing revolutionary here, it was just a matter of people with sufficient expertise and resources becoming motivated to spend the time to do the necessary work.

The point remains: working with your users diminishes their motivation to work against you. Minimizing the artificial constraints placed on what users can do with the device they purchased means that huge swaths of people who might be motivated to reverse engineer your safeguards won't need to. The community relationship will be improved, new uses for the hardware that you didn't anticipate will be found.

When you can improve sales and customer relations while simultaneously lengthening the lifetime of your product as a DRM device, well, it seems like it would be a relatively simple decision. The net effect is to attract and retain customers both at a consumer and industry level. Consumers get a more versatile device - and equally important, respect. Developers get stronger and longer-lasting DRM and a larger and more robust consumer base. Everybody wins.

Comment Re:It is still different HW (Score 1) 191

It depends.

I don't do chip design myself, but a few guys I work with do. They spend quite a while trying to get the fabrication pass ratio up to workable levels when there's a new part. It's nowhere near as simple as "all 6950s are secretly 6970s." It probably will mostly work for many of them, which is what a sane overclocker is going to expect anyway. However, it's very likely that a part from a later production run will have better odds of passing an "aftermarket upgrade" to the higher bin since fabrication pass ratios tend to improve somewhat with later runs as the kinks get worked out. For the initial runs, I'd say 60/40 is probably the most you can count on unless the sales of 6970s are internally estimated to be very few compared to 6950s (which is sometimes the case - the higher-spec part often serves as advertising for the unit they "expect" you to buy). This would be higher if, for example, it draws heavily on a part which has been in production previously (quite possibly the case).

Comment Re:GATTACA Here we Come (Score 1) 121

Forgery is almost trivial, particularly when many people assume it's impossible. I can already hop online and order an arbitrary genetic sequence for delivery. Normally, this is used to create short sequences for insertion into a larger genetic strand, but the same tech would let a patient researcher forge an arbitrary DNA sequence under any conceivable test.

Comment Re:GATTACA Here we Come (Score 1) 121

The emergence of MEMS devices for performing PCR and doing chemical analysis makes the development of portable DNA scanners more or less inevitable at this point. The only question is who will get the patent.

The odds are fairly high that in a maximum of 20 years, I will be able to hop on Digikey and buy a DNA scanner IC for a few dollars. Given that it could integrate an appropriate sample collection modality and immediately begin PCR may also significantly broaden what constitutes a viable sample compared to modern DNA analysis which incorporates significant oversampling mainly to ensure that something actually reaches the PCR stage. Blood would always still be the gold standard - but who knows, maybe it could pick up a high-confidence identification simply through contact.

Where's your privacy now? The ease of perpetrating privacy abuses given the modern internet is just the tip of the iceberg. Globalization transitioned from trade practices to information exchange - I can send a packet around the world three times in a fraction a second, and that makes the world a very small place indeed. Data combined is exponentially more informing, and the amount of information you leave scattered around without realizing it just by existing in the modern technologically-augmented social sphere is already massive. In coming years, the difficulty of obtaining an increasing amounts of information which are increasingly invasive is going to drop to nothing. Without active privacy protections with a lot of force behind them, the resulting situation will probably make GATTACA look extremely naive.

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