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Comment This reminds me of Vinge's agrav fabrics (Score 1) 265

From A Deepness in the Sky (1999):

The Podmaster took a small case out of his shirt. He opened it, and held something that glittered in the lowering sun. It was a small square, a tile. There were flecks of light that might have been cheap mica, except that the colors swept in coordinated iridescence. "This is one of the cladding tiles from the satellite. There was also a layer of low-power LEDs, but we've stripped those off. Chemically, what is left is diamond fragments bound in epoxy. Watch." He set the square down on the table and shined a hand light on it. And they all watched....And after a moment the little square of iridescence floated upward. At first, the motion looked like a commonplace of the microgravity environment, a loose paperweight wafting on an air current. But the air in the room was still. And as the seconds passed, the tile moved faster, tumbling, falling...straight up. It hit the ceiling with an audible clink-and remained there.

No one said anything for several seconds.

Comment Re: The future is not UHD (Score 1) 332

If I had a newfangled TV with motion interpolation I would probably turn it off too, but not because I don't like smooth motion! The ones I've looked at in stores seem to produce inconsistent results which I find distracting - they are good at interpolating camera pans but not much else.

This is because in general you can't recover information that's been thrown away (or not captured in the first place), and interpolating motion is always going to give slightly dodgy results, especially when your processing is limited to what you can do in real time.

I hate interlace for the same reason. In the days of analog transmission it was a good compromise between resolution, frame rate and bandwidth. In the era of digital however, it can be thought of as the worst lossy codec ever, assuming the source is 50 or 60 FPS. 25/30 FPS material isn't harmed if decoded correctly, but interlace seems to have a unique ability to confuse programmers / hardware designers, resulting in anything from "combing", to horrible jittering caused by displaying the fields in the wrong order.

Comment What about HFR? (Score 1) 332

How about "high frame rate"? (whether that is 48, 50, 60 or higher)

If you want video to look "life-like" you need a better frame rate than 24 FPS. Every gamer knows it (and I wish that every movie-goer knew it too).

Is this new format going to support higher frame rates? Each of color depth, frame rate, resolution and 3D independently multiplies the required bandwidth, so current blu-ray can't even do full-HD @ 60p, never mind 3D at the same time.

It would be nice if there was a format compatible with the Hobbit trilogy as it is meant to be seen (and hopefully more films like it in future).

(and BTW, a motion-interpolating TV is *not* the answer!)

Comment Even Classic has a "feature" that really bugs me (Score 1) 2219

It's the damn auto-refresh on the main page. It was bad enough when it used AJAX to load new content - any new story would push down the one I was reading the summary of, causing me to lose my place. But for a while now it's been reloading the whole page (, which is even worse. I've found no way to disable this "feature".

Comment Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (Score 1) 245

You'd cheat someone if you could with a fraudulent sale

Actually that part was humor. You might want to look that up.

For any given model, these uncertainties can be calculated in a Bayesian sense.

My feeling, as a non-cosmologist, is that we don't even know the correct model. What was the nature of the inflationary epoch, for example?


Submission + - 12.6 Million Identity Fraud Victims Identified in the U.S. (

Orome1 writes: "In 2012 identity fraud incidents increased by more than one million victims and fraudsters stole more than $21 billion, the highest amount since 2009, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. The study found 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the United States in the past year, which equates to 1 victim every 3 seconds. The report also found that nearly 1 in 4 data breach letter recipients became a victim of identity fraud, with breaches involving Social Security numbers to be the most damaging. Over the past year, companies are responding more quickly which means a consumer’s information is being misused for fewer days than ever before, and the mean cost per victim has been flattening.

Fraud victims are more selective where they shop after an incident, and small businesses were the most dramatically impacted. The study found that 15 percent of all fraud victims decided to change behaviors and avoid smaller online merchants. This is a much greater percentage than those that avoid gaming sites or larger retailers."

Comment nowhere is safe (Score 2) 421

You are correct. Even though in infinite time the bubble would expand to infinite volume, this would only affect a volume that was initially finite, if very large. The "edges" (cosmological horizon) of the affected volume would always outpace the bubble's expansion. (This is assuming the expansion of the universe continues. Its apparent acceleration might be just an artifact) However, there doesn't have to be just one bubble, nor does it have to arise in "billions of years". Nowhere and nowhen is safe... unless the Many-Worlds Interpretation is true. (to see why the MWI helps, see quantum suicide and quantum immortality)

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