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Comment Disheartening (Score 5, Insightful) 164

OP here. Obviously, my submission had the bad luck of making it to the Slashdot front page simultaneously with the US presidential elections and their unexpected outcome. Yet I am appalled, truly appalled and disgusted, at what ACs have posted here (see above).

It is now clear to me that after many, many years there is nothing anymore for me on Slashdot. This is it. The level had gone down already for years. The repeated and increasingly vocal racism and vulgarity, the inanity, the name-calling, the bigotry - it had already been putting me off for a long time. Yet I had hoped that, at least for such momentous scientific news as Verlinde's theory, there could have been a discussion worthy of that name.

Slashdot's latest acquirer has done a prolly valiant job to try and turn things around, an effort before which I flourish my hat. It is clear to me, however, that it was too little and too late. I'm leaving slashdot. I will keep reading submissions as an anonymous reader, and that's it. So long, Slashdot !

Submission + - Groundbreaking Paper on arXiv derives Gravity from Holographic Principle (

vikingpower writes: Dutch prodigy and Amsterdam University Professor Erik Verlinde published a paper on arXiv, yesterday November 7, titled "Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe". In the paper, Verlinde derives gravity from the so-called Holographic Principle, which — simply put — states that gravity emerges from the interplay between and entropy re-arrangement of sub-atomic "strings" that live in a negatively curved space-time. At that level, "...spacetime and gravity are emergent from an underlying microscopic description in which they have no a priori meaning" . Most importantly, Verlinde's paper has as a consequence that Dark Matter, nemesis of many an astronomer, is nothing more than an illusion. Verlinde, who was awarded the Dutch national Spinoza science prize in the recent past, already completed the tour de force of deriving Newtonian gravity from the same principles in a 2010 paper, also on arXiv. We are probably looking at Nobel-prize material here, as Verlinde is acknowledged by his peers to "go one better than Einstein's General Theory of Relativity".

Comment Re:parachute (Score 1) 89

Just looked up "abort mode IA" in the Saturn V Flight Manual (I am pretty proud to possess a paper copy of that one, it has a prominent place in my library). Time between drogue opening and parachute opening was 12 to 16 seconds, dependent upon altitude on abort. The manual is not very explicit on aborting on the pad or close to the pad, but something can be gleaned from the conditions under which the mission could be aborted; all of these presuppose ignition of all five engines of Stage I to have succeeded. I.e., before that event, it seems the crew would 've been fucked. After that, the abort propulsion rockets would 've given them at least a fighting chance.

Comment Competition.... (Score 1) 89

...seems to show one of its many upsides. This may spur SpaceX to do at least as well, or better. Forget about Boeing et al.. These are small, agile (in the dictionary sense, not in the software engineering sense) companies that can move, react and even pivot in a way Boeing et al. could not even begin to dream of. Great job, Blue Origin! Now it's SpaceX's move.

Comment Bash on Ubuntu on Windows ? (Score 1, Funny) 77

Why not MS Nano on MS Windows Server on Slack on Cygwin on Win 95 on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows ? I mean - all these CPU cycles and all that unused RAM has to go somewhere, right ? Why not Rocco Sifredi on Kim Kardashin on Sylvester Stallone on Meryl Streep on Chuck Norris ? What say you ?

Comment Re:Why don't Canadians get any of this cool stuff? (Score 1, Troll) 54

There is nothing fucking cool about Giant Corp. "offering" you around 1.000 eBooks in order to vendor-lock you in. Rather, you be glad to be in Canada. I'm in Austria and visit physical book stores, getting to hold physical books and helping physical people to make a living. Which is way closer to my definition of "cool".

Comment Calling BS on some points (Score 3, Interesting) 254

1. The Boeing that, indeed, did build the Saturn V first stage was not nowadays Boeing. The former was much smaller, more agile ("agile" not in the software engineering sense, but in the common dictionary sense).

2. Boeing is indeed heavily involved in the SLS program. That program's pace, however, is set by NASA, whereas Musk's SpaceX, being a virtual start-up, sets its own and dramatically different pace.

This is not to say that Boeing could not or should not be involved in what might became a "race toward Mars". I am, however, calling bullshit on the Saturn V and SLS arguments.

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