Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Steven Hawking Loses Bet On Black Holes?

simoniker posted about 10 years ago | from the most-upsetting dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 477

st1d writes "Looks like Steven Hawking might have to pay up on an old bet regarding black holes - seems his idea about them destroying information wasn't quite living up to his expectations: 'The about-turn might cost Hawking, a physicist at the University of Cambridge, an encyclopaedia because of a bet he made in 1997. More importantly, it might solve one of the long-standing puzzles in modern physics.' He's due to make a formal announcement July 21."

cancel ×

477 comments

Winning a bet... (5, Interesting)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | about 10 years ago | (#9705911)

...against Hawking would be something to tell the grandchildren about. Hell, it would be an honor to lose a bet to him.

Re:Winning a bet... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705931)

Hell, it would be an honor to lose a bet to him.

As long as it isn't a stair climbing bet.

Re:Winning a bet... (1, Interesting)

The0retical (307064) | about 10 years ago | (#9705955)

This has been been known for a number of years. I believe the way that it works is that certain photons can escape the black hole, I forget exactly what the photon gets away but its too early to look it up right now. Either way this is the way that astronomers discover black holes now days.

Re:Winning a bet... (4, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | about 10 years ago | (#9705994)

You are thinking of "Hawking Radiation", which (as you might guess by the name) Prof. Hawking already knows about.

From TFA...

"Hawking radiation" contains no information about the matter inside the black hole and once the black hole evaporates, all information is lost.

But this conflicts with the laws of quantum physics, which say that such information can never be completely wiped out.


It's a solution to this paradox that Hawking will be talking about.

Re:Winning a bet... (1)

The0retical (307064) | about 10 years ago | (#9706198)

Thanks, thats what I get for just skimming the article.

Re:Winning a bet... (1)

rTough (316345) | about 10 years ago | (#9706004)

Wouldn't that be hawking radiation?

If so, then it's not the same thing that will be presented by Hawking this time.

Re:Winning a bet... (5, Interesting)

Zaphrod (752084) | about 10 years ago | (#9706046)

Steven has lost bets before but in most cases I believe it was he who proved himself wrong. He bets against what he hopes to prove thereby winning in either case.

Hawking is a bad gambler. (1, Insightful)

Inominate (412637) | about 10 years ago | (#9706147)

He already lost a bet related to the existance of black holes. Now this. No surprise.

He may be a genius, but I wouldn't want to be with him at a casino.

Boggle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705912)

Boggle?

Re:Boggle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705950)

Would love to, which rule set?

Pirst Fost! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705913)

One for my homies and a props to the guy in the wheelchair!

Buahahaha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705916)

Now I can tell Steven Hawkings "I told ya so!"

pay with the wiki! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705918)

FP?

Destroying info. (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 10 years ago | (#9705919)

seems his idea about them destroying information wasn't quite living up to his expectations
In other words, black holes don't run Windows.

l0l j00 m4e3 t3h w1nd0w5 j0k3 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705945)

j00 ar3 t3h gh3y!!

Re:Destroying info. (2, Funny)

lacrymology.com (583077) | about 10 years ago | (#9705947)

"black holes don't run Windows"

I guess I've lost that bet about them being the universe's version of the BSOD... or in other words, the BHOD.

-m

Re:Destroying info. (1)

terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | about 10 years ago | (#9705951)

Aaahhahahaha

You suck.

But (0)

laserbeak (794029) | about 10 years ago | (#9705921)

Woot! he figured out the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Everything but... (0)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | about 10 years ago | (#9705999)

except black holes which are nothing

Re:But (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706037)

We all know the answer -> 42
but what is the question?

And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705923)

all i can think of is not the scientific importance of this, but of the Dilbert were Hawking's pushed Dilbert into a black hole.

Re:And yet... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705942)

We can start by throwing all those extra apostrophes into a black hole. I know I'd feel better! Wh'at th'e hel'l is it w'ith peo'ple' and the'ir extr'a apostrophe's everywhere?

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706013)

It's the same problem that causes people to use "common" instead of "come on", or "congradulate" rather than "congratulate". It is basic illiteracy.

Re:And yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706091)

That's just rediculous!

Integrity (5, Insightful)

Stephen R Hall (163541) | about 10 years ago | (#9705925)

It shows the character of the man - not only is he prepared to admit he was wrong, but will present detailed scientific proof of why he was wrong.

Re:Integrity (5, Informative)

thefirelane (586885) | about 10 years ago | (#9705949)

If this is the same bet I remember... he wanted to be wrong. His expectation, and hope was that he would loose the bet... he took the bet because if his theories turn out to be wrong, at least he gets the prize of the bet as consolation.


---Lane

He's a good scientist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705965)

That is what good scientists do in these situations. I hope others take note.

Re:Integrity (1)

devoid42 (314847) | about 10 years ago | (#9705978)

Very true,

High end science alot of times is taking the data, stewing on it, making a guess, then trying to find proof. He made a guess, was confident in it, but it fell through. I'd bet that it's less that he wants to admit he was wrong (although he's not hiding the fact) and more that the geek in him is excited about the way that it is, and he wants to talk about it.

As you mentioned though, the fact that he's not anoyed/silent about being wrong pays tribute to his charecter

DeVoiD

Re:Integrity (5, Funny)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | about 10 years ago | (#9705982)

not only that but he "appeared" on Conan O'brian. now that is a man I can respect.

Re:Integrity (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | about 10 years ago | (#9705996)

Yes, he is going to bring a small black hole to the meeting which will consume all the delegates thus destroying them. The now completely destroyed delegates will continue to receive spam so proving that some information about them does still exist. Unfortunately for the delegates though their future legacy is to be considered by our decendants as perverts obsessed with their penis size, women having carnal relations with donkeys and perhaps most bizarrely, a toner cartridge fetish.

Hawking for President!! (0, Troll)

goldspider (445116) | about 10 years ago | (#9706032)

In an election where our choices are a man who believes God is telling him how to run the country and a man who abandoned his fellow soldiers calls himself a war hero, we could gain a lot from a little integrity.

Re:Integrity (2, Interesting)

simong_oz (321118) | about 10 years ago | (#9706088)

It shows the character of the man

Actually, reading after his biography (sorry can't remember which one) I got the feeling he was not really a very nice person at all. He came across as extremely arrogant and intolerant. True, he's been through and overcome a lot, but the way he treated people around him was not very nice at all.

an encyclopedia? (2, Interesting)

guile*fr (515485) | about 10 years ago | (#9705932)

I recall a bet he made involving a subscription to Penthouse.

Re:an encyclopedia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706011)

richard feynman wasnt it?

Re:an encyclopedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706027)

I think that's what Hawking would have gotten had he won.

Re:an encyclopedia? (5, Informative)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9706161)

Yes, with Kip Thorne. You can find a reproduction of the actual bet document here:

Penthouse Bet [k12.wa.us]

Word is that Kip's wife was seriously put out about the payoff. Some people just don't appreciate winning.

KFG

Re:an encyclopedia? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | about 10 years ago | (#9706169)

I think it was if he was right, he got a year of Penthouse, and if he was wrong, the other guy got 3 years of something else, I can't remember what now.

Re:an encyclopedia? (1)

scampiandchips (741448) | about 10 years ago | (#9706199)

I thought the bet was with Kip thorne, if Hawking was correct Kip Thorne had to buy him a years subscription to penthouse and if he was wrong had to give him a magazine subscription for Kip Thorne (it could have been encycolpedias), i've a suspicion there was someone else involved as well

Of course, the second part of the bet requiring .. (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 10 years ago | (#9705934)

Hawking to streak naked through the Cambridge campus while screaming "I know nothing about physics!" might be a bit more problematic.

Re:Of course, the second part of the bet requiring (5, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | about 10 years ago | (#9706051)

Indeed - there isn't a Cambridge campus.

Re:Of course, the second part of the bet requiring (1)

Bugster (174298) | about 10 years ago | (#9706116)

Of course, there is no Cambridge campus. Or, rather, Cambridge university is inextricably intermingled with Cambridge city.

Re:Of course, the second part of the bet requiring (1)

madprof (4723) | about 10 years ago | (#9706145)

Cambridge isn't that big. Easy enough to streak through all of it in a day or two...

Re:Of course, the second part of the bet requiring (5, Funny)

Bugster (174298) | about 10 years ago | (#9706180)

Not too big, but cold enough in winter to give extra meaning to the phrase "vanishing black hole".

Re:Of course, the second part of the bet requiring (1)

deniea (257313) | about 10 years ago | (#9706187)

'streak'....

Doubt it.. He is somewhat mechanically disabled...

More proof (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705943)


we are still guessing, we still have no real idea how the universe works

and anything is possible, just because we dont know how to do it doesnt mean its impossible, but we wont learn much from peering through the glass of this fishbowl we are living in and proclaiming we know how it all works

here's to improving guesswork for the next million years

Re:More proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706054)

we are still guessing, we still have no real idea how the universe works

What are you talking about?? We know a hell of a lot about how the Universe works; that's why we're now down to debating obscure points such as this kind of black hole behaviour.

Not too many centuries ago, people though the earth was flat, stars were little holes in the celestial sphere, and everything was made out of earth, air, water or fire.

Don't belittle the immense progress science has made.

Re:More proof (0)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9706189)

If you push it hard enough it will fall over.

KFG

From the article: (3, Funny)

ideatrack (702667) | about 10 years ago | (#9705944)

"Hawking's black holes, unlike classic black holes, do not have a well-defined event horizon that hides everything within them from the outside world".

I wish he'd called them 'Fry Holes'.

The man's got the Rep (4, Interesting)

Quirk (36086) | about 10 years ago | (#9705948)

"He sent a note saying 'I have solved the black hole information paradox and I want to talk about it'," says Curt Cutler, a physicist at the Albert Einstein Institute in Golm, Germany, who is chairing the conference's scientific committee. "I haven't seen a preprint [of the paper]. To be quite honest, I went on Hawking's reputation."

I doubt there are few if any other scientists who could so influence his peers.

Re:The man's got the Rep (4, Insightful)

ponxx (193567) | about 10 years ago | (#9706049)

I think there are a few people of this stature in any field, just most of them are not as much in the public eye as Hawking.

I can think of any number of scientists in fields I'm vaguely familiar with that would be granted time to speak at a conference at short notice without much proof of what they are going to say.

However, *what* they say will still be up to intense scrutiny. There's nothing like proving an eminent scientist wrong or disproving an accepted theory to advance ones career in science...

Anyway, it's the same anywhere in society. If you have a good reputation, people will at least listen to you. They won't necessary agree, but they will be willing to listen...

Re:The man's got the Rep (2, Interesting)

simong_oz (321118) | about 10 years ago | (#9706144)

"[...] To be quite honest, I went on Hawking's reputation."

I doubt there are few if any other scientists who could so influence his peers.


Playing devil's advocate, is it a good thing? Shouldn't all work be taken on merit and nnot hearsay? Admittedly this is a lightly different situation since Stephen Hawking undoubtedly does actually know what he is talking about in this field, but I can't help feeling that it undermines some of the fundamental scientific principles?

I like their sense of humor (4, Interesting)

Saven Marek (739395) | about 10 years ago | (#9705952)

""Since Stephen has changed his view and now believes that black holes do not destroy information, I expect him [and Kip] to concede the bet," Preskill told New Scientist. The duo are expected to present Preskill with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will"."

I like the sense of humor of these guys. Its comforting to know that there is something shared between some of the spectalcular minds and the rest of us that we can relate to.

I wonder about the transform that must happen with the information when it gos into a black hole. For example radio waves. Or maybe light or matter. How is that all preserved if it is only turned into the one kind of radiation? is it just transformed and maybe its original form lost? or say something else? If a spaceship were to fall into a black hole would not the information of that matter ever being a spaceship and say maybe occupants be obliterated?

The largest adult anime collection on the net [sharkfire.net]

Re:I like their sense of humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706015)

"...with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will".""

But, of course, all of that "information" will be wrong!

Re:I like their sense of humor (5, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | about 10 years ago | (#9706050)

The duo are expected to present Preskill with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will"."

So... Your encyclopedia has been thrown at the nearest blackhole... Since you proved me wrong, you'll be quite able to recover the information presented in it...

Hooorah! (2, Insightful)

TreadOnUS (796297) | about 10 years ago | (#9705962)

For a scientist of his stature to admint he was wrong is a credit to the man and the profession. Especially since he went and did the additional leg work (no pun) to validate the theory himself.

Re:Hooorah! (2, Insightful)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 10 years ago | (#9706010)

That's probably *why* he is admitting he is wrong. It's not to humble himself and say "I goofed" but to put forth a new theory that he has worked on. This stuff is all so theoretical in any case that I expect him to need to buy two sets of encyclopaedias, just for the bulk discount so he can save some cash next time he is wrong ;->

Re:Hooorah! (2, Insightful)

TreadOnUS (796297) | about 10 years ago | (#9706106)

This is the stuff good science is made of. Science advances when you move past being wrong and discover what's behind it.

I only wish I was better at it ;-)

Re:Hooorah! (3, Interesting)

Kombat (93720) | about 10 years ago | (#9706139)

For a scientist of his stature to admint he was wrong is a credit to the man and the profession.

Uhm, this isn't the first time he's been wrong. Indeed, the whole field of science is built upon scientists making educated and well-reasoned theories, then trying to prove it wrong. Pretty much all of our presently widely-accepted rules have come about this way. Many of them are even still called "theories." For example, "The Theory of Flight" has not been conclusively proven as a "Law" yet. Ditto for the Theory of Relativity, the Theory of Evolution, and the Theory of Atoms. We accept most of these ideas as facts nowadays, but the truth is, they're actually still just theories that haven't been proven wrong yet.

Hawking is now betting on new hole (0, Offtopic)

slashman2004 (797128) | about 10 years ago | (#9705967)

Steven hawking is now betting on which hole these arabs will be going in http://www.islamic.co.za

Don't bet on black holes... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705969)

..the odds get longer the nearer you get to it.

:)

WTF? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705972)

WTF is "Steven" Hawking? His name is Stephen

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

trevinofunk (576660) | about 10 years ago | (#9706182)

Or "the Hawkman" for those of us down with his rap albums

I heard Hawking left his wife some time ago... (2, Funny)

vudufixit (581911) | about 10 years ago | (#9705977)

He rolled away with the nurse that took care of him, or so I heard. On another note, check out www.mchawking.com - apparently he's had a second career as a gangsta rapper. A good 'nine will leave a few black holes in anyone, eh?

Dupe (-1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | about 10 years ago | (#9705987)

This was posted back in March [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dupe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706127)

No, it's not a dupe. The story to which you refer concerns a different, but related occurence. If you had read the article, you would know.

Re:Dupe (4, Insightful)

ctid (449118) | about 10 years ago | (#9706132)

This is not a dupe! The story from March was a group of scientists at Ohio State University which disputed Hawking's position. This story is about Hawking himself giving a paper at a conference in Ireland, where he will presumably give his latest views on the topic.

I'm a little surprised that the parent poster got moderated up for this. It's not "informative" (IMO of course) to just call something a dupe without checking.

Re:Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706140)

i think he's referring more to the fact that the story about Hawking losing the bet and having to pay encyclopedias is the dupe, not necessarily the article being linked this time.

Castles in the sky (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705995)

We are a long way from "proving" anything about black holes. All we are doing is producing theories that don't conflict too badly with the observed evidence. We're in the same position as 'scientists' in the middle ages describing planetary motion. They had a theory that accurately predicted the motion of the planets but that didn't mean that they understood the underlying process (ie. that the sun was the center of the solar system).

The goods? (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#9706000)

Presumably he will give a set of hard goods, because when the bet was made, there were no online encyclopedias or CD encyclopedias. But maybe he will show that times are a changin by giving a newer set of CD encyclopedias or a lifetime subscription.

Besides, finding a set of bound encyclopedias that are up to date might prove difficult. The web has just about ruined the encyclopedia business.

Re:The goods? (1)

int19 (778341) | about 10 years ago | (#9706072)

Hmm.. Wasn't there? I can recall having an encylopedia on CD in '95 IIRC.

Re:The goods? (1)

troon (724114) | about 10 years ago | (#9706111)

What - Encarta 9, or Comptons? Ooh. I'm sure that would be of great value to Hawking's peers.

Re:The goods? (1)

Halo- (175936) | about 10 years ago | (#9706181)

Interesting idea, but it seems the bet already took "nerdy cleverness" into account:

"Since Stephen has changed his view and now believes that black holes do not destroy information, I expect him [and Kip] to concede the bet," Preskill told New Scientist. The duo are expected to present Preskill with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will".

(And I use "nerdy cleverness" as a compliment here...)

arrogant (0, Flamebait)

PoopJuggler (688445) | about 10 years ago | (#9706007)

I love how these astrophysicists actually believe that they can prove things about stuff they have never even seen or measured. You can't lose a bet based on a THEORY. And it's all just theory. The truth is that we have absolutely no idea about black holes. For all we know there is a Tootsie Roll at the center of every black hole.

Re:arrogant (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | about 10 years ago | (#9706022)

Possibly, yes, but very very unlikely. I see nothing wrong with considering a very well formulated theory as the truth. If you can't poke a hole in a theory, there's no reason to NOT think it describes reality.

Re:arrogant (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 10 years ago | (#9706071)

We just have to be ready to toss aside those theories whenever anything that even appears to conflict shows up. That's not so easy.

The mythological thories of gods to explain nature comes to mind. Look at what that turned into, with millions of people still believing in mythological gods, far after we should know better.

Re:arrogant (1)

rTough (316345) | about 10 years ago | (#9706059)

Yep

But as long as the astrophysicists theories gives a better model then the tootsologists i believe them.

Re:arrogant (0)

m1chael (636773) | about 10 years ago | (#9706090)

There are many theories that are considered truths. Just remember to pick your fights.

Re:arrogant (1)

Mant (578427) | about 10 years ago | (#9706110)

Of cause it is all just theory, all science is 'all just theory'. There isn't some magic stage beyond, you just have theories people have used for a long time anc can't prove wrong, or can't prove wrong under certain circumstances which they are used for.

Re:arrogant (1)

Polkyb (732262) | about 10 years ago | (#9706115)

For all we know there is a Tootsie Roll at the center of every black hole.

Although, as you can't even get them outside the US, it seems unlikely...

Re:arrogant (1)

int19 (778341) | about 10 years ago | (#9706157)

s/US/NA/

I can buy them at nearly any store here in Canada.

old news (1, Funny)

CountJoe (466631) | about 10 years ago | (#9706009)

I heard that this bet was settled a while ago (although, maybe not officially), and it was for a subscription to Playboy, not Encyclopedias.

I remember first reading about this bet in his book "A Brief History of Time" .. although I don't have it handy to confirm the anty of the bet.

The full terms of the bet are more interesting (5, Informative)

dominux (731134) | about 10 years ago | (#9706024)

Hawking bet against himself so he would have a consolation prize if he lost. Some time in the intervening years the bet changed a bit.

"Whereas Stephen Hawking has such a large investment in general relativity and black holes and desires an insurance policy, and wheras Kip Thorne likes to live dangerously without an insurance policy.
Therefore be it resolved that Stephen Hawking bets one years subscription to PENTHOUSE as against Kip Thorne's wager of a 4-year subscription to PRIVATE EYE, that Cygnus X-1 does not contain a black hole of mass above Chandrasekhar limit."
It was signed by Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne.

for those not of these shores Penthouse is a top shelf soft porn mag and Private eye is a current affairs/political satyrical publication.

actually that was a different bet (2, Informative)

dominux (731134) | about 10 years ago | (#9706042)

now I look at it in more detail, never mind though. Here is a link to the original [k12.wa.us] bet.

how much was the bet? (0, Redundant)

Ex Machina (10710) | about 10 years ago | (#9706026)

the question stands....

Re:how much was the bet? (4, Funny)

Slowtreme (701746) | about 10 years ago | (#9706076)

The usual. One Dollar.

What encyclopaedia (2, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about 10 years ago | (#9706033)

From the article:
The duo are expected to present Preskill with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will".

The bet was about an encyclopaedia. The time when the bet was made that was still a lot of books. Later it became some discs. Now it is Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] or even the Internet, if you like.

So is he going to give a way an AOL CD? ;-)

Seriously, I wonder what he(or you) now sees as an encyclopaedia or something "from which information can be recovered at will".

Which Bet? (2, Informative)

4of12 (97621) | about 10 years ago | (#9706048)

A number of years ago I saw a show where Hawking had mad a different bet with Kip Thorne concering the nature of black holes.

IIRC, the loser had to buy the winner a copy of Penthouse.

Re:Which Bet? (1)

will_die (586523) | about 10 years ago | (#9706131)

That was a different bet, the one you mentioned was for Cygnus X-1 and was back in the early 1990s. When Hawking lost he gave a year subscrition to penthouse if he had won he would of received a subscription to the magazine private eye.

/.'ed already (0)

Supero100 (664946) | about 10 years ago | (#9706058)

Black holes might not destroy information, but the /. effect, on the other hand, has rendered this server into a smoldering pile of silicon.

people are skeptical that it is a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706080)

I was actually at his Cambridge seminar when he first reported the result, and it should be said that many people were fairly skeptical.

From the article:
"It's possible that what he presented in the seminar is a solution," says Gibbons. "But I think you have to say the jury is still out.

My world is crumbling (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706085)

Steven Hawking fallible.

Bush wrong on the weapons of mass destruction.

I don't know who to believe in anymore.

Step two!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9706095)

Step One: Create own problem.
Step Two: Solve own problem!
Step Three: Profit!!!

AC and proud.

Oh... (5, Funny)

DecayCell (778710) | about 10 years ago | (#9706101)

So it is safe to store my data in a black hole?
Great!

So if black holes are lossless (1, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 years ago | (#9706107)

How long before we use them to compress CD rips?

I think mp3 has finally met its match!

I wish Martin Rees loses his bet (-1, Offtopic)

colonist (781404) | about 10 years ago | (#9706113)

I wish Martin Rees loses this $1,000 bet [longbets.org] :

Martin Rees predicts: "By 2020, bioterror or bioerror will lead to one million casualties in a single event."

Biotechnology is plainly advancing rapidly, and by 2020 there will be thousands-even millions-of people with the capability to cause a catastrophic biological disaster. My concern is not only organized terrorist groups, but individual wierdos with the mindset of the people who now design computer viruses. Even if all nations impose effective regulations on potentially dangerous technologies, the cyhance of an active enforcement seems to me as small as in the case of the drug laws.
By "bioerror", I mean something which has the same effect as a terror attack, but rises from inadvertance rather than evil intent.

s/Encylcopaedia/Encyclopedia/g (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 10 years ago | (#9706121)

I speak American English you insensitive clod!

An encyclopaedia (1)

A_GREER (761429) | about 10 years ago | (#9706155)

wow, aren't we the high roller...

Why I read Slashdot (5, Funny)

bhima (46039) | about 10 years ago | (#9706174)

This article is prime example of why I read Slashdot: I read the article, I knew about the bet and found it interesting. Within *minutes* of this article being posted all of the ideas I had when reading it have been posted:

Steve Hawkins is an interesting and cool guy (Actually so is Kip Thorne)

I wish I could tell my grandkids I won a bet against Steven Hawkins (or for that matter lost it)

I wonder if the encyclopedias will be on CD?

I like the sense of humor of these guys.

What a reputation! To be granted time to speak, without prior notice as to topic and specific content.

Wasn't he on Conan?

42

It's scary so many people think like me!

No I will not comment on donkeys or toner cartridges!

John Titor (2, Funny)

arudloff (564805) | about 10 years ago | (#9706192)

Did John Titor [johntitor.com] submit these? ;)

Isn't this old news ? (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | about 10 years ago | (#9706196)

I heard that before [ai-forum.org] .

And I'll hear it again when finally when the day comes where he announces he "lost" the bet. And it will be on slashdot again.

And I guess I'll hear it again when finally it is confirmed by some observation or math.

I think the other bet mentioned involving a penthouse magazine subscription is this one about the existance of black holes [voidspace.org.uk]

What are laws good for if the universe doesn't obey them ?

So personally I think the information is still somewhere, though I don't think in any useful, accesible or detectable form. I have this quasi-religious belief that the universe keeps track of everything.

Also, if a quantum entangled pair of atomic or subatomic particles gets divided by the appearance of the hole, there is still a connection between them. I guess that would be a rare event though and only happen during black hole formation, and it would be really unlikely to stay unchanged and unobserved.

I would have read the NYT article, but it seems /.ed and I didn't fint it witg google cache.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...