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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Aighearach Re:Land of insanity (49 comments)

I'm in America, and when I was in 7th grade I wrote a sci-fi story where all the characters were cooked inside a giant microwave oven disguised as a movie theater.

I got a perfect grade on it.

I'm sure in any large country there are numerous strange school decisions, just based on statistics. Heck, even just in 1 US State there should be enough school decisions being made to find outliers in numerous directions. Certainly at a minimum I would expect both excessive responses to minimally violent expression, and also excessively mild responses to actual violence.

When I read your comment I think, "wow, your school system didn't teach math or social studies very well." But you could also just be a bigot.

1 minute ago
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

Aighearach Re:Well I for one (111 comments)

That sounds circular and crazy; he needs an EIN to be safe, but according to you he doesn't need one because of [unrelated reasons].

No, really man. Contractors with no employees should be giving out an EIN, not a SSN. They are free and you're allowed to have them. And they cannot be used for credit applications, only for tax reporting.

2 days ago
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

Aighearach Re:Well I for one (111 comments)

contractees should be given an EIN not a SSN.

4 days ago
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Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

Aighearach Re: Stereo (197 comments)

"and a handful of other sensory information" renders your attempted correction incorrect. That is a different thing.

And you still can't "hear" the location. You simply infer it, and are often correct.

Using only ears, you absolutely cannot. And using other sensory information, you usually already have it narrowed down; so you think you hear where it came from, but you didn't. You saw where it came from, or where it didn't.

4 days ago
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Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

Aighearach Re: Stereo (197 comments)

Ever wondered how you can hear if the sound comes from infront or behind you with your two ears?

You can't. You just think you can because you over-estimate your abilities. I encourage you to do an internet search for the relevant research. There was a slashdot story about it ~ 5 years ago.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

Aighearach Re:THANK GOD for "automatic updates" (179 comments)

I don't mind this. A client with important servers is running a different OS. Nearly any other OS actually, there are a wide variety of quality choices on a server these days.

Auto update shields the admin from being responsible for MS screwups. Those are MS's fault, not the admin, and are related to the customers choice of technologies. If a client starts to complain about the problems, that is a premium time to discuss the extra charges for fixing the screwup. That shifts their focus onto MS, because if they get mad and call somebody else, they'll find out, "yeah, everybody with windows is dealing with that one right now."

So just leave auto-update on, and if there are hiccups now and then... well, windows gets the hiccups regularly, it is not a special thing associated with updates. Even worse than the broken updates are the long list gaping in-the-wild security holes that that update probably patches.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

Aighearach Re:Laugh.. (179 comments)

Yeah, I mean, what sort of user has more than one connected device these days? Maybe some rich guy with a premium cardboard box in a quiet alley, whose uncle gets him free wifi at the library. Oh, wait...

about a week ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

Aighearach Re:The suck, it burns .... (179 comments)

Only problem with that is that MS mixes the security and feature updates. If you don't install the latest "service pack" your pants are down and your netbook is a zombie. Presumably you know that and don't mind, as long as it hides its network traffic from you...

about a week ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

The purpose of the thought experiment is not the engineering analysis that Feynman did, as interesting as that also is. Nor was the discussion here about if it is feasible to build with human understanding. And nobody is talking about reversing the laws. The physical "laws" already allow for energy changes to be reversible. And people are waving their hands a lot about thermodynamics without, I think, even considering the thought experiment. People remember, "a perpetual motion machine is impossible," then they try to apply that instead of the law. Of course if the advanced aliens build an isolated system, a perfect Dyson Sphere, then the conservation of energy already means you won't have losses. The initial premise determines all of these interesting side effects.

The problem with Maxwell's Demon is that the demon is an engine, doing work and adding energy to the system. That is true even if the demon is "magic." Heck, gravity is just magic, as far as we know; luckily the laws of physics don't get involved in "why."

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

Aighearach Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

If you didn't focus your attention on it, then you did not receive any information from it. You're claiming it doesn't work. But it does work; the drivers attention will focus on the screen, wherever you put that screen. It is part of the basic premise of displaying information.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

"Use" means to convert it to a different form. That is all it means, that is all it ever means. In an isolated system, there is no loss. You seem to think heat is somehow different than everything else, but the laws of thermodynamics apply to heat as well. Everything is conserved, there is no requirement for something to escape. Calling an isolated system a "perpetual motion machine" is to misunderstand the whole concept; to misunderstand why even a perpetual motion machine is impossible. Of course the Universe itself might be a "perpetual motion machine." The whole problem with perpetual motion is that it is not an isolated system. It will interact with the world around it, indeed it has to in order for you to know it is "working," and generally it is presumed to be doing some work external to the device. So by being a machine of some sort, it has to lose energy.
In the version of the Dyson Sphere thought experiment that was being discussed, you have an isolated system. All the work is being done inside the device. No work is being done outside the device. So the exact same principle of conservation of energy that says that a "perpetual motion machine" is impossible, also says there is no energy gains or losses inside an isolated system.
And no, you're not collecting anything; whatever is collected was collected during the construction of the Dyson Sphere. Presumably they torched up a few gas giants for construction power.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

Where is this magical free energy coming from? Energy is conserved. If you're not radiating, it means you reused everything already, so of course nothing increases.

You're probably confusing the thought experiment, and forgetting that that conversion can be reversed, as can they all.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Certainly yes (224 comments)

Not only can we not find the dark matter or dark energy...

Look. We just recently mapped the Earth's radiation belts. Oops, they did not match prediction. At all. Not even the right number of belts.

Voyager is out exploring the Solar System's heliopause. Ooops, not as predicted.

That is the recent actual experimental work that has come out of cosmology lately. The rest of it is a lot of hand-waving using edge data points, at scales where nothing can be verified.

Compare that to the work that actual physicists do at the subatomic level, where experiments usually match predictions to insane numbers of decimal points. That is what real science looks like.

This stuff about, "oh we got our own neighborhood totally wrong, we don't understand how the solar system formed well enough to predict the heliopause, we don't understand our own planet well enough to predict the radiation belts, but when it comes to the really large measurements using edge data, we're really right-on, and sure of it." It is just total crap, at the flat-Earth level. Background radiation is the ultimate edge data; if Big Bang is true, it would be like God; an un-provabable hypothesis that science should ignore in preference of logical positivism. If it is true, we can't prove it, because we'll never have a sensor where we can test it on both sides of the value we want to measure. We can never calibrate a sensor, so we just can't know.

Maybe old photons just turn redder and redder and then die, and the cosmic background radiation is a giant field of dead photons that all average the same age because they then fade away after another n years. Maybe there is more than one cause of redshift; the cause we can verify at very tiny scales, and another one at cosmic scales that we haven't even tested for yet, or had the chance to test for yet. Nobody in academia wants to ask about that, because if they start the experiment now, they won't be the ones to write the papers in a few million years when the answer comes in.

Edge data tells us nothing. That the "early Universe" is presumed to have simpler laws of physics reminds of me something. The way that trees on the horizon at the edge of my vision appear simpler and simpler; and yet retain all their symmetries.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

Allow me to paraphrase your comment.

"My subjective assessment is different than yours, but I'm so insecure about not being able to prove subjectives that I'm going to call your viewpoint names."

Was Feynman a better showman than the other people who also came up with working math for QED? Yes.

Einstein was also a great showman, who is widely believed to have stolen some of his theories from his first wife. Einstein is legendary as a showman, if you actually are interested in these sorts of non-science details. As a lover of history, I find there is a lot to be learned both from the "great minds" of the past, and from the process of deciding what to remember and hold up as "great," and what to ignore. All of the names remembered are the great Showmen, and they are only maybe 5% (throwing numbers at the wall) of the equally-great minds of their time that were actively engaged in the same fields.

However, none of that matters. Arguing that a subjective opinion is somehow wrong, that is provably wrong. You're totally wrong. Totally. It is provable, too, simply by examining the nature of "opinion." Since this story is about science, not philosophy, I'll leave that as exercise for you to do on your own.

Your subjective view might be great, it might meet your needs, it might be "true" based on your standards. But claiming it is better, or more correct, than somebody else's subjective view, that is guaranteed to be wrong . It is also anti-social and narcissistic.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

That wasn't a person without a sparkler, that was a grue.

about two weeks ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Aighearach Re:Oh good lord. (224 comments)

Wow, the self-important, self-certain ignorance is really rank.

You seem to be conflating a bunch of different things, then waving your hands and shouting "impossible." Impossible is the idiot's way of saying, "I don't know the answer."

If you have heat, you have useful energy. Period.

Entropy goes up in an isolated system that contains irreversible processes. But no process is irreversible, given the precondition of an intelligent race with advanced technology. The only reason entropy "has to" go up in the standard thought experiment is that the thought experiment is set up so that there is not intelligent beings inside the isolated system making changes; and the system contains irreversible processes. But on process is irreversible at a basic level. It is just that many processes aren't naturally reversed; there is no mechanism for reversal. With intelligent being and technology, you can not longer make that assumption. Easy peasy.

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

Aighearach Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

Starting at the first one, Alabama, yes. You're just lying and writing "no" next to most of the states, even though if you read the link it lists those states as banning screens visible to the driver. I can't see any explanation other than that you're just lying on purpose. Or is there some other explanation?

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

Aighearach Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

You're just willfully ignoring the point though, and then instead of arguing against it, you do some "aww shucks it doesn't matter" hand-waving.

I don't care how "distinctive" the icon is. If you're looking at the icons, you're not looking at the road. That would be true even if the icons were superimposed so they looked like there were embedded in the road. You'd be looking at the icons not the road.

All the placement does is make it harder for others to tell that you're distracted.

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

Aighearach Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

You sound like you're just about ready to murder somebody by intentionally driving distracted.

There is nothing "nanny"-like about keeping you from killing me. Do whatever you want when you're not operating heavy equipment in proximity to others.

The law doesn't try to force an outcome, it regulates and sets penalties for idiotic behavior that could kill others. Got it? We know you're still drive distracted or drunk and maybe kill somebody. But the law reduces that.

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

Aighearach Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

No difference between text and iconography? Do you need to actually *read* a stop sign to realize what it says, for instance?

A stop sign is part of the "road" in the phrase, "keep your eyes on the road."

Good try, but it is more effective if you try to understand, instead of trying not to.

But it also misses because no, you're not supposed to read a stop sign. There are in fact other signs you're expected to read, like a speed limit sign, or (in some States) the small sign under a school zone sign that tells you when you have to obey the school speed. (in my location it is usually either 8am-5pm or else "when children are present") Stop signs, OTOH, are expected to be recognized by shape alone, and the vision part of the license test includes identifying a large number of road signs by their silhouette. So there are both icons and language that you're required to be reading while driving. Something you can't do if your eyes are focused on some crap on your window. It really makes no difference if the wrong-thing that you're distracted by is words, icons, or just bird poop. Look at it later when you're stopped.

about two weeks ago

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