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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

Ambitwistor Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (247 comments)

Actually, Congress did give NOAA more money for a new supercomputer. The computer hasn't materialized because NOAA is locked into a single-source contract with IBM. As TFA mentions, IBM just sold its supercomputer division to a Chinese company (Lenovo). It seems some people are antsy about the implications for a Chinese company providing the computer behind a critical national security capability (weather prediction).

about a month ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

Ambitwistor Peace and Physics aren't even the same committee (276 comments)

As others have pointed out, the Peace Prize is inherently political in nature. What should be emphasized is that it's also given out by an entirely different committee, in a different country.

Peace Prize: Norwegian Nobel Committee
Physics and Chemistry Prizes: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Physiology or Medicine: Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)
Literature: Swedish Academy

Economics (not really a Nobel): Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

about 2 months ago
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2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

Ambitwistor Re:More of an "Engineering" Nobel (243 comments)

Technically, the prize goes to "the person who shall have made the most important 'discovery' or 'invention' within the field of physics". Insofar as 'inventions' are considered engineering, they fall within the scope of the physics prize. The 1912 prize, for example, went to the inventor of an automatic regulator for lighthouses.

about 2 months ago
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CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Ambitwistor Re:Death Toll (280 comments)

That's the death rate. As we both agree, the death toll is about 50% of the infected population.

about 3 months ago
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CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Ambitwistor Re:Liberia Population (280 comments)

It's 1.5M infected (not deaths) in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which have a combined population of 10 million. (So far, the death toll is about half the infected population, although that's not accounting for possible misreporting.)

about 3 months ago
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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

Ambitwistor Magnasanti (103 comments)

Another cool effort, in SimCity 3000.

about 4 months ago
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Researchers Design Bot To Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

Ambitwistor Hello Leon (102 comments)

Let me tell you about my mother. [blam!]

about 5 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Ambitwistor Re:Wait a sec (772 comments)

You're confused about fundamental vs. derived theories in science. As another poster said, when you start asking questions like why do natural laws exist?, "this is not the realm of science": it's philosophy.

We can explain evolution in terms of more fundamental mechanisms: selection, mutation, etc. With gravity, there is (currently) no underlying theory. And if we found one, you'd just ask why that theory exists. At some point, you hit the bottom, and it doesn't mean you understand the theory "less", it just means you've finally reached something that isn't describable in terms of something else.

Watch Feynman's attempt to explain this in the context of magnetism to understand this better.

about 7 months ago
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ESA's Cryosat Mission Sees Antarctic Ice Losses Double

Ambitwistor Re:0.43 mm per year, eh? (162 comments)

And yet, hundreds of millions of people and their supporting cities and other physical infrastructure weren't sitting in coastal zones when that happened.

about 7 months ago
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ESA's Cryosat Mission Sees Antarctic Ice Losses Double

Ambitwistor Re:0.43 mm per year, eh? (162 comments)

Your position seems to be "melting ice has never been the biggest source of sea level change from climate change". If so, this is not correct.

about 7 months ago
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ESA's Cryosat Mission Sees Antarctic Ice Losses Double

Ambitwistor Re:0.43 mm per year, eh? (162 comments)

They're talking about melting LAND ice, not SEA ice. Compare sea levels today to those at the Last Glacial Maximum (~120 meters lower), and ask yourself where the extra water came from.

about 7 months ago
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Air Force Prepares to Dismantle HAARP

Ambitwistor Re:Project done? (178 comments)

Or:

- 4. Didn't turn out to be all that useful for routine military applications, despite earlier hopes.

about 7 months ago
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Air Force Prepares to Dismantle HAARP

Ambitwistor Re:The silence for the Whales will be deafening (178 comments)

And wow! Hey! Whatâ(TM)s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like ⦠ow ⦠ound ⦠round ⦠ground! Thatâ(TM)s it! Thatâ(TM)s a good name â" ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

about 7 months ago
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I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

Ambitwistor Then you'd enjoy (236 comments)

Military fiction about Nazi Germany.

about 10 months ago
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Computer Geeks As Loners? Data Says Otherwise

Ambitwistor A curious game (158 comments)

The only way to win is not to play.

about 10 months ago
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Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancients' Sex Lives

Ambitwistor Hobbits (238 comments)

Lord of the Rings? Didn't we already hear about these?

1 year,28 days
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Researchers Use Computer-Generated 10-Year-Old Girl To Catch Online Predators

Ambitwistor The Internet (545 comments)

where the men are men, the women are men, and the 10-year-old girls are FBI agent-bots.

about a year ago
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NC School District Recalls Its Amplify Tablets After 10% Break In Under a Month

Ambitwistor Ender's Game (177 comments)

We can't just go into Guilford County North Carolina and pluck a picture out of school files. Because all the computers are broken.

about a year ago
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Gladwell's Culture & Air Crashes Analysis Badly Flawed

Ambitwistor How can this be? (213 comments)

I was assured on Slashdot that Gladwell was supported by evidence and logic and science, and anyone who disagrees is just being politically correct.

about a year and a half ago

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