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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

Anna Merikin Bad PR (154 comments)

Even though I had no computer vulnerable, and I did not buy one of Sony's malware-laden Music CDs, I remember the event so clearly and strongly I still refuse to consider buying any Sony product whatsoever, including their cameras. Is there some malware hidden within those proprietary, compressed RAW image files?

So I am of two minds. I don't like the use of ransomware. And I don't like Sony. This reminds me of the old joke where the guy sees his mother-in-law drive off a cliff in his new Bentley.

3 days ago

Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Anna Merikin Photo Editing (329 comments)

Yes! Vertical (portrait format) photos would get equal screen area as horizontal compositions.

This reminds me of the old (name forgotten) rotatable displays. Or are they still around?

5 days ago

Physicists Identify Possible New Particle Behind Dark Matter

Anna Merikin Re:My house of cards, taller than your house of ca (103 comments)

Yes, yes and yes. That's exactly why I concentrated on "funding": The politics of it are critical. Lots of hypotheses exist, but few get to be funded and none without extensive peer review by proven fundraisers.

It's a bit like The Movies in that there are lots of screenplays around, but only the ones producers think will turn a profit or an Oscar get produced.

I tried to be non-cynical in my post.

about a month ago

Physicists Identify Possible New Particle Behind Dark Matter

Anna Merikin Re:My house of cards, taller than your house of ca (103 comments)

While everything you write is true, you leave out the actual importance of funding this: If SIMPS can be found, examination of their behavior in interactions would tend to prove or disprove fundamental ideas of the standard model.

That's my take on this all, anyway.

NB: I have been wrong before.

about a month ago

Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

Anna Merikin Re:Why Overstated? (403 comments)

Thanks! I must apologize for being so US-centric.
Europe has traditionally penalized through taxation large-displacement vehicles. The US had not.

about 1 month ago

Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

Anna Merikin Why Overstated? (403 comments)

1. Carmarketers like good gas mileage figures; they're good for sales.

2. The specifications for the test are gamed to provide a bigger benefit for underpowered cars which tend to get better mileage anyway. The test include acceleration at a rate *that depends on the car's power* (percent of full-throttle). which has the big-engine (more powerful) cars zipping around the virtual course at higher speeds.

Remember, lobbyists write or co-write most of our laws and regulations.

about 1 month ago

Researchers Report Largest DNA Origami To Date

Anna Merikin Re:"Self-Assembling?" (36 comments)

I don't usually respond to ACs but cause you're dead wrong and call me a liar, here's both barrels..

From the first link

We found that extracellular fields induced ephaptically mediated changes in the somatic membrane potential that were less than 0.5 mV under subthreshold conditions. Despite their small size, these fields could strongly entrain action potentials, particularly for slow (~8 Hz) fluctuations of the extracellular field. Finally, we simultaneously measured from up to four patched neurons located proximally to each other. Our findings indicate that endogenous brain activity can causally affect neural function through field effects under physiological conditions.

As to the 8 Hz magnetic resonance, see http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4..., which is the most nearly objective overview of this subject I can find right now. Wikipedia also has an article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

about 2 months ago

Researchers Report Largest DNA Origami To Date

Anna Merikin "Self-Assembling?" (36 comments)

DNA is magnetoresponsive. Magnetism itself is self-assembling, and since DNA has been shown to be magnetoresponsive http://www.nature.com/neuro/jo... and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/..., it would be interesting to see if this origami folding can take place outside of the earth's magnetosphere, which has a magnetic harmonic at the same frequency as the resonance demonstrated by DNA.

Does anyone know anything about other self-assembling substances?

about 2 months ago

Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

Anna Merikin Glad to Hear It (191 comments)

The Consensus of Experts wins the day again!
Hooray for the the future! The more we try change nature, the better life will be!

about 2 months ago

German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Anna Merikin definition of "customer" (290 comments)

In many states in the US, all that's required for a "contract" to exist is agreement on actions AND compensation. That compensation does not have to be money; it may be anything of value, including one's attention (as to ads.) Other states do not limit contracts to need compensation at all. I dunno about other nations....

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Anna Merikin Re:Or, Apple could be fearful of comoditization (405 comments)

I agree. What's more, Apple might have to press hard on the common use of the term "iPad" to refer to tablets in general. Bayer long ago lost the exclusive rights to the word aspirin by not enforcing its exclusivity. 3M took great pains in the 70s to make clear "Scotch" did not become another word for "transparent", as in tape; Coke, McDonal's, et al. have enforced such. Now it may be Apple's turn.
Oh, and as for MS :"What goes around, comes around." Whatever that means....

about 3 months ago

GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

Anna Merikin Why Not? (314 comments)

Mebbe this will motivate some distro to do a similar; I, for one, would go for a distro without systemd nor Gnome, which I never use. Gnome is expendible. For those who like Gnome, why not do it this way?

about 3 months ago

It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

Anna Merikin Re:They always told me I was so smart... (243 comments)

I didn't need anyone to tell me I was smart. I figured it out myself. As you say, I was "smart" at the subjects I loved and not so much at others. Now, as an "elder", I tell those coming up If you want to be rich and-or famous, develop your talents. But if you want to be happy, work on your weaknesses: Become round.

BTW, If someone had told me life could be so good at 71 years, I'd have had more courage in my youth.

about 3 months ago

Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Anna Merikin Re:Well, at last (465 comments)

I have seen about 440 BTU/hr/ft^2. in solar reflector design manuals. This is close to your figure for solar radiation. I have no idea about ocean vent heating, as the *data is not yet available.* This is the point of the article -- that the data is only now being gathered. One data point: The part of the vulcanism measured in the North Atlantic produces one cubic kilometer of new rock every year. What is the heat equivalent of that? I don't know. What part of the earth's total undersea heating does this constitute? I have no idea. How does this affect surface currents, if at all? I dunno. How do surface currents impact weather/climate patterns? No one is sure. Not even you. But, we may soon know these things.

about 3 months ago

Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Anna Merikin Well, at last (465 comments)

Not only does this explain a lot of the recent data, but it also directs attention to an ignored part of climatology: the vulcanism under the oceans and the warm currents they cause at very deep levels.

Good going, guys and guyettes!

about 3 months ago

Critics To FTC: Why Do You Hate In-App Purchasing Freedom?

Anna Merikin Draw Your Own Conclusion (171 comments)

"Fascism is the marriage of government and business."
                                                                              --Benito Mussolini

about 4 months ago

New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots For U.S. Earthquakes

Anna Merikin Company say it's Been Proved (49 comments)

Cuadrilla drilling company in UK has admitted publicly the link between fracking and earthquakes. The said this in 2011

"It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla's Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events

This, according to a Reuters report here: http://www.reuters.com/article...

Other articles have reported various studies connecting fracking in Oklahoma with the new earthquakes flurries there and elsewhere in the US. Like Ohio: .http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/11/ohio-earthquakes-fracking_n_5136110.html

And here http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...

about 4 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

Anna Merikin Congrats! (381 comments)

You get it. Any modern quartz-controlled watch that costs more than $10 is a status symbol and nothing more. Some watches may rise to a level of art, but still, a symbol of alphaness.

When James Bond wears a smart watch, then popularity will follow.

about 4 months ago

Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Anna Merikin It nearly always does (284 comments)

it's as if the survival instinct overrode the unconsciousness

Whenever survival is at stake, consciousness is among the first wasters of valuable resources (energy) to be turned off, or at least substantially modified.. This is a principle, AFAIK.

about 5 months ago



Feynman Lectures Released Online, Free

Anna Merikin Anna Merikin writes  |  about 3 months ago

Anna Merikin (529843) writes "In 1964, Richard Feynman delivered a series of seven hour-long lectures at Cornell University which were recorded by the BBC, and in 2009 (with a little help from Bill Gates), were released to the public. The three-volume set may be the most popular collection of physics books ever written, and now the complete online edition has been made available in HTML 5 through a collaboration between Caltech (where Feyman first delivered these talks, in the early 1960s) and The Feynman Lectures Website. The online edition is "high quality up-to-date copy of Feynman's legendary lectures," and, thanks to the implementation of scalable vector graphics, "has been designed for ease of reading on devices of any size or shape; text, figures and equations can all be zoomed without degradation."

Volume I deals mainly with mechanics, radiation and heat; Volume II with electromagnetism and matter; and Volume III with quantum mechanics."



Science's Parents

Anna Merikin Anna Merikin writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Science owes its creation to Socrates and his circle, philosophers who could not agree whether the universe acted on causality or phenomenology. Since they did not have enough information to determine which was operant, they appointed a group of technicians to "measure" the world, to gather hard information that philosophers could use to further one argument or the other. They called those measurers "scientists."

The Greek civilization, in Socrates' time, was said to have begun with Hermes Trismagestis, whose Kybalion was written in symbolic metaphor (from which we retain the word "hermetic"). The advocates of this idea were the Sophists Socrates defeated in a debate using his tool, rhetoric.

Those who favored causality were called atomicists. Part of their theory was that if matter were divided repeatedly, eventually an "atom" would be found, a particle not further divisible.

So it took two thousand years to find an atom, and less than a century to divide it into electrons, etc., and further divide these constituents until no matter could be found except in tables of probability.

By then, however, the atomicists ran rampant, expecting everything to have a cause and ignoring their own brethren's warnings, conscious or not, of impending philosophical doom. This came in the form of the quantum theory, as boneheaded an idea as ever was accepted by an otherwise intelligent group of human beings. (See "is culture psychotic?" to come.)

At their acendancy, scientists forgot they were philosophers' measuring sticks, not philosophers themselves. They could never be such, as philosophy requires generalization and science deals with specifics. Today, a scientist cannot keep up with new developments in his field; one must read abstracts and journals within one's one sub-specialty. So their vision is narrow, not the wide-ranging view of the philosopher.

What does quantum theory have to do with this? Just that the very theory itself and its ramifications proves phenomenology to be at least equal to causality. Once the atom had been divided and subdivided until no material existed any more, science [with the notable exception of Einstein] accepted that probability is beneath physical events in a subatomic world. As Richard Feinman explained, the scientist looking through his electron microscope (in a hadron collider?) changes the result of the interaction simply by observing the event.

This is the very definition of phenomenology. That an eagle screeching at the moment of a child's birth will affect the fate of the child, and the child that of the eagle.

Science has, without knowing it, proved the atomicists wrong and proved the Sophists right!

But one would have to be a generalist, a philosopher, to see it.


Human evolution -- or Revolution?

Anna Merikin Anna Merikin writes  |  more than 7 years ago

This has become a sore point with me. I will try to explain my thinking on this after a year and a half of study, which I started with a recent (2004) edition of a college evolutionary biology textbook. I found the same questions I asked in my post of Feb, 2006 with regard to the question of whether science can explain all of the anamolies nature exhibits in speciation.

I complained that the organization of the evolutionary "tree" is poor and does not inpsire insight. It leaves so many questions unanswered, especially those involved in the study of behavioral evolution and sociobiology, nascent sciences both.

It turns out the "scientific" press has been misleading us with respect to humans' supposed close link to other primates. It has been reported that we share 99.8 per cent of our genes with chimpanzees.

I need to disgress for a paragraph here. There is a science of textual analysis that grades the difficulty of reading a certain piece of text by taking into consideration the number of unique words, their difficulty, and the proportion of verbs, modifiers and connections as well as sentence length. These scales (Fletch Reading Ease, and others) are quite accurate and well accepted by teaching professionals and editors.

Very recently, it was shown that the arrangemet of the DNA strands in human DNA is in a different order compared to chimpanzees. As I understand the finding, it is as if a piece (perhaps one-third) of a strand of Chimp DNA was reversed and one more pair of chromosomes added at the joint (Someone correct my facts if they are wrong here).

So, in effect, our (us laymen and scientists out of their specialty) understanding of the evolution of human DNA has been formed by the same logic that would have us believe that one book of 220000 words and another of 210000 are are closely related in content because they share 99.8 oer cent of the same unique words and have a similar total number.

This is clearly rubbish. And so is science's claim that humans are in any way evolutionarily (historically) connected to chimps or to any other species, since we and they could never have produced viable offspring in hybridization, given the wide difference in *the arrangement* of the genetic material on the RNA/DNA strands.

This knocks the theories that humans evolved gradually from other primates into the trash bin. It also builds a stronger case for the need for newly-speciated individuals to find each other (at the same time!) and set up a viable and unique mating ritual to keep hybridization to a minimum as the hybrid individuals would not be able to reproduce either species or would not be born alive. These are accepted principles in evolutionary biology today.

So, the way humans evolved has never been clear, regardless of what the *faithful* scientist has told the rest of the world. Science does not rest on faith. And the facts do NOT support the traditional scientific view of human evolution, in my opinion.

In fact, I would more easily accept that the reversal of part of the DNA/RNA strands is not evolutionaly at all but, instead, revolutionary.

However, let no one think that because it was a revolutionary shift there must have been a supernatural cause.

We just don't understand how we came to be as well as we were told we do.

And I stand by that.


Three causes of Global Warming?

Anna Merikin Anna Merikin writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Social scientists seem to be mad to measure the amount of global warming and reporters seem mad to blame it (the warming) on human life and culture.

HL&C are only one of at least three contributors, as far as I can tell, and perhaps not the most important vector of GW.

Another is the general warming that has been taking place for the past fifty-thousand years or so: the one that melted the Ice Age glaciers and that, apparently, is now warming the polar ones, too. The retreat of the glaciers has been more-or-less steady for thousands of years, apparently.

A third is the weakening of the Earth's Magnetic Field, because this allows more cosmic and other radiation to reach the surface of our planet, thus heating it up. This, depending on which source you believe, has been going on for three hundred years, or only two hundred. If it is the older figure, then human activity can be ruled out as a primary cause of GW as no activity I can think of save producing and transporting electricity could possibly have a connection to the EMF itself.

The EMF is getting so unstable, compasses in the Ozone Hole between Antarctica and New Zealand point south!

Recently, major newspapers have carried reports that the North Pole has moved out of Canada and into the Bering Strait.

However, if the EMF has been weakening for only two hundred years, that coincides, more or less, with the invention of electrical generators and transmission lines (all of which produce magnetic flux as a byproduct or necessary constituent of current flow.)

Of course, science always likes a good fight.

Either way, we humans should stop beating ourselve up over this and get on with the job of adapting to it.



Anna Merikin Anna Merikin writes  |  more than 8 years ago

IQ tests (Benet's, etc.) used to measure eleven different kinds of intelligence (logic, spatial relations, etc.) of the twenty-two that had been identified at the time. Perhaps now more have been discovered.

On a parallel line, I am reading a book by a man (now long dead) who I saw lecture on perception in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association of Humanistic Psych ologists around 1970, Julian James. His topic then was "Personality is Perception," and, as his speech sparked many insights, I made note of the book he said was "soon to be released," "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind."

In it, he flatly states there is only one way we think: in words. I had to stop there, as I knew from experience as a photographer that I sometimes thought in terms of transforming images, and, as a t'ai chi player that I sometimes thought in terms of convergant movement.

Listening to Fresh Air on US PBS yesterday, I heard an author, who had been diagnosed as autistic as a child, describe the way she saw the world: As an animal did, she claimed. Sudden motion produces fear, she said. An animal is always afraid of sudden movement.

This is not what I experienced in t'ai chi defense against a gang of muggers, however. I was not afraid. I was able to use my newly-discovered and trained facility to "see" converging movement and position myself to use it to my own advantage.

The idea that we humans can think in many different ways is at the core of humanistic psychology and should become prominent in years to come, as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs became prominent -- but corrupted by culture to fit its own needs for Status.

The Hierarchy (for those interested)
1. Survival (Food, shelter, etc.)
2. Security
3. Ego gratification
4. Status
5. Self-esteem
6. Self actualization.
(I suspect there is one missing. Sorry, Abe.)

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