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Army Laser Passes Drone-Killing Test

Archimboldo Re:Reflective Armor (173 comments)

It was forever ago when I went through the calculations, but it is indeed an interesting property of lasers that their beam initially shrinks in diameter with distance and then grows. So it could defocus instead of focus, depending on distance.

about a year ago

Dell Going Private In $24.4 Billion Agreement

Archimboldo Re:Give the money back to the shareholders! (217 comments)

One advantage to being big. On the other hand, I don't know how nimble Apple can be at its current size. With a dictator (Steve Jobs) at the helm, and a small product line, size wasn't too much of a problem. Not sure how things will be now.

about 2 years ago

Elon Musk Offers Boeing SpaceX Batteries For the 787 Dreamliner

Archimboldo Re:Too bad the batteries weren't the problem. (163 comments)

Donald Sadoway, a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on Musk's claims:

"I would have used the same words, I'm glad someone with such a big reputation put it on the line."

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Use For a New Supercomputing Cluster?

Archimboldo Re:I call Shenanigans!!! (387 comments)

Whether or not this is a true story, or whether or not it's a government project, there is as much budget-reserving in private industry like what you described as there is in government. Probably more, since government is more transparent than private business, and so more people have access to exposing that little game, which tends to inhibit it some.

Really? I haven't seen it at any of the private companies I worked at. I admit some were big companies and I saw only a few subgroups; I also admit my sample isn't big, but I wonder if you have any better data than I have to make your claim.

more than 3 years ago

Kevin Mitnick Answers

Archimboldo Re:Without remorse there is no rehabilitation. (161 comments)

According to my read, he was remorseful for actual damage done. Just curious, what remorse do you have for your wrongs against others? If you have any, one would think you would be a bit more forgiving toward someone who has remorse and who has changed his ways.

To err is human ... I forget the second half, what was it again?

more than 3 years ago

Laptops In the Classroom Don't Increase Grades

Archimboldo Re:Well duh (511 comments)

I'm sympathetic to those teachers who have to teach kids whose parents have no interest in their own children.

That said, I'm not convinced that the vast majority of teachers are underpaid and underappreciated (they may be overworked). From what I see, retirement for teachers is ridiculously generous. If you are a teacher, I'd be curious about your take on the total package teachers are given.

more than 3 years ago

Pricing: Apple Defies Australian Government

Archimboldo Re:If you don't like it (440 comments)

Apple is fine to make left handed people, people with big noses, people who wear red shirts, and people with crooked teeth pay more for their products. All of these groups have alternatives they can and should give their business to. Many in Australia are apparently willing to pay what Apple is asking. If Australians stopped buying Apple products, it would force Apple to reduce their prices. I say, "Go for it." Vote with your pocket books and Apple will lower their prices.

more than 3 years ago

Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters

Archimboldo Re:Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters (682 comments)

There are many more destitute people on the streets of Calcutta than in London and we don't hear of them looting and burning buildings. I have heard various accounts of the rioter's socio-economic makeup and don't know which of them are based on facts, but the way any disadvantaged group has made any real and permanent gains has been to prove their detractors wrong by facing the odds and succeeding, which also serves as an example and incentive to their fellows.

Why people justify destroying innocent people's property and wrecking their people's lives is beyond me. But to answer your question to the GP, if I could afford a Blackberry, I'm guessing I wouldn't feel justified burning buildings, beating people, and stealing their possessions. If I was starving and without food or shelter, it is conceivable I would descend so low as to steal, but if I did indulge I would probably feel pretty guilty. If my conscience bothered me as I expect, I would even try to make amends.

I grant you that a certain percentage of that is because I have not been surrounded by lots of peers who think it's OK to beat little old ladies, smash cars, and take things other people have earned. When everyone around you says some bad thing is OK, the element of shame and disapproval from others is eliminated. Conscience should still remain, though. And I hardly think the problem is to eliminate cultural and societal strictures.

more than 3 years ago

RIM Helping UK Police Track Down Rioters

Archimboldo Re:There's a line (343 comments)

What about the people these yobs can harm next? Don't they have a right to be protected? A law has to be reasonable, not stupidly rigid. Let the courts decide if RIM violates privacy of honest citizens or helps put thugs in jail.

more than 3 years ago

Understanding the Payoffs From Investing In Space Flight

Archimboldo Re:Branding (264 comments)

"Yes, and if we spent the military budget on educating the world and promoting equality (as opposed to pushing economic interests, which is what practically every military conflict ever fought has been about) we could probably achieve world peace."

World peace? Changing human nature? It would require more than the military budget to do that. Well, unless you can buy a magic lantern for a few billion.

Now over time, I think evolutionary change is possible. But that is more a function of human experience than money or some educational agenda.

more than 3 years ago

Bank of America Cuts Off Wikileaks Transactions

Archimboldo Re:Our advise is to place your funds somewhere saf (467 comments)

Bush Sr. and Clinton passed legislation that required the administrators of the CRA to rank banks on their lending activities and to deny banks the right to open branches or to buy other banks if they are rated low. Pres. Banks were required to show the numbers of loans they made in their neighborhoods. And Congress made “blackmail” by neighborhood activists’ legal by providing for public hearings on the ratings. If there were no pay-offs, you can be sure the neighborhood activists would find grounds to challenge the banks.

Look it up.

more than 4 years ago

X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth

Archimboldo Re:Spy plane makes no sense (55 comments)

It might be able to retrieve tiny satellites, but it's too small for, say, one of the Key Hole spy satellites.

more than 4 years ago

IBM's Plans For the Cell Processor

Archimboldo How are profits distributed? (124 comments)

I've wondered this for a while: IBM, Toshiba, and Sony developed the cell. Pray tell, they sell a cell, how do they divide the income?

more than 4 years ago

2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband Users

Archimboldo Re:Pfft.. (110 comments)

So I have heard from many who have visited China. However there is a small percentage in any population that thinks outside the box. Many of the innovative Chinese went abroad because of herd mentality in their homeland, but the flow is starting to reverse. Some of the innovative and out-of-the-box thinking Chinese scientists are returning from American and European universities because there is at least now oodles of capital back home to work with. It's just my personal reading of early trends, but I wouldn't be shocked to see more innovation coming from China in the future. If you read the names on publications from American universities you see an astonishing number of Chang's, Wong's, Li's. That's in addition to Chandra's, Krishna's, Gupta's ... etc. Many, of course, do stay here. Time will tell.

more than 4 years ago

The Proton Just Got Smaller

Archimboldo Re:Size matters (289 comments)

They are not redefining what size means. They are measuring the distribution of charge more accurately by looking at transitions between energy levels of electrons (or muons in the newer experiment.) If they can measure an energy difference to within a certain accuracy and the difference is bigger with a muon transition than with an electron transition, the percentage error is smaller, hence the error in the derived charge distribution is smaller.

more than 4 years ago

The End of the Dr. Demento Show On Radio

Archimboldo Pencil Neck Geek (206 comments)

The ballad of Freddie Blassie

more than 4 years ago

What Scientists Really Think About Religion

Archimboldo Re:religion is not relevant to any scientific... (1123 comments)

religion is not and cannot be relevant to any scientific discipline: this is utter bullsh!t. Science is science and it has *nothing* to do with people's beliefs. It is religion that has to accommodate for science, not the other way round.

Rather myopic and opinionated.

Science has its own unproven beliefs. For example, that the only reality is what we can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell. Cautious scientists do not go so far and say that they restrict their investigation to matter, but consciousness cannot be separated from matter. It is always the subject looking at the object. In medical science, doctors are having to take a second look at mind/body dualism, as the body cannot be totally treated as a meat machine.

Much as most scientists have a closet kind of metaphysics, even most confirmed materialist atheists operate as if love is not a group of chemical reactions in the body that we label as love.

more than 4 years ago

Sudden Demand For Logicians On Wall Street

Archimboldo Re:Fortune Saved Might be Your Own (525 comments)

Did he say that? Even if it's a joke, there is some wisdom in it.

IANAQ (I am not a quant), but from what I gather from my amateur read on things, these quants find tricks to squeeze out a tiny percentage more average yield, but the average hides considerable risks in addition to the considerable gains. Furthermore, sound basic business principles, which after all produce the quantities the quants fiddle with, have been ignored under the spell of mathematical wizardry.

I admit I may have half digested what I have heard from some in the finance world, and would be interested in what any quants who also have some business knowledge have to say.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Blocks Cartoonist From App Store

Archimboldo Re:Censorship and other things (664 comments)

So, before you whip up a storm about censorship, bear in mind that Apple are in fact entitled to reject selling any specific app from their online store; they don't have to give a reason, and if they do, it doesn't really have to be reasonable. If they believe that it makes business sense to not sell the works of a satirist, that is their choice, and all we can do is take note and form our own opinion about it.

I suspect the law is as you say. At least it makes sense that a private corporation can sell what it wants to sell, especially if a customer has other outlets. And there are plenty of outlets for Fiore. Mr. Fiore doesn't have to force himself on the unwilling. And I don't care about his childish tantrums either. If I sell combination radio-hoola hoops, I don't want some spoiled brat walking into my store and demanding I carry solar powered toasters.

more than 4 years ago



Neutrinos used to send a message through 780 feet of stone.

Archimboldo Archimboldo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Archimboldo (847057) writes "Modern Physics Letters A describes sending the message "neutrino" through 780 feet of stone. Downer: it required FermiLab's particle accelerator and a multi-ton detector. Practical use is obviously years away.

Since neutrinos can pass through the earth with little attenuation (about 1 in 10 billion are detected), possible uses include communicating from any two points on earth without satellites."

Link to Original Source


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