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How To Build a Quantum Telescope

Carnildo Re:Mirrors (60 comments)

No, modern telescopes use mirrors instead of lenses for two reasons:

1) Once a lens gets more than about a meter across, it starts deforming measurably under its own weight (and the direction and amount of deformation changes as you shift the telescope). A mirror can be supported across its entire width and does not have this problem.

2) A lens experiences chromatic aberration, causing different frequencies of light to focus at different points. You can reduce (but not eliminate) this by using achromatic doublets or other optical tricks (such as absurdly long telescopes), or you can take the easy way out and just use a mirror.

about two weeks ago

P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Carnildo Re:According the Actual Paper... (199 comments)

Hmm... the Incomputatibility of the Universe, maybe this is an avenue for proving the the Universe is not a simulation?

No, assuming the paper is correct, it merely proves that either P = NP, or that the universe simulation is running on a computer more powerful than a Turing machine.

about two weeks ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

Carnildo Re:Higher prices (461 comments)

The number of unrecovered black boxes is pretty damn low: in the past 25 years, only one airplane's recorders were lost. The rest were either destroyed in the crash, or deliberately not recovered.

about a month ago

The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

Carnildo Bad web design (138 comments)

I'm sure a "very clear explanation" is given, but I'm not going to read something that presents it to me at a rate of one sentence per page.

about a month and a half ago

Damming News From Washington State

Carnildo Re:Lower the river, obviously (168 comments)

The author is correct, but he expressed it in a very awkward way: below Wanapum Dam is Priest Rapids Dam, and below that is the Hanford Reach, a free-flowing section of the river. If Wanapum fails, the Priest Rapids reservoir needs to absorb the entire flood; releasing it will cause flooding in the Hanford area.

about a month and a half ago

Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

Carnildo Re:It looks like a very nice library (216 comments)

A programming language with primitives like:

"Compile a list of all European Capitals"

sounds like a damned powerful language to me.

To me, that doesn't sound like a very powerful language, it sounds like a language with a huge standard library. Power comes from things like making

"Compile a list of all European capitals, but I don't consider Iceland to be part of Europe"

easy. If it's hard to step outside the limits of the standard library, it's not a powerful language.

about 2 months ago

3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

Carnildo Re:leaded gas (266 comments)

I never understood why leaded gasoline was cheaper than unleaded back when both were for sale. They actually added the lead.

Because "unleaded" is a misleading name. There have been three major types of gasoline over the years:

1) Raw gasoline: unmodified crude-oil distillates. This is one of the original automobile fuels, and had a varying octane rating; this made building high-performance engines difficult.

2) Leaded gasoline: crude-oil distillates with Tetraethyl lead added to raise and stabilize the octane rating.

3) Unleaded gasoline: crude-oil distillates with additives other than tetraethyl lead used to raise and stabilize the octane rating.

about 2 months ago

Tor Is Building an Anonymous Instant Messenger

Carnildo Re:Isn't TOR outdated? (109 comments)

it's said to be vulnerable to timing attacks esp. by those same entities with extremely large means. So why isn't this news about anonymous IM on a garlic routing network or something?, either switch to a new network or upgrade TOR and call it TOR 2.0 or TOR 1.1 or something but please, something has to be done.

There are networks that protect against timing attacks, but the nature of the protection makes them unsuitable for IM or other near-realtime communication. Basically, they operate by having nodes send constant-size data blocks on a regular schedule regardless of how much data needs to be transmitted. This increases latency -- sometimes to hours or days -- and puts a cap on the amount of data the network can transfer. It also wastes bandwidth when the network is operating at less than full capacity, since blocks with random noise need to be transfered to keep lulls in activity from being visible.

about 2 months ago

Routers Pose Biggest Security Threat To Home Networks

Carnildo Re:So, will a 2005-era routers get a firmware upda (264 comments)

Let's say the IoT existed in 1994 & you bought a new Kenmore IoT fridge running Linux 1.x. Fast forward to 2014--who today is doing anything with the Linux 1.x kernel? Nobody--including Kenmore support engineers.

In 1998, I purchased a computer running Windows. Shortly afterwards, I installed Linux 2.2 and a webserver on it. Strangely enough, the computer is still working, is running a modern kernel with full support for the hardware, and somehow managed to avoid being pwned at any point in the intervening 15 years.

The nice thing about open-source software is that you generally don't need to run obsolete software on ancient hardware. That Kenmore IoT fridge would probably run a Linux 3.x kernel without problems, as long as the software was genuinely open-sourced.

about 2 months ago

Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

Carnildo Re:What's the difference? (462 comments)

This. I'll never understand why when someone "thinks they're the opposite gender" we don't try and fix their mind to match their body but instead are willing to send them through some incredibly dangerous and life-shortening medical procedures to do the exact opposite.

Because it doesn't work. In the century or so between when gender dysphoria was identified and when gender reassignment surgery became practical, any number of techniques to "fix their mind" were tried. None of them had any measurable success rate, and most of them resulted in the patient committing suicide within a few years of starting treatment.

about 2 months ago

Mexico's Stolen Radiation Truck: It Could Happen In the US

Carnildo Re:NIMBY (105 comments)

The media does a great job glossing over a fundamental problem with dirty bombs. You have to shield it well enough to get it to it's deployment before it kills you, but it then has to disperse it's contents widely to be even vaguely effective.

A dirty bomb isn't about killing people, it's about scaring people. A pipe bomb will blow out a few windows and maybe kill someone who was unlucky enough to be standing next to it when it went off. A pipe bomb mixed with the guts of a hundred smoke detectors won't be any more deadly, but the resulting radiation scare will keep a few city blocks evacuated for weeks or months.

about 3 months ago

Chrome Bugs Lets Sites Listen To Your Private Conversations

Carnildo Re:Yo Dawg (109 comments)

It's not a bug; it's a *feature!

No, this one is very definitely a bug.

about 3 months ago

Yep, People Are Still Using '123456' and 'Password' As Passwords In 2014

Carnildo Re:XKCD nailed this ages ago (276 comments)

If the hackers decide to use a dictionary attack, then an xckd-style password is about as good as one 4 characters long.

Four characters, yes, but four from a bloody huge alphabet (2048 characters). An XKCD-style password is almost as strong as four random Chinese characters.

about 3 months ago

Mystery Rock 'Appears' In Front of Mars Rover

Carnildo Re:I know what this is!!!! (112 comments)

Rock? No, it's a CIA camera and microphone, cleverly disguised as a rock.

about 3 months ago

Physicists Claim First Observation of a Quantum Cheshire Cat

Carnildo Re:The most insightfull part of TFA (148 comments)

Fine. Split them up like a normal double slit experiment. As stated, neutrons in both arms.

If it's like the standard double-slit experiment, each neutron travels through both arms of the interferometer. Under quantum mechanics, any particle behaving in a wave-like manner can do this sort of thing, even if the particle is of a type (such as a neutron) that people normally think of as being a discrete object.

This is where my understanding gets fuzzy, but I think what they've done is rig things up so that the position-like attributes of each neutron's wavefunction are detectable in one arm of the interferometer, while the magnetic-property attributes are detectable in the other arm.

about 3 months ago

How One Photographer Is Hacking the Concept of Time

Carnildo Re:Available on eBay (124 comments)

If you'd read the article, you'd see that he did use an industrial linescan camera for some of his work.

about 3 months ago

Rough Roving: Curiosity's Wheel Damage 'Accelerated'

Carnildo Re:Future planning? (157 comments)

I think it'll be interesting to see what happens to a human once they leave the magnetic environment of their home planet.

Nothing much, really. A number of the Apollo missions left the Earth's magnetic field, and nothing spectacular happened.

about 4 months ago



Carnildo Carnildo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Carnildo (712617) writes "Back in the day, people were up in arms when Geocities changed their copyright terms so that you were granting them a "perpetual, irrevocable" license to do whatever they pleased with your content. That's nothing compared to the new Fark terms of service. By submitting content to Fark, you are assigning the copyright of your submission to Fark, and in return, they are granting you a non-exclusive, non-transferrable, and royalty-free license to use your creation."



Feeling blue

Carnildo Carnildo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Lest ye worry that, with the coming of Vista, the Blue Screen of Death hath been vanquished for all time, fear not, for verily I have seen one, not these five minutes past.


Carnildo Carnildo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Windows Vista doesn't suck.

Really. Saying it sucks would be too kind. It's a steaming pile of you-know-what.

I got to install and use Vista RC2 today to test how my company's software works under the new OS.

The install process went as expected: the installer asked a bunch of questions, had me accept a license with a bunch of terms I'd never agree with if I was installing this on my home computer, then announce that since I wasn't running XP SP2, it was going to wipe out my existing XP install. No problem there: I've got XP install disks, so I can put things back when I'm done.

What it doesn't mention is that, in addition to wiping out c:\windows, it will also wipe out c:\program files and c:\documents and settings. Fortunately, there's nothing I can't live without on this computer.

So, an hour and three reboots later, Windows is starting the setup wizard. It asks a few questions like my username and password, and what sort of network I'm connecting to. Windows proper then starts up, and it brings up the "welcome center" -- and asks again what sort of network I'm connecting to, this time bringing up the "User Account Control" dialog.

The first thing I do with any new OS is to adjust the preferences.

Those control panels are a mess. Each control panel tab under XP is a control panel now, with one or more long "descriptive" names. They're categorized into ten groups, and any given tab may be in more than one category. It would take me two or three tries to find what I'm looking for, and I still haven't found how to change the mouse acceleration, or get rid of that "your CRT is going bad" drop-shadown around the pointer.

Oh, and that dreaded "Windows registration" stuff? Where Microsoft will degrade your Vista experience until you prove that you've paid the Microsoft tax? It's only by accident that I discovered that Windows hadn't been registered during the install process, and things would have started breaking in three days.

At this point, I'm ready to install and test our software. I click on "Network" to access the fileserver and download the latest installer. It takes Vista a while to locate the fileserver on the network, but at least there's a progress bar that indicates it's doing something. I double-clicked on the fileserver icon, and get prompted for my name and password. I enter them, click "ok", and get told that login failed, check my username and password. The password's fine, but now the username box shows "Junkbox2000\JoeBloggs": Vista has prepended my computer name to my username. As far as I can tell, there's no way to stop Vista from doing this, so I'm locked out of the network.

Further checking of the computer reveals that the old "Documents and Settings" folder is still there, just hidden. Since I can't remember where I stuck the installers, I bring up the search dialog. It takes me three tries to do a full-disk search filename search. The default search is to only search indexed locations, ie. your home directory, with a full-document-text search for the terms you entered. Selecting "search everywhere" from the "location" dropdown doesn't *really* mean everywhere, just those areas that have been indexed. You need to additionally check the "include non-indexed, hidden, and system files" box.

Searching for files by name not only gives you files with the specified name (setup.exe), but also close matches: setup6.0.2.exe, setup6f3.exe, and TGSETUP7.3B5.EXE-063E8B16.pf

So I've found an old installer copy, and I'm finally ready to install. I double-click on it, and immediately get hit by a scary-looking User Account Control dialog: "An unidentified program wants to access your computer". If this is the typical user experience upon installing software on Vista, people will get used to clicking "allow" in that dialog even faster than they got used to clicking "yes, install that spyware" in IE.

At this point, I'm running the latest version of our software, but I need to test the self-update functionality. The easiest way to do this is to open the "current version" file in Notepad and change the version name to that of an older version. I go to save the file, and get the following error message: "Cannot create the C:\Program Files\MySoftware\version.dat" file. Make sure that the file name and path are correct." No hint that the real problem is that I don't have write-access to the file.

I run the updater, expecting it to fail in spectacular fashion. After all, if I don't have permission to write to the application directory, why should a program I'm running? Much to my surprise, it works flawlessly. I suppose this is a hole in Vista's security model, but *I'm* not going to tell Redmond about it.

I try the PDF export functionality of our program, saving the PDF in the same folder as the original file. The "open file" dialog shows everything, while Windows Explorer and the command prompt only shows the original file. Rebooting does not fix this.

Tomorrow I get to test installing from CD. This promises to provide even more fun. After that, I'll try installing and running as a non-admin user.


Moderation in all things

Carnildo Carnildo writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It seems that Slashdot has decided I make a good moderator. I'm getting mod points every few days now.

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