×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

DrJimbo Re:Palladium foil with just the right parameters (177 comments)

why can't the electrons get between two nuclei and cancel their repulsion (rather like muons can do)?

The problem is that the conduction electrons are spread out so they can't clump together in the space between the nuclei. This is due to the low mass of the electron. A muon is very much like an electron but is over 3,000 times more massive; this means it is 3,000 times "smaller" and thus can fit into the small space between the nuclei just fine.

The problem is not that the electron wave function can't get close to the nuclei. The problem is that the electron wave function can't get clumped together into a large enough peak to counteract the Coulomb repulsion of the nuclei. One way to see this is with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Since a muon is 3,000 times more massive than an electron, it has 3,000 times more momentum for the same motion. This extra momentum allows it to be more localized without violating Heisenberg.

One of the best physicist of the 20th century, Julian Schwinger, investigated cold fusion and felt that the physics community as a whole was closed minded about it. I *think* his idea was there was some sort of collective phenomenon (getting the palladium just right) that accounts for cold fusion. It can't be as simple as simple screening by conduction electrons. TBH, I think Schwinger was past his prime and was grasping for things he could apply his formidable intellect to that would be useful for humanity.

I believe the reason most physicists have a problem with cold fusion is the lack compelling experimental evidence combined with the lack of any satisfactory theoretical explanation. Remember that almost all of the interest in cold fusion was sparked by the totally discredit experiments by Pons and Fleischmann. The experiments could not be replicated and in new experiments there was no indication of nuclear activity.

yesterday
top

Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

DrJimbo Re:Palladium foil with just the right parameters (177 comments)

There's no reason to think this [cold fusion] couldn't happen with palladium foil given sufficient resources.

There is at least one overwhelming reason to think this could not happen regardless of how you prepare the palladium: basic physics.

The Coulomb repulsion of the deuterons keeps them so far apart that the likelihood of fusion is exponentially small. You can muck about with the palladium until the cows come home but unless do something like replace the electrons with muons, it is unlikely you are going to induce a significant amount of cold fusion.

It is like saying that by applying sufficient resources to painting and body-work, I can fix the engine of my car.

yesterday
top

What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

DrJimbo The handwriting's on the wall: Alice v. CLS Bank (217 comments)

In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International the US Supreme Court ruled:

merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform [an] abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.

Recently, after its SCO fiasco, Microsoft's biggest gun in its ceaseless war on Linux and all things FOSS has been patent extortion. IIRC, Microsoft makes a sizable chuck of change from Android devices due to the licenses for a fuzzy bunch of patents that have never been tested for validity in a court of law.

At some point, someone with deep enough pockets to risk a spin on the roulette wheel that is the US court system in regard to patents will take on Microsoft and see if the Emperor is wearing clothes or not. Microsoft owns some very smart lawyers. The lawyers know such a challenge is inevitable. They also know there is a good chance Microsoft will lose and will have to shut down its patent extortion racket. At that point they will need a plan B. This is their baby steps towards a plan B which is way too little, way too late.

about two weeks ago
top

Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

DrJimbo Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (138 comments)

I haven't canceled hundreds of orders on Amazon but I have canceled a handful. There has never been a fee or a penalty although I did have to fill in a small form explaining why I canceled.

If you did this maliciously with a bunch of items just to be a PITA then they would probably respond accordingly and cancel your account.

OTOH, I have had a seller raise the price of an item after I made an inquiry about it. That really pissed me off. I complained to Amazon but they said it was within their rules. The end result is it is stupid to make polite inquires about products (for example, asking if a used book listed as hardcover really is hardcover). You are better off just placing the order and then returning the item for a full refund if it does not match the description.

about two weeks ago
top

Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

DrJimbo Re:Imagine that! (191 comments)

But instead of negotiating or even trying to compromise they [Google] just took their ball and left.

Here is a better analogy:

A: If you don't pay us a bunch of money we are going to shoot ourselves in the foot!

B: That's a ridiculous business proposition. We aren't going to pay you anything. Shoot yourselves if you feel you must but we don't recommend it.

A: Wah! You are such a big baby! Why won't you at least negotiate or compromise?

about two weeks ago
top

Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

DrJimbo Re:Imagine that! (191 comments)

But instead of negotiating or even trying to compromise they [Google] just took their ball and left.

WTF? What was there to negotiate or compromise on? Paying the extortionists any non-zero amount would have been the worst business decision ever made by Google. While there were extreme options available to Google, such as law suits and massive lobbying, Google took a rather mild approach by obeying the silly law while refusing to pay the extortion which meant they simply shut down their services that would have been encumbered by the extortion racket.

Even if the complete lunacy of the extortion racket was not clear to you previously, this idiotic press release should have made it crystal clear. The Spanish news media need Google more than Google needs them. Therefore it was idiotic for the Spanish news media to try to get Google to pay them for providing them with a service they greatly desire.

When you are freely providing someone a service they greatly desire and then they want to charge *you* for providing them with this service, there is very little room for compromise or negotiation. For example, if I owned a country and passed a law that Slashdot has to pay me for every comment I post, their only logical response would be to stop allowing me to post comments. I could bitch and moan about them being big babies about it but until my position has some relationship to reality, there is really nothing to negotiate or compromise on.

about two weeks ago
top

Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

DrJimbo Re:Great. More touchscreens. (233 comments)

buttons are expensive and can't be reconfigured on the fly.

If true, this sounds like the most important reason why buttons are better than touch-screens in dashboards. Don't you hate it when you try to raise the volume and accidentally activate the passenger seat ejector instead?

about two weeks ago
top

Researchers Discover an "Off Switch" For Pain In the Brain

DrJimbo This is not news (83 comments)

I figured out how to disable beta months ago.

about a month ago
top

Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

DrJimbo Re:Wrong risk ... (151 comments)

Except that in this case the law was very plain and it was obvious that it was being violated. I may not like the DMCA, but it doesn't take a legal brainiac to know that refusing to comply with take-down requests (what Kim's was doing with his links vs files argument) will lead to greater legal retaliation.

What are you talking about? KDC followed the advice of his lawyers and complied with DMCA takedown notices. He was set up in a nasty sting operation where the FBI asked him to not take down a particular file (or files) in order to aid them in an investigation. He cooperated with the FBI and this is what they busted him for.

For example, the Wikipedia gives Dotcom's perspective:

In regard to Megaupload, Dotcom believes the company had actively tried to prevent copyright infringement -- its terms of service forced users to agree they would not post copyrighted material to the website. Companies or individuals with concerns that their copyright material was being posted on Megaupload were given direct access to the website to delete infringing links. Megaupload also employed 20 staff dedicated to taking down material which might infringe copyright.

KDC was hosting files so it would be silly for him to use a "links vs files" argument as you suggest. It would have also been extremely stupid for him to ignore DMCA takedown notices because obeying those notices is what gave him "safe harbor" protection. You may be a legal brainiac but what you are suggesting makes no sense and has nothing to do with reality.

about a month ago
top

Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

DrJimbo Re:Wrong risk ... (151 comments)

You can't plan for stuff like that.

What? Yes, you absolutely can. Yes, it was absolutely predictable. Yes. YES! Look, yes. The answer to all your objecting questions is yes. Yes, he could and should have predicted that the USA would do its best to sow his ground with salt. Just fucking look at us. LOOK AT US. Of course we would do that.

Even if you can predict that no rules/laws will apply, how can you reasonably plan for that contingency? What would those plans look like? Should KDC have given up business and become a survivalist?

My wholehearted prediction would have been that KDC was on the entitled side of the justice gap and as long as he had good lawyers and followed their advice then he would have nothing to worry about. The Pirate Bay getting repeatedly stomped on was not a surprise but the attack on KDC was a huge shock to me. I still find it amazing.

about a month ago
top

President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

DrJimbo Re:And the floodgates open (706 comments)

Why don't other countries have a net neutrality problem? Because they have competition among their ISPs. If an ISP tries to deliberately slow down a popular website to extort the site for extra payments, it doesn't put pressure on the website to pay. Instead it puts pressure on the ISP's customers to switch to another ISP. In most of the rest of the world, any ISP trying to pull this stunt puts itself out of business.

It only works in the U.S. because these ISPs have government-granted monopolies over the local customer base. The customer can't flee to a different ISP because there is none - the local government has made it illegal for there to be a competitor. Essentially, net neutrality is more government regulation to solve a problem caused by government regulation.

According to Ars Techinca (and many others) UK regulators officially mock US over ISP "competition":

Here's how US regulators do a broadband plan: talk about competition even while admitting there isn't enough, then tinker around the edges with running fiber to "anchor institutions" and start collecting real data on US broadband use.

Here's how they do it in the UK: order incumbent telco BT to share its fiber lines with any ISP who is willing to pay. In places where BT hasn't yet run fiber, order the company to share its ducts and poles with anyone who wants to run said fiber. In the 14 percent of the UK without meaningful broadband competition, slap price controls on Internet access to keep people from getting gouged. [...]

"Aside from small urban countries with highly concentrated populations, like Singapore, the main countries which are currently leading in the rollout and take-up of super-fast broadband are those which have had significant government intervention to support deployment, such as Japan and South Korea."

I've Googled around and I can't find any evidence that backs up your implication that consumers benefit from less government regulation of ISPs. Everything I've seen says the benefits in non-US countries stem from greater government intervention.

The nuanced Republican stance you refer to seems to be a code-phrase for BS. IMO the core of the problem is there is a lot of BS flying around because our corporate controlled "fair and balanced" media (including the NYT) refuse to call out politicians on outright lies. This gives a decided advantage to those who lie more. With no checks and balances from the media, public debate is mired in giant echo chambers filled with BS.

about a month and a half ago
top

Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

DrJimbo Re:Disturbing (331 comments)

Thanks. I seem to be the one with an outdated mindset. I didn't know about that rule of thumb. Back when I went to school, I got by with a little help from my parents but mostly with a scholarship, loans, and a nearly full-time job. But tuition at an Ivy League school was only $5K/year and my starting salary after I got out was around $20K so even getting loans for the entire tuition would have matched your rule.

I'm glad you were able to buck the trend and find a way to pay for college that did not leave you in a financial hole you could not escape from. I still think this is not possible for the majority of students today. Sure, anyone may have been able to get the situation you found but there are not enough situations like that to go around for everyone. Having a system that puts so many college graduates into an inescapable financial black hole is very damaging to our society. It is like eating our seed corn.

When I went to school, situations like yours were open to almost everyone, even people going to Ivy League Universities.

about 2 months ago
top

Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

DrJimbo Re:Disturbing (331 comments)

Perhaps your mindset on this is a little outdated. I know mine was and that is the heart of the problem. For many decades student loans made sense. They were a terrific investment because the increase in your earning potential from going to college was fantastic. It paid for the loans many times over.

Unfortunately, both sides of the equation have changed drastically which has really screwed over the majority (I am guessing) of college students. On one hand, the cost of college has gone through the roof, vastly outpacing inflation and on the other hand, the ROI for going to college has tanked.

Taking out loans to go to college used to be the best investment you could make. Now you are likely to get screwed over. My editorial take on this is that it is a perfect example of capitalism run rampant. At various stages in the system, people have found ways to take advantage of (i.e. monetize) the general perception that taking out loans to go to college was a great investment. They did this by turning it into a lousy investment. It is no different from fleecing neophytes in the stock market.

Education used to be the cornerstone of the American Dream. Turning it into a terrible investment is extremely toxic to our society.

This is related to another result of extreme capitalism:

No matter how small and cheap and crappy something is, someone will figure out a way to make the same thing smaller and cheaper and crappier.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

DrJimbo Re:VERY POSITIVE: Systemd is well-modularized (928 comments)

All they've done in systemd is write C code to start up services that used to be started instead by shell scripts and added the ability to make dependency resolution automatic so that services are only started when they need to be.

If that had been all then there would not be this huge controversy. You are describing a very stripped down version of uselessd which is already a stripped down version of systemd. You are ignoring 98% of what is most objectionable about systemd by reducing it to the least controversial component.

ISTM such vast oversimplifications add fuel to the fire and further polarize the debate.

about 2 months ago
top

CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

DrJimbo Re:Prison time (275 comments)

No, it's called "asset forfeiture" and it does happen far too often. Hell, happening once is far too often.

In the US there are two kinds of asset forfeiture, criminal and civil:

There are two types of forfeiture cases, criminal and civil. Approximately half of all forfeiture cases practiced today are civil, although many of those are filed in parallel to a related criminal case. In civil forfeiture cases, the US Government sues the item of property, not the person; the owner is effectively a third-party claimant. [...]

In civil cases, the owner need not be judged guilty of any crime; [...] In contrast, criminal forfeiture is usually carried out in a sentence following a conviction and is a punitive act against the offender.

I don't want to put words in your mouth but I think the type of forfeiture you so strenuously (and correctly) object to is called civil asset forfeiture or civil forfeiture for short.

about 2 months ago
top

Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

DrJimbo Re:Some Sense Restored? (522 comments)

The problem with supporting multiple init systems is that each package that provides a daemon needs to support all of them.

I agree with you in theory. In this case SysV init has been around for ages so SysV init scripts already exist for almost all packages. Just don't remove those and there is very little additional work required to maintain the SysV init scripts.

Yes, new packages will need to support both for a while, but this is a tiny fraction of the work to create and maintain a new service. It is a very small price to pay in order to get some breathing room and a graceful transition period.

It will give people a chance to put down the torches and pitchforks for a while. One of the biggest objections to systemd was that it was being rammed down our throats whether we wanted it or not, whether it was ready or not, etc. Look at Pulse Audio. After a few painful years, it was finally ready for non-beta use. Systemd should be given a similar incubation period during which people can easily choose to use it or not.

On a more poetic note::

Before the creation of Arda (The World), Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur. Because of his unique station, he sought to create wills in the manner of his own Creator, so he alone would venture sometimes into the Void in search of the Flame Imperishable, the Secret Fire, which would grant him this ability. But he never found it, as it is with Eru only. He had sought to fill the Void with sentient beings and was dissatisfied with Eru's abandonment of it. Instead, in what he hoped would be an expression of his own originality and creativity, he contended with Eru (God) in the Music of the Ainur, introducing what he perceived to be themes of his own.

Unlike his fellow Ainu Aule, Melkor was too proud to admit that his creations were simply discoveries wholly made possible by, and therefore "belonging" to, Eru. Instead, Melkor aspired to the level of Eru, the true Creator of all possibilities.

During the Great Music of the Ainur, Melkor attempted to alter the Music and introduced what he believed to be elements purely of his own design. As part of these efforts, he drew many weaker-willed Ainur to him, creating a counter to Eru's main theme. Ironically, these attempts did not truly subvert the Music, but only elaborated Eru's original intentions: the Music of Eru took on depth and beauty precisely because of the strife and sadness Melkor's disharmonies (and their rectification) introduced.

Since the Great Music of the Ainur stood as template for all of history and all of material creation in the Middle-earth cycle (it was first sung before Time, and then the universe was made in its image), there was an aspect of everything in Middle-earth that came of Melkor's malign influence; everything had been "corrupted". Tolkien elaborates on this in Morgoth's Ring, drawing an analogy between the One Ring, into which Sauron committed much of his power, and all of Arda -- "Morgoth's Ring" -- which contains and is corrupted by the residue of Melkor's power until the Remaking of the World.

about 2 months ago
top

Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

DrJimbo Different tools for different jobs (365 comments)

Alan Perlis said:

Everything should be built top-down, except the first time.

The work on the Linux kernel by Linus is essentially the "first time" which is why he prefers C. It can be used as a bottom-up language. OOP and C++ are top-down. The BOSS-MOOL group are rewriting something that already exists so they are using a top-down approach. Both Linus and the BOSS-MOOL group are using the right tool for the job. The jobs are different so the right tool is different.

about 3 months ago
top

Physicists Observe the Majorana Fermion, Which Is Its Own Antiparticle

DrJimbo Re:Fermion that is its own antiparticle (99 comments)

what does it mean for a particle to be its own antiparticle?

In theoretical calculations if you reverse the charge (C), the parity (P), and time (T) of a particle, you get its antiparticle. A simpler (and less accurate) way of saying this is that antiparticles are normal particles traveling backward in time. This is not just a novelty, it is important for doing quantum field theory calculations (see Feynman-Stueckelberg interpretation).

So a particle is its own antiparticle if you reverse all three (CPT) and get the same thing. As the OP said, this is not unusual. It is only unusual for fermions. If two of them collide with each other then they can be annihilated and turn into another particle-antiparticle pair, just like photons can. Since they are neutral (I *think*, due to C symmetry) they don't attract each other like positrons and electrons do so you have to make special arrangements to get them to collide.

Does that mean that they're neutral to matter and anti-matter, or do they still somehow fall into one of those categories?

If there were an anti-matter universe then the photons there would be the same as the photons here. Same thing with Majorana fermions. I guess you could say they are both matter and anti-matter. You could also say they are neither matter nor anti-matter.

about 3 months ago
top

Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

DrJimbo Re:PROOF (275 comments)

I'd mod you up if I had points.

Yes, it is a publicity stunt, and yes, it won't convince people who are invested in the conspiracy theory, and yes, it does not prove the original photo was authentic. But as you said, it does give a plausible explanation for the lighting in the original photo.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

Level Rises after TEPCO Pumps Out Radioacti

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "Kyodo News is reporting that the water level in the tunnel near the turbine building for reactor No. 2 rose 4.5 cm and is now only 1.5 cm lower than it was before they pumped out 600 tons of highly radioactive water. A NISA spokesman said 'As there is believed to be around 20,000 tons of water (in the No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench connected to it), we're feeling the difficulty of lowering the level of the water in a stable manner.' They want to pump out the tunnels before the turbine buildings to prevent more water from leaking into the ocean. The water in the No. 2 turbine building and tunnel is ten times more radioactive than the water in turbine building No. 3 that burned three workers."
Link to Original Source
top

Severity of Fukushima accident to be raised?

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes " The Japan Times Online is reporting that "the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels [1 x 10^16 Bq] of radioactive materials per hour at some point [for several hours]". According to my calculations, this is six orders of magnitude higher than the numbers released regarding the radioactivity flowing into the ocean from the pit near reactor #2. Perhaps there was a mistake somewhere.

To put this into perspective, the Chernobyl accident released 1.4 x 10^19 Bq. So if the numbers from the article are to be believed then Fukushima was releasing almost 0.1% of Chernobyl's release per hour."

Link to Original Source
top

IP Laws are blocking innovation

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "The White House is asking us to give them ideas on what is blocking innovation in America. I thought I'd give them an honest answer. Here it is:

Current intellectual property laws are blocking innovation.

President Obama just set a goal of wireless access for everyone in the US, saying it will spark innovation. But that's only true if people are allowed to actually do innovative things once they are online.

You have to choose. You can prop up old business models with overbearing intellectual property laws that hit innovators on the head whenever they stick their heads up from the ground; OR you can have innovation. You can't have both. And right now, the balance is away from innovation"

Link to Original Source

top

Netflix down since Tuesday

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "Reuters reports "Netflix shipped no DVDs on Tuesday. It shipped some on Wednesday but has shipped none so far on Thursday". Netflix sent me an email saying:

Our shipping system is unexpectedly down. We received a DVD back from you and should have shipped you a DVD, but we likely have not. Our goal is to ship DVDs as soon as possible, and we will keep you posted on the status of your DVD shipments.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If your DVD shipment is delayed, we will be issuing a credit to your account in the next few days. You don't need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

I received a DVD that was shipped Monday but that's the last one I've gotten. The said they expect to ship the next DVD to me on Friday."

top

HuffPo Headline Accuses Obama of Cybercrime

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "The Huffington Post is running a story with the misleading headline How Did Obama Hijack Clinton's Web Site?. When you read the story you find out that the author is referring to Google ads the Obama campaign bought. They had already covered the ads with two previous stories. I informed the author of his mistake, explaining that "web site hijacking" refers to illegally breaking into a computer to alter a Web site. His response was "Lighten up. This is what bugs me about the kool aid set. You see everything in black and white." I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his original mistake was due to cluelessness instead of malice but I think it is illegal to knowingly and falsely accuse even a public figure of a serious crime. Is this legal? If it is legal, is it appropriate for a site that delivers political news?"
top

New Hope for Jackson Hobbit Film?

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "Almost just in time for the 70th Anniversary of the Hobbit (published September 21, 1937) Entertainment Weekly has a 5-page article on a possible reconciliation between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema that may pave the way for the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to return and helm the filming of The Hobbit (New Line controls the film rights). It was previously reported here that Jackson would not be making the Hobbit film. The EW article says that Jackson wants to make two films: first the Hobbit in its entirety and then another film that bridges the roughly 60 years between the end of the Hobbit and the start of the Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately Jackson already has a lot on his plate with filming of The Lovely Bones scheduled to start this month and a live action Tintin film in the works."
top

SFLC issues analysis of BSD + GPL licensing

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "From the news-for-nerds-stuff-that-matters dept.

As reported by Groklaw, the SFLC has released their analysis of the recent BSD + GPL licensing kurfuffle. They have also issued guidelines for using BSD licensed code in GPL projects. Contrary to the views of many Slashdotters, they think it is important to keep the more permissive licenses intact when BSD code is used in GPL projects. They also suggest we avoid dual licensing and BSD + GPL code when possible. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to use BSD code in a GPL project."
top

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "Starting last night, I couldn't access my Earthlink pop server. This morning, not only was the pop server down (unknown host), all of Earthlink's servers were unknown. I was only able to get to their customer support phone number via Google cache. I called them and got right through (probably because most other customers were also having trouble getting the phone number with all their servers down). They verified that they were having major problems with their email servers and asked me to wait patiently for 24 hours while they try to get it fixed."
top

DrJimbo DrJimbo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrJimbo (594231) writes "For example if I click on "Deceived by who?" I get taken to the comment above it called "Like a dog chasing its own tail".

I also noticed that the hilighting is borked in the same way. I'm using Konqueror 3.5.5.

I did spend a little time looking for a "contact us" page or "report problems" page but this was the the only thing I could find that let me submit information to you."

Journals

DrJimbo has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?