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Mystery of an Ancient Super Nova Solved

Herby Sagues Re:Use CE, Avoid AD to designate the years. (96 comments)

What's the point? How about solving 90% of the problem with .000001% of the cost? Changing the numbering system wouldn't just be difficult. It will just not happen. You can tray, but you will fail. At which point you will have only helped preserving the current system of AD/BC. By moving to the CE system you stop using a religious term (which is the problem because to some is usign a fictitious character for a science reference) while continuing to use an arbitrary zeroing point, which is not a problem since unless you are able to count from the big bang or use a moving system that's based on the present time (both quite impractical), all references are arbitrary, and chosing the arbitrary (and inaccurate) date of the alleged birth of some person is as good as choosing anything else. Fundamentalists like you that dismiss battles that can be won in favor of ones that can't are the reason why fairy tales still rule society today. Pick your battles and you may win sometimes.

more than 2 years ago
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Mystery of an Ancient Super Nova Solved

Herby Sagues Re:So I guess it wasn't (96 comments)

Huh. I have a PhD and can still recite the whole first trilogy. So I think you are unscientifically extrapolating from your personal experiences.

more than 2 years ago
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Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated

Herby Sagues Re:Brace yourself for flying chairs (645 comments)

Well, to be fair, those claims were never confirmed by anyone else but Lucovosky. He could have perfectly made up the whole thing. It could be real, or it could be false. We have no evidence in either direction, so I wouldn't use that as an argument to support anything.

more than 2 years ago
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Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated

Herby Sagues Re:Out there (645 comments)

Well, I won't comment on the clown, but Android IS ridiculously complicated. If you are commenting on Slashdot you are unlikely to be able to see it. But take the people thac cannot use Windows on a desktop (that is, the majority of people) and give them a phone with Android. After a few minutes they'll get stuck with something. Android is great, but usability wise is not iPhone or Windows Phone 7.

more than 2 years ago
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High-Bandwidth Users Are Just Early Adopters

Herby Sagues Re:But.. But... (162 comments)

No, the fact that there's a significant and obvious conflict of interest means that the paper needs to be dismissed. Do some real research and then make decisions. Put it another way, would you expect Cisco to provide data saying otherwise? If a paper exists which, regardless of the true situation, is expected to claim (and support with supposed evidence) one thing, the fact that the paper claims exactly that adds no information at all. What it says is probably right, but that's independent of the paper's existence. The paper isn't worth the bits on which it is imprinted.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Seeks Do-Let-The-Bed-Bugs-Bite Patent

Herby Sagues Re:Microsoft? Not SBRI? (176 comments)

If (and it is a big if) Microsoft was succesful in moving just 50% of its enterprise customers to the cloud, their revenue would go up by approximately 400%. That's assuming no new products, no new releases and no increased penetration. Microsoft is growing in the not-so-low double digits year over year. I don't them as stagnant and the industry itself is growing faster than ever.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Seeks Do-Let-The-Bed-Bugs-Bite Patent

Herby Sagues Re:What do you mean all female? (176 comments)

Just keep in mind that Jurassic Park doesn't demonstrate that nature finds its way, it just claims so. In fact, the movie had to resort to the fact that Hammond had used frog DNA to complete the missing pieces, which gave the dinosaurs the ability to change sex when needed, which would be absurd considering that frogs are the last animals you would go for when trying to complete a dinosaur's genome. Also, sex change in an adult dinosaur would be physiologically impossible, unlike in a frog. So don't confuse Holywod with reality. It might be true that it's impossible to contain nature, but I see no real proof of that, and everything we know says that if you take enough precautions you should be able to contain your solution. The question is if a termination solution like the one described is enough, and it might very well not be. But if taken enough layered precautions, risk could be reduced enough that the benefits far outweight the risks.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Says PSP2 "As Powerful as PS3"

Herby Sagues Re:FUCK YOU SONY (267 comments)

Consoles are sold at a loss right after launch, but that changes after a few years. The XBox is now sold at a decent profit, and I think the PS3 is almost there. Considering that console manufacturers make good money on the games they (and others) sell for the consoles, I don't see basis to ask them to only sell consoles at a profit. It is simply not good business advice.

more than 3 years ago
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Universal Sends DMCA Takedown On 1980 Report

Herby Sagues Re:Or maybe (189 comments)

What's more important, a short time after the interview, the music industry got what they wanted in order "to survive": they got a tax on all recordable media that woudl cover presumed piracy. So they could credibly say that what they say in the video was completely true, that they would have died if they didn't tax everyone that bought a tape (even if it was to record their own voice). Instead of taking down the video they should use it to say that, since that tax saved the industry before, a tax on Internet access and storage devices would save it again. But those dumbasses don't know how to steal even if they have been doing it for decades.

more than 3 years ago
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Brooklyn Father And Son Launch Homemade Spacecraft

Herby Sagues Re:19 miles isn't "space" (243 comments)

I won't say I would have done a better job than they did (because I certainly wouldn't), but I might suggest an improvement to the experiment for their next launch. Since at 20 miles they still have considerable ascent force (2KG minus the weight of the baloon if my calculations are right) they could add a pressure valve to the baloon, so after it approaches it's maximum diameter it begins releasing small quanitites of gas to keep it close to that volume. Given that the diameter of the baloon is basically derived from the difference in pressures, by setting the valve to release gas after that difference in pressures is reached the baloon could continue to raise until its load is equal to its lift capacity. If my calculations are right you should be able to reach about ten more KM with slow gas release (assuming a payload of 200 grams). You would probably have to switch to hydrogen from helium to get that sort of "mileage" but it sounds like a doable thing. The problem with this approach is that it makes recovering the load more difficult, as you have to have another trigger. But a timer or a mechanical, altitude based release also seems doable. Now, if I were to do this, I would put as a payload a hobby rocket with a timed launch. The rocket wouldn't add much to the total height, but would account for the highest rocket launch by an individual, and that has to be worth something.

more than 3 years ago
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What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?

Herby Sagues Huh? What decade are these guys living in? (511 comments)

My office (part of a large corporation) has been paperless for probably five years now. And it wasn't even a conscious decision: paper simply does not scale. I haven't used paper for anything other than reading a long document while on a plane for years. And I don't see almost any paper in any office around mine. The paperless office has been a reality for some time for many. Those that have not gotten there yet are living in the past.

more than 4 years ago
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Bill Gates No Longer World's Richest Man

Herby Sagues Re:Wonderful news (413 comments)

Actually, I think it is awesome that at least one of them is spending his money on helping the really poor people of the world to become a bit less poor, healthier and safer.

more than 4 years ago
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The LHC Is Back Online

Herby Sagues Food for conspiracy theorists: (123 comments)

Has anyone noticed that since the LHC entered active state, the number of magnitude 7.0 and above earthquakes has doubled (from ten to fourteen a year to two per month)? And that's particularly true in periods where the LHC has been working at high power (where ALL the 7.0+ earthquakes this year have occurred)? Maybe those pesky miniature black holes are not so harmelss after all. (and ducks for cover).

more than 4 years ago
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Fingerprint Requirement For a Work-Study Job?

Herby Sagues Re:They could go even further... (578 comments)

Hashing would work if the scanners were taking absolute, binary measurements without error. But they are not, not a single biometrics unit has or can have that sort of precision. If you capture your fingerprint parameters with the same device, with the same process, two or three times in a row, you'll see significant changes in the parameters from one time to the next. While the detection algorithms are designed to cope with such scanning errors, hashing would make relative comparisons fail 100% of the time. And there lies the problem with biometrics: once you use them once (or even before you do), your "parameters" are no longer a secret under your control. If you give your fingerpring parameters to your bank, your school and your employer, each of them can in theory authenticate as you to the others. That's why I always say: biometrics are technically useless as an authentication mechanism. They can be used for identification (replacing your username) but not for validation (your password) because they are NOT a secret, they CAN'T be revoked, you don't have the option to use different ones for different organizations and they are easy to fake. Of these issues, only the last one can be improved with better technology, the rest are intrinsic to the concept.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Chrome Displaces Safari As Third In Survey

Herby Sagues Re:Getting off the train to crazytown (235 comments)

Actually, it is more due to Google bundling the browser by default with the download for most of its offerings. For example, dowload Google Earth and you will get by default your browser replaced by IE. Yes, you get a chance to opt out from it, but since a desire to run a non-web mapping application is completely orthogonal to the desire to replace your browser, I find the practice a horrible abuse, and it is a sign of what Google is becoming.

more than 4 years ago
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How Can I Contribute To Open Source?

Herby Sagues Re:Pay for your free licenses (332 comments)

So the question is what ways you could waste the taxpayer's money to support a personal crusade? I suggest that you send threatening letters to other department's managers promising something bad if they don't switch to Linux. Or you can give away office supplies to Red Hat employees. Or something along the lines that's equally immoral, but that seems to be well aligned to your way of seeing the public administration.

more than 4 years ago
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Linux Reaches 32% Netbook Market Share

Herby Sagues Re:Oblig Simpson Quote (389 comments)

Because they think at first that they will be fine with Linux. And they are not. Linux fanboys can continue claiming that it's Windows users that are deluding themselves, but they still won't see 30% of even their geek friends running Linux on their netbooks. Of the six Netbooks I saw my friends purchase, four came with Linux. None are running Linux as the primary OS now. I know, anecdoted v.s data, but I'm hearing the same all around.

more than 4 years ago
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How Men and Women Badly Estimate Their Own Intelligence

Herby Sagues Sounds like a contradiction, but it's not (928 comments)

There's a very simple answer tho this difference that is quite probably right: the definition of intelligence used by the sample (that is, by the general population) is not the same one used in IQ tests. That, which shounds quite likely at first glance, would perfectly explain these "surprising" results. It would be enough that the laymen definition of intelligence strongly weighted skills that men have more often than women (such as those related to spacial composition, manually building or fixing things or understanding mechanical processes) while giving less weight to those more frequent in women (like managing complex processes, understanding people's mental state or recalling ordered information) and have those skills weighted differently in the technical definition of IQ, and the results could easily be as observed. Personally I find the definition often used in such tests (the capability to solve complex problems) useless. And no, I do not consider that other definitions that reflect things such as social skills or artistic abilities as valid. What is missing in the definition, IMO, is the ability to FORESEE AND AVOID problems. An intelligent person not only solves problems, is also good at not getting into them. And that's completely missing in any IQ evaluation I've seen. While I personally score high in IQ tests (130 on average, though I've been rated everything from 120 to 145) I thing I would do worse if such capabilities were considered, and I think that would better reflect my real intelligence. Not that I'm dumb as a rock, but I'm not as well adapted for this "living" thing as my IQ would indicate.

more than 4 years ago
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Home Router For High-Speed Connection?

Herby Sagues Re:The best (376 comments)

Windows NT stack was limited to 40-60mbps in practice. Windows 2000 easily reached 200mbps (in hardware from that time), and Windows XP easily reached 300mbps in 2003 and 600mbps today. I've transferred 2Gbps in Windows Vista and Windows 7 on a fast machine with a 10Gbps link.

more than 4 years ago
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LHC Has First Collisions After Years of Waiting

Herby Sagues Re:I for one... (324 comments)

And I welcome you all to our end. No, seriously, I don't think it's likely something bad will happen, but I find it possible. And given the consequences (the whole world cracking and falling to its core now turned into a black hole) I think that's unacceptable. I find it terrifying the speech that I've seen on this subject. Some high profile scientists said "according to the standard model, you would need more than five dimensions for a black hole to develop, and even if it developed, it wouldn't last for long". Uh... IT IS THE FRACKING STANDARD MODEL YOU ARE TRYING TO REFINE!!! That line of reasoning, analyzing things with your current knowledge at hand applies to every possible situation int he universe BUT THIS ONE. Your "best guess" here is not good enough when it would be feasible that your model is wrong and the whole thing ends up with me being smashed with you in a single point. One scientist said "the chances of that happening are one in fifty million". What? Even if you apply no margin of safety, that's like shooting in the back of the head 120 people (considering that equivalent to one in 50.000.000 of killing six billion, it can be argued that the later is actually much worse even mathematically). And then they claim they have reasonable safety margins, and I can beleive that, but those are safety margins in their NUMBERS, not in their MODELS. A simple, tiny change in the standard model might make black holes not only likely, but inevitable. And you don't know that, as you haven't researched all possible models, and you couldn't. I've also heard scientists saying "similar collisions must happen in other parts of the universe, and we don't see that happening". Huh. How would you be able to "see" a tiny black hole? How do you know the missing mass in the universe is not formed by large amounts of small black holes created when such a high energy event occurred and ate whatever was around it? I'm not a fanatic. You can do that sort of bet when you are playing with models that are extremely well established. But when you are breaking new ground trying to validate your current knowledge, you can't make experiments that might destroy the whole planet if your model was wrong. I would even accept it if we couldn't even figure out what could go wrong, but when the stakes are so high, relying on the probability of the event occurring is plain wrong. It is whe most wrong than anyone has ever been in history. Even if in the end, their models turn out right and nothing happens (until they say "hey, nothing happened the last time, let's build a bigger one, with a chance of one in six!).

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Herby Sagues Herby Sagues writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Herby Sagues writes "The theories that claim that we are not living in the real world but we live in a simulated world run on computers instead, in which we are either part of the simulation (like in "13th floor") or just plugged to it (like in The Matrix) are not taken seriously by most, but have not be disproven either. Can you propose an experiment that would prove (or disprove) we run in the real world? Playing with intractable problems, discrete time or other techniques might yield results, though you must consider the possibility of nontraditional (i.e. not temporal/spatial) simulations."

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