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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Khashishi non-story (346 comments)

Looking at the survey results, it's clear that the question pertaining to DNA was giving in the context of other questions on governmental policies. If I answered the survey, I would have answered based on what I thought the researcher meant by the question, and not the literal text of the question. When I saw the question, I would ask myself, should I be a smartass and answer the question as written, or should I assume the researcher means to ask, "Mandatory labels on foods containing modified or isolated DNA"

yesterday
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Khashishi Re:Remember the good old days? (346 comments)

I can't remember that far back. It must've been well before the sinking of the USS Maine.

2 days ago
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Made-In-Nigeria Smart Cards To Extend Financial Services To the Poor

Khashishi Re:You can smell the desperation (40 comments)

As long as we have money begetting money, we will have bubbles.

2 days ago
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Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Khashishi Who's liable when it fails or backfires? (299 comments)

When making something safer, we can expect more lawsuits, not less, as we might naively expect. It doesn't matter if we can statistically show that a new technology saves lives. If auto manufacturers put this feature into their vehicles, suddenly it is their fault when the feature fails to prevent an accident, or causes causes an accident where one would not have occurred. Previously, the driver would be liable.

2 days ago
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The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

Khashishi not paradoxes (229 comments)

Those aren't paradoxes. So space is created. How is that a paradox? Did someone say space is not allowed to be created?
So energy is created. That violates conservation of energy, but conservation of energy is simply a law that we formulated from experience, and later proved using Noether's theorem by assuming that the laws of physics are time-invariant. Well, it's not valid to extrapolate from our small-scale experiences to the universe, and the laws of physics probably aren't time-invariant at cosmological scales.
Nobody really knows how to calculate the energy of the vacuum, and that's why we have to use renormalization. The 10^120 figure is really a very rough ballpark estimate using dimensional analysis. There's not any solid theory to back it up.

5 days ago
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The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

Khashishi wow, too complicated (180 comments)

I used to sort of understand how a computer works. Not anymore. It's just magic.

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

Khashishi Re:Nothing wrong with self censorship (512 comments)

Given the timing, I think it's reasonable to assume that it's censorship based on fear of violence.

about three weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

Khashishi Re:If your decision is.... (512 comments)

There are tons of crazies out there. Not all of them are seeking to achieve the same thing.

about three weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

Khashishi Re:Conform or be expelled (320 comments)

That's all fine and good when there are infinite houses to choose from. In the real world, resources are limited, and most nice places already have overlords controlling them.

about three weeks ago
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Beware Headlines Saying Chocolate Is Good For You

Khashishi Re:Still useful research (224 comments)

That's why europeans tend to baulk the first time they taste a hershey bar....

Well it isn't exactly fair to compare a military ration to a sweet delicacy.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Birds Slur Their Songs When Drunk, Just Like Humans

Khashishi Re:Would be news if this didn't happen. (63 comments)

You know, the main purpose of research is to confirm what you already predict to be true.

about three weeks ago
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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

Khashishi Re:more simplifications and fewer cats, please (197 comments)

I think people are moving away from the Copenhagen interpretation to other interpretations such as consistent histories, decoherence, and many worlds. Bohmian interpretation is another option, but I find it inelegant and it doesn't hold too much sway.

Personally, I feel that consistent histories* is the best. In this interpretation, the cat is simply dead or alive. We don't know which until we check, but the cat's state didn't change when we opened the box. Note that whatever is enforcing consistency does not obey causality---the laws of quantum mechanics are essentially symmetric in time (more accurately CPT). In some sense, the future is "prewritten" though we have no way to measure it, and the current state of the universe is required to be consistent with the future state. So if the cat is dead in the future where the box is opened, it's already dead with the box closed.

I prefer the "block universe" depiction of the universe as a stationary 4D object, since it seems to be easiest to reconcile with relativity. Relativity of simultaneity makes no sense if the future isn't already written. We call this 4D universe object a history, and all the events in the history have to be consistent with laws of physics. It makes no difference if you think of the past causing the future or the future causing the past: they are just there and neither is created from the other. In the many worlds interpretation, every possible (e.g. consistent) history exists, but I think one is sufficient.

*I might be mistaken on what consistent histories is. My description is my personal interpretation, which might coincide with the definition of consistent histories.

about a month ago
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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

Khashishi Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (197 comments)

There's no mysticism in quantum mechanics. It's pretty simple and mathematically consistent. All of the mysticism comes from popularizations of quantum mechanics. Bohmian mechanics is an unnecessary complicated interpretation of the same physical models.

about a month ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Khashishi Re:von Neumann probes (391 comments)

Of course, the engineering hurdles of a 100g probe sucking up Jupiter might be insurmountable...

about a month ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Khashishi Re:von Neumann probes (391 comments)

Travel time. The galaxy is some 100000 light years across. Using available fuels, what fraction of light speed can a probe hope to achieve? Let's suppose they run on DD fusion energy. The reaction gives off about 0.4% of the rest energy of the fuel, so a reasonable estimate of potentially attainable specific impulse is 0.004*c, assuming the probe is mostly fuel. Using Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, how fast can a probe reasonable reach? This depends on how much fuel the probe eats up at each stop. Assuming a probe mass of 100g, lets suppose the probe eats up a mass of Jupiter to create fuel at 10% efficiency at each stop. Well, that gives a delta v of ~.25*c. (Since there is a logarithm, the result doesn't change that much if we eat a sun or a saturn.) Useful cruise speed is half of that. Ok, that is still enough speed to conquer the galaxy in a few million years.

Multiplication factor: how many probes need to be sent out after each stop such that there is enough to spread over the galaxy in a reasonable time (there are ~10^11 stars). This is increased by the fact that many probes will fail to reach the destination for various reasons, so some redundancy is needed. We want to choose a multiplication factor such that the probes will cover the galaxy in approximately the same time as it takes for one probe to travel across the galaxy. Assume probes travel at 0.1*c, and it takes 10^6 years to traverse the galaxy. Let's assume a distance of 20 light years, or 200 travel years between stops. So we have 5000 stops in 10^6 years, so we need a multiplication factor of
f = 1.005 * redundancyFactor.
Ok, that's small enough to not make much difference in the resource needs.

Hmm, I intended to show that it was unfeasible, but it still looks like it might be physically possible, given extremely powerful probe technology.

about a month ago
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Possible Dark Matter Signal Spotted

Khashishi Re:Whence Occam's Razor? (66 comments)

Keep in mind that what information comes out of journalists is typically 10 times more outrageous than any of the scientists' claims.

about a month and a half ago
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US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat

Khashishi Re:This might alienate anti-ISI* Muslims. (225 comments)

Silly rabbit, laws of war don't apply to dealing with unlawful combatants.

Also, lasers are fairly well collimated, so you'd have to aim directly at the person to blind them, and then I think they would have more problems than just blinding. You can also blind someone by shooting them in the eye with a gun, but for some reason it's ok as long as they have a good chance of dying outright.

about a month and a half ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Khashishi nethack has graphics (186 comments)

I know it's hip to play in text mode with vi keys, but you don't have to. Tile graphics mode has been around for a while now, and cursor keys have pretty much always been there. The article doesn't seem to indicate that.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Hackers steal 2 million tonnes of EU carbon credit

Khashishi Khashishi writes  |  about 4 years ago

Khashishi (775369) writes "Taking advantage of the lax security systems in place, hackers stole some 475000 European Union carbon Allowances on 10 Jan through a variety of phishing attacks. The European Commission has closed the trading on 19 Jan, until at least 26 Jan, in order to beef up security measures. Is it a political statement, or just greed, that drove this act?"
Link to Original Source
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Elan sues Apple over touchscreen patents

Khashishi Khashishi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khashishi (775369) writes ""TAIPEI (Reuters) — Taiwan chip designer Elan Microelectronics is suing Apple in the United States for what is says is infringement of two of its touchscreen technology patents by the MacBook, iPhone and iPod Touch.""
Link to Original Source
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Giuliani predicts deadly earthquake, censored

Khashishi Khashishi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khashishi (775369) writes "Seismologist Giampaolo Giuliani claims to have predicted the deadly earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, that killed at least 92 people. His attempts at warning the public were reported to the authorities and his warnings were censored to prevent public panic.

It must be noted that accurate earthquake prediction is not well-established within the science community, so what is the government's proper response?"

Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court to rule on TV censorship

Khashishi Khashishi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Khashishi (775369) writes "LA times and Associated Press report that the FCC v. Fox Television Stations case is being heard in the Supreme Court. The FCC policy would impose a heavy fine on use of "indecent" words on broadcast television, which Fox and others are claiming is a violation of free speech. The case was appealed after being ruled in Fox's favor in a federal appeals court in New York. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia support the FCC policy of censorship."
Link to Original Source

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