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Comments

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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

Khashishi Re:Does the TrueCrypt License (240 comments)

Isn't it like half-life though? You can always remove half more of the original code, but when can you be confident you got it all?

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

Khashishi You aren't too old to go back to school (228 comments)

Your answer depends on how serious you are about this. Since you want to "contribute back to the field", it sounds like grad school is the way to go. But then you say that you can't spend more than 10 hours a week on open courseware, so I'm not sure how willing you are to leave IT.

In your situation, you might try to get involved in scientific programming, and simulation work. In this case, your IT background will be an asset, and you will also be working on physics.

2 days ago
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Interviews: David Saltzberg Answers Your Questions About The Big Bang Theory

Khashishi Re:Collaboration (102 comments)

Scientifically accurate Spiderman:
Peter Parker gets bitten by a spider. He gets a red welt, but the spider wasn't a particularly venomous one, so he doesn't go to the ER. The End.

3 days ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

Khashishi Re:So-to-speak legal (418 comments)

Hmm. Somebody needs to learn some history about how things were before the EPA, FDA, OSHA, and various fair labor regulatory agencies. Why do you think these things exist? Because things were so fucked that protesters demanded that politicians do something.

5 days ago
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Google's Android One Initiative Launches In India With Three $100 Phones

Khashishi Re:$100 (50 comments)

Everybody's definition of "good enough" is different.

5 days ago
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If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

Khashishi Re:Of course we can (140 comments)

I'm pretty sure grandparents existed long before agriculture.

about a week ago
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If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

Khashishi Re:Of course we can (140 comments)

Isn't every cause of death medical?

about a week ago
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If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

Khashishi Re:Of course we can (140 comments)

We're not ready as a society for elimination of aging. Currently, with money and power generally growing with age, death is the great equalizer. Rich or poor, everybody dies. This is the only thing stopping unfettered hoarding of wealth. Would Bill Gates give away his money if he never aged? I don't know, but it does seem less likely. We'd be stuck in a society where the elders own and control everything, and the young would fight to survive. Murder would replace age-related illness as the leading cause of death.

For this society to work, the time value of money has to be negative, not positive. Money has to decay with time, not grow. This is the way money should work today, but good luck convincing our overlords.

about a week ago
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If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

Khashishi Re:Of course we can (140 comments)

That depends on what you mean by die. Seems pretty clear today, but technology is always blurring things. Did Henrietta Lacks die in 1951?

about a week ago
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Hewlett-Packard Pleads Guilty To Bribing Officials in Russia, Poland, and Mexico

Khashishi Re:Cultural Differences (110 comments)

The first step to legalizing bribery is to not call it bribery.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Khashishi Re:difference between driver and passenger? (364 comments)

System? I assume the system is a traffic cop in a cop car and a court order to a phone company to shut off service to an individual.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Khashishi IDL language (729 comments)

Odd integers are true; even integers are false.

Arrays can be indexed with () or []. This leads to namespace problems with functions which are also called with (). For example:
x=a(1,2)
error: undefined variable a.
If you want to call function a, you have to forward declare it for this reason.
There's a different syntax for procedures (which don't have a return value) and functions (which do).

It is required to assign the result of a function to something. You have to write
dummy = foo(1,2,3)
as writing
foo(1,2,3)
will give an error.

Most of the time, a single element array is treated the same as a scalar. But not always, and not being very careful will lead to weird errors.
There are no zero length arrays.
An array can be length 1; a multidimensional array can be length [1,2,2], but a multidimensional array cannot be length [2,1,1]. If the last dimension has length 1, it simply vanishes to a smaller dimension, unless already 1 dimensional. Example:
a = make_array(1,2,2)
; a has dimensions [1,2,2]
a = make_array(2,1,1)
; a has dimensions [2]
This means special code must be written to handle any array operations that might end with last dimension 1.

Array slices are weird.
b = a[3,*,2]
means to take a slice of a along the second dimension. I'd expect the answer to be 1 dimensional, since there's only 1 scan in the slice. But the result has dimensions [1,3]
On the other hand, a[3,2,*] has dimensions [1,1,3], and a[*,3,2] has dimensions [3]. It makes sense in a convoluted way, but it sucks.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Khashishi Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

It's not unionized because conditions aren't bad enough to warrant it, as much as programmers like to complain.

about a month ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Khashishi Re:not true at all (133 comments)

American and European agricultural efficiency has destroyed the livelihood of millions of farmers around the world, especially in the poorest of countries.

There's a simple fix to that. It's called a tariff. But these are bad for megacorps so we have treaties like NAFTA to forbid them.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

Khashishi Re:Blame HR ... (278 comments)

Ok, if she doesn't actually have the power to make any decisions, and the company is just using some filter product purchased by the executives, what exactly does she do?

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

Khashishi Re:Pete and Repeat (278 comments)

Seems like the resume did its job, got him the interview.

about a month ago
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Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

Khashishi Re:Case closed (127 comments)

You are assuming that these groups are logical.

about a month and a half ago
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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

Khashishi Re:Limits of Measurement (144 comments)

This isn't a perfect analogy, but think of a kink in the carpet. You can push it around, like a object, but you can't make it disappear without taking out some slack in the carpet. Now if we define this kink as a particle, it IS a particle. Using this definition, the particle doesn't have a precise position, nor a rigid shape. But a quantum particle isn't at all like a classical big object, which still has a precise position although it is extended over space. The difference is that a quantum particle appears to be a point particle whenever you look at it, located randomly on a screen in a region where the screen intersects the quantum particle wavefunction. That is, the wavefunction can be so large that the particle basically should cover the whole screen, but we only see a single dot on the screen somewhere. By 'appears to be a point', I mean that the particle collapses onto the resolution of the screen, no matter how high resolution the screen has, to the limits which we can make screens, and a single particle won't excite two neighboring screen pixels at once. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to understand this classically.

about 1 month ago
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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

Khashishi Re:Limits of Measurement (144 comments)

IAAPhysicist. Parent isn't correct. I advise you to not worry too much about what is "real" and accept that physics looks for simple models which match our experiences. You need to think abstractly, and assume less. For example, everyone grows up with some intuition of what an object is, and then project that notion into realms where they don't apply. The letters on this webpage, for example.... These are black objects which move up and down when you scroll the page. Or, is it really the white spaces between the letters which are the real objects, and the black is just void? Actually both are wrong, and the "reality" is that your monitor is doing certain things, depending on how deep you want to look.

When physicists talk about a particle, they are talking about the smallest step in the amplitude of the fluctuation in some field or combination of fields. A fluctuation doesn't have to be purely one kind of field; for example, a phonon is made out of collective motions of atoms, and polaritons are sort of some mix of photon and phonon. These could be considered particles (but not fundamental particles). This isn't the only way to think about a particle (since it's all just a model anyways), but it is more accurate than billiard balls.

Heisenburg uncertainty principle exists because you are trying to pinpoint a fluctuation in fields which occupy all space.

Parent's description of the double slit experiment is fully wrong. Electrons do not interfere with some build up of electrons. Electrons interfere with themselves, because the fluctuation (which is the electron) exists in the full region between the source and screen. The interference pattern is the same no matter how slowly (in terms of electron rate) you fire the electrons, so build up is not a concern. A similar interference pattern exists in photons and neutrons as well, which aren't charged.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Hackers steal 2 million tonnes of EU carbon credit

Khashishi Khashishi writes  |  more than 2 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 5 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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