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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

LateArthurDent Re:Something which I do not understand (639 comments)

Cosmologists say that when we look in the sky and all the stars and planets, we can see them escaping us. This explains that the universe is expanding. But if we can observe the same thing from every side of Earth, wouldn't it mean that we are in the center?

It's a good question. Try this video

about a week ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

LateArthurDent Re:LED (921 comments)

just stop pointing your camera at me. I don't care if it's showing a red light or not. She was being obnoxious, and wouldn't stop when asked.

You don't have the right to have someone not point a camera at you. You can leave, and cover your face, but you can't really force them to stop. You can politely tell them that it makes you uncomfortable, but if they want to be assholes about it, there's no law against being an asshole. There's definitely a law against you assaulting said asshole and/or stealing their property.

about 2 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

LateArthurDent Re:what will it take for general acceptance (921 comments)

Filming is what you do to other people

Oh? What exactly are you doing to other people when you film them? Stealing their soul?

If you're not touching somebody, you're not assaulting them. If you're not following them as they try to leave you, you're not harassing them. Filming somebody is not doing anything to them anymore than loudly talking about them to somebody else, so that they can hear. They're peripherally involved, they might be annoyed by it, but they don't have any right to stop you.

about 2 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

LateArthurDent Re:what will it take for general acceptance (921 comments)

Sure they have. And sometimes they get attacked. Happens all the time. But since it is not google glass, it doesn't make it to slashdot. People don't like to be recorded without their permission. It doesn't matter if it is google glass. This article attempts to make it sound like google glass users are a group that is discriminated against. That is not the case.

I don't know what bar you go to, but I've never seen that, ever. In fact, if the bar has live music, I've never been to one without at least 20% of people recording.

about 2 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

LateArthurDent Re:Take pictures, press charges. (921 comments)

Apparently there is, even if the law doesn't currently recognise it. Maybe that law is out of date and should be changed.

I don't think so, but let's say you're right. The trick is that recognizing such an expectation of privacy cannot mean that you just ban cameras you're uncomfortable with. You have to ban security cameras. You have to ban reporters who are covering a story. You have to ban people taking selfies at bars and other locations where it's not possible to ensure someone who didn't consent will show up in the background.

If the majority of people in a jurisdiction are willing to go with that, then yeah, the law should be changed. I think they're not. I think the first time you take your phone out to take a picture of something cool you've seen and other people tell you that you can't do that, you're going to throw a fit. People don't really think they have an expectation of privacy at those locations, they just feel uncomfortable when they see a camera next to them because it makes it obvious that they have no expectation of privacy, and they don't like to be reminded of that. They like to pretend they're not ending up on the background of tons of pictures, or being laughed at by the police who is reviewing security tapes because someone's wallet was stolen at the same time you were at the bar getting slapped for the stupid line you tried to use.

about 2 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

LateArthurDent Re:No, not those who don't understand... (921 comments)

Holding the camera up pointing at the room with the screen towards you would be offensive whether or not you were filming.

No. In a public location, bringing a high quality video camera out, setting up on a tripod, and pointing it at straight at you is perfectly acceptable. It's a public location, you have no privacy. You are within your rights to leave, to cover your face, to turn your back to the camera. You can't attack the owner of said camera, or take the camera away.

At the bar you own, or at your house, or at any private property in which the owner doesn't want the device on, you absolutely have the right to kick anybody out who doesn't follow the rules. But somebody is perfectly within their rights to stand in the public street and point a camera at your house window. The only legal recourse you have is to close the blinds.

This obviously depends on the jurisdiction in your area, and whatnot. However, for a lot of the US, that happens to be true. And it's the way it should be.

about 2 months ago

Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

LateArthurDent Re:To quote one of my professors... (124 comments)

Exactly. However, that's not a difficult problem to solve. What the Nature article fails to address is the real problem: it's not easy to publish papers that do nothing but confirm the findings of another paper.

The article talks about how a researcher had his dreams of being published dashed once he failed to achieve a similar p-value upon attempting to reproduce his own research. This is bullshit. Journals should be selective, yes. They should be selective in terms of whether experiments have been run with proper methodology, and whether the study supports the conclusions made by the author. They shouldn't be selective based on p-value. For proper science to occur, not only should said researcher have been able to publish his first low p-value study, he should have been able to publish his second high p-value study. Other researchers at different institutions should attempt to reproduce the work and publish their positive or negative findings. Only once dozens of said studies are performed can we actually start to draw a conclusion: if only 1 in 20 experiments show a p-value below 0.05, well that doesn't actually disprove the null-hypothesis, it's evidence for it.

Even if the 5% chance of a paper being bullshit was an upper bound, that would still be a really plausible scenario. Replicating experiments are a fundamental part of science, but journals are only interested in unique experiments yielding positive results with low p-values. Either that or negative results replicating a particularly important paper that everyone takes for granted. Ideally, while grad students are still new and learning the ropes, their research should consist of replicating others' research and publishing the result, whatever it may be. It's the perfect job to get them started before they've had the chance to do significant research of their own, and it's incredibly valuable to the community at large.

about 2 months ago

Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

LateArthurDent Re:But it is horribly wrong anyway. (458 comments)

Yet, if you put those same satellites in orbit around a black hole, GR math will fail in similar manner...Additionally, GR doesn't properly account for even gravity at super scales.

Is that right? I was under the impression GR is supposed to work fine orbiting a black hole, and that you only ran into problems once you got close to the singularity, because at that point it's dealing with small scales. Simultaneously, quantum mechanics is unlikely to work there either, because it's dealing with very large gravity in small scales. Basically, the singularity is the point where you run outside the scope where either theory works correctly: GR works well with gravity at large scales, but works poorly at small scales, and quantum mechanics works well at small scales, but doesn't work well when gravity is a significant factor (therefore the need for the development of a quantum gravity theory).

I'm not a physicist though, so I'd be glad to be corrected if my understanding is incorrect.

about 3 months ago

A Data Scientist Visits The Magic Kingdom, Sans Privacy

LateArthurDent Re:Decaf at Starbucks? (124 comments)

Plus I kind of think that doing risky behaviour *should* increase your premiums (and reduce everyone else's of course).

I never understood that argument. You guys argue that people who have insurance should pay their premiums in proportion to how likely they are to use it. You consider that the fairest possible payment system. However, if you take that to its logical conclusion, you should only charge people who actually end up using it. So you should go ahead and eliminate insurance altogether, and you have the fairest model possible: only people who get into car accidents pay the costs, only people who get sick pay medical costs, only people who get robbed suffer their losses.

The entire point of insurance is to make the payment unfair in order to diminish the payment by spreading the risk among everyone. You agree to pay something, even though you hope to never have to cash in on the insurance, so that if you do have to cash in, everybody else who doesn't need to cash in subsidizes you, and you pay less. You do this for peace of mind. What you should want isn't to pay commensurate to your risk, you should want everybody to pay equal rates, which will result in the lowest possible premium for everyone. If you determine that premium is too high for your risk level, that should mean you think your risk level is low enough to go without insurance.

about 3 months ago

Bennett Haselton: Google+ To Gmail Controversy Missing the Point

LateArthurDent Re:Bennett Haselton? (244 comments)

If you want to know who he is, just look him up on Google+

Better yet, look him up on Google+ and send him an email. After all, he states that this linking of Google+ and Gmail won't cause an increase of unsolicited email.

That's going to inconvenience him about as much as spam mail in the spam folder, considering all the e-mail people send is going to be automatically filed away to the social folder. Your post ended up proving his point that people don't actually understand how the feature work.

I was somewhat pissed off that Google made accepting those e-mails the default in the google+ settings, but I can see why some people would turn it on. In any case, anyone can turn it off.

about 3 months ago

EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

LateArthurDent Re:Math is math (1010 comments)

1kw is meaningless, without a time period.
It's a unit of power, not energy.

Right. Which is why 1kW / hr doesn't make any sense. Power is a rate, watts is equivalent to Joules per second. So 1 kW / hour is an acceleration in the draw of energy, or 0.278 J / s^2.

They also didn't mean 1 kW * hr for their energy, because the rest of the sentence specified that "1 kW / hr" was $0.10 and he parked for less than 30 minutes. So yeah, clearly they meant just 1kW, and the time period is 30 minutes. Or 0.5 kW * hr for the energy.

about 4 months ago

Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

LateArthurDent Re:Wrong subject (961 comments)

Serious question: what exactly are the consequences of expressing gun control sentiment on a bumper sticker "unsafely"? Does it stop at harassment, bullying, slashing your tires and keying the car? Or will some go so far as to take actual shots at your car?

I live in the South. The consequences are going to have people talk to you about how your position is unwise. Which I believe would happen quite often. You may increase your risk of getting keyed, but the only people who would do that are the people who randomly key cars anyway, they just found what they're deeming a justification this time.

The GP was making a joke. Of the same type you'd hear from a friend who is a fan of a different football team you are saying that you won't be safe at his house during the game.

about 4 months ago

Tesla Model S Has Bizarre 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night

LateArthurDent Re:Vampire? Huh?! (424 comments)

No big mysteries here. Room for complaint that this issue hasn't been resolved quickly, though.

Your quote is from the original article from March. In the next link he talks about the latest November update, which reintroduced sleep mode.

That said, he's wrong that the latest update doesn't fix the problem. I own a Model S, and I went from losing about 5 miles off my rated range in 8 hours to losing about 1 mile per 14 hours. So, what's the difference between my car and his? Well, based on the pictures he posted, which has snow on the ground, he lives somewhere far colder than South Carolina, where I live. So his car is using more power for thermal management of the batteries.

But wait, you say. The article says, "It's a popular myth among Model S owners that much of the vampire power goes to keep the battery warm during cold nights. This is simply not true. According to Tesla, there is no thermal management of the Model S battery when the car is turned off and not charging--no matter how cold it gets."

True, guy. However, let's examine your testing methodology: "For each test, I charged the car up in the evening to its usual selected level (In my case, about 80 percent). Then I removed the charge plug. I allowed the car to sit unplugged overnight and on into the next day, until I needed to drive it. (Typically a span of 12 to 24 hours.) Before driving it, I plugged it back in to top off the vampire-depleted battery back to its original level. Then I checked the kWh-meter."

And...when you plug it in to charge it, the pumps come on, and they start heating up your battery for safe charging. There's your so-called vampire load. My car, in a warmer environment, doesn't have to spend as much energy doing that.

Furthermore, he says: "The three tests showed vampire losses of 2.3 kWh in 17 hours, 1.9 kWh in 23 hours, and 4.2 kWh in 18 hours...I can't explain the wide variation in the vampire draw over the three tests."

Maybe he should try correlating it with temperature.

about 5 months ago

Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn

LateArthurDent Re:That's because it has a software governor. (410 comments)

416 horse power and it can only do 132 mph is nothing to brag about.

It's not a technical limitation. The Model S has a software governor that caps its top speed. Part of the "tuning" package Tesla plans to offer for German Model S customers is a raise on the cap to somewhere closer to the "gentlemen's agreement" of 155 MPH that most auto manufacturers limit their cars with.

There's also a hidden menu setting to turn off the governor. See the video at just before the 1:00 mark. I haven't read anything about people trying it, though.

That's because nobody knows the password to get into that hidden menu.

about 5 months ago

Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn

LateArthurDent Re:Impressive. (410 comments)

Impressive. But stupid. Yes, the autobahn has unlimited speed, but they also require that the vehicle be in serviceable condition. Given the warning indicator for the tire pressure system, I kinda wonder if the tires were properly inflated and in good condition. But at least the test wasn't for long.

I own a Model S. There's some type of issue they've been having the cause the computer to lose the wireless signal from the pressure sensor under certain conditions, at which point that error will pop up. When I called Tesla service after it first showed up, they told me that they had some issues with the roadsters regarding electromagnetic noise from the motors interfering with the wireless from the pressure sensor, and that they thought they had the problem solved for the Model S, but that reports like mine were coming in, and they realized they hadn't. They asked me if I was on the highway when it popped up, which I was, and confirmed it was probably triggered by higher speeds and accelerations. They were looking into a fix.

The warning for improperly inflated tires is different, and tells you to check tire pressure, not call Tesla service. Considering this guy was maxing out his acceleration and speed, I suspect he ran into the bug. His vehicle was probably in good serviceable condition, and tires were probably properly inflated. The computer just couldn't read the pressure value and threw out the warning.

about 5 months ago

How Safe Is Cycling?

LateArthurDent Re:How safe? (947 comments)

I'm good with sharing the road, and would love for cities to be more bike friendly. I might do some bike commuting myself if that were the case. That said, you said something which I just have to comment on.

That's one of my biggest pet peeves - I can maintain a stopped trackstand for only a few seconds before i've got to unclip and put my feet down - when a car has the right of way at a stop sign, I wish they would just take it because then I can get through the intersection faster. Encouraging cyclists to take the right of way when they don't have right of way just further encourages them to not respect right of way laws.

Seriously, dude? It's a consequences issue. If the cyclist doesn't respect the right of way, and I expected him to, that's a hurt cyclist, potentially dead. If I assume the cyclist isn't going to respect the right of way and slow down until I'm sure of what he's going to do, I've inconvenienced me and and the cyclist a bit with the delay.

I'm not encouraging you to not respect right of way laws. I'm trying to encourage you to unclip and put your foot down when you reach a stop sign, because that's the only signal I have that you're going to actually stop and not run in front of me. Not doing that is the equivalent of a rolling stop.

If you always did put your foot down as soon as you reached that stopped sign instead of trying to avoid doing so, I wouldn't be slowing down, and we'd both get through the intersection faster. I'd love to just be able to do what I know is the right thing and go, but as I've mentioned before, the consequences for me if the cyclist didn't see me or thinks he can cross quicker than he actually can is that I'll run over the dude. At that point, I don't care whose fault it is, I just don't want that on my conscience.

about 6 months ago

First Experimental Evidence That Time Is an Emergent Quantum Phenomenon

LateArthurDent Re:I think... (530 comments)

Well, consider that relativity tells us that the satellites zooming up above us have slower ticking clocks.

Actually, the GPS satellite clocks run 38 microseconds faster than ground based clocks.
This is because they are not moving fast enough (special relativity: faster means slower clock) to counter the general relativistic effects (stronger gravitational field means slower ground clocks).
Both clocks seem to be slower for an observer in free space.

You are absolutely right. I appreciate the correction.

about 6 months ago

First Experimental Evidence That Time Is an Emergent Quantum Phenomenon

LateArthurDent Re:I think... (530 comments)

But with sensitive enough detection or a long enough desk, you would see the speed of the ball slow down due to friction effects like rolling resistance and air resistance

Well, yeah, but that's entropy again. I was considering a frictionless desk in a vacuum :)

about 6 months ago

First Experimental Evidence That Time Is an Emergent Quantum Phenomenon

LateArthurDent Re:I think... (530 comments)

After reading a lot on this is that sometimes an issue becomes a problem without reason.

Now, time is ONLY a man made measure - a measure between events. Nature/the universe doesn't know what time is nor cares about it. It is only us humans that need to try to explain time dilation and various other 'time issues' to make the maths work. Remove time, and I bet it will balance these equations.

Time cannot run backwards,as there is no such thing as time except in the human brain and the human concept of measuring changes.

Nature doesn't care about time? Tell that to the laws of thermodynamics. Entropy only goes one way.

If you watch a video of a ball rolling on a desk, you can't tell just by the video whether time has been reversed. The physics governing that motion don't care about time. If you watch a video of an egg being shattered, you'll know when the video is reversed. You know all the contents of the egg can't spontaneously get back together as time moves forward. That would be going to a much more well-ordered state.

Also, the GPS device you use to triangulate your position and navigate to your destination? Well, consider that relativity tells us that the satellites zooming up above us have slower ticking clocks. They're actually moving through time slower than you are, and our current GPS accuracy wouldn't be achievable if we didn't take that into account.

about 6 months ago


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