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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

PvtVoid Re:Time to... (445 comments)

Also, somebody on this thread ignored the word from. Banning flights from infected countries still allows personnel to get there.

You're going to end up with a fuck of a lot of doctors and airliners in Liberia then.

13 hours ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

PvtVoid Re:Time to... (445 comments)

You stop the unsecured flights from coming out.
You allow secured flights going into and coming out of secured areas.
You then transfer supplies to the workers securing and treating other areas.


You forgot a step: you budget and pay the many tens of billions of dollars that this will cost. Good luck.

yesterday
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

PvtVoid Re:Time to... (445 comments)

No, but definitely the time to enact common sense, and if anybody says, "but that's offensive to..." give them a good punch in the mouth. Good common sense, like not allowing people to fly from those countries.

Except that if you cancel all the flights, medical personnel and drugs and equipment have no way to get there. Which means that the disease can't be contained. Which means that it spread to places that there are still flights allowed, before you are aware of it, or have countermeasures. What do you do then? Cut off all flights to that country, rinse and repeat?

The people who actually do disease control are warning, based on science, that the douchebag reactionary approach to this is going to kill hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people, and put even First World countries at risk. Sorry, America isn't going to shoot its way out of this one.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

PvtVoid And the problem is? (473 comments)

Studies suggest that if solar adoption continues growing at its current rate, incumbents will be forced to raise their prices, which will only persuade more people to switch to solar.

Which means the subsidies are effective and successful, and we should have more of them.

Oh, wait. I thought I lived in a sane country for a second there.

2 days ago
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Astrophysicists Use Apollo Seismic Array To Hunt For Gravitational Waves

PvtVoid Gratuitous LIGO Slam (25 comments)

The work shows that good science on gravitational waves can be done without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars for bespoke gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, which have yet to find any evidence of the waves either.

Do you mean aside from the cost of putting seismometers on the moon in the first place?

The experiment referenced is a fabulously clever re-use of existing data, but it has nothing whatsoever to say about the funding case for LIGO. LIGO, like many cutting-edge experiments, requires very long-term technology development before it can produce a positive result. Some science requires long-term thinking, not just until the next quarter or the next election cycle.

4 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

PvtVoid Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

.... rant rant ...

Wow. It took six minutes for the first angry, misogynistic douchebag to start venting bile.

Slashdot, you can do better. It should be no more than two minutes thirty.

about a week ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

PvtVoid Re:Why did he lose tenure? (167 comments)

There are two possibilities: He lost his tenure because there was an anonymous, incorrect peer review negative towards him. His work was actually good. In that case he should sue the university to make decisions based on anonymous, incorrect peer reviews.

There's a third, more mundane possibility: he lost his tenure because he quit. When he lost his new job offer, he went back to Wayne State asking for his old job back, and they said no. The devil is in the details here. If he had a written employment and tenure agreement with Mississippi all signed and finalized, he would have a damn good case against Mississippi. TFA is not clear on this point, but I would hazard a guess that he got an informal notice that Mississippi intended to hire him, quit at Wayne State before the offer was official, and then Miss yanked the offer before they were legally committed. This kind of shit happens all the time. So sorry.

Moral: never, ever, quit your current job until the ink is dry on the legal papers for your new one.

about a week ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

PvtVoid Please... (252 comments)

... get over your fucking phone. It's a convenient electronic bauble, not the center of your fucking existence.

about a week ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

PvtVoid Re:Still some wiggle room (133 comments)

I'd like to bet somebody a dollar that we go to a steady-state universe in our lifetime.

As several other posters have pointed out, whether BICEP2 is seeing gravity waves or dust has very little to do with whether or not the Big Bang is right. Even if BICEP2 is entirely explained by dust, the Big Bang is still just fine as a theory. Sorry to disappoint you.

about a week ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

PvtVoid Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (133 comments)

The first is not specifically wrong. Thermodynamics implies that the big bang's energy had to some from somewhere.

No. This is specifically wrong. Thermodynamics implies no such thing.

The Big Bang does have thermodynamic issues, but the primary problem is entropy, not energy. And the problem is that the entropy of the early universe is too low, not too high. (Inflation, BTW, is one way to explain the initial low-entropy state of the universe, but even that is an incomplete explanation.)

about a week ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

PvtVoid Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (133 comments)

- The universe did not come from nothing. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe did not create itself. Thermodynamics prevents this.
- The universe was created by an intelligent Creator is the sole, logical conclusion.

At least the first point above is just plain wrong, and the second is either wrong or meaningless, depending on exactly what you mean by "create itself".

about two weeks ago
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"Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

PvtVoid Still some wiggle room (133 comments)

The Planck dust measurement in pretty damning, but it is not the final word.

(1) Planck measured the dust contamination with greatest sensitivity at 353 GHz. It was not sensitive enough to measure the dust signal at 150 GHz, where BICEP was observing. They had to extrapolate the dust contribution from the higher frequency to the lower. This is actually a pretty big extrapolation, since the dust emission at 150 GHz is less than 1% of the dust emission at 353 GHz.

(2) The uncertainty in the dust emission amplitude is still pretty high, so the Planck measurement is consistent with an "all dust" model, or with a "mostly dust" model, or with a "mostly primordial, with some dust" model. It does pretty conclusively rule out a "no dust" model.

(3) They have not released the results of a joint analysis of Planck and BICEP2, which is what is necessary to actually shed some light on exactly how much of the BICEP2 signal is likely to be dust.

But it's clear that the BICEP team was being over-optimistic in their assumptions about galactic dust, which is a bummer.

about two weeks ago
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Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

PvtVoid Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (80 comments)

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but I really don't like how they do this extrapolation stuff. Like the universe is currently expanding, and based on the current rate of expansion (or the rate of change of that expansion) we assume it has always been expanding and that 14 billion years ago everything was crammed into something the size of a golf ball. I'm not anti-science, but that seems to be making a pretty big leap.

This is mostly because you apparently don't understand the theory (or the data) very accurately, which is fine. But to take a layman's understanding of something and concluded that "all teh scientists are idiots" is really, really not a good idea.

The evidence that cosmological expansion occurred in the distant past, not just today, is compelling, and direct. We can actually see light that has been traveling unimpeded since the universe was only 300,000 years old, which means that we can directly observe the conditions in the universe at that time. And it was hot, and dense.

about two weeks ago
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Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

PvtVoid Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (80 comments)

This is another thing that bothers me. If we can see stars as far away as the universe is old, then we (or the matter we are composed of) must be moving away from them at very close to the speed of light, since we were once very close to them.

Things as (almost) far away as the universe is old are moving away from us at (close to) the speed of light. Things farther away from us than the universe is old are moving away from us faster than the speed of light. This is perfectly consistent with General Relativity: it seem to contradict Special relativity, but it actually doesn't.

about two weeks ago
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

PvtVoid The Drone Wars (138 comments)

Begun they have.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

PvtVoid Re: No surprise (224 comments)

There is no such thing as "right" or "wrong" in nature and no delusions of morality can change that.

Don't be silly. Traits such as altruism, empathy, and a sense of justice are also evolutionarily advantageous, and have just as much of a Darwinian origin as dominance and brute force.

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

PvtVoid Re:Algebra (981 comments)

The Arabic numerals are actually Hindi.

Don't try to confuse the issue. As far as most Americans are concerned, brown people in turbans are brown people in turbans.

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

PvtVoid Re:they will defeat themselves (981 comments)

Has Israel ever resorted to actual genocide/mass expulsions of the population?

Um.

Yes?

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

PvtVoid Re:they will defeat themselves (981 comments)

For every one you kill two will take their place. Your philosophy breeds terrorism instead of extinguishing it.

Which is a total win-win:

- We'll have a thriving Defense Industry in the US, and lots of corporate fat-cats will get rich.
- We'll have lots of military employment opportunities for young impoverished rural Americans. The ones that survive can be shunted off into sub-standard medical and psychiatric care, and will end up homeless or dead in a cost-effective way.
- We'll make sure the corrupt, dissolute fucktards in charge of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and Kuwait are so scared of the creations of their own madrassas that they don't dare interrupt our oil supply.
- There will be a cheap and easy path to election for bigoted, paranoid demagogues to get elected with rancid Islamophobic propaganda.

I mean, what's not to like?

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

PvtVoid Re:Algebra (981 comments)

Guess it's time to rename Algebra (al-jebr in Arabic) since they don't seem to want to be associated with that anymore.

I know: Freedom Numbers!

In fact, I think we should all boycott Arabic numerals, including the zero. Go back to good old Roman numerals, like we had before the creeping influence of Islam and Sharia Law. That'll show 'em.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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iPhone 6 rollout makes $23 billion in Apple market cap evaporate

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  5 days ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Apple's stock has now dropped below $100 per share, wiping out more than $23 billion dollars in market capitalization since the botched release of the iPhone 6.

'Despite the iOS 8 bugs and bent iPhones that have cost Apple approximately $23 billion, the company’s stocks are still up this year by over 20 percent, leading the race ahead of Standard & Poor’s 500’s general gain of seven percent. But a market slump just days after a crucial new product release is a major blow for any company. The iPhone, Apple’s most widely recognized and critical product, accounts for over half its stock value. With such serious problems hovering over its new release, this drastic change in stocks comes as little surprise.'

Does it make sense that a messy software update and some bent cases should be responsible for that much value disappearing? Is there too much market cap tied to a single consumer product to begin with?"

Link to Original Source
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Washington Post covers #gamergate

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about two weeks ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Rape threats. A hacking attempt on her Web site. The online publication of personal information, including her phone number and home address. Countless comments on her Tumblr calling her a “slut” and worse, including one that read: “Are you reading this? Of course you are. I will kill you.”

This is what indie video game developer Zoe Quinn has been dealing with for the past month, ever since an ex-boyfriend wrote a blog post implying that she had traded sex for positive reviews. The post sparked a virulent campaign against Quinn and an all-out online war about the future of the video-game industry."

Link to Original Source
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WSJ Reports Boeing to beat SpaceX for manned taxi to ISS

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about two weeks ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that NASA is poised to award a key contract for manned transport to the International Space Station to Boeing over rival SpaceX:

Recent signals from the Obama administration, according to the officials, indicate that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's leadership has concluded on a preliminary basis that Boeing's proposed capsule offers the least risky option, as well as the one most likely to be ready to transport U.S. crews to the international space station within three years. The officials cautioned that a last-minute shift by NASA chief Charles Bolden, who must vet the decision, could change the result of the closely watched competition.

Here is a non-paywalled link to an article at CNET"
Link to Original Source

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The National Review has had it with nerd chic.

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world. Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics.

The pose is, of course, little more than a ruse — our professional “nerds” being, like Mrs. Doubtfire, stereotypical facsimiles of the real thing. They have the patois but not the passion; the clothes but not the style; the posture but not the imprimatur. Theirs is the nerd-dom of Star Wars, not Star Trek; of Mario Kart and not World of Warcraft; of the latest X-Men movie rather than the comics themselves."

Link to Original Source
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Gofor: Uber for Drones

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Gofor claims to be developing an app that summons a drone on demand using your smartphone or tablet. From the web site: "Drones are summoned much like taxis in other popular service apps. Your desired task is either noted at the outset using presets, or customized using voice commands. Once the drone arrives, your phone's flashlight is used to pair your device with the drone. From there, it depends on the task, the object-based UI is very easy to understand. ""
Link to Original Source
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NSF Researcher Suspended for Mining Bitcoin

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 4 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "In the semiannual report to Congress by the NSF Office of Inspector General, the organization said it received reports of a researcher who was using NSF-funded supercomputers at two universities to mine bitcoin. The computationally intensive mining took up about $150,000 worth of NSF-supported computer use at the two universities to generate bitcoins worth about $8,000 to $10,000, according to the report. It did not name the researcher or the universities."
Link to Original Source
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Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 4 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu pens a heartfelt takedown of misogyny in nerd culture:

What the fuck is wrong with us?

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

[...]

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here. We are not the underdogs. We are not the ones who have our ownership over our bodies and our emotions stepped on constantly by other people’s entitlement. We’re not the ones where one out of six of us will have someone violently attempt to take control of our bodies in our lifetimes.

"
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Julie Ann Horvath Quits GitHub, Citing Harrassment

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 6 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "From TechCrunch: The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
Link to Original Source
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Biologist fits sharks with lasers

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Marine biologist Luke Tipple mounts 50 milliwatt S3 Krypton lasers to lemon sharks to study shark movements in the water. "Tipple said that clipping the laser onto the dorsal fin and flipping on the laser was easy, although the shark didn’t like it when Tipple first attached the clamp. He said a few seconds later 'it returned to normal behavior.'""
Link to Original Source

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