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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

St.Creed Re:How lethal are GRBs? (222 comments)

There are some articles on the internet about this. Basically: one side would be fried, the atmosphere would be superheated, and you would have nasty smog all over earth afterwards, making sure that seeds wouldn't grow because Earth would be pretty dark. Oh, and the ozone layer would be stripped off, so the bottom of the ocean might be survivable but apart from that you'd want to be underground during daylight.

In 2008 there was a GRB that occurred about 7.5 billion lightyears away - it was visible with the naked eye, and was aimed straight at Earth. Just imagine what something at 75000000 million lightyears would do - let alone at 7500, about where WR104 is.

yesterday
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Lizard Squad Hits Malaysia Airlines Website

St.Creed Re:Affiliated with ISIS? (41 comments)

Whatever the Murdoch press reports, the opposite is probably the truth... but apart from that: they're a bunch of smalltime crooks trying to sell their botnet and some toolkit. Nothing more. So I'd say it's probably scaremongering.

2 days ago
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Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

St.Creed Re:temporary (363 comments)

It was a response to the question "How many 1,000 year old wood buildings are left? What happened to the rest?", nothing more. The idea that planting a few trees for use as timber in housing would be a solution to the current rising CO2-levels never even crossed my mind, otherwise I'd have made that more explicit in my post.

about a month ago
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Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

St.Creed Re:temporary (363 comments)

A lot of the older buildings in the cities in the EU have wooden beams to hold up everything. They're pretty solid and have been in place for centuries.

But even more, Amsterdam is built mostly on wooden beams, going into the ground for at least 10 meters, and most of the times 20 meters. Just the palace on the Dam alone has a foundation of 13659 wooden beams. There most be millions of trees underpinning the foundations of Amsterdam.

So while I agree it's not the majority, there is still a lot of old timber being used today.

about 1 month ago
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"Star Trek 3" To Be Helmed By "Fast & Furious" Franchise Director Justin Lin

St.Creed Re:Nonstop action? Whattabore. (332 comments)

I liked the Thin Red Line - it's both quality cinema *and* great action. Music was great too.

Recently I saw "the Snow Queen". Something like a European version of Frozen, with more story in 5 minutes than Frozen in its entirety. While I really enjoyed Frozen, I was much more impressed by the Snowqueen, which had very good animation and a much better story.
(I just checked Wikipedia: it *is* the precursor to Frozen, except they butchered the story. The original story was written by some hack called Hans Andersen, so why not, eh? After all, Hollywood scriptwriters are probably better than some foreign Danish guy when it comes to writing screenplay. Right? Right.)

I also liked Lost Highway, which to this day I can't say should be on list #1 or list #2. Or on neither.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was: ignore the false dichotomy between "good and boring" versus "awful but stimulating!". You can actually have both. But I admit it's rare.

about a month ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:we do not need fracking (329 comments)

In Soviet Russia, Nature fracks *you*!

about a month and a half ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

We know that humans are mostly responsible because:
- the isotope type of carbon in the atmosphere can be measured, and it matches the output you get when burning fossil fuels and not other origins
- the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that is measured matches the output you would expect by burning the fossil fuels we know are being used globally

Now the heating up of the atmosphere is not a simple relation to the fossil fuel CO2 output since there's all kinds of heat sinks that we didn't realize the Earth had, that can also suddenly turn into heat producers when certain limits are reached (see the article), and not all mechanisms are well understood or actually even charted.

So: we cannot safely say that humans are responsible for global warming with 100% certainty. We *can* say humans are responsible for pouring unprecedented rates of carbon into the atmosphere, at a rate where very basic science will predict that we get a greenhouse effect eventually. We cannot safely predict a timeframe for that however. But we do know that eventually, the chickens *will* come home to roost. And they're manmade chickens.

about a month and a half ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

Oh the poor, defenseless coal, gas and oil industry. Those poor companies, operating at thin margins with little resources, in far away countries that are nothing but desert, and god-forsaken tar sands. Yes, we must help those poor folk defend their livelihood from big business! Think of their children!

You're right, this is comedy gold :)

about a month and a half ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

I take it as a good sign. The climate denialist faction must become pretty desperate if they have to resort to this type of argument.

about a month and a half ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:"Expected" to release methane (329 comments)

If I observe water temperature rising in a pot of water while I keep adding fuel to the fire, it doesn't take great prognostication skills to predict boiling water in the near future. So your observation is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

Good question: I am quite certain the people suing would lose in court, but there is also the question of which statute or law they could use to sue the employer. I mean, I can think of several but they'd all lead to quite expensive and embarrassing counterclaims for damage to the reputation of the business.

But in the final analysis, they could be sued.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

The employer cannot be sued except if he was colluding or conspiring in the theft, or negligent in other ways (like not providing lockers and forcing you to leave bags outside in the open).

The government declaration is not a shield against liability - the privacy laws are. The employer is both not expected to know about convictions that are irrelevant to the line of work, but it's also illegal to check them via other means.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

That's because Norway (and many European countries) is run by competent people, who care about their country.

It's because the working class organizations (consumer organisations, trade unions) are so strong in most parts of the EU and especially Norway, they have gained a lot of rights and limitations to the powers of capital.Nothing inherently competent about the Norwegians - a competent crook is still competent after all - but the ability of companies to get away with things most people find offensive has been limited by rules like this.

about 2 months ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

I agree - you either can read it easily, or you need a course in reading cursive for specific purposes anyway. So teaching them at school is a bit overdone.

The only persons who will regret not writing cursive in school are jewellers, watchmakers and surgeons - the people who need highly evolved fine motor skills. That's difficult to (re-)gain when you're 18 or older, versus kids who have been writing cursive since age 6. But the question is: why subject the entire population to something only a few occupations will use.

about 2 months ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

So true - even the very clear and well-styled Sont toll registers are pretty hard to read nowadays. See http://dietrich.soundtoll.nl/s... for a nice example of handwriting from 1557, versus this one from 1712 (http://dietrich.soundtoll.nl/scans/toon.php?fnr=175&sid=10).

I can actually read the last one (it's about a boat from or to Harlingen, so a Dutch boat), but it's in Danish and that's not a language I can read easily even with modern type.

about a month ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

The obvious counterexamples to such conspiracy theorist are implementations in countries where the legal system does not base itself on a handwritten document for the constitution, and where this would be nonsensical to begin with. It's just as silly in the USA where I suppose there are machine readable versions available of every relevant document.

about a month ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

And while we're talking about it, the headline "Finland dumps handwriting"- which the original story used and Slashdot copied- is misleading anyway. From the article itself, it's joined-up writing that's being dumped, not writing altogether.

And while it's interesting that this is happening in Finland, it's been implemented for several years in The Netherlands already. And I'm sure, in Finland as well. Since the sky hasn't fallen down, I'm assuming impact on most children has been negligible. And the typing course my son received in exchange sure helps him a lot with his coursework on the computer. All of the children in his class leave school at age 12 with the ability to type blind with 10 fingers.

about a month ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

Or difficult enough to require a pretty intense course. In the Netherlands, we have at least a dozen wildly different medieval writing styles, not counting the handwriting of different writers. Given the changes in how to write the letters of the alphabet, grammar drift, and various attempts over the centuries to "modernize" the language and make it "easier to understand", reading old handwriting is nigh impossible without a decent course.

about a month ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

St.Creed Re:Its just Apple being Apple (189 comments)

True, but this is par for the course with publishers, and one of the reasons the publishing sector is in bad straits. It's a buyers market and if you don't accept the conditions, your competitor will. So either you go out of business outright, or you merely run the risk of going out of business. Not a very enviable position to be in.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Is our universe a quantum cellular automaton?

St.Creed St.Creed writes  |  about 5 months ago

St.Creed (853824) writes "Noble-prize winner Gerard van 't Hooft is best known for the work that enabled physicists to predict the mass of the top quark, w-boson and z-boson. But he has long been known for his rather "idiosyncratic" ideas on the nature of the universe as well. His theory on the holographic universe is by now fairly well known. However, he has taken it a step further in a 202-page article (or book) on Arxiv.org, where he claims that there may well be a system with classical properties underlying quantum mechanics.

Our models suggest that Einstein may still have been right, when he objected against the conclusions drawn by Bohr and Heisenberg. It may well be that, at its most basic level, there is no randomness in nature, no fundamentally statistical aspect to the laws of [quantum] evolution.

The ideas presented in the introduction are quite interesting to read even for non-physicists."
Link to Original Source

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