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MIT Research Shows New Magnetic State That Could Aid Quantum Computing

TexVex Re:Not real practical (49 comments)

Look, the Ansible is not possible with quantum entanglement. Also, the original science fiction concept of the Ansible did not involve quantum entanglement. A fictional Ansible is built from a fictional particle that exists simultaneously in two locations and never decays. For an Ansible to work, there must be a special frame of reference in Relativity, but General Relativity does not allow for treating any frame differently from any other frame.

Entanglement is the splitting of a bit of quantum information across two interactions. Neither of the two interactions can possibly have any effect on the other; all that happens is that the entangled measurements from both interactions sum to zero. Every interaction between particles either creates entanglement or destroys it or performs some combination of the two.

Consider that they must sum to zero in every frame of reference under General Relativity: no interaction can determine the results of another because then there would exist some frame of reference where the effect would precede the cause.

That's the bonkers thing about entanglement: it implies determinism but also sidesteps it at the same time.

about a year and a half ago
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Blizzard Has a Version of Diablo 3 Running On Consoles

TexVex Re:End goal: (147 comments)

In my own experience with Diablo III, in the thirty-or-so hours I gave it, I never once got a loot drop that I thought was excellent. I bought most of my equipment on the gold auction house -- no real money involved -- and it allowed me to pretty easily stay ahead of the curve. At the same time, I didn't sell anything that way; it was just easier to sell every half-decent piece of loot to the shop.

Maybe the worst decision they made was to make the auction available to just anyone. It totally bypasses the loot cycle for the first two difficulty levels of the game. The player just buys good loot for game gold, blows through every level easily, and never experiences the excitement of a rare loot drop. "Oh, a yellow item? Yeah, I just bought one better than that for 500 gold."

If you could only access the auction once you reached Hell level, maybe the first hours of gameplay would be a, um, hell of a lot more fun.

about 2 years ago
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Parrot Drives Robotic Buggy

TexVex Re:Cruelty to animals (182 comments)

It doesn't take any special training. You just gently extend the wing, extend the flight feathers, and cut about 2/3 of the length off the four longest feathers. Just don't cut to the quick!

Clipping the flight feathers doesn't actually stop them from flying. It just makes it very difficult for them to gain altitude. Clipped birds can still make short flights or flutter safely to the ground from any height, but they also can't fly into a ceiling fan if they get spooked.

about 2 years ago
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Particle Physicists Confirm Arrow of Time Using B Meson Measurements

TexVex Re:I Wish (259 comments)

The arrow of time is the reason why random bits of shrapnel and chemicals don't fly together and "un-detonate" to become hand grenades. In one direction of time, entropy in the universe always increases; in the other, it always decreases. The question is, why? If everything at the quantum level always worked the same way forwards as it does backwards, then entropy would be constant; the universe would be in some kind of steady state and nothing would matter because we wouldn't be here.

I think at this stage of research, it's more about finding clues than it is about trying to put them together into a coherent explanation. But if that's not true, I'd love to hear from someone who really knows this stuff..

about 2 years ago
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Why Dissonant Music Sounds 'Wrong'

TexVex Re:What's wrong with dissonance? (183 comments)

I just listened to some Schoenberg stuff out of curiosity. It sounded to me like an orchestra out of tune, except every now and then there would be a nice harmonious moment. I think the general horribleness of it made the harmonious moments nicer.

But if you think about it, it's like being in an elevator full of farts and occasionally getting a whiff of perfume.

I'm sure it's an acquired taste.

about 2 years ago
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Secession Petitions Flood White House Website

TexVex Re:If there was a Bad at Math Map... (1163 comments)

Not only that, it's not actually a fiscal cliff. It's more like a manageably steep slope.

about 2 years ago
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'Treasure Trove' In Oceans May Bring Revolutions In Medicine and Industry

TexVex Re:Yah, really? (107 comments)

I would be okay with having government funded pure research, with its results becoming public domain. We share the cost and the risk, and we share the reward.

Each and every one of us benefit every day by discoveries fellow humans have made dating back to the discovery of flint spearheads and controlling fire. Can you imagine where the human species would be if the first people to hammer on flint rocks made a trade secret of their discoveries?

We'd probably be extinct.

I think I can be sort-of ok with patents and copyright on things that are pure luxuries. But when your life expectancy is beholden to someone who can charge you literally whatever they want, we have a serious problem.

Look, if it costs others many hours of labor to extend your life by one hour, then certainly a very high price for that extended health is justified. But when the cost of your life-saving medicine comes from nothing more than someone holding a secret, we have SERIOUS problems.

about 2 years ago
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'Treasure Trove' In Oceans May Bring Revolutions In Medicine and Industry

TexVex Yah, really? (107 comments)

I'm old enough to remember when the Rain Forest was the "treasure trove" of new medicines.

Even then, the documentarians had the wit to point out that the main goal of researching all those new wonderful plant cures would be to figure out how they could create synthetic versions of nature's miracles and patent them.

So, you know what? I don't give a shit. If somebody finds something revolutionary and decides to share it with humanity, then by all means please slap me around some and make sure I am aware of it. Because not even the invention of aspirin (developed from old common knowledge about the medicinal properties of willow bark) went without patent-related controversy.

about 2 years ago
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Fox's Attempt To Block Ad-skipping TV Recorder Autohop Fails

TexVex Re:They don't like autohop? (142 comments)

My rule of thumb is to allocate 40 minutes to watch 1 hour of TV. The 20-minute difference is the duration of the advertisements less the time it takes to skip them.It works pretty well.

about 2 years ago
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Canadian Teenager Arrested For Photographing Mall Takedown

TexVex Re:I get angry, too... (770 comments)

Everything you just said is true. Several years ago.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Working With Awful Legacy Code?

TexVex All Code Is Shit (360 comments)

Look, if you just want to be able to only write fresh stuff, you're useless. Your new code will become "legacy" code next month. Requirements are likely to change, or at least be refined. This is because project managers are not prescient and nobody ever really understands the real requirements until an alpha gets put into the hands of the end user.

It won't be long before you're going to have to go back and deal with the turds you yourself are crapping out. You might not think they're turds, but they are. That's because you're not prescient either. And if you spend too much of your energy striving for the most elegant, perfect code, then you're also constipated.

You're a better engineer if you can effectively reverse engineer other people's turds and polish them up a bit. If you can somehow find within yourself the ability to feel a bit of pride in addition to the disgust of dealing with other people's crappy code, you'll be happier in your lot.

You haven't made your bones as a programmer until you've spent five minutes cursing the idiocy of a programmer that came before you, whose crappy code you are having to fix, and then you look up the revision history to see who the offender is and discover that it was YOU.

about 2 years ago
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Quantum Teleportation Sends Information 143 Kilometers

TexVex Re:If I recall..... (333 comments)

Will that destroy the remote particle's self-interference fringes? If so, then we have our ansible.

You can't get enough information from a single particle to know for sure whether or not it interfered with itself as it passed through the slits. And when you try it with multiple particles, you can only figure out which ones interfered and which ones did not after you match them up with measurements taken at the other end of the experiment.

Whether the particles are entangled or not, the results at both detectors taken in aggregate look the same. The effects of entanglement only appear when you correlate both result sets.

about 2 years ago
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Advance Warning System For Solar Flares Hinges On Surprising Hypothesis

TexVex Re:Not Eureka (199 comments)

the young earthers are already jumping on this to try and disprove carbon dating

Apparently the effect slows the rate of decay, meaning the isotopes are actually slightly older than estimated.

more than 2 years ago
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UCLA Scientist Discovers Plate Tectonics On Mars

TexVex Re:Scientists didn't I think that. (87 comments)

I never realized that solar tides are so strong, and of course they would be stronger on Venus than Earth. And it does make sense that the tidal effects on liquid water are going to have a much more dynamic effect on a planet than those that just affect solid rock. Thank you for helping educate me.

more than 2 years ago
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UCLA Scientist Discovers Plate Tectonics On Mars

TexVex Re:Scientists didn't I think that. (87 comments)

What the hell happened to Venus? It's about 80 percent of the earth's mass. Why on Venus wouldn't it have a plate tectonics? Just because you can't see it happen doesn't mean it's not there.

Because it does not have tidal forces from a large nearby moon tugging on it like Earth does.

more than 2 years ago
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Physicists Demonstrate Quantum Router

TexVex Re:So... (81 comments)

I'm no expert in this, but I dont think you understand whats going on here at all. Flipping one doesn't instantly flip the other. You cant communicate information via entanglement.

This is correct.

Please, someone correct me if im wrong, but my understanding is its like having a red, and blue ball in seperate bags. You throw one ball (in its bag) across the room, then open the other bag. The open bag is blue, you now know the red one is across the room.

This is not correct. What you are describing is classical information: the ball in each bag is either red or blue, you just don't know which ball is in which bag until you look.

To try to extend your analogy to how it really works, the balls would both be purple until you opened a bag and took the ball out. At that point, the ball would decide to be either red or blue, and the other ball would decide to be the opposite. But up until the bag is opened, each ball MUST be able to become red or blue when it is opened.

The reason has to do with how quantum observations are done. I'll use polarization of photons as an example. You cannot measure the exact angle of a photon's polarization. All you can do is pass that photon through a polarizing filter and see whether the photon passes through or not. If you don't know the state of the photon, then it passes through 50% of the time.

Once the photon passes through a polarizer set at a particular angle, it will thereafter always pass through a polarizer set at that exact angle. Its chance of passing through a polarizer at a different angle is the square of the cosine of the difference in angles. Suppose you have a stream of photons polarized at 0 degrees, then those photons have a 50% chance of passing through a filter set at 45 degrees and a 0% chance of passing through a filter set at 90 degrees. So far, this is all classical stuff that can be observed easily if you have a flashlight and a pair of polarized glass discs.

Now, at the quantum level, entanglement arises out of conservation laws. Each quantum interaction has to conserve energy and momentum and information and certain quantum properties of the objects that interacted like spin. So if you hit an atom with a photon, and that atom absorbs the photon, then releases the energy as two photons to return to its ground state, those two photons will be entangled. Each will carry away half of the energy (because each action must have an equal and opposite reaction)

Photons have spin. Spin is a conserved property. This means that when one quantum event creates two photons, those photons' spins must cancel each other out. Spin determines a photon's angle of polarization. So, the two newly created photons will have orthogonal polarizations. At the same time, it is not possible to know anything about the spin of the newly-emitted photons at the time of their creation. So, you've now got a pair of polarization-entangled photons. They have spin and their spins add to zero and you know nothing about their spins. (If you did something to generate photons with known spin values, those photons would not be spin-entangled. Entanglement and information are two sides of the same coin.)

One of the consequences of measuring pairs of polarization-entangled photons is that in order to conserve spin, the results of measuring their polarizations correlate. If photon A passes through a 0-degree filter, then photon B must never pass a 0-degree filter, because that would mean that their spins did not cancel. If A passes through a 0-degree filter, then B will pass through a 90-degree filter. This relationship holds true for any pair of angles you choose: if the angles are the same, then only one photon from each pair will pass the filter. If the angles are 90 degrees apart, then either both of them or neither of them will pass the filter (with an even chance of each outcome). They correlate, even though they are distant from each other.

And the rate of correlation depends on the difference between the angles of the detectors , which also are distant from each other.

So that is why finding a classical analogy is so difficult. To go back to the balls in the bags, when you open your bag you must first ask a question like "what color are you at 35 degrees?" then the balls in both bags must conspire to come up with a set of answers that follow the expected correlations no matter what question is asked before opening the other bag. Depending on the question you ask, both balls might be blue or both balls might be red, and the act of asking the question requires you to put some amount of red and blue paint into the bag so that the balls can change color while still making sure the total amount of red and blue in the universe does not change.

more than 2 years ago
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With Euro Zone Problems, Bitcoin Experiencing Boost In Legitimacy

TexVex Re:....someone get that link... (430 comments)

Nowadays when a senior citizen pays with a check at the grocery store, the cash register just scans the routing and account numbers and runs the transaction electronically just like as if it were a debit card. It will even print the amount on the check for you. When done, the cashier will hand the check back along with a receipt that looks much like a debit card receipt.

All that said, I still pay a few of my bills by writing and mailing checks, because the organization I'm making the payment to insists on adding a surcharge if I want to pay online.

more than 2 years ago
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Raunchy Dance Routine a PR Nightmare For Microsoft

TexVex The Elephant in the Room (322 comments)

You know, that song has a pretty mean hook. The chorus is probably gonna keep me earwormed for a few hours today. I'M A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER AND I'M DEVELOPING 4 THE REST OF MY LIFE.

more than 2 years ago
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NPR's "Car Talk" Glides To a Halt

TexVex Re:All the anti-NPR vitriol this story incites (148 comments)

I doubt the number is 99%. Otherwise, auto parts stores wouldn't stay in business and Car Talk wouldn't have an audience.

The tire pressure monitors (my vehicle has them) are an interesting thing, though, because they don't tell you anything you can't see just by walking around your car and giving it a quick inspection before jumping in and driving it in the morning. If you're paying even the slightest attention, you can see that a tire is losing pressure well before it's dangerously flat...

more than 2 years ago

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Long-Time Slashdotter Quits

TexVex TexVex writes  |  about a year and a half ago

TexVex (669445) writes "I'm finally done with this site. Fuck you all.

I might log in drunk exactly one year from today, just to see how much more crappy it's gotten."

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