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Scientists Boycott NASA Conference Because of Ban On Chinese Participants

WSOGMM Re:Location, location, location... (283 comments)

Instead of having it at NASA, can't they just have it at the local Holiday Inn?

Those were my thoughts, too, but it looks like the legislation has been corrected (or at least "clarified"), as it was, apparently, not intended to be used that way.

http://phys.org/news/2013-10-nasa-chinese-scientists-boycott.html

Wolf said NASA officials may have believed that the move was needed because of extra temporary restrictions on foreign nationals after a potential security breach by a Chinese citizen at a NASA facility in Virginia earlier this year.

"I have ordered a moratorium on granting any new access to NASA facilities to individuals from specific designated countries, specifically China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan."

I'm not going to lie, our "rivalry" with China kind of worries me sometimes. I wasn't around for the Cold War really, but it seems like we're heading for a second Cold War if we continue to restrict, contradict, spy on and threaten each other. It is undeniable that China is on the rise. They have a quarter of the worlds population. I don't want to start the first half of the century being hated by the Chinese (and everybody else for that matter).

about a year ago
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The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

WSOGMM Wait a second... (318 comments)

I'm posting this from a hotel with pay-for internet access. I'm paying about $200 a night for two beds (so not too expensive, but expensive for me). As soon as I saw that the internet costs money here, I thought to myself, well shit, I won't be coming to the Hilton again. So yes, I would imagine that it does affect the amount of customers they get, but apparently not enough for them to lose money on charging for access. Fortunately the conference that I'm attending is paying for my internet.

As a side note, they don't offer any free breakfast either. :(

[/rant]

about a year ago
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How Data Analytics In Education Could Create a New Class of Haves and Have-nots

WSOGMM Wow! (268 comments)

That's one expensive assessment. I can't imagine that an educational assessment would cost $30,000. If they can manage to market that, good for them.

about a year ago
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Data Mining Reveals the Emotional Differences In Emails From Men and Women

WSOGMM Re:That's sexist! (100 comments)

Males and females have absolutely no difference between them, despite the overwhelming experiential, physiological, neurological, anatomical, and hormonal evidence to the contrary, you sexist pigs, and how dare you even conduct this research into the issue! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go open a jar of mayo for the little lady, though that in no way suggests she lacks the wrist and forearm strength to grasp and twist just as well as any man.

I find your sentiment absolutely discussing!!

about a year ago
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Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

WSOGMM The Volt is a cool car... (466 comments)

I dunno much about the Volt's angry slashdot history, but It seems like a pretty feasible way to transition to an electric car if you're worried about road trips.

Every time I pass one, it catches my eye. I'd say it's right up there in looks with the Model S, which also, in my opinion, looks attractive. If I had the money to choose between those two cars, I'd have to think about it.

about a year ago
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Scientists Create 'Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object'

WSOGMM Not trapped by radiation pressure (159 comments)

Optical trapping can sometimes make use of radiation pressure, but that's generally not how you optically trap a particle, nor is that how they did it. Radiation pressure is characterized by absorption and reflection (like tennis balls hitting a wall). To trap a particle, you use refraction (when modeling the system with ray optics).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_pressure

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_tweezers

The change in index of refraction between water (or air) and your particle causes the light rays to "change direction" as they enter and leave the particle. There is a net momentum transferred to the particle in the direction of the focus of the laser beam, thus trapping the particle at the focus.

about a year ago
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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

WSOGMM I don't think this has to do with "Net Neutrality" (555 comments)

I'm not an expert with all this technology and stuff, but it seems that this does not "violate" net neutrality. I was under that the impression that net neutrality is concerned with the content of data sent/received, not with company policies that limit large amounts of traffic (or servers or whatever), regardless of the type of data being sent through.

Of course, a company could violate net neutrality by banning specific servers or censoring information that they don't like, but I don't see how splitting up your "business" and "residential" service has anything to do with freedom of information. Can someone explain to me exactly why this is a violation of net neutrality? It sounds more to me like many of you are upset because of false advertisement, or even simply because you think something should be free when it's not.

As far as evilness goes... meh. Evil, to me, is synonymous to greed. And, to varying degrees, just about everybody in our country and every other country is greedy. It comes with the territory. ;)

about a year ago
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Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

WSOGMM Re:Yawn (367 comments)

This measure of potent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere should spark renewed discussion about the use of fossil fuels.

No it won't. It's not like politicians and the public have been just sitting on the sidelines, waiting util a value about 400 PPM was observed. I don't believe the public really doubts that atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and so a wonky measure of it is pretty irrelevant to public sentiment.

I think you misinterpreted the use of "should" there. It's not that it should happen, as in it likely will happen, it's just we have an obligation to do it.

People have HEARD (and accept) that we're pumping too much CO2 into our atmosphere, but very few people have taken serious effort against it. As I'm sure many slashdotters would agree (hopefully I'm not stretching myself too far here), renewed discussion of fossil fuels in public forums, media and government needs to happen. Our population is large enough to affect an entire planet. Following our reckless impulses and immediate desires is NOT an option, and we should work [our asses off] to change that.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?

WSOGMM Practice problems... (279 comments)

For example, if you're interested in physics, pick a section out of Halliday's Fundamentals of Physics PDF, read it, then later during another break take a look at an example or practice problem. Hell, practice the method of Loci memorization technique. You'll get something out of that if you stick with it.

Really, just pick anything you're interested in.

about 2 years ago
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Florida Researchers Create Shortest Light Pulse Ever Recorded

WSOGMM Re:How do they measure this? (76 comments)

I won't explain it, as I don't feel like reading through all of it right now, but someone else is welcome to! And now it's easy to find.

Emission of pulse:

It's actually called Double optical Gating, not Grating, as the article called it. http://www.phys.ksu.edu/personal/chang/Chang-attoweb.pdf

Detection: Phase Retrieval by Omega Oscillation Filtering

http://www.creol.ucf.edu/research/publications/2859.pdf

more than 2 years ago
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EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games

WSOGMM Re:Then I've evolved to not buy EA games... (274 comments)

There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

I very much disagree. I like having a consistently large player pool with which to compare my play. Many of the people you play in online games have already gotten good enough to beat or compete with the best computer opponents. Facing a human player, in my experience, provides a new and unique challenge, even if you can't see their face.

There are also often large gaps in skill between friends that play games. The discrepancies between friends gets taken away when you play against a large player pool. Who cares if you're best at a game between 4 people? How about in the top 1% of 500,000 people?

I love to play with my friends, but I love it even more when we can play against an anonymous online multiplayer base. In CoD, for example, we can work together as a team and find a position together against incoming forces. It makes it even more real. Almost like real war.

I'm not sure what makes your challenges inspring and meaningful, and what makes mine soulless and pointless, but I have more fun with online multiplayer games than with games that don't connect. When I'm home alone late at night, and the house is dead silent - lonely even - there's something eerie about playing bots -- add the online part, and suddenly it fills the house with *just a little* more presence.

Some people become obsessed with online games, and perhaps I can see why it would be a diversion, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people are only interested in playing games against the people in their own existing social circle, and could not give a damn about massively multiplayer, always online bullshit - and that to lump every gamer in that crowd would be a disastrous folly.

Be careful where you lump every gamer. There's a reason why many of these games actually have a

vast majority

and why EA is willing to bet on it.

more than 2 years ago
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Contest To Sequence Centenarians Kicks Off

WSOGMM Judging accuracy (74 comments)

From TFA:

Clifford Reid, chief executive of Complete Genomics, worries that it will be difficult for the judges to assess the accuracy of the newly sequenced genomes. “The technologies participating in the competition are the only technologies for judging the competition,” he says, adding that he is hopeful that contest organizers can come up with “a clever solution that makes everyone happy”.

Couldn't they just give all of the teams a set of identical DNA (for instance, the teams unknowingly share the DNA of 10 individuals) and compare the sequenced genomes to get an idea of how accurate they are?

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Scans Chats and Posts For Criminal Activity

WSOGMM Re:1984 in real time (483 comments)

It IS in *facebook*'s best interest to keep pedophiles away. It's not a government run panopticon. Facebook could take a lot of flack if it became a pedophile hub. They don't want to lose users that way.

more than 2 years ago
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Astronomers Catch Asteroid In Near-Miss Video

WSOGMM Don't get your hopes up... (120 comments)

It was only 7 meters across. No impending doom this time folks.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask the Space Command Team About All Things Sci-Fi

WSOGMM Will there be auditions? (100 comments)

If one were interested in acting on the show, how could he or she get involved?

more than 2 years ago
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Symantec: Religious Sites "Riskier Than Porn For Viruses"

WSOGMM Re:Another possible explanation (343 comments)

Hey, if the religious website administrator can't prevent malware from entering the site, maybe the readers are just as bad at preventing malware from entering their computer! That makes religious sites an even bigger target!

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/03/01/1648232/liberalism-and-atheism-linked-to-iq

Ok, sorry, blatant attack on religion. I just remember reading the article, so making the connection made me smile. Err, I mean... smile in the least offensive of ways.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Banning Employer Facebook Snooping Introduced In Congress

WSOGMM Re:Who is Bill Banning? (199 comments)

RTFA, Bill Banning, head of the major employer, Facebook Snooping, recently introduced himself to congress.

more than 2 years ago
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Beneath Africa, Survey Finds 'Huge' Water Reserves

WSOGMM 100 times the amount on the surface!!! (292 comments)

That's like!... that's like!... *mumbles doing some math* carry the four... subtract the depth times the... divide out all extra... mmhm ... surface area... ah, yes... average out the known surface water... okay... times roughly 100... *writes some more* Yes! ... That's like zero liters of water!

*shoulders drop in disappointment*

more than 2 years ago
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The Laws of Physics Trump Traffic Laws

WSOGMM Did anyone else notice... (378 comments)

Did anyone else notice that the arXiv PDF was posted on April 1st?

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

WSOGMM On another note... (151 comments)

Improving San Francisco's MUNI system is pretty important to me. It's been considerably annoying to see cars parked in the bus lane, and it's almost annoying as seeing cars park in the middle of the right lane with their emergency lights on because there's no parking, which more buses would help with! ... As a side note, it's almost impossible to live in San Francisco for an extended period of time with a vehicle and not get a parking ticket. They're ruthless!!

It's funny though, I've lived in Germany for the last half year, and I've found that their transportation system is ten times better than San Francisco's. Don't get me wrong, BART is amazing, but I live in a small town at the moment and its transportation system runs more often than San Francisco's. Paris and Berlin have both train systems that run late, and night trains, while San Francisco's train system stops around 11 pm (then buses run sparsely after that).

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Warnings of another arms race with Russia

WSOGMM WSOGMM writes  |  about 4 years ago

WSOGMM (1460481) writes "'In his state of the nation address on Tuesday, Medvedev warned that a new arms race would erupt if U.S. and NATO offers of cooperation on missile defense failed to produce a concrete agreement within a decade... Putin said Russia was not threatening the West. But the remarks underscored the Kremlin's insistence on maintaining a significant role in a missile defense system and suggested improving ties could sour again if agreement is not reached.' The transcript can be found here."
Link to Original Source
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Material that could Replace Platinum in Fuel Cells

WSOGMM WSOGMM writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WSOGMM (1460481) writes ""A new catalyst based on iron works as well as platinum-based catalysts for accelerating the chemical reactions inside hydrogen fuel cells. The finding could help make fuel cells for electric cars cheaper and more practical... The new material meets a benchmark for hydrogen fuel cells set five years ago that 'we thought nobody would ever meet,' adds Hubert Gasteiger, a visiting professor of mechanical engineering at MIT.""
Link to Original Source
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reflected gravitational waves

WSOGMM WSOGMM writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WSOGMM (1460481) writes ""In the couple of weeks since he introduced the idea that superconducting sheets can reflect gravity waves, Raymond Chiao from the University of California, Merced, has been busy with a couple of buddies working out how big this effect is... Chiao and co ask how big the effect of a gravitational wave on a thin superconducting sheet is compared to the effect on an ordinary conducting sheet. The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger." Maybe we're getting closer to the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. Or perhaps closer to the question."
Link to Original Source

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