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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

Zalbik Re:Limits of Measurement (114 comments)

Particles can't really be two places at once. But since we're knocking things around with our light beam, we can't say for sure where it is now -- so we instead talk in terms of probabilities of where the electron is, rather than saying matter-of-factly where it is. This is what quantum mechanics does, it calculates probabilities that the electron is in a certain place, probability it was going a certain speed, etc.

As others have mentioned, you are missing a couple of fundamental points of the double-slit experiement.

1) The pattern observed has nothing to do with the photons being hard to measure (classically photons are sent through the slits),
The pattern produced is exactly the interference pattern expected if light were actually a wave. The peaks and troughs of the two waves cancel each other out which results in the dark bands. Dual peaks or dual troughs reinforce each other, resulting in bright bands.

2) If this was a result of electric field build up and the "detector knocking particles around a bit", then it should also happen for a single slit (it doesn't). It also should not occur for photons (electrically neutral), but it does.

3) "when single particles are allowed thru, we see only single points on the detector"

This is incorrect, and the weirdest thing about the experiment. If two slits are opened, and particles are sent through one at a time, there is still the same interference pattern created. Individual particles behave as if they do not have a fixed location, but only a probability of existing at a specific location.

Heisenberg's principle is a result of quantum mechanics and wave-particle duality, not the cause.


Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf

Zalbik Swing and a miss.... (76 comments)

Looks like a big swing and a miss for Verizon.

They should have advocated on behalf of children instead

"Net neutrality is bad for children! Won't somebody think of the children?!?"

about a week ago

$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Zalbik Re:Thanks for the tip! (448 comments)

I'm confused. I have one of your early prototypes, and when I aim it at your post it blinks like crazy!

That means your post is a scam. But if your post is a scam, my device shouldn't be blinking. But my device is your post must be a scam.....but...

about a month ago

$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Zalbik Re:Thanks for the tip! (448 comments)

You're saying its a scam, what's your argument?

They claim in their technical brief that the energy harvestable from a typical home wi-fi is 10dBm.

This is off by at least 3 orders of magnitude (i.e. they claim at least 1000 times more than is actually available).

about a month ago

$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Zalbik Re:Thanks for the tip! (448 comments)

But, to say what they're claiming to be able to do is impossible? That's clearly wrong
Can they fit in something the size of a dog tag? I dunno, I'm not a miniaturization expert.

Your sentences need to have a little conversation with each other....

That's exactly one of the points. You can't fit a device that does what they claim in something the size of a dog tag. There's not enough space for the antenna. There's no way you fit an accelerometer, BT chip, speaker, magic energy harvester, magic battery and antenna in there. So yes, they are claiming to do the impossible.

There is not enough energy available to harvest to do what they are claiming.

There is no way they could fit all the different antennas they would require to harvest phone, television, wifi, radio, etc EM energy.

There is no way a BT antenna that size would operate at any orientation over the distances they claim.

There is no way this device could also have a speaker in it loud enough to hear from within the same room, never-mind throughout your house.

about a month ago

$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Zalbik Re:Thanks for the tip! (448 comments)

I was going to pledge, but I can't find my wallet.

If only there was some amazing small, cheap battery-less way of tracking my wallet...maybe run it on magic fairy dust or ground pixie wings....

about a month ago

Bill Gates To Stanford Grads: Don't (Only) Focus On Profit

Zalbik Re:surprised? (284 comments)

But one day he also realized that he'll go down in history as a sleazebag.

Only on Slashdot. The thing that most extremist geek types don't get is that the public as a whole doesn't really care about tech infighting. Nobody but geeks care how Gates got his fortune.

Things people care about / will remember:
- Gates was the richest man in the world.
- He was a geek
- He was a college drop out
- He founded a huge charity
- He gave a bunch of his money to charity.

How Microsoft made money under Gates will be entirely ignored, or a footnote at best. It has nothing to do with his whitewashing....just really nobody else cares.

about a month and a half ago

Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

Zalbik Funniest Line in the Order (248 comments)

From the court order:

[53] Google submits that its advertising services are completely separate from its search services


I guess telling bald-faced lies in court doesn't fall under the category of "do no evil".


about a month and a half ago

Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

Zalbik Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (309 comments)

Simply put: without non-verbal intelligent behaviour we would not even know that other humans are intelligent

BS. Are you saying that we cannot tell that other people on forums / chat rooms / etc are not intelligent?

Alternately, if let's say, a famous physicist had a degenerative disease that limited all of of his communication to non-verbal, we wouldn't be able to tell he was intelligent?

Think about that for a second. Concluding, "If a computer can convince a judge it is the human more than 50% of the time we can say that it is 'really' intelligent" implies "If a woman can convince a judge she is male more than 50% of the time we can say she is 'really' a dude."

Nonsense. It doesn't imply that at all. The woman/man setup was simply an example Turing used in order to explain the parameters of the test.

Your argument is the equivalent of:

"If a person can convince a judge they can speak Chinese more than 50% of the time, we can say they can really speak Chinese"
"If a person can convince a judge that they are really a child more than 50% of the time, we can conclude they are really a child"

You have changed the individual taking the test, the criteria for passing the test, AND the attribute being tested. You cannot make any logical conclusion from one statement to the other.

about 1 month ago

Turing Test Passed

Zalbik Re:A pretty low requirement (432 comments)

give us another few years

If by "few", you mean "a few hundred", then yes I would agree.

The "closer" we get to AI, the further out an actual artificially intelligent system seems to be.

about 1 month ago

Turing Test Passed

Zalbik Re:A pretty low requirement (432 comments)

I'd say we keep raising the bar.

"If a computer can play chess better than a human, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a chess program."

"If a computer can fly a plane better than a human, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just an application of control theory."

"If a computer can solve a useful subset of the knapsack problem, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a shipping center expert system."

"If a computer can understand the spoken word, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a big pattern matching program."

"If a computer can beat top players at Jeopardy, it's intelligent."
"No, it's just a big fast database."

Who is this we you refer to? No serious AI researchers have ever used those criteria as a definition of intelligence.

about 1 month ago

Turing Test Passed

Zalbik Re:Searl missed the point. (432 comments)

Simple. A "large" number of humans would fail it. Many "Turing tests" are set up so that a phrase generator could pass the test, not a phrase response generator, but a simple list of sentences, played in order.

For sufficiently small values of "large", maybe. IMO, the Turing test has great value when used with scientific rigor.

1) There should be no silly restrictions. No 13 year old children, no foreign language constraints. No script restrictions.
2) It should be (as Turing originally proposed) a conversation involving 3 people. The examiner, a human and a computer. This way the examiner can compare in real time the responses of the human to the reponses of the computer.
3) The examiner should be well-versed in computers.

I suspect there are no existing chatbots that could pass a test described as above.

My simple definition of AI is any program capable of making something smarter than it. Humans fit that definition,

Then humans do not fit that definition. We don't create our children....children happen spontaneously as a result of (enjoyable) biological acts that we instigate. We have no control / input into their development prior to birth, at which point they are already pre-designed for AI. Put another way: are those people incapable of having children still intelligent?

But understanding isn't AI.

I disagree. Understanding is one of the central points of AI, and the point we have so far struggled with. What Searle (somewhat intentionally) misses in his argument is that although the individual doesn't understand Chinese, the system understands Chinese. His argument is similar to saying that an amputee with artificial limbs can't walk cause the person isn't doing the walking.

about 1 month ago

Hundreds of Cities Wired With Fiber, But Telecom Lobbying Keeps It Unusable

Zalbik Re:Annoying. (347 comments)

For places like Seattle where you still have a lot of people that don't have DSL or cable as an option,

My god, there are large urban areas in the US (and large ones at that), where cable internet is not available?!?

Do you have other conveniences like electricity & indoor plumbing?

Wow...I thought internet options in Canada were pretty limited.....guess I'll count my blessings...

about 2 months ago

Hundreds of Cities Wired With Fiber, But Telecom Lobbying Keeps It Unusable

Zalbik Re:Government of the people ? (347 comments)

They go by many names... Progressives, Liberals, Democrats, Socialists...

And here's why they win. They've convinced Americans that the battle lines are "left vs. right", "republican vs. democrat", "liberal vs. socialist".

This keeps people fighting amongst themselves, arguing whether their shade of grey is the "right" way to run a government.

It's pretty obvious to an outsider what the power division is in America. It's pretty obvious if you look at america's decline over the past decades & see how authority has been consolidated & maintained. It's pretty obvious if you look at how fear and uncertainty are utilized by the government to herd the population in the direction they want them to go.

The battle lines are: "rich vs. poor". They almost always have been.

Until people understand that, and as long as people believe that stupid side issues like minor health care reforms (and yes, they are quite minor), gay marriage, abortion, gun ownership, immigration reform, etc are what is going to ruin / save the country, the longer the people in power stay that way.

about 2 months ago

EFF Tells Court That the NSA Knowingly and Illegally Destroyed Evidence

Zalbik Re:Donate to the EFF! NOW!!! (269 comments)

There are a ton of relatively affluent people here on Slashdot. It certainly wouldn't hurt you to allocate a small amount of money to EFF annually, and we know their results.


Too many posts here are either "you should be willing to die for your rights, you sniveling cowards!", or "there's nothing we can do, nothing we should try, let's all go eat worms"...

Here's a simple, painless way to support the cause of protecting our rights. And as the court case shows, it is effective, if at nothing else than generating publicity regarding the crimes being committed by government on a daily basis.

Anyone who thinks what the NSA is doing is wrong should go and donate today.

about 2 months ago

EFF Tells Court That the NSA Knowingly and Illegally Destroyed Evidence

Zalbik Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (269 comments)

The problem with this is that what is that even going to accomplish?...
It isn't like the court is going to make somebody go to jail if the law is broken. If YOU spy on somebody illegally you'll get locked up for it. If the government does it, well, I guess the rules just must not have been clear enough.

And this is one reason why they win. A large of the people who are even aware of what the NSA is doing, and who think it is wrong just don't think there is any way to change the system. The people in power have convinced the masses that either (1) what they are doing is right, or (2) you can't change it.

I'd suspect:
- 10% of people approve of what the NSA is doing is fine cause "I haven't done anything wrong" and "It'll help catch dem dirty terrerist's!".
- 50% just don't care, they just want to collect their paycheck and buy the latest shiny iThing they are told to purchase.
- 30% appear to care, but don't think there is any way for the system to change.
- 9.999999% care and are willing to act, but aren't a large enough group / organized enough to effect any change.
- .0000001% care and are in a position to act, but then have to flee the country and go live in Russia.

about 2 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

Zalbik Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

What is meant here however is that there is no limit to how fast space itself can expand. So say we have two ends of a ruler 1 meter apart. After a while, space itself would expand meaning that the ruler will now be longer than what it was.

No...almost right, but not quite.

Read up on it in on wikipedia, and especially the section on the effect of expansion at small scales. For the most direct answer, see here

The space between your atoms is not getting larger over time. As space expands, nucleic forces prevents the atoms from being moved further apart. It is possible that the expansion will one day become fast enough to overcome the nucleic force...resulting in all matter being ripped apart, and all sorts of other weird badness....but it's not like matter is becoming larger day to day.

about 2 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

Zalbik Re:massively flawed article (358 comments)

Mass farther away from each other results in less gravity attraction on each other. So if there was enough mass to cause a big crunch then right now, everything would be contracting.

So I guess if I throw a baseball up in the air (or in a vacuum if you must), it'll just fly away into space? After all, what's going to slow it down? As it get's further away, there is less gravity....

See the problem with your argument?

about 2 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

Zalbik Re:Have some faith (358 comments)

stars and planets right now are flying around at faster than the speed of light

No, they aren't. Space is expanding at a rate greater than c. Objects are not moving "through" space at a space greater than c.

Imagine 2 dots on a balloon as you blow it up. Those dots increase in distance from each other. The faster you inflate it, the faster they "move" away from each other.

Same thing here, only in 3 dimensions, and the "balloon" is being inflated at a faster and faster rate.

On another note, this is your 3rd or 4th post describing the article and science as "bullshit". Why do you continue to belittle a subject that you obviously know very little about?

about 2 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

Zalbik Re:Fascinating, terrifying stuff is news (358 comments)

Even if you were a massless particle, you would reach the speed of light in less than 1 year of accelerating at 1G,

I don't mean to pick nits, but if you were a massless particle, you would already be moving at the speed of light.

about 2 months ago



Best Buy wants to fire employee over iPhone video

Zalbik Zalbik writes  |  about 4 years ago

Zalbik (308903) writes "In a typical corporate move, Best Buy wants to fire an employee because they won't take down a YouTube video they created which spoofs the iPhone 4. Note that at no point does the video make mention of Best Buy or the employees relationship to them.

I wonder if the Best Buy executive has heard of this little thing called "freedom of speech"?"

Link to Original Source

Activision Sued over Guitar Hero....again

Zalbik Zalbik writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Zalbik (308903) writes "It seems that Activision's legal battles over the latest edition of the Guitar Hero franchise are not over yet. Having been sued previously over the inclusion of a song cover that sounds too much like the original, they are now being subject to a class action suit due to the fact that the Wii edition of the game only outputs mono sound, despite packaging claims to the contrary.

Apparently their offer to replace any defective discs free of charge isn't enough for some people, so Samuel Livingston of San Diego (represented by the law firm KamberEdelson, LLC) has filed a class action suit over this issue. previously covered lawsuits over the latest edition of the Guitar Hero franchise."

Link to Original Source


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