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Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

I think this depends on the nature of space itself. Are we just objects sitting on top of space, or are we composed of space in the same way that the the surface of a balloon is? If we look at your model, it looks as if you're postulating a kind of "friction" between objects and space. That's why the discs with springs will only move further apart a little bit. If the rubber sheet was completely smooth, there would never be any increase in distance whatsoever since they'll just "slip" over it.

If there is no friction, then it doesn't matter even if there is acceleration. Like if it was a sheet of ice instead of rubber, everything would just sort of slide around. What is this friction, how do we measure it, what causes it...? I'm not really aware of such a mathematical quantity. For these reasons I'm just assuming that we're more than just objects in space. We are space.

And of course I could be wrong. I have no idea really...

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

Well, in a spring case the attraction increases with distance (upto a point of course). But I think if the rubber sheet was stretching and pulling the two balls along with it (balls are 3-D objects, so to make it a better analogy we should perhaps be talking about infinitely thin disks sitting on the rubber sheet) then the spring will eventually stretch, stretch and snap...

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

In this case, yes the line is paint and is sitting on the surface of the balloon. It's an imperfect analogy. But we're not just objects "on" space. We are space in addition to bending/warping it or whatever. So while all objects will increase in size, I don't think there's any data to indicate that the fundamental constants will change. So in a simplistic model if we look at the force of attraction between a nucleus and an electron via the inverse square law of electromagnetism, the increased distance will eventually reduce the force between the two causing the electrons to slip away. And the nucleus itself will burst apart.

Of course it could also be that I understand none of this and that I'm talking off the top of my head :) . In fact, that is most likely the case!

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

In this case, you're not pulling the ruler. You're stretching the very fabric of reality itself. The ruler becoming longer is just a side effect. Think of it as a line on a balloon. When you blow air into the balloon, you're not pulling the line itself. But because the balloon is becoming larger, the line just happens to increase in length.

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

The force should keep decreasing as the distance increases regardless of acceleration. I mean, space expansion is accelerating, but I don't think that should make a difference to the rip...

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### The Disappearing Universe

I thought hyperspace was supposed to be a fictional alternate dimension ala Asimov. What has that got to do with the bending of spacetime by objects?

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

The attraction is a function of distance - the inverse square or whatever is the equivalent in the quantum world. The strong force in particular works only when the nucleus is tightly bound. Any relaxation in the distances should destabilize the whole thing. So yeah, we will eventually get ripped open. Even atom in our substance will disintegrate.

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:Am I missing something? (358 comments)

Space itself is expanding and there is no limit to how fast that can happen. It can be at 1000 times the value of c if necessary.

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### The Disappearing Universe

Re:FTL or Wormhole Travel (358 comments)

The speed of light in a vacuum is always c. It doesn't matter if you're moving at 0.9c. If you shine a torch of light ahead of you, it will still move at speed "c".

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. There is no theoretical limit to how fast this can happen. It can be greater than c.

After a while, the space between the nucleus and electrons or within the nucleus itself will become too large, ultimately ripping apart for the fabric of reality itself.

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### The Disappearing Universe

Wormholes ok, they at least have a theoretical framework in modern science. Warp drives...well if you're talking about moving a space bubble relative to space itself. But since when did "hyperspace" become even a remotely scientific theory?

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### The Andromeda Galaxy Just Had a Bright Gamma Ray Event

Tell that to the photons reaching us from the event for whom it literally just happened. There's no such thing as an absolute time scale. Thank you special theory of relativity!

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### Google Overtakes Apple As the World's Most Valuable Brand

I'm a very happy product...

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### The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Well, I don't know if other people are conscious. I only know that I am. And there's no reason for me to think I''m not a machine. I'm a biological robot after all...

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### The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Or did no one think of that? Reminds me of some other science paper which said that no machine can ever be conscious. As if somehow we are not machines.

So dumb...

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### Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable

How is the brain not a computer? Pfft...ridiculous conclusions.

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### FTC Approves Tesla's Direct Sales Model

But what is the state interest in this? Unless there is just one car manufacturer who has a monopoly on all cars, it's the dealer's decision to sell cars from any particular manufacturer. If they don't like the terms, no one is forcing them to sell cars....

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### FTC Approves Tesla's Direct Sales Model

I don't think anyone has a god given right to be a dealer and sell someone else's cars. Sure, it sucks to be a dealer who has no choice but to agree to a car manufacturer's conditions...but so what? Life is tough...

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### FTC Approves Tesla's Direct Sales Model

I'm not sure why this "pressure" that car manufacturers put on dealers is a bad thing. They manufacture the product, and if they have the leverage to dictate how it will be sold, good for them. I'm not sure what compelling state interest is served by artificially restricting the way manufacturers can sell their cars.

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### Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

I'm not hypothesizing about whether or not or how it came from nothing. All I'm pointing out is the illogicality of speaking of causation of an even that gave birth to time.

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### Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

I have no idea. I'm merely saying that asking "before" for an event which created time itself is meaningless.

# Submissions

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### Apple Steals exclusive "iPhone" Trademark from Brazilian Firm

bhagwad (1426855) writes "Brazil's IGB Electronica filed for the "iPhone" trademark way back in 2000 and it wanted to retain exclusive rights to the name. Apple didn't like this and filed a lawsuit. The Brazil's Institute of Industry Property (INPI) sided with IGB saying that Apple had no right to use the name "iPhone" since it was already taken. Apple appealed that. In a bizarre ruling today, the appeals court overturned the lower court's ruling saying "all the (Apple) product's renown and client following have been built on its performance and excellence as a product." So that's ok then. No exclusive trademark rights for someone who filed for it eight years before the iPhone was even a product. This begs the question though...why did Apple even take this to court? Shouldn't it just accept that someone else trademarked the name and move on?"
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### US Patent Office Invalidates Apple's "Rubber Banding" Patent

bhagwad writes "The patent that was the cause of so much grief to Samsung in the recently concluded trial with Apple has been tentatively invalidated by the USPTO. The challenge was filed anonymously, but it obviously could have been filed by any smartphone manufacturer. Will this have an effect on further proceedings in the case or perhaps more importantly on the inevitable appeal?"
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### Indian Minister say that Telecom Companies should only charge for Data

bhagwad writes "In the US, telecom carriers are trying their best to hold on to depleting voice revenues. Over in India, the telecom minister urged carriers to stop charging for voice calls and derive all their revenues only from data plans. Is this kind of model sustainable, where voice becomes an outmoded and free technology and carriers turn entirely into dumb pipes who have no control over what passes over them? This is a step forward and hopefully will make Internet service more like a utility."
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### Apple store refuses to sell iPads to Farsi speakers

bhagwad writes "An Apple store in North Pointe Mall refused to sell an iPad to a US citizen speaking Farsi. Apparently this isn't the first time this has happened. The reason according to the store employee is that the US has a trade embargo with Iran and so they're not allowed to take stuff like this to that country. But merely speaking a language is not proof that they live in Iran. Neither is it Apple's job to do this kind of policing at retail stores. The exact words used by the employee were: "I just can't sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations""
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bhagwad writes "Apparently Robert Scoble tried to post a long comment on Facebook only to have a message pop up saying "This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having your comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way". If true, this is huge. For one the self moderating system of comments has always been the rule so far. And with countries like India rooting for the pre screening of content and comments, is Facebook thinking of caving into these demands?"
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### Judge: I've had my fill of frivolous filings by Apple.

bhagwad writes "It looks like Apple's strategy of all out patent war over anything and everything including issues like basic design is earning the ire of some prominent judges."
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### Atheist in India charged with blasphemy for exposing "miracle"

bhagwad writes "When a statue in Mumbai began to "miraculously" drip tears, huge crowds began to gather, pray, and collect the water in vials. Sanal Edamaruku has exposed such bogus miracles before, and when he was called in, his investigations showed that it was nothing more than a nearby drainage. The entire investigation was caught on tape. The priests were outraged and demanded an apology. When he refused, a case of "blasphemy" was registered at the police station who now want to have him arrested. Incidents like this show that India has freedom of expression only in name. In reality, it's more like Pakistan where religious thugs can keep controversial people under control in the name of their "offended sentiments"."
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### iBooks EULA forces you to sell only through Apple

bhagwad writes "Turns out that Apple's latest iBooks authoring tool has an insidious clause. Any works that you produce using it can only be sold via the iBookstore. So even if I spent years writing the book elsewhere, Apple has a claim over it if I package it using iBooks. Kind of like the free Eclipse IDE claiming that any program you create using it has to give them 30% of the proceeds! Sure, you can put anything in an EULA, but this really is the heights."
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### Boycott GoDaddy for Supporting SOPA

bhagwad writes "We recently found out that GoDaddy was one of the companies supporting the SOPA legislation. Since then, there has been a call to move domains off GoDaddy with Dec. 29th being the "Move Your Domain Away From GoDaddy Day". Will Slashdotters take up the call?"
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### Chrome overtakes IE as the Most popular Browser in

bhagwad writes "India seems to like Chrome even more than the rest of the world does. While Chrome is a distant second to all the IE browsers elsewhere, it's already overtaken all the versions put together in the world's largest democracy — perhaps because of the younger demographic."
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### EU - Software Ideas Can't be Copyrighted

bhagwad writes "The EU continues to ooze common sense as a court insists that software functions themselves cannot be copyrighted. Drawing a box or moving cursor are examples. To quote: "If it were accepted that a functionality of a computer program can be protected as such, that would amount to making it possible to monopolize ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development,""
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### Apple Patents "Slide to Unlock"

bhagwad writes "In another case of patent madness, Apple now has exclusive rights to the ubiquitous "slide to unlock" feature found on a huge number of smartphones. Should Apple have been able to patent this in the first place, and what will happen now?"
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### Bureaucrats misunderstand cloud technology

bhagwad writes "A senior Indian bureaucrat has strange views on technology. He thinks "cloud technology" involves actual clouds and that SIM card information seeps into batteries. Are any US politicians this ignorant about technology? And if so, should there be a basic test before they're allowed to take important decisions?"
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### Gmail is getting a new look

bhagwad writes "The Gmail blog informs us of upcoming changes to Gmail as part of a "Google wide effort" to make their interfaces better aligned with today's expectations. Looks like Gmail is getting the same brush up that the search pages have gotten recently. You can test out the new look by going to "themes" in the settings and selecting one of the two new looks that Gmail is handing out."
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### Is a hunger strike undemocratic?

bhagwad writes "Is it undemocratic for an elected government to be forced to cave in to people going on a hunger strike? Normally, the Indian government ignores these "fasts unto death." But this time, the entire country has rallied around a group of fasting civil activists demanding a strong anti corruption law to finally put fear into India's notoriously corrupt politicians. But as the reluctant government is brought under greater pressure, it's lashing out at the group calling them "unelected tyrants" using undemocratic means. But is it really undemocratic to exert pressure on an elected government? Is the implicit threat "If we die, people will be so angry that they'll vote you out of power in the next election" an undemocratic one?"
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### China starts censoring phone calls mid sentence

bhagwad writes "Several reports have emerged that China is cutting off phone calls mid sentence when contentious words like "protest" are used. Seems like China's draconian censorship regime is going into overdrive with even more sophisticated censoring. Of course, this comes on the heels of Google accusing them of mucking around with Gmail as well."
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### Google Voice teams up with Sprint

bhagwad writes "Google announced today that it was teaming up with Sprint which will allow users to seamlessly use their Sprint mobile number as their Google Voice number and vice versa. This is quite a big step for Sprint and shows a lot of guts since carriers have always been wary of giving up control. Though GV allowed users to port their phone numbers some time ago, this tie up makes it easy and could finally propel GV into the public's mass consciousness."
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### One person's gift to save humanity

bhagwad (1426855) writes "The climate change negotiations in Copenhagen proved that even in the face of great danger, no one wants to pony up the money for a collective good. What if one day we're debating not climate change, but the need to leave the earth itself to save our species (or even life?) We'll need huge amounts of money for research and building the hardware. To prevent another "Copenhagen," I've decided to donate my personal wealth when I die so it accumulates for hundreds of years and provides the "kickstart" money that will be needed at that stage. 1 million dollars becomes 491 thousand trillion dollars in just 500 years with a mere 7% growth rate (peanuts of the stock market and this accounts for inflation too.) What do you think? Can such an idea work? What precautions will I need to take?"

# Slashdot: News for Nerds

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court

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