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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

emjay88 Re:A little more (1153 comments)

It does guarantee that you'll win, eventually. Unfortunately, for all the time you spend waiting for the win to come through, you only make back one unit of betting, and this is provided the table has no betting limit... For more info, see Martingale

more than 3 years ago

DX11 Coming To Linux (But Not XP)

emjay88 Re:XP? Forget XP! (370 comments)


Well there's your problem.

more than 3 years ago

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System

emjay88 Re:Nope (132 comments)

These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined.

more than 4 years ago

Google Explains Why It Became an Energy Trader

emjay88 Re:More crazy US laws. (112 comments)

How do you propose a data center can produce more power than it consumes (presumably while still performing it's function as a data center)?

more than 4 years ago

Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star

emjay88 Re:dissapointing (242 comments)

You do realize that chimpanzees are genetically much closer to us than any aliens could possibly be, don't you?

Except by some amazing (read: impossible) fluke, you could substitute any known life form for "chimpanzees" in the above sentence.

more than 4 years ago

The Voynich Manuscript May Have Been Decoded

emjay88 Re:It Hurts (320 comments)

The Exodus of Moses and the Jews from Egypt?

We know that the Egyptians were really good at keepin records. Like "small family of farmers came in to Egypt to get some grain" kind of good records. And yet, there is no mention of 1000's of Hebrew slaves existing in Egypt, let along escaping, let alone the plagues that were supposedly brought upon the pharaoh, let alone the parting of the sea and murder of 100's (or maybe 1000's) of soldiers when the sea collapsed.

And then there's the lack of archaeological evidence of a large group of people "wandering" the deserts for 40 years.

more than 4 years ago

Observing Evolution Over 40,000 Generations

emjay88 Re:hmmm (461 comments)

There is a lecture series that was filmed in the 80s/90s (one of the questions asked was "do you know how to use a computer?") which featured Richard Dawkins explaining the process of evolution. If it helps you to pretend that it's someone else, do that, because it is definately worth watching on youtube, he even addresses the Bombardier beetle "problem".

The Evolution of Sexual Reproduction is another complex subject, but you can read about it at the link above. I beleive that the advantage of sexual reproduction was that when you swap genes, you can adapt faster (more possiblity for a bad transfer, more combinations of genes etc). The first sexual reproducers were probably hermaphrodites like flowers, fertilising each other with the wind (before insects). And that eventually developed into male and female genders. The other things that you mention are all explainable in a plausible way (see argument from personal incredulity).

more than 4 years ago

Observing Evolution Over 40,000 Generations

emjay88 Re:hmmm (461 comments)

This is not entirely true, E. Coli is known to be able to metabolise glucose. The bacteria were "grown" in a solution that included glucose as it's main component. There were also many populations of the bacteria that were being evolved seperately (they NEVER mixed). Suddenly, in one population, a bacteria emerged that could metabolise citrate. This gave that bacteria a massive advantage, because it could now consume two types of food and it had no competition for the citrate (unlike glucose, which all the other bacteria could consume as well).
This also allowed the total population in that group to explode (there's now more food in total, glucose + citrate).

Another cool thing is that this smashes the "Irreducible Complexity" argument. The ability to metabolise citrate is developed by two separate mutations, which, on their own achieve nothing. Some of the populations developed the first mutation and some developed the second one, but none of them had previously developed both. This shows that the "preliminary" mutations were not harmful to the bacteria, so they just "hung around" until one of them was lucky enough to get the second mutation too.

Anyway, look up Lenski's work, I'm sure his papers (and those of his students/colleagues) are better at explaining it all than me...

more than 4 years ago

Observing Evolution Over 40,000 Generations

emjay88 Re:hmmm (461 comments)

an external population with which to mediate the process.

Mediate how exactly? They still can't contribute to the "gene pool" since there is no pool. Asexual reproduction involves no transferral of genes within a generation, only from parent to child.

would the group go through a smaller or greater number of mutations?

On average, for the same number of generations, they would go through the same number of mutations. (This is of course disregarding things that would directly damage DNA ("free radicals")). The only effect that having them "inbred" (you really need to see this), in a lab is that the researchers can monitor and control the whole process.

more than 4 years ago

Researchers Discover "Magnetic Current"

emjay88 Re:Maxwell Equations (249 comments)

There was also no theoretical reason for monopoles _to_ exist.

I think the point the GP was making was that there was no reason that they couldn't exist...

more than 4 years ago

10/GUI — an Interface For Multi-Touch Input

emjay88 Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (344 comments)

The reason Starcraft currently sucks with a track pad is because you're using a single-touch interface, and even if you aren't, Starcraft is limited to only recognise one point of mouse input. If the "pinch" (for zoom), "drag" (for pan and rotate) and other (eg, tilt camera, see this TED video (you can skip to the "flying across a map" section)) gestures were available, as well as the larger input surface as shown in the video, I think that this input would be easier than using a mouse!

As is also shown in the video, you still have a keyboard (look near the end), so shortcuts are still available. I wouldn't mind betting that most of those 300+ actions are performed via shortcut keys.

more than 4 years ago

Harvard's Robotic Bees Generate High-Tech Buzz

emjay88 Re:Missing an important benefit (105 comments)

There is probably a reason that plants (or more specifically, their ancestor) gave up asexual reproduction a long time ago. From memory, the currently accepted reason was that it allowed for more variety in the gene pool and therefore could allow for more agile adaptation to changing environmental factors that are impacting an organism's survival.

For plants that we're trying to domesticate (see: Artificial Selection), faster evolution is probably better.

more than 4 years ago

#twatch Open Hardware Networked LCD Screen

emjay88 Re:Hmm. (52 comments)

Easy, use direct messages, you can only direct message people who are following you, so just make @my_house follow you and the others who you want to have access.

more than 4 years ago

Video Surveillance System That Reasons Like a Human

emjay88 Re:So, (143 comments)

I think the order would be more like:

1. Sell to customers who blindly trust in it.
4. PROFIT!!!
3. ???
2. Fail to detect anything on many an occasion because it most likely isn't perfect.

more than 4 years ago

"Long Tail Effect" Doesn't Work As Advertised, Say Wharton Researchers

emjay88 Re:THIS (82 comments)

no film has ever officially made a profit

How can the movie companies afford to continue to make them?

more than 4 years ago



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