Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

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!



Ikaros Spacecraft Successfully Propelled In Space

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Troglodyte? Who? Me? (229 comments)

> Each photon of light exerts 0.0002 pounds of pressure

That's why I stay indoors.

about 4 years ago

USB-IF Slaps Palm In iTunes Spat

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:apple - the most anti-open company (600 comments)

And the best bit is that using AppleScript on a quad-core Mac you might even find you have time to finish War and Peace before it's finished processing half a dozen files.

more than 4 years ago

Google Puts the Brakes On Saving the World

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Pay for submission (179 comments)

> Making it cost even $0.01 would probably reduce the submissions significantly Yes, that's exactly the point the parent poster was making. I think they understand the difference between "free" and "not free" very well.

more than 5 years ago

Using Light's Handedness To Find Alien Life

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) The assumption here... (210 comments) that life forms a kind of amplification process.

If you have some random soup of molecules formed by abiotic processes then apart from some small biases brought about by parity-violating fundamental physics we expect complete symmetry between left- and right-handed molecules.

But life, arguably, forms a kind of amplification process. Competition between molecules with different chirality might serve to increase any initial small difference between one group and another. So what starts as almost exact symmetry results in a planetwide bias one way or the other.

But there are two issues.

(1) Could such a planetwide bias show up strongly enough in the polarisation of light reflected from the planet. It seems very unlikely given how messy a planet is. Let's say you pick a million different types of molecule than come in chiral pairs and for each molecule pick one of the pair, discarding the other. Now jumble up many different copies of each of these molecule types. Your chances of detecting chirality from afar is minimal even though, in some sense, the mixture is perfectly chiral, because of the overall randomness of the mixture.

(2) Could any other physical processes cause such amplification? The answer is yes. For example some kinds of crystal growth can result in homochirality.

So I'm pretty sceptical despite the idea being neat.

more than 5 years ago

Windows 7 Starter Edition — 3 Apps Only

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Well that's an improvement! (695 comments)

It means that I'll never have more than three spyware apps on my computer at one time.

more than 5 years ago

Angry Villagers Run Google Out of Town

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Ah, Little Britain... (1188 comments)

For viewing on

more than 5 years ago

ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Possession? (590 comments)

> District Attorney School 101

Is that like Slashdot School 101? You know, the one where you learn to post obvious groupthink-compatible comments on slashdot and see your karma go up and up?

more than 5 years ago

Why Fear the End of the R-Rated Superhero Movie?

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:I can live with it (640 comments)

> OTOH, we don't even start to become sexual beings until the early teen years.

Presumably you weren't ever a child. Or you've repressed the memory. I'm constantly amazed when I hear about parents who are surprised when their almost newborns get erections and when kids of 3 or 4 discover it's fun to play down there. Certainly by time I was 9 I'd figured out there was a connection between all that and seeing girls in underwear and I wasn't too smart at figuring those kinds of things out.

more than 5 years ago

Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Yes, always. (852 comments)

Who said that the character sometimes called 'God' in BSG is all powerful and all knowing? Well...maybe Baltar said it. But who said that Baltar's religion was in any way a representation of the truth? He clearly didn't believe it. Don't spoil a good story by bringing in Christian baggage. This is not a Christian story.

more than 5 years ago

Chimp Found Plotting Against Zoo Guests

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Translation (435 comments)

Yesterday we brought the pet carrier out from the basement and as soon as the cat saw it she hid behind the sofa. Predicting what will happen next is something any mammal can learn. That's not what this story is about. It's about planning tool use for the future.

more than 5 years ago

The Finns Who Invented the Graphical Browser

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Lost opportunity (148 comments)

> Otherwise, the Web revolution might have begun a year earlier.

OMG! You mean I could have been using myspace a year earlier and I'd have twice as many friends by now?! We could have had lolcats twelve months earlier and my application in the lolcat programming language would already be finished?! It's like a year of my life has been stolen. Who do I sue?

more than 5 years ago

Pirate Bay Founder Begs For Hacker Ceasefire

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Cease fire (243 comments)

You win!

more than 5 years ago

Human Eye Could Detect Spooky Action At a Distance

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:not quite a first, guys (255 comments)

Yup. Two systems are entangled if their joint state is not simply the product of their individual states; which is generally the case for humans that have any shared history.

Ironically, when people publish papers about entangled systems they're usually talking about systems that are entangled in some particularly simple way that's easy to prove theorems about. But real people are more entangled than a galaxy sized bowl of spaghetti.

more than 5 years ago

Pirate Bay Founder Begs For Hacker Ceasefire

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Cease fire (243 comments)

In the right sauce, tastes just like chicken.

more than 5 years ago

Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation?

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:I've said it a million times before... (564 comments)

> it's quite literally mix and match

What's wrong with that?

> sounds like all the other names

I don't know if you noticed but the original article was about looking people up on the web - a domain where spelling is significant.

> Your point is lost on me.

No surprise there given the quality of your comment.

more than 5 years ago

Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation?

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:I've said it a million times before... (564 comments)

In Iceland there is a finite list of names you are a allowed to choose from and it takes an act of parliament to make a new name legal. That's even more stupid than 32 bit IP addresses.

more than 5 years ago

Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation?

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) I've said it a million times before... (564 comments)

...and I'll say it a million times more. The primary function of giving someone a name is to allow you to single out one person from a collection of people. If you call someone John or David or some other common name then you are failing in that one simple task.

Names should be unique identifiers. For some strange reason, the one segment of American society that understands this issue are vilified for using "black-sounding names". What's so hard for people to get? Stories like this are the inevitable consequence of selfish parents copying names from people around them. Frankly, I think anyone who calls their kid John should be guilty of child abuse.

The only thing I can suggest is suing your parents.

more than 5 years ago

Student Satirist Gets 3 Months; the Judge, Likely More

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:Recourse (689 comments)

All the mistakess in this post are because I waz straining to take a crap at the same tyme.

more than 5 years ago

False Fact On Wikipedia Proves Itself

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) Re:1984? (513 comments)

The purpose of Wikipedia isn't to satisfy someone's vanity by calling them what they wish to be called. Millions of people might read an article about person X, but person X is at most just one of those people. What matters is picking a name that allows those millions of people to find the article they want. So the fact that there is a law in the UK allowing people to call themselves whatever they want is completely irrelevant (except if the article wishes to talk about the person's preferred name).

more than 5 years ago



exp(pi*sqrt(163)) exp(pi*sqrt(163)) writes  |  more than 7 years ago

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) writes "According to Cosmos magazine, the company Thorium Power have been developing a new type of nuclear reactor, powered by thorium instead of uranium or plutonium, that promises to be unsusceptible to meltdown, produce waste that is radioactive for a few centuries instead of millennia, and doesn't produce weapons grade materials as a side effect. It's no pie in the sky either — researchers at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow apparently already have an experimental working reactor.

Thorium is abundant in nature and the radioactive by-products of thorium fission are no more difficult to handle than coal ash after only 500 years.

Could this be both a nuclear and green way to generate power?"


Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account