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Comments

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We Aren't the World: Why Americans Make Bad Study Subjects

florescent_beige Re:If you wanted to know about humans, (450 comments)

It never ceases to amaze me how self-proclaimed "intellectuals"...

Modded 5. Oh well /. it's been a good run over 10 years. See ya in another life...

about a year and a half ago
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Senators Seek H-1B Cap That Can Reach 300,000

florescent_beige Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (605 comments)

Captured them? As in, they were prisoner-of-war labour? Doesn't sound right.

One identifiable immigrant community that did, with no doubt, come to the US and contribute to the space program was the Arrow diaspora.

about 2 years ago
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Ticking Arctic Carbon Bomb May Be Bigger Than Expected

florescent_beige All Hail the HypnoCanada (339 comments)

Hello. This is Canada. We want Puerto Rico, and Disney World. And we want border agents on the border formerly known as the Canadian Border to all be girls wearing bikinis. Or we pull off the Big Tarp we got thrown over the permafrost. We call it the Big Tarp. It's a tarpolin^h^h^h^haulin. And it's big. It's very likely not all in my imagination. You want 5000 degrees in Nevada? I know what you're thinking. It's already 5000 degrees in Nevada. Ok fine. But riddle me this: why doesn't the New Jersey mob bury their work in Nunavut? I know right? Permafrost right? You want the NJM burning all that gas driving 5000 km each way just to intern^h the whacked? That's not very ecologically wise is it? Is this not in any way less than unclear? I though so. All replies through Santa's village, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0. Hosers.

Edit: This is the wife speaking. Or boys wearing thongs, but only nice ones like Jeff Goldbloom in The Fly, not Jeff Goldbloom in The Switch. Eww.

about 2 years ago
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British Skylon Engine Passes Its Tests

florescent_beige Re:Dumb Question (172 comments)

In your basic gas turbine thermodynamic cycle, the Brayton Cycle, combustion takes place on incoming gas that has been compressed. That's what your compressor stage is for in a jet engine. In a ramjet the kinetic energy of the air is converted to pressure by a converging-diverging compression shock nozzle. (We notice Sabre has a ramjet-type compression inlet). The process is so fast its adiabatic (no heat goes in or out). The more compression you can get before combustion the higher the efficiency.

Adiabatic compression equals heating (ref. Charle's Law). At hypersonic speeds it gets so hot before you even start combustion the materials freak out. You can't make it much hotter by burning your fuel. Low efficiency.

By cooling the air you can get enough compression to yield a decent efficiency. It's not a Brayton Cycle any more though because that features adiabatic compression by definition. Sabre is all about removing heat in the compression stage.

about 2 years ago
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Why Coding At Fifty May Be Nifty

florescent_beige Grumpy Mode ON (317 comments)

May I paraphrase?: "That silly stuff engineers do? Fun and easy compared to the really hard important grown-up job us executives do."

about 2 years ago
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Air Force Lab Test Out "Aircraft Surfing" Technique To Save Fuel

florescent_beige As we all know (205 comments)

vorticity is conserved. The flow over a wing is a rotation superimposed on a translation which results in the slower flow underneath and faster on top.The rotation, usually called circulation, embodies a certain value of vorticity which can't disappear. Where it goes is it turns 90 deg at the tip and trails back behind the a/c all the way to the tarmac (vortexes have to terminate at a boundary...the ground).

If the wing is longer, for constant lift, the circulation reduces because a wider swath of air is turned downward so to give the same z-direction momentum flux the amount of "turning" is less.

By flying tip-to-tip, a/c effectively create a longer wing. Physically of course it isn't one wing but happily the highly coherent trailing vortices can be coupled by overlapping them, they rotate in opposite directions so tend to cancel each other out.

(The reason "bees shouldn't be able to fly" is that it appears to take too much energy to create the circulation around their wings every flap. It takes energy to "spin up" the air. How they do it is they slap their wings together at the top, when they separate they shed a vortex back over their wings which gets the circulation going. Not obvious.

more than 2 years ago
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Save the Web From Software Patents

florescent_beige Ok but (127 comments)

Realistically, how? The notion that an idea can be property is firmly ensconced in the Zeitgeist, and billions of dollars of wealth depend on it staying that way.

Who or what has the kind of realpolitik oomph to go up against that? I don't see it.

more than 2 years ago
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Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements

florescent_beige Tangentially... (163 comments)

I have a metaphorical way of making sense of autistic behaviors. Let's say the brain has some kind of sensory input buffer. Defects in that buffer might lead the brain to be overstimulated with sensory input and become preoccupied with them. The other thing the buffer might do...and this is where it gets more metaphorical and maybe less factual...is serve as a feedback path for brain-generated inputs, to sort of test things. Like when someone says "Imagine what it feels like when..." or even when you just think about real experiences you had. I think of dreams as maybe working like that too: brain generated inputs get cycled back through the buffer to serve as virtual experiences for...whatever dreams are for. That way of thinking about it leads to a way of understanding stimming behaviours: they can be thought of as dream-related movement that we don't do during sleep dreams because of sleep paralysis.

I find having a (metaphorical and maybe not correct) mechanistic way of understanding autistic bahaviours makes it a lot easier to deal with them.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Protecting Data From a Carrington Event?

florescent_beige Optical? (386 comments)

How would optical be wiped by e/m radiation? As for magnetic, as long as there is no physical damage taking place (I'm no Carrington event specialist, but it doesn't seem as if high energy particles do the damage, just warpage of Earth's magnetic field (someone can correct me if I'm wrong)) wouldn't any old Faraday cage do? I wouldn't be surprised if the metal drawers in safety deposit boxes would be sufficient.

more than 2 years ago
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Bad Software Runs the World

florescent_beige May I Say a Word About Patran (349 comments)

I have used this program my entire career. For the last 20 years (since MSC bought PDA), it has not changed apart from the odd user-generated macro getting included in. The windowing interface has had the same bugs (e.g. scroll bars that are 1 pixel high) since I was a wee lad. Half the stuff in it that isn't used regularly doesn't work, never has, never will and yet it is the standard for FEM pre/post in aerospace. Staring at this broken-ass POS year after year has filled me with ennui.

May there be a special circle in hell just for MacNeil-Schwendler.

Thank you. That is all.

more than 2 years ago
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Bad Software Runs the World

florescent_beige Re:Nothing New (349 comments)

That is because corporate infrastructure software does not generate revenue...

Hi. Corporate infrastructure supports the creation of whatever the corporation sells. Thus, creates wealth.

Where any specific bit of the enterprise fits in the revenue generating chain is an arbitrary organizational decision. Ultimately the entire entity is there to give the sales force something to sell and the ability to accept purchases and support customers.

In other words, the pointy end of the stick is useless without the rest of the stick. It's just prick lying on the forest floor under a pile of bear poo.

more than 2 years ago
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Sea Level Rise Can't Be Stopped

florescent_beige Re:Overall rise (521 comments)

How big is the effect of increased evaporation due to higher water surface temperatures?

May I point out that you are admitting global warming will have noticeable effects.

more than 2 years ago
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Volcano Near Mexico City Becomes More Active

florescent_beige Under the Volcano (114 comments)

I was going to type something about Malcolm Lowry but my fingers developed paralysis.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Bureacracy Can't Answer Simple Question: What's This Study With NASA?

florescent_beige Management (164 comments)

There is the thing and there is the management of the thing.

When the thing itself is the management of the thing then an unstoppable cycle is created. It will eventually consume the human race.

more than 2 years ago
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CDC Reports 1 In 88 Children Now Affected With Autism In the US

florescent_beige Autism is not Increasing (398 comments)

General incompetence is increasing. People who are good at math get therapy until they aren't good at anything so they can be normal.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Expected To Go Public Next Week

florescent_beige Oh Good (192 comments)

Another sociopathic tech billionaire...that'll solve all the world's problems. I wonder what self-serving laws he's going to buy.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Charged With Stealing Code From Federal Reserve Bank

florescent_beige No (199 comments)

He didn't steal a pattern of symbols, he copied it.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

florescent_beige Hi (727 comments)

May I interrupt the "engineers are this or that" war to ask one thing? Could we get a definition of the word "engineer" for the purposes of hostilities?

Most places I know (with the exception of the province of Quebec) allow all characters no matter how unbalanced to call themselves engineers. So I guess we need to control for the population of sociopaths who call themselves engineers because calling themselves doctors would be illegal. And for the companies who call some guy named Charlie wielding a toilet plunger an engineer because... oh jeez that's depressing.

Also, I'd love to see citations when someone makes a "these people are like that"-type statement.

Thank you.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Abstinence Education != Abstinence Behaviour

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 2 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined.

Meanwhile, somebody else on the UGA campus might have said "The only education that guarantees abstinence is physics, especially astrophysics.""

Link to Original Source
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Correlating Psychopathy with Speach Patterns

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 3 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "Researchers from Cornell and UBC report (here and here) that analysis of speech patterns using Wmatrix along with something called the Dictionary of Affect in Language (see a demo here) shows that psychopaths speak differently from other people, at least statistically. Although they say that these differences are "presumably beyond conscious control" the authors do not say if the method has any predictive use.

Regardless, the popular press has already gone headline nonlinear about it."

Link to Original Source
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Measles Resurgent Due to Fear of Vaccination

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 3 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "In the September Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Gregory Poland, M.D. writes that "More than 150 cases of measles have been reported in the United States already this year and there have been similar outbreaks in Europe, a sign the disease is making an alarming comeback. The reappearance of the potentially deadly virus is the result of unfounded fears about a link between the measles shot and autism that have turned some parents against childhood vaccination..."

Meanwhile, in spite of Mr. & Mrs. Great Unwashed`s opinions, the search for the true causes of autism goes on in spite of the best efforts of old Playboy bunnies."

Link to Original Source
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Palladium to Steel: Drop Dead

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 3 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "Researchers from Cal Tech and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have made a palladium-based glass that is both strong and tough. In fact, it might be the toughest material ever made.

Sadly, with current prices at $800/oz and a density 50% higher than steel, palladium won't be showing up in bridges airplanes, or spaceships anytime soon. Dental applications, maybe."
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10 Hours Trapped With A Screaming Baby

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  about 6 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "According to the Associated Presss, airlines have decided they have no obligation to do anything for passengers trapped in their airplanes.

In creating a set of "best practices", the airline industry has avoided anything remotely enforceable. ...there's nothing enforceable where a passenger can say, 'I won't be held up for more than three hours or five hours or eight hours, or without a glass of water or a sandwich,'" said [Kate] Hanni, founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights.

So, airlines are free to treat passengers like guests, or captives, depending, one supposes, on their business model."

Link to Original Source
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US Attorney Seeks to Strip Mongols of IP

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/daily-brief/2008/10/21/born-to-be-sued-the-mongols-saga

In a federal racketeering indictment filed today in Los Angeles, a US Attorney seeks to strip the Mongols motorcycle gang of its name, which was trademarked in 2005.

According to United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien, "We have filed papers seeking a court order that will prevent gang members from using or displaying the name 'Mongols.' If the court grants our request for this order, then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back." (DOJ Release)"
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Nerdiness Not Linked to Glasses

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "The CBC is running a story about research published in the March issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (abstract here) which concludes in part:

"The long-held view that myopic persons are introverted and conscientious may reflect intelligence-related stereotypes rather than real correlations," wrote the researchers from the University of Melbourne's Centre for Eye Research Australia.
...
They concluded there was no link between wearing spectacles and having an introverted or conscientious personality.
"

Link to Original Source
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Cloverfield Clue Requires In-Theater Recording

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "The very end of the movie "Cloverfield" contains a short section of garbled audio after the credits. When played backwards this audio is very clear and consists of three spoken words which are of some significance.

This raises the question: how did the filmmakers intend for this to be done? The only method that seems feasible is for someone to record the audio in the theatre and do the work at home to get the reversed version. There are no other known sources of this bit of audio. This, of course, would be completely illegal.

Notwithstanding the illegality, a video recording of the final seconds of the movie was posted at Unifiction although it has since been removed. The reversed version of that audio has also been posted at booMP3. At the moment that clip is still available.

So to central question is, why would a mainstream American commercial film contain a clue that can only be deciphered illegally in a way that the MPAA would without question like to see prosecuted?"
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Gulfstream Supersonic Business Jet

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 7 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "Gulfstream's Supersonic Business Jet work continues. Last fall, Gulfstream tested it's extendible spike sonic boom mitigating technology. Unfortunately, instead of calling it the Boom Boom, Gulfstream chose the name "Quiet Spike". The idea is patented. Gulfstream believes they can get the boom magnitude down to that of a "slamming car door". Whether or not that is low enough might be debatable, but it still is a big improvement."
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florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 7 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "Reuters and others are reporting that Warner Brothers is canceling movie previews in Canadian theaters, starting with Ocean's Thirteen.

Darcy Antonellis, Warner Brothers VP of worldwide anti-piracy operations, said "Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up."

Recently, the International Intellectual Property Association (IIPA) placed Canada on it's Priority Watch List, along with the likes of Argentina, China, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela.

According to Michael Geist, the industry's claims about Canadian movie camcording are exaggerated."
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florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 8 years ago

florescent_beige (608235) writes "Newsday is reporting that Hezbollah, perhaps using technology supplied by Iran, was able to monitor secure Israeli military communications during the last Lebanon war. A former Israeli General, speaking anonymously, called the results "disasterous" for Israel. The story hints that Israeli soldiers may not have used their equipment properly. The gear is thought to use frequency hopping and encryption."

Journals

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pfft

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=986151&cid=25272331

interesting
interesting
interesting
overrated
troll
troll
troll
redundant

i
give
up

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How Anonymous is AC

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

For certain reasons I logged off and made a post as an AC. At the moment I have some mod points.

When I logged back in and returned to the discussion, I was able to mod all posts in that discussion except the post that I created as an AC.

How does /. know it was me that created that AC post? IP? Some kind of cookie magic?

What does the anonymous in AC exactly mean?

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Puzzling

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Puzzling. I wrote this post about a possible career alternative for gear-heads like I assume most of us around here are. In the context of outsourcing.

Frankly, with a little work (ok a lot of work), most young people with aptitude in math & physics can get a career with doctor-like compensation. Not one mod point. I don't care about karma or mods, but it puzzles me that the discussion would centre around fair/unfair and incompetent management.

I don't know. I thought people would think it's pretty cool to learn there's red-hot demand (which seems to be sustained) for certain geek-types and I even give detailed instructions how to get into it.

Puzzling. Oh well maybe the right people didn't see the post, which would be too bad.

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Troll Mods are Annoying

florescent_beige florescent_beige writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Back in '82 or so, I spent my time working up a Master's thesis at the U of T MechEng building. Every so often, perhaps once every two months, I'd be waylayed in the corridor by a complete stranger who had obviously wandered in off the street. Invariably, this stranger would be looking for a professor to legitimize his perpetual-motion/free-energy device/idea/theory.

That was 25 years ago. How many such would-be revolutionaries have come and gone in the years since? Hundreds. How many at all the universities in all the world? Thousands.

None of them have been right. All of them have been wrong. Why? Because their ideas violate the basic laws of the universe that we have learned through the application of the scientific method.

To suppose that the genius embodied in the known laws of physics can be swept aside by double talk that at it's core is nothing more than the verbal manifestation of a glib sense of dismissive entitlement is breathtaking. That Slashdot panders to this ignorance places this community on exactly the same level as creation science. Meanwhile, the editors cower behind the juvenile delusion that powers Fox News; that every dissenting viewpoint, no matter how insane, deserves equal time.

Perpetual motion is not news, for nerds or anyone else. It is not stuff that matters. It may, however, be interesting to the uniformed uneducated train-spotting passive-aggressive conspiracy lunatics that make up the vast majority of Slashdots newly targeted advertising demographic.

I'm to spend my time thinking of quality posts to cast before such swine, why exactly? I'm to be troll-censored by a thirteen year-old, why exactly?

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