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Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope

grimJester App permissions (94 comments)

Apps request permissions for different pieces of hardware on a case-by-case basis. The average user might raise some eyebrows if an app that shouldn't need it wants to access your microphone, but access to gyroscope data might not even require user acceptance.


Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

grimJester Badabunga! (67 comments)

I'm quite certain they named it after the sound it made when it first erupted.

2 days ago

'Unparticles' May Hold the Key To Superconductivity

grimJester Why not? (48 comments)

So their properties become independent of scale... When one of their properties falls below a certain value on the scale of temperature?

As long as it's cold enough, how cold doesn't matter. Why wouldn't that make sense?

about two weeks ago

The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

grimJester Don't use Peter Woit as a authority... (259 comments)

Woit has written a book called "Not even wrong" about string theory and how it's not science in his opinion. He actively blogs about string theory hype. He's not a string theorist and although he does have a PhD in physics he's not published anything scientific in decades. He teaches math and writes anti-string rants as a hobby.

about two weeks ago

China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

grimJester LEP was 209 GeV (219 comments)

This is a pretty small upgrade from the LEP that used to be in the current LCH tunnel. That went up to 209 GeV and ruled out Higgs masses up to 115 GeV. The Higgs is around 125 Gev, or 9% higher, and the energy of this is supposed to be 240 GeV, or 15% higher.

That makes me wonder if the planned energy is enough for a useful Higgs factory. The ILC is supposed to do 500 GeV and would work well as a Higgs factory. That proposal would be more than twice as expensive though.

It's of course possible the article has it wrong and it's really 240 GeV per beam, adding up to 480.

about a month ago

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

grimJester Their illustrations are worse (144 comments)

I've been laughing at this (pdf) for days now. The lower right pic on the second page gets me every time.

about a month and a half ago
top, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

grimJester Contradiction (561 comments)

Before someone asks, yes, I am "Mensa material". I do IQ tests as a pastime. It's fun to watch shrinks stare in awe.

Ironically, that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

about 2 months ago

The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe

grimJester Article with explanation for laymen (188 comments)

The mathematics to arise from accepted Higgs field theory suggests the universe is currently sitting comfortably in a Higgs field energy 'valley.' To get out of this valley and up the adjacent 'hill,' huge quantities of energy would need to be unleashed inside the field.

I have no idea what the 'valley' represents, nor the 'hill' so this explanation tells me nothing.

An article by Matt Strassler that should explain more. In particular, this pic

The story about our vacuum having two 'valleys' depends crucially on no new physics existing beyond the already known fields, which is probably false.

about 2 months ago

The Game Theory of Life

grimJester Equations, not algorithm (85 comments)

"equations used to describe the distribution of genes", meaning the algorithm (mechanism) was probably unknown while the equations just described the end result. Also, the behavior of an algorithm that sees lots of use has probably been studied a lot so there's a treasure trove of material for researchers to dig through to find stuff relevant for genetics.

about 2 months ago

Researchers See a Post-Snowden Chilling Effect In Our Search Data

grimJester A month from now (138 comments)

I just googled for homemade plague gun with bombs. We'll see what happens next.

A month from now you'll be looking proudly at the one in your yard going "Well I'll be damned"

about 3 months ago

Scientists Race To Develop Livestock That Can Survive Climate Change

grimJester But.. (291 comments)

all animal species alive now have survived all climate changes in the past.

But almost no animal species alive in the past have survived all the climate changes in the past.

More seriously, they want to optimize meat per dollar taking into account projections of future climate. A current cow would probably do well but be suboptimal. Normal economics at work, nothing to see here.

about 4 months ago

Is There a Limit To a Laser's Energy?

grimJester Re:Wrong interpretation of energy (135 comments)

(IAAP working on this topic).

I demand proof in the form of a youtube video of your laser!

about 4 months ago

Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

grimJester Re:questionable axiom (465 comments)

Yes, the wealthy love their country more then the poor do, exactly proportionally to the wealth they have. One dollar, one vote!

about 4 months ago

The People Who Are Still Addicted To the Rubik's Cube

grimJester Any republicans solve it in under ten seconds? (100 comments)

Thought not. Can anybody tell me why? Obama? The legacy of stupidity? Me being 'atheist' by asking difficult questions?

about 4 months ago

Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

grimJester What happened to Freemium? (181 comments)

"Free-to-play" does not literally mean "free to play." It means a game that is specifically designed around microtransactions.

"Freemium" used to be used for games where it's free to play but you could buy premium content for cash. Why call the new ones "free-to-play" if you have to add a footnote saying they're not free to play?

about 4 months ago

Last Month's "Planet X" Announcement Was Probably Wrong

grimJester Will you forget they lost Pluto? (44 comments)

Just go "My Very Easy Method, Just Set Up Nine ... oh."

about 4 months ago

Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

grimJester Mod parent up, only one with correct numbers (330 comments)

that results in a total production of 286 TW, which is 19 times the world's current total energy use

compared to

so this project could supply roughly 7% of the worlds electricity

A pretty significant difference.

about 6 months ago

Physicists Claim First Observation of a Quantum Cheshire Cat

grimJester No (148 comments)

It's a lot simpler. They had one neutron in two places and measured different properties of it in the different places.

The new thing is that it's a bit more "real" that it's the same particle in two places than has been done before. I'd guess it's theoretically impossible to measure the same thing in two places, but I really don't know that much about quantum mechanics.

about 7 months ago

Largest Bitcoin Mining Pool Pledges Not To Execute '51% Attack'

grimJester Also the only thing that keeps mining profitable (351 comments)

If ASICs were available to anyone, the price of bitcoins would be capped by the price of electricity (+ some investment costs for the hardware). Of course, it would be capped by the lowest price of electricity anywhere, so mining would become unprofitable for most current miners. It would be interesting to see what happens then.

How long until someone starts using bitcoin mining instead of storage for temporary overproduction of solar power?

about 7 months ago


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