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Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

hairykrishna Conditioning (46 comments)

I have often wondered if some kind of boredom conditioning could help with gambling addiction.

My idle thought is based on experience my brother and I had about a decade ago while undergraduates. Around this time the online casino business was extraordinarily competitive and they were offering rather large incentives to sign up and play. At this time, although not any more, the terms and conditions of these bonuses were such that you could claim them, wager the minimum amount they mandated and withdraw a large proportion of the free money they had given you. Of course, to be profitable, you had to play a very short list of games with a low house edge and stick absolutely rigidly to the optimum playing strategy.

Over one summer this was our 'job'. Between us we gambled a cumulative total of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even accounting for various sites where we wrote software to do it for us, we played more blackjack than the vast majority of people ever will in their lives. To start with it was very exciting as the variance ensures a rollercoaster of upswings and downswings. By the end it was just another massively boring data entry job as we'd seen regression to the mean work its magic so many times. Neither of us ever wanted to see a casino game ever again.

5 hours ago

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

hairykrishna Re:He tried patenting it... (972 comments)

I am a physicist. I strongly disagree with your view that the methodology is sound.

The measurement methodology for the 'power out' was not the way I would do it. It effectively comes down to measuring the temperature of the 'reactor', in air, and applying calculations. Temperature is measured via an IR camera. It is filled with many ways that they could mislead themselves. I have personally used such a camera to measure surface temperatures in a high power density accelerator target and it is far from a straightforward enterprise. Why not just load the whole thing into a bomb calorimeter? That's the immediately obvious way to measure what they want to measure.

They do not adequately describe their power input. They start out with 3 phase. There's some kind of power supply box in the chain before the resistors. Who supplied this box? More details on what's actually measured as 'input power' is required. Is a circuit diagram too much to ask for?

The isotope data would be compelling. However, it's clear from the paper that Rossi handled the fuel at loading, removal and possibly at points in between. Substitution would have been trivial.

No radiation was observed. LENR, cold fusion, whatever you want to call it where no radiation is emitted is completely incompatible with all known nuclear physics. The idea that it doesn't violate any known physical laws is nonsense.

about a week ago

Apple Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Files For Bankruptcy

hairykrishna They have some interesting tech (171 comments)

I work in BNCT research and some guys from GT advance have presented at a couple of recent conferences. Of interest to us was their 'hyperion' (yes, like Borderlands) accelerator they'd been developing. Huge amounts of beam current from a fairly compact and easily maintained package. They were planning on using it to peel off very thin layers of sapphire via ion implantation, we could use it as the first stage of a neutron generator and I'm sure there are tons of other industrial applications. The senior guys I met seemed very good - proper engineers with the minimum of marketing bullshit. I think they'll do ok even if this is a pretty major set back.

about two weeks ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

hairykrishna Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Define 'scepticism about AGW catastrophism'. I'm a professional physicist and I would suggest, based on experience talking to my colleagues, that there is very little scepticism amongst physicists that humans are responsible for observed temperature rises and are going to be responsible for a whole lot more. It is certainly not 'rampant'. Consequences of said warming for the human race is a different topic.

about 3 months ago

Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

hairykrishna Re:If you take the profits (179 comments)

Most of the activity being released from Fukushima is tritium and the leaks in Vermont have also primarily been of tritium. Tritium doesn't bio-accumulate either.

about 7 months ago

Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

hairykrishna Re:Riiiight (498 comments)

Expertise and know-how counts for little. Essentially every country in the world either has that or could acquire it in short order. What matters in reality is stocks of highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium. Ukraine (probably) has neither and does not have the infrastructure to produce either on a short timescale.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Educating Kids About Older Technologies?

hairykrishna Re:Not unless the kid hopes to get a job in the fi (208 comments)

I found your post a bit depressing. Not all acquired knowledge has to relate directly to job productivity to be valuable. It also isn't necessary to become an expert to know how to do something.

about 9 months ago

Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown

hairykrishna Re:Great (222 comments)

Similar has been done decades ago. The BORAX experiments for a start.

about 9 months ago

Fukushima Daiichi Water Leak Raised To Level 3 Severity

hairykrishna Re:The fate of the 1997 workers (92 comments)

No. They are advising against travel to one specific area; the exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant.

People should actually read the contents of links before modding up.

about a year ago

Interviews: Freeman Dyson Answers Your Questions

hairykrishna Re:Is this guy a conservative? (141 comments)

He said that Bush senior removed all the tactical nukes which made the world safer. This is true regardless of what you think of the Bush's other actions.

I'm not sure that Dyson can easily be pigeonholed into a broad political definition. He's a very smart man who says what he thinks and doesn't really give a crap about anyone elses opinion of him. I don't always agree with him but he's generally worth listening too.

about a year and a half ago

Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

hairykrishna I'm glad I was a teen 20 years ago (1078 comments)

I was far from a bad teenager. I loved science though and if it went bang that was all the better. Draino and aluminium foil? Jesus. I made fertiliser bombs. I synthesised Nitrogen triiodide and all manner of other fun compounds.

One bonfire night I once had a visit from the police due to my homemade titanium salutes. They were amused and told me not to blow my hands off. These days I'd go to jail for a million years.

about a year and a half ago

Secret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears

hairykrishna Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (101 comments)

I think they mean the enrichment plant was secret. Not the whole site.

about a year and a half ago

Secret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears

hairykrishna Re:Top secret? (101 comments)

The AWE site at Aldermaston is enormous. It's an old airfield stuffed with big, nondescript buildings. Unless you're working on site you won't get within about half a mile of any of the 'interesting' ones and even when on site you won't know what's in most of them unless directly working there. I can well believe that they have a hidden enrichment plant.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Protecting Data From a Carrington Event?

hairykrishna Least of your worries (386 comments)

The only mechanism I can think of which would case a solar flare to render optical disks unreadable would be radiation damage. A solar flare which delivered that kind of dose would likely wipe out all life on earth so you probably wouldn't be worrying about your backups.

more than 2 years ago

America's Next Bomber: Unmanned, Unlimited Range, Aimed At China

hairykrishna Re:U.S. loves to kill things (400 comments)

You've got the wrong end of the stick. HEU works just fine in an implosion weapon and in a gun type, plut works only in an implosion type. The reason most weapons are plut is cost and availability. You're also misusing 'Teller-Ulam design'. This refers to the design of the fusion secondary in a H-bomb and not the design of the primary.

You are right about non proliferation buggering isotope production though.

more than 2 years ago

8 Grams of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars

hairykrishna Re:I think everyone is missing the point... (937 comments)

Thorium has a heat capacity of 0.113 J g-1 K-1
It's not high, or remarkable. This is a scam no matter what they're proposing to do with the thorium.

more than 3 years ago

8 Grams of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars

hairykrishna This is nonsense (937 comments)

Some crackpot or conman has mixed some genuine stuff about sub-critical, accelerator driven, fission reactors in with the word 'lasers' and is presumably even now coining in investment.

Has the science savvy of the editors really deteriorated this badly?

more than 3 years ago


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