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First Experimental Demonstration of a Trapped Rainbow Using Silicon

henryteighth not an experimental demonstration (79 comments)

The paper is entirely numerical simulation, despite what the linked blog post says. I quote: "In this paper, we numerically demonstrate an approach..". I'm not denigrating numerical simulations: I'm a computational physicist. Just, you know, RTFA?

about 3 months ago

Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

henryteighth Re: There's a question about that at Skeptics (294 comments)

Faux isn't phonetically similar to fox, though. You do realise that faux is a French word, and that pronouncing it like "foe" is entirely consistent with other French pronunciation, don't you?

1 year,28 days

Scientists Extract RSA Key From GnuPG Using Sound of CPU

henryteighth Redundant summary is redundant (264 comments)

I'm so glad to know they examined the *acoustic* sound (or the acoustic *sound*, even) instead of any sort.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Linux Security, In Light of NSA Crypto-Subverting Attacks?

henryteighth Re:Not much worry with a source build (472 comments)

Did you build your own compiler? If not, how can you trust the binaries it produces? Have you dissected your CPU? How do you know it's executing the instructions you want and not quietly running other instructions too? As others have said, you have to draw the line somewhere. Personally, I have no trouble running a binary distribution (not sure why you pick on Ubuntu and not Redhat or Suse or Debian or FreeBSD, but meh)

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Can Closed Source Software Transition To the GPL Successfully?

henryteighth HTCondor (99 comments)

The HTCondor (formerly known as Condor) distributed computing project has always been free to use, but transitioned from a closed-source to open-source license a few years ago. Development of the software has been continuing unaffected, so far as I can tell. So: yes, it's definitely possible.

about 2 years ago

Spintronics Used To Create 3D Microchip

henryteighth Re:Sputtering is experimental? (28 comments)

Maybe by "experimental technique" they meant "a technique that is used in experiments",

Indeed. It is an "experimental technique" rather than a "theoretical technique" or a "computational technique", say. It's frustrating to read an abstract of a physics paper which sounds like the authors have performed a nifty measurement, only to find that in fact they are proposing an idea, or have performed a simulation, or theoretically analysed the problem. (Don't get me wrong, they're all equally important things, but not the same as performing an experiment). Thus, it's nice to emphasise one's "experimental technique".

about 2 years ago

Will Renewable Energy Ever Meet All Our Energy Needs?

henryteighth Without hot air (626 comments)

http://www.withouthotair.com/ Great book which performs a detailed analysis and discussion about energy usage (written by a Physics Prof who is also chief scientific advisor to the UK Government's Dept of Energy), freely available for download as a PDF (Off-topic: he's also the author of a brilliant textbook on Information Theory, also available as a free PDF)

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

henryteighth Re:Just hire the Irish (168 comments)

Ireland != Northern Ireland. The latter is part of the UK, the former is not. That's kind of why there's been ~50 years of violent and, more recently, significantly less violent conflict in that part of the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles

about 2 years ago

What Birds Know About Fractal Geometry

henryteighth Misleading title (74 comments)

The title seems to be trying to suggest (to me at least, and based on the other comments here also to plenty of other readers) that birds can perceive fractal dimensions (FDs). However, if you read the journal article, it's all about a study of how the fractal dimension of the plumage correlates to different measures of the bird's health. They then also investigate some causative effects, by changing the bird's food intake and measuring the effect this has on FD. Nowhere in the article do they make any claim that birds can necessarily perceive or calculate a fractal dimension: the paper ends by saying "We therefore suggest that considering FD should shed new light onto the evolution and maintenance of complex animal patterns. " So they suggest (entirely reasonably IMHO) that it would be interesting to study that latter aspect, which is quite an important difference from what the Slashdot title is trying to imply.

about 2 years ago

The UK's New Minister For Magic

henryteighth Re:Devil's advocate here... (526 comments)

A basic precept of science is that you can't prove a negative.

more than 2 years ago

British Prime Minister To Announce Porn Blocking Plans

henryteighth Inaccurate summary (286 comments)

FFS, RTFA! "The Prime Minister is expected to announce formal plans to look into...Cameron will announce a consultation". No plans to do anything at all have been announced, which is what the summary says

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Demonstrate Quantum Levitation

henryteighth Totally wrong (133 comments)

Firstly it's a superconductor, not a semiconductor (as would have been obvious had the editor even bothered to glance at TFA). They're totally different things. Also, this is not news at all: it's a cool video, but again as TFA states it's just an example of the well-known Meissner effect.

more than 3 years ago


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