China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC
Cern had how many set backs while trying to power the thing up in the early stages of testing? With all the corruption China has I wonder how this will compare.
Of course CERN had problems - this is not engineering, but science. The big difference between the two being that you call it engineering, when you know in advance how to do, and science when you don't. No doubt, the first time a simple van-der-Graf accellerator was built, they had to overcome a number of problems; now, it is something you'd let a student do, because all the technical problems have been ironed out. And when/if China builds this new cyclotron, they will run into a large number of technical problems; of course they will. No need to start constructing fables about "all the corruption"; all that says is that you are suffering from petty envy.
The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry
Being aggressive is always the first response a man comes up with when he feels insecure or under pressure. However, speaking as a man - that is, an adult, experienced man, not a not-quite-out-of-puberty boy - I think it is always wise to listen to criticism and try to understand it. Objectively, it does not harm you or make you vulnerable, if you are open to criticism; quite the opposite, in fact. If you are doing something wrong, then criticism is your chance to improve yourself and become better, and if the criticism is incorrect, then you can reject it, so no problem.
And I disagree with your comment about 'nice ass' - unless you are complimenting somebody's donkey, this counts as an uninvited, sexual advance. Assuming that you are male and the only heterosexual in the office, just imagine receiving this sort of comment from just about every gay man around you. Even if you are not homophobic, would you like it? Probably not. This is about respect - you earn respect by showing respect, and you gain self-respect by earning respect from others.
Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More
So, is this the new standard for scientific reasoning? Run an experiment and draw sweeping conclusions without considering the alternatives? This sort of tripe is simply stupid - it is no better than climate denial or hollow-earthism; I don't think it belongs in a forum of people with an interest in science and technology - or even politics.
What this experiment really shows, is that a group of people who grew up in East Germany "cheated" more than a group of West Germans. We don't hear by which criteria - 'randomly' just means they can't be bothered explaining. There is no explanation of why it is considered reasonable to extrapolate from a small group to humanity in general, or indeed how you get from 'East Germany' to 'Communism' in general, or indeed what is meant by 'Communism'. Being exposed to 'Communism' was hardly the only influence acting on people growing up there, just like 'Capitalism' wasn't the only thing that shaped the lives of West Germans.
A far more likely explanation is that if you live with the fear that your neighbors are informants for an oppressive regime, then you don't have much confidence in the merits of social virtues like sharing and trusting, which are necessary preconditions for fair play: you won't play fair, unless you trust that everybody plays fair. But living with that kind of fear is not unique to communism or socialism; indeed, oppression is arguably incompatible with socialism, which is all about sharing and trusting the society you are part of.
Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN
Sure you can treat that as a contract breach, but it seems more like a criminal matter to me... Why do you even put that in the contract, it's needless to say that criminal conduct will not be tolerated.
Because, in the criminal court, you are innocent until proven guilty, whereas in the civil court, the standard of proof is much more relaxed. So, in terms of stopping unwanted activity, putting it in the contract like this, is much more efficient.
World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use
Your 'silly' idea isn't completely silly. If we want to get people off drug addiction, the way forward must entail winning the trust of the victims; and you can't win the trust of people by treating them as criminals.
Where you get it wrong, I think, is where you assume the addicts will still be homesless wrecks; in countries where you can legally get your daily heroin fix (Switzerland? Holland?), heroin addicts quite often have a career, family etc. The truth is that it isn't the addiction as such, but the criminalisation and the diseases from unclean drugs and needles that destroy lives.
Heinz Zemanek Passes At 94
Passed what? A kidney stone? Another car?
I think the clue is in the name: MailÃ¼fterl: May breeze.
Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman
Female Power Rangers don't have their boobs hanging out of their outfits
Yeah, that's what i mean ... Poor stuff. ;-)
But basically, Power Rangers is nothing more than an excuse for showing off basic moped stunts; and covering the actors (and I use the word in the most liberal sense) in full leathers is not only sensible, it's also handy when you want to replace them.
Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman
The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of ...
... completely ignoring things like historical background, common knowledge and elementary logic.
Being Danish, it has always irked me, that this cartoon 'Thor' is portrayed as a tall, sledge-hammer wielding body builder with lanky, blond hair, full body wax and a placid temperament; the traditional thunder-god, son of Odin and married to Sif, was red-haired and -bearded (and generally hairy as a man would be), foul-tempered and wielded a hammer, mjolnir, that was famously short-shafted. I suppose a busty, female 'Thoretta' isn't really all that much further from the original. It just another American, plasticky product, like 'He-Man' and 'Power Rangers'.
German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks
I always feel vaguely amused when people say that you 'just' or 'simply' do so and so. I'm pretty sure the Germans know that these things can be done - they are clever people, you know.
Of course it is possible to penetrate whatever security measures are put in place, but using simpler technology has advantages:
- simple technology is easier to screen for spying devices; there is no networking, no firmware with backdoors, etc
- it is less easy to make copies on an industrial scale, when things are typed on paper instead of being stored electronically
- it is riskier to try to steal information, when you have to be physically present
And of course, just because it is possible to guess what a person is typing from the sound emitted, that is probably only true for a subset of typewrites, and in any case, it only works when somebody is typing something. The typewriter can be moved around, so you would have to plant microphones everywhere; and then, of course, you'll have to record everything in the hope that you'll catch something useful. All in all, you'd have to make a significant effort, which would then be more easily spotted. Possible is not the same as feasible.
Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets
You've got MS haters trying to name it Windows 9 (because it's so far away)
Ah, but you forget that it potentially habitable.
Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment
Could a storm half way across the world produce a patch of moving water that traveled from near the South Pole
This reads like the voice-over for one of those embarrassingly poor 'documentaries' you sometimes see, where the producers have tried to sensationalize a fairly standard, scientific subject, and draw it out to fill a whole hour, when it could have been adequately explained in about 10 minutes. A shame, really, because the subject is in fact quite interesting.
However: waves don't move patches of water half-way around the globe; the actual water more or less stays in place. A wave is simply energy propagating through a medium, and it is quite astonishing to hear that an ocean wave can travel that far without dissipating, because the expectation is that it would spread out in a circular pattern and thus grow weaker with distance. I would have been interested in hearing what the explanation is.
A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
Hmm, let me see; during this recent exchange, how many Israelies were killed or injured? You mention 1 elderly lady, so that is 1 that I have heard of so far. You also mention 20 civilians in Gaza, but in the same breath imply that it is probably their own fault. Now, if you step back a bit and look at what you are saying, can you understand why so many people in the rest of the world feel less than convinced of your sincerity?
You guys enjoy the protection of the US, you have overwhelming, technological advantages over your opponents, you have throughout history shown little to no interest in finding peace with your neighbours, and a large proportion of people outside of Israel feel that you are engaged in shameless landgrabbing, apartheid and collective punishment of the Palestinian population. And as your own words demonstrate, you don't actually give a sh*t about it; but you still expect the rest of the world to feel sorry for you.
This is what I think should happen: the US should withdraw all military and economic support from Israel with about a year's warning. Then you guys will have a bit of time to try to find another way to deal with your neighbours - I suspect you will become really nice and open to sincere negotiations and find a solution that is sustainable in the long term, instead of being the bully hiding behind America's skirts.
As a side note: I am not an anti-Semite. For one thing, I don't think the state of Israel are worthy representatives of Judaism (just like 'Islamists' are not Muslims), and any way, Jews are not the only Semites.
Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus
I think the summary rather overstates the case. This virus, if a virus it is, doesn't so much hint at the origins of life as it puts a new perspective on the origins of viruses. The origin of life probably lies much further back in time than the emergence of viruses, certainly if viruses are 'degenerated' life-forms, evolved from cellular life.
Seen in this light, this new virus could be a primitive virus; but it rather begs the question whether 'virus' is actually a well-defined, mono-phyletic group. It seems quite reasonable to think that viruses have evolved many times during evolution. Firstly, although life is said to have begun when certain things came together and formed cells, there must have been a period when life or proto-life was more like a diffuse soup of components that would be part of cellular life, and while some of these combined to become cells, others may have become viruses. They may have evolved again at a slightly later stage from plasmids, pieces of genetic material that move between cells (or plasmids may have evolved as an extreme form of viruses, who knows?), and they may have arisen once more from bacteria or similar.
Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus
I, for one, welcome our new virii overl...oh forget it, this meme is no longer funny.
Virii? Nitpicking, I know, but that particular abuse of the language makes me cringe, it really does, because it is so bizarrely and emphatically wrong on far too many levels.
Even if 'virus' had been the singular form of a latin word, the plural would not have been 'virii', with double 'i' at the end. 'Viri', possibly, but 'virii' would have to come from 'Virius', a personal name - check out:
Finally, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V...:
The word is from the Latin virus referring to poison and other noxious substances, first used in English in 1392. Virulent, from Latin virulentus (poisonous), dates to 1400. A meaning of "agent that causes infectious disease" is first recorded in 1728, before the discovery of viruses by Dmitri Ivanovsky in 1892. The English plural is viruses, whereas the Latin word is a mass noun, which has no classically attested plural. The adjective viral dates to 1948. The term virion (plural virions), which dates from 1959, is also used to refer to a single, stable infective viral particle that is released from the cell and is fully capable of infecting other cells of the same type.
IMO, since 'virus' is a modernism - an old word used in a completely new way - it is reasonable to treat it grammatically as a modern word: one virus, multiple viruses, just like 'one bus, several buses' ('bus' from 'omnibus', but let's not go there). Apart from that, you would use a a nominative singular here: '... our virus overlords ...'
UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws
Please forgive me if I try to inject a bit sanity into the discussion.
Firstly, there were EU rules in place, which required ISPs etc to keep records of who contacted who, how long they had to keep them and under which circumstances they were required to disclose this information to the police. These rules were overturned, and the UK government rushes a set of laws through, that put the EU rules back in power at the national level. IOW this is not a sudden introduction of new, sweeping powers to spy on UK citizens, it is merely a continuation of a set of rules already in place. It is also rather dubious whether this qualifies as 'spying on UK citizens', since this is about keeping records that the telephone companies already make, so they can bill their customers. Before the rules were introduced, telephone companies followed their own, internal rules, some keeping records for years while others kept them for a short period.
Requiring telecoms to keep their records for a minimum period of time is actually not exclusively bad, because as a customer you have to right to see your own records, which means that you can actually go back to the company and say 'Look, I never called that premium rate number for 2 hours every day while I was away on holiday, so somebody must have hacked you system'. This is one of the things the telecoms don't like at all, because it costs them money.
Finally, telephone records have been in used for solving crime for many years. Assuming that you are not part of a criminal organisation, you probably don't want large, international gangs - the people smugglers, the drugs cartels, the illegal arms traders, the pedophiles etc etc - to get away with it easily? So, in the absence of keeping telephone records, how to you propose that we, as a society tackle these problems? True, right now it is the job of the police, but in reality fighting crime is in the interest of all and is ultimately everybody's responsibility. So, tell us all, how do we fight international, organised crime without keeping an eye on what everybody is doing? After all, criminals look exactly like anybody else.
UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys
A judge should be free to question a law, yes.
AFAIK, a judge is still allowed to state his political opinion as a private person. However, the job of a judge is to judge according to the law, full stop. The probing and questioning of legislation is the job of Parliament, not least the House of Lords, as well as common citizens. This is how society is intended to work - separation of powers and all that - which is why judges and police are not allowed to ignore the law (or make up the rules as they go along).
If you, as a citizen, feel that a law is wrong, it is your right, and IMO your duty, to come out and say so in public, and even to campaign for a change; this is probably the main purpose of your freedom of speech: to allow you to express your political opinions, so that legislations does not move too far away from what people think is just and fair.
Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Well said :-)
Of course, the problem we have now is not whether we can avoid climate change - we can't - but whether we can avoid running completely off the tracks. Even if we were to stop burning fossil fuel right now, we are still looking at continued climate change for a least a couple of centuries, and the best we can do is to try to limit the damage. We can adapt to the changes that are already unavoidable, but we would be very hard hit if whole ecosystems were severely disturbed all over the world.
But I really don't understand the hysterical denialism; to me it looks like there are massive opportunities - when there are big changes afoot, there are always more opportunities, if you are clever enough. Isn't that what being American is all about?
Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language
I disagree. Java and Python - or any other programming language - are tools and only in widespread use because they fulfill their purpose well. It is a mistake to think that a programming should aim to make programming easy - designing and writing programs are fundamentally difficult tasks, and the only way you can make coding feel easy is by hiding away the complexities behind an API; but the cost is always to narrow the scope of the language.
Java and Python have both found a very good balance between generality and ease of use; my fear is that if you don't learn the hard, but more universal programming techniques from the beginning, then you'll never learn them and you'll always be a user of tools that you don't fully comprehend. It is a lot easier to move in to Java, Python or any other "easy" language, if you start from C++, than it is to go from Python to C++, for example.
One would hope that Java or Python is not the only programming language that is learned; it should IMO be mandatory to also learn at least C and possibly assembler of some sort.
A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet
And, who knows? Maybe a dozen other places
Indeed. As it turns out, the greatest threat to mankind is not necessarily from power-crazed world-leaders sitting on huge arsenals, but from people who didn't care enough, didn't think far enough ahead and didn't understand what they were dealing with.
IBM Tries To Forecast and Control Beijing's Air Pollution
Very amusing. However, as someone who's actually been in Beijing several times (I held a work permit in China for 3 years among other things), I can tell that things are a bit more nuanced. It can be grim, sometimes, but most of what is claimed to be smog in the stereotypical press-photo, is actually dust from the arid north-west of China (Inner Mongolia); when the weather is dry and the wind is from that corner, everything gets coated in very fine powder. I don't remember pollution being a huge problem - it isn't good, mind, but it isn't anywhere near what London and other industrial cities used to be like.
The biggest problem in Beijing is the continental climate - summer like a blast-furnace and the winter is bitterly cold. But go there around April, and it is the loveliest city in the world, green and flowers everywhere.