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Transporting a 15-Meter-Wide, 600-Ton Magnet Cross Country

lexarius Re:Cross country? (152 comments)

Apparently tipping it more than a few degrees causes permanent damage. If you have to detour around very small hills, you might have to detour a very long way.

about a year ago
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New Technology May Cut Risk of Giving Syrian Rebels Stinger Missiles

lexarius Re:GPS give time (279 comments)

You give weapons to the rebels because you don't want to send your own people to help and/or come back in boxes. Drones could be used for certain tasks, but defending a location is best done by giving the defenders something to defend themselves with. You don't know when or if the weapons will be needed, but you know where you want them to be used, and you don't want them to be used years down the line or sold after the fighting is over.

about a year and a half ago
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Physicist Explains Cthulhu's "Non-Euclidean Geometry"

lexarius Re:Gods with pitchforks. (179 comments)

I'm not talking about drawing square circles or making rocks so heavy even they can't lift them. I'm talking more in the realm of violating relativity, thermodynamics, etc. In my mind, omnipotence is the ability to cause the universe to transition into a state that, while perfectly valid and non-contradictory under the laws of that universe, could not have been reached via any application of said laws from the previous state.

about a year and a half ago
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Physicist Explains Cthulhu's "Non-Euclidean Geometry"

lexarius Re:Gods with pitchforks. (179 comments)

Keep in mind that most gods are not assumed to be omnipotent, except in a few monotheistic religions. Non-omnipotence implies that they have to obey the basic rules of whatever reality they inhabit, or at least some of them. A non-omnipotent god probably can't do instant teleportation through space. Maybe they can convert themselves into light and travel at light speed, but as far as we know you need to warp space to do better than that. Perhaps they can warp space with willpower alone, but that might be tiring over vast distances. It isn't unusual for a god to be portrayed as using a chariot or steed, so why not a ship? If it's easier for the god to build a warp drive and take a relaxing boat trip across the cosmos, why not? Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.

about a year and a half ago
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US Court Says Motorola Can't Enforce Microsoft Injunction In Germany

lexarius Re:Dangerous precedent (175 comments)

Poison? No, worse than that. They're communist.

about a year and a half ago
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Star Trek Tech That Exists Today

lexarius Re:nothing like a holodeck (207 comments)

In one of the first episodes of TNG (the very first one, I think) the energy to matter conversion thing was mentioned. Wes fell into a pond in the holodeck, and then walked out still covered in water. They may have forgotten about this later, but it was in there initially.

about a year and a half ago
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Audi Gives Silent Electric Car Synthetic Sound

lexarius Re:This is wonderful (402 comments)

I intend to use a recording of someone saying "Vroom! Vroom!" as my car's "engine revving" noise.

about 2 years ago
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Stroustrup Says C++ Education Needs To Improve

lexarius Re:I completely agree (567 comments)

Agreed. Also emphasize that, while Python is not as efficient as compiled languages, you can come back later and rewrite important parts of it in C. Then you can teach C with an emphasis on high-performance computing, rather than the typical "here's how we ask for user input, here's how we copy strings" emphasis typically taught in C courses that I've seen. Eventually, you could then show them how to add in assembly code to get at special-purpose processor operations not exposed by C. Probably do this over the course of a few semesters though.

Hell, who am I kidding. Just teach them to code in brainfuck. Or maybe INTERCAL. Normal languages will seem much nicer after that.

about 6 years ago

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