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### Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

I believe this is the group that pushed the defeated Prop 46 this year. This is a proposition that 1. increase the cap on malpractice sue from the current \$250K to \$1M and 2. required doctors and nurses undergo random drug test.

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### Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

there is always the question 'but what caused that'? really? there is "always" this question only if you continue to think about the world in the same mindset.

you don't have to search for an answer in the world through Newtonian glasses. "caused" implies causation. causation implies a before, and an after. first there is the cause, then there is its effects. abstract ideas like before and after are looking at the world from a point of view of LINEAR time.

if you truly study relativity

If you truly study relativity, you'll see the words "causality" and "causal" used. It's not a strictly Newtonian idea. As long as there's no faster-than-light travel, "X happens before Y" is an invariant - it's true in all reference frames.

Only if the two events are time-like separated. That is, there does not exist a frame in which they are simultaneous. If two event are space-like separated, there is one frame in which they are simultaneous. Then there is a frame in which A occurs before B and another frame in which B occurs before A. The two events cannot be causally connected.

If two events are time-like separated, (basically means their spacial separation / time separation is less than speed of light), then their order of occurrence is fixed in all frame. Because in this case, it is in principle possible for A to causally effect B since any signal emitted at event A can travel to B at no faster than the speed of light, the causal relationship between A and B is the same in all frame.

tl;dr If A can cause B in one frame, A can cause B in all frames.

about a month and a half ago
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### Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

Re:No, no it's not. (379 comments)

Thirdly, unless you've just moved to San Diego, you're quite aware of the 2003 and 2007 fires. These were (also) not the result of global warming.

I remember both of those cases well: classes are cancelled for a week, because they occurred during Fall semester in September/October. This one is in May. Having a longer fire season is exactly what the OP is stating.

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### Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (878 comments)

China also won't join Russia because they don't want what Russian is proposing for Crimea, referendum for independent, become an international precedent for its many regions: Taiwan, Tibet, etc.

Why are we still in this Cold War mentality that the two formal communist countries are join at the hip. They have many diagonal interests, even during the Cold War.

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I use WhatsApp. Two reasons. One, the message seamlessly integrates with insert photos, audio, and video. Traditional SMS does not support those media well. Two, it is very popular out of the US. I have a lot of personal contacts from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Europe. It is nice to have everyone on the same platform. I have no idea about how much international SMS costs.
Recently (last two years), I have noticed that most of the messaging activities between my contacts and I have be gradually shifting from Whatsapp to, ironically, Facebook messenger. I paid 3 years license a few years back. It looks like I will not be renewing.

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### South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

I have no problem with presenting creationism as an alternative, as long as you include ALL creation myths in the curriculum. It wouldn't be "teaching the controversy" unless you teach them all.

I mean, sure, we all really KNOW that the world began when Udu the Space Tortoise shat out the earth and His godly flatulence created the sun, but we have to let the kids decide for themselves.

I have no problem with what you are suggesting either. Just don't do it in a science classroom because none of these are science.

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### Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

Please! Someone buy these idiots a history book. This is such a perfect example of people who think they're smart but they actually know jack shit about anything except pushing bits. The funny thing is, after the first arbitrary detention and execution of a dissident for "lesse majesty" or "treason against the crown" they'd all be up in arms and in jail. I really hope they're not all really this stupid and this is all just a way to get a reaction.

Just so happened that I read this today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_glass
These guys think they are smart. That if other smart people are put in charge, their ability (if they actually possesses it) would be recognized and rewarded. But if their innovation disturbs the power of elites that they are proposing to put on top, whom they think will grand them reward for innovation, they are reading history (if they have read history) wrong.

Seriously. If you imagine that you will come out on top when your competition in a job interview is a noticeably lesser-able, but probably competent, son of the CEO, you got to examine your understanding of human society.

1 year,26 days
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### The Man Who Convinced Us We Needed Vitamin Supplements

In fact, because he is a member of the National Academy of Science, he could publish paper on PNAS (Proceeding of the NAS) without much peer review (or find sympathetic scientists to review his paper). In the old day, there was an honor system with respect to publishing in PNAS that the author should get their paper properly peer-reviewed. Pauling submitted a series of very shoddy vitamin studies to the PNAS and as a result, he single handedly changed this policy and now makes publishing to PNAS a lot more rigorous. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/18/vitamin-c-and-cancer-has-linus-pauling-b/

about a year and a half ago
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### Charge Your Cellphone In 20 Seconds (Eventually)

But what did she do? What is the underlying science/technology? The NBC report got nothing. Click-through to Intel's website for the competition did not immediately yield any more information, except an inspirational paragraph about her:

With the rapid adoption of portable electronics, Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, California, recognized the crucial need for energy-efficient storage devices. She developed a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds. Eesha’s invention also has potential applications for car batteries.

Will be doing some more Googling, but seriously, a link to the lab in which she worked or article/abstract published would be nice. Surely these are gifted kids, but I can't help but think the reporter really doesn't understand what she's done to write any thing more than a press release.

about a year and a half ago
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### N. Carolina May Ban Tesla Sales To Prevent "Unfair Competition"

Re:And we don't need the man in the middle indeed. (555 comments)

It is not going to stop that. But the additional work required to do that means only enthusiast (like yourself, perhaps?) will go out of his/her own way to own one. Creating sufficient friction for entrance is often enough to protect established players from competition. It also gives politicians an excuse to say: I am not against your freedom to buy a Tesla, I am just for a little more freedom for our local, lovable, car dealerships. FREEDOM!

about a year and a half ago
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### Pull Lever, Don't Snap Shutter: It May Be Illegal To Post Your Ballot

Re:Good reason for it to be illegal (383 comments)

Touch screens go out of calibration, leading to opportunities for all sorts of shenanigans.

more than 2 years ago
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### Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (561 comments)

or get and Android Phone. That is what I am going to do.

Never underestimate what people are willing to go through (on any device) to mask the cognitive dissonant that the latest precious they just bought does not justify its price or hype. The effort people go through to justify the sunk cost, both in economy and psychology.

more than 2 years ago
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### Apple Wants Another \$707 Million From Samsung

They have to pay for the ex-Google Mappers somehow. It's either that or convince people to start renaming continents.

It seems someone at Apple is reading xkcd: http://what-if.xkcd.com/10/
And all those distorted map image makes sense once you realized Apple is mapping our dreams, Inception style.

more than 2 years ago
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### Apple Announces iPhone 5

... what pot are the smoking when the set the price point ...

Something wrong with the 'y' key on your keyboard?

more than 2 years ago
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### Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea

Re:Neil DeGrasse quote instantly came to mind. (302 comments)

How so? The age of the universe was 13.7 billion years in 2006, now its 14.6 billion years old. According to science, the universe has aged 900 million years in just six years.

Details of your statement aside, you have inadvertently alighted on the fundamental difference between science and religion: when new evidence comes in, science is obligated to change their theories to account for it, whereas religion is obligated to deny the evidence in order to preserve their beliefs.

Even more to the point, there are multiple methods of measuring the age of the universe. Some more precise than other; Some more accurate than other. They are not in huge contradiction with each other, certainly no where near the ridiculus claims religion is making. http://astro.berkeley.edu/~dperley/univage/univage.html

People really needs to learn statistic and in addition to findings, reporter really need be able to report on the uncertainty of the findings.

more than 2 years ago
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### Chinese Students Say They Are Being Forced To Build Your Next iPhone

I failed to google up the university's site. Reading similar reports in Chinese, it seems that Huai'An university is probably closer to what we call a trade school in the state. Students attends very career oriented majors: accounting, education, law, management and there is no research faculty (I wouldn't be surprise if most of the teacher does not hold PhD degrees).

more than 2 years ago
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### Iran and North Korea Team Up To Fight State-Sponsored Malware

We should be proud (191 comments)

that we manage to get an atheist state and a theocracy in bed with one other.

more than 2 years ago
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### Apple Seeks To Block 8 Samsung Products After Court Win

Nothing like a forbidden/unavailable product that fires people up. In fact, a few of my friends are already discussing going to Oregan (no sale tax) to grab the new generation of iphone when it comes out and fly back to HK/China/TW with them to make enough profit to cover the said flight because Apple generally releases its phones later in Asia.

more than 2 years ago
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### Should Journalists Embrace Jargon?

That's a great example of where trying to use plain language does more harm than good. On the other hand 'black hole' rather than 'completely gravitationally collapsed object' probably conveys the concept reasonably well.

Unfortunately science has a habit of using language, and then finding out it does a bad job of describing something, e.g. atoms, and neural networks, which are, despite the names not indivisible and not actually all that similar to neuron connections in the brain respectively.

Trying to reduce everything to a 6th grade reading level makes people think problems can actually be explained at a 6th grade level, and they can't. That this has crept into economic discourse has caused us no end of grief in trying to have honest fact based discussions about the current economic crisis for example.

The difference is as follow: in proper scientific papers and textbooks, the said gravitationally collapsed objects are actually called "blackhole". It is not a term exclusively for layman. Physicists are actually very good at naming important things (unlike in biology and medicine): black hole, dark matter, dark energy, red dwarf, photon, etc. Only when things become hardly distinguishable that physicists give them boring names: muon, tauon, pion, etc. Unless "god" actually can convey some distinguishing physical properties, it is not suited for a physics name.

more than 2 years ago

# Submissions

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### Apple to list companies that build its products an

mathfeel (937008) writes "Indulge me in some post hoc reasoning here: After last week's episode of This American Life "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory", a very interesting show, Apple announced that "For the first time, Apple has released a list of companies that build its products around the world. In another first, the company also announced that it will allow an independent third party to check on working conditions at those factories, and to make its findings public." But before you celebrate Apple's gesture (or complain about the potential increase in electronic price): "It doesn’t appear that Apple’s partnership with the FLA will increase transparency in this regard either. The FLA will audit 5% of the factories that make Apple products, but like Apple, it will not name which ones it checks or where it finds violations.""
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### China now has the fastest supercomputer

mathfeel (937008) writes "NYT is reporting that China will take the top crown when Top 500 is released next month. Before one comments that the major components are still designed by US firms like Intel and Nvidia, FTA:

Modern supercomputers are built by combining thousands of small computer servers and using software to turn them into a single entity. In that sense, any organization with enough money and expertise can buy what amount to off-the-shelf components and create a fast machine. The Chinese system follows that model by linking thousands upon thousands of chips made by the American companies Intel and Nvidia. But the secret sauce behind the system--and the technological achievement--is the interconnect, or networking technology, developed by Chinese researchers that shuttles data back and forth across the smaller computers at breakneck rates, Mr. Dongarra said. "That technology was built by them," Mr. Dongarra said. "They are taking supercomputing very seriously and making a deep commitment."

The said interconnect designed by the Chinese are shown to be faster than the InfiniBand used in many supercomputer. In the current wave of shouting "Cut, Baby Cut" from the most vocal segment of the US's political class, will the PRC, with its endless ambition and recent acquired cash (when they are not busy loaning it to the US), catches up or even surpass the US in doing fundamental research that is the long term foundation of an economy?"

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### Study of homework copying in MIT

mathfeel (937008) writes "A statistical study by MIT professors of their calculus-based introductory physics courses (Journal version here: http://prst-per.aps.org/abstract/PRSTPER/v6/i1/e010104 for those who have access.) has a few interesting conclusions, not the least of which is "repetitive copiers have approximately three times the chance of failing":

Equating speedy answers with copying, the team concluded that about 10 percent of the students copied more than half of their homework, about 40 percent copied 10 to 50 percent of their homework, and about half the students copied less than 10 percent of their homework. By the end of the semester, students who copied 50 percent or more homework earned almost two letter grades below students who didn't copy very much, the team found. Heavy copiers were also three times more likely to fail the course.

They also report that certain change in course formatting and self-reporting academic dishonesty survey has reduced copying by factor of 4."

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### Mythbuster got out-laywered by CC companies

mathfeel (937008) writes "This video linked at WIRE shows the Mythbuster Adam Savage explaining why there isn't another episode showing how hackable the RFID's are. To quote, They where in a conference call with TI and "the chief counsel by AmEx, Visa comes on, along with everyone else. They were way way out gunned..." Discovery now won't let them go near this topics."
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### Russian tested father of all bombs

mathfeel (937008) writes "The unchristened bomb is said to have efficiency and power commensurable to that of nuclear weapon, but it is also environmentally friendly. Its deadly power mostly came from supersonic shockwave and high temperature. Could this usher in a new round of arms race between east and west? Stay tuned.

p.s. didn't find any matching topic to file under..."

top mathfeel writes "Here is an excellent little video that compares a similarly-made PC from each of the manufacture and see which one hardware maker includes the most bloatware and which software provides the most bloatware. Not surprisingly, household name like SONY and HP comes up on top. It is quite obvious that the slide show was done in Microsoft Powerpoint. I wonder if they also paid the \$300+ to open that powerpoint again in 30 days. Finally, I suppose there's some truth in advertising after all..."

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