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Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

michelcolman Re:Physics 101 (139 comments)

Yes, I meant rest mass, not relativistic mass. But if they are still traveling at light speed but in a roundabout way, like you say, that probably explains it.

2 days ago
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Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

michelcolman Re:Physics 101? (139 comments)

If they stay at the slower speed, do they gain mass? I'm not really an expert, but seem to remember that sub-lightspeed particles have mass while particles traveling at the speed of light don't. Feel free to bring me up to... err... speed.

3 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

michelcolman Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (793 comments)

Even at 10 mph you can clearly hear the tires of an electric car. Especially blind people who usually have excellent hearing.

Now, of course, if you compare an electric car to a Ford Mustang, people are probably more likely to notice the sound of the latter. Compare it to a Rolls Royce, though, and you'll find a much smaller difference if any at all. They'll have us add noise to electric cars to actually let them noisier than some conventional cars, it's ridiculous.

Please, can we just have quieter roads? Does everything have to make noise all the time to warn the idiots who don't pay attention? I would just like to hear the birds sing.

3 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

michelcolman Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (793 comments)

You know what would be nice? If they could make the Mustang or F-150 sound like a Tesla. Now that would be something I would pay extra for.

3 days ago
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Analysis Suggests Solar System Contains Massive Trans-Neptunian Objects

michelcolman Re:I still think Pluto is a planet (170 comments)

I wonder what they're going to call these new objects, because they'll probably find a reason not to call them planets just like they did for Pluto.

They're too big to be dwarf planets... Maybe elf planets?

about two weeks ago
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NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

michelcolman Re:And (108 comments)

They would have added a note saying 'oh, and by the way, sorry about demoting your "planet" '.

Or 'Have fun touring your "planet", wink wink'.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

michelcolman Re:If this gathers more press than the science... (108 comments)

Imagine what aliens would think if they found the probe. They put what in there? Seriously? Ashes from some dead guy? Instead of an extra instrument, or a bigger battery? What for?

Humans are weird creatures.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

michelcolman Re:Floppy drives (790 comments)

Also, some computers used to make sounds when reading or writing on the disk drive. I can still remember the sound of the entire boot sequence on my old Atari 130XE. bibidibidi bup, bibidibidip derrrr ti derrrrr ti, bibidi, berrrr ti berrrr ti,....

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

michelcolman Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

The big difference with rock/paper/scissors is that in poker, your opponent's actions are input to your own decision. In cases where you have the advantage, they may let your algorithm think it has a disadvantage by betting in a different, unexpected way. But if you don't take your opponent's actions into account, you're throwing information away AND you're giving them information based on your bets. Apparently this amount of information is small enough in limit poker.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

michelcolman Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

The robot doesn't bet $100 every time it thinks it has a 73% chance of winning. Its algorithm will be something like "if I have a 73% of winning, I will pick a random number and make certain bets with certain predetermined probablilities. For some cards, it could bet 60% of the time and fold 40% of the time, determined by chance. Strategies that couple fixed actions to certain scenarios have no chance of beating a player or bot with an optimal randomized strategy.

It's called a Nash equilibrium. The only problem is that the other player's actions are part of your input, and they can therefore influence your decisions. This complicates things enormously.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

michelcolman Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

So are you saying that a bot that ONLY looks at the visible cards and not at the actions of the other players, will beat human players? Because that's what you seem to be saying and it goes against everything I know about poker (which is, admittedely, not that much). Poker is all about deception, getting people to join in instead of folding when you have a good hand, betting big with bad cards if you suspect the opponents also have bad cards, but not too often so they don't call your bluff, etc. It's an extremely complex psychological game. If you just play by the mathematical odds of the known cards, and especially if the opponent knows that you're playing that way, you're simply a fish. They can tell what cards you have by the amount you bet, and this gives them a huge advantage.

The only reason why the researchers were able to "solve" the game (or at least claim they did) is because they played a very limited variant with a low number of possiblities for bets, drastically reducing the opportunity for psychological games so that math can indeed prevail.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

michelcolman Re:I guess that means ... (340 comments)

Actually, consistently winning at blackjack is perfectly possible. The problem is that the strategy is so obvious that you get thrown out of the casino. Basically the house advantage depends on the cards remaining in the deck. You play with low bets until a relatively rare situation occurs where, based on the cards you have already seen and counted, you can determine that the advantage with the current remaining deck is temporarily for the player. Then you take out the big chips. And then a few minutes later a guy in a black suit kindly asks you to leave.

about two weeks ago
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Microbe Found In Grassy Field Contains Powerful Antibiotic

michelcolman Re:Training... (84 comments)

What do you mean it ruined that drug? The company made a fortune with it! That's the whole point of making drugs, right? And now they (or some other company) can make a fortune with a new drug.

about three weeks ago
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Microbe Found In Grassy Field Contains Powerful Antibiotic

michelcolman Re:The hard part is yet to come (84 comments)

What about all the good bacteria in our body? Quite a lot of our bodily functions need bacteria to work properly.

about three weeks ago
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Extra Leap Second To Be Added To Clocks On June 30

michelcolman Re:Man vs Machine? (289 comments)

Yes, why can't we just decree that, instead of 12:00:00 UTC on two very specific days of the year corresponding to the time when the sun is precisely overhead some specific point in Greenwich, it will now be precisely overhead some point a few hundred meters east of that point (still in Greenwich)? Or, for all I care, over Southend-on-Sea (several hundred years from now)? WIll that make any difference at all in people's lives? People wielding sextants can just compensate for the difference, I don't see how that would be a problem. It would be a small correction that only changes slowly over time.

At some point we can make time zone changes without touching UTC. Time zones have been shifted so many times in the recent past, I don't see how it could be a huge problem to make such a change once every few hundred years. And computers should be using UTC anyway, converting to and from local time for user display and time entry only.

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

michelcolman Re:Cool 3D effect... (97 comments)

I'm just wondering how much of that new Pillars image has been photoshopped. The lens flares, the sharp(ened?) contours, the contrast, it seems like an awful lot of processing was done on this image, it looks kind of posterized, and I wonder what the original looked like before they decided to make it look "better". Or is this really the raw image that came out of the telescope?

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

michelcolman Re:Stars or noise (97 comments)

Only they wouldn't be able to see any intelligent life here, since we didn't exist yet two million years ago. By the time they can actually see us, we may have gone extinct.

about three weeks ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

michelcolman Re:ATC communications (578 comments)

Not really. Air France pilots speak French when flying over France. Spanish pilots speak Spanish in Spain. Russians speak Russian in countries where Russian is spoken. Etcetera.

This has caused quite a few accidents already (for example, planes being cleared for take-off in the local language while another plane was crossing that runway completely unaware) but the practice continues, unfortunately. It's silly really: air traffic controllers speak English with foreign pilots, and the pilots speak English when abroad, but for some reason they insist on using their own language at home. Some even claim it's safer that way, go figure.

about three weeks ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

michelcolman Re:Cardassian of course (578 comments)

Nah, Esperanto is going to win this hands down

about three weeks ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

michelcolman In other news... (755 comments)

Science cannot prove the existence of flying pink elephants either.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Apple to use LiquidMetal for fuel cell

michelcolman michelcolman writes  |  about 4 years ago

michelcolman (1208008) writes "Apple has been granted its first patent related to Liquidmetal, a space-age metal alloy. But the patent isn’t for a new iPad enclosure or iPhone antenna, as experts have predicted. Instead Apple’s Liquidmetal patent is for an internal component of a fuel cell. Apple’s new patent describes “amorphous alloy” collector plates for fuel cells, an electrochemical battery that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. Although the patent doesn’t reference the Liquidmetal trademark, the material is an amorphous alloy or “ metallic glass”. Last year, Apple signed an exclusive agreement to use the Liquidmetal Technologies’ IP in consumer electronic products. But of course, the ever-secretive company hasn’t hinted at its plans for the material."
Link to Original Source
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Order of importance if disaster strikes

michelcolman michelcolman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

michelcolman (1208008) writes "- Loved ones, possessions, data
- Loved ones, data, possessions
- Possessions, loved ones, data
- Possessions, data, loved ones
- Data, loved ones, possessions
- Data, possessions, loved ones"
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Poll: Which would you rather lose?

michelcolman michelcolman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

michelcolman (1208008) writes "Only counting sentimental value, not money, I would rather lose
- All my physical possessions (books, clothes, old teddy bears, house, car,...)
- All my digital data (including all backups, even in the cloud)"

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