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The Rule of Three Proved By Physicists

orangesquid Re: Pi? (80 comments)

22.7 is 2*10^1+2*10^0+7*10^-1.
If you express the same quantity in a bar other than ten, the .7 is no longer going to be a 7 after the decimal point, 7*10^-1. Note that you multiply it by TEN to get the 7 in the denominator of 22/7. In another base, you'd be multiplying by something other than 10, so you wouldn't get 7.

about 2 months ago

Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

orangesquid Re: Who would have guessed? (217 comments)

Oh, my favorite pesticide to use is ricin, a natural component of the castor bean plant! ;)

about 3 months ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

orangesquid Re:Ridiculous. (914 comments)

One advantage of having closure is that it greatly reduces the challenges the victim faces going forward.

Some of those reductions in challenges are warranted. Some of those reductions are not.

We, as a society, endorse the concept of innocent victimization: if someone is made to suffer at the hands of another, the sufferer ought not have any further social obligation. For the most part, that's fair.

However, life can never be made completely fair, and I argue it should not be. If such were the case, we would not require any higher level of mental functioning than simple seeking and avoidance behaviors. There would be no point to sophisticated problem-solving, as there would be no complex problems that needed solving. Natural selection seems to favor some species developing higher skills of reasoning, which could indicate that this is an expected consequence of our form of life in our environment. Genetics also provides little incentive to reduce gradual increases in complexity that aren't strictly necessary; indeed, one of the resultant characteristics of this is diversity of life, which as a whole seems to promote the continuance of life in general in an ever-changing environment.

I cannot pretend to empathize with most of the suffering in the world, particularly the more severe forms, but I can say that personally, most of the suffering I have experienced has been challenges providing opportunities for personal growth. I did not always see things this way. I do not want this to read as an endorsement of mild forms of suffering, but merely as a reason to not try to eliminate completely nor balance absolutely the unfairness inherent in the human condition.

There is something to be said for the psychological benefit of having some degree of closure. I do not believe lawmakers should try to enforce the maximum possible closure. I favor the idea of rehabilitation of criminals; in the cases where re-entry to society would be irreducably dangerous, such as strong cases of sociopathy or impaired functioning resulting from traumatic brain injury or genetic predisposition, I would tend to favor restrictions of mobility and physical functioning only as necessary to prevent most of the possible social damage. These restrictions would, to the extent possible, scale inversely with the level to which a criminal seeks to maximize their benefit to society.

Note that, by rehabilitation, I do not wish to imply sudden and unsupervised social re-entry. Rehabilitation is a tricky game that human culture has only begun to play with a modest level of success.

In other words, closure oughtn't be absolute, rehabilitation should be sought when possible, and where it is not possible, an individual's pursuit to integrate with society should influence the degree of their confinement.

Of course, this could all be a crock of shit. I haven't done any deep research into the statistics of recidivism to support my point of view.

about 4 months ago

Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine

orangesquid Re:i'd like to see that (393 comments)

{Well, *I* was thinking of a *prurulent* movie... 2Girls1Cut[OozingPus] ftw! --- Captcha: exotic ---
Okay, that was completely inappropriate.}
On-topic, now: I've found that, thanks to the ubiquitousness of NoScript/NotScript now, many sites are at least mostly usable without JS and Flash---they don't want to turn first-time visitors away by having a site that has zero functionality without scripting, I'm guessing. It's really nice to be able to do almost all my surfing in dillo/links/lynx.

about a year and a half ago

Standard Kilogram Gains Weight

orangesquid Re:Ha! (177 comments)

I always thought the unit was defined by John Holmes... you know what they say about guys with big feet!!

I think Holmes wore a size 19 shoe?

about a year and a half ago

Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

orangesquid Re:US Metric System (1387 comments)

"0 C - point at which water freezes, 100 C - point at which water boils.

Yep, totally arbitrary. Lets not even start with Kelvin."

Just picking at nits, but, the standard boiling point of water was 0C on the original scale devised in 1742 by Anders Celsius, then 100C from 1743 until 1954 when degrees Celsius were re-defined by the triple point of Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water; then, 99.97C until 1982, at which point it became 99.61C, since the IUPAC decided 1 bar (100kPa) would be a less arbitrary than 1 atm (101.325kPa) as the way of defining standard boiling point. The current definition of Celsius is:
* -273.15 is absolute zero
* 0.01 is the triple point of VSMOW

Those temperatures mentioned above (99.97 and 99.61) are from one wikipedia page ( but the VSMOW page ( suggests the melting point of VSMOW is 0.000089(10) and the boiling point is 99.9839, although ITS-90, used to calibrate thermometers, actually uses 99.974. So, I'm not sure where the 1982 IUPAC resolution comes into play wrt CPIM (and formerly CGPM) definitions. Perhaps the exact definition of VSMOW was different in 2005 when the CPIM made their decree than in 1982 when IUPAC looked at the issue? Wikipedia says VSMOW was created in 1967 as a way of making something more reliable to go by than SMOW, but, it doesn't say if the definition has been adjusted over time (cite note #1 from WP:VSMOW, dated 1995, might be good reading on this, but, I have other things to do right now).

about a year and a half ago

Coffee and Intellectual Property

orangesquid Re:kopi luwak, aka cat shit coffee (198 comments)

"fair game" reminds me of Fair Trade.. something international trade grouips should definitely be prioritizing way about intellectual property agreement enforcement. Ugh.

about a year and a half ago

Papa John's Sued For Unwanted Pizza-Related Texts

orangesquid Re:The law says... (418 comments)

AHA! So THAT is Anonymous Coward's phone number!!!

Hmm... "Your call can not be completed as dialed." I should've known.

about a year and a half ago

Vegetative State Man 'Talks' By Brain Scan

orangesquid Re:I'm loath to ask: (202 comments)

In the book it was a big Amarone, not a nice Chianti, btw.

I'm curious to what extent they have statistically analyzed his responses to questions repeated or asked in different forms, to see how alert he really is...

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

orangesquid Re:Windows 7 compatibility mode (313 comments)

Oftentimes, in industrial settings, a certain instrument has certain certifications. In order to make products that comply with various laws (like medical or automotive components), the materials have to meet certain standards. Legally, they only meed those standards if you can demonstrate that you are making measurements with certified instruments. Frequently it is the case that the instruments are only supported by a proprietary codebase, and the manufacturers do not have a functional app that runs on any modern OS.

In other words, it may cost tens of millions of dollars to "upgrade the app," because you have to re-build parts of your manufacturing process. Sometimes getting a new instrument certified can take years.

This is also the reason why hiring an intern is often not an option. Sure, the intern may be able to hack some code together (of course, then you might have violated reverse engineering statutes or patents on communication protocols or algorithms that process the data from the instruments, so be prepared for tens of millions of dollars to settle out-of-court or buy licensing), but you still have to get everything re-certified---if it's even legal to do so, since you're not using the manufacturer's applications---and re-certifying an old instrument that is using a third-party app may not even be possible, since frequently the manufacturer has to certify that an instrument is working properly and will refuse to work with third-party apps under the premise that they might disclose trade secrets by doing so.

This may sound preposterous, but it does happen. One place I worked finally got rid of their VAXstation 3100 running VMS4 just a few years ago when they upgraded to a new instrument (which costs millions and took years, but they had to do it to run different tests in order to make some different/new products that met certain standards).

about a year and a half ago

Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name

orangesquid Re:Ya know.. (890 comments)

Well, in an ideal society, everybody would realize that the jackass was truly a jackass and ignore the jackass's ass-jacked opinions. Thus, the jackass would be legally and socially free to make a jackass out of hirself.... :D

more than 2 years ago

The Most Dangerous Toys of 2011

orangesquid Re:Want! (292 comments)

If he has a small.. problem, maybe he can blame it on Playmobil -- though perhaps it's chicken-and-egg if it's that the Fairy Tale Pavilion caused BPA exposure versus if the BPA led to Fairy Tale Pavilion exposure. It's interesting that bisphenol A is compared to diethylstilbestrol in its wikipedia entry (the same age group affected directly by BPA might also be interested in third-generation DES [NSFW] gonadotropic effects).

more than 2 years ago

Firefox Too Big To Link On 32-bit Windows

orangesquid Re:Wow (753 comments)

Exactly! Those of us using a REAL operating system like Windows 3.0 never have to worry about mixing 64-bit and 32-bit environments! ;)

more than 2 years ago

New Study Concludes Math Gender Gap Is Cultural, Not Biological

orangesquid Re:Duh (472 comments)

Yes, it's definitely far more than a mere substitution of appearance.

For an interesting report of the effects of transition on a bright male-to-female writer (and anecdotes on how various world cultures handle someone straddling the boundary of gender presentation), Conundrum is an interesting read (at least so far---I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book: the writing style is a bit old-fashioned, and not all of the topics interest me; so, I haven't been reading it very quickly). I don't think the writer lost any of her brilliance or ability through transition, but her interests shifted, along with the ways she perceived her environment. Transition won't rob someone of their abilities, but for some professions (e.g. writing, public speaking, adjudication, and other fields where communication is critical), there will likely be an effect due to changes in perspective and interests. Professions that revolve around competitiveness or cooperation would likely be affected, as well. I'm not going to say the effects are positive or negative in terms of overall performance, because I don't think a clear-cut case can be made either way---just that things often become a little different. A common remark among friends of those transitioning is, "After I adjusted to it, I realized I was talking to the same person as before," which would tend to imply there is no universal rule-of-thumb saying that someone transitioning becomes drastically different.

I'm not offering an argument or a refutation of one, just presenting what I know, from my own* research. This sort of topic appears in threads on slashdot from time to time, and it is always interesting to me to see what posters have to say.

* (arprffvgngrq, naq yvxryl gb arire raq)

more than 2 years ago

In the EU, Water Doesn't (Officially) Prevent Dehydration

orangesquid Re:Once Again... (815 comments)

You *can* say it is incorrect, in most cases.
In fact, water overconsumption can easily lead to hyponatremia. It would be more correct to say "Steady, adequate freshwater intake throughout the course of the day curbs the likelihood of hypernatremia, a form of dehydration. Note that in a balanced diet, a significant portion of the body's water and sodium requirements come from food. Note that fruit juices, or a combination of fresh fruit and freshwater, meets the body's needs for water and sodium near-optimally. Note that isotonia, the excessive loss of body fluid, such as through diarrhea or vomiting, is a type of dehydration best treated by electrolyte solutions like Gatorade or Pedialyte, or parenterally via a 0.9% saline drip in severe cases. Note that hypovolemia, the excessive loss of body fluid typically through excessive bleeding, should be treated with medical care. Also note that rapid intake of freshwater over a short period of time is not as effective as a sustained intake throughout the day, as sudden rises in body water content are simply filtered by the kidneys in healthy individuals. Repeating this rapid intake behavior excessively can lead to hyponatremia, a form of dehydration, or, in more serious cases, hypovolemia, a condition related to dehydration that requires medical attention. In individuals with compromised excretory function, rapid water intake may lead to severe hyponatremia, a form of dehydration that requires medical attention, or a more severe condition of hypervolemia characterized by a swelling of the limbs known as peripheral edema or more severe and life-threatening complications, particularly in individuals in poor health or with poor diets or diets lacking in protein. Greatly excessive and sustained intake of freshwater combined with excessive perspiration may continue past hyponatremia to the point of water intoxication, a medical crisis that may cause brain damage or death."

But, I guess that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, eh? ;) "brain damage or death" is probably one of the potential side effects that bottled-water manufacturers want to list on their products... heh.

Note, IANAMP (==medical professional); I just study medicine (and mostly neuropathy and neurosurgery, at that) as a hobby, so please feel free to correct the above.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Tools To Aid When "On Call"?

orangesquid Re:Hmm.. (249 comments)

1) " finds in difficult to wake up " I think you meant " finds it difficult to not wake up "|

2) I can sleep through just about anything, too. Luckily, now I'm on armodafinil, so it's not as serious of a stumbling block for working. ;)

3) " but that wouldn't go over too well with her" -- well, off the bat, probably not. However, if you set up an agreement with her (she's required to wake you up, and 50% of your on-call time when you get called gets put into a fund that she can use to save up for nicer things that she can't buy on you guys' everyday budget), she'll be getting her money's worth. She might want to try melatonin to help her fall back asleep without making her groggy in the morning, too (results vary significantly from person to person.. so you'll find it in the supplement aisle, obviously)

more than 2 years ago

Derek Deville Answers Your Questions on Rocketry

orangesquid Re:Superb! (33 comments)

Hmm. And here I was, thinking that maybe the recovery system erected a wooden plank above the rocket to intimidate local wildlife from eating it after it lands but before you arrive to retrieve it!

more than 2 years ago

Seeing Through Walls

orangesquid Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (163 comments)


Actually, microwaves are made from unicorns and enchanted hobbits, so technically they are, in a sense, made of magic.

They cook oils only on the surface because the resonant frequency is a good match. This is the cause of much of the food spattering in a microwave oven. The heat will pass gradually into the oil from the surface by convection, but the surface gets a LOT of heat by absorption. Much food has a high water content... and microwaves will heat water, but are not nearly so good of a resonant match. Thus, a depth of about half an inch to an inch will absorb a lot of the microwaves, and pass the heat by convection deeper into the food. If you thaw something frozen in a microwave or try to cook a casserole in a pan and not a casserole dish, this becomes obvious. Some of the "inside out" apparent effect is due to microwave hot spots;.... so now we have turntables so that the standing wave issue is less significant.

It's not too hard to learn to understand, but that "inside out" myth still exists.

For a human, the skin and blood vessels near the surface manage to absorb and spread a lot out environmental heating from the sun---as evolution would suggest is simply logical. Unfortunately, strong microwaves will have more penetration than that, causing tissue damage below the skin. Still no inside-out cooking of people, though. :D

more than 2 years ago

What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

orangesquid Re:Easy (904 comments)

Life insurance will be more expensive, pay raises will be lower, doctors will own more yachts when they die, retirement age will be 116, there will be more conservatives and less social change, food and other resources will become scarce, there will be more population and everything that comes with it, more people will go to grad school, families will be bigger, family reunions will need more seating, more senators will be balding, viagra sales will skyrocket, and the year will be greater than or equal to 2036.

Next question!

more than 2 years ago

Adobe Demos Photo Unblurring At MAX 2011

orangesquid Re:If the video could be unblurred.. (251 comments)

  "drawing a laoud applause" "not yet made it clear weather" "will be shipping quite a few number of units"

laoud? weather? few number of units?

I tried saying "Enhance!" a few times, but that didn't un-blur the article's spelling/grammar/word choice+usage. ;)

more than 2 years ago



Internet-connected Coke machines?

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  about a year and a half ago

orangesquid writes "bsy used to maintain a list of Internet-connected Coke machines as well as other Internet-connected devices of interest. Just about all the links are broken... are there still any Coke machines (or other neat devices, like homebrew weather stations) online, especially accessible by finger? (I'm not interested in any Pepsi machines, for the record. Unless they stock Mountain Dew.) The UCSD Coke machine was part of Internet lore, and is no longer... it'd be great to find some online vending machines to point the younger Internet generation to, as an example of the early development of connecting all sorts of devices to the Internet."
Link to Original Source

Manning's Gender Identity raised in Wikileaks case

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

orangesquid writes "This news is a few weeks old, but I don't think it has been mentioned on slashdot yet. The Washington Post is reporting on Bradley Manning's various psychological issues, including hir gender identity (classified by the DSM under "gender identity disorder," a controversial designation since items like sexual orientation are no longer considered disorders). CNN also has a similar story. The Washington Post article describes Manning as a 'a gifted intelligence analyst', an interesting topic considering that some ongoing research has suggested a correlation between transsexualism and increased IQ. Some opinions suggest transsexualism to be correlated with a greater capacity for creativity, an often invaluable part of deeper insight. Various studies on gender and empathy sometimes suggest a link, perhaps substantiating the notion that Manning's desire to leak classified information was driven by hir own internal sense of ethics. Any thoughts, slashdotters? Given the particular sensitivities of this topic, I hope that flaming/trolling will be kept to a minimum, but intelligent/insightful discourse and humor done in good taste will surely be appreciated!"
Link to Original Source

Shell 'string escape' tool?

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

orangesquid writes "[NOTE! TO! EDITOR!!!! — in dillo, there's no dropdown box to select story category, such as "Ask Slashdot", etc. Since I've already typed this up, I just ask that you assign the category correctly; for future reference for the slashcode workers, it might be a good idea to test against dillo, as it adheres to HTML standards and does not utilize scripting, so it effectively encompasses how Lynx, Wget's link-evaluating engine, and many other tools probably see the slashcode-HTML.]

I wanted to ask: is there a shell tool (besides the sed/awk/bash/perl scripts I've cooked up on the fly) that is dedicated to *escaping*? In the Unix tradition of "one small tool that does its job well," I would expect there to be a tool floating around that was very, very good at escaping strings for nearly any purpose (escaping for HTML3, XML; grep/sed regex, extended grep regex, perl regex; bash glob strings w/ and w/o extglob, etc), dedicated to doing that and *only* that. However, after googling, looking through GNU's site, checking previous Ask Slashdot-s, and scouting freshmeat, I haven't found any dedicated tools. I have found plenty of small scripts for dedicated purposes, but I have found no tools for general string escaping. What I envision is something that can take strings line-by-line, word-by-word, or NUL-byte--by--NUL-byte, and escape a number of string components of various forms (HTML or XML entities, ANSI [or other terminal] escape sequences, regex special characters, etc). Does such a tool exist? If not, I would definitely write one, but I don't want to duplicate someone else's work to no useful end!"



quiz programs... and an interesting bookmark manager

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  more than 6 years ago

[these are all fm proj names]
bookmarks: sresi - php and text interface, import and export mozilla,, .... looks promising!

now, the quiz/testing programs; i'm hoping to find one of these that i can use to train myself with the dozens of equations, dozens of device types, dozens of band diagrams, dozens of differential equations and their solutions, handful of derivations involving the Schrödinger equation, and hundreds of variables that I am required to be very familiar with (and in many cases have memorized and understood in extreme detail) for an undergrad course at univ. of delaware (=ELEG340) that teaches the mathematical relationship between atomic crystal lattices and electron wave mechanics, and semiconductor device behavior (p-n diodes, Schottky diodes, HEMTs, MESFETs, BJTs, and plenty of others...).

quizcards - flash cards, group things together, allows graphics (maybe i can import equations drawn with LaTeX?)
quiz - simple multiple choice questions
akfquiz - learning game creator; text, graphic, web interfaces
quizzy - looks like 'quiz' but perhaps more flexibile/mature
inquisition - sophisticated and graphical, create exams (more than just quiz questions) and train on them
jvlt - vocab learning tool, probably great for vocab but not for engineering classes
quizdrill - flash cards, multiple choice, adapts to what you get wrong, aimed for vocab memorization

quizcards might be my best bet. akfquiz and inquisition look neat, but might involve a lot of work just to create self-quizzes, given their sophistication.


machines running

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  about 8 years ago

i have most machines running at the moment! yay.
as soon as i get home from vacation, i can fix the few remaining, and check out the state of everything, and then shut them down again for the remainder of the summer (Heat+power issues)


power outage AGAIN

orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  more than 8 years ago

evidently, delmarva power had something like 300+ homes without power, which is evidently why it took them ~22 hours to fix ours (only 3 homes were affected by a transformer next to us that blew in the mild rain last weekend).

I've learned that 'glitch' is getting really flaky about booting. Everything else booted up OK, really...



orangesquid orangesquid writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So there was a flood. Whee. It was a pain to restore everything.

glitch and leningrad lost their nvram data. Took several tries for glitch's BIOS to actually boot the disk. I had to boot leningrad twice because I messed up when I reset the ethernet address.

I also forgot to turn on the external disks for autumn, so I had to reboot that. Luckily, all the network routes, DNS settings, and mounted disks came online via my changes to SYSTARTUP.COM. I still don't understand VMS bootup, though; it's taken me many tries to get that right.

The BIOS on ledge also complained about the built-in clock, but on the second boot it worked.

I think everything else came up fine, after the normal tweaks and boot commands, but I brought the systems up one at a time, because if I don't, all the simultaneous disk spin-ups tend to trip the surge protector, and everything shuts down again.

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