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Why Hasn't This Asteroid Disintegrated?

plus_M Re:That's not what van der Waals is! (74 comments)

I'm not sure I know what you mean. Where have I failed to grasp the relevant concepts? I'm merely criticizing the mistaken impression that TFS (which is apparently lifted directly from TFA) gives about what vdW forces are.

about 4 months ago
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Why Hasn't This Asteroid Disintegrated?

plus_M That's not what van der Waals is! (74 comments)

TFS says that vdW interactions are interactions between polar molecules... that's absolutely false! The reason water has a high surface tension is due to hydrogen bonding, which is a combination of polar interactions and charge transfer. The reason that polar molecules attract is entirely due to electrostatic reasons... electric dipoles aligning causing favorable interactions. Van der Waals interactions are when NON-polar molecules spontaneously polarize one another to form instantaneous dipoles, which attract electrostatically. The key here is that vdW attractions occur even in molecules that do not have any static dipole... the dipole-dipole interactions are dynamic and fluctuating. One of the hallmarks of vdW interactions are their asymptotic behavior. Charge-charge interactions die off as r^-1. Dipole-dipole interactions die off as r^-3. vdW interactions die off as r^-6.

about 4 months ago
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"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog

plus_M Re:Functional equivalence can/may be sufficient. (154 comments)

This analogy isn't really appropriate. Organisms are not programs, and the operation of DNA and proteins cannot be considered something along the lines of an API call. Life is an emergent phenomenon, and mutations that do nothing but change the rate at which proteins get phosphorylated can cause diseases as complicated as cancer. This is particularly true of developing organisms. We don't really have a firm grasp on how differences in mitochondrial DNA can affect the growth of organisms, so we can't say with certainty that these "Lazarus" frogs can truly be considered an extinct species brought back to life.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Building a Cheap Computing Cluster?

plus_M Re:Inter-node communication (160 comments)

And of course by "slow latency" I mean "low latency".

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Building a Cheap Computing Cluster?

plus_M Inter-node communication (160 comments)

What do you intend to use for inter-node communication? Gigabit ethernet? You need to realize that latency in inter-node communication can cause *extremely* poor scaling for non-trivial parallelization. Scientific computing clusters typically use infiniband or something like it, which has extremely slow latency, but the equipment will cost you a pretty penny. If you are interested in doing computations across multiple computing nodes, you should really setup just two nodes and benchmark what kind of speed increase there is between running the job on a single node and on two nodes. My guess is that you are going to get significantly less than a 2x speedup. It is entirely possible that the calculation will be *slower* on two nodes than on just one. Of course, if you are just running a massive number of unrelated calculations, then inter-node communication becomes much less important, and this won't be an issue.

about 2 years ago
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Finnish Minister Wants To Expand Pornography Censorship

plus_M Re:It's not arbitrary. (270 comments)

I am not claiming that reality is subjective. I am claiming that the fact that there is not a consensus as to what behaviour is considered acceptable is evidence that no one person can believably claim to have a privileged view as to what *is* correct. Reality is clearly not subjective, but ones interpretation of reality is, by definition. So, while you claim that certain behaviours are not healthy or acceptable, it ultimately comes down to being able to prove that the actions you are condoning (namely, prohibition of certain online content such as bestiality and violent pornography, as well as social stigmatization of obesity) will have a positive effect on society. And it is at this point that it comes down to what one values more, the sanctity of freedom of expression, or the need to preserve your personal sense of "morality" or "wholesomeness". Ultimately, YOU are the one who is pushing your personal and arbitrary standards on others by encouraging legislation that outlaws certain types of information.

With regards to obesity, you point out that it is a scientific fact that obesity leads to health problems. That is all well and good, but my point was that who are *you* to *judge* others for their life choices? Smoking is also extremely unhealthy, but I don't go around pointing fingers at and chastising people for choosing to smoke. It is not your place to tell people what they should and should not do with their own body. Yes, people should be made aware of the consequences of their choices, but discriminating against them for making life choices that you find unsavoury is not acceptable.

about 2 years ago
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Finnish Minister Wants To Expand Pornography Censorship

plus_M Re:I support discrimination against the obese (270 comments)

I don't think that Kielistic was trying to imply that you believe that homosexuality, mixed-race relations, etc are unhealthy or bad. S/he was pointing out that if you asked 10 different people what behaviour is unhealthy and should be banned, you would get 10 different answers. Who are you to decide that X should be banned, but Y should be allowed? Moreover, who are you to judge people who are considered by society's standards to be overweight?

about 2 years ago
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Spintronics Used To Create 3D Microchip

plus_M Re:Sputtering is experimental? (28 comments)

Maybe by "experimental technique" they meant "a technique that is used in experiments", rather than "a technique that is still in experimental stages". That is how I read it. We often call things such as X-ray crystallography "experimental techniques".

about 2 years ago
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VLC Running Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Native Windows 8 App

plus_M Re:Not for me (252 comments)

Yes. In fact, "metro" can only run on one screen at a time.

about 2 years ago
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Toward An FSF-Endorsable Embedded Processor

plus_M Re:Scientific Computing (258 comments)

Infiniband. That's what every scientific computing cluster I've used has had for multi-node parallel computations. Most parallelized scientific computing applications support MPI over Infiniband.

about 2 years ago
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WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

plus_M Re:Ya well (368 comments)

Perhaps you should more thoroughly research the difference between virus and bacteria before you submit yourself to the risks of both alcohol poisoning and the Mexican Flu simultaneously.

more than 5 years ago
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WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

plus_M Re:"H1N1" (368 comments)

I don't think naming it the "Mexican Flu" is going to hurt the tourism to Mexico any more than the knowledge that the strain did, in fact, originate in Mexico and the massive number of reported cases in Mexico already have. And besides, as I mentioned, there is a precedent.

more than 5 years ago
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WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

plus_M "H1N1" (368 comments)

I admit I'm not the most knowledgeable about this topic, but I *do* know that H1N1 is not a very specific name for this influenza strain. In the past, we have named influenza outbreaks such as these after their country of origin (see Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, Asian Flu), and in light of this I think a more appropriate name would be "Mexican Flu".

more than 5 years ago
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Apple Removes Nearly All Reference To ZFS

plus_M Re:KILL HFS+ WITH FIRE (361 comments)

Â\(Â_o)/Â

In case you can't tell, this is supposed to be a puzzled-looking face with arms upraised in a questioning gesture.

Why doesn't slashdot support Unicode again?

more than 5 years ago
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Firefox 3.5 Beta Boosts Open Video Standard

plus_M Re:Yeah, screw you too (281 comments)

I don't know. I use Opera exclusively and just a few days ago upgraded to Opera 10.00 Beta, and yet I can't seem to view the Youtube html5 demo. Note that I have been trying this only on my 64 bit Linux workstation.

more than 5 years ago
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"Miraculous" Stem Cell Progress Reported In China

plus_M Re:Observe and learn (429 comments)

The truth is, Bush didn't ban stem cell research. Bush didn't even ban embryonic stem cell research. He only banned federal level funding for it. The States and the private sector were free to do as they pleased.

Not so much. Almost all research institutes that would deal with stem cell research receive federal funds. Banning federal level funding for stem cell research has the effect that any equipment bought with federal funds are not to be used with stem cell research. Most labs are stocked with equipment that have, at least partially, been bought with federal funds. As such, federal funding acts as a blight that infects everything it touches with the inability to be used in embryonic stem cell research. If you want to do embryonic stem cell research, you have to buy an entire new lab full of equipment paid for by anyone but the government. As such the federal funding ban for embryonic stem cell research essentially stopped embryonic stem cell research in the United States.

more than 5 years ago
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Europe Funds Secure Operating System Research

plus_M Re:Wait a second... (376 comments)

*cough* *cough*

Oh shit guys AC has the swine flu, we're all fucked!

more than 5 years ago
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Slashdot Launches User Achievements

plus_M The April Fool (1582 comments)

Don't mind me, just posting for the achievement ;)

more than 5 years ago
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Slashdot Keybindings, Dynamic Stories

plus_M Opera (220 comments)

The biggest issue I see with the new Index2 beta (which is sadly the default for those not logged in, as I rarely actually bother to log in) is that in Opera, it is nearly impossible to click the story title to see the comments, except for a tiny sliver only a couple of pixels wide at the very tip of the words. In face, it seems that it is impossible to click on the title of the stories posted by samzenpus at all (which may be a blessing in disguise). This doesn't stop me from reading the comments, however, as I am fully able to click "Read More..." or the number of comments next to this. Regardless, it is still annoying.

more than 5 years ago
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Satellites Collide In Orbit

plus_M Re:Metre vs Meter. (456 comments)

Err, sorry, my grammar are not working today. What I meant to say was "Therefore, I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that 'micrometer' sized particles are going to be between 1*10^-6 and 1*10^-3 meters in diameter."

more than 5 years ago

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