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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

quax Re:Failed state policies (423 comments)

And if you value freedom and liberty and good public health care you can move to Canada (that's what I did).

2 days ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

quax MS fighting the good fight (192 comments)

How the times have changed.

about two weeks ago
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Monochromatic Light As a Species-selective Insecticide

quax Re:protein? (44 comments)

Complex molecules have characteristic absorption spectra. More energy per photon will not work if you move it outside the specific energy gap (a classical analog would be resonance, if the frequency fits little energy will suffice).

 

about two weeks ago
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Monochromatic Light As a Species-selective Insecticide

quax Re:Wow (44 comments)

Remarkable. Does your business have a web site?

about two weeks ago
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A Common Logic To Seeing Cats and the Cosmos

quax Re:too many words (45 comments)

As somebody who has worked on artificial neural networks in the past, and holds a physics degree, I don't think that this assessment is wrong.

I think at this point this is more a curiosity. Interesting in it's own right, but not something that I would expect to yield new and improved algorithms.

about two weeks ago
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Kim Dotcom Faces Jail At Bail Hearing

quax Re:why why WHY? (166 comments)

No worries anonymous coward. If he has already been found guilty in the court of wikipedia why wait on the earthly jurisprudence.

All good.

about three weeks ago
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Kim Dotcom Faces Jail At Bail Hearing

quax Re:why why WHY? (166 comments)

Dang it, I moderated this as 'Funny' but it still shows as "Informative" which it really isn't.

Now I have to write this comment just to role back the moderation.

about three weeks ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

quax Re:Is it just me ... (390 comments)

And boy, you must just hate the Legend of Korra ...

about three weeks ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

quax Re:Is it just me ... (390 comments)

Really have no idea what your are talking about. As far as I am concerned Frozen and Tangled are perfectly fine, but my favorite remains Lilo and Stitch.

Doubt that you've watched any of them, but if you have then please get a bit more concrete about what you consider to be negative 'feminist' influence. I.e. plot points characterizations etc.

about three weeks ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

quax Re:Is it just me ... (390 comments)

So far you made the most well reasoned argument on behalf on the whiners and than you lost me with this:

"... the last Disney movies are also feminist porn of the bad kind."

See, I have two daughters, and the classical Disney princess role model just makes me want to hurl. So I very much appreciate that they at least try a little bit to break away from this. Yet, with Frozen it still was way too much about the dress and being pretty. But at least they got nicely across that just because a dude's a prince, and a smooth talker, doesn't mean you should just fall for him.

The latter is a message that any dad will very much appreciate. If you think that's feminist you obviously don't have a daughter.

about three weeks ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

quax Re:Is it just me ... (390 comments)

Embarrassment is like athletes foot, it just crops up uninvited and no matter how much you scratch, it just won't go away.

But thanks anyway.

BTW I don't know why the dude's in a Stormtrooper outfit, but I have a hunch that he won't be the villain.

about three weeks ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

quax Is it just me ... (390 comments)

... or is all the whining about a *black* stormtrooper on the youtube comment thread beyond embarrassing.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

quax Re:Nuclear (652 comments)

Yeah right, living of Hartz IV is just great.

Historically Germans always preferred renting over owning a home.

It is pretty much impossible to evict somebody, and there is strict rent control. So there is no downside for the tenant, (believe me I know, I own a house in Heidelberg and there's hardly any profit in it. Just got lucky that the renter is building himself a house, so I can sell it fairly soon untenanted).

about three weeks ago
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"Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

quax Re:Very surprised to read this. (112 comments)

See some information lives outside the Internet.

This little factoid was related to me by my sister who is a German M.D. and happened to intern in the US so she got to practice both approaches.

Want to check if this is correct? Then Google is your friend.

about three weeks ago
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"Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

quax Very surprised to read this. (112 comments)

Thought that was settled. Stabilizing victims for transport has been SOP in Germany, and has been shown to provide worse outcome than the simple get-them-into-the-ER approach previously favored in the states.

about three weeks ago
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Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

quax His problem is that he wasn't Dropbox (151 comments)

They have Condi Rice on the board of directors and know how to 'play nice'.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

quax Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (652 comments)

Note, it your paper uses computer models or least squares curve fitting, it is worthless for proving causality.

OK then, no computers. But in fairness I then request that you also start checking your email on your trusty logarithmic slide ruler.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

quax Nuclear (652 comments)

Nowhere does the article mention nuclear. They argue for distributed and dispatchable power, hardly features of any nuclear design.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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The real story about Quantum Computing doesn't get reported

quax quax writes  |  about two weeks ago

quax (19371) writes "Depending on who you ask Quantum Computers have already arrived (after all Google and NASA joined forces to buy one) or they are still about twenty years away. Rarely does an online article bother with differentiating all the various technologies and computational models that are labeled quantum computing. The headlines and news stories seem to be all over the place. Even Nature doesn't seem to be able to pull off an online article that actually asks the important questions and covers all aspects of the current race. Is this kind of shoddy journalism unavoidable? How can science journalists be prodded to ask the pertinent questions and go beyond superficial reporting?"
Link to Original Source
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Is Geometric Algebra finally adopted in STEM curricula?

quax quax writes  |  about a month and a half ago

quax (19371) writes "It has been over a century that William Kingdon Clifford developed Geometric Algebra. Yet due to his untimely death it was quickly forgotten, only to be partially reinvented when Dirac tackled relativistic quantum mechanics and introduced spinors. But geometric algebra is much more versatile than that, for instance it makes for a better alternative to vector calculus, combining div and curl operators and doing away with the cross-product in favor of bivectors. It is such a straightforward unification of otherwise, disparate mathematical techniques that I very much regret that my physics curriculum twenty years ago didn't cover it. Has this changed? Have you encountered geometric algebra in an undergraduate program?"
Link to Original Source
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How Blogs are Changing the Scientific Discourse

quax quax writes  |  about 10 months ago

quax (19371) writes "Mainstream media always follows the same kind of 'He said she said" template, that is why even climate change deniers get their say, although they are a tiny minority. The leading science journals on the other hand are expensive and behind pay-walls. But it turns out there are places on the web where you can follow science up close and personal: The many personal blogs written by scientists — and the conversation there is changing the very nature of scientific debate."
Link to Original Source
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Google's Quantum Computer Cannot be Explained Classically

quax quax writes  |  about 10 months ago

quax (19371) writes "So writes the company that developed the machine on their blog. Admittedly, you would expect them to defend their architecture, but the founder of D-Wave, Geordie Rose, puts forward a compelling argument, that comes down to Occam's razor. The scientists who claim that the machine can be explained classically, as recently reported on slashdot, only base their model on the sub-set of data that they looked at in their research. But if you look at all the data amassed by D-Wave over time, only quantum annealing makes for a perfect fit.

They are not the only ones who argue that D-Wave's claims in this regard hold up. Independent research performed by Matthias Troyer et al. confirms that quantum annealing is the best model to describe the machines performance, but they don't see evidence for quantum speed-up yet. A recent video nicely summarizes their research findings."
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Inside General Fusion

quax quax writes  |  about a year ago

quax (19371) writes "Slashdot first reported on the Canadian start-up company that attempts piston powered nuclear fusion back in 2009. This new blog post takes a look at where they are now, and give some additional behind the scene info. For instance, a massive experimental rig for magnetized target fusion in the US is currently underutilized, because ITER's increasing cost absorbs all the public fusion research funding. Yet, because this Shiva Star device is located in an Air Force base, security restrictions prevent any meaningful cooperation with a none US company. Even if US researchers would love to rent this out in order to advance the science of magnetized target fusion, this is a no go.

Is this just security paranoia, or should the US preferably not use experimental facilities rather than allowing foreign companies to conduct experiments with them?"
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Is Science Destined to Follow a Hype Cycle?

quax quax writes  |  about a year ago

quax (19371) writes "The controversy to what extend Quantum Computing is over-hyped, has been supercharged with the recent success of D-Wave selling their version of a quantum computer. This caused a significant backlash from some researchers, who argue that the machine is not 'quantum' enough and doesn't conclusively demonstrate a speed-up over classical computing.

This kind of heated argument is part and parcel of the scientific discourse, yet often leads to abandonment cycles that see promising research avenues neglected, only to be rediscovered decades later. Is this inevitable? Simple human nature reasserting itself? Or is there a more rational way to determine where to focus research?"

Link to Original Source
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VC Funded Fusion Start-Up Set to Demonstrate Break-Even Net Gain This Year

quax quax writes  |  about a year and a half ago

quax (19371) writes "If the company General Fusion succeeds in demonstrating the viability of their approach, the international ITER project will be pretty late to the party. Surprisingly this company managed to stick tightly to their development schedule in developing their reactor for Magnetized Target Fusion. This approach has never been tried at this scale, and it will be the first time to demonstrate net energy gain equivalent in this manner (the equivalent meaning, that if the pure deuterium mix in the test was replaced with one containing tritium you would get more power out than you put in).

The next big question will be if this can become commercially viable. The mechanical stresses the reactor will have to withstand are huge, so demonstrating that this can actually run continuously will be no small feat.
   "

Link to Original Source
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Major Quantum Information Technology Breakthroughs

quax quax writes  |  about a year and a half ago

quax (19371) writes "Within the same week two major Quantum Information Technology milestones where announced: The Los Alamos National Labs unveiled that they've been operating a scalable quantum encrypted network for the last two years (link to original paper).

There have been commercial quantum encryption devices on the market for quite some time now, but these have been limited to point to point connections. Having a protocol that allows the seamless integration of quantum cryptography into the existing network stack raises this to an entirely different level.

Just days after this news came the announcement that the company D-Wave, that claims to ship the first quantum computing device, aced a test when their machine was put into direct comparison with conventional hardware. It wasn't even close. For the class of problems that the D-Wave machine is designed for, the next best algorithm on a regular CPU performed several thousand times worse."
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A New, Untapped Physical Resource for Information Processing?

quax quax writes  |  about a year and a half ago

quax (19371) writes "In the most influential textbook on the matter Michael Nielsen and Isaac Chuang wrote:
"Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Science has taught us to think physically about computation. (...) Indeed in the broadest terms we have learned that any physical theory, not just quantum mechanics, may be used as the basis for a theory of information processing and communication."
This is exactly what the Kish Cypher Encryption protocol is doing by exploiting thermodynamics in an unexpected fashion. Could this become an easier to implement alternative to Quantum Cryptography, providing unhackable networks?"

Link to Original Source
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Physicists still confused over how to interpret Quantum Mechanics

quax quax writes  |  about 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Feynman famously quipped that "nobody understands" quantum mechanics. But after almost a century shouldn't there be at least some consensus on how to interpret this theory? Ever since the famous argument between Bohr and Einstein over the EPR paradox, conventional wisdom was that Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation will carry the day, but when surveying 33 leading experts at a quantum foundation conference, less than half voted that way.

Is it time for yet another paradigm change?"

Link to Original Source
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Is Quantum Computing a Pathological Science?

quax quax writes  |  about 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Science and engineering is not free of fads. Sometimes they start with a bang and end up vilified as pathological science just like cold fusion did. But could something seemingly as established as Quantum Computing fall into the same category?

Some physicists are seriously proposing exactly that. The author argues that the amount of publications on Quantum Computing has reached an unsustainable plateau and that the ratio of one experimental to thirty theoretical papers demonstrates how little this field is actually grounded in reality.

But what if the shoe is on the other foot? Could it be that these animosities are actually more a reflection on the state of modern physics?"

Link to Original Source
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Who is afraid of the big bad Quantum Computer?

quax quax writes  |  about 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Whenever Quantum Computing is dragged out to get some mainstream exposure it is the same old story: If we finally get these powerful machines then the end of all encryption is here and the sky is falling.

This article makes the case that there is much more to Quantum Computing than that, and that all the hand-wringing is not only pre-mature but also rather silly. Current quantum computing devices cannot defeat our standard encryption yet, but are at a point where they can already be a valuable new computing resource. On the other hand when considering how modern cryptography works, and when taking into account the progress made on Quantum Cryptography, the often repeated threat from Quantum Computers to the privacy of a encrypted data appears to be completely overblown.

 "

Link to Original Source
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Are Quantum Computers here to stay?

quax quax writes  |  about 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "The first quantum computing devices have hit the market, while the juggernauts of the IT industry are still in research mode. So what is the difference between what you can buy now, and what IBM and Microsoft are researching? Turns out, unlike modern digital computers, the quantum computing field is far more diverse in terms of design and hardware approaches. This article attempts to sort this out and predicts a timeline for this nascent IT sector."
Link to Original Source
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A New Methode to Solve Linear Equations

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Solving linear equations is one of the most common mathematical problems, and it is a fairly easy one that everybody learns to work in school. Surprisingly, a new algorithm has been found that improves over established methods within the domain of finite fields.

This algorithm is poised to find widespread use in applications as diverse as cryptography and quantum error correction.

The article provides links to the original paper and illustrates the concept of finite fields."

Link to Original Source
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How to get media attention for a start-up set to revolutionize IT?

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "The recent physics Noble price awards highlighted the prospect of quantum computing. Yet, in the media reports there was no mentioning of the only company that claims to ship the first quantum computing device. This is despite some recent impressive computational feats that were accomplished on its hardware and published in Nature. The company seems to do all the right things, so why do they get so little mainstream coverage?"
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Accelerator Driven Treatment of Nuclear Waste

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "In the wake of the Fukushima disaster the nuclear industry again faces massive opposition. Germany even decided to abandon nuclear energy altogether and the future of the industry is under a cloud of uncertainty in Japan. But one thing seems to be here to stay for a very, very long time: The radioactive waste that has half-lives measured in thousands of years.

But there is a technology under development in Belgium that could change all this: A sub-critical reactor design, driven by a particle accelerator that can transmute the nuclear waste into something that goes away within about two hundred years.

Could this lead to a revival of the nuclear industry and the reprocessing of spend reactor fuel?"

Link to Original Source
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Strong Words on Weak Quantum Measurement

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Recently news made the round that the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle was supposedly violated. (Slashdot reported on it here).

The underlying papers are quite mundane. But all caveats get stripped out in the reporting until only the wrong sensational twist remains.

Heisenberg did at some point speculate that the uncertainty relationship may be due to the measurements disturbing the system that is probed, but this idea has long been relegated to the dust bin of science history. So Robert R. Tucci deservedly demolishes this class of weak measurement experiments."
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Beyond Entanglement - Quantum Discord

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Entanglement lies at the heart of quantum mechanics and irritated Einstein to no end who called it "spooky action at a distance".

More recently science learned how to use entanglement as an information processing and computing resource. For instance it was thought to be the foundational ingredient for inherently wiretap safe quantum cryptography.

Now a recent paper in Nature Physics showed that the underlying phenomenon of quantum teleportation can be achieved by using none-entangled separable states that only display a low degree of non-classical correlations.

These states are characterized by their Quantum Discord property. The latter may turn-out to be more important than entanglement for the young field of quantum computing.

Time to add a new term to your science vocabulary."

Link to Original Source
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Germany's former first lady sues Google

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "Bettina Wulff faces an uphill battle for her reputation. Her husband had to resign as Germany's president due to corruption allegations and has many detractors. Apparently some of them started a character assassination campaign against his wife. At least that is, if you trust serious journalists who looked into the matter and stated that it is made up. Unfortunately though for Bettina Wulff, the rumors took off on the Internet. Now whenever you enter her name Google suggest the additional search terms "prostitute" and "escort". Google refuses to alter its search index.

What do you think, should Google be allowed to destroy somebody's reputation like this?"

Link to Original Source
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Radioactive Decay Influenced by the Sun

quax quax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quax (19371) writes "In school you probably learned that the decay rate of radioactive matter is solely determined by the halftime specific to the element. There is no environmental factor that can somehow tweak this process. At least there shouldn’t be. Now a second study confirmed previous findings that the decay rate of some elements seems to be under the subtle and mysterious influence of the sun. As of now there is no theoretical explanation for this strange effect buried in the decay rate data."
Link to Original Source

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