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Are All Bugs Shallow? Questioning Linus's Law

rasputin465 Re:To get software truly correct... (596 comments)

I had the exact same thought. "Getting software right is very, very difficult" ... "trust us, we know; we still haven't figure out how to get it right".

more than 4 years ago

Storm Worm Botnet "Cracked Wide Open"

rasputin465 Re:Just more whack-a-mole (301 comments)

Filters will never solve the spam problem.

And there is one angle in particular that is available for stopping spam:

  • The damned registrars

But what you are proposing is effectively just another type of filter. It's something that will reduce--but not eliminate--spam, and is something that eventually the botnet folks will figure ways to get around. If you think that spam filters will never work, then increasingly stringent regulation of domain registration will not work either.

The parent's point was that removing the incentive amounts to removing the profit motive, and this is essentially impossible. Your suggestion about `the damned registrars' does nothing to remove the profit motive.

about 6 years ago

Rare Venomous Mammal Filmed

rasputin465 Re:Another venemous mammal (233 comments)

she probably hasn't read this thread yet. Ann Coulter a /.'r? *shudder*

As strange as that would be, it's even stranger that she used to attend Grateful Dead concerts, and still considers herself a fan.

about 6 years ago

Ultra-Sensitive Camera To Measure Exoplanet Sizes

rasputin465 WASP? (62 comments)

the team said it was able to precisely define the size of a planet called WASP-10b which is orbiting around the star WASP-10, about 300 light-years from Earth.

Next up for the team? Precisely measure planets around stars SPIC-20, CHINK-15, and GRINGO-117.

more than 6 years ago

Google Zeitgeist 2008

rasputin465 Re:to be fair (136 comments)

Actually, I've seen worse than this. I was at this bar attached to a hotel in Switzerland and they had a coin-operated Windoze machine. And old American guy (~70s) felt hip enough to surf the tubes, so he put in his coins, and upon login an IE browser window automatically popped up, full screen. My friend and I painfully watched him spend 10 minutes trying to find IE by going to Google and searching for "Internet Explorer". He even tried to download from one site and install it; when that didn't work he had to drag the bartender over and show him how to use this new-fangled device (bartender/IT? quite a CV).

Once he was on, he spent his time checking hotmail and his bank and stock accounts. But he was mindful of the security risks: when he was typing in passwords, he looked over his shoulder to make sure no one was watching.

more than 6 years ago

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist As Energy Secretary

rasputin465 Re:Terrible Idea (498 comments)

Chu is already the director of LBNL, which is a large Department of Energy laboratory. He is already a high-ranking official IN the DOE; not only does he have the knowledge of the scientific subject material, he also intimately knows the inner bureaucratic structure of the DOE. Putting someone in charge who has experience with EITHER of those two categories would be a good idea; the fact that Chu knows both makes him almost perfect for the job.

more than 6 years ago

Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition?

rasputin465 Re:I take a Libertarian POV. (1367 comments)

I imagine the streets would be safer if one was allowed to make a phone call and report that their entire inventory for narcotics was just stolen and get the police investigating the robbery and trying to return the stolen property.

Indeed. Just consider, how much crime is there today associated with the distribution and sale of alcohol. None, you say? Exactly. But there certainly was tons in the years 1920-1933. If a commodity is in demand, there will be a supply. Rendering it illegal doesn't change that; it only delegates the supply to those willing to break the law.

more than 6 years ago

History of the LED — the Movie

rasputin465 Re:Good video, small flaw. (106 comments)

In Imperial Russia, Czar makes diode out of YOU!

more than 6 years ago

E=mc^2 Verified In Quantum Chromodynamic Calculation

rasputin465 Re:Higgs Boson? (268 comments)

I could be totally wrong, but I was under the impression that all the 'missing mass' of subatomic particle was believed to be generated by the Higgs Boson/Field.

It's subtly different. If you believe E=mc^2 (and there's no reason not to--it's been verified too many times to count, despite the misleading headline), then the energy in a field (electromagnetic field, gluon field, etc.) is equivalent to mass. In a proton, there is a non-zero gluon field that caries energy and hence mass.

The question then becomes, how can an elementary particle (like an electron) have mass? A free electron is not interacting with any fields, so how can it act like it has mass? This is the question that the Higgs mechanism answers. It says that elementary particles are indeed massless, and they interact with Higgs fields. The Higgs fields have non-zero values in the vacuum, and so provide "mass" to elementary particles through their interactions.

So the Higgs is responsible for giving mass to the individual quarks (via their interactions with the Higgs fields), but the proton/neutron mass is dominated by the energy in the gluon field, not the Higgs field.

I hope that is a bit understandable.

more than 6 years ago

Good Physics Books For a Math PhD Student?

rasputin465 Re:Some essentials (418 comments)

This `ask slashdot' is going to sound an awful lot like a previous question posted by an undergraduate math major who was/is going into a masters program in astrophysics (my comment in that thread, which is similar to the parent's, still stands in this case, and I won't bother typing it again, although I will second some other comments which recommend the Feynman lectures).

The OP requests non-undergrad books for undergrads, but I wholeheartedly disagree. The graduate PDE course is covering the technical aspects of the mathematics; one then simply needs a basic understanding of the physics (not another technical mathematical discussion), and I can't think of any better way to browse through undergrad textbooks.

If that's still not your cup of tea, there's always wikipedia.

more than 6 years ago

(Useful) Stupid Unix Tricks?

rasputin465 Re:Screen (2362 comments)

A sys admin was recently surprised that I didn't use screen. My explaination was that all that C-x stuff reminded me too much of using Emacs.

I've always used emacs whenever I need a quick terminal-based text editor (yeah I know, "real users use vi"; whatever). But one server I used to work on had a problem where for whatever reason emacs wasn't working, and so I would use pico instead. And the problem with pico on this machine was that C-x C-s (which was ingrained in muscle-memory for me, reflex-like) would freeze the whole terminal. The only recourse would be to login separately, find the PID of the pico process and kill -9 (and only -9), whereby none of the changes had been saved. My co-workers sharing my office were both annoyed and amused because they'd be quietly working and at least a few times a day, out of nowhere I would just immediately shout, "FUCK!!".

more than 6 years ago

Physicists Discover "Doubly Strange" Particle

rasputin465 Re:Lamen (260 comments)

Strange quarks have a mass of 95MeV, bottom has 4.2GeV so the total mass of the Omega-sub-b would be 4.39GeV Up quarks have a mass of 3MeV, down has 6MeV so the total mass of a Proton would be 0.012GeV

It's not quite so simple. The masses of the baryons are usually dominated by the binding energy (i.e. in the 'gluon' field) and not by the masses of the constituent quarks. The proton/neutron are the extreme case where almost all their mass is from binding energy. Estimating the mass of the quarks themselves is a very tricky business; since you cannot observe free quarks, you have to infer their effective mass in bound systems. An up quark in a baryon (bound system of 3 quarks) has a different effective mass than when it is part of a meson (bound system of two quarks). The masses of the up and down quarks you quote are their effective masses in baryons; the mass of the proton is 0.938 GeV, which is clearly MUCH larger than the sum of the quark masses. The same goes for this new baryon (Omega_b), but to a lesser degree.

Actually, the question of the masses of particles can be considered a little bit moot (or not, depending on what you're studying); in the Standard Model, all elementary particles are massless, and pick up effective masses only through their coupling to the Higgs field, similar to the way the proton has its mass due to the quarks coupling to the gluon fields. But at the moment, no one has been able to calculate what the effective particle masses (of any particle) should be, since we don't know enough about the Higgs field (should it exist) to be able to work out the couplings to various particles.


more than 6 years ago



Scott Adams Polls Economists on U.S. Candidates

rasputin465 rasputin465 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

rasputin465 (1032646) writes "Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has commissioned a poll of 500 economists on how they think the U.S. economy will fare under Obama or McCain. He does a very good job of pointing out his own biases, and more importantly, the biases of the economists and how this affects their responses. Fully 48% of those surveyed are registered Democrats, 27% are independents, and 17% are registered Republicans. Overall, 59% surveyed feel that Obama is better for the U.S. economy in the long run. However, this is a very broad generalization of a large parameter space, and Adams' article in cnn.com has more specific numbers. On a side note, Adams donated to the McCain campaign to make good on a bet he lost over the troop surge."
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