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Lepton Universality In Question, a Standard Model Assumption

ricky-road-flats Re:Null experiment for the 21st century (62 comments)

It's true, physically it's a very different experiment. However, I think what the poster was referring to was what Michelson-Morley led to, which was huge. From Wikipedia:

It attempted to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether ("aether wind"). The negative results are generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the then prevalent aether theory, and initiated a line of research that eventually led to special relativity, in which the stationary aether concept has no role. The experiment has been referred to as "the moving-off point for the theoretical aspects of the Second Scientific Revolution".

In other words, although the aims of Michelson-Morley were proved wrong, what they did find eventually led to big new science - and the same might apply here once hindsight is brought to bear.

about 6 months ago
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Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

ricky-road-flats Re:No it is not (101 comments)

Fair enough, we'll see.

about 2 years ago
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Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

ricky-road-flats Re:No it is not (101 comments)

Read what I said in GP. I didn't say it wouldn't go away, and I didn't say it couldn't. I said that it's harder for it to go away because it has critical mass. There are several ways it could go away - the management might fuck it up and scare people away (AltaVista). Something better might come along - but it will have to be a LOT better and get a huge user-base REALLY quickly, or it just won't succeed (look at Google+). Or the things it does might be done by something higher up the stack - iOS, Android etc.

about 2 years ago
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Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

ricky-road-flats Re:No it is not (101 comments)

I didn't make my point clearly. AOL was popular (certainly not "most people" in the Internet, even back then), but importantly in terms of total numbers relative to the world population, it never made so much as a blip. And as for GeoCities, same applies even more so. Facebook also, unlike all the others, has a really powerful thing in its favour - many people (including me) use it as a way of keeping in very occasional touch with others - at a glance I can contact them, see what they've been up to recently, and let them know news about me.

about 2 years ago
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Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

ricky-road-flats Re:No it is not (101 comments)

I disagree. Maybe those you named failed because they didn't achieve critical mass. I would argue that Facebook and Twitter have done that, which makes it much harder for them to fade. Not impossible, but much harder. Flickr - maybe, maybe not. Picasa online was a decent contender before it got mashed into Google+...

about 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install

ricky-road-flats Total Bullshit Article. (489 comments)

The "Windows SmartScreen" referenced in TFA is nothing of the sort.

This is an IE9 feature, which would not be a huge surprise to find is still there in IE10. TFS links to an 18-month-old article talking about it in IE9. Not Windows 8. There is nothing to back up the wording used in TFS or TFA. It's a good feature I have enabled on my parent's machines for their protection, as it's one more layer against malware downloads.

The ONLY things this feature touches is executables which are downloaded from the Internet using IE. Install from a DVD? Download using Chrome/Firefox? USB drive? Copied from another disk? Compiled yourself? None of those things gets "sent to Microsoft".

Just someone (successfully) using a combination of inflammatory wording and gullible/lazy /. editors to generate traffic to their blog.

more than 2 years ago
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Overconfidence May Be a Result of Social Politeness

ricky-road-flats This is very much an American cultural thing (263 comments)

I hate to bring up something like Americal Idol (and its predecessor Pop Idol) in somewhere like Slashdot, but I think it's relevant.

In the UK Pop Idol, the judges were always honest - if they found someone who couldn't sing, they told them they couldn't sing. They told them to not give up the day job, to abandon their dream of being a pop star. On the flip side, if they were good, the judges said so - and because of that it really meant something.

In the few bits of American Idol I've seen, it's totally different. The judges (I seem to remember Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson in particular) when presented with someone who clearly didn't have a hope in hell of becoming a star of any kind, tied themselves in knots trying to say something positive. They just didn't ahve it in them to say "You're not a singer, forget about it". They'd say "You need to work hard to improve your rhythm" or " You're great but you're just not what we're looking for", and so on. Simon Cowell gave much more honest opinions and built a huge business out of doing it - but he was seen as Captain Negativity, the joke one, with the other two encouraging the no-hopers to keep their dream.

The result? People in the UK who got that negative feedback accept (sometimes reluctantly) that they won't ever be a star and go back to singing in the shower and leading a normal life. People in the US don't have that reality check, so keep on trying, making themselves look more and more ridiculous, desperate and above all untalented.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

ricky-road-flats Re:Two Words: Window Shop (732 comments)

Yes, this. I get people to go to PC World and play with all the laptops there - then tell me which was their favourite in terms of the keyboard, screen, size, and look and feel.

I then get them that model (from a decent retailer, NOT PC World, with the technical options (RAM, CPU, GPU, HDD/SDD, etc) that I think are appropriate for what they're going to use it for.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Hypertext Literature Dead?

ricky-road-flats Re:The opposite. (208 comments)

To clarify:

The books that existed before Hypertext came along were the way they were because of the medium. Books are linear, searching is a PITA, pictures were expensive and static..

HTML and related technologies changed that. Many forms of delivering literature have flourished - youtube.com, 4chan.org and bbcnews.com spring to mind of examples of completely different formats of delivering content that can include story-telling, education and much more.

There's more literature out there than there ever has been before, and a lot of it is hypertext. Is all of it good, or high quality, or of lasting value? Of course not. But then there's plenty of dross printed on dead tree too.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Go Paperless At Home?

ricky-road-flats Mod parent up. (311 comments)

He's right. This is what I do - I can't be arsed to walk to the nearest scanner at work anymore, as a simple shot of my iPhone takes a good-enough picture of a side of paper.

more than 2 years ago
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DARPA Investing In Electric Brain Stimulation To Train Snipers Quickly

ricky-road-flats Re:Obligatory Matrix quote (124 comments)

"I know kung fu."

Show me.

more than 2 years ago
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Protecting Your Tablet From a Fall From Space

ricky-road-flats Re:Why so high? (130 comments)

Maybe to get that beautiful video of the awesome view of the Earth from so high it was curved? And the cool way the balloon got so big it almost looked like a straight line on the video and then popped - also cool. Or to put it another way, why the fuck not?

more than 2 years ago
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Did Fracking Cause Recent Oklahoma Earthquakes?

ricky-road-flats Re:Live in Oklahoma, work around the industry.... (288 comments)

While earthquakes being caused by fracking cater to our common senses, there just isn't ANY evidence that the two are linked. And I mean in that statistical "causation" way. *NO* regulatory agency, body, or otherwise has indicated otherwise.

Except HERE...

more than 3 years ago
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Jaguar Supercomputer Being Upgraded To Regain Fastest Cluster Crown

ricky-road-flats Re:Yeah, but how fast does it (89 comments)

play Quake?

A good question. I ran the numbers, and the answer is FUCKING quickly.

more than 3 years ago
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External Thunderbolt Graphics Card On Its Way

ricky-road-flats Re:Thunderbolt = dead in two years. (207 comments)

As someone else has already pointed out, it is not a competitor to USB.

As to the RAID box, well, something has to be first. But there are already three others I'm aware of:

There is already also a Sony laptop with a Thunderbolt connector to docking station which has an optical drive, a graphics chip, *and* USB 2.0 and 3.0 sockets. The newer Apple monitors, as well as the new iMacs, use it for USB and DisplayPort. The laptops with it can use a powered-down iMac as a monitor. You can't do a lot of that with USB.

As usual with technologies like this, as soon as it's integrated into chipsets and/or standard motherboards, the products will follow. Just the fact that Apple are selling hundreds of thousands of units with this integrated will help stimulate companies to produce more products that use it...

more than 3 years ago
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Open Radeon 3D Driver Runs At 60~70% of Proprietary Driver Speed

ricky-road-flats Re:So... (245 comments)

Being open means that these drivers won't simply go away once the product line is deprecated in favour of the newest and coolest graphics card, and that it will be able to receive improvements and bug fixes essentially until the last working piece of hardware dies off.

I wish that was true - but unless I'm being misled, these drivers already don't support my 2-year-old card or the generation after it. Is there anything concrete to give me hope this will change, and the 6000 series they're now making great steps forward with will be supported for more than 10 minutes after the 7000 series is released?

more than 3 years ago
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Hijacked Fox News Twitter Account Falsely Claims Obama Shot Dead

ricky-road-flats Re:HOW? (290 comments)

Wise words. Al-Jazeera is broadcast here along with 4 or 5 other 24-hour news channels, and it is very good. Their live web stream works well too without any silly restrictions, unlike most of the others.

more than 3 years ago

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