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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

sFurbo Re:What a silly title ... (115 comments)

nice straw-man you built there

It's not a straw man, as I did not indicate that you meant that gold was not a metal. It is an analogy, and possibly a bad analogy, like your platypus-duck one.

they should have said something like "optical fiber effect replicated in thin air" ...

If only there was some way to indicate that a phrase wasn't used literally, they could have used that in the title, and then people wouldn't be think they had made air solid and made a fiber out of it.

yesterday
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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

sFurbo Re:Yawn (115 comments)

Doesn't all of your citations only have one laser, that then focuses itself (hence "self-focusing")? Wheres this has two lasers, where one focus the other?

2 days ago
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Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

sFurbo Re:Advanced? (94 comments)

"Science" is the collective name for the methods for acquiring knowledge that has, over the last couple of thousand years, been shown to yield self-consistent results that are confirmable by other ways to get the same information. There might be other methods we haven't thought of yet (and realistically, "science" in a thousand years will include more methods than it does today), but for now, the methods collectively known as "science" are the ones we know work.

That is why the assumption that a method outside of science is not helpful in acquiring knowledge is reasonable.

2 days ago
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Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

sFurbo Re:Major disappointment... (94 comments)

Once can only assume that other cultures smart enough to make radio transmitters would also have similarly short periods during which inefficient methods would be used.

For information transmission, yes. For other uses of EM radiation, not so much.

2 days ago
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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

sFurbo Re:What a silly title ... (115 comments)

That would be in the same way that it would be silly to call gold a metal, because it is too soft to replace steel?

This does more or less what an optical fiber does: It keeps light on the right path by using differences in refractive index (though I imagine the exact process is different: Optical fibers use total internal reflection, this probably just uses refraction). An optical fiber has the additional advantage of being able to go around corners, but that is not what makes it an optical fiber; the refractive index profile is.

2 days ago
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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

sFurbo Re:But what does it do? (115 comments)

What about to get the reflected beam back to the starting point (thus "remote sensing", being able to do e.g. a Raman spectrum at a long distance)? Here, you have light scattering in all directions. The optical fiber will make sure that more of it gets back the way the original laser beam came. That could be phrased as "amplification", though I think another word would be more correct.

2 days ago
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

sFurbo Re:The problem is... (189 comments)

[...] the ideal virus to use as a biological weapon is a virus with long, mostly asymptomatic infectious phase and a high mortality rate.

No, the ideal biological weapon does not spread from person to person. Any disease that does is guaranteed to infect your own population as well; it is basically a gun you can't aim, or a doomsday device (though not literally, it doesn't kill everybody).

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

sFurbo Re:Pft (952 comments)

If a male politician said the same thing in jest, he would be labelled as sexist scum, and his career would be more or less over. When a women does says it in jest, it is taken in that spirit. That difference is sexist.

3 days ago
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

sFurbo Re:The problem is... (189 comments)

As an educated guess, the study into smallpox has been to figure out out why it is so contagious so that we can build our own great contagion.

Or to figure out why it is so contagious, so we can better treat future diseases that uses the same methods. Without more information, it is hard to tell which end goal is more likely.

3 days ago
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Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

sFurbo Re:IF.. (561 comments)

Intelligence (as measured by Spearman's g factor) is one of the best predictors for pretty much any measure of success or talent. People who excel at art or sports are also people with high g. The IQ test has one of the highest correlations Spearman's g of any test, so IQ test measures a lot more than how good you are at doing IQ tests.

about a month ago
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Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

sFurbo Re:IF.. (561 comments)

I would think if they took recent Nobel Prize winners in the hard sciences, they would be trending above average and by a margin.

IIRC, if you want to win a Nobel prize, having an IQ over 120 is paramount, but anything above that does not give you any further advantage.

about a month ago
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Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

sFurbo Re:Why reverse? Increase!! (207 comments)

Isn't this reservation applicable to any drug, or even any interaction? So the optimal choice of action would always be - nothing? If not, then why are the situations were it is not the case different from medical treatments?

about a month ago
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"Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health

sFurbo Re:low carb and low PUFA vs high Omega-3? (166 comments)

Isn't the smell fishy, as in primarily coming from trimethylamine from reduction of trimethylamine oxide? In that case, it would not be that closely linked to oxidation, though it might still correlate with it (as they both increase with storage).

I don't have a citation (well, unless "personal communcation" is accepted). It was stated in a presentation about stability of fish oils, but that is not solid enough for the confidence in my original post. I am sorry for that.

With regard to the manuscript you linked to about how the oxidation state of fish oils affects the lipid profiles, it is a small study (52 participants, 17-18 in each group) and it seems that they did not correct for multiple comparisons (but I might be missing that). Looking at their numbers, it seems that the largest effect is that the group that got the good oil started out with higher blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), lower blood glucose and higher cholesterol, and than normalized on these measures, except for cholesterol, where they more than normalized. I am not even sure this meats the "hypothesis-generating" state.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resolving the Clash Between Art and Technology In Music?

sFurbo Re:Union tactics (121 comments)

Part of it is due to the dislike of monopolies, which is founded on the fact that they skew the market to the disadvantage of the non-monopolist. A union is basically monopoly on (a certain type of) work. Saying "no union member will work for you if you employ non-union workers" is equivalent to Microsoft saying "you can only buy Windows if all of the computers you sell comes with Windows installed", the latter of which is illegal. So why should the first be legal?

That does not explain why boycotts are frowned upon.

about a month ago
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"Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health

sFurbo Re:low carb and low PUFA vs high Omega-3? (166 comments)

Fish oil start to stink way before it is actually bad for you. I'm not saying you should eat stinking fish oil tablets, but them stinking should not affect their effect on the body.

about a month ago
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Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

sFurbo Re:What happens if (281 comments)

The difficulty is updated every 2016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks. If the amount resources spent on mining was suddenly reduced extensively, the mining would just go much slower until the next update, so no one would be able to take advantage of that (although it could be problematic for bitcoin, if e.g. the update went from 10 minutes to 100 minutes). After the next difficulty update, the difficulty would be low, but if the mining pools were back up, you would not be able to control bitcoin. Even if the update rate goes to 1 minute, this will only persist for 201,6 minutes, or a few hours.

All of this is assuming that no other response was done in the two weeks after the DDOS.

about a month ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

sFurbo Re:Disruptive technology (507 comments)

Real people don't behave like numbers in an economics text-book. This is easy to see as economists are wrong as often as they are right when they try to predict a future trend.
Take the acting profession in the UK. A poll was recently done of people who consider themselves professional actors - to the extent that they spend UKP 150 on a professional casting website.
The average wage in the UK is UKP 26,500 per annum. Poverty level for a single person with no dependants is said to be below UKP 6600.
Only 2% of actors were earning UKP 20,000 or more.
75% were earning less than £5000.

I don't think that example shows economists being wrong, it just shows people putting value in being an actor, enough to offset the (extremely) low wage. It does show me being wrong - I had not accounted for that possibility. But do you want to prohibit most of these people from being actors in order to increase the wage of the rest? If you don't, then why would you want it for taxis? If you do, I can only say that I disagree, that I think people should be allowed to choose a untraditional life if that makes them happy, but I have no arguments save that.

Why should we have to adapt to the natural level of taxis, rather than manage the level to suit us?

Because the natural level is a Pareto efficient state, which is something we should strive for from a resource allocation point of view. And because it follows from accepting that people are autonomous agents, and have the most knowledge about their own lifes, which is something we should strive for from an ethical point of view.

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

sFurbo Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

During the 50's and 60's, sure... we were broadcasting some very powerful signals into space

How powerful? The most powerful signal I can find for the US today is 5 MW, which is within the range of over-the-horizon radars still being operated today. I am not sure that we have stopped sending our most powerful signals.

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

sFurbo Re: Progenitors? (686 comments)

Out to the geostationary orbit? Not in the last 3.9 billion years. That is 350 times farther out than the limit of space. Anything that removed everything in that bubble would have killed all life on earth. The only event of that magnitude that we have evidence of created the moon.

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

sFurbo Re:Disruptive technology (507 comments)

That equilibrium may be at the poverty level, which wouldn't be good for drivers.

If there are other, more well paid jobs to have, it wont be, as taxi drivers will chose other occupations. If there aren't, that is a much larger problem than the amount of taxis.

It may be at the level where streets are clogged with taxis, which wouldn't be good for other road users.

A taxi is not much more road space consuming per traveler than having a private car. If the equilibrium amount of taxis is where the roads are clogged, road pricing (or even tax on cars or fuel) is a better system to reduce clogging than restricting the number of taxis.

It may be at a level where it's impossible to get a taxi to certain locations or times of day (The famous "I don't go south of the River".)

If there customers paying enough to get south of the river, it wont be. If there isn't, restricting the amount of taxis is only going to make the problem worse.
In fact, that last one sounds like a problem introduced by an artificial limit on the number of taxis. Do you have any examples of it in cities where this is not the case?

about a month and a half ago

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