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Comments

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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

scorp1us Air pressure? (217 comments)

How much of this "habitable zone" factors in water's ability to be liquid to to pressure? Too thin it vaporizes (Mars). Too much, it vaporizes (Venus). Merely being the right temperature isn't enough.

Also, having a magnetic pole strong enough to shield it from the solar wind, so what does wind up in the atmosphere doesn't wind up in space.

2 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

scorp1us Filed my first year in Linux (385 comments)

Not having a "real" platform, I used the web version of TaxACT. It was half the price of TaxCut to TurboTax. Being a web app, it was alright but the interface was buggy, and the questions were awfully worded.

I've been running Mint 115/16 for about 6 months, and other than tax filing it has been fantastic.

Reminder: before switching someone to Linux ask about how they do their taxes first.

3 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

scorp1us Re:Why so much resistance to climate science? (854 comments)

Well before you brand me "denier" let me say I am very much pro-environment. I think we should have negligible impact on the biosphere because who knows how long we will need this one.

Now, there is no such thing as "climate science", but there is "climate" and "science" and even "science applied to climate" however none of these are climate science. We know CO2 is a greenhouse gas and warms faster than our nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere. And adding CO2 to that atmosphere will make it hotter. We've predicted that, and we can show in a lab experiment that is true. However that's where the science really ends. We have other ways that science is applied to climate, as in the study of ice cores and weather. But add these all up and you still can't call it "climate science" because we cannot (yet) account for everything going on. We cannot make a prediction and test it. First be have a sample set of one. It won't necessarily generalize. Second, the one we have is ours, and far too important to try any large scale experiment on. Third, its too big to try any sufficiently large experiment on.

So all we have is the ability to do is predict, wait, and measure. When we do that, we get wrong answers. Despite this "99% confidence" every single global warming alarmist has been wrong for the past 18 years. The increase between actual and prediction continues to grow. To me this is the single most important deciding factor. And I don't think it is to much to ask - that theory (models) match the actual. Over the last 17 years 8 months, not even the sign is the same. Actual is down a trivial amount (hundredths of a degree), but the models are saying 0.3 degree increase, with increased divergence expected. The fact that we can't predict a 20 year pause (even drop) is a big fucking deal. The humans have declared "the science settled" but despite that nature continues to do what it wants. So if you have all these "experts" saying "the science is settled" and nature is going the other way, who do you believe? Especially when they have these "99%" confidence intervals.

The truth of the matter is, only the science in the laboratory is settled. The science of what actually in the atmosphere is far from complete. I wouldn't be so "anti climate science" if these guys had a bit more modestly and a lot less hubris. But here's what they are doing. Their model predictions get more invalidated by the day, and how do they respond? "We have a 99% condience"... they double down on science that isn't working. They are in effect, becoming oracles or prophets of doom. A proper scientific response would be to retreat, revise the models until they have something that works, then apologize and start using the improved model. But that's not what these guys do. They spend way too much time making dire predictions (which don't validate) in the media.

I love science through and through, but I would be ashamed to call myself a climate scientist.

4 days ago
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Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

scorp1us So thin clients are new again? (101 comments)

I was having this discussion about my boss's Chromebox. Which I was laughing at for being a thin client. "it'll revolutionize the world"" he said. "We've had citrix for years." I said. All this dies is give you a thin client where the server is any internet accessible site.

about a week ago
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3D Display Uses Misted Water

scorp1us Re:How is this news? (65 comments)

Any why not everyone just get a Occulus, a webcam and superimpose the 3D model on the webcam image being fed into the occulus?

about a week ago
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3D Display Uses Misted Water

scorp1us How is this news? (65 comments)

Movies special effects have been projecting images onto mist for at least 2 decades now.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

scorp1us Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (722 comments)

In order for the "tax" to be sustained, it had to
1) be a tax. Obama pledged no new taxes on the middle class.
2) is a tax on the "privilege" of "going without" health insurance. Now, we started this nation over a 3% tax on tea. Now we have a tax on "going without"? The Constitution died that day, because if they tax the absence of something, they can of course tax the presence of something. This rendering all the taxing provisions of the Constitution irrelevant.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

scorp1us How the numbers were acheived (722 comments)

1. A lot of late signups. - People waiting for the individual mandate being delayed.
2. Cancelled plans. Remember "if you like your plan, you can keep it" except you can't. All those people who lost their plan were insured are now uninsured and that greatly enlarged the number of people seeking. So you can't compare before and after numbers.
3. Some companies dropped plans entirely and let their employees get their own. My company was on the verge of doing that but elected not to at the last minute.
4. The combined numbers of 2 and 3 is estimated at 6 million. So backing that out, we only got aout 1 million more insured. Which is important, but not anything to brag about.
5. I'm not entirely convinced that the 7.1M number is actual people being insured. Maybe that many logins were created but a login is not insurance.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

scorp1us As a Linux Mint proponent, I say no. (451 comments)

I run Mint at work and at home, and my retired neighbor runs it because of me.

However I continually run into limitations from it just not being windows. Unless all they do is web work, I foresee a need for them to run something micrrosoft.

Best to install SpiceWorks and see what you've got installed across your domain.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bre Pettis About Making Things

scorp1us Why are build envelopes so small? (69 comments)

Many of the things I want to build with a 3D printer are not complicated but are outside the build envelope of the printers out there. Like my truck grill which is about 48" wide, 12" tall and 3" deep.

Why don't we have bigger print envelopes? This should just be a matter of more steps of the stepper motor.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: A Technical Remediation

scorp1us Is there a way to tell? (239 comments)

Like some site that is (like "what that site is running?" (Apache, IIS etc)) where we can see who gets what fixed when. No point in changing my passwords on a still-affected site.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

scorp1us HBase (272 comments)

First. everyone who is pointing out your premature optimization is probably right. You can get a lot of scalability out of existing databases, particularly if you optimize your data schema with indexes. Even if you store all possible 9,999,999,999 phone numbers, the log base-2 of that is 34. So you'll need a b-tree 34 levels deep. That's big, real big, but b-trees are fast. Worst case you are reading 34 blocks from disk, which is ~16kB.

Next, don't choose databases by name. Choose them by their features because you use features, not names. That said, HBase is probably what you want. It's a blend of distributable hadoop and tables. You don't need atomicity (it doesn't sound like) which is one thing you give up when leaving SQL behind.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do Any Development Shops Build-Test-Deploy On A Cloud Service?

scorp1us The cloud is not magical. (119 comments)

I was just explaining this to someone the other day that thought AWS was going to save them money. It's not cheaper than running your own shop. The only advantage I see is that you don't have to house/cool/maintain hardware. You can just move your application to higher capacity, faster servers. You get additional power and network reliability.

If your dev/test platform is already off-site and working, then what is the compelling reason to interrupt everything and do the move? Where I am working today, the tried to move from AWS to Google's cloud and had tons of issues of reliability. We're back on AWS. Our usage model though, lends itself to AWS. We sell "application instances" which are deployed for customers to AWS for its up-time reliability. All our development happens in-house though.

It's not a magic bullet. If you're looking to save money and your place already has a cooled closet and redundant network and power, then it offers no incentive for you to move.

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

scorp1us Re:The government has already opted us out. (157 comments)

Good to know. Now I just need to find a way because my state makes it illegal for labs to sell directly to consumers.

about two weeks ago
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

scorp1us Re:I hate gmail. (142 comments)

Yes. If I use IMAP, then why use gmail at all?

about two weeks ago
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

scorp1us I hate gmail. (142 comments)

I don't actually like to read my gmail. Its a horrid interface. No folders (no, I'm not going to search, TYVM) and the "folder" work around is a kludge doesn't cut it for me. Yahoo up until recently had the most powerful interface. But no SSL after login. Then they started limiting page sizes rather than continuous.

I'm thinking Horde Mail/GroupWare on a reliable cloud provider would be the way to go. But you can't leave google behind because of the drive, docs and all that stuff.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Digia releases Qt 5.2, now on iOS and Android, tech preview for WinRT

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  about 4 months ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "Now you can use one codebase for all your platforms. Windows, Linux and OSX as always, but now with Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Sailfish/Jolla and Ubuntu Mobile. The latter can also be found in a new special Mobile version of Qt."
Link to Original Source
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Private investigators using license plate scanners to make their own databases

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  about 8 months ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "I've noticed these cars driving around in Maryland. I've seen the same green Elantra in White Marsh many times. Today I saw one in Cockeysville. I trapped the guy in a private parking lot and asked him a few questions. He would not say who he was or who he was working for other than for a private investigator firm, and that they had 9(!) cars.
He was just driving around all the parking lots he could and the public ones. To me, that is trespassing, but they get to build their database anyway, unrestricted by any law on where or retention time. And who knows for what purpose?"
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Cold fusion, I mean, LENR paper released

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  about a year ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "On May 16th a Arxiv paper was released which describes the testing of a power source orders of magnitude above chemical energies and densities, without any nuclear hazard."
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Why by a Pi I when have a perfectly good cellphone?

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  1 year,24 days

scorp1us (235526) writes "I've been looking into getting a Raspberry Pi, but I end up needing a case, a display, and some way to power it, and wanting some degree of portability. It seems to me that even the most outdated cellphone has far superior features (screen, touch screen, Wifi, 3g/4g camera(s), battery etc) in a much better form factor. (And I have several laying around) The only thing that is missing are the digital/analog in/out pins. So why not flip it around and make a USB or bluetooth peripheral board with just the pins? I've been looking for this and can't find any, but does anyone know of any in the corners of the internet? I don't care what phone platform."
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Coming out of the clouds

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 2 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "With all the hubbub about Google's privacy changes and such, I'd like to take my privacy back. Is there an email and other cloud services provider that provides a ready-made solution for a nominal cost? Horde is nice (email, calendar, etc), but I don't want to have to provide my own server, manage backups etc. I'd also like a solution that provides DropBox-like storage, picture album and a Wiki that I can keep to myself or share with others, and possibly it's own "news feed" for a face-book like status page (it would be cool if if it integrated with facebook and posted my own news to my facebook account — as a link)."
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Social Security Numbers Easier to Predict

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 4 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "Several news agencies are reporting that researchers were able to combine public data and predict a substantial number of people's SSNs, using place of birth and birthdate. Of course, the SSA is downplaying the significance of the report, but one has to wonder with all the work done to ensure random TCP ISNs, why the government is not worried about an 8.5% all-9-digit prediction rate. (It is 44% for the first 5 digits, but the last 4 are commonly used as pins on accounts) Someone should tell the government that with the aid of computers, it is child's play to join the data together."
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SCII missing LAN?

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 4 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "Will you buy SCII without LAN? 1 LAN is not a factor for me 2 Lack of LAN is a deal breaker 3 Battle.net is e good enough for me 4 I'll let Cowboy Neal decide."
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Military's Earth Threat Information Now Classified

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 4 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "According to space.com the information collected my military technologies is now classified."For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere — but no longer. A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bodies and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.""
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Qt4.5 (LGPL) released, QtCreator IDE 1.0 released.

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 5 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "Qt 4.5 was released yesterday! (download)This is the first version that has an LGPL license option. Qt 4.5 contains Qt WebKit Integration, Performance Improvements, Mac OS X Cocoa Support, Windows CE Feature Parity, XML Transformations with XSLT, Qt Script Debugger, OpenDocument File Format Support, Improved Network Proxy Support, Qt Designer Improvements, Qt Linguist Improvements, and Graphics Enhancements. Also QtCreator 1.0, a full-service IDE, was released as well. Shortly before that, the Qt Animation Framework was updated. The animation framework (aka Kintetic) allows transitions between states in the the GUI, and will be integrated in to the core in 4.6, even for graphics items. (Flash watch out!)"
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iPhone Free WiFi is Back

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 5 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "iPhone users used to be able to get free Wifi from ATT hot spots, including Starbucks locations. The service was pulled because of the browser-agent hack. Now the service is being re-launched, this time with a link sent via SMS to the iPhone for the hotspot, valid for 24 hours. Details here"
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scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 7 years ago

scorp1us (235526) writes "My company after cramming 30 people into 3000sq feet, has a new lease on life in a 7700sq foot office (Pun blatantly intended!). We are primarily a 3D animation/software company and we hope to avoid the cube farm design. But with a large open area in the middle, it is the default solution. We would like to know what effective strategies are used at other places that avoid the cube farm, and produce an inspiring, motivating work environment. This location has a split level and 12' ceilings, so it has a lot of potential."

Journals

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scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  about 9 years ago

I've been flamed before for my stance on the taxation issue. I 'd like to take some time to explain it a bit better.

First of all, I was one of you. When I read in "Good to be King" Badnarik's views on the IRS and 16th amendment, I thought there had to be some "creative interpretation" going on. He had a lot of damn nerve to stand up the the IRS and take a position so counter to common belief. So I embarked on what I thought would be a short journey. The goal was to find the creative interpretation or oversight. Weeks into it (spending much of my waking hours outside of work) I came to the realization that there was at least something fishy going on with the IRS, and they were the ones actually guilty of creative interpretation. Suffice to say, I found no oversight or "creative interpretation". This only pissed me off more because I wanted closure, damn it! I then found the book in my sig. It even if you think that the income tax is real (as most people do) it at least shows that your wages are not to be entered on your 1040 form, depsite that employer issued w-2. Same thing goes for the 1099-misc. You can practice what is in the book, even if you think the income tax is real, or even if you think that it is not. What you end up doing is recovering your payroll taxes, which are the majority of taxes paid by most working Americans.

That book was a nice, cheap ($20) read that seems to work with minimal resistance from the IRS. And it got me thinking - and thinking only happens with me when I want answers. But the longer I go without answers, the more I want them. So next, I bought Otto Skinner's books which have a more acedemic focus on the issue. Appearently, in addition to not having your wages be taxed, you are also not liable for the income tax, though the regulations do look that way. After digesting Otto Skinner's books, I can now appreciate the following quotes:

"Your income tax is 100 percent voluntary tax, our
liquor tax is 100 percent enforced tax. Now the situation is as different as day and night. Consequently, your same rules just will not apply." -

William E. Avis, Head, Alcohol, Tobacco Division of IRS

"The responsibility for determining whether or not
you are a person liable, is yours."
-Stephen L. Daige; District Director of New England, August 22, 1997

Such quotes can only arise when someone finds themselves liable absent of a legal liability. In fact, though that know how to properly argue their case usually get dismissed (When the IRS is the plaintiff). The problem is though, that the IRS convinces people to go to a "Tax Court". Such tax courts are only for "taxpayers". The method for getting to the Tax Court is that a "taxpayer" must petition the court. This does several things that the average Joe is not aware of:
* Admit to being a taxpayer (and in doing so admistting a liability)
* Recognizing the court has jurisdiction
* Puts the burden of proof on themselves.

Such a situation spells doom for many who have tried to argue they are not a taxpayer or are not liable. (Incdentally, this is a Circuit court, and you fill find no shortage of pro "income tax" rulings in US Circuit courts)

Indeed the only solution is to go into DISTRICT court and ask for the law/statute that makes you liable. Indeed, there is none. Sections 1,61,60xx and 7xxx all put a tax on "taxable income", establish tax tables, and establish penalties, but none establish a legal liability. the 60xx section has a clause that makes someone pay if there is tax due, but that still is not a legal liabilty.

All of this would be more clear if the 16th amendment hadn't been ratified. Some claim that it never was. But the whole issue is a red herring. (And this why FairTax is just supporting a federal sales tax AND income tax - the FairTax conditions that the 16th amendment will be repealed and "end the income tax" but imagine their surprise when they finally realize that the 16th amendment is irrelevant!) It looks like it does establish an income tax, and it does allow congress to do just that. Congress has done that to some degree, but congress has not established an income tax on individuals. (Back-point: those in HR who allege you have taxable incomes with w-2, w-3s and 1099-miscs are treating you as a legal fiction when it comes to the word "income" - that is why they generate "taxpayer evidence" and usually insist on doing so. They know the company is liable for income taxes, but fail to recognise that "income" from flesh and blood is fundamentally different from a fiction's income.)
When reading the 16th amendment, you must factor in Brushaber vs Union Pacific (Surpreme court, delivered 3 years after the 16th amendment was ratified), which established the nature and interpretation of the 16th amendment. It held that the fundamental powers of taxation originally laid out in the Consitution are indeed still fully in effect and were not modified. (After all the amendment does not say that it "repeals or modifies", so the only other option is to be "in addition to"). Instead the court ruled that the "income tax" was still an excise tax. The definition of excise is a tax on excercising a privilage, and measured by something. No where in the laws does it say what privilage we, flesh and blood people, are engaging in. There are plenty of excise taxes laid, but the only one that does not fit is the "income tax" on individuals. Indeed, one must only ask in district court what privilage is creating the legal liability for him to be liabile for the tax, and the case should be dismissed. Don't worry, you will not be the first to do this. The others that have done this seem get their cases dismissed. You'll never find these cases because they never get flagged for publication. (I wonder why...)

I probably would not be so bold about taking on this issue, but there have been several recent vicoties for the people. There have also been a number of set-backs for the IRS.
March 7 2005 (three weeks ago)
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=03-184
Tax Court documents must be made availible for appeal

AND
two months ago:
http://www.givemeliberty.org/RTPLawsuit/Update2005-01-29.htm
That all "enforcement actions" including petitioning the tax court are voluntary. There is no legal authority to deprive someone of money until district court rules on the issue. Additionally no fines can be assesed for not compling for the administrative proceedures set forth by the IRS.

I hope the above will give you some idea that the "income tax" is at least worth your own look. Today, these issues are more relavant than ever, particulary with the failure of social security in the next 40-80 years. (Regardless of privatization, tax increases and the like, it will become pyramid balancing on its point. with people putting in less than those drawing out.) Using the methods in CtC is the way to protect that money to make sure you will still have it by the time you retire.

PS. One question is why is this happening now in American history. Several things have come together:
* Internet - collaboration and research in microseconds.
* FindLaw?Cornell law library - Court cases and laws online
* Rumors of failing Social Security increase awesess of taxes which we might not get back
* The tax rate has increased to 33% (from 1% when initially enacted) and now eats into our economic development (30yr mortgages instead of 10yr, etc)
* People unhappy with Democratic and Republican parties - many people I know want to pick and choose platform issues from both parties. In this, they may invistigate other parties and see that these two main parties suck more then they have to. Other parties are typically for a much smaller federal government, which means lower federal taxes.

PPS. Why did Donald Duck have to convince people to pay federal income taxes? Shouldn't a law have done that?

PPPS. I get the question "How is the federal government supposed to fund itself?" Well the same way it did up until 1913. Duties, foreigners, treaties. We always operated with an "embarassing surplus" up until we had a federal "income" tax. Don't forget when needed, Congress can apportion taxes to the states for collection.

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scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Part 1 talks about entanglement, matter/animatter and sets up this article. Where we cover what really happened during the BB (Big Bang).

The BB is more of a trasitional event than a birth. It is the cocoon that hatches the transformed universe. Before the BB, we have a state that sums to zero. We have equal amounts of matter and antimatter. We then also have something that is just a number. It is the differnence in decay rates between matter and antimatter. It take up no space, no energy in the scene. It is just like the color of film. It quite litterly translates into a filter of sorts.

The BB is a destabilzation event bewteen the matter and animatter states. Something went wong. I have not thought about it enough to speculate what. Perhaps that will be "Part 3". But we have a destabilzation one the less. The universal center is the point at which this event occured. Immediately at the destabilzation, we have matter and antimatter decaying and giving rise to its anti-equivilent on the other side. Animatter becomes matter, matter becomes animatter. To clarify, they matter that we are was previously antimatter, but was converted to matter at the BB. The reverse is true too. However this conversion was projected on to the universe with a bias for matter. The result is that after the decay we now have an unbalanced univserse - one entirely of matter.

It may be that the BB and the bias are intrinsically tied. Assume temporarily that the bias is 0. We could have been oscilating between matter-antimatter/antimatter-matter universes for some time, until there was a bias, however small, for one over the other.

Lets take a look at what is going on Mathmatically:
Matter+antimatter=0
1+ (-1)=0 (we'll call this m1)
and on the other side of the big bang:
-1+ (1)=0 (we'll call this m2)
We define the BB as f:
m1 -> f -> m2
As long as f is -1, everything remains balanced and m1 can be converted to m2 and back.

This argument is rather mathmatically pointless, since as soon as f changes to be not -1, we can never go back to a previous state. But if we can argue that it went back and forth, then we can argue that there is no god (aside from f) and that the variation of f was natural and not divine. Surely a god would set f once and be right. If he messed up though, there would be a mess on his hands.

Anyway, what is an explosion on one side of the big bang is a sink on the other. Once instability is achevied, space ruptures and suck on from one side to spew out on the other side. The difference is that this time, there is no balance, and no return trip. All the energy availible to the new universe is processed and burst forth into the new universe.

Of course this is a one-time universe. Once the matter-antimatter balance is destroyed, you can never go back. With all the universe spilling through a point in space-time, I should hope that that force is greater than what the force of gravity can muster, particularly once you've converted all your antimatter (and its gravity as well) to energy.

If the universe would ever come back together to a single point in space-time, then you'd just get a black whole that would convert matter to energy and spew that out until it was no longer sustainible. This process may repeat (where the spewed energy forms matter and is sucked back in and becomed fuel) bit eventually the average rate of energy spew will be low enough so that matter cannot be reformed. You'll be left in a universe of little energy and a few remaining bits of matter too useless to do anything. Such a shame. That is the way the universe ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Getting back to the beginning of the universe, we use entanglement to hold the universe in the delicate balance. Without it, forces are developed that are not balanced. Indeed, the matter and antimatter particles could have developed several non-uniform areas. However it would be impossible to have a steady state natually ocur, You'd have to brace the house of cards until you wanted to watch it fall down. If things are entabled, then it makes holding things in balance so much easier. The BB becomes a deliberate event rather then a guarenteed event.

Whatever happened to imbalance things, it was an intrisic part of the 'f' function. There is some chicken-and-egg problem here. Did f get unbalanced, or was an imbalanced date fed into F? The outcome is the same, but in order to get the result that we have today, we can't start in the middle of the conversion. If we did, then both sides would have stable state characteristics and unstable state charaterisitca, but at opposite times. The f conversion would have spewed some stable-state stuff through followed by unstable state stuff. There should then be a layer of stable-state matter and animatter, still stable at the edges of our universe. Perhaps this explains the rate of expansion increase of the universe? The perfectly matched and balanced states would look to be zero. Dark matter and energy? Perhaps. It could also exist in the universe too, though it would be affected by matter, but still in a balanced way.

Hrm... I only meant to explain the big bang. But I found myself explaining before the big bang, after it, debunking the 1-time-universe, the ultimate cold death, and dark matter and energy. And it all comes from the same thing. Pretty eligant. A lot more than I originally thought possible.

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Quantum Enganglement and The Big Bang Part 1

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 9 years ago

On the drive in to work today I was pondering the moments leading up to the big bang. I had been a part rather fruitless discussion a few weeks prior on such matters. However the NASA scientist failed to understand waht I was trying to say (most certainly it was I who was not communicating clearly) and a lay man with no appearent understanding of Linear Algebra. I left the discussion because the lay man had it mind made up (on bad math none the less) and didn't want to be told more. But I and the NASA scientist (who works on Ion Drives) had been arguing the same thing to this guy, so I assume that my shade-tree-scientist skills were somewhat up to snuff.

Revisiting that discussion in my head, along with attempting to understand the basis for quantum entanglement, I hit upon an interesting concept that could possibly add to our understanding of the big bang.

We assume that the big bang came from a point in space, and that all matter exploded from it. The nuances here are subtile. It was more likely that pure energy burst fourth, manifestied it self into matter and anitimatter, then due to unequal decay rates, we wound up with the matter universe that we have today. There may be original cosmic antimatter floating in space in theory, but in practicality, it would be extremely improbable. The magnetic attraction of matter and animatter would have ensured collisions dispite the gentle force of gravity. I am not saying it is impossible, just really, really, really improbable.

Then we have quantum entanglement. A "Spooky interaction at a distance". We know that reguardless of space-time quantum effects are simultaneous and guarenteed between two entangled particles. We have not yet seen entanglement between two different kinds of particles, but I think it is possible. We can entangle two same-kind paricles because both have the same behavior constraints. The time and force that it takes to change spin between to like particles is the same, therefore, entanglement works well.

Consider now entangling animatter with matter. In theory, this should be possible because all pramters are the same, just reversed. Therefore quantum effects are reversed. Changing spin on normal entangled matter flips the other one to the opposite state. In a matter/anti-matter entanglement, the states would flip to the same state. If matter is flipped to 'up', the antimatter particle would flip to anti-'up'. (Deriviatives of that term will surely work into geek card games) Anti-up would then be equivelent to 'down'.

Thus I have devised an explanaion why matter-matter entanglement changes is negated. Originally (before the BB) matter and animatter was held in quantum entagled states. The interesteing side effect of this is that we do not need all the matter (or energy) in the universe to be in close proximity with each other. You could have everything in the universe evenly sitributed in distributed in space. If this is the case, then we can have a before-time of the big bang. And, I would contend that we have time before, during and after the BB. However, the BB is now seen as an event that created the universe as we know it, but no longer is the initial state of the universe.

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scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 9 years ago My tech savy girlfriend (now wife) impressed me while dating with how much about computers she knew. So I asked her: have you eaver heard of Linux? She said "yeah" (brownie points there!) So I asked her what it was... "A program?" she responded. Eh, well it was better than most. I do some consulting for friends, they don't know where the BIOS ends and the OS begins. THey don't know that there is this notion of an "operating system" which runs "programs". Instead they see it more as an embedded device. It works or doesn't work well or is broken. I don't know how many dozens of computer have been puchased by single individuals that were bought just to fix a software problem. Which brings me to my idea of today. I don't claim to be the first to have it but here it goes: A single-function CD of a full linux system that does ONE function. We'll call it an "application CD". It'll be a live CD, but for only a few purposes. The idea is you give it out to everyone. Each does its own special function. But people get to see Linux and what it can do. I specifically need one to normalize My FLAC files, and encode them to MP3. I figure this would be easy to do with FOSS. Start with a live CD and put into the desktop startup a mini GUI that allows them to perform the task they want. It mounts your local drives, and does what you ask. All they have to know is to put the CD in and reboot. That will accomplish several things:

  • Introduce 'Linux' and show then that Windows is not the only choice.
  • Show them what "Linux" is like (in reality KDE or GNOME)
  • Allow then to test out their hardware compatibilty under Linux.
  • Perform a function for free - in wondow's they'd need to probably buy something.

So it is a live CD, and has all the features as such. There is nothing to say that they can't close default application (in this case a button panel and a few dialogs to automate my FLAC/MP3 operations) and use it as a regualr desktop. But you get a targeted purpose. You get to slip Linux into their experience like spyware slips into "free" windows' downloads. Aside from the rebooting you'll have a product any user will love.

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Blame Monkey Corp

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 10 years ago

A lot of objection to OSS in the workplace rests on the community support aspect. While I find community support to be superior to commercial support, businesses still like to have a blame monkey. (This is the ??? in the step before "4) and Profit" open source business scheme)

Here's my idea. Create a company that is the blame monkey. There's some bug in KDE. A company needs it fixed. Call Blame Monkey Corp (BMC). Pay them what's you'd pay for the software to start your account. Describe the bug to them. Blame Monkey Corp finds a code money and says 'get it fixed'. BMC appoints you (the code monkey) as bug master - it's up to you to get it fixed. They exchange contact info betweent he money and the company. When the bug is resolved, the monkey submits the patch to the appropriate vendor, and patches the customer's computer. Then BMC awards a portion of the support licence to you. Some of it is kept for BMC operating expenses, pay the BMC managers, and to pay idle blame monkeys for new adding new features.

Companies buy support licenses (entitlements) for the applications they select. These are non-refunable fees. I expect most to go unused. You can't buy a license then ask for a feature and expect it to get done - only bugs. But you can submit feature requests for idle code monkeys. BMC coordinates resources and is responsible for distrbuting money to the monkeys. No payout is done if someone not in that BMC does not fix the problem.

One BMC should be enough, but there is a possibilty for many. BMCs can compete with each other on support fees, response times and monkey pay-out rates. They can also pre-release new features to clients before the patches make it out to a release. One BMC might pride itself on features, another short resolution times. Another might be damn cheap.

This would fix that there's only community support and no one to blame situation that companies are so leary of.

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Out of Band: Why technology is making life harder

scorp1us scorp1us writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I will now sum up a 4-year computer science degree in 1 sentence: Find the pattern, model it in code. Those who do that stand to benefit enormously.

Computers are very logical, proceedural machines. All the programming is modeling of a process that was once done by a person. Since the proceedure was very definable, with well-defind conflict resolution, these proceedures made good canidates for computer adaptation.

Over the years, more and more things were adapted tot he computer. It has a very accurate math processor, so those apps were done first. Plus there are only a few operations you can do with numbers. Then it was abtracted to objects with well-defined behaviors. This allowed for even morethings to be modeled.

As more and more things were modeled, the computer was doing intelectual grunt work faster, cheaper and more accurately than the people could. Since most people get bored easily, after some inital worries, most people began welcoming computers as labor and error saving devices.

What this did was very quietly and smoothly transition us to handle everythign the computer can't. We don't like proceedure, but we are intelligent - so we can handle the things that don't fit in a computer well. And indeed that is what we do.

Computers and algorithms are ubiquous enough now such that people are just glue code between computer systems. Someone somewhere has to handle a problem that the computer can't. It has to defer to us on how to handle a situation. We after all, know control our world, we care about what goes on. It is us t hat has the wants and needs we programmed the computers to support.

So we have a human handle these "Out of Band" issues. Usually the resolution of these issues ends up in the hands of a person, who doctors it or does what the machine can't yet do, but whatever it is, it's a handling of the exception. Then it's remolded and untered back into the computer.

So we have a food chain with people at the top and a lot of people in the middle. The people at the top start a chain reaction that ripples down. Like a sensory nerve cell firing in a central nervous system. The signal ripples through the nerves, goes to many places, before finding it's ending spot. An exmple is paying bills online. You initialte a transfer, the change ripples through your bank's computer, to another bank's and possibly a third banks. 'Money' ends up changing hands. If anything goes wrong, the computers try to handle it, but failing that, someone of flesh and blood handles it. It could be that the middle bank dropped the transfer. Someone at that back will use a program to start it back up again when you call to complain that it didn't get done.

So we are both at the top and in the middle. A few of us are at the bottom, but er are never peers int he system. People can be peers, but machines are always following our commands, or giving us commands to follow. There is no one that works along side a computer.

Software developers come closest to peers. They know wha tthe computer can and can't do. They make many decisions on how to tructure the program, its input and output and define it's involvement. But for the most part developers are at the top, though they may make decisions due to cimputer implementation details.

So we have effectively managed to produce a system there the monotomy is handled exclusively by computers. Which leaves us to fight the fires that they can't handle. That's why life seems more frantic than ever. They blast along until there's a problem, then it all stops. We bust our butts to resolve it quickly so the computer can get to the next problem. The problem is it can find the next one before we can rest.

It's only going to get worse my friends. Computers will only get faster, finding problems for us to solve faster, and the easiest resolutions will be coded in, leaveing only the hard problems for us to solve.

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