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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

silentcoder Re:Negative mass- not antimatter, but odd (213 comments)

>On the other hand, if the +apple runs into a brick wall at several km/sec, itâ(TM)s going to make a fair-sized hole. Where did the energy to break the bricks come from? You donâ(TM)t expect the wall to reform as the â"apple deals it a second blow, do you?

Nope, nothing of the kind, at most I would expect the bricks it knocks lose to land a tiny bit further away.
The +apple hits, transferring kinetic energy to the wall (it had to have a lot if it was moving at several km/h as in your hypotheses) - which knocks the bricks out and makes the hole.

Now what happens when the -apple hits depends on what the nature of the particle's are, more specifically whether they obey the Pauli exclusion principle. If not, it passes straight through the wall without breaking it at all (though the repelling between the particles as it passes through might cause some micro-cracks). This is the prevailing theory.
If it does obey the exclusion principle - then you have energy transfer just like with the +apple, and the +bricks move WITH the energy regardless of the source, so the bricks fall in the same direction - however because as they are knocked out they are ALSO repelled by the -apple's negative mass, they fall a few microns further than when the +apple hit.

At least, that's my understanding. I am not a physicist, just a fan of physics.

4 days ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

silentcoder Re:Negative mass- not antimatter, but odd (213 comments)

If it exists, we can do something so much better - we can build Alcubiere Drives - that is, the real version of what Star Trek called "Warp Drives".

(This reference is not accidental - Star Trek inspired Alcubiere's research as he himself pointed out in an e-mail to Shatner - he wanted to test if Star Trek's loophole was really possible, and he found out it is at least theoretically possible, but only if negative mass exists).

4 days ago
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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

silentcoder Re:November? (148 comments)

>As it should be. We need fewer laws, not more of them.

While I agree with the general principle you DO need enough of a functioning system to be able to actually pass the good laws and revoke the bad ones.
A government that cannot get either done at all (which is what the US has today) is nothing but a massive and worthless expense.

As an anarchist the system I favour would make new laws much easier to suggest and pass than any govenrment but, with a much greater level of oversight (since everybody votes on every proposed law) and by removing politicians you make corruption far more difficult and oligarchy all but impossible.
On the other hand - libertarians generally hate the idea because they know that an anarchism is likely to be stronger welfare state with the sensible ideas from socialism in place and the bad ones ignored (or rapidly revoked) instead of their "unregulate everything" madness. A small government gives you all the downsides of a government with none of the potential benefits.
No government or big government are both better ideas (actually - I would argue that no government is the biggest government of them all - since now EVERYBODY is part of the government).

5 days ago
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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

silentcoder Re:This will die in the senate (148 comments)

So, considering that the average person is still paying in almost 4 times as long as they are gaining, there should be no reason why this cannot be solved.

5 days ago
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US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

silentcoder Re:This will die in the senate (148 comments)

On the other hand - that should pretty much destroy your unemployment worries, since you'll have more retirees than new entrants - looking for work should become a seller's market (which I consider the ideal economic situation) - where wages once again rise, benefits are stronger and quality-of-life over-all goes up tremendously for the entire population. The happiest and wealthiest nations are the ones where for each job-seeker you have several companies competing for their services, trying to outbid one another to get you to work for them.

5 days ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

silentcoder Re: A win for freedom (1330 comments)

>How would you resolve this in law? I'm assuming you want to allow this guy not to make a cake for the KKK, but wouldn't want him to be allowed to put up a sign saying "no disabled" or "no whites" in his shop. Or are you saying you would just let people arbitrarily discriminate on the grounds of personal bigotry?

Actually - much as I despise the KKK I would say the real matter comes down to the cake. If it's just a plain cake with no symbols or anything- then he SHOULD have to bake it, he may dislike their beliefs but the mere fact that they would consider coming to him proves they can't be all that sincere in them to begin with. He can't deny little Timmy a birthday cake because he thinks Timmy's dad may belong to the Klan.
On the other hand if it's a Swastika Cake with the letters "KKK" on it he can freely refuse to bake it.

There is no discrimination involved in that at all - he is simply choosing not to sell a particular product, that's no more discrimination than Herbalife having qualms about selling heroine.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

silentcoder Re:A win for freedom (1330 comments)

It's not your money.
Health insurance is a benefit- that makes it the EMPLOYEE'S money -to spend as THEY see fit.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

silentcoder Re:A win for freedom (1330 comments)

And what about that same right for workers ? Should employers be able to mandate what religion their workers ascribe to ?
If not, then they also do not get to mandate which religious morals their workers have to obey on their own time.
And that means- their right to religious freedom on contraception ENDS at whether THEY (the employers) USE it. They get ZERO say in whether anybody else does, OR how said people obtain it.

Your freedom ENDS where mine begins. My sex life is none of my employer's business, nor is what contraception I use or do no use. They have no right to know it, and any opinions they have on it they can keep to themselves since they have no right to enforce those opinions on me.

about three weeks ago
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Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

silentcoder Re:Uh... Yeah? (242 comments)

Didn't you DO that already ?
Or have you forgotten Abu Ghraib already...

about three weeks ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

silentcoder I don't really see what the big deal is (281 comments)

He didn't actually do anything different to what every OTHER banker does every day...

about a month ago
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Understanding the 2 Billion-Year-Old Natural Nuclear Reactor In W Africa

silentcoder Re:How low can you go?(power density) (152 comments)

>If it's not testable, then by definition it is not science.

I said it's HARD to test, I didn't say it's impossible.
The REASON it's hard to test is because it's a theory about what may have happened billions of years ago - and billion year old samples are kind of rare. The big bang theory was hard to test for the same reasons and took decades to become accepted - back in the 1960's it was laughed of as glorified creationism.

The whole point is to test the theory because this IS a 2 billion year old sample.

about 3 months ago
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Understanding the 2 Billion-Year-Old Natural Nuclear Reactor In W Africa

silentcoder Re:How low can you go?(power density) (152 comments)

>What bollocks. I think the actual question to ask is how it's possible to create the conditions for an very large (the size of the mine)and extremely low density (the concentration of natural ore) nuclear reactor.

No bollocks involved - those laws depend on the fundamental constants. Scientists have speculated for decades about the possibility that these may have been slightly different in the distant past - and thus the laws of physics would not be exactly the same.

This is quite controversial, mavericky science because it's very hard to test - but it's actually become less so in the past 20 years or so because some evidence from astronomy (in particular the cosmic background radiation) is suggesting that they may have been slightly different in the very early days of the universe.
Oklo offers a chance to look more recently (on a universal scale) but still a long time ago - 2 billion years, about half the lifetime of the planet.

If there had been subtle and slight changes over the years - then 2 billion years ago should be enough to detect some - much smaller even than what cosmic radiation data has hinted at, but on the same line (that said there are other theories that could explain the radiation data - the question is unanswered at the moment since none of them have any other supporting evidence yet either).

Now there's no proof the fundamental constants have changed at all since the big bang, but there's no proof they haven't. For most physics it's perfectly adequate to assume they have always been constant, but if they weren't and we could determine that, it would change a lot of our understanding of physics - particularly the physics of the early universe.
By factoring in those different values we could possibly explain a lot of the other things which currently remain open questions.

So while it's unlikely - it's nevertheless and most decidedly NOT bollocks. It's maverick science for sure - but it's still science and still done according to the scientific method. If it yields results those results will be greatly valuable.
Just because there's a 99.999% chance your theory is a dead end, doesn't mean it's not proper science to damn well test it and make sure.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft, Google, Others Join To Fund Open Source Infrastructure Upgrades

silentcoder Re:The new nicey nicey Microsoft.... (101 comments)

"Do not trust the money, Geeks. Whatever it is, I fear the Redmondians even when they bring gifts."

about 3 months ago
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The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

silentcoder Re:A foretaste... (89 comments)

Don't be so sure, we think of history as the big things politicians, generals and kings do - but historians tend not to care much about those, if only because they are already as well documented as they are going to be.
Generally historians are more interested in the end in how ordinary people LIVED at that time.

One of the most valuable archeological digs ever found from the Roman occupation in Britain was an old trash-heap, because on it we found lots of things which were thrown away as worthless then - but because of that were valuable now as they hadn't been preserved through the usual channels. We found a letter sent from Rome to the wife of a Roman soldier telling stories of what the family has been up to. We found an early forerunner of the ipad (a wax covered slab on which you could scribble notes with a stylus, a quick heat-up let you smooth out the scribbles and reuse it).

Some of the most insightful pictures we have of more recent events like the American Civil War or the Anglo-Boer war were pictures no newspaper would publish - family pictures which show what the fashions were for example.

The point is - there is absolutely no way of predicting upfront what will have historical value someday, and the things we tend to assume will have none have a tendency to become the most valuable EXACTLY BECAUSE it was NOT valued at the time and this means that to future historians - those will be rare finds.

about 3 months ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

silentcoder Re:That micro-floppy (276 comments)

>I think the progression was something like: PCMCIA->CF->MMC->SD, and USB Flash (and other stuff like Sony's MemoryStick) branched off around the same time as MMC.

It's possible that this was a South African magazine - at the time laptops (and thus PCMCIA ports) were pretty much the exclusive terain of executives here - normal folk (even in companies) had desktops.

I do remember that the article itself concluded that the most likely winner was going to be JAZ Zipdrives... instead they died a quiet death not long after.

about 3 months ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

silentcoder Re:That micro-floppy (276 comments)

> signposts the idea of miniature storage.

Indeed, it is still the standard icon for "Save file to disk" almost 2 decades since the most likely disk destination became "the hard drive".

I remember back in 1998/1999 somewhere one computer magazine ran an article on "what will replace the floppy disk" ? Many ideas were touted, in subsequent letters most readers were betting the farm on ever-cheaper and faster rewriteable optical media as cd-burners got cheaper too.
Nobody saw the USB flask coming until it was upon us - let alone it's more recent offspring like the MicroSD.

about 3 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

silentcoder Re:Why do people listen to her? (588 comments)

Not to mention:
*Measles is fatal in a significant minority of cases - an immune herd rules out those cases being exposed before vaccination.
*The people most likely to have side effects from vaccination are the ones who also need it most - they are the people who will DIE if they get the REAL thing.

about 3 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

silentcoder Fine (588 comments)

You're not anti-vaccine... you're just pro-infectious-disease.

about 3 months ago
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

silentcoder Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

Nobody uses wetnurses of either sex anymore, I was being facetious.

You don't think maybe you should let their MOTHER do that ??!

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Lucasfilm threatens company for making lasers.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  about 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Lucasfilm has sent a cease and desist letter to the poducers of a powerful hand-held laser device meant primarily for industrial work claiming it resembles the lightsabers from the copyrighted Star Wars films too much. The manufactuers, Hong-Kong based Wicked Lasers, deny any correlation between their product and the lightsabers in the films. An interesting side question arises however: can a company owning the idea for a fictional technology later prevent somebody from creating a real product even if is directly inspired ? Would Steven Spielberg be able to stop anybody from making a time-machine in an automobile? Will Lucasfilm be going after the Martin Aircraft Company next because Boba Fett had a jetpack ?"
Link to Original Source
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New dinosaur species discovered in South Africa

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Scientists at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa today announced the discover of a previously unknown species of dinosaur. The new species was named Aardonyx Celestae from the Afrikaans word for "earth" and the Greek for claw,. Earthclaw which is particularly interesting as it provides a crucial link between the early dinosaurs and the later giant Sauropods was discovered during a routine dig on a farm the northern FreeState (South-Africa's most central province). Two other species were discovered on the same site, but their announcement will only happen later after further laboratory testing has been done."
Link to Original Source
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The first Kongoni Screenshots ever

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder writes "With their first public release just days away, the kongoni project a GNU/Linux distribution originated in Africa and designed to be a fully-free desktop-friendly system on a BSD-like architecture lead developer A.J. Venter has released a full set of screenshots showing the "baseline" release in action. The baseline is intended to provide common platform for the further development of the system and as such represents a new approach to the development of a community distribution. It allows all potential contributors to work on a common installable platform without huge investments in server and bandwidth infrastructure.

The official release anouncement is expected within days."

Link to Original Source
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KDE releases version 4.1.1

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

silentcoder writes "The KDE project announced the first major update to KDE4.1 today. Version 4.1.1's changelog is largely focussed on performance improvements and bugfixes. The desktop shell, plasma, had numerous improvements in this regard which should be the most immediately user-visible.

With each KDE4 release the project seems to be edging closer to true next-generation desktop that was promised and despite the initial 4.0 controversy is becoming ever more widely adoptable. The particular focus on performance improvements are especially telling of a renewed commitment to giving users what they want."

Link to Original Source
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Office2007 fails ISO 29500 compliancy tests.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

silentcoder writes "Groklaw picked up the story that OOXML documents created with Office 2007 do not actually conform to the OOXML standard as it was approved for ISO 29500. After a much criticized voting process, extensively discussed on /. and elsewhere one major point seems to have been overlooked by the ISO members: the fast track process is only for standards that are already implemented. Since Office 2007 is not in fact capable of creating OOXML documents that conform to the published standard where is this implementation ?
Much more details on the nature of the failures, who did the tests and it's further meaning for the industry (right back to square one: playing catch-up forever) in the article."

Link to Original Source

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