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The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

sjwaste Re:Crazy Parakeet Man (259 comments)

That escalated quickly.

about 4 months ago
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Architecture Firm and ESA To 3D Print Building On the Moon

sjwaste Re:PC Load letter (113 comments)

I'm no lunar expert, and to the best of my knowledge concrete comes in bags. That said, how prevalent are the right materials to mix concrete right on the lunar surface? I mean, besides the water.

about 2 years ago
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Architecture Firm and ESA To 3D Print Building On the Moon

sjwaste Re:PC Load letter (113 comments)

Might run into Daneel down there.

about 2 years ago
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Maine Senator Wants Independent Study of TSA's Body Scanners

sjwaste Re:In related news... (335 comments)

I just flew out of PWM this weekend. I saw the new EHF scanner but didn't see it in use at all. I wouldn't be shocked if they never even turn the thing on at PWM. I'm also much more okay with the millimeter wave machines than x-ray backscatter. Non-ionizing radiation, but I would like to see a proper study on the effects of whatever dose of EHF that emits on people.

more than 2 years ago
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Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor To Governments

sjwaste Re:... well that's one reason open source is super (582 comments)

A personal anecdote: my open source theft recovery package for Macs has several thousand users. All of the source (with comments) is bundled with the installer, yet I often get questions from users about what the program does "under the hood", when they could easily learn the answer themselves by reading the source code.

I was with you until you said "easily" figure out what was going on under the hood by reading the source. Easy for you? Yes, you wrote it. Easy for me? In most cases, unless it's a really ridiculous source tree. Easy for the average user? You're giving the average person on the internet too much credit! :)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

sjwaste Re:What do you really want to do ? (358 comments)

Your guess is pretty much correct. You and others have suggested MTW, so I'm going to get a hold of that as soon as this damn hurricane passes. Thanks!

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

sjwaste Re:A question borne of helplessness... (358 comments)

That's a little unfair, I think. I'm asking for help in becoming an "armchair physicist" if you will, not a PhD. I want to get through the material and learn it to better my own understanding, not to master it and get into research. It's not as though I didn't google the subject, but if you went with that approach for a complex subject that you didn't already understand, you'd realize it's hard to know which path provides any sort of focus for what you want to understand. For instance, if you have a small company that needs to raise cash and want to know the details of American Securities Law, you might google it and get a little overwhelmed with the overlap of the states' Blue Sky laws, Exchange Act, etc. I, on the other hand, could pare the list down to what you might need to research to understand how to issue stock for your small, closely held corporation. It's a good intermediate step to have an expert filter your reading list, after all.

It's easy to call me lazy if you know the material and I don't, because you can look at what's out there and sort the material into "important," "good to know" and "discard" lists.

The real question is, did you really want me to actually put what I've already read and have queued up to read in the submission? I suppose I could have done that, but I've gotten some succinct responses already that suggest a totally different path than I've already started down. Maybe I wouldn't have received such good information otherwise.

In any case, I do appreciate the folks that have responded constructively. I'm lazy but I'm not that bad. Jeez.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

sjwaste Re:Bing is your friend. (358 comments)

but... but... I googled! I swear. Thanks for the link!

more than 2 years ago
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Math curriculum to understand General Relativity

sjwaste Re:5 steps method (3 comments)

Thanks for responding. It was the order of things that probably confused me the most, so I'l give vector/matrix math a shot and then try to work through Newtonian physics. I've had a course in Newtonian physics, but it wasn't calculus-based, so that probably didn't teach me anything other than an overview of the concepts.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Voice Teams Up With Sprint

sjwaste Re:Shit Sandwich (115 comments)

The review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two word review which simply read "Shit Sandwich". They cant print that!

more than 3 years ago
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In Virginia, Delivering Broadband To the Customers Big Telecom Forgot

sjwaste Re:Artificial scarcity (127 comments)

Not to nitpick, but if you tell someone in Fauquier County that they're not in "NoVA" they get mad! I went to college in Harrisonburg, and even they self-identify with the Northern bit. So be careful. I'm a NJ native, so nobody likes me anyway.

I don't know that I'd dump FiOS for a wireless ISP. I could do that now - there's a Clear tower like half a mile from my house. FiOS has been 100% reliable over the 2 years that I've had it here. Not an outage (literally, not one).

I'm a Virginia-barred lawyer (although not practicing right now, working for "the man" instead). VA is very business-friendly, but I'd still have a hard time seeing a suit get off the ground against this guy. Then again, I'm pretty ignorant in regulatory/telecom.

more than 3 years ago
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Safari/MacBook First To Fall At Pwn2Own 2011

sjwaste Re:Simple (492 comments)

It's not like Apple is pursuing DRM and anti-tamper for a blind purpose. Their goal is to create a positive experience for the average user, free of the shit that "Windows People" complain about. Part of that strategy is to reduce malware by certifying software, maintaining quality by screening applications, and so on. They also have minimized the UI into what is commonly used, and either eliminating or burying the rest. It makes sense for people that aren't you or me.

I happen to like my Macbook. The battery life is ridiculous, and the OS is not locked down. I can do whatever the hell I want with it, with everything that's hiding under the hood. But at the same time, I could hand this to my parents, my sister, anyone else and they'd figure out how to use it.

Apple designs products for the majority. Hobbyists, tinkerers and geeks are a small minority. It's been a great business decision if you look at their stock price. I don't get why a lot of people here just don't understand that. Being a geek doesn't excuse you from having an understanding of basic business principles, at least not if you want to engage in some sort of discussion that touches upon that. If you don't want to buy Apple products because you do not wish to pay a premium for a streamlined experience packaged in a shiny wrapper, that's fine, but please don't assert that your way is the right way. Clearly, Apple has carved out a niche in the market for the experience that they market. And I'm not even talking about the "feeling cool because of the Apple logo" experience. I'm talking about the streamlining and ease of use. I'd give this shit to my grandmother. Turns out, Ubuntu might be too complicated for her.

more than 3 years ago
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New Hampshire Begins Open-Data Efforts

sjwaste Re:Small government? (164 comments)

Yeah, let's think about this. New Hampshire secedes, having infrastructure of its own. You know what happens next? Quebec. Now you have the lovable Habitants all riled up, seceding from the rest of Canada, and occupying a not insignificant stretch of land between Ontario and New Brunswick... and a border with New Hampshire. You see where this is going, right? Quebec, full of angry French (that the actual French don't actually like)? Now, I'm not talking about their inconvenient shipping lanes. They don't care about that, so they have no use for the stretch of land from Portsmouth to Seabrook. Get your head in the game.

The GAME. Those assholes have been looking for something, anything, to bring back to Quebec City for years. And you know what? If New Hampshire secedes, the Quebecois are coming. They're marching straight down the I-93, trashing Concord, and laying over in Manchester. The airport? Nope. The Manchester Monarchs. Bingo. Is the Republic of New Hampshire prepared to defend the Monarchs franchise? I think not, and now you have the best AHL action this side of Glens Falls going up North to the Democratic People's Republic of Quebec. Now you've fucking done it.

So the Monarchs are gone, and we've been driven back into Northeast Delta Dental Stadium - if it's even called that, since a fine organization like Delta Dental might not want to do business with a brand new foreign country. After all, we'd have no credit rating. Anyway, the Monarchs are gone and our problems are just beginning. After all, the LA Kings franchise trusted us to develop and guard that team. Implicitly, we agreed that their AHL affiliate would not just up and go to Quebec. And LA has a lot of firepower, as well as the ability to overwhelm us in other ways - Anze Kopitar, Paris Hilton, gangs whose names with which I am not familiar.

So New Hampshire wants to secede, huh? Are you willing to risk Quebec becoming independent, stealing the Manchester Monarchs, and triggering war with LA over that? I thought not. The Fisher Cats just aren't that good.

more than 3 years ago
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Full-Body Scanners Deployed In Street-Roving Vans

sjwaste Re:Ok, honestly? (312 comments)

My wife brought this up on our ride home yesterday, when we saw two officers get on our metro car. Basically said, we're not protected at all against people dressing up like cops and bringing a gun onto the metro.

My simplest explanation is this: We focus our resources on stopping groups from planning attacks. We basically have to write off the risk of a crazy loner acting alone. You're right, it is easy to buy a gun, bring it into a stadium/subway car/whatever, and start shooting. If someone wants to do that, there is very little to stop them. Our security counts on the idea that someone looking to do that is going to tell or tip someone in some way, or is already a strange enough character that friends/family have reported his/her behavior, or that if they're really serious they'll try to bring someone else in. Once communication starts, detection becomes much more likely. Someone would truly have to act alone. Otherwise, yes, it seems pretty easy.

Now outside of a few isolated incidents, how many terrorist attacks of this nature occur? Very few. It's mostly a group, or at least a few loosely organized individuals. So with the limited resources available for counter-terror, we probably need to cross our fingers and discount the former, focusing on the latter.

You definitely can't stop a true loner acting alone - especially one that does not fear for his own life.

more than 3 years ago
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Full-Body Scanners Deployed In Street-Roving Vans

sjwaste Re:If it violates an amendment (312 comments)

Not to mention, Kyllo probably does not apply at border checkpoints. From the perspective of your constitutional rights, as my crim law prof always hammered home, border checkpoints are different.

I have absolutely no problem with using this technology at our borders, scanning cars parked on the departures curb at the airport, etc. I wouldn't want it roving through my neighborhood, though, and it probably won't because good luck prosecuting anything uncovered by this under normal circumstances (i.e. where Kyllo applies).

more than 3 years ago
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iPhone Users Angry Over AT&T Upgrade Policy

sjwaste Re:BooHoo (789 comments)

So do what many did when we switched to SERO from another Sprint/Nextel account -- if AT&T cannot or will not port the number to the new phone/contract, buy a cheap prepaid phone at 7-11, port the number there, cancel AT&T, then open the new contract and port the number back. Probably a $20 expense, totally worth it to keep your phone number. Gotta get creative here, folks.

more than 5 years ago
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Strings Link the Ultra-Cold With the Super-Hot

sjwaste Re:Hang on (236 comments)

I want some of whatever's in your PVC hyperpipe. Seriously, though, that's a pretty good explanation. I still don't fully understand it, and I've read as much as I can handle on the subject, but it's a good analogy that I haven't seen before.

more than 5 years ago
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Appeals Court Stays RIAA Subpoena

sjwaste Re:This could be big (78 comments)

Mr. Beckerman: I'm a law student (graduating this year, economy be damned). I still cant figure out how exactly the Doe D's are able to respond if the initial pleading doesn't identify them. Is it up to the service provider to pass through notice to the Does? Once a Doe receives notice, assuming he does before default judgment is entered, how does the Doe respond without identifying himself or entering an "appearance" and basically waiving jurisdiction? I'm sure I'm missing something procedurally here, hope you can point me in the right direction.

more than 5 years ago
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Palm Pulls the Plug On Palm OS

sjwaste Re:RIP My Friend (300 comments)

I haven't tried to contact the person on the tag, I should send a letter just to see. I suppose I can write it in Italian, 1 in 4 shot they can read it :) I've seen a few (on the internet, not in person) with diopters. It looks like that setup gets around the awkwardness of mounting a scope with the bolt positioned how it is. I'd love to get a set of those sometime, and maybe for ammo to drop below 50c a round. It's such a shame, it's by far the most fun rifle I've operated, yet so expensive to take out for the day. I'm with you, I love taking it apart to clean it, just because it's so well built. I still can't believe I paid $100 even for it. I'd love to get another, but they're hard to find anymore.

more than 5 years ago
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Palm Pulls the Plug On Palm OS

sjwaste Re:RIP My Friend (300 comments)

I take you own a good ol' K-31? Did yours come with a troop tag? I got lucky on that.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Math curriculum to understand General Relativity

sjwaste sjwaste writes  |  more than 3 years ago

sjwaste writes "Slashdot posts a fair number of physics stories. Many of us, myself included, don't have the background to understand them. So I'd like to ask the Slashdot math/physics community to construct a curriculum that gets me, an average college grad with two semesters of chemistry, one of calculus, and maybe 2-3 applied statistics courses all the way to understanding the mathematics of general relativity. What would I need to learn, in what order, and what texts should I use? Before I get killed here, I know this isn't a weekend project, but it seems like it could be fun to do in my spare time for the next... decade."

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