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"Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

slew Re:That's a lot of lifetimes (50 comments)

Sort of. Haley's comet only comes around every 75 years, so for most of us that's a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

However, there are oodles of asteroids and comets out there, so in general you will have plenty of opportunities in your lifetime to see some. So feel free to get some sleep tonight if you need to.

AFAIK, these things don't happen too often. The next big asteroid viewing opportunity is likely to be in 2027 when 1999-AN10 makes a near pass (and should be brighter than 2004-BL86). Although asteroid 2004-BL86 will revisit our neighborhood in 2050, it won't be as close as it will be tonight for another 200 years...

5 hours ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

slew Re:Good news (418 comments)

... Voyager > Enterprise

3 days ago
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Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

slew Re:Plot synopsis (136 comments)

You forgot the plot point where Kirk seduces and makes love to some sexy 80's icon girl, creating a time paradox baby that grows up and can be used in #14.

Key scene in #14: Daughter confronts Kirk (his father) and, as the camera is zoomed close up to her face, Kaley Cuoco screams "DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD"

FTFY... Wouldn't be the first time a movie was inspired by a cheezy advert...

4 days ago
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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

slew Re:Mental note: (180 comments)

Mental note: When establishing a questionably legal site for definitely illegal transactions to be made through, don't keep any logs about it, nor your conversations regarding it.

Observation: if you have a big enough ego to think you can create such a questionable site and get away with it, you have probably can't stop yourself from feeling invincible in whatever you do and dismiss any possibility that your logs will get compromised *ever*. Conversely, if have enough doubt about the eventual security of your logs in the event you might eventually get caught, you probably don't have the balls to go through with it in the first place...

4 days ago
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Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

slew Re:Poor delusional old man (190 comments)

The U.S. patent law is federal law.

(Federal) Patent law does not address the ownership question, it simply grants patent rights to who the owner is. The actual ownership is an issue of contract law (or more specifically the imputed contract of employment between employer and employee). Although there are some federal legal issues in employment contracting (e.g., EEOC, minimum wage, working conditions, etc), most of the legal aspects of employment contract law is set by the states (e.g,. right to work, living wage, etc) and local rules which further restrict the federal rules. AFAIK, when patent ownership issues arise in federal courts, they are obliged to look at the applicable state statutes to make the ownership determination.

For example, in California (where silicon valley is), California Labor Code Section 2870 specifically prohibits employers from co-opting inventions made by employees except those made for hire.

2870. (a) Any provision in an employment agreement which provides that an employee shall assign, or offer to assign, any of his or her rights in an invention to his or her employer shall not apply to an invention that the employee developed entirely on his or her own time without using the employer's equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade secret information except for those inventions that either:
      (1) Relate at the time of conception or reduction to practice of the invention to the employer's business, or actual or demonstrably
anticipated research or development of the employer; or
      (2) Result from any work performed by the employee for the employer.
      (b) To the extent a provision in an employment agreement purports to require an employee to assign an invention otherwise excluded from being required to be assigned under subdivision (a), the provision is against the public policy of this state and is unenforceable .

Other states (e.g., Texas) have different laws that favor the employer. This is likely one of the many reasons a large amount of entrepreneurial economic activity has continued to exist around Silicon valley and not elsewhere in the USA despite the high cost of doing business in the state. Another provision that helps Californai is the prohibition of generic non-compete clauses (which sadly is a real problem in other potential hi-tech areas such as Canada).

about a week ago
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Google Pondering $1 Billion Investment In SpaceX's Satellite Internet

slew Re:PayPal Fees (100 comments)

$1 Billion usually can move with the help of the US Treasury Bank... every real bank has a large supply of money there, destroyed and waiting to be reprinted.

Okaaaay... Now, what planet did you say you were from again? ;^)

On the odd chance you were attempting to be serious, you probably are thinking about electronic transactions through FedWire or CHIPS (the industrial strength versions of ACH and EFT). The US Treasury doesn't move any money around for anyone but itself, nor does any bank actually reprint money that is transferred...

However, it is unlikely that these would be used for a simple equity transaction like this. More likely you would see such a transaction clear through DTCC, although with a private company like SpaceX, there may be other simpler arrangements...

about a week ago
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Astronomers Record Mystery Radio Signals From 5.5 Billion Light Years Away

slew Re:Galactic Fracking (121 comments)

Or maybe say this radio signal was bait/chum and we (or perhaps our planet) are the game in someone else's sport.

Apparently nobody has a clue about these so called FRBs, so nobody can prove us wrong ;^)

On the other hand it appears that these signals are pulse compressed a bit by some kind of intergalactic dispersive media (electron gas?) so if someone was actually looking for some thing in the intergalactic void, this is a pretty plausible analogy to deep seismic sounding the cosmos...

about a week ago
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Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

slew Re:More people should be serious about this (136 comments)

It's not like drug-resistant bacteria are going to rise up and kill us all at once some day in a weird, snotty epidemic...

Actually, it may be like that... tuberculosis and pneumonia are quite capable in ravaging through our population if unchecked.

In the years right before the wide availability of antibiotics in the US (1930's), just these two bacterial infections were responsible about 20% of all deaths in the US (not including other bacterial infections). If you've seen someone suffering TB, perhaps it might be considered your weird snotty epidemic...

Also, those mushroom-based antibiotics aren't the ones of last resort. The nasty antibiotics with all the nasty side-effects are the modern ones (that are basically injectable pesticides that doctors often hold back as last resort). If we don't clean up our act we might be going back to something more akin to a pre-anti-biotic Victorian era with people dying of consumption (not some quaint 60's ampicillin pill-poping rehash).

about a week ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

slew And then there was canadian football (779 comments)

Then there is Canadian Football which has two "50-yard" lines resulting in a 110 yard playing field + two 20 yard end zones being 150 yards.

This, of course, is a result of Canada being a metric nation ;^)

But when you say football field, many folks think of a 100-110m FIFA compliant field which is just about matches American football field + endzones which seems to make some sense. On the other hand, I don't have any idea what the Canadians were thinking, except that nobody is going to play their sport except in stadiums in Canada.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Belief That Some Fields Require "Brilliance" May Keep Women Out

slew Re:It worked on me (218 comments)

It isn't as easy to spot the "fakers" as you might imagine. Especially if you don't speak the same "language".

A personal example come to mind when I say this. A very good friend of mine has a very deep background in math and statistics, but from an economics background. My math and statistics background is mostly physics and control theory based. Over time we've worked with quite a few people and although I was quite able to tell people that were faking through the math when we talked an engineering language (e.g., ergodic process IIR filtering, numerical stability, etc.), but when we started talking about that same stuff from an econometric point of view (e.g., ARMAX modeling), constant translation between the two in my head made it much more difficult for me to tease out the subtle clues that trigger my BS meter...

Earlier in my dealings with my friend, I found my BS meter triggering all the time with his econometric spin on statistical modeling, but as I got to know him better, I realized my BS meter was just faulty. He knew the statistics stuff as well or better than me, but he was speaking a different language to describe the same mathematical concepts, and the papers he read had different set of seminal authors and the common data regularization procedures went by different names. I eventually took the time to learn his econometric vocabulary, but I can say I doubt I will ever be fluent in his way of talking about statistical mathematics. Having experienced this constant translation issue over time, I can say it really makes it hard to have an effective BS meter because you are constantly questioning if your own translation is accurate enough...

FWIW, I'm pretty sure have met a some real 1%-ers in my time at Caltech, and yes some of them are so out of my league that they could been BS-ing me and I still wouldn't know it. One of my classmates would sometimes look at our homework and then come up with some proof that applied some far out algebraic principle and later grin and say, well just kidding, I made that up I don't know if that proof is true, but doesn't it sounds right. Who knows if he was BS-ing or not, as he could talk circles around us in Algebraic-Category theory (and he also managed to learn how to juggle 20+ balls and ride around on a unicycle which was also way beyond me too). However, we never let him divide up the restaurant bills though as we never did fully trust his arithmetic abilities when it came to actual money ;^)

about two weeks ago
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Study: Belief That Some Fields Require "Brilliance" May Keep Women Out

slew Re:It worked on me (218 comments)

What in the world that has to do with gender, I don't know.

Actually, your response exemplifies the issue...

You mentioned that you met folks and felt you didn't measure up.
In my experience, many men in the same situation wouldn't factor in if they thought they measured up in their decision making.
If they wanted to get into that field and they thought they had some aptitude, they would simply adopt a fake it until they made it approach.

I think that is the part has to do with gender.

Not that it's totally of biological gender origin, but probably mostly gender social conditioning in our society (although there may be some statistical gender bias when it comes to risk taking or blind confidence that is inherent in the fake it until you make it approach to life).

As I've come to realize over time, there are quite a few people that appear to speak a language (say like math, or computer science) but sometimes are just faking their way through it with only a cursory understanding... Sadly, it's sometimes hard to distinguish between them in a general conversation (say like a 45 minute interview or in a social siutation)...

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

slew Re:Really? (512 comments)

Well, the similarly "radical Christians" are nowhere to be found.

Actually, the option that I pick is that there are similarly "radical Christians".

E.g., the IRA, the LRA, the Nagaland rebels in India, Lebanese Christian Militia groups, the US based Christian Militia groups such as those involved for Ruby Ridge, and Waco, and even some lone-wolf radicalized persons such as the ones responsible for the 2011 Norway attacks on top of the the clichéd plethora of abortion bombers...

Just not finding them discussed by the daily talking head mass media makers dominated by Judeo-Christian populace doesn't mean they don't exist. Pretty much every other mass religion has a high enough quantity of deluded followers to cause potential substantial misrepresentation of a religion (even if the mainstream opinion media doesn't drill it into our collective talking points)...

Like many religions, over time they tend to branch and secularize and sometimes these sects evolve divergent and potentially violent belief that are not held by the majority of adherents. You many dismiss the studies of theologians as merely pandering to the extreme fringe that you see in the over-reported in the media but that itself is a dismissive and radical view. It gives too much weight to the media who appear sometimes to have inadvertently conspired with the media to hijacked the narrative... Okay maybe that was a bit tin-foil hat, but hopefully you get the point ;^)

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

slew Re:Really? (512 comments)

there are very few cases, when a Christian criminal claimed to be following his faith in contradiction to the secular law.

I'm not sure you are entirely on logical footing here. Theologians are those that study the bible as a professional career, probably not a large overlapping set of folks to those that are Christian criminals (unless you think most theologians are criminals, or that most Christian criminals are christian theologians). When I claimed most theologians interpret these things, I meant those that study the bible as a professional career.

Today the overwhelming opinion of Muslims is approving of the Paris murders [theguardian.com]

Again, as cited by the article you linked, you conveniently omitted the opinion of Muslim extremists on the internet qualifier, as if they were somehow representative of all Muslims or Muslim clerics.... Citation of statistically valid poll required please... (to paraphrase your rules).

Except Koran — which is the God's word entirely — adds quite a few of its own.. .But Mohammed, having seen the sort of idolatry Christians succumb to with their icons and "holy relics", has made his laws a lot stricter.

I don't think you are understanding the origin of the Koran correctly if you use the word of "has made his". Mohammed was an illiterate prophet who allegedly received the word of god and communicated it to scribes which is recorded as the Koran. You can choose to believe what you wish, but I suspect many followers of Islam might use this slip up mischaracterization as a signal that you really have no idea what Islam is about or what the motivation of followers are.

BTW, I am not Islamic, or even religious in the slightest (now or in the past), but have studied the Bible quite in depth in the past (grandfather was a minister) and the Koran more recently just out of pure curiosity and contrast.

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

slew Re:Really? (512 comments)

You are comparing the common practice of westernized Christians to that of radical Muslims.

FYI, the christian bible is somewhat ambiguous on the tenant of following secular law vs god's law. As I remember it, although much of the gospels deals with the idea you bring up about submission to the laws of man, in Acts 5, the apostles clearly state that "We must obey god rather than men." when confronted by authorities with illegally prothesizing their new Jesus worshiping religion. The take-way by most Christian theologians on this topic is that the bible says you should always honor the laws of man, but you must fear and obey God's word when it conflicts.

That kind of pulls the rug out from your so called saving grace depending on how you interpret God's word. If you think god is telling you to stone someone, you should "fear god" and obey, but if it's something simply described that someone else stoned for some specific reason in the bible and God didn't tell you to do it, well, perhaps you should honor to the laws of man (this is a paraphrase of Peter 2). Kind of a slippery slope for a radicalized religious type isn't it?

In case you aren't aware, the reason the Muslim and Christian (and Jewish) religions seem to be so close is that they hold several common old testament scriptures as canon. It is these old testament books that have the aformentioned description of religious law and punishments. The main difference of Christianity is the identification of the prophet of Jesus and how he may or may not be the embodiment of god (depending on how the Christian sect interpretation of the trinity, etc). The gospels which recount the early days of the christian church and the Revelations about the second coming and salvation are really the only "technical" differences in the basics of the religion. The details are really in the interpretation of the same texts and unsurprisingly track each other very closely (e.g., like halal and kosher foods, similar but not the same)...

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

slew Re:Free? (703 comments)

FWIW, providing much of the information about institutions such as graduation rates, student debt, etc is already required by Title IV... Except for faculty pay and overhead.

Although that information might be interesting for a typical community college, that information is likely silly for a typical private prestigious research universities. Basically private universities charge whatever they want and don't even bother computing the fraction of pay for "teaching " for hot-shot faculty members (who are basically hired as research grant rain makers), but still teach as part of department rotations (or even for "fun"). Also splitting the administrative costs for research and teaching at these types of institutions would be difficult at best. List price tuition at these types universities are basically funny money. Nearly every student pays a different amount due to private grants given to gross up loans and required parental contribution to the full tuition amount.

For most prestigious private schools, I suspect if they were required to do this crap, they would simply opt-out of the loan programs and finance loans through their endowments. This wouldn't impact their application rates, nor the tuitions they charge at all, it would likely only punish middle class students (who rely the most on these programs). The ~$5000/year cap on most of these programs is a drop in the bucket for the institution, but a big deal for the middle class family trying to put their kids through these types of schools. Once free of federal direct loans, all your other proposed requirements would then be moot for those institutions.

As for your loan repayment suggestions, I suspect you already realize this means it isn't a loan you are getting (with someone fronting the money and expecting to get paid back with enough interest to make it worth the risk). This would make it basically more like an entitlement program (like social security or medicare or unemployment insurance, or worker's comp) which needs to be funded somehow by a combination of fees (getting payments from those that can "afford to pay back") and taxing others to make up the difference. Not that this is wrong, but you should call a spade a spade. It is no longer a student loan, but a progressive tax you pay for taking advantage of a reduced cost education.

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

slew Re:Really? (512 comments)

I'm unaware of Christian God (or any of His prophets) calling for killing in his name.

Leviticus 24:16

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

about three weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

slew Re:Really? (512 comments)

Thus, I tend to think, that these good people are either ignorant, in denial, or just lying — either out of fear of persecution or to advance their cause.

Although you can probably label every born on earth as ignorant to make any case, I suspect all such behavior by religious "moderates" (including Christians) is simply explained away by suppression of cognitive dissonance.

For example, the GPL (in abstract) vs GPL v3, vs what they do in their day job for their employer. Some people will happily work for a company that chooses to for a MIT/BSD license (or perhaps closed-source license), yet privately support a more radical GPL v3 position and occasionally hope for a more radical change. In fact over time, their radical views might mellow and reject GPL embrace a more moderate MIT/BSD philosophy yet still promote the GPL out of fear of persecution by their comrades.

There's no need to call these people out as being "ignorant, in denial or just lying -- either out of fear of persecution or to advance their cause". It's simply a common behavior hedge in a social environment. We are all ignorant, in denial and often lie to our selves or other people and fear persecution and privately root for things that advance our causes which generally causes cognitive dissonance. It's just a matter of degree and how much we are able to suppress the discomfort associated with it.

about three weeks ago
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FBI: North Korean Hackers "Got Sloppy", Leaked IP Addresses

slew Re:Countless Comments on Prior Articles & Now (219 comments)

For example you can't be filming in the United States and commit actual crimes, like robbing a bank and then filming it in order for a movie.

I think you are confused. Actually, filming a real bank robbery (even if you film it yourself) is perfectly fine. The mere act of filming your action (e.g., the bank robbery) does not make the crime legal, however. I doubt that such a film can even be excluded as evidence against you by self incrimination since the camera is not you (although it may be more difficult to establish a chain of custody). People get caught on "tape" by their own security cameras all the time and that is not problem as far as I know.

For the most part, there is no laws in the US to control what people should make movies about. The only filming that appears to be out of bounds today from a legal point of view is child pornography and sadly the laws against this do not stop it either...

about three weeks ago
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Entanglement Makes Quantum Particles Measurably Heavier, Says Quantum Theorist

slew wouldn't it be cool (109 comments)

FWIW, it appears from the paper that this extra "mass" is an artifact of analyzing entangled particles in a linearized gravity framework and observing a stress-energy tensor term that seems to appear higher for entangled particles and radiated away as particles move to decoherence. This perhaps might be considered the mass of the entanglement.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be cool if the reason for the observed equivalency of gravitational mass and inertial mass was somehow related to quantum entanglement? (yes I know this is unrelated to this phenomena, but still)...

about three weeks ago
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AMD, Nvidia Reportedly Tripped Up On Process Shrinks

slew Re:Production (230 comments)

That is not true. Apple has invested billions in Corning, Samsung, Foxconn, etc. You have only heard about GT because it blew up.

Although I only have access to public information, AFAIK, it isn't Apple that invested in Corning, actually it is Samsung that invested in Corning (~7.4% stake which makes Samsung the largest single shareholder of Corning).

Although in the past, Apple had made an investment in Samsung Semiconductor to ensure flat panel technology availability, I believe they no longer use Samsung flatpanels nor hold that investment.

For their semiconductors, their relationship appears to be a foundry deal only. Samsung has made investments themselves on fab capacity based on being an Apple supplier. Of course as industry practice, Apple likely makes component pre-payments based on forecast demand on a discount basis (which gives Samsung funds to finance it), but that's not the same as an equity investment.

On the other hand, Apple apparently has invested a few billion in Sharp as their new flat panel supplier. There is also a rumored multi-billion dollar Foxconn investment (for expanding iphone production capacity), but I can find no public evidence of a Corning investment.

That's not to say that Apple and Corning don't collaborate very closely on gorilla glass production, but there doesn't appear to be this billion dollar investment in Corning that you are referring to.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Japanese researchers build rock-paper-scissors robot that wins 100% of the time

slew slew writes  |  about a year ago

slew (2918) writes "Although the robot technically it cheats because it watches your hand and can recognize what shape you are intending to make and beat it before you even know what is happening. Apparently it takes about 60ms for you to shape your hand, but the robot can recognize the shape before it is completed, and only takes 20ms to counter your shape so the results appear to the human opponent to be virtually simultaneous.

I wonder how difficult it would be to add lizard and spock to the mix.... ;^)

Here is a paper with the details and a press account or two. There are videos in the links in case you want to see it in action."

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Wait, isn't there a hole in the that wheel

slew slew writes  |  about a year ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently after looking at some recent pictures from Curiosity's Hand Lens imager, someone spotted a hole in one of Curiosity's wheels. Unfortunatly, Mars is a long way from the nearest AAA, and the waranty on most aluminum wheels don't cover you if you decide to drive w/o tires, but apparently it's gonna be okay ;^)"
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100% fail rate on Liberia University's admission exam

slew slew writes  |  about a year and a half ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently none of the 24K+ students who sat for the 2013 Liberia University entrance exam got a passing mark, and fewer than a hundred managed to pass the either the english (pass level 70%) or math (pass level 50%) sections required to qualify to be part of the normal class of 2k-3k students admitted every year...

Historically, the pass rate has been about 20-30% and in recent years, the test has been in multiple-guess format to facilitate grading. The mathematics exam generally focuses on arithmetic, geometry, algebra, analytical geometry and elementary statistic and probability; while the English exam generally focuses on grammar, sentence completion, reading comprehension and logical reasoning.

However, as a testatment to the over-hang of a civil war, university over-crowding, corruption, social promotion, the admission criteria was apparently temporarily dropped to 40% math and 50% english to allow the provisional admission of about 1.6K students. And people are calling foul..."
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UC online courses' alarming growth rate

slew slew writes  |  about 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "In the shadow of Stanford and Harvard offering free on-line courses, The University of California has been attempting to offer pay-courses for credit. UC online took out a $6.9M loan from UC and spent $4.3M to market these courses. For their efforts, they've been able to quadruple their enrollment year over year.

The first year results: one person paid $1,400 for an online calculus class worth 4 credits. Now 4 people are signed up. Me thinks head will roll on this one..."

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Stable Negative Temperature System Created

slew slew writes  |  about 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Scientists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany have created an actual stable system which has an inverted Boltzmann Distribution (aka, Negative Temperature) by using an intermediate bosonic Mott insulator together with a Feshbach resonance in bosonic Potassium with laser cooling.

Although Negative Temperature systems are not uncommon (a pumped laser creates them all the time), they are not usually stable as they are not in thermodynamic equilibrium (in the case of a laser, the high energy state couples to a lower energy state returning the system to a positive temperature realm).

Practical uses are of course far away (they only achieved a billionth of a Kelvin below absolute zero), but studying stable negative temperature systems may help us understand the mechanisms behind dark energy theories."

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M-Carbon: 50yro mystery solved

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Unlike its more famous carbon cousins: diamonds and fullerenes, you've probably never heard of M-Carbon, but this form of compressed graphite which is as hard as diamonds has baffled researcher for half a century. Over the past few years, many theoretical computations have suggested at least a dozen different crystal structures for this phase of carbon, but new experiments showed that only one crystal structure fits the data: M-carbon."
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the ultimate accessory: iphone case stun-gun

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "In case you aren't in the loop, this army-reservist came up with this limited edition case for the iphone that doubles as a 650K volt stun-gun. He apparently came up with the idea after being a victim of a home invasion robbery attempt...

Bonus: the stun-gun battery pack can give an extra 20 hours of life to the iPhone if you aren't stunning anyone"

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Scientists capture shadow cast by 1 atom

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Scientist at Griffith University have shown the first absorption image of a single atom isolated in a vacuum. A single atomic ion was confined in an RF Paul trap and the absorption imaged at near wavelength resolution with a phase Fresnel lens.

They predict this absorbption imaging technique should prove useful in quantum information processing and using the minimum amount of illumination for bio-imaging of light-sensitive samples.

Here's a pointer to the paper..."

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Uniformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although this isn't "new" research, I just saw this presentation at a GPU Technology Conference keynote. The gist of this research is that a well functioning democracy (a group that is nominally controlled by the numerical majority) seems to require a minimum number of uninfomed or weak-preference individuals to avoid manipulation by a strongly opinionated minority. If this is true, perhaps electing a certain percentage of spin-less clue-less flip-flopping people as legistative representatives instead of all partisan opinionated intransigents is the evolutionary prefered path to take? Nah!"
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photovoltaic powered retinal prosthetic

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although it hasn't been tested on humans yet, stanford researchers have created a new type of retinal prosthetic that is photovoltaic powered. The gist is that external googles convert an image into infrared light and that light conveys both the image and the power for the retinal implant which means no batteries, or bulky induction coils are required for the retinal implant. This should allow for higher resolution implant (the experimental device has 176 pixels where in contrast the currently available retinal implant from SecondSight is about 60 pixels and requires a bulky inductive antenna). Might be a while till we get to a bionic eye, but this should be quite a help for the sight challenged among us."
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GraphExeter for better solar cells.

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Transparent conducting films are a very important part of photoelectric cells and display panels like OLEDS. Unfortunatly, the currently best known material Indium Tin Oxide (aka ITO) is a rare and expensive and much better performing than it's cheaper subsitute (aluminium zinc oxide AZO). Carbon nanotubes thin-films have been considered, but are current limited by sheet resistance. A research group from University of Exeter has created a new Few-Layered graphene (FLG) w/Ferric Chloride "sandwich" which helps to limit the sheet resistance w/o affecting the transparency. If this type of material becomes practical, it could be a good replacement for ITO (which some say economical supplies will run out soon ~2017)."
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Massive rise in myopia

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "According to this recent study submitted to lancet, an alarming 80-90% of students in east Asian cities have myopia. The study speculates that the culture of educational pressure combined with reduced exposure to outdoor light have conspired to create this epidemic. This conclusion was drawn from a recent retrospective study at cambridge which correlated extra hours outdoors with reduced chance of myopia (~2% drop for each additional hour per week spent out-of-doors)."
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electron's 3rd "quasi-particle (aka "orbiton") observed in insulator lattice

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Although electrons are usually thought of having 2 properties: spin and charge, bound electrons actually have a 3rd quantum property related to their so-called orbit's angular momentum. Spinon and holon quasi-particles have been observed before which represent the spin and charge quantum values of the electron. Now this experiment takes advantage of the fact that nominally bound electrons can delocalize in a lattice into energy bands and make it possible to measure the effect of the orbiton quasi-particles (which has the value of the electron's angular momentum where it was originally nominally bound, even though now delocalized). Hope that made some sense..."
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bottoms up! drinking buckyballs apparently fountain of youth

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "As if buckyballs weren't miraculous enough, apparently researchers at Université Paris Sud in France have discovered that rats that drink C60 (fullerene) dissolved in olive oil can live twice as long (by reducing age associated oxidative stress)"
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Pockets in graphene layers allow viewing of liquids with an electron microscope

slew slew writes  |  more than 2 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Looking at liquids w/ a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to observe things like crystal growth has been difficult to do. This is because liquids need to be confined to a capsule to view them in a TEM (because the electrons are flying at the sample in a chamber near vaccuum pressures where liquids would evaporate or sublimate). Traditional capsules of Silicon Oxide or Silicon Nitride have been fairly opaque. This paper describes a new technique with a "pocket" created between two graphene layers which can hold liquids for observation by a TEM and the graphene is apparently much more transparent than previous materials allowing a better view of the processes (like crystalization), taking place in the liquid. Here's non-paywalled summary article..."
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US Supreme Court Rules that Congress can take work

slew slew writes  |  about 3 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Ironically, today of all days, the US Supreme court decided that congress was within its authority to grant new and/or restored copyright protection to preexisting works to comply with copyright treaties. This effectively takes works mainly authored between 1923 and 1989 that had been in the public domain, out of the public domain. This is in a majority opinion written by Justice Ginsburg which can be read here

In a disenting opinion authored by Justices Breyer and Alito voices the view that this "does not serve copyright's traditional public ends, namely the creation of monetary awards that motivate the create activity of authors", but only grants its restored copyrights only to works already produced.

The original suite was that the way that congress complied with the copyright treaty was overbroad (e.g., the Berne convention allowed restricted terms for works of restored copyrights to account for the disruption it might cause, but congress gave blanket restoration for all works)

Interesting, if disappointing, reading..."

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A new kind of metal theorized to be in the earth's

slew slew writes  |  more than 3 years ago

slew (2918) writes "This article talks about a study accepted to Physical Review Letters that theorizes that Iron oxide goes through an insulator/metal phase change with high temperature and pressure. Originally it was thought to be a crystalline structure change, but now apparently it is theorized to be a new type of metallic state. This discovery might offer new insight on how the earth's magnetic field operates."
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Scientists create formula for perfect parking

slew slew writes  |  more than 5 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Okay, so for the owners of the new self-parking prius, this might be obsolete, but for the rest of us car-challenged geeks, someone has gone through the trouble to figure out if that parallel parking space is gonna work or not (or if we have to give one of the cars a "love-tap" to snuggle in there)"
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Fart to lower blood pressure?

slew slew writes  |  more than 6 years ago

slew (2918) writes "Apparently there's a study that if a mouse has a genetic anomoly so it doesn't make H2S (the same chemical as stinky fart gas) it tends to exhibit hypertension (precursor to high blood pressure) and have a reduced ability for vasorelaxation. So if your blood pressure is up, maybe the solution is eat a burrito and pass some gas. I know I feel better when I do.... ;^) Strangely the study author seem to compare their finding to the ground breaking nitric oxide findings (which lead to the discovery of viagra). I'd love to see the adverts for a blood pressure reducing drug that results from this research ;^)"

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