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Comments

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Ecuador To Grant Assange Political Asylum

smolloy Re:Good (432 comments)

which he has no ability to make use of.

what are you on about?

I think he's commenting on the fact that the second he tries to make use of his asylum (i.e. by leaving the embassy to make his way to the airport) he will be arrested -- quite legally -- by British police.

more than 2 years ago
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If the Higgs Boson Is Found I'll.....

smolloy Re:Higgs not responsible for most mass (253 comments)

He's actually right (sort of) ---> review paper

The Higgs serves to explain the mass of the W & Z bosons, plus the quarks that make up nucleons, but for various reasons (explained in the previous link), the mass of the individual constituent quarks does not contribute to the observed mass of the nucleons. Rather, that comes from back-reaction forces provided by QCD. The mass of neutrons & protons, and thus most normal matter, has been predicted by theory long ago.

It's not binding energy like he said, but he's right to say that the Higgs mechanism doesn't explain the masses of protons or neutrons.

more than 2 years ago
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DarwinTunes Iterates, Mixes And Culls To Create Listenable Music From Noise

smolloy Re:Silence is golden (53 comments)

Don't respond to the AC trolls :)

I was much more interested in seeing your (you are the guy who put this together, right?) reply to the GP post

more than 2 years ago
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Maybe the FAA Gadget Ban On Liftoff and Landing Isn't So Bad

smolloy Re:Attention (414 comments)

So, someone who can't take their eyes off their book is fine, but someone who can't take their eyes off their ebook should be kicked off the flight?

Interestingly, a flight I was on last week (SAS from Copenhagen to Manchester) didn't care about the lady beside me using her kindle. Phones, laptops, etc., all had to be switched off, but her kindle was fine.

more than 2 years ago
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Data Breach Flaw Found In Gnome-terminal, Xfce Terminal and Terminator

smolloy Re:How is this is this different to shell history? (184 comments)

I think the slashdot bragging rights were more interesting to him. :)

What an arrogant prick you really are. He replied to your suggestions telling you that they weren't helpful, and that you should just rip the code out. He was right. Your response? You told him to fork VTE!!!! Seriously? A shining example of free-software, this is not.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Rich People Less Moral?

smolloy Re:But woe to you that are rich (1040 comments)

The only evidence for there ever being such a person is the gospels in the bible. Roman records of Jesus do not exist.

Not true. Look for the history of Josephus -- a Jewish historian writing at the time of Christ (or a little after?) for the Romans.

A lot of the other stuff you wrote is pretty interesting, but I thought you'd appreciate hearing that historical records for Jesus exist outside of religious texts.

more than 2 years ago
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Faulty Cable To Blame For Superluminal Neutrino Results

smolloy Re:Headline is wrong (414 comments)

Yeah, about two seconds after submitting this story, I realised that I forgot to put a question mark at the end of the title as I had originally intended :(

"Faulty Cable to Blame for Superluminal Neutrino Results?" would have been better, right?

But I was a little more accurate with the summary I think.

more than 2 years ago
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Town Turns Off the Lights To See the Stars

smolloy Re:Nice, but... (222 comments)

Filtering isn't even really for advanced amateurs, since the cost of a filter pales in comparison to the cost of the scope. 20-30$ will get you something that will get rid of most of the low-pressure sodium (orange) emissions. Novices, like me, have a small set of filters they use to improve various views of different objects, and a lot of these filters will be completely defeated by white lights. I'm pretty busy, and prefer to do my observing from my backyard, rather than wasting a couple of hours in a car, so actions like this (replacing easily filtered lights with broad-spectrum ones) is a little irritating.

more than 2 years ago
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Town Turns Off the Lights To See the Stars

smolloy Re:Nice, but... (222 comments)

For astronomers that can actually be worse. For one, if they're not reducing the current through the light to take advantage that more of it is going to its intended target, then the increased reflected light from the street still causes light pollution. More importantly, those white lights emit all over the spectrum, and are incredibly hard to filter out. The ugly orange lights only emit at a couple of frequencies, and is very easy to filter out.

more than 2 years ago
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Chance To Snap Up Your Own Observatory

smolloy Re:40,000 over 10 years? (62 comments)

The site they're moving to -- the Gower -- has much darker skies than the glare of Swansea. So, yeah -- they've decided, probably for good reason, that it's not worth paying that much extra for light polluted skies, when they could maintain their costs and increase the quality of their experience.

more than 2 years ago
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Fighting Mosquitoes With GM Mosquitoes

smolloy Re:Obligatory turd in punchbowl (521 comments)

They survived just fine (obviously), but humans have forced the evolution of cows and other animals so hard & fast that there are many species that quite literally could not survive outside of a farm. Chickens, turkeys, cows (I think) -- look it up.

about 2 years ago
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Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

smolloy Re:What was the point of this exercise? (943 comments)

I had a reply all ready to go about how that statement is wrong since I can quickly prove that pi or sqrt(2) are not rational numbers, but your two word reply is so much more elegant. Absolutely perfect. Bravo! :)

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

smolloy Re:As compared to... (210 comments)

I have two kids, and no TV, and it really isn't so frighteningly difficult to get stuff done that I want to have a TV babysit them. I agree with the GP -- the thought of an 11 month old sitting in front of a TV or a tablet for extended periods really makes me sad.

more than 2 years ago
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Can Relativity Explain Faster Than Light Particles?

smolloy Re:I called it (315 comments)

Zero mass particles don't have a rest frame. Boosting into different frames -- any frame you like -- will only alter their frequency, not their velocity. They move at c in *all* inertial frames.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Religion Influence Epidemics?

smolloy Re:Article is wrong about Christianity (547 comments)

If you can be bothered reading it, there might be something in this -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus -- and the citations listed there. I think there were other people to mention a historical Jesus, but each and every one (I think) comes with a lot of YMMV warnings. Personally I don't think it's unreasonable to believe there really was a historical Jesus, but I'm not out to convince anyone, and I don't think there is anything particularly irrational about your belief that he didn't exist. I just wanted to answer your request for a non-Christian source. I think it's more important to see the difference between the "he existed / he didn't exist" argument, and the "he was the son of God / no he wasn't" argument. The former is a pretty minor leap of faith, while the latter requires abandoning a lot of what we know about the world.

more than 3 years ago
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Hybrid Human-Animal DNA Experiments Raise Concerns

smolloy Re:And so what? (311 comments)

One issue could be the question of the rights of the hybrid. For example, humans have many rights that cows don't, but what about a cow with a human central nervous system?

Or other primates with bits and pieces of human "code" in their brains? If we say that this animal isn't human, and therefore only deserving of the rights normally given to other primates even though it shows clear signs of human intelligence, wouldn't that somehow be wrong? But on the other hand, should they have full human rights, a seat at the UN, etc.?

Stretching things a little, wouldn't it be possible to create a slave-class of creature, with many of the abilities of humans but none of the rights?

There would seem to be a lot of room for a lot of pain to be caused if we don't get this right.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Google using reCAPTCHA to decode street addresses

smolloy smolloy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

smolloy (1250188) writes "Apparently some users of reCAPTCHA have recently begun seeing photographs appear in their CAPTCHA puzzles — photos that look very much like zoomed in house numbers taken from Google Streetview.

It appears that Google has decided to put the reCAPTCHA system to help clean up Google streetview images, and "according to a Google spokesperson, the system isn’t limited to street addresses, but also involves street names and even traffic signs."

A large collection of these has appeared on the Blackhatworld website."

Link to Original Source
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Faulty cable to blame for superluminal neutrino results

smolloy smolloy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

smolloy (1250188) writes "It would appear that the hotly debated faster-than-light neutrino observation at CERN is the result of a fault in the connection between a GPS unit and a computer. This connection was used to correct for time delays in the neutrino flight, and after fixing the correction the researchers have found that the time discrepancy appears to have vanished."
Link to Original Source
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Engineering of election debates

smolloy smolloy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smolloy (1250188) writes "A recent innovation in televised election debates is a continuous response measure (the “worm”) that allows viewers to track the response of a sample of undecided voters in real-time. A potential danger of presenting such data is that it may prevent people from making independent evaluations. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Bristol, report an experiment with 150 participants in which they manipulated the worm and superimposed it on a live broadcast of a UK election debate. The majority of viewers were unaware that the worm had been manipulated, and yet the researchers were able to influence their perception of who won the debate, their choice of preferred prime minister, and their voting intentions."
Link to Original Source
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Either ATLAS or CMS must go

smolloy smolloy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smolloy (1250188) writes "The astonishing rumor that has been circulating since two weeks turned out to be true. The CERN management has decided that either ATLAS or CMS will be taken out of operation as of September 2011. Which of these two detectors will be scrapped is going to be decided next week during a special session of the CERN Council.

CERN Director General Rolf Heuer explains:
"This was a very difficult decision to make. However, we are going through difficult times and radical steps could not be avoided. In the current budgetary situation we simply cannot afford running two experiments with identical physics goals and similar detection capabilities.""

Link to Original Source
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World's first x ray laser

smolloy smolloy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smolloy (1250188) writes "The world's first x ray laser (LCLS) has see first light.

A Free Electron Laser (FEL) is based on the light that is emitted by accelerated electrons when they are forced to move in a curved path. The beam then interacts with this emitted light in order to excite coherent emission (much like in a regular laser); thus producing a very short, extremely bright, bunch of coherent x ray photons.

The engineering expertise that went into this machine is phenomenal — "This is the most difficult lightsource that has ever been turned on," said LCLS Construction Project Director John Galayda. "It's on the boundary between the impossible and possible, and within two hours of start-up these guys had it right on." — and the benefits to the applied sciences from research using this light can be expected to be enormous — "For some disciplines, this tool will be as important to the future as the microscope has been to the past." said SLAC Director Persis Drell."

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