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Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

tulcod Wait, these are for real? (72 comments)

IANAA, but this sounds like an extremely unstable setup. What am I take make of this?

- Is the research reliable?

- How can such a thing be stable? Is there any particular process that keeps one star inside the other?

- What even /is/ such a body? If you were to travel from the outside to the midpoint of the body, would you encounter two barriers of destructing heat, with some emptiness (I'd like to say "vacuum" but of course space is not exactly a vacuum) in between?
Or is it actually just something entirely unlike what you would imagine when someone says "star within a star"?

about two weeks ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

tulcod Classic Khan pseudoscience (243 comments)

Your brain doesn't "grow" when you exercise it. It develops.

And to dispel another myth: your brain cells die and divide like in any other organ. But "growth" is definitely the wrong word here.

These kinds of mistakes are why you don't use Khan academy, and the old-fashioned sources are just more precise.

But congratulations on figuring out yet another key to life, allowing you to tell other people exactly how to live theirs - after all, that's really the only purpose of science, isn't it?

about a month ago
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Rosetta Achieves Orbit Around Comet

tulcod Doesn't an orbit require gravity? (54 comments)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but based on the little I learned from KSP, I don't think anything can reasonably get an orbit around a comet due to its lack of mass.

about 2 months ago
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Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

tulcod Re:Not to be snarky (538 comments)

I've had it with these references to the "IT wonders". You can't base your life plan on the successes of four (!) individuals.

about 3 months ago
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New Car Can Lean Into Curves, Literally

tulcod Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (243 comments)

Less sensation of control loss is not a good thing. If the road was built badly (ie. opposite banking) then the driver should be aware of that, instead of thinking that he has control while in fact he doesn't.

This technology is a gimmick not unlike the pneumatics famous from the 80s (?) cars.

about 4 months ago
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Efforts To Turn Elephants Into Woolly Mammoths Are Already Underway

tulcod Times sure are changing (147 comments)

When Intel buys or invents some kind of a new chip process, everyone applauds. When engineers use 3D printing to save a crippled boy's life, everyone celebrates technology. Stick an arduino in a tumor and people scream in ecstasy.

But when the item of cloning comes in the news, suddenly people back away and ask what it's all good for. Because us humans are not allowed to mess with that.

Come on people. We invested thousands of years trying to understand the tricks of physics and evolution. We have now got to a stage where we can apply these tricks ourselves and see what we can make of the world.

Will it turn out for the better? Absolutely nobody knows. But telling scientists not to mess with this takes us back to the middle ages, where scientific incentives were influenced heavily by religious and cultural beliefs.

Let us show ourselves that we no longer need that. This is the time to end that society of religion and culture. Messing with life, and bringing back the extinct, those are exactly the kind of things that go against all rules of religion that we have adhered to for the past x thousands years. Humans are the new god on planet earth (and beyond?).

about 4 months ago
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Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

tulcod Re:Offtopic: on the speed of electricity (137 comments)

I have always thought of the travel of electricity as the flow of the electromagnetic waves.

Then how does DC electricity "travel" from your phone charger to your phone? (again, there are no electromagnetic waves, even though there may be fields. a wave is a changing field.)

about 4 months ago
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Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

tulcod Re:Offtopic: on the speed of electricity (137 comments)

How do you think electrons repel each other?

Electromagnetic fields, which do not "travel" in any reasonable sense.

The speed of light thing is actually more complicated if you involve relativity and quantum field theory and stuff, which is why I used the word "roughly" to protect myself exactly from people who pretend to know physics. If I had said "exactly at the speed of light", some theoretical physicist would have made some remark about this or that field theory or standard model solution or whatever kind of physics that I don't quite understand.

about 4 months ago
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Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

tulcod Re:Offtopic: on the speed of electricity (137 comments)

(on top of that, there are no electromagnetic waves travelling along a wire conducting DC current)

about 4 months ago
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Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

tulcod Offtopic: on the speed of electricity (137 comments)

a short length of wire [...] sized to represent the distance electricity would travel in a nanosecond.

You cannot see such a piece of wire. Electrons drift at a speed in the order of 0.0002m/s, giving you a wire length in the order of 10^-13 meters.

Electromagnetic waves "travel" roughly at the speed of light. But when someone talks about the travel of electricity, the thing that people think about is the flow of electrons, not the electromagnetic waves.

about 4 months ago
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

tulcod Protests are a display of effort (76 comments)

One thing that definitely plays a role in this discussion is that in big street protests, a lot of people have to come out of their house and basically waste their day for this one cause. This in itself shows how strongly they feel about certain issues.

This is much more difficult in the case of internet protests: we all know how little facebook likes mean.

If you want to make web-based protests work, you will somehow have to incorporate an element of effort, which - since the only tissue we have online is that of information - is going to have to have some intellectual ingredient. Indeed, the many discussions we are having on this very website can be seen as minor protests.

about 6 months ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

tulcod Re:What does it mean to divest? (214 comments)

Harvard has a sick amount of money, and they *can* afford to miss some of it. If they "lose" money by not investing in oil, they will still be able to fund many students' tuition fees (because Harvard is not /just/ a school for the rich, although arguably you need to be in higher income classes to be admitted in the first place).

If Harvard "loses" money or otherwise does not have the budget they projected, nothing changes.

about 6 months ago
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MA Gov. Wants To Ban Non-Competes; Will It Matter?

tulcod Re:No. Non-compete != Non-disclosure (97 comments)

OP here. Thanks for this answer, you are right - this was my confusion. Mod parent up.

about 6 months ago
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MA Gov. Wants To Ban Non-Competes; Will It Matter?

tulcod Uhm... since when are non-competes a bad thing? (97 comments)

Don't they stop employees from taking any kind of IP and running away with it, which would basically kill the industry?

about 6 months ago
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MtGox's "Transaction Malleability" Claim Dismissed By Researchers

tulcod Re:Dear slashdot, (92 comments)

This would have been a useful comment if facts would have been about your opinion.

about 6 months ago
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Yahoo Advertising Serves Up Malware For Thousands

tulcod Use click to play (184 comments)

Java zero days are easily avoided by using "click to play", which does exactly what it sounds like: disable flash and java applets until you click them. In Chromium, this is easily enabled in Settings -> Show advanced settings -> under "Privacy", Content Settings -> choose "Click to play" under Plug-ins.

Java (and Flash likewise) has never been safe, and it's a shame that click to play is not the default. Additionally, animated ads are often Flash or Java-based, so this also kills distracting movies.

about 9 months ago
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NSA Able To Crack A5/1 Cellphone Crypto

tulcod Re:So what? (122 comments)

FYI, in usual radio communication, what flies through the air are not electrons but photons. These photons are generated by wiggling a few electrons back and forth at the transmitter, and this in turn wiggles a few electrons back and forth on the receiving end.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Dutch party votes for internet filtering

tulcod tulcod writes  |  more than 3 years ago

tulcod (1056476) writes "The Dutch government has accidentally passed a law on net neutrality, enabling ISPs to filter internet traffic based on "ideological motives". The PvdA (labor party) accidentally voted for this exception to the Telecomwet (telecommunications law), which, on its own, does not allow such filtering. PvdA intends to repair their mistake."
Link to Original Source
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AMD to receive first DisplayPort certification

tulcod tulcod writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tulcod (1056476) writes "AMD has received the first DisplayPort certification for their Radeon HD 3400, 3600 and 3800 products, as well as the new 780G motherboard chipset, which includes a Radeon HD 3200 IGP.
"AMD has been a driving force in the development of DisplayPort," said Bill Lempesis, Executive Director, VESA. "The ATI Radeon HD 3000 series of graphics cards are the first source devices to achieve DisplayPort certification.""

Link to Original Source
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Pidgin 2.2.0 Released

tulcod tulcod writes  |  about 7 years ago

tulcod (1056476) writes "Pidgin 2.2.0 contains the results of several major Google Summer of Code branches bringing some new, extraordinary features. We have a new protocol, MySpaceIM, a bunch of new features for an existing protocol, XMPP, and nifty new certificate management to make sure your IM server is who it says it is."
Link to Original Source
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Is copyright a good thing?

tulcod tulcod writes  |  about 7 years ago

tulcod (1056476) writes "Recently, someone at my school, a man who's about 60 years old, told me his opinion (in person) about copyrights. He clearly thinks copyrighting is a bad thing. I doubt he's part of the scene (and it seems implausible he has ever downloaded, for example, music), but there are probably a lot of people agreeing with him. I don't really know what to think of it. Obviously, pretty much all of us have ever "stolen" media. But I think it's implausible any of us did that with objective goals. So is the old man at school correct? Is copyright a bad thing for everyone?"

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