* Posts by Schultz

1161 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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Down and out in the Middle Kingdom: Beijing is sinking

Schultz
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Boffin

"delicious example of the challenge of science writing in non-metric America"

The Register should offer their services for proper unit conversion. Obviously neither metric nor imperial units will do for a christian publication: If god wanted humans to measure in feet, he'd have given us more than two to do it.

The linguine, a naturally regrowing resource that comes in convenient packs of 118, needs to be publicized as convenient god-given measurement unit. Beyond the single linguine unit, the linguine pack lp (118 linguine end-to-end), the linguine width lw and the linguine thickness lt should be used to describe especially large or small objects.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Schultz
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The thing that happened ...

is that a democratic country had a democratic election on a clearly defined topic. I am not happy about the result, but I think the election result and those who voted deserve respect.

Now there'll be the British experiment outside of the EU. It'll be interesting to see how a major European country will do on its own without oodles of oil money (the Norwegian way), oodles of banking money (the Swiss way), or a fishing-based economy (the Iceland way). Everybody in the EU will break out the popcorn to watch. And no, you British folks cannot have a handful, you don't belong anymore.

Now, concerning that Wembley goal, let's just clarify once and for all that is was a tragic referee error. You'd have deserved to win that game fair and square, how sad that it didn't turn out that way....

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Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

Schultz
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Inefficient

They should not use Earl to search for USB porn, that's just slow and inefficient. Everybody gets their stuff from the Internets nowadays, so just start at the Telco and follow the data trail.

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Tinder bans under-18s: Moral panic averted

Schultz
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Boffin

Pendant Alert / "Sex isn't something that is required for life to continue"

"Sex isn't something that is required for life to continue"

PEDANT ALERT!

I think you'll find it is*, the human race would die out if noone had sex.

You just outed yourself as a horrible r̶a̶c̶i̶s̶t̶ speciist. Sex is only required if your definition of life excludes bacteria, amoeba, fungi, many kinds of plants, archea, protea, ... Speak for yourself only!

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Cold space gas? Sure, supermassive black holes can eat that. Nom, nom, nom

Schultz
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Mushroom

Rain?

If a liquid comes to hit you with a speed of about a million kilometres per hour, do you still call it rain? Sounds more like a wet dream for DARPA.

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Bing web searches may reveal you have cancer (so, er, don't use Bing?)

Schultz
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Boffin

Statistically challenged

"get an accurate diagnosis between 6 and 32 per cent of the time, with an error rate of 0.00001 per cent."

So if 6-32% of diagnoses were accurate, it follows that 94-68% of diagnoses were inaccurate. Interesting how this suddenly boils down to an error rate of 0.00001%. Some magic is going on here.

And how come they give a range (6-32%) for the accuracy? Did they split their cases based on some magic mystery factor to find that magic group 1 had a 32% accurate diagnosis while magic group 3217 had only a 6% accurate diagnosis?

I am well aware that 70% of all statistics are made up on the spot, but the numbers should still make sense!

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Schultz
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Boffin

mabl4367: "Generators are already at about 80% efficiency."

I hope you talk about wind energy generators. Modern power plants seem to be in the 30-45% range: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=107&t=3

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Schultz
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Steve Crook: "without subsidy, onshore wind will never be cost competitive with gas"

Do you own a hat? I can supply some nice hot gochujang sauce to make it go down easier.

... never say never ...

See: Historic gas prices, note the factor 5 price decrease in the last ten years, and extrapolate at will.

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Norway might insist on zero-emission vehicles by 2025

Schultz
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No problem

With the current trajectory of fuel efficiency in diesel and petrol cars, you can buy a zero-emission diesel SUV way before the deadline. The European emission test will presumably allow a 30 km downhill test-run with plugged-in phone and laptop batteries to help the starter engine deal with the flatter parts of the test track.

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Dell finds liquid cooling tech on eBay, now wants you to buy it

Schultz
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Hey, what could possibly go wrong with ...

350 psi water pressure in one long long water tube coming down from the ceiling and running through the length of your data center. Just don't ever touch those tubes.

I assume you could always remove a defective processor from underneath the cooler block and glue another one in place (no, don't touch the water tubes!).

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Rats revive phones-and-cancer scares

Schultz
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Boffin

Pay us to do the study again correctly ...

Which is a perfectly reasonable scientific approach. Explore an exotic hypothesis with a small amount of resources and invest some more money only if the preliminary results are interesting. This approach helps to remove 95% insignificant hypotheses (plus a few false negatives) before serious money is being wasted.

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$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

Schultz
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Oracle feels deeply that it ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶e̶d̶ should get all you monies

greenbacks, cash, dough, bucks, cash, pesos, ...

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Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

Schultz
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Thumb Up

Bullet proof bicycle already patented.

Gotta love the quoted patent from 1997: "However, peace officers are now using a new form of transportation, the bicycle, which has greatly enhanced their ability to perform their duties."

(1) Lawyers discover that the police discover a new form of transportation.

(3) Make money.

(did I miss something?)

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CIA says it 'accidentally' nuked torture report hard drive

Schultz
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Newspeak

It all depends on the meaning of 'accidentally'. And anyways, from a space-time perspective the information is still there, it's just laterally displaced along the time axis.

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New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

Schultz
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Re: Watts per Dollar is the only efficiency that actually matters

No, installation and service cost come into the equation and low-efficiency cells are just not worth the effort to install. There are several factors determining the economic success of a given construction. Including a prism and effectively running two devices won't really help the design discussed here, but having a concentrator (= lens) may eventually create a compelling product.

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Schultz
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Panasonic already claimed 37%

According to the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Panasonic already delivered 37% conversion efficiency with a non-concentrator cell in 2015.Maybe something else is new(s)?

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 4.6

Schultz
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Boffin

Driving me mad ...

when those Pi users drive around just for the hell of it. They should stop polluting and focus on the drivers.

("Raspberry Pi users may appreciate new drives ..." - and the Tips and corrections doesn't do anything in my browser)

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A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

Schultz
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Time out

Humans should just take a short time out to let the debris come back down. It works, after all that's how our planet got formed. A couple of centuries should do.

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FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

Schultz
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But he knows that the crime rate increased...

because one officer told him 'I was so pissed with the Ferguson thing that I walked on, pretending that I didn't see the burglary'. So there is at least one extra crime.

(and no, this is not comparable to hat other time last year when the officer was so pissed that he drove his cruiser in the wall.)

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Congress calls for change to NSA spying law

Schultz
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Joke

Simple solution, move the NSA out of the States

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

So why don't they create a new or move the existing NSA in a territory that is not a US state? I heard Puerto Rico is looking for somebody to rent the place. Win-win, isn't it?

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Engineer uses binary on voting bumpf to flag up Cali election flaws

Schultz
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FAIL

What's wrong with www._I_am_your_candidate_.com

I think a few more people might get tempted to look up what he is about. If I google 01100101, all I get is some 'free binary translator' and I doubt too many of his constituents will look him up on ElReg.

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Dyson hair dryer

Schultz
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Boffin

I'll assume it is 'supersonic' only,

so the neighbors won't wake up.

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Schultz
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'Big Tech' being on the wrong side doesn't put the copyright industry on the right.

The copyright industry went so far beyond common sense with their efforts to protect their assets for eternity that even Google and MS look like heroes when picking up the fight with them. Let's hope their fight destroys enough of the current system to bring about something more reasonable

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Irish researchers sweep smartphones clear of super bugs

Schultz
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Facepalm

Antibacterial nonsense

You carry more bacterial cells than human cells in your body. Wash your hands before dinner and stop worrying about your phone. Oh, and while we are at it, when did you last put your keyboard through the dishwasher?

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UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

Schultz
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WTF?

The average drone ...

looks more like this: http://goo.gl/Axq5Ku (Aliexpress link), runs without explosive fuels and is not a hardened steel construction. The statement "made of sturdier stuff, can carry liquid fuels and have rapidly-rotating rotors that could conceivably damage a plane" therefore sounds a bit of hyperbole. Still, those drone operators should follow the rules just like the model plane operators did in the past.

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Schultz
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Boffin

Bending the natural sciences to conform to political will ...

is hard to do. Even the Nazis didn't follow through with their aryan science. So calm down and let the politicians go through the motions of trying all those approached that don't work.

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

Schultz
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Simply broken

I have not purchased music (online or off) for years. I am quite selective in what I listen to and I am not willing to pay lots of money for legally sampling music online. I pretty much gave up hope that they'll ever create a system that will work for somebody like me. The only music I bought in the last >10 years was boring old CDs, directly from artists I already knew. I was excited for some 5 minutes when Pandora launched (and I found and bought some new music in the days), but they were quick to shut out the bigger part of the world and that was that.

There is a lot of money waiting to be spent worldwide, but the system is broken and apparently nobody can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.The artists and producers dream of the golden days when everybody replaced the payed-for LPs and tapes with an expensive CD collection. They forgot that, historically, even wizz kids like Mozart barely made a living.

Cry for me, Argentina, -- no, that's still copyrighted. Cry me a river -- oops not that one either. Just forget it then.

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Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA

Schultz
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An exabyte in the space of a sugarcube...

but for reading out you need a lot of supplies to run the polymerase chain reaction and those will not be reusable. Add up the total volume or supplies required for writing and reading data, it'll look a lot less efficient. (As in many orders of magnitude less efficient.)

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Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

Schultz
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It's the lottery ...

so the players get ripped off anyways. Some days of the week, somebody else did the ripping off, should I care? Add it to the arguments why the lotteries should be closed. See John Oliver explain the other reasons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PK-netuhHA.

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This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Schultz
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Coat

Some of the jobs may just move overseas...

Let's face it, there will always be pressure to reduce the cost for lower skill jobs. If the US closes their door, jobs will move to other countries. India is a few time-zones away, but maybe it'll be an opportunity for Mexico or Canada to start operating the IT departments for US companies with those highly motivated immigrants.

You might not like it, but those kids from poor countries also want their slice of the pie and they are willing to move across the world to get it.

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Taking an artsy selfie in Stockholm? You might need to pay royalities

Schultz
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Trollface

Slippery slope, what exactly is art?

Please close your eyes now because if you look at the artwork below, you might owe me some money!

...../\

/\/\|.|/\

|........|/\

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Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper

Schultz
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Unhappy

So humanity made a little progress in killing online ads ...

when will humanity figure out how to kill offline ads? I just don't get why every bus window in the Western world must be plastered with ads -- I personally value having a view when sitting in a bus. The same applies for pretty much all the other public ads too. Who decided that it was acceptable to sell every square meter of public city space for advertisements? You want to advertise Coca Cola to me? Sell me a Warhol painting for my living room.

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Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

Schultz
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Go

Aaah, the legal lottery...

you have to play if you want to win!

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Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Schultz
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Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

The government mistrust in Germany and Korea is not so surprising. Germany still remembers the role of government data collection back in the days when computing devices from Hollerith (also known as IBM Germany) allowed to sort and kill some 6 million Jews and commit a good number of other atrocities. The survivors' tales nicely highlight that secrecy / privacy has its values.

In Korea, you find a very high awareness of technological issues and a nice string of political scandals to illustrate government misuse of data (typically to smear the opposition).

Also, neither country has yet seen a major terrorism attack that could be exploited to instill fear of the 'darknet' (whatever that is). Let's hope it stays that way.

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Schultz
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Happy

And 80% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Really!

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The FBI lost this round against Apple – but it aims to win the war

Schultz
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Stop

With the "war on drugs" winding down...

and the "war on terror" loosing steam (there are much less boots on the ground in the middle east now, even though ISIS seems more involved in terror acts than the Taliban ever were), maybe the war on crypto could be next. It does check some boxes:

- Requires continuous government spending (check)

- Can be extended ad-infinitum (check)

- Vague goals that allow to declare success (or need for increased efforts) as politics demand (check)

- Creates sufficient emotions in the public to support the "war"???

Well, their test case against Apple failed that last point. Maybe the war on crypto should then just stay part of the bigger war on terror. Carry on.

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Boffins urged to publish in free journals by science sugardaddy

Schultz
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AC above

Wow, you should go into journalism, I hear they pay by the word ;).

You did a good job laying out the problems of the current system. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to improve the publication business and science funding. Many things that look good on paper may be completely unfeasible -- but who should tell so, except for the specialists in the field who try to (over)sell their ideas. ITER is a great idea? Maybe, or maybe we should invest more in smaller scientific projects because the fusion thing just is not ready yet (and spending billions at a time may not be the most efficient way of getting there).

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London's $40m 'flash crash' trader is to face extradition to the US

Schultz
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Re: Fix

Introducing a delay in trades doesn't necessarily remove the ability to play the system - you just have to be that microsecond faster than your prey, some 5 seconds in the future.

Better to collect all orders and execute them in discrete bunches -- let's say every 1, 5, or 10 seconds. Running a faster computer or a shorter cable won't give you any advantage then. You'd need to hack the data lines from the competition to game the system and that surely must be illegal even if you happen to be a big bank.

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Schultz
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Facepalm

WaitWhat? Affordability challenges?

Wasn't this plane meant to save a lot of money by replacing a lot of overly complicated and expensive specialized planes? I guess they decided to go for the greatest common denominator, or was that the greatest common divisor?. Well, you know what I mean -- or maybe you are just as confused as the managers behind the F-35 project.

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Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Schultz
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Mushroom

"The guys trying to blow up your car, shoot you on the beach, ... are deffo bad guys."

So the US soldiers in their diverse wars, the drone operators, and those covert CIA operatives are always bad guys? They did a lot more blowing up and shooting up than the opposition ever managed. But then, so were the soldiers fighting Nazi Germany. And Hitler himself would not be caught by your definition, he only gave orders.

Sometimes people fight for some greater good (democracy versus fascism), sometimes they fight for survival (Assad), sometimes they fight for a badly defined concept (war on terror). To figure out who is on the right side is not simple and some poor fellow fighting for freedom in the middle east has the same chances for being right or wrong as you do. But he probably put some more thought into this than you did -- because he decided to risk his own life in the fight.

Let me close with a citation from Steven Weinberg: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I think religion should be replaced with 'belief' to also catch the evil committed in the name of Fascism, Communism, and Capitalism. Keep that in mind when you vote for the next Believer in the oval office.

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Boffins build laser that can twist its own light

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Momentum? Does light have mass then?

Photons have no rest-mass. But then they always move with the speed of light and never exist at rest. So that's all right.

Einstein derived that the mass m is given by: E = m*c**2; m = E/c**2, with energy E and speed of light c.

The impulse p was described by deBroglie: λ = h/p; p = h/λ, with the Planck constant h and wavelength λ.

Put them together and you get E = hν = hc/λ, with frequency ν -- another fundamental equation of physics.

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Schultz
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Boffin

Some nerdy comments for Graham Dawson

You can exhaustively describe light by defining it's location (3D in space), impulse (--> propagation through space) and polarization (field vector perpendicular to the propagation direction).

To create "Orbital Angular Momentum" (OAM), scientists use a spatial polarization mask to obtain "geometric phase control" (see Nature article). So they play with polarization and impose different polarization properties on different spatial parts of the beam. They didn't create some magic new photon property of OAM, but they just play with location dependent polarization.

All OAM stories I read about make a big deal about the potential applications in data transfer (multiplexing the throughput of an optical a fiber via OAM control). But fibers only transmit a limited number of modes (let's call those OAM states) -- if you increase the number of transmitted modes by using a multimode fiber (bigger diameter), you'll always have increased signal degradation and loss, so the total information you can physically transmit does not scale proportionally to the number transmitted modes.

I'd be very happy if those OAM people would come up with some magic to improve data transmission, but I just don't see the physics working out for them.

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Schultz
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Facepalm

Use quantum physics language for photons ...

Bam, you got 'new science'. (New, as in: nobody ever heard it before).

Use the old-fashioned language of "polarization" and "interference" -- and the new science doesn't sound so new anymore. It's a good thing that the physical reality doesn't really care about your language, so go ahead and spin your photons into new orbits as much as you care. Just make sure they don't get too dizzy, it would be a pity if they fall over.

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'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Schultz
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DD-MON-YYYY

sucks for sorting dates. I like YYYY-MM-DD -- everything ends up in the right place without any effort.

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Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption

Schultz
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Thumb Down

"Free markets are the antithesis of crony capitalism"

No, because even "free markets" are based on rules and whoever makes the rules can select the winners and losers of the game. This is the whole basis of the 1% discussion.

Of course you might equate free market with anarchy and the absence of rules. In that case, the strongest will take what he likes and start imposing his rules on everybody else. Free markets are an abstract economic concept and any real exchange of goods is limited by implicit and explicit rules.

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DARPA to geeks: Weaponize your toasters … for America!

Schultz
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Mushroom

Need more than one device ...

for creative world destruction. Let's say the microwave feeds back its stored magnetron energy (through the smart multiplug) through the toaster, focusing a standing EM wave to burst and ignite the over-pressurized isobutane coolant coil of the nearby fridge.

If I can come up with it, so can your smart toaster!

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

Schultz
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Don't Nuke It!

Or we'll have SCOzilla coming for us next.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Schultz
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Just a successful PR campaign

My theory is that this started as a cheap PR campaign for Trump. As in: "Hey, I'll run for president. Worst case it's a lot of cheap PR, best case I'll be the next president."

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European Patent Office still in nosedive as union denies reaching deal

Schultz
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Facepalm

"misunderstanding"

Your article indicates that the EPO management is badly misunderstood.

EPO: "very close to an agreement that was ready to sign" -- NOT

EPO: revised version of the "request" to EPO management would remove direct criticism of Battistelli. -- NOT

Maybe you are on to something here. I wonder if the conflict might be based on everybody misunderstanding the EPO management ... Keep asking those questions, it might get entertaining.

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Offers? Opera's board likes Qihoo, says shareholders should too

Schultz
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Farewell, Opera

I really liked the browser back in the days and still used it occasionally. I always hoped they might develop themselves as European alternative in an increasingly privacy-aware world.

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