2510 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
Isn't life a physical process?
The presence of pink noise is not a proof of life. Many physical processes (including life, in my book at least) produce forms of pink noise. If a white noise random source is effectively filtered by some damping process you will typically get similar effects.
If they were really sure of their results, would they not submit this to Nature or Science? I will read the article more carefully, but I have my doubts.
Re: WHT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO
WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!
What were these guys smoking?
I want some
Re: FTL Velociraptors
And a packet of peanuts I trust
people who do not believe in carbon dating are outdated?
Re: Looks like you need their whole hand
Ever been to Japan?
It is just about the safest country on this planet. Tourists getting mugged in Japan is unheard of. In Tokyo half the bikes I saw parked there were unlocked (no kidding). If this scheme is going to work anywhere, it is in Japan.
Incidentally, it is possible to use Doppler laser scanners to check blood is flowing in veins of the hand, to check it is a real hand (I do not know if these scanners support this).
We have similar problems in the Netherlands
Initially, ICT courses at schools were really a mess, consisting of rote learning which shortcut key did what in MS Word or even WordPerfect (shudder). Now things are improving slightly, and some programming is entering. The results are very mixed however, and many think VB is all there is. As an experiment, I allowed one student (of Technology Management specializing in IT) to hand in one assignment in VB rather than Java. It was a total pile of crud, without any structure, sensible object hierarchy (or proper comments). In fact he had simply searched the API for soe suitable library calls, and lashed these together in one monolithic lump. He had managed to create an app that sort of worked with minimal effort, but I would not call that programming.
I am not saying that VB is bad per se. After all, I have seen many horrible examples of code in any language you care to name, and well-structured pieces of x86 assembly in my time. My point is that this boy had not learned any programming discipline. What is needed is a programme which gets the enthusiasm of kids fired, and teaches them rigour in analysis and implementation (and pick one (or two) of many suitable toolboxes out there). Not an easy task, perhaps, but we are trying as a university to reach out to teachers to show them what is possible, and have some of our students develop stuff for use in the classroom. There is a small, but steadily growing band of teachers who are really developing good materials out there.
Love the Imperia pasta machine
My kids love to crank the handle, so no need for a motorized version. Makes great ravioli too.
I have one Japanese knife as well (not the one shown). It is a three layer sandwich of softer but tougher stainless steel on the outside, with harder, but more brittle carbon steel in the centre forming the cutting edge. My brother brought it from Japan. It stays sharp in part due to the fact that the missus does not dare use it.
I would also put the Porkert No 8 meat grinder (tin plated cast iron affair, mine is made in Czechoslovakia, it is that old) on the list. Brilliant piece of kit to make your own pate and terrine. Again, the kids crank the handle, so I can relax.
Re: Dueling Headlines
The question is whether people are duds because they are rotten coders, or because they lack other skills. I have had some very good students from China (really top of the class), but receive many applications for PhD positions written in such poor English I would not dream of accepting them, however good their coding skills. Being a good IT worker requires more than just coding skills. Besides, there is a huge pool of recruits in China, so even if the top ones beat our top ones, there is plenty of space for duds down below.
So the aliens are:
Dick Dastardly and Muttley!
Better WIMPs than MACHOs
MACHOs (MAssive Cold Halo Objects) are another proposed source of dark matter: orphan planets and other regular material that is simply too cold to see easily. Being hit by an orphan planet would be a once in a lifetime experience.
Therefore: as below, so above: Being hit by a macho is worse than being hit by a wimp.
Bode's law is really the result of gravity and time
Bode's law was quite mysterious, until people realised that the curious sequence of orbital radii of planets meant an equally curious sequence of orbital periods (see Kepler's second law). Effectively, a sequence of orbits obeying Bode's law have simple resonances between the orbits. This increases stability. Over time, we would expect planetary systems to stabilize into orbits which obey this law.
If the whisky does get back to earth
we must really salute the astronauts' and cosmonauts' restraint.
Re: Of course we must have Scotch Whiskey in space....
contradiction in terms:
Scotch whisky now, is another matter. It reminds of an man "kindly" asked to leave the premises of a Scottish "watering hole" after asking for a Bourbon.
He does still have his own teeth, as I recall
"Doing the science, but leaving the commercialization to the private sector, is not patent trolling"
Sums it all up. I have been to the CSIRO in Sydney, great place to do research, when they patent something, take it seriously. "Ars Technica" suddenly reads "Arse Technica" as seen from down-under, I suppose.
Re: But what is the "balanced view"?
I simply mean that if each side demonize the other, we do not get anywhere.
Making money is not evil in any way, nor is preserving nature. It is not wrong to hunt, or cut down trees, it is wrong to hunt creatures to extinction, and wantonly cutting down trees in such a way that whole forests disappear. A forest can be productive, and yet be a nature reserve (many are). If creating large nature reserves means chasing farmers off their land, you not going to make any friends. It causes resentment, and locals often start justifying poaching. If you make nature reserves that include sustainable farms, sustainable wood production, sustainable hunting and tourism, you get a win-win situation. Locals then tend to help track poachers, rather than be the poachers. You do not have to go to Africa for good examples. In the Netherlands many farmers contribute to care for the environment.
Interesting piece. It has strong echoes of how someone like Darwin saw nature. In excerpts of his journal published in "A Narrative of the Voyage of HMS Beagle" his descriptions of landscapes and natural scenes are surprisingly utilitarian, focusing very much of how the landscape could be used to man's benefit. Not at all what many modern environmentalists would expect.
I think Kareiva is dead right that a more balanced view is needed. I have seen several efforts to set up reservations and protect species at the expense of the local population in Africa fail. Likewise I have seen other efforts in which the local population benefits be highly successful. Not really surprising when you think of it.
Ted Nugent? Rush Limbaugh?
This bill (now amended and dying or dead) could have been used to sue Ted Nugent, who openly threatened the President and Hilary Clinton (and assorted others) with a gun in one of his rants. Rush Limbaugh (in the way he described a certain student who testified before congress) could be seen as insulting and harassing using obscene language (i.e. business as usual). He too could be sued. Did the Republicans involved realize this? If so, they might be commended for trying to deal with extremist views from people who claim to be on their side. If not, they might have made the amendments and killed it because they collectively went "oops."
As others have said, you cannot legislate for good manners. Besides, notions of what is acceptable change. We can now say "swut", "jujuflop" and turlingdrome" and know we are healthy, well-adjusted and completely un*****-up personalities. So long as we do not say "Belgium"
Did it taste like chicken?
Sorry, I'll get me coat
Help Astronomers in Britain
Light pollution is a huge problem for (amateur) astronomers. Nobody is suggesting we switch of all the lights at night, but a lot of unnecessary lights could be turned off or dimmed.
There is an e-petition here on cutting back light pollution and energy waste at the same time. All British citizens and anyone living in the UK can sign.
Is it just me,
or does Browsium sound like a Discworld element like Narrativium?
Mine is the one with "Thud" in the pocket
Re: iPhone users <> Apple fanbois
Pascal programmers .NE. Real programmers
Mine is the one with the Fortran 77 Manual
"so could this thing lift the Brooklyn Bridge?"
Yes, and so can you. If I give you a long enough and strong enough lever and a place to stand you can lift the world, as Archimedes would say (but then in Greek)
But will it run Crysis?
Mine is the one with the MPI manual in the pocket
According to "Good morning Vietnam!"
the sizes are:
A serious case, by the sound of it
Now that is a euphemism to remember:
"I can assure you, I am not looking to get laid! I am conducting a geo-social exploration!"
Ok, if the flying car has been sorted
When will we get jet-packs?
Re: STEVE BALLMER
SHOULD THAT NOT BE JACK NICHOLSON AND GLENN CLOSE?
Option 1: Alexei Sayle
Accent may be a problem, but the thought of him chanting "developers, developers, developers!!" in a strong Liverpudlian accent has a strange appeal.
Option 2: Danny DeVito
might have to practice chair flinging, however.
So will this new IDE work on my old Hercules card?
Just a thought
Re: peer reviewed
You are right that publicly funded work should be available publicly. However, note that in all cases any scientist without access to a journal simply contacts the corresponding author (I still have some of those quaint reprint request postcards in a drawer somewhere). The author emails you the PDF, end of problem. IEEE and some other publishers allow you to put your stuff on the web for research and education purposes, provided a suitable copyright statement is included.
The same holds for code we produce: ask and ye shall receive.
Press releases are NOT under embargo in all cases except one (where patent applications are involved, nothing to do with the publisher), in my experience. In those instances where we want to do a press release, the university takes care of it, and the publisher has no say. We do often let this coincide with the (on-line) publication of the paper, so journalists can check out the paper.
Re: Isnane or Welsh!
So do you use Llanfairpwyllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as pass phrase?
Cwmtwrch is a shorter favourite
You could always go for:
"Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number. Its number is 666"
A bit long, but very memorable.
Would be a good BOFH password, once he has given up on "Grievous bodily harm"
Icon, because, well....
What is this figure in double-decker buses per fortnight?
'Smooth, gentle' mating at 28,000 kph
I trust that is with respect to our earthbound frame of reference, not the speed of the podule with respect to ISS.
Re: The other thing about red dwarfs
They have far less UV radiation output than the sun. Because the temperature is lower. If we put the planet near enough to the red dwarf to be comfy temperature-wise, the amount of shorter wavelengths (including blue light) hitting the atmosphere is less. Charged particles release might be energetic, but with a strong enough magnetic field a planet could be OK. One worry is actually that there is not enough UV and other hard radiation to cause enough mutations to keep evolution ticking over, but that is a rather speculative argument. There are many sources of randomness which could supply enough mutations.
Incidentally, the colour of light emitted by your typical red dwarf equals that of an incandescent light bulb (3200 K colour temperature) to that of a halogen light (3600K). So they are really yellowish red, whereas our "yellow" sun emits white (5800K) light.
They avoid us because of cricket!
It's in very bad taste, you know.
Um, what's a Facebook?
Potential answer if you really do not want the job
Should this craft not be manned by Kryten?
Looks like the perfect pilot for it
Sounds interesting. Might give it a try on the windows machine at home.
Yer doomed, doomed, DOOOMED!!!!!
Does going to the pub for a quick pint count?
Sounds plausible, especially if we include earlier reports that beer is good for you.
Re: At least...
genius in its simplicity
So male scars are tough and do not bleed?
Was that published in the Journal of Dermatology, or was it Annals of Improbable Research?
Re: Couldn't have that, now.
Exactly, we want fact-free politics!
Sounds like they like Gordon Way's inverse expert system: don't reason based on facts to get the best possible conclusion, but enter the desired conclusion beforehand (along with the known facts) and let the program come up with a plausible reasoning to support the conclusion.
Douglas Adams, you are sorely missed!
Brazillian policemen chasing blonde women?
is this unusual behaviour?
Sorry, I had to ask. Mine is the one with the ticket to Rio in the pocket.
Re: Lucky lady
Elderly bones can be rather fragile. The septum (which I assume got broken) is not very strong to begin with. It is the only bone I have broken, and I can tell you it is pretty painful. Having it set is not fun either.
I really do not know what happened, so I will not jump to conclusions.
So how many sheets of A4 (sorry, Letter) size paper would be needed?
to get the equivalent amount of paper.
Nice attempt, but could not match PARIS for altitude!
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