62 posts • joined 21 May 2007
Took a wrong turn at the Basingstoke roundabout?
Not just me then
I was beginning to think I was the only one expecting a Paul Gascoine story
/Autocorrect fail: "Paul Gasoline"
Re: Human nature doesn't change
Roger Bacon was a Franciscan, so what does that make Francis Bacon?
(It helps if you read that in Dennis Miller's voice).
Yes please Re: More!
When I was taught statistics it was from the dull and dry perspective of "work out how likely something is to happen". It turns out that in real life, a much more interesting question is "here's what actually happened, work out how likely it is that it was random". Not only is that great for detecting fraud, it's also a basic tool of science; for example the discovery of the Higgs Boson basically boils down to "here's the decay events we recorded, how likely is it that we'd see that distribution of events without a Higgs Boson in the mix? Vanishingly small? OK, that's the discovery."
More of the same, please.
No, this doesn't undermine Einstein
No, there is not "information transfer" faster than the speed of light. The effect here seems to be non-local, but we've known for a long time that QM is almost certainly non-local*.
In order to transfer information you first have to entangle the particles, then separate them (slower than light), then do your experiment, then bring the results back together to compare them (slower than light).
The subtlety that many people miss, including the Uni of Waterloo's PR department, is that the entanglement results appear completely random when considered separately, and there is no information /until you bring both sets of results together/ and measure the correlation between them. This last step is still slower than the speed of light.
So no, this doesn't undermine Einstein. If anything, it underlines how brilliant he was to deduce such a basic principle of the universe even before QM was understood as it is today.
*There's still a slim hope that locality can be rescued -- even Bell's Theorem doesn't completely rule it out -- but it does require other sacrifices in our understanding of reality that are probably even worse.
Needle nose pliers
Needle nose pliers should not be used to remove nose hair. It's a complete misnomer.
Distribution? How about the Post Office Railway?
The London Post Office Railway is still down there under the city, although it was mothballed a decade ago. Maybe somebody should use it for Same Day "Delivery" of purchases to pick-up locations around the city. Hard to believe it wouldn't be more efficient than fighting through London traffic.
Gravitational waves, not gravity waves
Pedant point: correct in the article, incorrect in the headline, it should say "gravitational waves". Gravity waves are something else entirely, i.e. a meteorological phenomenon that produces seriously cool cloud formations (worth checking out on Google Images).
Having said that, the term "gravity waves" is used loosely all too often so El Reg is far from alone.
Re: Standard Model DOES predict asymmetry
@DavCrav is correct. CP violation doesn't give enough asymmetry by a couple of orders of magnitude.
Re: When I was a lad!!
I guess that also puts paid to my plan for Basic Application Development As Software Service (BADASS).
Open University 2.0?
Has anybody thought about asking the Open University for some advice? They've been doing this for several decades now, even if they started out with boring old telly broadcasts, not exciting new MOOCs.
The clue is in the name
Like most American lobbying groups, you have to assume that they are the opposite of what the name implies. There aren't a million of them, and they mostly aren't "moms".
As for their affiliated organization, the American Family Organization is in favor of families... so long as they comprise a churchgoing working father, an obedient stay-at-home mother, and a gaggle of well-scrubbed kids that were conceived by pleasure-free sex within marriage. Anything else is not a "real" family.
Two things make me feel old
One, remembering most of those machines and two, not being able to tell the colours apart.
Angered down in Anchorage
Is it just me or do most Web 2.0 businesses rely on somebody else not getting paid for providing content?
Dishonest headline is dishonest
Checks byline: Yep, Lewis Page.
Checks story: Yep, headline wildly overstates reality
Finally some nipples!
Thank goodness. I thought we never going to see any naked breasts on the internet.
Book to follow
Working title: "If I did it".
Follow the money
Some telecom company is providing phone service to these people, and making a lot of money while turning a blind eye to the tsunami of outgoing calls. It's absurd to think that they don't know what their customer is doing -- how many customers do they have that generate that volume of outgoing calls and the corresponding billing?
Allow the telecom company to require a bond from companies that want an exceptionally large number of outgoing lines, then hold the telecom company jointly responsible if they fail to police their customers, and this problem would be solved almost immediately.
Shark still looks fake
Re: Cosmic solution? Entropy and gravity Cosmic strings
D'oh. "...starts out in a LOW entropy state", of course.
Cosmic solution? Re: Entropy and gravity Cosmic strings
By the way, I wonder if this theory could help solve the problem of how the universe starts out in a high entropy state. In its initial state without spacetime (and therefore gravity) the universe adopts a high entropy state, i.e. a homogeneous soup. At some point spacetime crystallizes, gravity "switches on", and finds itself with a a very low entropy state for a universe that has gravity. Neat?
Re: Oh inflation
The bigger problem with inflation is not explaining why it happens, but why it stops. That's one of the reasons the original inventor of the theory is now turning against his own theory.
Entropy and gravity Re: Cosmic strings
One of the (many) confusing things about entropy is that opposite things happen with and without gravity.
As you correctly note, in the presence of gravity, matter clumps and entropy increases. A black hole represents the maximal entropy that a region of spacetime can contain. (It's best if you read that in Stephen Hawking's voice).
But in the absence of gravity, the highest entropy state is one where all the stuff is homogeneously spread out -- much the way entropy is taught in 101 science classes. And what these guys appear to be arguing is that in the very early universe there are no spacetime dimensions, hence no gravity.
No, it's American
In American, it's OK to verb any noun.
Of all the dumb things that denialists say, this is by far the dumbest. Are you seriously suggesting that CLIMATE scientists don't take into account variations in solar activity? Seriously, that's your position?
Re: Oh, the possibilities
You owe me a keyboard, although it might be worth it for the sinus-clearing effects of hot coffee.
Re: What a Falcon ijediot
Except no. He is stealing them to play with them, he's stealing them and selling them on eBay.
Never has the Pedantic Grammar Nazi icon been more deserved
No. The official answer on the Lego website is that neither "Lego" nor "Legos" is the correct plural: "Lego bricks" is.
In reality? My American friends are about equally divided between "Lego" and "Legos".
Missing the point entirely
The question isn't "what kind of expensive toys should we launch from our even more expensive toys?". The question is "why do need any of this BS anymore?". It's called the Department of Defence, not the Department of Flying Sorties Over Unsettled Arab Countries. A proper defence review would ask what exactly we're defending these days... and promptly slash the defence budget by about 80%.
It's the 21st century, not the 19th. We're not at war with our neighbors, and never will be in any foreseeable future. There is no credible possibility of invasion (and even if there were, carriers would hardly be relevant). We don't have colonial interests in Africa. We don't have a need (other than ego) to project power in the east. We're not responsible for protecting shipping lanes in the North Atlantic. The Cold War is over. Our entire defence posture is all about propping up vested interests in power, and pandering to the national ego.
The age of large standing armies and navies in Europe is over. Get used to it.
re. your 2nd paragraph: Actually, no. The most recent genetic analyses DO show differences.
There are genetic markers present in everybody EXCEPT Africans that apparently came from Neanderthals and that account for about 2% to 4% of our genetic code (and because these markers are everywhere outside Africa, that interbreeding must have happened very soon after leaving Africa.
Similarly, there's good genetic evidence that the homo sapiens that reached Asia interbred with the Denisovians before continuing on through to south east Asia and the Australias.
And there's even emerging evidence that there might have been other archaic species still living in Africa after homo sapiens began its migration out, and that the homo sapiens left behind interbred with those species in the same way.
As for the rest, well, the concept of species is actually pretty vague and less useful once you accept the reality that populations evolve continuously across time and space.
Didn't think their cunning plan all the way through.
Now you can store all your mobile apps and data on a device the TSA won't let you bring on a plane. Brilliant.
slang with more context
Yes, literally it means "whore". When used of a person, the closest English equivalent is probably "bitch", in the way it might be used by American rappers: a denigrating, disrespectful term for a woman, and an even more insulting term for a man who is totally "owned" and powerless.
ObTrivia: there was a 1990 anglo-italian-french movie starring Timothy Dalton called "La putain du roi", and although IMDB says otherwise, my memory says that when I saw it, the title was translated as "The King's Bitch".
Would that be...
...a thundering heard of mammoth?
In case anybody is wondering, when Jacques Martino said "eventual systematic errors" he meant "possible systematic errors". It's a very common mistake when native French speakers speak English as a second language because the French word is "éventuel" (the French call words like that "faux amis" -- false friends).
Before anybody asks about CP violation...
Yes, there are known processes involving the Weak force that produce a small excess of matter over antimatter, but the resulting imbalance is orders of magnitude too small (maybe 11 orders!) to account for the observed disparity.
...the Irish, too. Irish monasteries played a large part in preserving written knowledge through the Dark Ages.
Surely it should be LePlug? Plugs are male.
Not even wrong
@Jim O'Reilly: I was going to type a long reply to your comment, but after getting past the first erroneous claim I came to the conclusion that you're making so little sense, you're not even wrong.
-- relativity has no problem explaining how particles with non-zero mass travel very near the speed of light. If it didn't, we wouldn't even have the LHC or the Tevatron, because that's exactly what they do: accelerate particles to near the speed of light.
-- particles with mass greater than zero never travel *at* the speed of light, and relativity explains why, so the only 'oops' here is your claim
-- "these particles never move slowly"? What does this even mean? Neutrinos move at a variety of speeds depending on their energy.
-- "not rest mass but energy"? Um, obviously what we see is the mass attributable to energy. You may have heard of a little equation that goes E=mc^2?
-- photons *are* fundamental particles. But neutrinos are not remotely like photons since, among other things, they have mass.
-- "All of this confuses the quantum model": The only thing that's confused here, I'm afraid, is your understanding of physics.
Eating for two?
When my wife was pregnant she gave up caffeine and alcohol, so I had to drink for two. Honestly, there were some nights I wasn't sure I could finish the whole bottle. And was she grateful?
I wonder how many non-techies...
...watching this think it's really a human player or team with a fake robotic voice (i.e. a mechanical turk, not that non-techies would know that term)? How many of them get what an impressive achievement this is?
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Or a rigged demo."
The normal human reaction against cheating is rooted in the basic evolutionary drive to reproduce, i.e. to propagate our genes. The worst thing that can happen to a man, from that brutal perspective, is to expend his time and energy raising another man's child. If she's cheating with another woman, not only does that fear not arise, it may be even less likely that she would ever cheat with a man.
"We need our best minds on this!"
"Get India on the phone!"
Bahrain is not Dilmun
You seem very certain of Bahrain being Dilmun, despite the fact that it is inconsistent with pretty much all the references to Dilmun in Mesopotamian texts. For example (courtesy of Wiki):
Hymns regarding the Sumerian god Enki of Eridu in Sumer speak of his assaulting and deflowering Dilmun's maidens as they stand by a river bank, he reaching out of nearby marsh to clasp them to his bosom. Of Bahrain, Failaka, and the eastern littoral of Arabia, none possess marshes and a riverbank. Dilmun, furthermore, is said to lie "in the east where the sun rises," a situation that does not apply to the eastern Arabian littoral, Failaka or Bahrain, all of which lie south of Sumer and Eridu.
So, apart from not having marshes and not being to the east of Sumer, Bahrain is a perfect candidate...
A currant lawmaker wouldn't give a fig
Presumably this is the source of the various Arab Sultanates?
Props for the F. Scott Fitzgerald reference
Now I've got that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
you can't be serious?
I think Dan Brown's villain...
...was trying to make an Antipope
Apparently they needed help...
...getting their money out of Nigeria.
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