Search found 436 matches

by lgw
Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Centrifugal Delta-V
Replies: 15
Views: 3310

Re: Centrifugal Delta-V

With no math at all: the tether does wrap around, because the Base Star is far more massive than the Viper, but the Viper doesn't speed up. Instead, the Base Star begins rotating ever so slightly, and angular momentum is conserved, while the Viper slows down a bit. Much like if the Viper collided el...
by lgw
Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:39 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Spaceship intercept question
Replies: 19
Views: 5694

Re: Spaceship intercept question

if ship b has higher acceleration, it will catch a, no matter which course they choose. What if A has a higher top speed? Or rather, more fuel to burn... Or... if they can hold them off for 30 minutes then they can go into hyperdrive... Or something. There isn't really a top speed, and the equivale...
by lgw
Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:12 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: "Perpetual" Motion Engine
Replies: 40
Views: 12176

Re: "Perpetual" Motion Engine

Odd, never heard that negative mass falls down. Not that I doubt it, but I guess there are two kinds of things one might informally call "negative mass": that which falls towards, but repels, positive mass, and that which is repelled by, but attracts positive mass. As phlip said, the latt...
by lgw
Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Continuity of consciousness in a computer
Replies: 45
Views: 15048

Re: Continuity of consciousness in a computer

Is consciousness a property or a process? I believe it is a process, which is to say: you can't answer questions about consciousness from analysis of the mind or brain in a given instant; instead consciousness arises from a series of state transitions. You "feel" something because of exter...
by lgw
Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:04 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Nerdy Pet Peeves
Replies: 445
Views: 111898

Re: Nerdy Pet Peeves

@lgw: Turning up your nose at people who advocate forceful responses to harmful behavior is super easy to do when you yourself have never been harmed by the behavior in question. (See also: TMT's above response.) The example in this thread was of course in jest and someone who actually decided to t...
by lgw
Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:23 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Nerdy Pet Peeves
Replies: 445
Views: 111898

Re: Nerdy Pet Peeves

Most of the people who say "let the bigots be bigots" aren't directly affected by bigotry. I wish I had that luxury. But what would you do about it? Most of the people who say "let's change the bigots' minds by violence - a little applied phrenology goes a long way" have never b...
by lgw
Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:27 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Nerdy Pet Peeves
Replies: 445
Views: 111898

Re: Nerdy Pet Peeves

I can't throw a rock without hitting someone like that. .... Who wants to come visit me and throw rocks? Me. Ah, so here we see it. Let's show our tolerance by stoning the non-believers. Yay tolerance! People have every right to hold differing values, it's pure intellectual arrogance to assume you'...
by lgw
Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

A program that steals focus, at any point in its execution, is annoying. A program that steals focus, at any point in its execution, with something that can take keyboard input is evil. A program that steals focus while you're typing a password is ... sadly all too common. I'd love to find a deskto...
by lgw
Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:31 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90172
Views: 9095470

Re: Unfetched hashes and turtle-excluding devices

Does it actually get better? I watched the first three episodes of Dr Who and just couldn't stand it any longer The first three episodes are the hurdle you have to clear before the show actually starts getting good. What? An Unearthly Child was a bit rough, but The Daleks was awesome if you get pas...
by lgw
Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:27 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Nerdy Pet Peeves
Replies: 445
Views: 111898

Re: Nerdy Pet Peeves

I don't think peeves need to be logical. If something annoys you, it just does, whether or not you are conscious of any racism, sexism, elitism, etc., underlying your reaction. Discussing peeves in a public forum like this may help people gain insight into why they are responding to their peeve-tri...
by lgw
Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:05 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Have you tried the following? std::vector<int> convert(ArrayObject& arr) { return std::vector<int> (arr.begin(), arr.end()); } (Hint: since the body of the function isn't much longer than the function call, you could also just skip the function altogether and shave off the function call overhea...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:34 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Bamboo torsion springs? Silk skeins? Other ideas?
Replies: 5
Views: 6167

Re: Bamboo torsion springs? Silk skeins? Other ideas?

Any other ideas for materials? I've considered steel springs, but their per-weight energy efficiency (seems to be less than 200 J/kg) seems inadequate. Other ideas? Just use applied phlebotinum? The Romans had automatic ballistae with steel springs, but then they weren't handheld (fun trivia: the U...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:08 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: fuzzy match confidence w/ multiple attributes
Replies: 4
Views: 4638

Re: fuzzy match confidence w/ multiple attributes

I've worked with "fuzzy matching" in real-world commercial code (email archiving/discovery). You can create an e.g. 64-bit signature for a document such that each minor change in the document is likely to flip 1 bit (for the first few changes). Thus if the number of bits "set" in...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:46 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Can a program recognise itself?
Replies: 8
Views: 5358

Re: Can a program recognise itself?

You can recognize a specific encoding, but you can't recognize an equivalent encoding - one that would in every case produce the same output for the same input. The general problem of proving that two programs/algorithms/functions/etc are "the same" requires a logical system that is both c...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

To be honest, I have a weak preference for pointers, rather than references, as output parameters. I like the extra explicitness at call sites. I don't insist it's The Right Way to do things, but it's my current position anyway. I think that's just a habit a lot of people still have - and it does m...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2949
Views: 709831

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

What if we could mechanically couple an object that would reverberate at a frequency at or exceeding the speed of light, moving back and forth within a short distance (say 50 nanometers) in relation to a stationary object. Would there be a measurable effect? Old question, but no one had linked Cher...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Boiling in the greenhouse
Replies: 19
Views: 3978

Re: Boiling in the greenhouse

Do you have a citation for any of that, by any chance? I mean, sure, greenhouses also helpfully prevent wind from taking away the heat that it would remove in an open environment, but do you mean to tell me that the visible transparency and IR opacity of glass have no impact on heating things? Ther...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:41 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: "Perpetual" Motion Engine
Replies: 40
Views: 12176

Re: "Perpetual" Motion Engine

If you had it tethered in the center by a rigid rope perpendicular to the pole, would it swing around in a circle? Yes. But finding a way to do that while maintaining the two weights as the dominant mass "locally" would be quite tough. Plus as Xanthir pointed out, the whole thing really o...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Boiling in the greenhouse
Replies: 19
Views: 3978

Re: Boiling in the greenhouse

Greenhouses work by preventing heat from radiating back into space. No, they really don't. There's often more incoming IR than outgoing, and the IR-blocking nature of glass is mostly a wash, sometimes making it cooler (various experiments have produced different results, but all pretty close to no ...
by lgw
Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:02 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: "Perpetual" Motion Engine
Replies: 40
Views: 12176

Re: "Perpetual" Motion Engine

Take a heavy chunk of material with positive mass, and a heavy chunk of material with negative mass, and connect them by a rigid pole. This apparatus will be pushed by it's own gravity in the direction of the negative mass. Do this in free fall and you have a ship that accelerates forever. Handy tha...
by lgw
Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the ideal structure for a carbon tax?
Replies: 47
Views: 14909

Re: What is the ideal structure for a carbon tax?

Wellllllllll, you're assuming there's no cost of emitting, which I think is a ludicriously untenable position. Environmental protection *is* one of the things I feel a libertarian, like I imagine you are going to call yourself, should believe is the states responsibility. No, I'm absolutely not ass...
by lgw
Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the ideal structure for a carbon tax?
Replies: 47
Views: 14909

Re: What is the ideal structure for a carbon tax?

Surely we want suppliers to pass on carbon prices? When they don't pass them on, there is no reason for their customers to reduce the use of carbon intensive goods. I like carbon-intensive goods. Not trolling here - I see "reducing carbon emissions" as directly translating to "reduci...
by lgw
Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:52 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

To be honest, I have a weak preference for pointers, rather than references, as output parameters. I like the extra explicitness at call sites. I don't insist it's The Right Way to do things, but it's my current position anyway. I think that's just a habit a lot of people still have - and it does m...
by lgw
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:59 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

To be honest, I have a weak preference for pointers, rather than references, as output parameters. I like the extra explicitness at call sites. I don't insist it's The Right Way to do things, but it's my current position anyway. I think that's just a habit a lot of people still have - and it does m...
by lgw
Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:50 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Today I demonstrated that you can crash a C++ program by reinterpreting the type of an array using only "safe" implicit casts. The guy I showed this to was surprised that this seemingly-obvious error generates no warnings with g++ or clang. The fundamental problem is that pointers have tw...
by lgw
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:29 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Unrelatedly, I wish C# had Ruby's dictionary 'default' value. static void SetValue(Dictionary<string, Dictionary<string, Dictionary<string, Dictionary<string, int>>>> dict, string slot, string level, string glyph, string glyphCount, int value) { Dictionary<string, Dictionary<string, Diction...
by lgw
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: RESTful APIs and non-CRUD operations
Replies: 12
Views: 11644

Re: RESTful APIs and non-CRUD operations

I recently helped convert a pretty large API to a RESTful API. The nice thing is: examples like "verify" were quite rare. There are very few interactions with a server where you want to synchronously perform some action that isn't "update the property to this new value", but this...
by lgw
Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:17 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?
Replies: 98
Views: 25843

Re: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your sour

Wow, that's the weirdest thing I've read on these forums, and I read the OTT. So you're saying that if I try to redirect the all light from the Sun onto a small target, some of the light will, what, push the other light out of the way? How does that even? Destructive interference? I'm at a loss here...
by lgw
Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?
Replies: 98
Views: 25843

Re: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your sour

The laws of thermodynamics are satisfied as long as energy in conserved and entropy is not decreased . "And there is some loss" is too vague. That's oversimplified. Many systems decrease entropy "locally", it just takes power to do so (increasing entropy somewhere like the Sun)....
by lgw
Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?
Replies: 98
Views: 25843

Re: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your sour

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time. Heat cannot spontaneously flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system. That's the second law of thermodynamics, in the form in...
by lgw
Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:14 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)
Replies: 13421
Views: 1717499

Re: Today I Learned

Today I learned, I think Winkel is a fricken funny word. http://www.hema.nl/klantenservice/uitleg-online-winkelen.aspx How do we learn these things? There is a Rumor, "There is a joke site built into this site. I Can't find it. Looking for a joke and all I find is the word, Winkel. Winkel is a...
by lgw
Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?
Replies: 98
Views: 25843

Re: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your sour

So all of this is really about black body-shaped radiation curves, right? What happens if we step up the frequency? Is the maximum temperature you can radiatively heat something to just a function of the frequency (distribution) of the light? If I increased the frequency of the heating element in my...
by lgw
Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?
Replies: 98
Views: 25843

Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source?

Can you (passively) heat an object hotter than your source? OK, that's awkwardly worded, let me try to explain. Different forms of power have different sorts of "potential difference" (is there a more general term for this??) that can each be increased "passively" while conservin...
by lgw
Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: FIRST polar vortex? Oo
Replies: 29
Views: 4100

Re: FIRST polar vortex? Oo

These days my assumption that "anyone wanting others to change their behavior or we're all doomed is just chicken little-ing to gain political power" is so strong that I can't take the climate change guys seriously regardless of how good the science may be. The line of people telling me h...
by lgw
Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1976534

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Plan to make people cringe: add git pre-receive script that minimizes (remove whitespace, newlines etc) all code, then add post-checkout script that auto-indents all code. I'd love to try this on a real code snippet. I have a suspicion it wouldn't work out so well though. If it was just indentation...
by lgw
Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: FIRST polar vortex? Oo
Replies: 29
Views: 4100

Re: FIRST polar vortex? Oo

I said cooling was never a mainstream idea the way warming is today , and TallDave decided to argue against the unmade claim that cooling was never "mainstream" in any sense whatsoever. Well, Global Warming has become nearly a Moral Panic these days, so it would be hard to top that. The p...
by lgw
Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Vacuum particles and gravity
Replies: 6
Views: 2255

Re: Vacuum particles and gravity

Energy density also exerts gravity in General Relativity, so there's no difference between a certain amount of background energy (in the form of, e.g. photons) vs. a virtual particle pair, in terms of the gravity it exerts. For your second question, the virtual particle pairs that we usually talk a...
by lgw
Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1322: Winter
Replies: 125
Views: 28138

Re: 1322: Winter

There's a reason the English language has the largest vocabulary of any language in the world.  That's because we have a word, a *PROPER* word, for just every thing, action, feeling, or concept. 1. German 2. What is the word in English for the little splash made by a drop of rain when it lands in a...
by lgw
Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:52 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hype your ripe snipes 'n' gripes
Replies: 28619
Views: 3483472

Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

D&D always seems fun. I like the character creation aspect and the decision making - I like to think I'd get quite creative. But I'd have idea about finding a local game. I particularly despise D&D character creation. Better: I despise character sheet creation. It's a pain in the ass, 347 r...
by lgw
Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: How to know you're truly old.
Replies: 156
Views: 59365

Re: How to know you're truly old.

philsov wrote:...
Similarly: The music you grew up with is now on the classic rock station :\


Wait till it's on the easy listening station. I've heard (instrumental versions of) songs that were Hëavy Mëtal when I was in school, played on elevator music stations.

Go to advanced search