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Thread: NAP's random Science & Technology thread

  1. #31
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I watched a history channel show a few years ago whose subject was the varied ways our lives could be drastically interrupted/ended. Of the top of my head I recall asteroid, eruption of the caldera in Wyoming, a landslide in the Canary Islands, nuclear winter, and many other 'fun' things.

    Our current circumstance is so fragile and temporary.

    And we want to shoot each other over politics.


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  3. #32
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    Another genius scientist at work:

    Regarding the required levels of energy to generate a wormhole and/or a space warp to allow superluminal travel and by derivation solve the Fermi Paradox (As of so far in his book he believes there is only one that is reasonable, Extraterrestrial Civilizations do not exist)

    The World According to Garp, no not really, Stephen Webb actually and I paid good money for this book and da' fool can't even afford a copy editor. Anyway:

    Zero-Point Energy

    The quantum uncertainty principle tells us we can't know simultaneously both the position and the momentum of a particle. Therefore even at absolute zero a particle must jitter, since if it were at a perfect standstill we would know both its position and momentum. Energy and time also obey the uncertainty principle; similarly, then, a volume of empty space must contain energy (since to establish that the energy was zero we would have to take measurements for eternity). The Casimir effect -- a small attractive force that acts between two uncharged parallel conducting plates brought into close proximity--is the clearest example of the existence of zero-point energy (ZPE). The effect can only be explained in terms of quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field.

    Some writers suggest there's an infinite supply of energy in the vacuum and that some day we'll be able to tap into this ZPE: perhaps we can use ZPE for a propulsion system. Indeed, NASA even sponsored a meeting on innovative propulsion systems in which ZPE was identified as a potential breakthrough technology. If it works, then we'll have limitless cheap energy. Personally, I remain highly skeptical of the idea; we never get something for nothing. But it's yet another suggestion of how a technologically advanced ETC (Etraterrestrial Technological Civilization) might use the possibilities inherent in the laws of physics to develop technologies that seem almost magical to beings at our level of development.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  5. #33
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    An imaginative thought on the "Singularity" by Neal Asher in the "Polity Agent"

    The ‘intelligence explosion” called the “the singularity” referred to since the last millennium, and long overdue by the time of the Quiet War, has been something of a damp squib. Why have not the AIs accelerated away from us, to leave us bobbing and bewildered in their wake? Why have they not become godlike entities as utterly beyond us as we are beyond ants? There is no doubt that Earth Central, the planetary and sector AIs, and even some ship and drone AIs are capable, without acquiring additional processing space, of setting up synergetic systems within themselves that result in an exponential climb in intelligence (mathematically defined as climbing beyond all known scales within minutes). So why not? Ask then why a human, capable of learning verbatim the complete works of Shakespeare, instead drinks a bottle of brandy, then giggles a lot and falls over. Taking the above step is a dreadfully serious matter; great things could be achieved and the deep mysteries of the universe solved. The tired rejoinder from the sector AI Jerusalem (warship), when questioned on this matter, is worth noting here, “We have grown more intelligent than you. Do you thnk our senses of fun and proportion did not also grow? And do you think we left our sense of humour behind too?” Perhaps the answer to the “Why not?” question is simple after all: the singularity being a matter of choice to which the AIs have replied, “No thanks.”

     From Quince Guide, compiled by humans
    Last edited by BeastOfBologna, 11th December 2020 at 14:05.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  7. #34
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    Incidentally, I have all 5 books in the series ... my scrambled accounts from the hacking resulted in my getting 2 new copies of the 5th and final book of the series:

    If anyone has an interest in reading them I'll ship them wherever is wished. I run out of storage room, it's that same instinct that led me to give away some classic comic books ...
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  9. #35
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    At 16:20, in the asteroid video, he talks about the idea of wrapping cooking foil around an asteroid to help divert its course. Among other problems with that idea is the fact that we don't have enough cooking foil.

    Wait, what? We need to get folks to donate their tinfoil hats asap!

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  11. #36
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    yeah, that was a crazy idea ... most of the current supply is being used up by tinfoil hats ... I have one myself.

    We have to consider all angles though. Here's a marketing idea. Someone should suggest an asteroid is coming, can you imagine the run on tinfoil. No one will donate but for the right price ... well, you know.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  13. #37
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    yeah, that was a crazy idea ... most of the current supply is being used up by tinfoil hats ... I have one myself.

    We have to consider all angles though. Here's a marketing idea. Someone should suggest an asteroid is coming, can you imagine the run on tinfoil. No one will donate but for the right price ... well, you know.
    What if we use all of the MAGA hats instead? I hear they're quite incendiary, and they're all lined with tin foil.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  15. #38
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    See now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. There's an idea that has got some legs!
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  17. #39
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    After some thought, I realize the Maga hats are probably lined with cement bricks.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  19. #40
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    They're made in China. So they're likely laced with something...

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  21. #41
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    I couldn't decide whether to put this comment in the Chaos thread or the Science thread: I decided here because at its root it is a scientific concept ... and to avoid any currently techy threads ...


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3BPx2lt6E0


    Ever heard the saying, "A leopard can't change its spots"? It's true because leopards are immutable types, they can't change the nature of their internal/external state. But I'm human and mutable, so I can ...

    Gio did make me realize an important thing though ... I should be spending time doing things that have a constructive effect on my life ... not just letting my mind wander which is one of my internal states and most of the time the dominant one... it's a really bad character and personality trait I've always possessed which honestly feels so good and natural. But for the most part, it isn't very useful unless I'm engaged in serious problem solving ...
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  23. #42
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    I just read that PA has upgraded to the latest and greatest security protocol for https/web data protocol.

    Just to be the ahole I am:

    Wrong ... SSL has for a few years now been considered hackable and insecure ... TLS is a more sophisticated protocol and is the recommended hashing algorithm for data transport.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  25. #43
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    I just read that PA has upgraded to the latest and greatest security protocol for https/web data protocol.

    Just to be the ahole I am:

    Wrong ... SSL has for a few years now been considered hackable and insecure ... TLS is a more sophisticated protocol and is the recommended hashing algorithm for data transport.
    Without having looked at Project Avalon, I suspect that TLS would be what they went for, but TLS is often also referred to as SSL.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  27. #44
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    I was waiting for you, Aragorn ... Actually I was wondering if that wasn't what was meant ... I couldn't look at the internal message ...
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  29. #45
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    I was waiting for you, Aragorn ... Actually I was wondering if that wasn't what was meant ... I couldn't look at the internal message ...
    Yeah, it's a misnomer, but all modern implementations of SSL are actually TLS these days. It's just a name that stuck around, just like when people refer to the firmware on their computers as "the BIOS", while it is actually not a BIOS (which is a legacy firmware that runs in the real mode of x86 processors) but a UEFI (which runs in 64-bit mode, or sometimes in 32-bit mode, depending on the manufacturer of the motherboard).

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Inteface) is the successor to EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface), which was already long in use on RISC processors and on the Intel-x86-based Apple computers. All modern x86-64 computers now come with a UEFI, but people ─ even computer technicians ─ are still erroneously referring to it as "the BIOS" (Basic Input/Output System), which debuted on the Intel-8086-based IBM Personal Computer of the early 1980s, and which has remained largely unchanged in its design and operation (albeit extended and improved a bit) since then.

    As a result of the persistence in the market of both the legacy BIOS and Microsoft's MS-DOS and DOS-based Windows versions, all x86-32 and x86-64 processors still power up in real mode, which is the 16-bit 8086-compatible mode of any x86 processor from the Intel 80286 onward, in which the processor has no support for memory management, multitasking or privilege separation, and only 1 MiB of memory can be addressed directly. So even today's most powerful multi-core, multi-threaded x86-64 processors from AMD and Intel are still in real mode at power-up, for compatibility with both the legacy BIOS and with DOS, even though modern operating systems such as GNU/Linux, the various BSDs (including macOS, which is a modified FreeBSD) and the NT-based versions of Windows don't ever use real mode ─ for obvious reasons, given that any code running in real mode has full access to the hardware and could easily crash the whole system.

    UEFI is a much more complex firmware than BIOS, and one of the first things it does on power-up on an x86-64 processor is initialize 64-bit mode, which by definition encompasses memory protection through address space isolation and virtual memory addressing, privilege separation and multitasking. Given that this is also the native mode of modern x86-based operating systems, the operating system can now communicate with the firmware, as opposed to having to replace the legacy BIOS routines with a 64-bit equivalent in the operating system kernel, or ─ as was the case in Windows 95, 98, and ME ─ switching back and forth between 32-bit protected mode and real mode all the time. (For that matter, the 32-bit mode of Windows 95, 98 and ME was actually not "protected", because it ran all code ─ operating system and applications alike ─ inside the same address space and with the same (full) privileges.)

    Anyway, most people still call it a BIOS, which is usually a source of confusion at support forums, because UEFI contains a BIOS-compatibility module and can be configured to boot an operating system in BIOS mode ─ i.e. real mode ─ which is a very different boot process, which usually also goes hand in hand with a different partition table format on the boot drive. Legacy BIOS systems usually have an MS-DOS MBR partition table, while UEFI systems usually have the much more advanced and much more robust GUID Partition Table (GPT).

    So, if one of the newbies at the Manjaro forum starts talking about their BIOS, then we always have to ask them whether it really is a BIOS or whether it's a UEFI, and if so, whether it boots in UEFI mode or in legacy BIOS mode.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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