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Ben “The Blenster” Hibben
Lives in Louisville, KY
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Just finished my latest steampunk sculpture.Some sort of fairy-like insectoid made using wire, taxidermy glass eyes, antique watch movement, clock parts & miscellaneous jewelry findings.The perfect specimen for a cabinet of curiosities i recently built.
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I can certainly understand his frustration with the hiring process in Tech (especially as I delve into it once again myself). What do you think?

h/t +Brian Wallace
Disclaimer: This is a story about my interview experience in the tech industry. No personal names will be used to preser…
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I think that one of the problems with tech interviews is that by and large, there's a two year learning curve on business logic, company culture, workarounds for broken design, knowing where the documentation is hidden, and all of the other miscellaneous information that you need to a) be really productive and b) communicate effectively... You can't judge if someone is going to work out until you're speaking the same language about all those things... and a lot of times otherwise talented developers don't want to jump through the particular set of hoops that a given company has their programmers jump through. The interview process is essentially a sham, because there isn't any way for the interviewers to actually communicate their needs, and no way for interviewees to demonstrate their ability to meet demands that they will only actually understand until they have been on the job for two years... And previous qualifications don't even count for much, because the interviewee would have to supply two years of context to the interviewers.
The Raspberry Pi has a new camera and it seems to be a better sensor; I've played with the old one quite a bit and i look forward to finding out how this one compares:
One of your favourite add-ons, now available with higher resolution, image quality, colour fidelity and low-light performance, for the same price of $25.
At my parent's house picking up chicks:

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Scientists may have solved an ancient Peruvian mystery using photos from space
Archaeologists have spent centuries trying to figure this out.
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Just watched a rerun of Expedition Unknown where the host, Josh Gates, went to study the Nazca Lines. At one point he went to one of these watering holes and ended up surmising the Nazca lines were pointing towards water.
Have him in circles
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Ever play with a non-newtonian fluid? It's cool stuff. But what happens when you crush it with a hydraulic press?

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My favorite!
More details on the bad explanation for this:

h/t +Winchell Chung 
Bad physics

You may have heard of the "EmDrive", a gadget that supposedly provides thrust by bouncing microwaves around in a metal can.  It's sort of like trying to power a spaceship by having the crew play ping-pong

Now there's a new "theoretical explanation" of this quite possibly nonexistent effect.  It appeared on the arXiv an unpublished paper by someone named M.E. McCulloch.  It's completely flaky, and normally I'd ignore it, but for some reason the normally respectable mag Technology Review decided to mention it.  So people are starting to talk about it, not realizing how goofy it actually is!

There's a respectable though undetected effect called the Unruh effect.  It's a consequence of special relativity and quantum mechanics.   When you put these theories together, they predict that an accelerating observer will see a faint glow of thermal radiation.

Why hasn't it been detected?   Because it's predicted to be very, very  weak.   Absurdly weak!

For example, suppose you accelerate at a trillion gee - a trillion times more than a falling object on Earth.  Then the theory predicts you'll see thermal radiation at a temperature of 40 billionths of a degree Celsius above absolute zero.   That's so faint nobody knows how to detect it!

What about someone at rest watching someone else accelerate past them?  What will they see?  There are arguments about this, but whatever happens, it'll be too small to detect under most circumstances.  Chen and Tajima have proposed an experiment to accelerate a single electron at 10 septillion gee (that is, 10^25 gee), and that might be enough for something interesting to happen.  However, the EmDrive gadget is nowhere near as intense.  It's basically just a can with microwaves bouncing around inside.

This has not stopped McCulloch from claiming that the Unruh effect "explains" the EmDrive! 

He also claims it explains the rotations of galaxies, eliminating the need for dark matter.  He also claims that it explains the accelerating expansion of the Universe, eliminating the need for dark energy.  And he also claims that it explains the Pioneer anomaly - a small mysterious acceleration that some spacecraft have encountered as they go far out into the Solar System. 

None of this makes any sense.  In fact, I can't believe I'm even talking about this!  But let me just quote a bit of McCulloch's paper, and comment on it:

McCulloch (2007) has proposed a new model for inertia (MiHsC) that assumes that the inertia of an object is due to the Unruh radiation it sees when it accelerates [...]

So the inertial mass of an object is caused by the Unruh radiation?   Okay... yup, that's certainly new.   Let me just say there's no evidence for this.

[...] radiation which is also subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect.

Oh, good, the Casimir effect!  As if things weren't confused enough already.  The Casimir effect is a very real thing: a force between very nearby metal plates, caused by the fact that the electric field can't easily penetrate a conductor.  It's a tiny force, and farther apart the plates are, the weaker it becomes.  So now imagine they're as far apart as most distant galaxies we can see....

In this model only Unruh wavelengths that fit exactly into twice the Hubble diameter are allowed, so that a greater proportion of the waves are disallowed for low accelerations (which see longer Unruh waves) leading to a gradual new loss of inertia as accelerations become tiny.

The Hubble diameter is very roughly the size of the observable Universe.  Now he's saying that at rather small accelerations the Unruh effect is so tiny that the thermal radiation has wavelengths even larger than the size of the observable Universe.  That's true.  And that of course means that this effect is even more absurdly weak than in the example I gave. 

But he's also saying that something like the Casimir effect takes place, where the size of Universe plays the role of distance between the metal plates in the usual Casimir effect.   In other words, when an object accelerates fast enough that the Unruh radiation it sees fits inside the Universe, the Unruh effect "kicks in" and gives the object a kick, or makes its mass get bigger, or something.

Again, two things stand out: 1) it doesn't work like this, and 2) even if it did, the effect would be so tiny that... why are we even talking about it?  Even the pathetically weak thrusts the EmDrive supposedly creates - less than 100 micronewtons in the latest experiments - are like a thundering herd of giant elephants compared to what we're talking about here. 

The difficulty of demonstrating MiHsC on Earth is the huge size of [the Universe] in Eq. 1 which makes the effect very small unless the acceleration is tiny, as in deep space. One way to make the effect more obvious is to reduce the distance to the horizon and this is what the emdrive may be doing since the radiation within it is accelerating so fast that the Unruh waves it sees will be short enough to be limited by the cavity walls in a MiHsC-like manner.

So now it's the radiation inside the can that's "accelerating so fast" that it sees Unruh radiation... which is limited in wavelength by the size of the can... which somehow makes the whole can get a push when the Unruh radiation fits into the can.

In short, we've got a Rube Goldberg machine where all the parts involve brand new theories of physics with nothing backing them up, and all the actual effects cited are absurdly tiny. 

But that's not all!   One amusing thing is that while the Unruh effect involves quantum mechanics, Planck's constant - the number that shows up in every calculation in quantum mechanics - never shows up in this paper.  So McCulloch is not actually doing anything with the Unruh effect!  Instead, he's making up brand new stuff, like this:

Normally, of course, photons are not supposed to have inertial mass in this way, but here this is assumed.

So his photons have mass - and on top of that, the mass changes with time: see his Equation 4!

Verdict: this paper is a stew of nonsense served with a hefty helping of warmed-over baloney.   And yet we see in the Daily Mail:

Have scientists cracked the secret of NASA’s 'impossible' fuel-free thruster? New theory could explain the EmDrive that may one day take man to Mars in 10 weeks

Excuse me, I need to go bang my head on the wall a bit.   I can't stand this anymore.
The same theory that explains the puzzling fly-by anomalies could also explain how the controversial EmDrive produces thrust.
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"That's not how the Force works!"
The Open Source part of OpenAI could well make it one of the most important human projects if they are successful in democratizing AI (and keeping it from being something only governments, militaries, and the ultra wealthy control).

I help run a fan-page over on FB if you're into this sort of thing:
OpenAI wants to give away the 21st century's most transformative technology. In the process, it could remake the way people make tech.
Hanging out at my dad's shop; more knife pr0n:

+Daryl Hibben​
Barton Chittenden's profile photoBen “The Blenster” Hibben's profile photo
Ah; gotcha.  Yeah; that's something we fixed up.  We've taken a couple of old rifles that were in bad shape and cleaned them up.  It just happened to be on the bench with the knives.  :-)
Some really cool materials:
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Mutlimedia, web, web standards, flash, actionscript 3, fixing things, reading, thinking, debating, teaching, learning, startups, team leadership, and more
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    Create proof of concepts; prototypes from those concepts, and oversee final product and business development.
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I'm a geek! :-)
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Louisville, KY
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Great place for a decent meal; seems their baked beans machine is on the fritz fairly often the last couple of months, though.
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Delicious food and generous portions that are better than the decor would suggest.
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reviewed 9 months ago
Very friendly staff; grass fed local beef and bison. Highly recommended.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
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Honest mechanics who keep up to date with their tools and training.
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Excellent prints at an excellent price; can't be beat. Support your local businesses.
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Fun place to learn and have fun.
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