Posts by Paul_Tergeist

1) Message boards : SETI@home Science : DNA data encoding> Message of life? (Message 1359699)
Posted 22 Apr 2013 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
It may be possible to modify DNA like the above, but in light of mutations, who's to say that it will remain accurate?
2) Message boards : SETI@home Science : 3 earth like planets discovered. (Message 1359697)
Posted 22 Apr 2013 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
Antimatter is essentially identical to normal matter (in terms of underlying physics) except that certain properties have the opposite sign. Mass is *not* one of those properties - antiprotons and protons have the same mass, as do electrons and positrons, etc.

The sign change may sound like it's really different (and to a certain extent, it is), but we can use the same math analysis to figure out what antiparticles will do. In that regard, the physics isn't different.

The idea of negative mass seems unlikely given our current understanding of the relationship between matter and mass (of which the Higgs boson is the latest news). What could be very interesting is figuring out a better relationship between mass and gravity. Currently, the best we have is Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which is a more powerful form of Newton's Universal Gravitation. However, Relativity completely fails to describe gravity at quantum-scales (really, *really* small).

The laws of physics must work in any frame of reference. That is one of the tenets of physics. The fact that General Relativity has problems with the really small scale indicates there may be some important stuff there. What we find, though, is anyone's guess.

To address your question regarding's relationship to the speed of light equation?

the equation a lot of people know and love is:

where E is the total energy, m is the mass of the particle, and c is the speed of light.

However, this only describes a particle at rest. The equation for the total energy of a particle moving at speeds getting close to the speed of light is:

where gamma = 1/( square_root( 1 - v2/c2 ) ).

As v increases closer to c, gamma gets bigger and bigger, approaching infinity. Since we can't have infinite energy, we can never make anything with mass travel at the speed of light according to Einstein's theory of Special Relativity. All our observations support Special and General Relativity, so most physicists are pretty confident in saying that it's right, and all physicists will say that it is the best model that we have for gravity.

That was a fun tangent. Regarding the original post, I'm really happy to see Kepler performing according to specs and getting due attention.

"Future NASA missions are going to focus on more nearby stars that we can look at in much more detail," Barclay said.

Yay! It's about time we take a closer look at our own neighborhood.
3) Message boards : Number crunching : The 84 cents a month fundraiser. (Message 1357453)
Posted 16 Apr 2013 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
My parakeet and I thank the team for all their efforts. Here's a donation to help getting back to the planned budget.

Thank you for your gift of $100.00 via Mastercard on 04/15/2013.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $100.00

Your confirmation number is: 111739
4) Message boards : Number crunching : 2012 - 2013 Marathon Pledge Drive (Message 1273645)
Posted 21 Aug 2012 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
Dont stop donating please.

Indeed! I'm glad it's still open.

echo -n "What donation would you like to make to SETI@home? "
read -e donation
echo "Green star:" $donation
echo "Keeping SETI@home running: priceless"
unset donation

Dear Jonathan Blair,

Thank you for your gift to:


We received your gift of $100.00 via Mastercard on 08/21/2012. Your confirmation number is 96995.
5) Questions and Answers : Web site : Minor Page Glitch (Message 1230851)
Posted 12 May 2012 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
FWIW, Linux kernel on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneric) using Firefox 12.0.

But unless I'm mistaken, that error feedback is indicative of server code used to customize the html sent to users, thus is independent of user hardware/software. I would wager that it's PHP, since the date_default_timezone_set() function is listed in that documentation. (search for 'PHP date_default_timezone_set' in your favorite search engine)

Best regards
6) Questions and Answers : Web site : Minor Page Glitch (Message 1230576)
Posted 11 May 2012 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
This is not a high priority issue, but hopefully it's an easy fix. If you go to the alphabetical listing of account profiles (Home > Profiles under Community > pick any letter, number or other under Alphabetical profile listings), you'll notice that there is error feedback printed at the bottom of the page.


Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /disks/thumper/b/home/boincadm/projects/sah/html/seti_boinc_html/ on line 86

Best regards
7) Message boards : Technical News : Creep (Nov 17 2009) (Message 948482)
Posted 20 Nov 2009 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
Would a single-day outage even permit a better diagnosis of Mork and Ptolemy's crashes? Matt said Jeff had issues with a debug kernel tested on his desktop, and as far as I can gather those haven't been resolved or are low-priority.

I'm guessing by the move to try a debug kernel that one of the suspects (and possibly nastiest) is the O/S interface with the hardware. If that is indeed the culprit, Mork at least may be fine and dandy hardware-wise. I haven't been keeping up with Ptolemy, so I'll reserve comment there. Diagnosing the issue may take several crashes to compare multiple dumps. At this point, there's no information on the cause to try to replicate the crash. Without being able to use a debug kernel to get thorough information on errors before and leading up to a crash the options for diagnosis are limited.

Matt - have you had the opportunity to run a memory test on Mork? I think that was one of the first things done before it was brought online (back when it first received a questionable reputation). I have no clue how long a full series of tests takes on 64 Gb using one 2.13 GHz core, so perhaps that may not be convenient.

Matt, my hat goes off to you for your sys-admin work. These computers are unique beasts. As always, thanks for keeping us all in the loop.
8) Message boards : Technical News : Tenaya (Feb 24 2009) (Message 869286)
Posted 25 Feb 2009 by Profile Paul_Tergeist
One major issue is that our server closet (roughly 100 CPUs, 100 TB disk, 200 GB RAM) operates atomically - it's all or nothing. We can't just move one piece somewhere else.

Any possibility of teaming up with another university research group? That might reduce some of the hardware stress, but I don't know how feasible this might be. Just another option to toss out.

As always, please keep us posted on the situation.

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