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Comment: Re:Ahh yes (Score 0) 106

by tibit (#48028465) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

I don't think that those issues have eluded anyone. It's much simpler than that: nobody looked in that mess of code. A lot, and I mean, a lot of core gnu code is sorely due for an overhaul. Heck, I wish they rewrote a lot of it using modern C++ (perahps without iostreams, though). It'd become a much smaller, more manageable code base. Properly done C-to-C++ ports should shed at least 50% of the code outright, possibly much more.

Comment: Re:It seems to me... (Score 1) 425

by tibit (#48028329) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

There is no such thing as a reactionless drive. Without reaction you're not changing your trajectory. Like, um, duh. Sure, if you think it's efficient to convert energy into momentum and you've got oodles of energy, you can emit very energetic photons, but the mass is conserved: no matter what your energy source, you craft is losing exactly the same mass as the E/c^2 of the emitted photons. Even a car battery loses the E/c^2 of the energy you take out of it. It's just rather hard to measure :) Of course the photons you emit can carry lots of momentum, linearly proportional to their energy, and you lose the mass proportional to said momentum.

Comment: Re:Thai Tasting (Score 3, Interesting) 78

by Rei (#48026993) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

While I personally see a device like this (sorry... ROBOT!) of rather limited use for testing prepared dishes, I can see great utility for it for testing ingredients. You could have a standardized, unambiguous way to rate the quality or at least properties of a given product, be it meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. I bet cultivar breeding programs in particular could really benefit from this - "Well, I was hoping that this new mango would be a huge innovation, but actually it's almost identical to a Keitt. Though to be fair its mouthfeel is somewhat like a Carrie, and it does have a small amount of a new novel aromatic compound..." Just a single mass produced sensor package that measures a wide range of different properties at once in a repeatable, universal manner. If such a thing could become widespread, I'd bet half of the "cultivars" out there would pretty much disappear, having been shown to be essentially identical to others.

Comment: Re:No he didn't (Score 4, Insightful) 185

There hasn't been a hijacking of a US flight since then, but given that the last passenger hijacking BEFORE 9/11 was in 1987, it's likely that this long dry spell is mostly if not entirely due to banning blades from carry on luggage.

Given that archetypal airplane hijacking in popular imagination prior to 9/11 was "some nutcase wants to go to Cuba, and will mildly inconvenience us if we don't interfere" but is now "some nutcase wants to kill us all, and will do so if we don't stop him", I don't think the availability of blades would make much of a difference nowadays.

Comment: Re:Hodor (Score 1) 121

As much as I don't want to validate trolling by responding to it: many of Martin's kills are done specifically to play with expectations. We killed the presumptive protagonist (Ned Stark). Then the audience realizes this story is about the sone and his revenge. So we kill him. But at least we know who the villan is. So Joffrey dies.

I haven't watched or read the series beyond some individual scenes so I can't say if that's an accurate assesment of it, but if it is, then it's evidence for the granparent's position. "Playing with expectations" is a gimmick. It can work once or perhaps even twice, but if the entire work revolves around it, that strongly suggests the author relies on constant shocks because they have nothing else up their sleeve.

I'm sure your novels are better.

Just like everyone who complains about Obama/Bush/whatever better have a succesful term or two of US presidency behind them?

Comment: Re:It seems to me... (Score 1) 425

by tibit (#48023413) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

That's precisely the mental model mistake that everyone makes. If all you've got is reaction mass and relatively low Isp thrusters, the requisite orbital momentum changes make any sort of extended maneouvering impossible. If your opponent is in an orbit perpendicular to yours, good luck. It'll be trivial for them to avoid you forever until you rotate your orbital plane. With chemical engines without on-orbit refueling, you can pull that trick off once or twice and that's it. And if you have multiple opponents and they happen to understand that they should have launched in multiple orbital planes, they'll be pretty much invulnerable to any sort of conventional (chemical) propulsion pursuit by a single craft.

Comment: Re:Smells a lot like US v. Microsoft (Score 1) 376

by tibit (#48022447) Attached to: Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Call me silly, but does Vimeo actually, you know, reliably work?. Every other time I get across a Vimeo link, there's something wrong either with the link itself, or the web player, etc. I don't know what Youtube does right that Vimeo doesn't, but for me, the bad UX just doesn't justify using Vimeo. And this has nothing to do with anything that Google has any influence over, BTW, I'm using neither Chrome nor Chromium, and I'm not following google search result links either.

Comment: Re:worse than crapware (Score 1) 376

by tibit (#48022365) Attached to: Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Hangouts is a conferencing tool. It's most definitely not something that was designed for teens. It's a Google alternative to Skype. It's also not true that the crapware always runs. Sure, it's part of the factory image, but it never needs any additional space, and it's stored compressed on that image. Simply uninstall any updates to it and disable it. Done and gone.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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