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Comment: Reality check (Score 1) 81

by BytePusher (#48883469) Attached to: Quantum Computing Without Qubits
I noticed a lot of posts proclaiming quantum computers will never exists, but they actually already do exist: In 2001, researchers demonstrated Shor's algorithm to factor 15 using a 7-qubit NMR computer.(http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computing) Just because the next advancement is hard doesn't mean it's impossible. We've gotten so accustomed to a limited set of technology improving we've lost our sense of how long it takes to solve entirely new classes of problems. Think how long modern computers were speculated about, but it took a few key advancements to make it actually happen. QC is the same and the naysayers will look pretty foolish to future generations. To be clear, we have real and functioning quantum computers abs there's significant incentive to scale them up.

Comment: Can I unbundle (Score 1) 448

by BytePusher (#48759307) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For
Journalists from economists? Seriously, the quality of his conjectures is abysmal.

1) "Consider: Consumers’ overall satisfaction with the airline industry is down 4.2 percent since 1994, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a period in which much of this unbundling has occurred."

Also consider this is the exact period that includes a massive uptick in airport security theater and controls on what you can bring onto an airplane.

2) "Spirit Airlines is not just the king of unbundling air travel; it is also the king of customer complaints. According to an analysis of complaints to the Department of Transportation by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, Spirit had about nine complaints per 100,000 passengers, about three times as many as the airline with the next-most complaints."

Error margins anyone? ...

Comment: Re:Worthless (Score 0) 448

by BytePusher (#35377196) Attached to: Contemplating Financial Trading At Picosecond Resolution
I wouldn't exactly call them parasites, Really, they are increasing the speed of price discovery and increasing liquidity. They do siphon money out of the market, but generally not the money your mom or dad would be making. As the small imbalances they exploit or 'arbs' as the industry calls them would in general work for and against an un-knowledgeable trader in equal proportion. In general, these companies are statistically collecting more of the beneficial 'arbs.' One result of this is that spreads(the difference in bid and ask prices) have drastically tightened in recent years. This is a great thing for almost all traders as it reduces transaction costs, but.it also decreases the magnitude of the inefficiencies described above. Price discovery at market open and after events is much faster. This also reduces the magnitude of the imbalances described above. So the end result is that customers win and markets become more and more efficient, stable and liquid. I would go so far as to say everyone will be happier except high frequency traders, who will experience ever increasing competition until barriers to entering the market make it unprofitable.

Comment: Della is pretty clever... (Score 1) 669

by BytePusher (#27965737) Attached to: Does Dell Know What Women Want In a Laptop?
While Della may offend the most militant feminists, I think it will probably appeal to the average woman. My wife, is very practical and doesn't particularly care about owning a laptop. She'll gladly use mine or whatever computer happens to be around. When I start talking about his and her's she has no interest. Just our's.

I think this is probably not uncommon. My wife won't care about the various specifications, CPU speed, memory, etc. The only thing she might care about is how this laptop is going to benefit her lifestyle. Looking at the Della website, they are trying to communicate exactly this. I think Dell has done a great job communicating how technical details will translate to real life benefits:

"Improve your mood by listening to music, viewing pictures or even watching a movie. Some netbooks even offer an optional DVD drive. If your netbook has an HDMI port, you can expand your screen by connecting your netbook to an external monitor or TV. Several minis have HD screens available as an upgrade!"

Dell is definitely interested in women purchasing "upgrades," but how do you convince a woman to upgrade who is already feeling guilty about spending money on herself? It was hard enough to get her to even start thinking about buying a new computer. So they are simply trying to connect real world benefits to these various technical aspects. If anything, I think Della is a tribute to the practicality(differing priorities) of women rather than an insult to their intelligence.

I'm not Dell fan-boi, but let's be honest here women tend to see the world a little differently than men and we're all better off for it. Why not just embrace the differences rather than trying to force homogeny?

Comment: Carbon Neutral (Score 1) 468

by BytePusher (#27426777) Attached to: Is Alcohol Killing Our Planet?
I may be a bit late to this discussion, but I did a quick search for the "carbon neutral" answer and came up with nothing. The yeast which produce alcohol, do not make carbon, they convert sugars into carbon. Those sugars were previously converted from water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and whatever else is required for photosynthesis. Since, only a small portion of the plant matter is actually used in beer making and much of the remaining plant matter will take some time to decay and since celulose is also a by-product of making alcohol one could say that making alcohol is a short term carbon sink.

Comment: Re:Or they're terrified (Score 1) 921

by BytePusher (#27251847) Attached to: Study Finds the Pious Fight Death Hardest
If the New and Old testament you are talking about are the ones in the Christian bible, you really need to re-read it. OT is full of references regarding caring for the poor (Isaiah 58, Deut 13, Ezekiel 16:49 even relates Sodom's destruction to their uncaring attitude toward the poor). Likewise, lust is addressed in the OT, twice in the 10 commandments no less. Regarding Paul's attitude towards the poor, I think it was implicit (For example, Gal 2:10, 1 Cor 11:17-34). Regarding lust, so far as he was concerned the sexually immoral were headed to hell. I think you've gotta actually read the bible all the way through a few times before claiming that traditional interpretations aren't correct. Also, not sure where you get the idea it's intellectually honest to replace words with alternate, related, but drastically different words in Matt 19. There are plenty of things to love to hate about the bible without going and distorting it.

Comment: Or something else entierly (Score 1) 921

by BytePusher (#27247809) Attached to: Study Finds the Pious Fight Death Hardest

First, I have to say, if you don't hold to religious views your thought processes must be quite different from those who do.

As a religious person from a religious family(Christian). From a family, where my father battled cancer for over two years. I can honestly say, I have a pretty good perspective on this. I make some assumptions based on the fact that these people "regularly prayed." They are clearly people who believe prayer is useful as well as find prayer comforting.

Christian beliefs highly regard altruism, where suffering on others account is the 'greatest' form of love. In my case, my father expressed a real desire to not suffer, but he knew that his family was cherishing every last minute of his life. None of us wanted to see him suffer, but none of us wanted him to go sooner than he had to, knowing that in this life we would never see him again.

This quote really shows a total lack of understanding regarding Christian and religious culture; Because they ... haven't had time to consider and come to terms with their own mortality. Within Christian teaching there is quite nearly an obsession regarding death. If anything, Christians fight death, because they are more aware of their own mortality.

Lastly, Christians are very sensitive about the value of human life. They believe each human is created in the image of God therefor each is precious and worth all the effort in the world to save. It runs completely against the moral grain of a Christian to think that a life could be saved, but it's too expensive or painful to do it. Likewise, Christians value individual lives over money, personal gain or temporary happiness.

Now, before you deride this as hypocritical, keep in mind that these views are not comprehensive(There is more to it) and are also idealistic. Dealing with the imminent death of oneself or a family member brings ones ideals into clear focus. This is only meant to make the picture of the religious mindset a little more clear and hopefully some non-religious persons will learn not to assume such negative views so dogmatically.

Forty two.