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Comment: von Neumann probes (Score 4, Insightful) 391

A real head-scratching conundrum about the universe is explaining why it's not already overrun with self-replicating robots. Because if it's possible to send self-replicating interstellar probes, all it takes is one launch, plus a few million years, to get the galaxy overrun with them. So are they not possible? nobody's launched one yet? here, but not detected? The implications boggle the mind.

Comment: Algorithms, data structures, systems (Score 2, Informative) 396

by ColonelPanic (#31199572) Attached to: What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

If you know your algorithms and data structures, and have a firm grasp of the architecture of modern computer systems, you'll be way ahead of a depressingly large proportion of people with degrees in CS that come past me in interviews.

The most informative and entertaining book I can recommend on algorithms is Bentley's "Programming Pearls".

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.

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