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Comment: Important Pedantic Correction (Score 1) 401

by CyberGarp (#45195829) Attached to: Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

The test is based on an extension of Turing's halting problem in computer science. This states that there is no general way of knowing how an algorithm will finish, other than to run it.

This is not what it states, it states that there is no general way (=algorithm) of knowing whether any arbitrary algorithm will halt or not, given a specific input, other than to run it. If this were always true, one would not have theorem provers that work on code and generate a judgement about halting. Theorem provers about code exist. If it were always false, then theorem provers would be perfect and we'd be able to tell if code matched specification perfectly, which is not true either. The truth is in the middle, it works sometimes, i.e. not always. Since a theorem prover is an algorithm, and if one asked of it the halting property of an arbitrary piece of code, it may get caught in an infinite loop and be unable to answer. That does not preclude a general theorem prover from generating useful results on code about halting behavior (or any other behavior), it just can't answer every question about every piece of code, when given any possible input.

Omega = (\x.xx)(\x.xx)

Comment: Risk = Size (Score 1) 349

by CyberGarp (#43821713) Attached to: World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure
There was a study done years ago that claimed that the chance of a project failing was proportional to it's size. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to it this morning. If this hypothesis is true, then blaming the failure on Agile is inappropriate, as the root cause of failure is the fact that the project was too big to manage. The usual approach when things go south, is to throw more money and developers at the project--rather than scaling it back. A better approach would be, slowly merging welfare payment systems 2 into 1, like a single-elimination tournament. Yes, theoretically it would be more work, but the risk of failure is mitigated. For example, if there were 8 systems, there would be 4 merger projects--and one failed. You now have 5 systems to deal with merging, and 3 successful teams. Take the best two and merge 4 of the five into 2, etc. Big huge projects are to be avoided--humans just can't manage software development on that scale very well.

Comment: Eh? (Score 1) 208

by CyberGarp (#36182626) Attached to: RIAA-Backed Warrantless Search Bill In California
So, my car was broken into last night. The thief, ate my crackers, took the $2 in meter change, and left the 20 CD's stacked there. So the RIAA is pursuing CD duplication? Not even petty thieves see it worth their effort to steal them at this point. This is so anachronistic it proves how little they understand their own market.

Elegance and truth are inversely related. -- Becker's Razor

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