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Comment real programmers use JOVIAL (Score 1) 429

FYI: many of the world's most sophisticated weapons systems use JOVIAL, a language first spec'd in 1958 and required by the US DoD for all acquisitions for decades. This complex (600+ BNF predicates) language is still widely maintained with little or no commercial/community support world wide. Think GPS satellites, multiple fighter jets, SAM silos, etc. used by virtually every military in the world and you'll get it's importance. Obscure? Sure; the last spec was in 1983(?) and still only available printed on dead trees. I win - amirite?

Comment Re:equivalent on Wii ? (Score 1) 63

I don't know of any games like that but you should know that the "Baldur's Gate" your friends play is not the one in TFA. While they have the same name, they're very different.

The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series was produced by BioWare's publisher Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Entertainment. Although they take place in the Baldur's Gate rendition of the Forgotten Realms setting, they are not often regarded as a part of the Baldur's Gate series, as the plot is unrelated to previous games, and they were console-exclusive titles. These were not released for Windows and Macintosh platforms and were not created using BioWare's Infinity Engine. Interplay has announced intentions of releasing a third Dark Alliance game as well.'s_Gate_series#Baldur.27s_Gate:_Dark_Alliance_.26_Baldur.27s_Gate:_Dark_Alliance_II

Comment Not just a buzzword! (Score 1) 90

Cognitive Radio (also known as "Opportunistic Spectrum Access") was first coined in an IEEE journal and is now considered the holy grail of communications research by many electrical/communications engineers.

To understand cognitive radio one must first be familiar with software radio. The operating parameters of a traditional radio (center frequency, modulation type, bandwidth, etc.) are defined in hardware and static in type. A software radio is a device which, in affect, brings the "software to the antenna" i.e. replaces the encoder/modulator/awgn/slicer with software. This allows much more flexible radio devices as they can use any frequency, with any modulation type, etc.

The next thing we must understand is that spectrum is scarce and increasingly expensive. The FCC's old spectrum licensing paradigm of fixed frequency assignment is outdated and can easily be improved. Here's an example: Verizon Wireless ownes (say) 1800 MHz nationwide and at all times but, if I could ensure little to no interference with Verizon's operations in the middle of the desert or at 4AM, shouldn't I be able to sub-license (or sub-lease) the spectrum?

This is where cognitive radio comes in: they scan the spectrum looking for "holes" (barely used frequencies), adjust their center frequency accordingly, find the best modulation type, etc. and transmit/receive at these frequencies. This will open up a lot of spectrum (the FCC noted spectrum utilization typically varies between 15% and 85%) and decrease the cost of spectrum access (or make the FCC a ton of money either way). The problem is that the engineering challenges are formidable (hidden terminal problem, collaborative sensing, etc.) and expensive (if we make a mistake, me might knock Verizon off the air) but eventually fixed licensing will be a thing of the past and we'll have devices that will operate at whatever frequency/modulation type/etc. they determine best and pay per usage (or some similar model).

For more info: Technical Committee on Cognitive Networks (TCCN) of the IEEE Communications Society) (IEEE Cognitive Radio Information Center) (SDR Forum)

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel