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Comment: Re:Connect Four (Score 1) 136

by Dr. Gamera (#46053765) Attached to: Pentago Is a First-Player Win
Nine Men's Morris is a draw with perfect play. Pentago itself is a draw with perfect play if the first player's first move is constrained to be in the corner (before rotating one of the quadrants). Some variants of Nim are first-player-loses, as are some small-board variants of other games (I seem to recall that Go is a loss for the first player on a handful of the very small boards, like 2x4 or something, but I'd have to go look that up.)

+ - Two Billion Dollar Cosmic Ray Detector Confirms Possible Signs of Dark Matter->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The first results from a huge—and hugely controversial—cosmic ray detector aboard the International Space Station confirm a previously reported excess of antiparticles from space. Readings from the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) could be signs of particles of mysterious dark matter annihilating one another in the inky void. Or they could be merely subatomic exhaust from a pulsar or some other run-of-the-mill astronomical object."
Link to Original Source

Comment: How far we've come from METAGAME (Score 4, Interesting) 47

by Dr. Gamera (#42456139) Attached to: AI Systems Designing Games

"Pell's motivation was actually not game generation, but general game playing: by the early 1990s, there was a worry that chess-playing AI had delved too deeply into special-case code that was very specific to chess."

Whereas nowadays, there's a worry that brute force solves all AI game-playing problems. If the search space is small enough, you run alpha-beta with iterative deepening and a few other tweaks. If the search space is too large for that, you run Monte-Carlo Tree Search.

I last chatted with Barney Pell at a AAAI conference in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, by that point, he had given up the METAGAME research, primarily because he couldn't get people interested in it.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 717

by Dr. Gamera (#41612285) Attached to: How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

When you're dealing with people like [...] this [..], there's no use in trying to apply logic.

I'm certainly not going to defend all American stupidity, but look closely at that image in particular. That's a power strip with Type E electrical receptacles, not Type A/B. The likely countries in which that picture may have been taken are Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, Poland, and Slovakia; definitely not the USA.

Comment: Re:Is that a man or a woman? (Score 1) 559

by Dr. Gamera (#40860857) Attached to: The Tricky Science of Olympic Gender Testing

There really isn't a way to have men and women compete together in most sports.

One of my pet peeves about feminists is that they want to claim that this is possible, but it simply isn't. Men are much more adapted to hunting, fighting, and running than women, women have evolved in a more sedentary role and as such are built for that role.

Certain sports that involve much more raw intellect women could compete on, but if it significantly involves a physical challenge, forget about it.

Beyond that because men get more out of adrenaline plus get a boatload more testosterone and muscle mass we shoot straighter, faster, and more often than female counterparts.

Zhang Shan would like to show you her Olympic gold medal in Skeet Shooting! Oh yeah, she won it in 1992, back when men and women competed together.

Comment: Re:Power Grid (Score 1) 277

by Dr. Gamera (#40415287) Attached to: 'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP

We have "energy choice" in Maryland; each customer can choose a different electricity supplier. So no, no one can tell you what percentage of Takoma Park's electricity comes from nuclear power. Certainly, I imagine they have a high percentage of customers (at least relative to other Maryland locales) choosing suppliers with 0% nuclear.

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice: Standard Offer Service from Pepco is from seven different suppliers. You are welcome to chase down the nuclear percentages if you like.

Comment: See Discovery, not Enterprise (Score 1) 157

by Dr. Gamera (#40221215) Attached to: Space Shuttle Collides With Bridge In New York
I saw Enterprise when it was still at Udvar-Hazy. I have also seen Discovery at its new home in Udvar-Hazy. I'm no rocket scientist, but Discovery was much more impressive. It... felt... like a spacecraft. Okay, now waiting for more knowledgeable people to tell me about the real differences in external appearance between Discovery and Enterprise, or alternatively, use me as an example of how external knowledge (Discovery was a real shuttle, Enterprise just a testbed) can affect perception.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]