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Comment: Optimal != Fastest (Score 1) 514

by DrPepper (#37012740) Attached to: The Mathematics of Lawn Mowing

It may be the most optimal solution in terms of not covering the same place twice, but I'm not sure it is the quickest. I'm not bothered if I go over the same area twice, so long as I get the job done as fast as possible - making a turn takes time and there are plenty of those in the proposed solution. It may still be the quickest as some of those turns are quite small angles, but I think a 'turn penalty' is required to truly find the quickest solution.

Regarding search and rescue, the object there is not to cover the whole search area as fast as possible. It is to cover the most likely locations for whatever is being sought as quickly as possible, and then cover the more unlikely places. For a static location that might mean starting in the middle and tracing a spiral. However, for someone falling overboard at sea, retracing the ship's path at close to it would be a higher priority than a simple spiral from any point.

Comment: Meant to happen (Score 1) 154

by DrPepper (#33770252) Attached to: Army DNS ROOT Server Down For 18+ Hours

I think you are overreacting a little bit. The expectation always was that one or more root servers would be unavailable at any one time - hence why there are 13 different root server systems available. More than one can be unavailable for days, and due to redundancy and caching it won't affect anything - as expected, nobody has really noticed this blip.

There should be a good mix of technologies used in the different root server systems - different architectures, OS, etc. Some sites use anycast which gives massive redundancy within that system as well as providing good performance. However other architectures have their place and may be more robust to attack or certain failures. We need the variety.

So technically it's a shame that H has gone down - they don't seem to have a good track record. Fortunately this time it isn't an issue.

Comment: Re:Another useful statistic... (Score 1) 349

by DrPepper (#32779088) Attached to: In UK, Computer Science Graduates the Least Employable

I'm on the other side - an employer looking for good graduates at the moment. We're not expecting graduates to walk out of university and just fall into being a constructive member of a development team. We expect to give training to fill in a few of the gaps and cover some of the specifics on how our specific industry works. However, so far most of the people we've interviewed have very little knowledge of the basics... data structures, algorithms and so on. Quite often they hardly understand the project work they did at university - either as a group or individually. I believe that the jobs are out there, it's just that the quality of a lot of graduates is quite low.

Comment: Re:Dial-up is all there is some places... (Score 1) 250

by DrPepper (#30313348) Attached to: FCC Preparing Transition To VoIP Telephone Network

Once the core network is updated, fibre and xDSL technologies can be used to deliver IP to certain end users - especially companies or those with more than one line.

However I imagine that (as per 21CN) there will still be provision for simple, analogue line for end users that don't need anything more fancy.

My point was that they won't be trying to put VoIP over a line that can only do 56k voice maximum. Those lines will stay analogue as they are now.

Comment: Re:Dial-up is all there is some places... (Score 5, Informative) 250

by DrPepper (#30310074) Attached to: FCC Preparing Transition To VoIP Telephone Network

I think a lot of people have missed the point on this. As I read it, the proposal is to replace the core infrastructure with VoIP based technology - ie. the circuits between exchanges. Existing POTS lines will still be used back to users to terminate calls. This is already in progress in the UK - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_21CN.

Comment: Re:12 Months? (Score 1) 292

by DrPepper (#29475325) Attached to: The PS3's "Yellow Light of Death"

Thank you for pointing this out - I was going to make the same point myself. Everyone seems to be having a go at Sony, where as they aren't technically doing anything wrong, or that any other manufacturer would. Of course they might consider replacing consoles after 1 year themselves for PR purposes, but really customers should be going to the retailer.

As pointed out, Sony don't release official failure rate figures in common with other manufacturers and so it's difficult to say what the industry average rate is. However even with the rate being suggested, the PS3 is far more reliable than XBox 360 was over the same period and therefore I woudl contend that the PS3 experiences below average failure for the type of hardware. I've excluded the Wii as it utilises very much different hardware - Nintendo were very clever in recognising that you don't need top end hardware to make a good product.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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