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Comment Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 1) 479 479

No, plenty of people believe in a supreme being without seeing evidence anywhere, much less everywhere.

You're describing gnostic theists and ignoring the whole set of agnostic theists. In my experience most of the religious people I've met that I consider "good" representatives of their faith fall into this latter camp while the gnostic theists are usually the fundamentalist nutjobs.

Personally the foundation of my faith is my agnosticism. Makes for quite the fun conversation with the fundies here in the south... ;)

That said, I agree with you that gnostic theists are delusional and see evidence where there is none :P

Comment Re:good principle! (Score 1) 69 69

Naw, what would instead happen is that you'd get something like the debt-ceiling. You'd get a "Bill to re-pass every pre-existing bill" and it'd be waved through until you got obstructionists in office and they let all laws expire for a week or two with partisan bickering/amendments.

Can't see this helping.

Comment Re:what will be more interesting (Score 1) 662 662

Might reread the OP; you're in violent agreement with him that the McDonald's case did have merit.

"Of course most of those lawsuits were thrown out at the early stages, or if not turned out to have merit (like the infamous McDonald's "hot coffee" incident)."
can be rephrased as
"Lawsuits not thrown out at the early stages turned out to have merit (like the infamous McDonald's "hot coffee" incident), however most were, of course, thrown out"

Comment Re:imagine (Score 4, Insightful) 43 43

We don't know. That's one reason to do it.

What does it mean if the survey shows that for a group of 10 stars you have a 95% probability of at least 8 having at least one planet?
What does it mean if the survey shows this for 95% of the surveyed area except for a continuous section where there is only 1 planet per 100 stars?

What new knowledge would come from trying to understand what caused this? Perhaps we discover something new about fundamental physics?

The point is that we don't know what we don't know. This may be what discovers something previously completely unsuspected and with earth-shattering possibilities... or... we could just learn that there's a lot of planets out there and nothing more. But without doing it, there's no chance of discovering the former. Observing what's around us is how we learn more and start to question things we otherwise never would have known even existed to question.

Comment Doesn't take it far enough (Score 1) 347 347

It's not just general stuff about being able to understand general algorithms and such, it's far more than that. Assuming your school does a good job you'll be learning about how to architect and design... and a lot of that transcends domain boundaries.

The *same* exact skills that I use for architecting software I've used when our systems group didn't do their job and the software team had to take over and produce the needed artifacts (customer required). How you go about defining interfaces between hardware components isn't really any different than what you do to do so between software components.

In fact, I'm now working at developing a business process for a whole new line of business. There's hundreds of government documents regulating it. So... it's take all the same skills that are used in successful software development and apply to this instead. Setup an architecture framework for the process that meets your needs. In this case it's ensure that the regulations are traceable to the process we generate and that the process is created in such a way that certain structural requirements are met. Then it's decomposition to individual subsystems (individual processes) and flowing requirements down and then designing them. It's the same skills behind it all.

Yes, there's domain specific stuff that may not be apropo to what you're *currently* wanting to do. But there is (or should be!) a lot of domain-independent skills that are applicable to a whole wide range of design domains including web design. Learning this set of skills makes it very easy to transition jobs in the future if needs or wants change.

Comment Unneeded/wanted for some if not most (Score 1) 257 257

Set beneficiaries on your financial accounts (401k's, etc). I can envision all sorts of problems arising if the accounts are logged into and assets transfered out after your death.

For your laptop password, and the like, why not just keep a thumbdrive in a safe deposit box?

Comment Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 413 413

With Opera I can right-click on a page say "edit site preferences" go to the scripting tab, and set a javascript folder. It will then load the javascript in that folder followed by the scripting on the page. However, in the javascript in the specified folder that you load, you can use opera-specific extensions to modify/overwrite the subsequently loaded javascript from the site. I'm probably doing a horrible job of explaining as I don't really do web-development stuff. So...


Submission + - Federal Prosecutors tempt the Streisand Effect->

decora writes: "As the case of NSA IT guru Thomas Andrews Drake nears trial, the fur has been flying between the defense and prosecution lawyers. Earlier this week the judge ordered the sealing of a defense motion because the government claimed it contained classified information. The problem? The document had been sitting on the Federation of American Scientists website for several days. Another problem: the document is marked "Unclassified" in big bold letters at the top of the page."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Bargain? $200? (Score 1) 197 197

It's a bargin priced performance video card not a bargin priced video card. Interestingly enough, "bargin performance" is the phrase used in the summary.

You're not going to get solid performance at a respectable resolution in modern video games for below $150-200 or so. If you spend below that you're either having to drastically cut resolution or you're cutting way back on the settings. The $200ish range of cards will let you run with most all of the pretty stuff turned on at approximately 1080p resolution with a solid framerate that's not being killed by stuttering or slowdowns. (i.e., acceptable mins)

The mid-range and high-end cards allow you to run at yet higher resolutions and/or with lots of AA. And yes, there are people that play modern FPSers at 2560x1600 with AA. I'm not one of them. I tend to go the budget performance card route and game at 1600x1200 with low or no AA but with high settings and a good frame rate. I'll likely need to upgrade come this fall though, and this card is definately on my radar.

Comment Re:HDLs (Score 1) 250 250

Most modern CPUs and the compilers for them are simply not designed for multiple threads/processes to interact with the same data. As an excersize, try writing a lockless single-producer single-consumer queue in C or C++. If you could make the same assumption in this two-thread example that you can make in a single-thread problem, namely that the perceived order of operations is the order that they're coded, then it'd be a snap.

But you see, once you start playing with more than one thread of execution, you gain visibility into both CPU reordering and compiler reordering. You also gain visibility into optimizations made (such as maintaining values in a register and not moving to cache or invented predictive stores and the like). If you research enough you'll find that while the volatile keyword will solve some of the problems, it doesn't solve them all, and it introduces others (it works well for what it's designed for, which is interfacing with hardware, if it's being used for intra-thread comms it's being misused). You wind up needing to use architecture-specific memory barriers/fences to instruct the CPU about reordering and when to flush store buffers to cache and so on. You wind up needing to use compiler-specific constructs to prevent it from reordering or maintaining things in registers that you're not wanting. (volatile is often used for the later, and note while volatile variables won't be reordered around each other, the standard says nothing about reordering non-volatile around the volatile. Also, it bypasses the cache, which in x86-land introduces CPU-reordering that otherwise isn't there (as I think volatile winds up being implemented using CLFLUSH?) as well as unnecessary performance hits (which perfomance is evidently important if you're trying to avoid locks...)

Atomicity is a whole different level of fun as well. I was lucky, at the boundary I was dealing with inherently atomic operations (well, so-long as I have my alignment correct, (not guaranteed by new)), but if you're not... it's yet more architecture-specific code.

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. -- John Kenneth Galbraith