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Comment Re:I R interested... (Score 3, Insightful) 105

Billions of dollars, and they can't think-up a name that sounds a bit less stupid?

'S' (for "Statistics" - originally with single quotes, those are usually being dropped now) is a programming language created in 1975-1976 at Bell Labs (which had a tradition of single letter named programming languages, such as C) on General Electrics GCOS mainframes and since 1979 on UNIX.

R is an implementation of 'S' (with lexical scoping semantics inspired by Scheme) since 1993.

Comment Re:TL;DR (Score 5, Informative) 189

You fell for the Gambler's fallacy.

You misunderstand gambler's fallacy.

Let's say the chance to come back alive is indeed 50%.
We had 8 missions. The chance for the 9th is still 50%.
We have no missions. What is the chance that we get 9 missions coming back alive? (1/2)^9 = 0.001953125 = 0.2%.

Gamblers fallacy would be saying after 8 successful missions that the change for the 9th is 0.2% - which is not what the GP said.

GP is talking about statistical significance.

If the chance top come back alive is 50%, we expect 4.5 out of 9 missions to come back alive.
Null hypothesis: The difference between 4.5 expected and 9 observed missions coming back alive is due to chance.
Alternative hypothesis: The chance to come back is higher than 50%
SD = sqrt((1/2)^2*(1/2)^2) = 0.25
z = (observed result - expected result)/SD = (9 - 4.5)/0.25 = 18
NormalCDF(18,infinity) = 1.04E-70% = the chance that the probability to come back alive is indeed 50%

Conclusion: GP is correct, it is very unlikely that the chance to come back alive was 50%.

Comment Re:a few (Score 1) 508

One is any sci-fi story set more than a few centuries in the future that doesn't have strong AI without a damned good political or technical explanation of why not.

Simple: "We're about 20 to 50 years from having strong AI" is a perpetual truth.

Comment Happy birthday old friend (Score 1) 37

I bought an Acorn Archimedes 305 in 1987, it had an ARM2 CPU at 4/8 MHz. It was one of the first available ARM systems (only preceded by an £4000 expansion box for the Acorn BBC B and a developer version of the Archimedes which was not available to the public), and the first ARM system which was affordable. It came with the Arthur 0.2 Operating System in EPROM, which was later replaced by RISC OS 1.2.

I learned ARM assembly programming from Pete Cockerell's excellent book.

Today, ARM is known for low power consumption, but in the 1980s it's main selling point was its superior speed. At 4.5 MIPS (and up to a whopping 18 MIPS in laboratory conditions), it was running circles around the competition (Intel 80x86 & Motorola 680xx). The Archimedes had software emulation of the 80x86, which ran at IBM-PC/XT speed (in the IBM-PC/AT era). I used this emulator to run WordPerfect and the TopSpeed Modula-2 compiler in MS-DOS for programming assignments at university.

I still have the Acorn Prolog-X box sitting at a honorary place on my bookshelf above my current computer, just out of nostalgia.

Comment Re:old news (Score 4, Informative) 120

old news... It was everywhere Thursday. Salshdot is really pathetic now, even the non beta page...

It doesn't matter if it is old news, it doesn't matter if it is a dupe, it doesn't matter if the linked article is lame, it doesn't matter that some posters are trolls or shills.

What does matter is: is there an intelligent/insightful discussion by the community? I learned a lot over the past 16 years by reading comments here.

Unfortunately, that does not seem to matter to Dice, who wants /. to be a "B2B social network". If the Beta (which has the comments section as an afterthought, in stead of as the starting point of the redesign) goes live and Classic gets disabled, it will only be "Slashdot" in name.

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?