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Comment Re:If... (Score 1) 363

Yes, that is a dilemma.

When I went to uni the first course in statistics required one book at around $200. However the profs had agreed to use the same book in the three follow-up statistics courses as well. So if you were going for a bachelor in statistics, you just bought that one book for all your statistics courses.

Similar story in physics, at least for the first two-three courses. The math courses were a bit more fractured for some reason, though in two of the courses the textbook was written by the prof and provided free as PDF. I got them printed and bound at the uni press for like $15 each.

However my book expenses was nothing compared to what they had to put up with in other areas, such as psychology or pedagogy. They had to buy $200 books just for a chapter or two.

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 1) 365

My personal opinion is that life is really, really, really, REALLY rare.

Another factor is that high intelligence isn't necessarily a beneficial thing in terms of evolution. Cockroaches and rats will probably outlast the human species. Bacteria, algae and similar most certainly will.

Comment Re:So it's not unlimited, then... (Score 1) 346

If you can't provide a truly unlimited service, don't advertise it

They should just adopt a kind of Gabriel Horn's solution to the problem.

Yes you can upload and download as much as you want 24/7, hence unlimited access, but your bandwidth will be reduced in steps based on transferred data, so that in the end you'd only have a few kbps.

Comment Too late for me (Score 2) 27

I just sent it back to the vendor (under warranty) because the latest OS update caused the speakers to melt.

While browsing the net I noticed the smell of burnt plastic, and quickly noticed the edges (where the speakers are) was too hot to touch. Turned the thing off but they were cooked.

Then I found I wasn't alone... https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/834884/shield-tablet/speakers-damaged-after-3-0-update/

Apparently somehow the speakers got fed DC current while doing nothing in particular. Impressive if you ask me.

Comment Re:What's Cash? (Score 1) 294

If somebody steals your card and PIN, they can easily drain pretty much as much as they want from your bank account, up to whatever your bank's daily withdrawal limit is

In my (Norwegian) bank, I can define my own withdrawal limits on my cards.

I also have a separate bank account with no cards "attached" where I keep most of my monthly spending cash. If I need more available on my card I just send an SMS with the amount I want to transfer from my "safe" account to my "card" account. Takes about 3 seconds to get the money there and only costs me a few cents.

So, I'm never worried about drained accounts.

That said, my bank will cover any fraud unless they have strong reason to believe I've been negligent protecting the PIN code.

Comment Re:Downlink (Score 4, Interesting) 134

In these 10 years since launch, they could have precomputed every possible picture, hash them, and then the probe could have simply sent the hashes instead of the full size pictures.

Just for fun, let's see what it would take for them to pull this off. The LORRI image sensor is 1024x1024 pixels with 12 bits per pixel.

So the number of distinct images divided by the timespan available gives 2^(12*20) / (10 years) = about 5.6 * 10^63 hashes per second.

Let's say you had a CPU capable of computing one such image hash per nanosecond (very optimistic), you'd need 2^(12*20) / (10 years) / (1 nanosecond) = about 5.6 * 10^54 CPUs to pull this off.

For comparison that's an order of magnitude or so more than the number of nucleons in our earth.

If those CPUs consumed 50W of power computing these hashes (again very optimistic), the entire project would consume 2^(12*20) / (1 nanosecond) * (50 watt) = 8.8 * 10^64 joules.

For reference that's two orders of magnitude more than the total mass-energy (including dark matter) of the Virgo supercluster, the supercluster which contains our Milky Way galaxy.

Unless I messed up the calculations that is...

Comment Re:I don't understand ad blockers (Score 2) 161

But I don't understand why people want to block regular banner ads. Coming up with content then hosting it on a website isn't free.

Because of drive-by downloads.

Last year the ad network of a non-trivial Norwegian site was hacked, and they started serving malware which targeted Java. If the user hadn't updated Java fairly recently, they'd get infected without any user interaction.

The malware was designed specifically to target the largest bank in Norway. This bank required Java for their login procedure (they no longer do, took them long enough).

So, if the user visited this site with a vulnerable Java runtime, and then logged in to this bank later to pay some bills, the malware would send the money elsewhere.

Since the malware was running on the local machine, it could bypass the two-factor authentication (password+token) required when transferring money.

Comment Confused (Score 1) 175

The guy is confused. Art != looks good.

Just look at paintings, in comparison van Gogh was a pixel artist while Rembrandt made proper high-definition 3D, yet both have made works that are considered great art.

When people complain about pixelation it's because nearly everyone cares about what looks good and not about good art.

Comment Re:And probably infinite (Score 1) 235

The real mystery though is how the universe could be very nearly flat (without being exactly flat). Such "fine tuning" is clear evidence we're missing something quite fundamental.

The observable universe has to be sufficiently big for a planet like us to form, so that puts a lower bound on it.

But if the size of the whole universe really is random, then it seems likely that it's far larger than the observable, no?

Or are there any theoretical upper bounds I'm not familiar with?

Comment Re: How about basic security? (Score 1) 390

Because it's not big enough to number all our hosts?
I can reach the hosts that have v4 over v4, but not the ones that don't.

You said it wasn't a big issue that you cannot contact v4 from a v6 address, because one can simply use v4 to connect to v4. Yet you also say we need v6 because we don't have enough v4 left.

See the issue now?

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce