Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: At the risk of being flammed into oblivion (Score 1) 54

by rsilvergun (#46776311) Attached to: Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers
I'll say I've found the IRS way easier to deal with then some of the other Creditors I've had. If my wages had kept pace with inflation and I got socialized medicine for my taxes instead of broken down buildings built by corrupt contractors in Iraq I wouldn't even have anything to complain about...
Math

Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi 307

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-common-core-math dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilization has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of pi and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do? According to a couple of Canadian mathematicians, the answer is to repeatedly fire a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun at a square aluminum target about 20 meters away. Then imagine that the square is inscribed with an arc drawn between opposite corners that maps out a quarter circle. If the sides of the square are equal to 1, then the area of the quarter circle is pi/4. Next, count the number of pellet holes that fall inside the area of the quarter circle as well as the total number of holes. The ratio between these is an estimate of the ratio between the area of the quarter circle and the area of a square, or in other words pi/4. So multiplying this number by 4 will give you an estimate of pi. That's a process known as a Monte Carlo approximation and it is complicated by factors such as the distribution of the pellets not being random. But the mathematicians show how to handle these too. The result? According to this method, pi is 3.13, which is just 0.33 per cent off the true value. Handy if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world."
Twitter

44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the 140-characters-to-go dept.
First time accepted submitter RileyWalz (3614865) writes "Twopcharts (a third party website that records and monitors activity on Twitter) is reporting that about 44 percent of all 947 million accounts on Twitter have never posted a single tweet. Of the 550 million users who have tweeted before, 43 percent posted their last tweet over a year ago. And only about 13.3 percent have tweeted in the last 30 days. This could be a sign of many users just signing up and forgetting about their account, or they just prefer reading other's posts. Twitter is not commenting on this data, saying that they do not talk about third-party information related to its service."
Transportation

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the shine-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 500 meter (0.3 mile) stretch of road in the Netherlands has opened without the standard crop of streetlights lining its perimeter. The streetlights are believed to be unnecessary since the road markings were painted on with a mix of photo-luminescent powder, which absorbs sunlight during the day and radiates a portion of that energy back at night. Whether the modified road paint can withstand harsh weather or even provide sufficient lighting given insufficient exposure to sunlight during the day remains to be seen. The project was orchestrated by Studio Roosegaarde, which in the future plans to implement weather-sensitive road markings that would inform drivers when outside temperatures drop or rise above certain levels."
Google

Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the mr.-president-we-seem-to-be-alone dept.
barlevg (2111272) writes "In May 2012, in the midst of an FTC investigation into Google's search practices, the law school at George Mason University in Northern Virginia hosted a conference attended by congressmen, regulators and staffers. The topic: competition, search and social media. What none of the attendees of the conference knew was that Google was pulling many of the strings behind the event, even going so far as to suggest invited speakers. This event, as documented in The Washington Post is just a snapshot of the operations of one of the largest and highest spending lobbying entities in DC, a far cry from the one-man shop it started out as nine years ago, from a company "disdainful" of Washington's "pay-to-play" culture."

Comment: It wasn't profit (Score 4, Interesting) 117

They over estimated the cost of GDDR5. You can only lose so much money on your console, and Microsoft has lost massive amounts for 2 generations.

They thought the price of GDDR5 was going to be so high they console would sell for more than people could pay. Remember the $799 3DO? No. There's your answer.

They tried to make up for it by putting 64 megs of high speed on die cache, but again screwed up. The cache was expensive and took up space on the CPU die that Sony used for more Cuda cores.

So yeah, it was a money decision, but it wasn't about profit, it was about making a console people could afford. Both companies guessed, and Microsoft guessed wrong.

Comment: Anyone else notice (Score 1) 241

by rsilvergun (#46737099) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant
when people started saying "For Playstation, XBox and Steam" though? It's practically a platform in itself. Kinda like how people called video games "The Nintendo" back in the day.

I have to admit, I like the convenience of Steam. With my Gog copy of Shadow Warrior I've got to patch it up every time I install. My Steam games auto patch themselves.
Businesses

The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-a-party-at-comcast's-house-and-attendance-is-mandatory dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Consumerist: "Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don't compete because their service areas don't overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don't currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what's involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?"

Comment: Re:I dropped Dropbox (Score 1) 75

by cffrost (#46735811) Attached to: Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

[D]epending on your use of Dropbox there are far better services. If you are simply storing and sharing files with a select few then Google drive gives you 15 GB which is a huge amount of storage in comparison.

Plus with someone like Rice onboard, how long before Dropbox ends up in an incestuous relationship with the NSA?

You claim to be concerned about "incestuous relationship[s] with the NSA," yet you recommend another corporate partner in NSA's PRISM spy-ring in favor of another. Why not find/try a tool or service that hasn't already been implicated in NSA-produced documents in serving as a front-end for one or more of their "collect it all" programs? In my view, that one of these corporate partners allows you to hand over more data to the NSA than a competitor isn't a compelling argument for its use — especially when that corporation makes their billions in part by scrutinizing and monetizing anything you give them in the first place.

15GB may be "huge" in comparison to another service willing to oh-so-charitably take ownership of your data for you, but 15GB represents a mere ~1% of a typical modern HDD, or about a seventh of what I upload daily via BitTorrent. Add in end-to-end encryption and a good-availability residential Internet connection, and you can share data without utilizing surveillance-state honeypots. For tools and services that allow you to do this, the website PRISM Break is a great place to start looking for a solution that has had at least some effort put forth in protecting users' privacy.

Comment: I don't think so... (Score 0) 75

by rsilvergun (#46734981) Attached to: Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?
Yeah, that Mozilla guy stepped down, but there aren't a lot of real consequences to that (save for him being out an easy paycheck ).

Take a look at Occupy Wall Street. That was a real movement with real impact. It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.

Working...