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Comment Areas and volumes, not lengths (Score 1) 131

If it's purely a timing error, projected into 2D or 3D space, then for a number of variables having an evenly-distributed (or normal) error, most of the resulting positions will be 'far away'. For example, if you create a 7x7 grid, with yourself in the center square, and pick one of the 49 squares randomly, only 1/49 is correct, another 8/49 are within 1 distance, another 20/49 are within 2 distance, and so on, because the number of squares available increases for any given distance.

Comment O(n): is for scalability guesses (Score 1) 208

I tend to use O(n) for assessing scalability, rather than for assessing bsolute suitability, which can usually be assessed when testing the quick/easy solutions. If you know the likely value of 'n' as the point when you plan to maintain the solution again, and know that the algorithm will perform acceptably, then that's OK. The real-life test is knowing when the algorithm will take too long to run, and planning for it by putting in a proportionate development effort.

Comment simpler? exclusive ad channel? (Score 5, Interesting) 161

This makes sense in the Apple ecosystem. It speeds up web browsing and streamlines the experience, and if ads are blocked at browser or OS level, it gives Apple a chance to create their own approved ad market. I think it's a step too far to assume that they can insert unintended content arbitrarily into a web page or existing ad slot.

Comment Mexican Wave: is not movement. (Score 1) 226

Many entities that seem to exceed light speed, are in fact multiple entities exhibiting a change in measurable state, in sequence, which looks like a single object. Take the example of a Mexican Wave: we can set up a large one, that seems to move faster than the speed of light along the crowd, but no single person exceeds light speed. Likewise, one may take the interference pattern between two combs, and make the highlights and shadows move faster than light speed. None of these examples break causality rules.

Comment leakage? fix = reallocation maintenance? (Score 1) 72

[warning: armchair comment] Looks like a leakage problem, degrading the cells, so reads must be retried sub-optimally. The fix would be for the drive to re-write/re-allocate old cells, which could become a maintenance task that does not noticeably degrade live performance nor lifespan. However, this does limit the drive's use as a portable or offline drive, where this maintenance cannot be performed routinely.

Comment It will create a non-neutral market (Score 1) 77

This will likely cost a lot to use: a competitive market for 'transactions' and licensing. Imagine each segment or corridor of airway being owned and sublet by someone who sets transit pricing. Imagine the licensing process itself being regulated like domain names. It's likely to be better if regulated exclusively by a central authority, on a not-for-profit basis.

Comment All-electric or Hybrid? Whose Interest? (Score 1) 603

Opinion: The true long-term way forward is oil-free fuel (all-electric) at the point of use, but this needs a higher order of support than hybrid technology. A cynical view is that this [article/policy] might only practically contribute to the subsidy of hybrid cars, which maintains oil industry interests. This interest could be safeguarded by spacing the charging stations at intervals greater than is practicable for electric-only vehicles (which have shorter range).

Comment Confusing 'Open' with 'Free'? (Score 1) 663

A standard can be openly documented, but heavily patented and licensed. A competing standard can be almost documented and a work-in-progress, but free to use. Which is better? H.264 would be a poor choice going forward; not because of openness or technical capability, but because the IP owners are luring implementers in, in the hope that early adopters will be irrevocably committed to a patented technology when the usage terms start to become a cash cow. What we need is good abstraction, so that we can freely switch between adopters of the standard interface: like having a graphics API that lets you use Direct-X or OpenGL just by flipping a switch.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb