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Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 1) 126

by Jeremi (#49516469) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

there has to be a good reason for it, and making it easier for bad programmers to produce more bad code is not a valid one.

If all you've got is bad programmers, and their bad code is nevertheless good enough to accomplish the tasks you need to get done, then a tool that allows bad programmers to produce more bad code may be just the thing you need. (of course some would argue that that niche is already filled by Java, but time will tell)

Comment: Re:ISTR hearing something about that... (Score 1) 110

by Jeremi (#49515815) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

it actually caused a bug that would crash the system

It would be more accurate to say it revealed a bug. The bug was almost certainly a race condition that had always been present, but it took particular entry conditions (such as an unusually fast I/O device that the transcoder developers never tested against) to provoke the bug into causing a user-detectable failure.

Comment: Re:This helps the NSA. (Score 1) 146

Small correction. If the NSA is getting this info from Irish servers, they are absolutely allowed to get it according to American law. It is of course absolutely illegal according to Irish law. Next up: drone strikes in Ireland, there is no law that forbids that either.

Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 587

by Rei (#49513227) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

That's actually the point. Warm temperatures and near constant sunlight = high productivity - if you import water. Ag in California takes up 80% of the water, but ag + mining together is only 2% of the economy. It's fine when water is abundant, but when it's in short supply, ag has to give.

Comment: Re:Interstate Water Sharing system (Score 1) 587

How about, instead of massive engineering projects, we just don't build cities where there aren't enough natural resources to sustain them?

Cities are, by their very definition, massive engineering projects that do not have sufficient natural resources to sustain themselves. Name one city that could function on a daily basis without regular imports from hundreds of miles away.

Comment: Re:Practical use? (Score 2) 147

by Rei (#49507405) Attached to: Mandelbrot Zooms Now Surpass the Scale of the Observable Universe

I don't think the Mandelbrot Set itself persay is all that useful, but its 3d relatives like Mandelbox, Mandelbulb, etc sure generates some amazing landscapes... I could totally picture that used in games or movies. It's amazing the diversity it can do with some parameter changes - steampunk machinery and evolving spacescapes, reactors / futuristic computers, art deco, extradimensional beings, alien cities, floating viny landscapes, transforming robotics, things hard to describe, etc.

I'd love to have a house / secret supervillain lair that looks like this one ;)

Comment: Re:What's bad about Uber drivers? (Score 1) 48

Taxis in the Netherlands are generally great (though expensive), with the notable exception of Amsterdam. There they refuse you service if the trip is not long enough to their liking. They are typically rude, and oftentimes armed. It's fun to go to the taxi-stand at Amsterdam central station and notice the permanent presence of at least two police cars there. They're not there to protect taxi drivers from the population, that's for sure.

I've taken UberPop in Amsterdam and it's great. Unfortunately, the Uber drivers need to ask you to sit in front, to reduce the risk of being attacked by vigilante taxi drivers. It's a breath of fresh air in a thoroughly unpleasant market, and I hope legislation gets passed soon to make it legal.

Comment: Re:Why it is hard to recruit... (Score 2, Interesting) 66

by Rei (#49503837) Attached to: US Military To Recruit Civilian Cybersecurity Experts

The majority of major, targeted hacks (rather than just sweeping the net for vulnerabilities) - aka, the kind of stuff that the US military cares about - involves sending emails or making phone calls and introducing yourself as Bob from IT, and sorry to bother you but there's a problem that we need to discuss with you, but first a couple questions...

They don't need script kiddies, they need social engineers. Question number one in the job interview should be "Is your native language Russian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean or Arabic?" And even as far as the more traditional "hacking" goes, rather than script kiddies they're going to need people who are going to custom analyze a given system and assess it's individual vulnerabilities, people with real in-depth understanding. One would presume that in most cases that the sort of targets that the US military wants to hack are going to keep themselves pretty well patched to common vulnerabilities.

AIs doing hacking? What are you talking about? This is the real world, not Ghost In The Shell.

Comment: Re:privacy? (Score 5, Insightful) 261

by Rei (#49501647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

I just want the search engine to stop changing what I'm searching for. I don't want to have to quote every word like I have to do with Google to make sure that the word is actually in the page, and by "the word", I mean "the word I type, not a word that Google things may be similar to the one I typed". It's worst when you're searching for foreign words, product names, acronyms, or whatnot and Google tries to treat them as if they're English words and declines them or chooses synonyms.

"Did you mean X?" is fine. Even "Searching for X (see original results here)", if you're very confident that the person made a common spelling error or whatnot. But just going in and swapping out words as if this is expected behavior? Terrible. At least let me disable it if you want to do that...

Beyond all this: I do like how one can do simple commonn operations on Google - math, conversions, etc. The more of these the better IMHO, so long as they have a standardized format - be they tracking numbers, flight lookups, whatever. It's okay in my book to be a bit Wolfram-y.

Keep the interface plain, simple, the sort of thing that'll work on any browser, from a modern Chrome to a simple text-only browser. Only use javascript where it's not essential for the site to work. Here's an example of something that would be a good use of javascript: if you need to track clicks, like Google does, do it through javascript rather than by having a link redirect like Google does. I hate how I can't just right click and copy link on Google without getting some massive Google redirect link.

Just my thoughts. :)

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 4, Insightful) 382

by metlin (#49501129) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

You can get a buff body with a reasonable workout regimen in less than a year, and many elements of your "looks" can easily be fixed (better hair, wearing contacts, getting teeth fixed, dressing more stylishly).

If you have game, then your dick size doesn't matter, because history is rife with examples of men with questionable looks and stunning women.

Ultimately, having good social skills is much more important than any of those things in getting laid.

Comment: Meh. (Score 3, Interesting) 73

by Rei (#49500531) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

About 10 years ago I worked on simulating a rocket with electric turbopumps for fun. The concept was the exact same as theirs - minimize the number of parts that have to operate in harsh environments to reduce cost, maintenance and risk of failure. You don't even need any penetrations of the propellant lines, the rotor of the electric motor is the compressor itself.

I have no clue whether the design will actually be practical. But it's certainly not new. I'm sure I'm not the first person that this concept occurred to.

Comment: Re:This should be amusing (Score 3, Interesting) 48

by Rei (#49499623) Attached to: Google Ready To Unleash Thousands of Balloons In Project Loon

They talk about how they need to regularly pick up and relaunch balloons when they come down. I don't see why they would need to design the balloons without any sort of reinflation system. The leak rate is tiny, right? So:

1. A little more solar panel area than they already need.
2. Hydrogen filled instead of helium filled.
3. Tiny container of sulfuric acid (hygroscopic - self-dilutes down to a given concentration with atmospheric moisture)
4. Electrolysis cell (sulfuric acid is used as the electrolyte in some types of electrolysis cells).

Problem solved. Sulfuric acid draws moisture from the air, and during the day the solar power electrolyzes it it to produce a minute trickle of hydrogen into the balloon, which replaces the minute trickle that leaks out. Your balloon's lifespan is now as long as your electronics and envelope last.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.

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