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Comment: Re:Counter strike (Score 1) 365

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#43692237) Attached to: Biometric Database Plans Hidden In Immigration Bill
There was an article on Google patenting something vaguely this a little while ago on here. Apparently some companies want it (at least for the employee compliance aspect). Also, as many people pointed out, the better your legal advise, the closer you can get to illegal without technically crossing the would help with "creative accounting" & the like.

Comment: Re:Piracy enablers? (Score 1) 170

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#42515073) Attached to: Kingston Introduces 1TB Flash Drive
I have several computations running right now with around 1GB of state each. I save them periodically for comparison over time/to mitigate power loss/to be able to back up if something goes awry (there is some randomness involved). It is pretty easy to get a few tens of GB of "temporary" state involved in a project, & when I move back & forth between them, it is nice to be able to keep the half-finished things around. (These computations do happen to involve some media (images in this case), but that only accounts for ~100MB of the data which is shared between all instances, the rest being oodles of floats.) & since I have a magnetic disk, saving & reloading the state can take several seconds (especially if I do it in all 6 or so instances at the same time).

Comment: Re:Things to come... (Score 1) 110

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#41437045) Attached to: The Swiss Pirate Party Has Its First Mayor
I was not suggesting paying the church for everything. I was rather suggesting having contributions to the government be voluntary also. Of course, as has been pointed out, people tend to like their church but not their government, but one might also hope it would lead to the government having to be nice/unobtrusive/manifestly helpful enough to convince people to pay them. It says something that governments feel the need to threaten force to get enough funding.

Comment: Re:Things to come... (Score 2) 110

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#41432821) Attached to: The Swiss Pirate Party Has Its First Mayor
On the one hand, churches do not force their members to tithe at gunpoint (at least, none in America of which I know). On the other hand, many seem to be doing just fine with their funding being completely from voluntary sources, even when some people make use of their resources without paying tithes. Makes you wonder whether the IRS is needed at all.

Comment: Re:Age 6 is a little bit too early, methinks (Score 1) 307

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#41231143) Attached to: Estonia To Teach Programming In Schools From Age 6
I have programs I wrote when I was 7 (at the latest, that is just the last file modification time). Nobody taught me logic beforehand. You internalize logic by playing with it. My dad just gave me a programming book (Getting Started with COLOR BASIC, for the TRS-80), & a while later (a year, a few years, I do not remember) I was to the point where he could no longer help me (despite done some programming in college). I also feel that a significant portion of my worldview has been influenced by learning about programming & computer hardware from an early age.

Even if you do not understand a specific mechanical or electronic device (or even biological mechanism), understanding the general principles of automation helps tremendously both with fixing things when they are broken & not getting taken for a ride by snake-oil salespeople. I wonder what effect teaching most kids programming might have more generally in life, beyond just interacting with computers. It might even help teach kids how to learn new things, rather than just learning what they are explicitly taught (although granted, that might require some pretty good educators).

Comment: Re:CRC (Score 2) 440

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#41205783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?
The relevant number when worrying about non-adversarial hash collisions is the square root of the number of outputs (assuming they are close enough to uniformly distributed), due to the birthday paradox. So in the case of CRC32, more than ~2^16 files makes a collision likely (well, 2^16 gives about 39%), & with 2^22, the probability is nearly indistinguishable from 1 (it being over 99.9% for only 2^18 files).

Comment: Re:Food pill (Score 1) 317

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#41081585) Attached to: Your Favorite Technology That Didn't Come To Pass
I (apparently) never get hungry (for as far back as I can remember). I essentially just eat when it is time, & sometimes I accidentally eat too much or too little (or forget to eat at all). It would be great to have a pill/packet with the right amount of nutrition already measured out (plus some flavoring in just the right amount to make it taste good but not encourage overeating, & of course have different pills have different flavors) for most of the time so I could just take N a day (not necessarily 3, as the pill might have timed release, or else taking smaller doses more often might be better). & of course nothing stops one from still having the occasional traditional meal, e.g. when eating out with someone else.

Comment: Re:Not just Apple (Score 1) 337

by Mr.Z of the LotFC (#40023863) Attached to: Apple Tells Siri To Stop Recommending Nokia
Well, there are projects to make touchscreens with raised buttons & such for better feedback. If it had good enough resolution (quite possibly not with current prototypes) you could even output braille, & then the same phone (not necessarily the same apps) could be used by sighted & blind people alike.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham