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Comment Re:Atheists Unite... as a religion (Score 1) 845

This is funny to see because many people do not realize that black and white are basically the same color. (If you don't believe me then think about how we can project black letters onto a white projection screen.)

If you want to use the metaphor that lack of belief is lack of color then where do gray and white fit in?


The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."

Comment What ABOUT Parallelism? (Score 1) 418

What about parallelism?

This made me facepalm. What about it? These physicist used the laws of thermodynamics to establish a fundamental limit to how much usable information can be inserted or extracted from a volume of space. What does parallelism have to do with that at all? What indeed?

See how easy it is to ask rhetorical questions?


Linux Business

Should Enterprise IT Give Back To Open Source? 312

snydeq writes "InfoWorld reports on the fight over open source 'leeches' — companies that use open source technology but don't give back to the open source community. While some view such organizations as a tragedy of the commons, others view the notion of 'freeloaders' as a relic of open source's Wild West era, when coding was a higher calling and free software a religion. To be sure, increased adoption by mainstream enterprises has played a hand in changing the terms of this debate. Yet, as the biggest consumer of open source software, enterprise IT still gives almost nothing back to the community, critics contend, calling into question the long-term effect corporate culture will have on the evolution of open source — and the long-term effect open source will have on rewiring companies toward collaboration."

Software Enables Re-Creation of 'Lost' Instrument 136

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that the Lituus, a 2.4m (8ft) -long trumpet-like instrument, was played in Ancient Rome but fell out of use some 300 years ago. Bach even composed a motet (a choral musical composition) for the Lituus, one of the last pieces of music written for the instrument.. But until now, no one had a clear idea of what this instrument looked or sounded like until researchers at Edinburgh University developed software that enabled them to design the Lituus even though no one alive today has heard, played or even seen a picture of this forgotten instrument." (Continues below.)

New HDMI 1.4 Spec Set To Confuse 357

thefickler writes "HDMI Licensing LLC, the company that determines the specifications of the HDMI standard, is set to release the HDMI 1.4 spec on 30 June. Unfortunately it could very well be the most confusing thing to ever happen to setting up a home theater. When the new cables are released, you're going to need to read the packaging very carefully because effectively there are now going to be five different versions of HDMI to choose from — HDMI Ethernet Channel, Audio Return Channel, 3D Over HDMI, 4K x2K Resolution Support and a new Automotive HDMI. At least we can't complain about consumer choice."
The Internet

Sony CEO Proposes "Guardrails For the Internet" 708

testadicazzo writes "Micheal Lynton, the guy who said 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.' has posted an editorial at the Huffington Post titled Guardrails for the Internet, in which he defends his comment, and suggests that just as the interstate system needs guardrails, so too does the information superhighway. The following is pretty indicative of the article: 'Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want. Freedom without restraint is chaos, and if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.'"

Comment Re:No - there are plenty of safer alternatives (Score 1) 486

I just thought of a simple proof that the halting problem does not apply to Turing Machines with finit e memory (which means it isn't really a Turing Machine, but oh well).

The input of a Turing machine is the initial contents of the tape. Therefore a Turing Machine with finite memory only has a finite number of possible inputs. It is possible for me to simply go through all those possible inputs and mark them as "Accept" or "Reject". Since it is not possible (through diagonalization) to construct an input that is not in my list, I have accounted for every possible input. I can implement HALT by simply consulting my table. All possible finite memory Turing machines and their inputs can be constructed this way, so HALT is implementable for a Turing machine with finite memory.

QED motherfucker.

Comment Re:No - there are plenty of safer alternatives (Score 1) 486

Given a Turing machine with a finite memory and an input it will either halt (accept or reject), eventually enter a state it has been in before (infinite loop, so reject), or attempt to enter a state that requires more memory than it has (we can take that as a "reject"). Therefore it is possible to know if the machine accepts or rejects in all cases.

This cannot be practically applied because the amount of space and time required even for small machines is still too large but it does make the point that the halting problem depends on the infinite nature of the Turing machine.


Cone of Silence 2.0 91

Village Idiot sends word of a patent granted to MIT researchers for a cone of silence a la Maxwell Smart. This one doesn't use plastic, but rather active and networked sensors and speakers embedded in a (probably indoor) space such as an open-plan office. "In 'Get Smart,' secret agents wanting a private conversation would deploy the 'cone of silence,' a clear plastic contraption lowered over the agents' heads. It never worked — they couldn't hear each other, while eavesdroppers could pick up every word. Now a modern cone of silence that we are assured will work is being patented by engineers Joe Paradiso and Yasuhiro Ono of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... Instead of plastic domes, they use a sensor network to work out where potential eavesdroppers are, and speakers to generate a subtle masking sound at just the right level. ... The array of speakers... aims a mix of white noise and randomized office hubbub at the eavesdroppers. The subtle, confusing sound makes the conversation unintelligible." One comment thread on the article wonders about the propriety of tracking people around an office in order to preserve privacy.

Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs Screenshot-sm 226

An anonymous reader writes "A group at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a fun little open source program to emulate the CRT effects to make old Atari games look like they originally did when played on modern LCD's and digital displays. Things like color bleed, ghosting, noise, etc. are reproduced to give a more realistic appearance."

Digital Schwarzenegger Set For New 'Terminator' 309

Hugh Pickens writes "The Governator revealed this week that he may appear in the upcoming 'Terminator Salvation,' but when he said he didn't want to act, he left many fans scratching their heads. Turns out Schwarzenegger has been secretly working with helmer McG and the effects team to reprise his signature role ... without lifting a finger. 'I made it very clear that I don't have the time to do the movie,' says Schwarzenegger. 'I said that I would be willing to be in the movie if they get the technology together, and so they are working on that right now.' A body-cast mold of Schwarzenegger, created when he first appeared as the muscle-ripped cyborg, provided the basis for a digital-effects version of his famous character so the figure can appear in 'Terminator Salvation' as a living, breathing actor. Warner first screens the movie in early May, and opens it May 21. 'I think it's cool to continue on with the franchise ... in case I want to jump over again and get into the acting after I'm through here,' adds Schwarzenegger."

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith