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Comment: Re:It's a first... (Score 2) 108

Makes me wonder if any other astronomers or other scientists to discover celestial objects will have their ashes sent in homage...

It's a romantic notion, but strikes me as not really in the spirit of science. If I knew someone was going to explore this awesome thing I discovered, I would much rather have them use every bit of available weight to further that discovery.

Comment: Re:utf-32/ucs-4 (Score 4, Informative) 165

by PhrostyMcByte (#48787983) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Extracting a character - trivial. Length of string - trivial.

I don't think it's quite as simple as you think. UTF-8 is a variable-length encoding, but UTF-32 is too when you consider grapheme clusters.

When you extract characters and and determine length, are you only talking about code points (not very useful) or are you taking into consideration combining characters to account for actual visible glyphs that most people would consider to be a character?

The overwhelming majority of apps are only doing trivial operations -- string concatenation and shuffling bits to some API to display text. For these apps, choice of encoding really does not matter. NetHack is very likely in this category.

Anything more and you'll have to deal with variable-length data for both UTF-8 and UTF-32. So it doesn't really matter. Choose whichever uses less storage space.

Comment: Re:Use utf if you must, for character names, only. (Score 1) 165

by PhrostyMcByte (#48787911) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

For which implimentation of UTF to use, I'd go with utf8 as it seems to have the widest adoption, or 32 because that will probably allow you the longest time before having to think about this again. I would avoid the middle ground.

UTF-8, while originally only defined to 31 bits and now defined to 21 bits, actually has room to trivially extend up to 43 bits. One could say it's more future-proof than UTF-32. Not that it really matters -- we're only using 17 bits right now so I doubt we'll ever get past 21. Maybe when we encounter intelligent alien life.

Comment: Micro-management kills this idea every time (Score 3, Insightful) 294

No matter what your industry is, some PHB is going to get into a position where they feel out of control and unproductive if they can't get instant gratification popping in on their people to micro-manage them. In-person meetings are a must for these people.

Comment: Not 100%... but hipsters (Score 3, Interesting) 278

by PhrostyMcByte (#48719393) Attached to: Vinyl's Revival Is Now a Phenomenon On Both Sides of the Atlantic

There are a few types I see doing this.

You'll always have those insane people who think Vinyl has better quality than CDs or FLAC... but I imagine they are a pretty small group.

You've got people who're after the experience -- maybe a more personal feel to having a big physical system that needs more interaction. Again I imagine this is larger than the first group, but still relatively small.

And finally you've got hipsters, who'll do anything just because nobody else is doing it. Very suspicious that vinyl's popularity starts to grow with a strong correlation to this group's size.

Comment: Counter-culture in full effect! (Score 1) 288

by PhrostyMcByte (#48681599) Attached to: The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea

So many people are panning this movie. Have you guys posting negative comments actually seen it, or are you just reacting to the press?

I mean, I get it -- there's bound to be some sort of automatic counter-culture response to defend against the massive amount of press talking about how controversial and important it is.

Yes, it's a little controversial to target an actual country and an actual leader so directly. But you know what, their message while embellished for comedic effect isn't really far off base. I think the world could use some more of this controversy, and there's nothing saying this type of thing needs to be in dry journalistic form.

As far as the movie itself goes --- it's a Seth Rogan bromance dick joke movie. It really doesn't bring anything new to the table. It's not his best movie, but it's by no means bad. It's fun and entertained me the whole way through.

Comment: Re:Waste (Score 4, Insightful) 170

Makes you wonder what kind of good could have been done or how many lives could have been saved with that $70 million.

It's not like he's throwing bills into a fire. That money goes back into the economy which is good for everybody, and its recipients are still free to spend it on whatever good deeds they want.

Comment: Can we stop the embellishment? (Score 5, Insightful) 177

by PhrostyMcByte (#48640049) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

I haven't seen any evidence that the mechanics of the attack itself is at all noteworthy, yet we keep hearing about how this attack was unstoppable, "nasty", etc. -- not just from Sony's PR guys, but from the FBI. As if it could have targeted literally any company and caused just as unmitigated damage.

To me, a "nasty" worm is Stuxnet: it spread in a very standard innocuous way and seemed like any other worm, but ended up being highly targeted.

This Sony hack just seems like your average trojan worm leaking an admin password back to someone. The only noteworthy part of this hack is that Sony had such horrifyingly moronic security practices that one attack was able to compromise such a large and varying corpus of valuable data.

Comment: Even the TSA knows they've become a joke (Score 1) 184

by PhrostyMcByte (#48578185) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

Last flight I took out of LAX, they were randomly handing out "expedited security" slips to people. Keep your shoes on, laptops can stay in bags, no x-rays or pat-downs, etc. and I was through in about 30 seconds. I even found out after I went through the metal detector that I had left keys in my pocket and my belt on.

Basically, it was like security used to be, pre-9/11. It was marvelous.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson