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Comment: Re:airtight? big deal (Score 4, Interesting) 145

by PotatoFarmer (#35314930) Attached to: Frictionless Superfluid Found In Neutron Star Core

Are the helium atoms small enough to squeeze through the gaps between molecules, or just really sneaky?

Yep, pretty much. Practically speaking, it's one of the things that keeps a helium-based Stirling engine from being one of the most efficient methods of solar power production - the stuff leaks out at every opportunity.

Comment: Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (Score 1) 427

by PotatoFarmer (#35012224) Attached to: Senators Bash ISP and Push Extensive Net Neutrality
Your choice of ISP doesn't affect the ISP of the site you're attempting to reach, or the various other hunks of network infrastructure you need to pass over to get to that site.

Lack of customer choice is a core problem that needs to be addressed, I agree. But it isn't the only problem.

Comment: Re:Confiscations (Score 1) 405

by PotatoFarmer (#34508396) Attached to: US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct
It was more a case of making sure everyone was working off of the same definitions. This actually came into play during deliberations - a few of the jurors had half-baked notions of things like "circumstantial evidence" and the aforementioned "burden of proof" that were cleared up by the definitions we were given. Without that common ground it's likely that we would have spent a great deal more time arguing over semantics rather than evidence.

I know it's popular here on Slashdot to consider anything government-related to be stupid and ineffective, but that really wasn't the case. There was a genuine effort by the judge to clarify and educate rather than obfuscate.

Comment: Re:Confiscations (Score 1) 405

by PotatoFarmer (#34508106) Attached to: US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct
In our case we were given hardcopy instructions prior to beginning deliberations that included the definitions of all legal terms that were applicable, including one for burden of proof.

Basically, we were instructed to form our opinions on three things:

1. Our life experiences and education up to the point where we were sworn in as jurors and told to avoid doing outside research.
2. The evidence presented in the courtroom.
3. The definitions and instructions provided to us.

Comment: Re:Confiscations (Score 2) 405

by PotatoFarmer (#34507610) Attached to: US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct
There can be a lot of downtime in a trial. I was recently a juror in a murder trial, and out of the 6 hours or so allotted on each day scheduling for hearings, maybe 3-4 hours total were spent in the juror box listening to testimony. The rest of the time we were locked in the deliberation room while the judge and attorneys discussed stuff.

We were not allowed to discuss any aspect of the case with each other until after closing arguments, so it was pretty common for people to pull out the phones while in the deliberation room and check email/browse/play games/whatever during these recesses.

Interestingly, we did have a case where a juror ignored the judge's admonition against outside research - she printed out a definition of "Burden of Proof" she found online and brought it into the deliberations. It was confiscated by the bailiff before anyone else could look at it and she was dismissed. We spent most of the rest of that day playing on our cellphones waiting for an alternate juror to come in.

Comment: Re:I hate SQL and Databases in General... (Score 1) 272

by PotatoFarmer (#33438500) Attached to: Yale Researchers Prove That ACID Is Scalable

Why is it that we continue to use a technology based on a 1960's view of a problem when clearly there ARE other solutions and ways to approach said problem?

Which problem? Storing your data, retrieving your data, modifying your data while guaranteeing transactional integrity, analyzing your data in aggregate, providing ways to recover your data, providing ways to reset your data to a previous state?

I'm not saying a traditional relational database is the perfect solution to everything, but it's silly to think that every approach will address the same set of concerns.

Comment: Re:American Football is not Football (Score 5, Funny) 176

by PotatoFarmer (#33308816) Attached to: What Happens To a Football Player's Neurons?

Just to point, we are talking about American Football, not Football. It's not the same.

True. A medical story regarding non-American Football would likely cover one of these topics instead:

1. How a nudge to the shoulder can translate into a compound leg fracture.
2. How grabbing your shin while writhing on the ground can partially alleviate the pain of a compound leg fracture.
3. Whatever is in those magical spray cans the trainers carry around, and how they can instantly heal a compound leg fracture immediately after a penalty has been awarded.

Comment: Need more info (Score 3, Funny) 825

by PotatoFarmer (#33155996) Attached to: Where To Start With DIY Home Security?
In order to select the correct solution for you, we're going to need your address and a list of the expensive stuff you don't want stolen. Oh, and in case we drop by, please let us know the hours that you're usually at home. Would hate to make the trip out there only to find that you're away. Thanks!

Comment: Re:Why design the VM that way? (Score 1) 397

by PotatoFarmer (#33064028) Attached to: Oracle's Java Company Change Breaks Eclipse
I find it ironic that you're laughing your ass off at the poor, ignorant Java kids when your grasp of the situation is so deficient.

First off, permgen is not just class definitions. One of the largest consumers of permgen space is intern'd Strings. Secondly, despite its name permgen does have garbage collection in modern VMs; it's not as frequent as what is done to reclaim heap but it does happen. Thirdly, the issue with Eclipse is that it doesn't set a correct pergmen size at startup due to an acknowledged bug, this isn't a case where it's eating up too much space because of a funky classloader.

No good programmer thinks that resource management is unimportant, regardless of language.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"