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Comment: Re:To me, this is good news (Score 4) 74

by QilessQi (#48182415) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Actually, I've been a private IT contractor supporting various government branches for about 25 years now. :-) I've actually seen projects -- not mine, thankfully -- cancelled for precisely the reason stated in this article: the contractor was screwing up royally, and the Federal managers did not want a flaming disaster on their hands.

Comment: To me, this is good news (Score 5, Insightful) 74

by QilessQi (#48181877) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Whenever NASA (or any other agency) cancels a contract because they lack confidence in the contractor, it probably means that someone in the government is paying attention to what's going on, and is holding the responsible party's feet to the fire.

Compare this to situations where billions of dollars of money are tossed away in the pursuit of unworking (and possibly unworkable) missle defense systems.

Comment: Re:So, it has come to this. (Score 1) 742

by QilessQi (#48165547) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

They can cut off 100% of your income suddenly and at a whim.

No they can't. I have several job opportunities.

Good for you. But when you're middle aged, less marketable (by far), and supporting two parents in a nursing home, a kid, a special-needs toddler, and a stay-at-home-wife who takes care of the toddler, you may think differently about your employer firing you just because Some Big Company decided to take revenge on you for daring to badmouth them.

Comment: Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by QilessQi (#48150461) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

You're right that the wording is overblown, but AI is a big field, and pattern recognition is a big part of it -- vision, voice recognition, decision making, and other facets of human intelligence all rely on automated categorization of inputs to some degree.

Getting a tiny piece of the puzzle to work in a test tube is a necessary first step to bigger and better things. No one is going to put together a working brain in one shot (if ever).

Comment: A small vat of organic liquid? (Score 3, Funny) 98

by QilessQi (#48150221) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

I read this:

Their quantum computing machine consists of a small vat of the organic liquid carbon-13-iodotrifluroethylene, a molecule consisting of two carbon atoms attached to three fluorine atoms and one iodine atom. Crucially, one of the carbon atoms is a carbon-13 isotope.

And immediately thought of this:

The principle of generating small amounts of finite improbability by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea) were of course well understood ...

God, I love how weird the future is.

Comment: Re:Unterminated quotation (Score 1) 405

(Addendum) Apparently, this may be rooted in the archaic practise of:

“Using a
“quotation mark at the
“beginning of every line
“of the quoted text. This
“practise was actually
“pretty commonplace during
“the Georgian and Victo-
“ian Eras.”

Curiously, this is:

> Strongly reminiscent
> of what a quoted
> message looks like
> in emails and newsgroups.
> The cycle is now complete.

Or, you could say that:

/* modern quotes
are like block
comments */


// Victorian
// quotes
// are like in-line
// comments.

I think that's neat. :-)

Comment: Re:Unterminated quotation (Score 1) 405

I'm not sure that's true. In my experience, an unterminated quotation is meant to span paragraphs until its termination (although, confusingly, subsequent paragraphs must begin with the quote to remind you that it is still open. Like this:


“That seems like an odd way to use punctuation,” Tom said. “What harm would there be in using quotation marks at the end of every paragraph?”

“Oh, that’s not all that complicated,” J.R. answered. “If you closed quotes at the end of every paragraph, then you would need to reidentify the speaker with every subsequent paragraph.

“Say a narrative was describing two or three people engaged in a lengthy conversation. If you closed the quotation marks in the previous paragraph, then a reader wouldn’t be able to easily tell if the previous speaker was extending his point, or if someone else in the room had picked up the conversation. By leaving the previous paragraph’s quote unclosed, the reader knows that the previous speaker is still the one talking.”

“Oh, that makes sense. Thanks!”

Comment: This sounds... familiar.... (Score 3, Funny) 152

by QilessQi (#47817337) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

By implementing these standards, you will be adopting the only internationally-recognised and agreed standards for software testing, which will provide your organisation with a high-quality approach to testing that can be communicated throughout the world.

....Be the first on your block to collect all five! GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL!

Natural laws have no pity.