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Comment: did anyone else count 15 seconds ? (Score 1) 482

by RationalRoot (#32968824) Attached to: Warships May Get Lasers For Close-In Defense

If it takes 15 seconds to knock down an unhardened target in perfect conditions, then nice science project, but you guys have still got work to do.

Off the top of my head,

a) Reflective surfaces
b) dispersing reflective particles from the aircraft as soon as a laser is detected
c) ditto, thick smoke
d) attack when it's raining

Add any of these, and it might take 1 minutes to bring down a bad guy,

How far will a missile travel in 1 minute at (how fast is a ship to ship missile any how ?)

Comment: at TeX's 32nd...... (Score 1) 701

by RationalRoot (#32741288) Attached to: Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday

Hey guess what, the announcement is at the TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration.

You know the Tex User Group thing.

So hands up who thinks it's likely to be related to Tex ?

So to mix my Math I suggest that
      P(Announcement(P!=NP)) ~ 0
      P(Announcement(P==NP)) ~ 0
      P(Announcement(Related to TeX)) > .5

Have we enough Ps NPs and Not reallys Ps going on here ?

Comment: Cause when something goes wrong ! (Score 1) 197

by RationalRoot (#31534822) Attached to: UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards

I kind of like the idea of VISA/MasterCard/Paypal/Bank of x

They are public companies, they have a reputation to protect, people can get fired if it all hits the fan. If Visa had constantly poor security, all their customers would leave for Master Card.

If the Govt controls the payments system, and the payments systems is fragile, or easily corruptible, you can't just dump them and go to the competition.

At least in my country, govt employees pretty much need to shoot someone (during office hours, and in the office) to get fired.

Nothing good can come of this.

Comment: Re:I'm Interested in the Opposite View (Score 1) 396

by RationalRoot (#31200664) Attached to: What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

SCC and Software engineering walk hand in hand. Everything from how useful unit tests can be after merging code to how to design code so that you large teams can work on the code without stepping on each others feet.

Like chess, playing is easy. Being good takes a while.

Comment: Re:I'm Interested in the Opposite View (Score 2, Insightful) 396

by RationalRoot (#31200024) Attached to: What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

1) in the real world 40% is not a pass

2) why don't many school even mention source code control?

3) error handling is not an exercise left to the reader, it needs to be structured, organised, and it really helps if you know what you are trying to achieve with the error handling.

Comment: Start with the basics (Score 2, Funny) 365

by RationalRoot (#28782525) Attached to: Visualizing False Positives In Broad Screening
A nurse recently told me a test was never wrong, it was 99% accurate. I asked how many people she had used the test on this week, she said about 50 a day. Without any knowledge of the population % of positives, and making the gross assumption that it was 99% false positive and 99% false negative, that would lead one to believe that she seeing incorrect results about 2-3 times a week. This had simply never occurred to her. Never mind the population statistic, nor the possible difference between false positive and false negative, but she understood 99% accurate to be - "never wrong". It never even occurred to her that if she was testing hundreds of people a week that some results would be just plain wrong. I didn't ever bother trying to explain the effect of population statistics.

Comment: Cats are stupid as sheep. (Score -1, Flamebait) 503

by RationalRoot (#28688535) Attached to: Cats "Exploit" Humans By Purring
I despise cats, I can't imagine why you cannot buy Cat Poison in the Hardware right next to Rat Poison. Yet my mother in laws cat still tries to brush up to me for food. I have never fed it, I simply push it away (Gently, my mother in law seems to be fond of it) but after many years of being pushed away it still tries. It has the learning power of a sheep.

Comment: Hand's up who is actually surprised ??? (Score 4, Interesting) 391

by RationalRoot (#27856433) Attached to: Phony Wikipedia Entry Used By Worldwide Press
I've been involved in skydiving and scuba diving for many years. Any time I have read an article about either one in the papers it is invariably inaccurate.
If they get the main thrust of the issue it's a good day.
Sure, the political reporters know about politics, and the sports reporters know about sport, but once someone has to write up a story outside his normal scope, it's as bad as any school child's homework essay.

Comment: Who would believe it. (Score 1) 204

by RationalRoot (#26143133) Attached to: Australian Court Lets Lawyer Serve Papers Via Facebook
Who would believe it. If I received a summons by email or on facebook (Iana Member) I would just assume it was another POS spam. I doubt I would even read it. Seriously, I'd have my solicitor show the Judge the 500+ spam messages in my spam box last week and ask him if he really expected me to be able to attach any credibility to the online summons. Then I'd show him how easy it was to make fake ones with fake from addresses and ask him again. If online summons are valid. That's a simple way around spam filters. Once someone does not get a summons because the spam filter blocks it, there will be a big fuss and spam filters will allow anything that looks like a summons. Then spam will start looking like summonses (sp?) D

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