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Comment Re:Bad plots (Score 1) 183

Ugh. Not a standard box plot. A bar graph with error bars (showing 95% CI, NOT standard deviation), or a boxplot with 95% CIs instead of quartiles is better. Standard box plots are only useful for deciding whether your distribution is normal or not (and a histogram is better for that).

The author also needs to do hypothesis testing to actually say whether any of the dice are diverging from fairness (which was his stated goal). You can't just look at a graph and guess. Your point that he should also test randomness is also good.

Comment Re:Use computers instead? (Score 1) 183

It's not that hard, particularly if you're building some kind of small device. Many microcontrollers have analog inputs and those can generate quality random noise by just not connecting them to anything. If you wanted to use a PC for some reason a couple of dollars worth of crappy ADC and USB interface would get you a random number source dongle.

You could probably get decent random numbers from the thermal and electrical sensors on modern motherboards too.

Comment Re:... strongest material ever made. (Score 1) 156

Stronger than steel per kg. Cranes don't really care too much about the cable's mass so they use steel, which is strong, cheap, plentiful and heavy. If they did care, they'd use any of several synthetic fibres that are much stronger by mass than steel. In space elevators, cable mass is the major limiting factor.

Comment Re:This is *SO* unethical ! (Score 1) 246

Clauses in legally binding agreements that grant one party the ability to unilaterally change the terms of those agreements are illegal in most places where the rule of law has any meaning. That's one of the reasons almost every contractual agreement, of which EULAs are one kind, have a clause that says if any of the terms are illegal they are void.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1, Insightful) 246

If you give them enough money, they'll do whatever you want. The question is only of the relative cost. Getting something custom done in open source is sometimes a matter of asking and waiting, or of paying a developer to do it for you. Getting something done in closed source might be a matter of filing a request under your support agreement, or it might mean a very expensive contract.

Comment Re:Contradictory? (Score 1) 495

Logic is a formal system where you make a set of assumptions, then see what implications those assumptions have. There are volumes upon volumes of theological works where the assumptions are some form of "god exists, and has these properties," all perfectly valid logic.

Science is a system where you use logic, observation and other tools to check whether your assumptions appear to be valid.

Comment Re:yet more engineer bashing (Score 1) 495

People (perhaps engineers in particular?) have an odd habit of taking statistical tendencies and attempting to apply them as universal truths. Your being a liberal engineer doesn't have anything to do with the claim that engineers as a group have a higher (probably very slightly higher) chance of being religious than other groups.

It is a little odd that well educated people are still religious, but it happens, a lot. People are able to jump through a lot of mental hoops to reconcile their religious and non-religious beliefs.

The first version always gets thrown away.