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Comment: Apple Won With User-Focus, rather than features (Score 1) 276

Apple's win with the iPhone wasn't the concept of "smartphone", but the concept of "humanist UI design".

The idea of scrolling, zooming, pointing and manipulating objects as if they were paper on a roll, or physical buttons eschewed the previous generation of phones which used a stylus and scroll bars down the side of the window.

It's this humanist user element that represents the revolution if the iPhone, rather than the anything of the "smart" features, which people rightly point out were rather underwhelming when it was released.

That might be overstating one thing, however. The one other innovation was the integration of a full Safari rendering engine, as it was far better than comparable phones at the time. Other vendors assumed that the UI would be too clunky to display full pages on a small screen. Apple, again, worked on the UI and made it work.

Comment: Re:Sad (Score 1) 593

by SecurityTheatre (#46154383) Attached to: Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

This is completely fallacious.

First, it assumes one single explanation, when a myriad of them exist. The relative unlikeliness of one answer does not result in the conclusive proof for another, especially when you didn't even discuss why you think it was a binary decision.

Second, several sources have been found with 75%-90% left-handed ratio, indicating that there ARE natural causes for specific handedness of naturally occurring amino acids. The most probable source of this is polarized light, which can be created by reflections off water, as well as space phenomena such as pulsars and has been demonstrated to be configured this way in asteroid material.

Comment: Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (Score 1) 337

by SecurityTheatre (#46091497) Attached to: Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

I don't know statistics for Europe.

In North America, most crimes are near historical lows from the late 1950s. Some crimes (like minor property crimes such as petty vandalism) are somewhat higher than the 1950s, but I think when we're talking about stripping liberties, the conversation seems to center more around crimes that involve massive harm (death, complete destruction of multiple items of property, etc).

But as for Brussels, a brief google search for "crime in brussels" revealed this in the first link:

Brussels has, by northern European standards, a high petty crime rate and it is top of the European league when it comes to domestic burglaries but is one of the safest capitals in the world – and possibly the safest in Europe – when it comes to violent crime, particularly murder. And despite the current media stampede, in the first half of 2009 Brussels registered the lowest crime rate in almost a decade.

So, yes, sure Burglaries seem high, but violence is low.

Murder rates in Western Europe as a whole are about 1 per 100,000 people, which is among the lowest in the world, and also among the lowest in the HISTORY of the world.

Granted, Brussels has one of the highest crime rates in Western Europe and has 10 murders per 100,000 people. Today that puts it in "average city" status in the world, but given today's crime statistics, it would would have been considered one of the safest cities on Earth as recently as 1989.

Comment: Re:Recent studies (Score 5, Interesting) 118

by SecurityTheatre (#46091155) Attached to: Pirate Bay Block Lifted In the Netherlands

On the other hand, I commend lawmakers and Judges for looking at the data and making a rational decision.

In many places, the politicians enter the discussion with an idea of how things work. Most of the time, they simply refuse to change their mind, damn the evidence.

I tip my hat to the Dutch judges or politicians who reserve judgement, wait for a peer-reviewed or statistically rigorous assessment from an independent body, and then make a reasonable decision from that.

Just because YOU feel it is obvious, obviously many people don't. Good data is the most appropriate counter to ignorant assumptions.

Comment: For everyone who said "what do you have to hide?" (Score 5, Insightful) 337

by SecurityTheatre (#46076137) Attached to: Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

In discussions about government spying and surveillance, there is often a vocal group who says "if you don't have anything to hide, then this spying should not bother you."

The counter argument is that governments have tended to take information they are given and when the right person is in power, or the right sentiment strikes the public, those programs are expanded and distorted beyond their original intent.

I'm sure in the 1970s and 1980s when these programs were first beginning to be set up, they had noble intentions of only ever targeting known criminals and spys, and eventually were justified by saying that if makes people feel more secure in a post-9/11 world.

But the reality is, even without these programs, we live in the safest time that humanity has ever seen. The odds of dying of a freak accident like choking on a grape are more real to the average person than terrorism, or crime.

This is not the right solution to this invented problem.

Comment: Re: Abolish software patents (Score 5, Insightful) 204

by SecurityTheatre (#45946693) Attached to: Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Newegg Patent Case

I have to disagree.

Software patents, for the most part (I'd wager 99% of the time), are used to STOP someone from selling a product.

Do you know why Apple has that stupid "whole screen slides to the side" unlock now? Because someone put a patent on "slide to unlock"

Holy crap, what a dumb patent. Does the world benefit from someone hiring a lawyer and paying thousands of dollars, and spending months drafting a patent, just to make sure that nobody else could have a graphic of a "slide to unlock" widget?

What the fuck?

The world would have been better off if that lawyer was off... you know... affecting real law... and the coder was off... you know... writing code.

Comment: Re:Verilog (Score 2) 365

I was misunderstanding my notes.

You would need several thousand transistors for a standard DIV circuit, and then the CPU would need to iterate through the operation many times in order to perform a division.

A single-cycle division circuit isn't practical, so it would involve building a state-machine and having the processor stall while doing the DIV calculation. The simple 1-bit circuit I was looking at would require a number of cycles equal to the number of bits input (16, 32, 64, etc), although they can be made faster.

looking at it, the latency for the Core2Duo chip to do a 64-bit integer DIV up to 87 cycles, and that's a pretty optimized circuit for raw speed.

Comment: Re:Verilog (Score 3, Informative) 365

"Add = 3 gates, Divide = 6 gates" is quite comical to anyone who actually knows these things.

Looking at an old reference I have, a 16-bit ripple-carry style adder requires 576 transistors, and a 16-bit carry-lookahead style adder (faster) requires 784 transistors.

This is not including ANY control circuitry, nor a subtract feature.

A pure-hardware 16-bit integer DIVIDE is between 15-30 times more complicated. To do it in pure hardware, would require on the order of 23,000 transistors.

Unless you need your division to happen wicked fast with low latency and you don't care about transistor count, it's better to build add/shift hardware and simply perform a division operation using those bits of hardware repeatedly.

Also, we're only doing 16-bit. If you need 64-bit, multiple all of those numbers by about 50 (spitballing).

And converting from C into VHDL is probably not going to be the best way to go about this. Hire a decent hardware engineer.

Comment: Re:Bad call (Score 1) 611

by SecurityTheatre (#45854483) Attached to: Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Not many atheists go to warlord controlled countries to delivery medical supplies while unarmed and unprotected.

The Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and UNICEF (the three largest humanitarian forces in war-torn countries) are all specifically non-religious, formed by governments or charitable foundations that specifically disclaim religious founding or providence.

You're just making shit up now to try to prove a point. I advise against this as it makes you look to be grasping at straws.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw