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Comment: Re:Agreed (Score 2, Insightful) 741

by azaris (#35778842) Attached to: Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869?

I admit, I struggled a bit with the polynomials as I don't work much with them anymore, I still don't see any direct application for them even after years of working in scientific computing. Therefore, I see them as a graduation test only, meaning "If we can force you to learn this, then we can force you to learn anything.".

Just for that you fail the exam.

Comment: Re:Guilty much? (Score 1) 685

by azaris (#34441876) Attached to: Graduate Students Being Warned Away From Leaked Cables

I think the point the GP was making was that, yes the US military can instantly and overwhelmingly wipe out any civil resistance. However that is entirely dependent on said soldiers of the US military actually following those orders. If there was a civil insurrection, there is a real possibility that soldiers would simply refuse to open fire on civilians and also possible that they would simply join them.

Doesn't happen much, does it?

Comment: Re:People would protest against raising corp. tax (Score 2, Funny) 809

by azaris (#34363710) Attached to: The Luck of the Irish Runs Out

Look, left-wing parties are likely to do well in our next election, but no-one sensible here, left or right, wants to raise the corporation tax rate. These companies provide our jobs.

If a raise would be announced, ordinary people here would really start to protest.

Ireland is not the US, where lower-middle class working people will protest on the streets saying that Mario Antoinette should have more cake.

Comment: Re:On the subject of games (Score 1) 200

by azaris (#34099146) Attached to: Developing <em>StarCraft 2</em> Build Orders With Genetic Algorithms

I'd like to see a game that isn't a click-fest, but still would offer some action and nice visuals. Something with the gameplay involving giving orders to partially autonomous troops. After giving orders, you could watch and see how they fare and perhaps give some further orders, maybe with some possible penalty incurred for breaking radio silence. Or in the setting of a Total War type of game, there could be a limited number messengers who would take time to reach the troops and even have a chance to fail in delivering your orders.

Scourge of War: Gettysburg and its predecessors Take Command: 2nd Manassas and Take Command: Bull Run pretty much work that way. The graphics are dated (think Medieval: TW quality) but functional enough, the gameplay fairly slow and meticulous. Most battles start with 5-20 minutes of maneuvering into attack positions, after which you order your divisions/brigades their set targets and watch them march into the fray. If and when things start looking bad you start to micromanage individual batteries and regiments. That's when it gets really hectic and interesting. Or you can play Empire: TW and watch the beautifully rendered but historically ridiculously inaccruate soldiers run up and down mountains on a tiny battlefield while being bombarded by overpowered artillery.

Comment: Sounds like multigrid (Score 4, Interesting) 157

by azaris (#33984906) Attached to: Astonishing Speedup In Solving Linear SDD Systems

Multigrid is theoretically O(s), so I don't immediately see how this is such a huge leap. Of course the actual complexity also depends on the problem and the implementation. Maybe their applicaple to a wider variety of problems.

Also, the "iterated sparsifying" sounds a lot like algebraic multigrid.

Comment: Re:Not an RPG (Score 1) 86

by azaris (#32975480) Attached to: <em>Spore</em>-Inspired Action RPG <em>Darkspore</em> Announced

Seriously guys, we're limited by the technology. There's a reason CRPGs and JRPGs are what they are -- it's just not feasible to make the kind of experiences you are asking for. Consider Mass Effect or Dragon Age, games that have hundreds of thousands of pages of text. Even they feel "railroady" at times. You can't join the villain, after all, because they didn't have an extra 5 years to write, script, draw, program, etc that scenario and the 500 sub-scenarios involved.

That's the problem with modern games. They assume the player needs to be inundated with pages upon pages of mediocre fantasy guff to keep them engrossed in what is otherwise a plastic and unconvincing game world that has an economy entirely run on monster loot.

Make the game world logical if not realistic, fill it with NPCs that act like you would expect them to, and allow the PCs to act in meaningful ways with them. The players imagination can fill in the gaps and come up with a great story. Darklands might play like a multiple choice quiz at times, but it did this nearly two decades ago.

Comment: Re:Trying to grip the issues involved... (Score 1) 334

by azaris (#32374130) Attached to: UK Home Office Set To Scrap National ID Cards

I Finland everyone has a national identification number.

So am I living in some socialist police state, or is it just a matter of what kind of government implements this kind of a scheme?

Finland is one of those countries that could be turned into a police state if TPTB were more motivated towards evil and if the national spirit was a bit different. Off the top of my head, we've recently had:

  • Police raiding people who grow chili peppers in their homes because they bought too much irrigation equipment from the store and looked sufficiently suspicious.
  • Foreign-looking people in a popular nightclub getting rounded up until they can produce evidence they are in the country legally.
  • Internet-blocking software that randomly blocks you, telling you you're visiting "child pr0n websites" when you for example try to visit a site describing the problems in said filter. And maintaining a site for anonymous reporting of "Internet crime", apart from child abuse material, which is to be submitted to a private advocacy organization (who are accountable to no one) for processing.
  • Deanonymizing people and dragging them into court for gossiping about a woman who had an affair with the prime minister.
  • Convicting people of blasphemy for pointing out historical facts about Islam that are embarrassing to followers of said faith.

Comment: Re:Get back to me... (Score 1) 764

by azaris (#32095710) Attached to: Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit

Back already!

Seriously, read the article. Yeah, I must be new here. Sure the panel contains some climate scientists. It would be a bit dumb not to. It also contains a statistician and a physicist.

But now I've just spoiled your latest notion, you'll have to find another bogus reason to disbelieve it.

Two unbelievers out of seven do not matter when you read the report. It's only nine pages long. It flat out says they are not interested in discussing whether the science is sound. They spend more paragraphs castigating AGW critics than they do the deplorable conduct evidenced by the CRU emails. My favorite part is the one where they state that more advanced statistical methods would probably not have improved the results, while at the same time suggesting more advanced statistical methods be used next time. So the purpose of using better statistics for the panel is not to obtain more certain results, but simply to obtain a more credible facade for the spaghetti reconstructions the climatologists love so much.

Comment: Get back to me... (Score 4, Insightful) 764

by azaris (#32094644) Attached to: Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit
...when they're exonerated by a panel of scientists who are NOT connected to renewable energy sources, environmentalist groups, conservation movements, carbon trading etc. That is to say, physicists, statisticians, and real mathematical modellers. In general people who are not doing science because it suits the environmental fancy they picked up in the 1980s and who are not willing to overlook glaring problems with their results (like a disappearing medieval warm period) simply because the results confirm their preconceived notion of impending catastrophe.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky