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Comment Re:Can a layman get an explanation in English? (Score 3, Informative) 192 192

A compiler takes source codes and turns them into assembler code. That's lines of human-readable machine instruction mnemonics (for example, "Copy from here to here." "Is that bigger than zero?"). The assembler takes those lines and turns them into machine instructions, a sequence of binary numbers.

Finding the difference between two huge gobs of binary numbers is difficult. Instead, they turn the binary numbers back into lines of mnemonics and use a algorithm that finds the difference between two huge listings of mnemonics.

That method is easier because the listings of a program that has been changed slightly can be very similar to the listing of a unmodified program. That has to do with how compilers work.

Capiche? ;)

Comment Spook Country by William Gibson (Score 1) 110 110

This augmented reality is prominently featured in William Gibson's novel Spook Country. I was talking to a suit about this idea just a couple of weeks ago. He suggested that it was worthwhile pursuing. Now that they seem to have done that, I'm discouraged. Fuck, I'm always too late... :(

Books

Submission + - Your Favourite Tech / Eng. / CS book(s)?

chris_eineke writes: "I like to read and to collect good books related to computer science. I'm talking about stuff like the classic textbooks (Introduction to Algorithms 2nd ed., Tanenbaum`s Operating Systems series) and practitioners` books (The Practice of Programming, Code Complete) and all-around excellent books (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Practical Common Lisp). What`s your stocking stuffer book this Christmas? What books have been sitting on your shelves that you think are the best ones of its kind? Which ones do you think are -1, Overrated? (All links are referral-free.)"
Communications

Submission + - ISPs and Bandwidth->

chris_eineke writes: "
In the light of a recent submission ("Comcast Slightly Clarifies High Speed Extreme Use Policy") and its resulting discussion, I came up with a couple of questions to the Slashdot community:
(Let's call the bandwidth of the connection the maximum amount of bytes transmittable per second, e.g.: 6000kibibit/sec. download and 512kibibit/sec. upload for a generic cable or DSL pipe, and let's call traffic the actual amount of bytes transmitted over a period of time in each direction, e.g.: 90gibibyte/month download, meaning data transmitted from the ISP to you, and 90gibibyte/month upload, meaning data transmitted from you to the ISP. Also, read pipe as the shorthand for your internet connection.)
  • Which ones of the following attributes (not necessarily including examples) are more important? Connectivity (being connected 24/7/365); Bandwidth (fast downloads); Traffic (large downloads); and Latency (ping time in games)?
  • Would you pay for metered traffic (e.g. $0.01/10 mebibyte)? If you received a rebate for buying traffic up front (e.g. $8.99/100 gibibyte), would you?
  • Would you buy a pipe that explicitly spelled out how big your traffic contingency was (upload and download), but guaranteed minimum traffic and restricted maximum traffic if you hit the contingency? What if there was no guaranteed minimum traffic (i.e. no connectivity in the worst case)?
  • Suppose an ISP provided downloads that were free in the sense that they would incur no traffic on your pipe, but needed to be payed by the download (where the price per download was less than the price of traffic for the download), would you pay extra for such a feature?

Your opinions matter to me! While you can answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no' to each question, I welcome you to add as much detail as you feel necessary. :-)
Thank you, folks!
"

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