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Comment Re:Exaggerated again ... (Score 1) 42

If Data and Lore had been configured with different host keys, a whole lot of anguish could have been avoided.

When a signal transmission is detected from Data's quarters, Wesley Crusher arrives to investigate. He finds Lore, now impersonating Data, who explains that he had to incapacitate his brother after being attacked. Wesley is doubtful, but since Lore and Data were misconfigured with identical host keys, he has little option but to pretend to accept the explanation.

Understanding Secure Shell Host Keys

Comment Shackleton circus (Score 0) 174

"Somebody has decided to create this cut-down, using only the sections of The Gathering Clouds that discuss the difficulties faced, not the positive ways they were addressed and overcome - which are also covered in this and other featurettes."

When BANA books its annual shindig at a charming convention center catered by the Willy Wonka Chocolate Corporation with an entertainment package featuring a human volleyball act by the Ethiopian Cirque du Soleil, I too would probably look more at the original decision making than the food-oriented heroics induced.

BANA = Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association

I can see it now.

Some enterprising greeter saves the day by equipping the Shin Dig Hall entrance booth with 300 complimentary pairs of silicone oven mitts (frantically relabelled to read "size 3/4/5" with just minutes to spare) and zap straps snug enough to keep them secured to bony wrists until the evening's festivities run to conclusion.

Forever afterwards, the meeting is recalled as the "Silicone Shackleton Saliva Circus".

Comment State of Education (Score 3, Informative) 337

This is just one more indication of the sorry state of education in our country. Why should we present accurate, fair, and objective material to our students? It seems to me that this is an effort to protect the teaching of creationism, something that has no scientific grounding and is pure religious mythology.

Comment Re:Total Waste of Funding (Score 1) 91

Let's say that the humans involved, and their shits, are of a regular size. What you have described is a macroscopic process. Some things work differently at different scales. If you scale your humans down to the size of CO2 molecules then you are describing a microscopic process. It is known more commonly as Maxwell's demon, and it does not work. What you are describing is an attempt to fight entropy directly. The shit would not only win, it would probably hit the fan in the process.

On the macroscopic scale the loss would not be visible in terms of the placement of the shit, but a careful observer would notice changes in the temperature of this shit, and the humans tasked with its shovelling. The heat displaced due to the recognition and rearrangement of the shits would be insignificant. The number of shits given by the shovellers at any point in time would be large. But scale is a fickle mistress and the ratio of useful work (shits given) to heat displaced would drop to zero as we approach the state described before you used your analogy: the net result of your attempt to blow this off as simple is a large amount of hot (carbon-rich) air, but no shits-given at all.

It is not every analogy that works: sometimes the detail removed are critical.

Comment Job Growth (Score 1) 607

The job growth, sadly, is in retail and service sector jobs. I gave up on IT altogether after being effected by another layoff. I went ahead and got a CDL and now I drive for a living. Ironically, the joy of tinkering and experimenting with technology has returned.

Comment Re:An unreadable sentence (Score 1) 86

The complexity classes are bounded by equations (well, they are the upper bounds of families of equations). There is a nice description in the comments on Scott's blog of how there is a gap in those equations (a region with no closed forms) that lies between the polynomial equatuons and the exponential ones. This result would be in the "polynomial greater metropolitan area" as he phrases it.

Comment No they should not (Score 1) 568

An engineer actually designs and builds something in the real world to solve a real world problem. My concern is the overuse of the word engineer. I'm also against the terms network engineer, server engineer, and storage engineer. I'm fine calling them designers but my idea of an engineer is someone that develops a cleaner diesel engine or finds a way to make a product safer or more effective.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.