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Comment: Re:How do we know we've only discovered 1% of NEAs (Score 1) 54 54

If I were doing this, I'd have a probe go through the asteroid belt and catalogue the number of asteroids it identifies. Then I'd compare that to the number I'd catalogued previously. That misses rogue asteroids, of course, and assumes that asteroid distribution is uniform throughout the belt.

Comment: ChromeOS + SSH client (Score 1) 99 99

The Secure Shell extension for Chrome gets you a usable terminal and SSH client. If you need to edit files locally, vim is available too, along with several text editors. There are a couple of git clients floating around if you want to edit stuff with source control.

This isn't such a good option for me. I use LaTeX on my chromebook and want to compile stuff. I want to use sed and awk and wc. I currently use Crouton, though I'm probably going to install Chromixium instead.

Comment: Simulated annealing (Score 1) 140 140

In the T9 section we employed a random walk optimization. For the swipe optimization we use a similar approach but gradually reduce the number of random swaps over time so that the keyboard settles into a local minimum.

A random walk with hops being shortened over time is called "simulated annealing". It's an alternative to genetic algorithms and tends to be easier to use for problems with solutions that can't be chopped up and put together in a coherent format. For instance, keyboard layouts, which require each key to be present exactly once.

Comment: Misleading summary (Score 1) 185 185

Some interviewers might use "how would you move Mt Fuji" type questions, but, the Wired excerpt explains, these questions and their answers are removed from consideration when determining whether to extend an offer, and the official (and unofficial) policy is not to ask that sort of question.

Nice try, though. The error probably comes from summarizing a summary of an excerpt rather than going to the original source, or at least the full excerpt.

Comment: Re:It's the CSS and JS situation again. (Score 2) 31 31

For my purposes, I use third-party engines that already can render to OpenGL and Direct3D. It is trivial for me to support both -- unless I have shaders, in which case I have to write my shaders twice. I don't mind doing that for a small number of shaders. I do mind doing that for five dozen shaders.

In the case of SRSL, I think the idea was partly just because he could, and partly because he found himself modifying shaders moderately frequently.

Comment: Re:It's the CSS and JS situation again. (Score 0) 31 31

You have to write your shaders twice if you want to support Direct3D and OpenGL. That's the biggest problem. A transpiler from GLSL to HLSL or vice versa would solve this, of course.

Direct3D shaders have a bytecode format that is at least somewhat documented (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff552891%28v=vs.85%29.aspx), so you could in theory write a compiler from GLSL to D3D shader codes. This might be easier than writing a transpiler in general, though obviously if you're more familiar with GLSL and HLSL you'd find it easier to compile to shader languages than to a bytecode you are unfamiliar with.

Comment: Re:So Red Hat and Ubuntu offer signed binaries (Score 2) 362 362

You use a shim bootloader (or GRUB) signed by Canonical, which optionally loads whichever bootloader you normally use. This gives you no security benefits and only serves as a workaround for secure boot.

Granted, this only works for hardware vendors who work with Canonical (or Red Hat or what have you) and relies on them producing a bootloader that works with the operating system you wish to use. GRUB supports the "chainloader" command, but it's possible that hardware vendors might force Canonical to disable this with their signed binaries.

Canonical has spoken about the possibility of distributing a shim bootloader signed with Microsoft's key, too.

All of these are workarounds that make UEFI security worthless. It's better to be able to turn off security or manually import a key than to use a bootloader that will happily load anything and is signed with the same key that restrictive bootloaders are.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 1) 1081 1081

> Even if you have the right person, it's not actually punishing HIM (or her,) since death is the ultimate fate of all living organisms.

Then you don't mind if I execute you tonight?

The point isn't that the person has to die; it's that they die, presumably, sooner than they otherwise would, with their crime being cited as the motivation for their early death. They are deprived of years of life, just as a person imprisoned is deprived of years of freedom.

Comment: Re:It makes it easy to support "not enough skilled (Score 1) 292 292

It also lets them reject people for arbitrary reasons, citing insufficient qualifications as the overt cause. After all, you tend to lose lawsuits if you tell people that you're rejecting them because they mentioned they're married to someone of their own gender, or because the person is capable of becoming pregnant, or their skin color is an unpopular one.

Comment: Re:What's TSYNC ? (Score 2) 338 338

On the assumption that a developer is trying to create an application for this sandbox environment, they get a very fast indication that they did something that isn't allowed instead of potentially mysterious errors. On the assumption that you're running malicious code, it means that that code can't continue probing your system.

It does mean that portable code can't probe for what features are enabled and you instead must tell it in advance. Ideally there would be a way to query for which APIs are allowed and which aren't.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?