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Comment Re:Welcome to the gravitynet (Score 1) 114

Every sufficiently advanced species receives this message and arrives at an existential turning point:

Either the planet's warring tribes and factions come together to make the film according to the aliens' script, proving themselves worthy to begin a 10,000 year "unpaid internship" fetching space lattes for alien directors;


They ignore the message, puttering along trying to make it on their own as an indy civilization, probably never moving out of their home system.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 588


Traffic laws, signage, lines, traffic control devices, etc. serve multiple masters:

a) To define the rules of the road/help make things safer;

b) To make it easier for cops and lawyers to declare who fucked up when an accident happens;

c) To generate revenue (In unscrupulous jurisdictions, of which there are many).

Other posters have touched on the dubious logic behind removing lines making things "safer." This is sketchy on a). It actively detracts from b) (whether one thinks that's a good thing is another matter entirely). And I can't see it helping c)... no more "your wheel went an inch over the line once a mile back" pretext pullovers.

Comment Re:Not 12 euros... (Score 1) 208

Yeah I found those terms in my searches. Maybe they sound natural to people who've grown up with them; they sound odd and contrived to my ears (but that's just me). "The global economy is projected to grow to over a trilliard EUR by 2250." "There are 7 milliard people in the world." Meh.

I don't see 10^6n [and a separate construction for 10^(6n+3)] as particularly more intuitive than 10^3(n+1). I get the rationale you put forth about exponents of a million. But I'm left wondering how useful it is to make it easy to discuss 10^30.

Using up good "-ion" terms on numbers >=10^18--that have almost no physical representation or relevance to most people--means you have to call in "-iard" to fill the gaps for numbers that get talked about like 10^9 and 10^15.

I dunno... to those for whom long billions are working, cheers and more power to you.

Comment Re:Not 12 euros... (Score 1) 208

I've never understood the rationale for the non-US billion. Both 10^6 and 10^9 (and to a lesser extent 10^12) are numbers that come up all the time, why not have explicit names for them? SI has a prefix at every thousand mark. You gain very little by "stretching" the scale, since numbers 10^15 and up are exceedingly rare to encounter in a form that's not already SI-prefixed (e.g. petabytes).

So to bring home the story for the American audience:
Because of differences in comma/period conventions and the short/long billion scale, it turns out this guy didn't scam a few bucks worth of patio furniture; he defrauded Europe to the tune of twelve trillion euro, comparable to the entire Eurozone's GDP. Don't you think that warrants inclusion on the Most Wanted list?

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1309

It was a PITA when I owned an android phone as well. Maybe I should've said "mobile device."

The main issue isn't that Steve Jobs' ghost is guarding the gate to the walled garden. It's that using a touch interface for navigating and inputting symbol-heavy text (angle brackets, for starts) is noticeably slower. Not having to manually type in HTML tags would go a long way toward mobile usability, regardless of the OS.

Comment Re:Seriously (Score 1) 38

Legit question: Aside from "Whatever each individual user personally decides is 'News for Nerds'", what criteria should they be applying here?

I mean, this isn't going to generate a ton of buzz, so the "News" part isn't super strong. But this concerns the guy who invented, i.a., one of the quintessential nerdy kids' toys, Fischer Technik.

I think is more /. than the day's fifth sorta-tangential-to-Uber post, or links to TMZ articles.

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1309

I have been forced to become somewhat of a ninja with <br/>, and forced autocorrect to recognize that there is no "be" tag**. However, it's still painful as hell on an iDevice. I'm in favor of bbcode or similar, with GUI buttons.

I'm also in favor of Unicode support. Are we really concerned with lookalike chars and Korean spam evading the "filters" when we have moocow, APK, etc. spam every day?

**Proposed feature for HTML6: <be>a tag for willing things into existence</be>... which, if it works the way I think it does, may have just willed the BE tag into existence. O_O

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Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb