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Comment: Re:Consumers (Score 2) 99

by fnj (#47581675) Attached to: French Provider Free Could Buy US Branch of T-Mobile

You're completely right. It's your IQ being over 70 that makes the surrender joke not funny.

If I may be permitted to demur, I don't think that's got it either. For me it's history of a longer range than a few years that makes it not as funny as it otherwise might be. The way the American Revolution would have been unquestionably lost without the aid of the French. The way the dear sweet young generation of France reddened the soil of their homeland with their blood to save it in the Great War. The way young and old went underground full of fight when the Nation was overwhelmed in 1940.

All that just sharpens the contrast with today, now that we see the nation of France, along with so many others, surrender to the evil ravening islamic mob in the streets of their own capital.

Comment: Re:Sensationalism at its worst (Score 2) 148

by fnj (#47581045) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

What part of this is hard to understand? "Testing was performed on a low-thrust torsion pendulum that is capable of detecting force at a single-digit micronewton level, within a stainless steel vacuum chamber with the door closed but at ambient atmospheric pressure." That's a direct quote from the abstract of the NASA paper.

It was in a vacuum chamber, but it was not in a vacuum.

Comment: Re:Here's a novel idea (Score 1) 47

by fnj (#47571021) Attached to: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released

I second the endorsement of the Beaglebone Black. Note that it is ARMv7 with a proper openly documented TI CPU, compared to the crappy RPi which is ARMv6 with the locked-up Broadcom abortion.

I was crushed when they discontinued the original $45 BB rev and slipstreamed the "improved" $55 rev C with more flash and RAM. I consider the added flash and RAM to be completely wasted and pointless, but I recognize that the $45 price point was just a bit unsustainable. They should have just admitted overoptimism and raised it to $47 or $49 without touching the specs.

But let's face it, even for $55 it is far and away the best choice out there. ARMv7 with Thumb2 is properly supported by mainline Debian, unlike ARMv6 with Thumb1. The latter is really only a dead end of limited historical interest.

Comment: Re:Trivial observation (Score 1) 133

by fnj (#47554591) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

The Weissman score is actually unitless. When one divides "log seconds" by "log seconds" the units cancel.

That is because it is presented as the ratio of the figure of merit of the candidate algorithm to the figure of merit of some bullshit "universal compresser", times a completely useless "scaling constant". To strip away the obscuration, all you have to do is see that for a completely transparent effectless compresser, r is unity and log t is log 0, or unity. 1/1, and it drops out.

The underlying figure of merit once you cut through the bullshit is r / log t. r is the compression ratio (unitless) and log t is log seconds. So yes, the units of the underlying figure of merit are reciprocal log seconds.

You need learn to cut through the hocus pocus and analyze the actual underlying equation before the Oz Sauce is ladeled on. You can well imagine that those who actually understand programming metrics are holding their sides laughing at those who are taking it seriously.

Comment: Re:If... (Score 1) 250

If absurd postcards are enough to actually persuade a vote, then perhaps the people got what they deserved.

Unfortunately, "the people" is shorthand for a large number of individuals. Yeah, the stupid people got what they deserved, but in no sense did the people with functioning intellects get what they deserved.

Comment: Re:And this friends, is why buying a voice is wron (Score 1) 250

You could make voting conditional on passing a test. Not a straight IQ test, although that should be a part of it. Pose some questions on postulated issues and synthetic candidates, and try to find those too liable to being gulled by clear hoodwinking.

Also, and this one is going to be hard to do for a number of reasons, prevent those who are personally turning an overall profit at the expense of the commons from voting. Let there be no stigma to accepting welfare, no matter what the hell you call it (e.g., earned income tax credit, etc, etc), but at the same time if you are cashing in more than you are contributing, so sorry, you don't get to vote yourself largesse either directly or indirectly.

Hey, I said it would be a challenge to implement.

Comment: Re:Trivial observation (Score 3, Insightful) 133

by fnj (#47553429) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

The reason the Score is utter bullshit is that the scale is completely arbitrary and useless. It says that 2:1 compression that takes 1 second should have the same score as 4:1 compression that takes log(2) seconds, or 1 million to 1 compression that takes log(1 million) seconds.

WHY? State why log time is a better measure than straight time, or time squared, or square root of time. And look at the units of the ratio: reciprocal log seconds. What the hell is the significance of that? It also conveniently sidesteps the variability with different architectures. Maybe SSE helps algorithm A much more than it does algorithm B. Or B outperforms A on AMD, but not on Intel. Or maybe it is strongly dependent on size of source (there is an implicit assumption that all algorithms scale linearly with size of source; maybe in actual fact some are not linear and others are).

In real life, for some compression jobs you don't CARE how long it takes, and for other jobs you care very much. Or imagine an algorithm that compresses half as fast but decompresses 1000 times faster. That doesn't even register in the score.

It's bullshit.

Comment: Re:Spruce Goose (Score 3, Informative) 85

by fnj (#47549623) Attached to: World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

Yeah, except this piece of junk is tiny. It is not large at all. The Martin JRM-1 Mars in 1942 was much heavier. It's a squeaking mosquito next to the Hughes H-4 Hercules of 1947. Yes, shut up, I know those are straight flying boats - because sometimes you just have to make up your mind.

Technically, sure, it's the heaviest amphibian in the world. Amphibians as a class are practically dead.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?