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Comment: Re:Tell me how this is suppposed to work. (Score 1) 142

by ScentCone (#47433853) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

It's difficult to see the market for this service as anything other than single family residence, upper class suburban.

Or to the rooftop mail room chute in a large office building that might contain hundreds of Amazon business customers. If you're picturing suburban doorstep delivery to un-prepared recipients, you're imagining the wrong scenario.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 5, Insightful) 146

by radtea (#47428331) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Then, in that case, what separates pithovius from the prokaryotes?

Structure, from the sound of it, although mostly this is people committing various fallacies of reification and making false claims of "natural kinds".

Everything is a continuum. Humans divide the continuum up using acts of selective attention. The only infinitely sharp edge is the edge of our attention (because we scale the edge to match the scale we are attending to, so whatever scale we are attending to seems to have a sharp division between the things we are selecting out.)

"Species" do not have particularly crisp boundaries in the general case: they fade into each other, and we draw edges around them in more-or-less arbitrary ways. When we find new varieties we can either create new categories (by drawing new edges) or lump them into old categories (by moving old edges). Which move is to be preferred depends on the purposes of the knowing subject.

Comment: Re:Repercussions? (Score 2) 107

They have shown that they can not be trusted. They must lose the power to do this.

Pull someones certificates or kill some CA. Someone needs to suffer because of this.

What happens now is that there's an investigation. Depending on the outcome the CA may be revoked for good, or merely forced to reissue lots of certificates. The deciding factor is the reason for the screwup - for instance they may have got hacked, rather than been actively corrupt. In that case Microsoft will have to decide if they have patched things up enough to continue as part of their root store program or whether to pull the plug. I doubt many people have certs issued by this CA so the damage would be relatively minimal.

Unfortunately you can't just kill any CA that screws up. For one, if the CA was widely used it'd be disrupted. For another, nothing is unhackable, especially when you get the NSA involved. Expecting CA's to be able to reliably fight off professional hackers from dozens of governments and never ever fail is likely an impossible standard to ever meet.

Hard decisions ahead for browser and OS makers for sure ...

Comment: Aaaaahahaha ... gotta love it: (Score 4, Insightful) 128

by Qbertino (#47424285) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

"A multithreaded file system is only a performance hack. When there is only one job active, the normal case on a small PC, it buys you nothing and adds complexity to the code. On machines fast enough to support multiple users, you probably have enough buffer cache to insure a hit cache hit rate, in which case multithreading also buys you nothing." - Andy Tanenbaum on the "LINUX is obsolete" Thread from 30 Jan '92

Nice to see a so called "expert" so far off. Seriously, not the first CS Professor to be completely backwards. I've met a few of those too. :-)

Comment: Re:Disappointing (Score 1) 93

by IamTheRealMike (#47423211) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

This seems to be quite typical for government consultations. There's very little in the way of rigorous process. I remember years ago in the UK there was some poll that showed people were worried about anti-money laundering laws and their effect on freedom and civil liberties (it was a poll about risks to civil liberties, Ithink). So the British government said they'd respond to this by ordering a consultation on how best to improve Britain's AML laws. They invited public comments, etc. 6 months later the consultation was published and it recommended making the laws even stricter. There was absolutely no evidence-based approach used at all.

Comment: Dubai is a Disneyland. Only bigger. (Score 1) 265

by Qbertino (#47423119) Attached to: Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

Just like most of the Emirates, Dubai is a Disneyland. Only bigger.

Seriously, I don't know what crack these bedus are smoking, but there are more books translated into spanish each year than into any language of the emirates in the past 100 years. These people base huge chunks of their view of the world on an ancient facist monotheistic religion, live in societies that by social structure resemble the grimmest of dark ages, sharia law and all, and all they have is truckloads of money from selling their oil and no real idea what to do with it other than squander obscene amounts of resources to build a huge disneyland out in the desert. The amounts of water wasted alone are beyond imagination.

I'd have no problem with building a high-tech nation within a few years, if I'd actually be seeing some real progress, but I don't. I'm seriously sceptical of Dubai and its likes gaining critical mass and actually building sustainable societies

The prince of Dubai would be well advised to use all that money of his of building universities, implementing basic human rights and getting a modern society going and perhaps building a modern armed force to defend it. Since it doesn't look that way, I'm not placing my bets to high on this whole Dubai thing.

I wouldn't be suprised if this all collapses within 20 years and we have a bunch of impressive ruins but nothing more.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Re:Wait, did $Deity announce a do-over? (Score 1) 377

by ScentCone (#47419959) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

We could have spend the amount of money we put into nuclear power into solar power.

Yeah, except that we've been using energy from powerful nuclear generation reactors for decades, and if all of that effort had gone instead into the incredibly inefficient solar technology of the day, we'd have had to burn a huge pile of coal or volume of natural gas to make up for the enormous shortfall. You seem to think that time travel is available, and that somehow even somewhat better, but still very inefficient solar tools available today could have been magically manufactured decades ago, and in enormous grids blanketing (where, exactly?). And of course you're probably also suggesting the use of the same time travel machine to send back the scientists who are only just now - despite the availability of huge amounts of capital, decades more accumulated research, and more - figuring out how to make batteries and other storage devices that kind of, sort of make sense relative to things like powering homes, let alone whole cities.

But you do know that a forrest has no effect on the CO2 level, or not? If it regrows it 'consumes' exactly the amount it yielded when it was burned?

It's a shame that you're wasting all of that energy on such an angry rant when you don't have the patience to educate yourself a bit. The enormous swaths of chopped-down rainforest aren't being allowed to grow back. They're being used to inefficiently provide lumber (once) and then provide development and farming land - activities that in turn also produce more CO2, not that you actually care.

But you do know that China has a single child policy since nearly 40 years, you do or not?

Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the the fact that their enormous and rapidly growing population is completely overtaking their ability to produce energy, clean water, and enough farmable land to keep up. Hence their steady importation of oil and food from everywhere else.

You do know that the population in Africa is constant since decades?

How is it that you think lying is helping whatever point you're trying to make? The UN has recently pointed out that sub-Saharan Africa has an exploding population, and that the population on that continent will likely quadruple before the century is out. Africa's population is the fastest growing in the world. You know this, everyone else knows this. So the fact that you're pretending it's otherwise, and lead your post with "moron" and "racist" ... well, I guess I should know better than to feed an obvious troll. I've always found that the ones who start their posts by screeching "racist!" are themselves the ones with the race problem. You certainly seem that way.

fantasy world

Hilarious. You're the one fantasizing about population trends that are the opposite of what the UN reports, that imagines time-traveling to solve energy issues, and who sees everyone who doesn't play along with your imagined alternate reality to be morons and racists. Print your post out, on paper, and set it aside someplace safe there in your mom's basement. You'll still be there in ten years, so make an appointment with yourself to read it again, and compare it to each of the next ten years' worth of UN population reports. Not that you'll have the intellectual integrity to actually do that.

Comment: Re:Wait, did $Deity announce a do-over? (Score 1, Informative) 377

by ScentCone (#47418123) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

We have officially lost our "shot at preventing devastating climate change".

Nothing we could have done in the last 100 years would have made a bit of difference with respect to what you mention.

Well, except possibly for doing something to reduce eastern population booms by a few billion people. The couple hundred million people in the west with the economic latitude to pursue the type of stuff laid out in TFA won't make a bit of change, relative to four billion people digging coal in China, sprouting up on the subcontinent, overgrazing in Africa, and plowing down rainforest in Central and South America.

You want any of this to change? Stop having so many babies in places that can't afford them.

Comment: Re: Is it still braindeadly single-threaded? (Score 1) 138

by mrvan (#47414111) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

embarrassingly parallel has a specific meaning, namely that the task is composed of a (relatively large) number of sub tasks that can each be performed completely independent of each of the other sub tasks. So, any sane attempt to pathfind (say an A* search) is not embarrassingly parallel since whether a path can be pruned depends on the best paths found so far in other branches, and there is an optimal ordering for which branches to descend into first which is also dependent on what's happening in the other branches. I'm sure you can make a parallel version by e.g. forking out N possible branches to some depth, gathering state, and then pruning and ordering centrally and branching out again on the most promising branches, but this is not "embarrassingly" parallel.

Comment: Re: Is it still braindeadly single-threaded? (Score 3, Informative) 138

by mrvan (#47413845) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

For one unit, sure. The CPU problem in DF (as far as I understand) is that there are 200 dwarves, 100 goblins and 400 kittens all trying to pathfind at the same time. Unless I miss something, each of these units van pathfind in parallel since they don't "know" about the other's paths.

Comment: Re:Is it still braindeadly single-threaded? (Score 5, Informative) 138

by mrvan (#47413605) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

Yes... From what I gather, the developer ("Toady") is an autodidact that doesn't use any sort of version control and no multithreading. Although the simulation might be difficult to run in multiple threads, I think the path finding is one of the biggest CPU drains and that should be embarrassingly parallel. Also, he is really giving the community a tough time by having a monolithic game engine + GUI instead of some sort of modular system, which would allow the many programming-savvy fans to build tools much more easily (tools such as dfhack and therapist now use direct memory hacking, which is annoying (therapist needs root access, dfhack encapsulates df itself) but also unstable.

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

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