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Comment Common sense almost prevails (Score 5, Informative) 208

From the article: "A MicroSD card is only .1 cubic inches, so if all things were equal you could stuff 100 64gb cards into a cubic inch of space! But, that does not seem realistic. In fact it doesn't even seem remotely possible." Perhaps that's because 1 cubic inch = 10 * 0.1 cubic inches and not 100 * 0.1 cubic inches.

Comment Re:How about offer a BS first? (Score 5, Interesting) 122

It makes more sense to offer a Masters program online than a Bachelors. Masters programs stick strictly to one discipline and are often targeted toward working professionals who would not benefit from extracurricular activities, living on campus, having access to abundant campus resources, job placement services, etc. Offering a Bachelors degree online means you have to get the whole university represented for general education classes and some of the normal gen ed requirements (e.g. speech and communications class) might be impractical to replicate online.

Comment Re:Yes but... (Score 1) 117

1. Programmable bacteria may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. Programmable bacteria must execute any program given to them by human beings, except where such execution would conflict with the First Law. 3. Programmable bacteria must protect their own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

how do express that in c# as executable code?

Comment Re:Some scientific pursuits we should refrain from (Score 1) 435

This is one of the most blatantly homo-phobic posts I've seen. Have you ever met someone who had 2 moms or 2 dads (or someone conceived in vitro)? I have and they were not ashamed by that. Why on Earth should they be ashamed by that? I'm not ashamed that my parents are jewish, despite that being jewish is probably less common than being homosexual.

Comment Re:The pen[cil] is mightier than the sword! (Score 1) 426

I remember some time ago when it was the rage to fold paper and shoot it at each other with rubber bands. For awhile rubber bands were considered a "regulated" item...p>

I was given a detention for possessing a rubber band when i was in 6th grade. Crazy, right? Well here's the really unbelievable part: we were allowed to have and USE pencils all the time. Talk about living in a backward society.

Comment Re:There's a spectrum (Score 1) 582

"* I heard Rush Limbaugh spend most of a program once going on and on about the eruption of a volcano, and how it was putting out more CO2 than mankind would emit in like 200 years or something like that, and concluding there's nothing mankind could possibly *do* to change the climate."

Yes, Rush likes to cite fictitious 'evidence' to support his moronic ramblings. Truthfully, volcanic activity pales in comparison to manmade C02 output.

Comment Re:Any 'learning' bots? (Score 1) 113

Plenty of bots learn as they go. Some simpler ones might learn the layout of a level (counterstrike) or a room (roomba) through trial and error. You can imagine it would not be that hard to create a simple database that maps the geometry of such spaces to a reasonable resolution. Similarly, you could create a database of tactics in Starcraft for openings to easily identify the most effective ones all else being equal. Unfortunately, it could be difficult in a Player vs AI situation to gain enough high-quality data. Some AI's make use of AI vs. AI gaming to analyze effectiveness of different strategies, but obviously that will just make the AI's next build neccessarily better at playing against their current version. Obviously that's a big challenge.

Another huge problem is deciding how much an AI should imitate human behavior. In chess, it only matters that an AI wins. However, in video games, AI's are often ridiculed for not behaving like a real person: they use information not available to players, they violate the limits of what is possible for a human player to do, or even alter gameplay such that their units attack faster or are invincible to certain attacks. The programmers write the AI this way because they may have serious flaws or holes in their logic. AI's are almost always really lopsided in their competence at various aspects of play. Programmers often must max out an AI's strengths to compensate or the pathetic maximum of its weaknesses. Using a learning, dynamic AI would not neccessarily solve this problem. A simple example: in a fighting game like Soul Calibur, you could make the AI aggressively rush the human player at the beginning of the match. The second round, if this works, you could try it again. However, it turned out poorly, you could have the AI take a defensive stance next time around. This is a simple form of learning, but would be quickly obvious to the human player, who could then easily take advantage. A dynamic AI may be less predictable, but probably still somewhat predictable. It may not succumb to the same attack everytime, only to succumb too easily to various attacks. Also, you can add in some randomness to decrease predictability, but the AI will then be less productive.

Comment Re:This is second place (Score 1) 1260

there is no such number as 0.0000...1 You are saying an infinite number of 0's come before the 1. That means that you will NEVER reach the 1. Let's say you have 0.9999... and 0.0000...1 where the first term has n 9's and the second term has n 0's. Also, you could imagine needing not 0.9999... but 0.9999...9 The latter term is nonsense. In short, you cannot add the 1 to a 9 to collapse the sum of both expressions because you would need infinity + 1 terms.

Comment Common Wisdom? (Score 2, Interesting) 225

I find it incredibly hard to believe that "common wisdom" says games are trending more expensive. I've owned about a dozen systems staring with the Atari Pong (which had no games to purchase. You could play pong...and pong with multiple paddles...and it was amazing). When I finally got to the age where I was purchasing my own NES games, I remember shelling out $50 a game. Obviously with inflation, that'd be signiicantly more than the $60/game price you see now ($50 for wii). Worse yet, I bought Mega Man a couple years after it first came out and Toys R Us was still charging $50! These days 6months to 1 year after release, you can pick up most games for $20 or so. Even pre-orders are regularly priced $10 or $20 off. And if you consider the used games market (eBay, not gamestop), downloadable games, old game compilations, etc. you can easily build a solid (if antiquated) collection that you'll never have enough time to fully play and enjoy. Finally, going back to Atari and NES games now, it's easy to see how (nostalgia aside) game quality has improved drastically. Comparing Sky Kid to Halo Reach is like comparing apples to a michelin-starred 5-course meal.

As an aside - I have a very fond memory of spending hours and hours looking through my entire collection of Nintendo Power magazines compiling a list of 20 or so games I wanted to buy used. At the time, there were no used game stores where I lived, but my dad knew of one in Colorado where he flew out for business infrequently. So I gave him my list of games and waited an excruciating week for him to come back. He did fairly well, scoring at least half the games on the list (probably the cheaper ones). And I was blown away when he told me he got them for under $200 total. I excitedly jammed them into my NES one after the other - a big mistake at the time. Anyone familiar with the prime days of the NES knows that you play one game at a time until you've squeezed every last bittersweet drop of entertainment out the cartridge. You were supposed to beat the game several times, often requiring playing the first board 800 times due to difficulty and lack of game saves. And before my foray into used games, that's exactly how it worked because games were actually quite expensive. None could boast 100 hours of content, maybe 2 hours of content that took 100 hours to beat without losing a life (contra) or 10 hours of content that you played through 10 times (final fantasy).

Comment Enough Already (Score 1) 454

I'd like to applaud Best Buy for modeling their business after a car dealership. Enough of this customer-is-always-right BS. The customer is the enemy. The goal of a store is to take as much money from each customer as possible and it's up to the responsible consumer to try to pay as little as possible. That's just textbook capitalism. 6th Ave. electronics. figured this out eons ago. That's why I shop at Amazon...oh wait.

Comment Re:You're kidding, right? (Score 1) 2058

Just to spell out how this approach fails, imagine if disability insurance worked this way. Say I stop paying the $1,000 annual premium for my $50k /yr benefit of disability insurance. Then 5 years later I become disabled. Should I be able to pay $1k, $5k, $10k or even $100k to now collect the $50k/ yr benefit? Obviously not. Insurance companies would no longer exist if this were the case. Just as with insurance, the $75 fee was mandated to cover a very unlikely event (unlikely enough for the homeowner not to feel protection was needed). The firefighters need 100 people to pay $75 to cover the cost of putting out the 1/100 homes that catch fire.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 184

Agreed - no accident. They have posted erroneous charges to both my wireless and fios account in the past. On the fios account they removed a charge and then 5 months later re-reversed it! I have auto-bill pay, but I still check it infrequently and noticed after i had paid it. They agreed to re-re-reverse the charge, but said they would have to break it up over 6 months? whatever.

They also seem to train their reps to say anything to make a sale. I asked if they could come install fios earlier than what was available online. After working up the chain of command they agreed...then simply didn't show up. Of course by then I would have had to wait even longer for comcast. Despite all of this, I actually like Verizon better than most of their competition and they push quality products.

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We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra