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Comment: Re:Scrypt (Score 1) 533

by jschultz410 (#46003119) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?
You are correct that he needs the variable z, but incorrect that he has to cast 'blah' to (uint8_t*).

In C you are not required to cast from (void*) to other kinds of pointers (e.g. - uint8_t*) -- the compiler will do this automatically for you without complaint. In C++ you are, so you generally should always add the cast (e.g. - the return value from malloc) in case your C code gets compiled as C++ at some point.

It looks like he is serializing a 32b unsigned integer out to a buffer in big endian format.

Comment: Tax the revenues of these companies ... (Score 1) 592

by jschultz410 (#42414707) Attached to: Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits
Set up an AMT for corporations that operate in the US. If they are bigger than a certain size in terms of US revenues, then they have to pay a minimum tax rate on those revenues or the usual taxes on profits, whichever is higher.

Yes, that sucks for low margin companies with lots of revenue, but it's likely better than letting very profitable companies like MS, Google, FB and many others get off essentially scot free through international tax games.

Comment: Re:Travelling costs more than propellant (Score 1) 238

by jschultz410 (#39422875) Attached to: Elon Musk: Future Round-Trip To Mars Could Cost Under $500,000
Thank you! Excellent point! Not only do you need an expensive craft, you will need all the crazy amount of infrastructure necessary to get people into orbit, to resupply and service the craft. The list of necessary things that would need to be set up before you can have regular trips going back and forth is mind blowing.

This guy thinks he could do it in worst case within 15 years and break even with $500K per seat.

I'm sorry, but there's no nice way to put it: that's just plain stupid.

Comment: Why are futurists so bad at projecting timeframes? (Score 1) 238

by jschultz410 (#39422019) Attached to: Elon Musk: Future Round-Trip To Mars Could Cost Under $500,000
Ten to fifteen years? Dude, please pass whatever it is you are smoking because that's F'ing nuts!

I think even fifty years would be grossly optimistic for "commercial" travel to Mars.

How about we "conquer" Moon before we try for the much harder target of Mars???!!!

Comment: Intelligent, elegant, simple idea ... (Score 1) 244

by jschultz410 (#35213730) Attached to: Two-way Radio Breakthrough To Double Wi-Fi Speeds
Why did it take more than 100 years for someone to think of it? If this is the first discovery of this idea, then that makes me despair for the intelligence of the human race ...

The actual claim of doubling capacity is way overblown for most deployments. The only time you will get double capacity is when you only have two radios and they are only trying to talk to each other. So, for a home network that might be the case.

However, in the far more common cases of lots of radios competing for medium access with each transmitting towards a very small subset of the nodes in range, you will not get doubling of capacity. What you can get is a significantly better media access control (MAC) layer by improving the channel access control mechanism.

This new mechanism will allow a transmitter to detect if its signal is colliding with another transmitter's signal. Currently, when a radio transmits it can only hear itself and will continue transmitting even if another radio was transmitting at the same time, which usually garbles both signals for all receivers. With this new mechanism, a transmitter will be able to stop very quickly if it hears another radio simultaneously transmitting.

This would allow radios to, for example, use CSMA/CD rather than just plain CSMA.

Comment: Re:You don't have to be non-random for fixed winne (Score 4, Informative) 374

by jschultz410 (#35086576) Attached to: Statistician Cracks Code For Lottery Tickets
The problem is that he reverse engineered their deterministic process for generating winners and losers and then was able to pick out the winning cards based on the partial information they revealed. The order in which they are printed doesn't really matter. Given any random subset of the cards he could pick the winners out of them at a much higher % than he should have been able to if they were actually random.

Sounds to me like they should figure the game out in such a way that a real random number generator will generate winners and losers at the desired rates on average and then just rely on the law of averages / large numbers to give them their desired take.

Forgot to login, sorry for the dup ... :(

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Posted by samzenpus
from the silent-spring dept.
Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

Comment: Holy cripes! (Score 1) 304

by jschultz410 (#33871964) Attached to: Microsoft Patents GPU-Accelerated Video Encoding
Isn't one requirement of a patent for it to be non-obvious?!!!

That a well informed person in the relevant field probably wouldn't think of the invention in the natural course of events?!!!

No way in heck should this have been granted as this use is beyond obvious -- it is sitting on your face wriggling!!!

Comment: Re:Bad consequences (Score 1) 758

by jschultz410 (#33541926) Attached to: Court Says First Sale Doctrine Doesn't Apply To Licensed Software
Tell me, is it wrong in any way (e.g. - legally, morally, etc.) to go purchase a book, make a bunch of copies of it and sell them? If so, then please explain why?

If a book did have a license attached to it (I wouldn't be surprised if e-books already do), then it would be up to you whether you wanted to buy the book or not.

Why might an author or publisher do this? Think about college text book publishers: if they didn't have to worry about the burgeoning resale market for their books amongst their target population, then they might be able to charge far more reasonable prices for a first sale. (Leave aside the fact that students are effectively captive to the textbooks their professors decide upon)

Comment: Re:Think about it ... (Score 1) 758

by jschultz410 (#33541884) Attached to: Court Says First Sale Doctrine Doesn't Apply To Licensed Software
Way to go! You completely ignored my core point, which is that the price of the product was specifically chosen based on the (legally binding) assumption that it would only benefit the original purchaser. If the owner of the intellectual property intended to have their, for example, game with limited replay value passed on ad infinitum, then they would price it differently. You violated their pricing assumption when you violated the end user license agreement.

Of course, none of this seems like it would matter to you in the least because you apparently think anyone should be able to duplicate someone else's intellectual property ad infinitum and sell it themselves for their own benefit. You don't even think straight up piracy is wrong, so there's no point in trying to argue legality, much less ethics, with you.

To your point about items that are not used up and passed along, here again, I disagree with you. All physical items degenerate with use, even things like books, but especially things like cars. Digital items can be protected (erasure codes, backups, etc.) in such a way that they never degenerate. Now imagine a universe where a car never degenerated even when driven hard. In such a universe, car makers would be forced to charge much, much, much more per car to survive because every car they produced could stay on the road potentially forever meaning they have far less opportunities for direct sales. Today, car manufacturers build into their pricing assumptions the fact that cars depreciate at a fairly predictable rate with a turnover leading to fairly predictable demand. If some magical way was found that completely circumvented this assumption, then car manufacturers would be forced to greatly increase prices and ultimately would probably be forced out of business.

Unfortunately, with many people agreeing with your opinion when it comes to intellectual property you certainly reduce the business opportunities available to people creating such property. Ultimately, less good intellectual property is produced because the rewards aren't as attractive as they might otherwise be.

Money is the root of all wealth.