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Comment: If a Headline is a Question, The Answer is "No." (Score 1, Insightful) 203

by knapper_tech (#47832327) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?
Non-declarative headlines indicative of lack of factual basis to report objectively known or at least well defensible information. I would say that 352ml of creativity is enough. People haven't considered that as the creativity has moved North, it has contracted, but the methane gas release in the arctic might unleash the creativity stored in our Nation's permafrost. In other words, I'm pointing out that the argument can be made arbitrarily either way as far as science cares.

I recall a significant amount of people arguing for more verifiable studies, tighter acceptance criteria, and more peer-review. That says anything but "let's research more crazy things." While it's true that some of the most valuable information comes from data points outside the currently sampled range, we have a great capability to model proposed mechanisms these days. How about generating some data using more modelling and simulation to explore proposed mechanisms before jumping into lab research to verify those models? There are plenty of things that can always be done besides arguing that the funding environment is simply too hostile to grants that are off the beaten path; when has someone not argued that this was the case?

Comment: Re:No mention of thorium (Score 2) 200

by knapper_tech (#47821645) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste
I was confused about the use of water and burning Actinides because I believe it requires fast neutrons to occur at a high rate and water is a moderator. Also, if water getting out of the way lets the reaction rate increase, the void coefficient would be positive? I'm not sure which mechanism they intend to operate to burn the Actinides, but it sounds like they're trying to push derivative technology as being a safer, more reliable road in terms of tooling and design. This explains nothing of how the reactor can burn Actinides, much less how effectively and efficiently.

Although RBWRs use new core fuel concepts to burn TRUs, they use the same non-core components as current Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), including safety systems and turbines.

They could be a little more specific.

Comment: Re:Layman interpretation (generally) (Score 1) 264

by knapper_tech (#45733059) Attached to: Scientists Extract RSA Key From GnuPG Using Sound of CPU
I was skeptical until I recalled how the encryption will pass through a loop or not at some order of magnitude frequency that can be picked up by the Mic. For any busy server with requests popping in and out at various intervals, there would be more noise from the multiple processes that might be doing encryption work or just varying workload (db's, web apps etc). This is noise on the same order as the encryption work in some cases. The web server or ssh server (using GPG but not encrypting communication?) will also be doing encryption with a different key and creating more noise. Of course both keys can be gotten in the case of key-key noise, but in a server room full of the things, it's just one more layer of variables.

What I don't get is that GPG's implementation is doing more or less work based the encryption routines being executed. Optimization always leads to saturation unless memory traffic is the culprit (can't optimize memory reads infinitely). Would read the paper, but oh look at the time.

Comment: Yeah, and Netflix is Next...Right... (Score 1) 370

by knapper_tech (#45621837) Attached to: Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off
The notion that streaming music, which requires much less bandwidth than video, is not going to ever be profitable is obviously nothing more than a fascination of the RIAA that finally a new medium of consumption doesn't require a new business model in order to capture the demand and revenue.

Comment: ASUS Zenbooks (Score 1) 477

by knapper_tech (#45528541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?
Very high quality build, excellent specs, battery life that makes going mobile reasonable. Spend $1700+ and you have one hell of a laptop. Dual SSD, great display, gobs of ram, massive video card... The Linux support used to require some optimus tweaking, but these days it should "just work." There was a bug that cause the light sensor in the camera to generate keystrokes, but you can put a smiley sticker on top.

Comment: Re:Why did Python avoid some common "OO" idioms? (Score 2) 242

by knapper_tech (#44608737) Attached to: Interviews: Q&A With Guido van Rossum
Ultimately, since Python is dynamic down to being able to override the data model of an object on the fly, there would be no point. There is no point in any program really. Underscores do just as good of job as public/private declarations at telling me which parts of the API are for users and which are for the class. I might use private attributes and methods, but I ought to know what I'm doing if I do. Any program's data can be made public, and the more frequently the need arises, the better programmers get at using introspection to uncover the private members, and suddenly there's no point.

One of the older justifications given for encapsulation and header files was to be able to sell binary objects. If you can't read the source for the library, you can't figure out how all the parts work, so you better use the public API or you might really screw something up. This is totally irrelevant in the world of open source software. Underscores are a totally valid solution to telling other programmers who might modify the encapsulation what the intent was at one point, giving them a strong hint that they need to dig deeper before messing around. If encapsulation is a gentleman's agreement, why does it need a language feature?

Comment: Mindshare Balkanization via Invalid Comparisons (Score 1) 627

by knapper_tech (#44532435) Attached to: Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?
A distribution is an organization, configuration, and ...well...distribution philosophy and set of tools to implement that philosophy. In short, a distribution is a package manager. Start with LFS, install a package manager, configure it like one of the distros, and a new identity your Linux installation will be given. We should be highlighting that the only thing really different from XFCE on Arch and XFCE on Ubuntu is the default color and icon schemes, system tray programs, and perhaps the file layout of configurations. Any comparison that differentiates totally similar distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint) on equal footing with totally dissimilar distributions (Arch) glazes over the nature of the differences and obfuscates the choice of operating system. It's different strains of apples vs and orange. Please, teach your Linux taxonomy and don't exaggerate contrived identities. Linux is not soccer.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.