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Comment: Re:Quite accurately? (Score 1) 170

by spitzak (#47886191) Attached to: Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

The model can give a "quite accurate" expected value, even when wrong. Example (note numbers are completely made up):

Say there is model A which predicts 2.5-2.6% lithium.

Say there is another model B which predicts 2%-8% lithium.

Say in reality there is 1% lithium.

Both models are apprently wrong. But Model A is more "accurate" in making the wrong prediction. Therefore the text in the article is perfectly correct.

Get it?

Comment: Re:Empirical Data Trumps Information Theory (Score 1) 211

by spitzak (#47874933) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Actually it will be a lot worse than Venus and due to a different cause in that the sun would actually be irradating many times more energy on it, and possibly even engulfing it in hot plasma. Venus is heated by the insulation of a huge amount of CO2, the Earth with that much CO2 would be equally hot, and Venus without it would be just a tropical Earth. And when the sun expands the CO2 will be irrelevant (I would think the heat would actually make it escape to space), not that that is going to help any.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 2) 729

Null-terminated strings were considered superior to using a length because they allowed strings to be > 255 bytes long (using 16 bits for the length would allow longer counted strings, but at that time with 4K of memory nobody in their right mind would suggest wasting a byte like that!).

Null-terminated strings also have the nice property that getting the "tail" is a very fast operation, since you just return a pointer to the middle. This meant that searches could return strings, rather than indexes. This then meant that every function that worked on text only needed one argument, a string, rather than two (a string and an index). The savings due to this were pretty significant.

Comment: Re:Programming: You're doing it completely wrong (Score 5, Interesting) 120

by spitzak (#47761275) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Actually more often I have seen the opposite: claims the new stuff is going to be faster, the compiler is not smart enough to figure out that they are the same, and thus you should use the new stuff.

There was a coworker who insisted that using C++ std::foreach for loops was faster because "the compiler knows you can't break out of it and thus can optimize the whole thing". I had two objections to this: first of all it would be a really stupid optimizing compiler that could not figure out there are no "break" statements inside the for loop. And second the C++ was still allowed to throw exceptions in both cases.

The other objection I had was that the functors were unreadable.

Yet another objection is my suspicion that the optimization would be far worse on the functors due to the enormous header files of templates they actually used and I expected the optimizer for the simple for loop to have fewer bugs in it. But I did not test this.

Comment: Re:Compelled to freely license? (Score 1) 191

by spitzak (#47658911) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

Copyright violation conviction results in having to pay monetary damages to the copyright holder, and to cease redistribution of the copyrighted work.

Fulfilling the requirements of the LGPL on new copies in no way is required by, and conversely also does not get you out of, the punishment. Therefore for every possible reason in the book this "viral" idea is false.

Comment: Re:more gpl non-sense (Score 0) 191

by spitzak (#47658357) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

You are stating a LIE that was written by MicroSoft. Absolutely not what Richard Stallman said.

The GPL does not compel anybody to freely license their product. What it does is make you violate copyright if you include GPL code in that product. The punishment for violating copyright is defined by law as monetary damages and a requirement to STOP distributing (and stopping is the exact opposite of being forced to distribute, you know).

Thanks for proving your ignorance.

Comment: Re:The viral argument is misleading. (Score 1) 191

by spitzak (#47658283) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

None of those get you off the hook for the previous copyright violation.

Also starting to distribute your own source code does not fix it either.

The viral argument is worse than misleading, it is totally wrong. The concept does not exist, it is a LIE being perpetuated by various parties for who defeat of open source is in their interests.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"