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Comment Re: 'simply' following rules (Score 2) 285

One of Feynman's memoirs includes the haha-only-serious observation that mathematical theorems are either unproven or trivial, and this is simply a re-statement of the same principle.

And actually, there's a lot of speculation about whether colonies exhibit intelligence or consciousness (eg Hofstadter's Aunt Hillary, but also Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart's Heaven - they also did the Science of the Discworld series with pterry).

Comment Third level domain precedence (Score 1) 111

The rules are that, for the next five years, any .co.uk owner can register the corresponding .uk domain. If there isn't a .co.uk, the .org.uk owner can register, and if there isn't a .org.uk owner, the .me.uk owner can register it.

All other .uk subdomains don't get a bite at the cherry. Nor is there any protected time where a .org.uk or a .me.uk owner can register the .uk domain if the .co.uk owner doesn't want it.

Comment Re:What about a face recognition trick? (Score 1) 222

Face recognition (at least the Android Jelly Bean/Kit-Kat version) gives too many false positives at the moment. Somewhere between 5% and 20% of the time, my face does not unlock my phone/tablet, and I need to enter a PIN.

Also, the scope for involuntary unlocking is much larger.

Comment Re:And google will retain that info exclusively. (Score 4, Insightful) 195

If you want to know if I've read an email:
request a return receipt
If I want to give you that information, I will.

Goodness, there's an existing, non-scummy way of working all this out which preserves user expectations of privacy and provides you with the information you actually want, not a poor proxy of it.

Comment Re:I can think of one that Steve Jobs disagreed wi (Score 2) 598

"Quicksort is already implemented a thousand times, so there's no need to implement it again, just find which library you need."

Yes, that's true, but we're talking about education here, not building websites.

Also, knowing about QS implementations lets you know when it's been done wrong.

Case in point: Microsoft's C runtime library shipped around the time of Windows NT and Visual Studio 6 had a sub-optimal qsort implementation - it took 97 seconds (on a 600MHz Athlon) to sort 260,000 integers with a constrained set of values (0-180), whereas other implementations (eg Numerical Recipes) could do it three orders of magnitude quicker.
Delving in, the qsort() algorithm didn't exchange elements where the value equalled the partitioning element, which leads to increased comparison function calls (effectively proportional to 1/range).

Comment Re:Nature is amazing (Score 1) 213

What if the intelligent designer just wanted to use evolution? I've never understood why the two solutions have to be exclusive.

Well, Intelligent she might be (gives you the afternoon off, after all), but it's a bit more dispassionate than I'd want my Benevolent Omniscient Being to be. Have you read about all those parasites? The ones that eat their host from the inside out, the ones that affect the brain, so the host goes wandering out into wide open places and gets eaten, etc.

It's almost Lovecraftian.

Comment Re:It's... OK. (Score 1, Insightful) 161

... why bother? ...

If VP9 wasn't there, H265 would face no competition. So then the H265 consortium would be able to pull all sorts of egregious crap. End-user licence fees, mandatory unskippable ads, you name it, they could require it.

But VP9 does exist. So they very probably won't.

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

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