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

by mrt_2394871 (#47422643) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

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

by mrt_2394871 (#47203187) Attached to: Britain Gets National<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.uk Web Address

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

by mrt_2394871 (#45975125) Attached to: TrueCrypt Master Key Extraction and Volume Identification

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

by mrt_2394871 (#45702019) Attached to: Google Makes It Harder For Marketers To Collect User Data

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

by mrt_2394871 (#45068923) Attached to: What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

"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

by mrt_2394871 (#44924491) Attached to: "Ballooning" Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift

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:Snitch? (Score 1) 187

by mrt_2394871 (#43114193) Attached to: Did Google Tip Off EU About Microsoft Browser Ballot?

And if you search for "web browsers" on Bing IE doesn't show up at all except in a side bar under 'related searches'. Seems MS hasn't done any SEO for IE under the term 'web browser'.

But if you're using IE, you're using IE, and there's no need to search for it.

And if you're not using IE, then you're either on a platform which IE doesn't run on, or you (or your friendly BofH) have already taken steps to not be running IE. For either of those cases, you wouldn't be helped by searches for "web browser" listing IE highly.

So any outlay of resource on SEO would be wasted.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.