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Comment Re:Every 30 days. (Score 4, Insightful) 247

In that XKCD he doesn't treat characters independently. Instead, he assumes that each word provides 11 bits of entropy (i.e. assuming uniform draws from ~2000 words), giving a total of 44 bits. That's far less than the (26^20) you'd get if you treated the characters as independent random samples.

Comment Insertion + Merge (Score 1) 195

First, I construct medium-size piles via insertion sort. That works great as long as there are few enough things that I can spread them all out and see where to insert new ones. Once that gets crowded, I stack that into a pile and put it aside. Repeat until every document is in a sorted stack.

Then I merge-sort the stacks.

All in all, I find it a reasonably efficient method.

Comment Enforce every law (Score 1) 1440

I think this is excellent. All the laws should be enforced, and if people don't like the results, they should change the laws.

Unenforced laws make everyone a criminal; then the law can be used as a weapon against anyone at any time, giving the government too much power.

Comment Re:GIL and true parallelism (Score 2) 242

I take your point; Python isn't the tool for proper threading.

Nevertheless, I think your claim that "people who need threads are already using other technologies" isn't true. I think people keep butting up against that need as their projects grow, and it forces them to (painfully) move away from Python. I think Python could better serve those users with good parallelism.

Comment GIL and true parallelism (Score 4, Interesting) 242

The main thing that keeps Python from being really useful for my projects is the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). I would love to write Python for my data-intensive code, but it is impossible to get really good parallelism with Python; the multiprocessing library isn't a magic fix because then I have to move all my data back and forth between processes.

When, if ever, should I expect to be able to use Python to do parallel data processing? What is the priority for this, and what would need to be done to make thread-level parallelism possible?

Comment Re:I switched to cash (Score 1) 86

Sorry, *Fjandr* specified tip.

I think you're right that paying in cash is usually the best option, if for nothing else than relieving the business of the credit card fee. But I also think that "tipping in cash" implies tipping in cash on top of a credit card payment, usually for tax avoidance, and that's what bothers me.

Comment Koss Plug (Score 1) 448

I really like the Koss Plug series (e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Koss-Plug-In-Ear-Headphones-Black/dp/B00001P4XA). I'm not sure they meet your stringent audio requirements, but I think they sound fine, they're cheap, they fit in your ear comfortably, and they provide a good amount of sound isolation--enough that I feel I can safely listen when riding the train.

Their biggest issue is that because they're really *in* your ear, you can hear when the cord bangs against things. I don't mind, but you may. But for $12, you can pick up a pair and decide what you think.

Like punning, programming is a play on words.

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