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## Comment Re:Estimation of distribution algorithm (Score 2)48

Yep - it looks like they rediscovered known methods for optimization using a series of cheap approximations of the black-box. You find the optimal solution of the approximation and use that to choose one or more points to evaluate on the original black-box. Then you update your approximation with the results and repeat. I was doing this in college back in 1999. I wrote to generate pseudo-random functions to test on, and we used the same class of functions as approximations for the harder, more expensive problem.

## Comment Mines (Score 2)318

The group that's complaining doesn't realize that we've deployed "killer robots" for a century now - they're called mines and especially naval mines. They may not be your traditional humanoid Robbie the Robot with a gun, but they are fully autonomous, capable of selecting targets on their own, and definitely capable of killing people. Many of the arguments they make in the article are bogus anyway. If you took the text and substituted "people" for "robot" it would read just as well and make just as much sense. The authors act like people don't routinely mess up, make bad decisions, follow charismatic, insane evil overlords, or do generally nasty things to each other for very little reason all the time.

## Comment Re:Strategy? (Score 2)463

There is a lot of strategy. However, since the battle happens in 3D and there's no real way to maintain formations, you tend to end up with these blobs of friendly ships and enemy ships. The strategy is in maintaining the proper range to friends and enemies. Weapons have different ranges and tracking speeds. Similarl, the repair ships (think healers) have limited range as well (roughly 50 km for the largest). In these big fights, a lot of the work is in choosing targets, trying to do enough damage to destroy the target before his repairs kick in. There's also a fair amount of complication from the electronic warfare possibilities - jamming and such.

## Comment All the time (Score 1)1086

I work in the defense industry, writing software for both fielded systems and the modeling and simulation used to define and design such systems. I constantly use algebra, trigonometry, FFTs, logarithms, complex mathematics, statistics, probability, and a bit of calculus underlying many of the models. I do a fair amount of data analysis, which has me thinking about the various ways to condense and display data. My coworkers who can't understand the math are relegated to building UIs and writing messaging interfaces. Those of us who can understand the math create all the underlying code doing the real work. The former are much more likely to be viewed as replaceable and laid off in the bad times.

## Comment cell phones (Score 1)271

It seems like the system would be greatly enhanced by simply requiring the cellular providers to send a free text message to every subscriber. It could contain the essential information and/or a link to more info, or simply say, "Turn on the radio or TV"

## Comment Re:State school = less debt. (Score 1)283

I did precisely what you described - good state school undergrad followed by top-tier university for graduate school. I still met many of the leaders in the field while a PhD student and got paid to go - tuition waiver plus stipend. I came out with a PhD debt-free and have never regretted it. Paid internships or co-op work are definitely worthwhile.

## Comment No robots here. (Score 1)286

This would be a lot more interesting if it was actual autonomous vehicles. The article makes this sound like the same old human-labor intensive process, just by a tethered remote vehicle. It seems like a well designed set of robots would be capable of finding, identifying, and destroying the mines with minimal supervision. You could run a mothership to supply power and fresh explosives. A bit of effort could clean up ALL the mines in the area, not just the few that happen to be in the way of this particular pipeline.

## Comment Re:Sad, but predictable (Score 1)540

Agree. The "who learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image " part is critical. It doesn't say you have to screen everything that passes through your Wi-fi connection, just that you are obligated to report such a crime if you should happen to spot it.

## Submission + - Anisotropic Filtering and Antialiasing Explained

mikemuch writes: "In case you're not up on the techniques that make today's games look smooth and sharp, Jason Cross at ExtremeTech has written a guide to the various flavors of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. He touches on what current graphics hardware is capable of in these realms and shows "real-life" examples of the techniques in action in current game titles."

## Take Two's New Chairman Reassures Investors12

Via Gamasutra, an article at TheStreet.com talking with the interim CEO of Take Two Interactive. In the wake of the chaos of the board overthrow, Strauss Zelnick is taking pains to reassure investors that stability and security are now the company's goals. He also pointed out that his position as CEO is a short-term situation: "Before we seek to fill the CEO slot we want to stabilize morale, develop our strategy and improve the structure of the company... So, I don't think we will have a new CEO right away but I would guess we have someone in the chair permanently within the next 12 months."

## Online Storage 2.0: Six Sites Reviewed142

mikemuch writes "Services like box.net, openomy, and eSnips are more than just places to access your files from the web. Some include media organization tools, Windows shell integration, drag-and-drop uploading, tagging, and social content sharing. ExtremeTech has a review up of six online storage services with Web 2.0 twists."

## Submission + - Asus EcoBook -- Bamboo laptop

An anonymous reader writes: CNET.co.uk has a photo story of a bamboo laptop created by Asus. The Asus Ecobook looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but is made of real bamboo. The wood above each of its ports is engraved, the keys on the keyboard are designed to mimic the look of bamboo joints, and best of all it's biodegradeable.

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