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Comment: I usually do both (Score 1) 162

by osu-neko (#46689103) Attached to: Judge (Tech) Advice By Results
When asked for advice, I usually start with a "best practices" answer, and then follow up with "but if that's too much, at least do ..." Basically, the best answer, followed by the answer that's most likely to be followed if they decide the best answer is too difficult/time-consuming/more effort than it's worth/whatever.

Comment: Re:BAD SUMMARY (Score 2) 167

by osu-neko (#46671535) Attached to: A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

there is a factual problem with the summary...

It is a bad summary, but only because the wording is ambiguous, not that it's factually incorrect. The statement you're objecting to is perfectly correct in one interpretation, and dead wrong in another. Your own counter-statement, "it is not required of the opponent to play rock 50% of the time," is equally ambiguous. In fact, 50% of the time (assuming a fair coin), the opponent is required to play rock, so it's true that "it is required of the opponent to play rock, 50% of the time". Leaving out the comma yields a true sentence (assuming the correct interpretation is chosen of the now even more ambiguous sentence) that contradicts the quoted sentence of yours, assuming you parse your sentence as "it is not required: that the opponent play rock 50% of the time", but does not contradict it at all if your sentence is parsed "it is not required that the opponent play rock, 50% of the time", since 50% of the time, the opponent can choose freely, and thus is 50% of the time, is not required to make any particular choice. So, both the summary and your explanation of what's wrong with it contain statements that not factually incorrect, just ambiguously worded such that a reader might interpret it to mean something that is incorrect rather than something that is correct.

This is a textbook example of why programming computers in plain English would be a monstrously bad idea.

Comment: Re:My curiosity (Score 1) 22

by osu-neko (#46547527) Attached to: Google's Project Tango Headed To International Space Station

No. Acceleration is change in velocity. That's what it is measuring. If velocity is not changing, acceleration = 0.

No experiment can distinguish between gravity and uniform acceleration, so if acceleration is what it's measuring, it can't possibly tell the difference between 9.8m/s^2 of acceleration and Earth-normal gravity. Indeed, just as Special Relatively is based on the fact that rest and uniform motion are the same thing, General Relativity is based on the fact that gravity and acceleration are the same thing. If you are sitting still on Earth's surface, you are undergoing 9.8m/s^2 of gravitational acceleration. In order for the accelerometer to read zero, you would have to be in free-fall.

Comment: Re:My curiosity (Score 1) 22

by osu-neko (#46546267) Attached to: Google's Project Tango Headed To International Space Station

An accelerometer doesn't measure speed but acceleration, if it was moving on earth at a perfectly constant pace (and perfectly smoothly) the accelerometer would likewise not measure anything, right?

If it measures acceleration, then whether at rest or undergoing smooth, constant motion, it should measure an acceleration of 9.8m/s straight down.

Comment: Re:Lack of privacy knowledge (Score 2) 182

by osu-neko (#46430263) Attached to: Satoshi Nakamoto Found? Not So Fast

Understanding of basic vocabulary seems to have gone out the window today.

anonymous: without a name attached to the work/deed/etc. cf. greek/latin "an-" (without) prefix and "onym" (name)

pseudonymous: with a false name attached. cf. greek/latin "pseudo-" (false)

What's being described here is not pseudonymous, unless a note is being attached to each transaction saying "This transaction was made by Mark Twain" (assuming the actual person conducting the transaction isn't actually named Mark Twain).

Comment: Re:Lack of privacy knowledge (Score 2) 182

by osu-neko (#46430187) Attached to: Satoshi Nakamoto Found? Not So Fast
By that absurd definition, anonymous posts aren't anonymous because they are posted, anonymous letters aren't anonymous because they're printed, etc. You fundamentally fail at understanding what "anonymous" means if you think being logged makes it not anonymous. What makes anonymous things anonymous is not the fact that they're not recorded, because indeed they all are, and have been for the thousands of years of anonymous writing/deeds/etc. What unites all the things we've described as "anonymous" for millennia is that what isn't recorded alongside the various things that are is the author's name.

Comment: Re:There may well be life on Europa (Score 1) 216

by osu-neko (#46420973) Attached to: NASA Wants To Go To Europa

Another mission to a world we've been to before will yield more interesting science that one to a world we've never been to before? That seems unlikely. Not saying there isn't a heck of a lot more to learn on Titan, but your reasoning here is bizarre.

The fact of the matter is, we don't know what we'll find if we go looking at Europa. One of the things about science is, instead of trying to find the answers to questions like that by just thinking about it (i.e. the philosophical method), the scientific method involves actually looking instead of merely guessing. If we want to know what we'll find on Europa, we'll have to send a probe and actually see.

You could fill a book full of perfectly reasonable statements about what we'd find on planets before we sent probes to them, all as reasonable as what you've saying, based on what we thought we knew at the time, and all dead wrong.

A mission to Europa is far more likely to yield scientifically interesting results than another mission to anywhere we've been before.

Comment: Re:hostile ot all known life? (Score 1) 77

by osu-neko (#46353923) Attached to: Kepler's Alien World Count Skyrockets
It should be noted that life almost certainly started in Earth's oceans (where the vast majority of it remains to this day -- life outside the oceans is practically a footnote). I do believe are hydrosphere is approximately two-thirds hydrogen, one-third oxygen (by atom count -- by mass, of course, the one oxygen atom outweighs the two hydrogen atoms).

MATH AND ALCOHOL DON'T MIX! Please, don't drink and derive. Mathematicians Against Drunk Deriving