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Comment: Re:Search (Score 1) 210

by sean4u (#32637106) Attached to: Google Introduces Command-Line Tool For Linux

I'm writing a search engine 'just because' and I considered replying to your comment with an URL for it that would return a text/plain result. But what would anybody want in it that would be better than an XML (which I assume - in that annoying, couldn't-be-arsed-to-check-my-facts way - is already available from the search engine giants) result which could be post-processed for plain text?

It's not an idle question - I was just about to start editing code, but then I couldn't see the point. Maybe they couldn't either. It would be child's play to provide text/plain search results, I just can't imagine (in the few minutes I tried) how they would be used.

Comment: Re:This isn't a big deal (Score 1) 412

by sean4u (#31636672) Attached to: Nvidia Drops Support For Its Open Source Driver

But doesn't this mean that those of us who bought our nVidia video cards more than (video hardware shelf life) years ago are going to have to put up with less-than-stellar video drivers? I use an ATI Mobility (that always reminded me of little electric carts for very old people) X1300 on Ubuntu and it has been a bloodbath. ATI no longer support it in their proprietary driver (which was good when it worked), so for a while the laptop I do all my work on (it never leaves my desk, battery died, lid hinge gone, but hey, Core2Duo, 2 Monitors, input devices on USB, it's good enough) was trailing behind all the other machines here. 3D games are becoming a distant memory now that I don't have the proprietary driver. The ati driver is great for work, but doesn't seem to cut the mustard for play at all.

After the X1300, I tried to make sure than any new PCs that we bought which needed better video adapters came with nVidia equipment. Will the same thing now happen to nVidia users on slightly older kit?

Comment: Re:Linux Peace Prize? (Score 1) 541

by sean4u (#30182472) Attached to: Linus Torvalds For Nobel Peace Prize?
This is the comment I was looking for. I think it's a great idea. Give Linus the Economics prize, Stallman the Peace prize, the Chemistry prize could go to whoever wrote Cheese... I'm not sure about Physiology. I'm sure I was fitter before I started coding so much. Next year could be the year of Linux on the Nobel Prizes!

Comment: Basic physics problem (Score 1) 247

by sean4u (#30042042) Attached to: Japan Eyes Solar Station In Space
Isn't the real problem with this the fact that it would be capturing solar radiation that would not otherwise intersect with the planet's atmosphere? Given the concerns about warming, isn't adding another input ... insane? Don't get me wrong - I'm all for this, as long as they build the giant solar-powered fan and heat sink in space to go with it.

Comment: Re:1984 (Score 1) 515

by sean4u (#29601907) Attached to: Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

Isn't the easiest way to deal with the underlying problem (fraudulent asylum applications) just to not offer asylum?

I've often thought asylum is counter-productive for the countries where abuse occurs. How is rebellion against oppression encouraged by the option to run away?

I'm all for immigration. I voted with my genes, as many of my family have, for diversity. I currently live (for the last 4 years, hopefully for only one or two more) in a toilet of a country where everything is owned by the political party in power. They kill people and hold sham trials where nobody important is ever in the dock. The dock (and jail) is full of opposition politicians. My neighbours all ask me to help them get into the UK.

By all means - if someone wants to come and join a society, let them. If they want to run away from one, I think they should be turned back with a citizen activism handbook and best wishes for the future.

Comment: Re:How small is it? (Score 1) 426

by sean4u (#29296155) Attached to: Major ISPs Seek To Lower Broadband Definition

No la, Malaysia has its own definition - it's broadband if it's > 56kbit/s

My 70RM (USD20) / month 512kbit/s has recently started to frequently exceed the local threshhold for broadband. For the previous 2 years, the line was completely dead for several days per month. This is the kind of 'competition' US ISPs are presumably focussing on.

Comment: I have solved the breast problem (Score 1) 397

by sean4u (#29000595) Attached to: Ten Things We Still Don't Understand About Humans

I read once - or maybe imagined it - that some research showed that the optic nerve was very sensitive to anything in the field of vision that looked like eyes. There was a description of an experiment to do with circles and dots on flashcards and timed responses I think - I've had a quick search, but can find nothing, does anybody recognise that description? I also think I recall the suggestion that this was evolutionarily beneficial, as it gave advance warning when a predator or enemy was watching you.

Human women have two comparatively large (even more noticeable on the Internet), round breasts with dots in the middle. Your eyes point at these things before you even realise that they're there. Why is that? My explanation is that it's an evolutionary adaptation that takes advantage of the eye's 'eye detection' mechanism. Human breasts are large fake eyes that confer additional fitness on the possessor by causing males to look at them before they look at females with less apparent 'eyes'.

Original research. You read it here first.

Comment: Re:Not much suspension, but some. (Score 1) 216

by sean4u (#28921533) Attached to: Toyota Reveals A Humanoid Robot That Can Run

After working on a hexapod project some time ago, I thought the way to go would be to start with lying down on the floor. My 15 month old son can run much faster than this - in short bursts. Then he wipes out spectacularly, picks himself up (or waits for me to do it) and does it again.

I think a great part of the reason for these things running the way they do is an effort to avoid them expensively decking out. I'd really like to see some less shiny robots put in a few impressive strides, crash spectacularly and get up again. I think HRP could get up from a lying position, but it wasn't quick, if I remember right.

Comment: Re:She seems to grow (Score 1) 599

by sean4u (#28491185) Attached to: Doctors Baffled, Intrigued By Girl Who Doesn't Age

Imagine if your brain suddenly never changes.

So a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I did a PhD on crystalline computation - something like artificial neural networks, but no plasticity at all. It was very low level, but I always wondered about the plasticity / memory issue. A human brain is a very complex organ. If plasticity was the only medium for memory, it would have to be instantaneous. As I recall, there's no suggestion that very short-term memory involves plasticity. The issue with '5 minutes ago' - is that capacity, or just a good adaptation or behaviour, given the availability of some more reliable medium?

I haven't looked at the topic for a while, so if anybody has some interesting references for plasticity / memory - particularly memory performance in the absence or impairment of plasticity, I'd be grateful at least until the new tab opens!

Comment: Re:Physics 102 (Score 1) 512

by sean4u (#28477111) Attached to: Beamed Space Solar Power Plant To Open In 2016?

I imagine (RTFA? GTFO!) the solar collector won't often be casting a shadow on the Earth. That means it's collecting solar energy that the Earth wouldn't. The energy transmitted to Earth will eventually cause something to warm up, won't it? Isn't this a problem for any kind of 'extra terrestrial energy' idea that isn't direct sunlight or its ancient effect?

I think 'significant' might be hard to judge. If space solar makes a significant contribution to Earth's energy, I think it might make a significant contribution to the temperature of something terrestrial. Otherwise, I think it's a great idea. If the heating issue were really a problem, you could always run pipes up the side of the space elevator and dump the heat into the moon.

Comment: Re:Yes... (Score 1) 319

by sean4u (#28324765) Attached to: Open Source Car — 20 Year Lease, Free Fuel For Life

Will there be a fork project?

Apparently there's a lot of interest in the forums on a 'lite' version that will only have 2 wheels, can carry the same number of passengers, just as much load, and you can run it off body fat. That project also has its own forks.

I've used that version and it's pretty good. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to keep it running at its best, but that's half the joy, isn't it? You know what users are like though - they just want effortless bloat, so I suspect it won't catch on.

BYTE editors are people who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then carefully print the chaff.