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Comment: Well past its Best Before date (Score 1) 634

by spaceyhackerlady (#49347751) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Top Gear was enormous fun at first, but it's gotten stale. It's lost its way. Maybe it is time for a re-think.

Like just about everybody, my picks for a new co-host include Sabine Schmitz and Vicki Butler-Henderson. But they have to look very carefully at the show and decide if its worth continuing first. I'm not convinced it is.

The original Top Gear production morphed in to Fifth Gear, which is definitely jazzed up fro the old Top Gear it started as.

...laura

Comment: Did it the hard way (Score 1) 491

by spaceyhackerlady (#49328507) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

I lost 160 pounds a few years ago, and I too did it the hard way. Count calories, exercise. If you're not eating that much you have to eat well, and I'm now so healthy it's slightly stupid. I like it.

I didn't gain it overnight, and I couldn't expect to lose it overnight. It took a year and a half. No major skin sagging issues except for a residual flab roll, eliminated with a tummy tuck.

People often ask me what my secret was, and I tell them it's motivation: you have to have a reason. For me it was wanting to learn to fly, but I couldn't get the seatbelt around me.

...laura

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 2) 224

by spaceyhackerlady (#49308573) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

In the noughties my employers set out to develop similar technology. We had GPS-based units that would record where a vehicle was and could be programmed to tell on you if you drove too fast, stopped for too long, went to somewhere you weren't supposed to go, and so on. They communicated over a 2 way paging network.

The technology worked. I did the mobile device programming and put together a test unit that used differential GPS. Instead of telling you which street you were on, it could tell you which lane you were in. :-) The marketing, on the other hand, didn't work. :-(

...laura

Comment: Incompatible with some situations (Score 1) 163

by spaceyhackerlady (#49150119) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I live in an apartment and a couple of years ago my neighbours bought Guitar Hero or something similar. They played with it for about two days. Then they stopped (and sold the hardware) when the building management gave them an ultimatum over the number of noise complaints they had received.

...laura

Comment: Spock made me who I am today (Score 4, Interesting) 411

by spaceyhackerlady (#49148721) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

This one hits close to home.

As a child in the late 1960s I was inspired to my present technical life and career by two major influences: Project Apollo and Star Trek. I thought Spock had the coolest job in the universe. He played with techie stuff and figured stuff out. I wanted that sort of job too. And I got it.

...laura

Comment: Re:Use recursion when the problem is recursive (Score 1) 252

by spaceyhackerlady (#49018529) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

Yes, they did.

In another job interview I was asked to write a program to generate prime numbers. I clarified a couple of requirements ("is memory usage an issue?"), and implemented the Sieve of Eratosthenes. It works, you know why it works, any idiot can read the code and understand it, and if testing shows you need something better (in some sense), you know where to start.

...laura

Comment: Use recursion when the problem is recursive (Score 1) 252

by spaceyhackerlady (#49015017) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

Regardless of the final implementation, there are problems where the simplest, clearest solution is a recursive one. You type it in to the computer as fast as you can type, it compiles and runs correctly the first time, and then, if you need to change it, you have a place to start.

On a job interview some years ago I was asked to write C code to reverse a string. I wrote it recursively: interchange the first and last elements, then reverse what's inside.

They liked my creativity. I got the job. :-)

...laura

Comment: ST:TNG (Score 1) 480

by spaceyhackerlady (#48908911) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

Star Trek: The Next Generation was generally well-done, with interesting charcerters and only a few clunker episodes.

I found Deep Space 9 an interesting concept let down by unimaginative writing.

I found Voyager unwatchable. Janeway came across as an affirmative action bureaucrat. A Captain is a monarch, not a bureaucrat. Patrick Stewart had played Shakespearean kings, and played Picard the same way. It worked. What Janeway needed was a good desk.

Sliders was a really interesting premise that ran out of steam. The same story every week. Yawn.

The X Files also started out well and also ran out of steam, descending in to torture porn.

Didn't watch any of the others, so no comment.

...laura

Comment: Terminology, please! (Score 2) 392

There is strong encryption, and there is unbreakable encryption. They are not necessarily the same thing.

Strong encryption is theoretically breakable, but it is not computationally feasible to do so. What is computationally feasible changes with time. Look at how key-length standards for RSA have changed, for example.

One-time pad encryption, on the other hand, is not breakable. It doesn't matter how much computer power you throw at it: if you don't have the key, you can't read the message.

...laura

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.

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