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Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 281

by drinkypoo (#47901213) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

It is against the law pretty much everywhere. However that law is enforced pretty much nowhere. It is just simply too difficult to enforce it, as a police officer has to catch the person in the act to even write a ticket. And then the ticket is so laughably small in terms of the monetary penalty as to be pointless to even write.

Once you successfully stick them with driving while using a cellphone, you have the basis to also slap them with driving while distracted, if they're speeding reckless endangerment as well...

Comment: Re:Atheism offers no values - you have to add them (Score 1) 684

by Jaime2 (#47899741) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

And of course the excesses of the church pale into insignificance compared with the horrors of Stalin and Mao - which is not to argue we Christians haven't committed some appalling crimes, but that all need to be given the right to condemn some of those flying the same flag.

OK, so ambition is the #1 evil in the world and religious zealotry #2. That does not diminish the horror of killing someone who believes in a different invisible man. Stalin and Mao didn't kill to advance the cause of Atheism.

Comment: Re:What's in the EU water? (Score 1) 232

by Kjella (#47899361) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

Now you know why I started to learn Mandarin a few years ago - yeah, I've accepted that I won't get far on Danish alone, and there are more people knowing Mandarin/Hindi/Spanish than English :)

Native speakers, yes. But whether you're in China or India or Spain the most popular second language is English. Functionally you're much better off because at almost any tourist destination you'll find somebody speaking English, while Mandarin is great if you go to China and pretty much useless everywhere else. English got presence in Europe (UK + EU really), North America (USA), Asia (India), Oceania (Australia) and Africa (several former colonies). I'm not going to argue the moral side of colonialism, just say that practically it's the only language with global reach.

Comment: Re:What's in the EU water? (Score 3, Interesting) 232

by Kjella (#47896905) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

That's kinda impressive - from experience, there aren't all that many Americans, that "do English well" :)

The quality of the English version is what it is. The quality of the non-English version is what it is plus all that was lost in translation, it's certainly not going to be better. The worst is when they move around on standard shortcuts, for example in MS Office all English versions has Ctrl-F as Find and Ctrl-B as Bold. In Norwegian Ctrl-F = Bold (Fet) and Ctrl-B is Find (Finn) and I absolutely hate it every time. And yet in the interest of sanity they do keep other English shortcuts like Ctrl-S = Save (Lagre), even though that makes no sense in Norwegian. Never mind that when you're working with code or databases there is no Norwegian C# nor SQL, so it all ends up rather Norwenglish when you try.

Don't get me wrong, I'm fond of my language when it comes to identity and culture. But when it comes to communication having global terminology and one way of doing it makes everything so much simpler. Yes, there's a whole lot of "English" speakers out there but any resemblance of a common tongue beats trying to use translators. It's something of a first world issue though as 16% of the world is still illiterate in their first language but I hope that in 100 years you could talk to at least half the world's population in one language.

Comment: Re:"console shooter" (Score 4, Interesting) 83

by drinkypoo (#47896529) Attached to: Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Speaking as someone who likes shooters, AND who likes consoles, console shooters are rubbish.

If you are expecting them to give you the same experience as using a mouse, then they are quite rubbish. But they can be enjoyable, so long as they aren't trying to be both things. On the other hand, aside from the thorny issue of whether to mix PC and console players in multi (answer: no) it's often possible just to ratchet up the default difficulty for the PC. Halo was certainly a doddle by comparison on the PC, aside from segments driving vehicles where I found the difference to be negligible, but that didn't make it any more or less exciting (or the levels near the end any less boring.)

A console is a fine place to present a shooter that's heavy on story. And if you don't like those games, you can just avoid console shooters and spare yourself a lot of wasted time- wasting.

Comment: Re:Carpooling should be as free as speech (Score 1) 272

by drinkypoo (#47896317) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

This is about someone getting paid to drive someone else somewhere for a profit (a significant portion of which is taken by a large company), and that person not being able to use the HOV lane. That's it.

And what's wrong with that?

Either it's a HOV or it's a protected-for-protected-classes-and-fuck-the-public-interest lane.

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 272

by drinkypoo (#47896313) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Are there no safety standards which would apply to any vehicle on Californian public roads?

No. There are not. We don't have safety inspections here. Just smog inspections. That's because they don't care about our safety, just looking like they're doing something about air quality.

Comment: Those moon rocks sure look owned (Score 1) 208

by Kjella (#47894237) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Try not stealing one since the US government doesn't own them and I think you'll find yourself in jail. Any takers who'd like to bet otherwise? I think in practice this is resolved already, what you bring back to Earth is yours. The fun parts would be that nobody has mining rights, if you find a big gold vein there's nothing stopping another country/company dropping a mining rig right next to yours.

Comment: Re:1024-fold (Score 5, Informative) 204

by Kjella (#47894185) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

It takes a long time to compute the size of 20 files when a division by 1000 takes 300 odd cycles on a 10kHz machine. It doesn't take such a long time when a right shift 10 takes 1 cycle.

This must be the most clueless post about the 1000/1024 divide so far. It never had anything to do with the computer's performance, it's that when you build a digital computer a lot of things will be sizes of two because what you can address with n bytes will be 2^n. Physical memory, memory pages, caches, buffers, floppy and hard drive sectors all the "microunits" in the computer are powers of two. Hint: No actual hard drive gives you 1MB = 1000000 bytes because it's not divisible with 512, in reality they give you 1954*512 = 1000448 so they don't underdeliver. Actually make that divisible by 4096 for modern HDD drives with 4K (no, not 1000) sectors.

There is a single reason why computer scientists usurped the prefix kilo and that is because they needed to describe "one thousand and twenty four bytes" - or multiples of that - very, very often. They needed a shorter name, they never needed the unit "1000 bytes" and so "one kilobyte" became their shorthand for 1024 bytes. And unless you're really good at doing math in your head, tell me how much is seven kilobytes exactly? (And if you answer 7000 I'll slap you). We still say 512GB of RAM. Nobody wants to say 549.755813888 GB of RAM, because multiply that with a billion and you have how many bytes that is. It's not some nice, round number.

Either way you're going to run into some f*cked up conversions if you mix GiB and GB, which I'll use now for clarity. If you have 512GiB of RAM (hey, servers do) and load 512GB from disk, how much of your RAM have you used up? Now while you're calculating that, this other person who uses a GiB system says so that was like ~477 GiB so like ~35 GiB free? Or you have to say you have 549.8 (rounded) GB RAM and use exactly 512 GB. Of course in reality file sizes are probably a rather random size so you'll have two long floating point numbers. At least with base 2 you just have one, because you have exactly 512 GiB RAM.

And when you do have base 2 numbers then multiplication/division gives other nice base 2 numbers like 10 MiB / 2 KiB = 5 KiB. 10.485760 MB / 2.048 KB = how much? It's a lot uglier if you numbers are 2^n values, which again they will be a lot of the time. At least far more often than base 10 as long as you're working with the computer itself and not business data or whatever. If you for example want to make something fit in L3 cache to optimize and algorithm, the numbers will be in base 2. You can't "bugfix" your way out of that.

"Oh dear, I think you'll find reality's on the blink again." -- Marvin The Paranoid Android