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Comment: Drake is Obtuse (Score 4, Interesting) 334

by vortex2.71 (#48525959) Attached to: Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

I've always felt that the Drake Equation is not worthy of the term 'equation' since its just a simple probabilistic estimate from multiplying a ton of other probabilities and instances together. Consider for instance, the Schrödinger equation, which has a differential formulation that provides solutions to so many physical situations that arise in quantum mechanics, or Maxwell's equations, which explain all of electrodynamics, including light, and were the inspiration for Einstein's theory of special relativity.

+ - Seattle Police Consider Actually Trying to Solve Property Crimes

Submitted by vortex2.71
vortex2.71 (802986) writes "In a story you might expect to see in the Onion, the Seattle Police Department is reviewing it policy on property crime to determine whether they should actually try to solve some crimes. This follows a column by Danny Westneat detailing a nonexistent police response to multiple 911 calls after he tracked down his wife's stolen cell phone and watched the thieves taunt him by waving it in front of their car windows. Not only did the police refuse to show up in favor of filing an online police report, but the 911 operator advised Mr. Westneat to “Pull over immediately. You’re going to get yourselves shot.”"

Comment: Developer unhappiness or Marketshare loss? (Score -1) 229

by vortex2.71 (#48143601) Attached to: The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

As Apple slowly looses market share in smartphones, how do you know the slow exodus isn't just due to the popularity of Android and Windows? I know that people are often unhappy with the games that Apple plays, but is there really an exodus due to unhappiness? Where is the proof?

Comment: Three steps: (Score 2) 182

by vortex2.71 (#47966175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

1) Quitting a great job because of a conference is a really bad idea. Get some perspective, man!
2) You can't really learn much (anything) from a conference. It just gives you a good idea of the stuff you should learn when you get home. Instead just read the conference abstracts and study the subject areas that look interesting. Have your work buy you 2 books on the subject matter and spend one work hour per day working through examples.
3) Enjoy the job that you otherwise love.

Comment: Give 10 Judges Q Clearance (Score 4, Insightful) 248

by vortex2.71 (#47784777) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

This is all such a joke and epitomizes the cat and mouse game that the executive office likes to play. Any idiot can see that the clear solution is to give all supreme court justices and several federal appeals court justices in each district Q clearances to review any top secret information pertinent to the cases that they are hearing. This would allow for proper judicial review rather than trample on the constitution's system of checks and balances. Further, ALL state senators should be given Q clearances also, so that they can properly perform legislative action. When you consider the number of people working at FBI, CIA, national labs, etc, adding 50 judges and 100 senators doesn't make much difference. If people were serious about democracy, this would have happened years ago.

+ - Amazon sues after ex-worker takes Google job->

Submitted by vortex2.71
vortex2.71 (802986) writes "Amazon is suing a former employee of its cloud services devision after he has taken a job with Google. The interesting aspect of the law suit is that Google is choosing to vigorously defend the lawsuit, so this is a case of Goliath vs. Goliath rather than David vs. Goliath. According to court documents, Zoltan Szabadi left a business-development position in Amazon Web Services to take a, partner reseller ecosystem manager, at Google Cloud Platform. Szabadi’s lawyer has responded by contending that Szabadi did sign a noncompete agreement, but he would only use his general knowledge and skills in sales at Google and would not use any confidential information he had access to at Amazon. He believes Amazon’s confidentiality and noncompete agreements are an unlawful business practice."
Link to Original Source

Comment: New Resource Testing (Score 1) 105

by vortex2.71 (#46014531) Attached to: Study Doubts Quantum Computer Speed

People need to realize that this is not the government waste/quantum computing expose it is made out to be in this article. Whenever the supercomputing community comes out with a new resource, we test it and find the best algorithms for that resource. We have a long history of different algorithms working better for different resources. Take for instance, the transition from the Cray vector processors, to commodity Intel processors, then back to vector processors with the Earth Simulator, then back to Intel, then Cell processors, then CPUs. All of these required significant tweaking of our algorithms, which can take 5-10 years for the real work-horse codes to accomplish. In this case, the low hanging fruit lies in encryption, but other algorithms will find a niche in the quantum computing sector.

Comment: Not Much of an Engine (Score 2) 84

by vortex2.71 (#38346232) Attached to: Scientists Create World's Smallest Steam Engine

Did anyone actually read this story and notice that this is highly inefficient and not much of an engine. While it fits the definition of an engine thermodynamically, the process that they describe is not particularly useful. This is just an example of scientists doing their research and then noticing that they have met the definition for an engine and then promoting this fact in order to get press and increase their chances of funding down the road.

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