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Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 389

by xnor (#32310686) Attached to: Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation.

You're right that it is impossible to transmit information via quantum entanglement. If we share two qubits of an entangled qubit state, nothing I do to my qubit can change the outcome distribution of any experiment you do to yours, or else I could use this link to transmit information to you faster than light, a big no-no.

What quantum teleportation allows one to do is to transfer a quantum state in my possession (call it target state) into your possession, despite only sending two classical bits of information over a classical channel, say a number 1 through 4. This is surprising, since the target state may have been unknown to me, and were it known, it could take an unbounded amount of information to specify. But, the transfer is bounded by the speed of light, since you have to receive the two bits I send you to do your part of the protocol.

The protocol requires us to share one qubit of an entangled state in advance, which will be used and consumed by the protocol. Afterwards, I am given some third qubit in the target state which I want to send to you. The protocol ends with your half of the shared state being the target state, and me not having the target state any more, which is necessary, since the target state cannot be copied by the No-Cloning Theorem.

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Funeral Being Held Today For IE6 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-riddance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "More than 100 people, many of them dressed in black, are expected to gather around a coffin Thursday to say goodbye to an old friend. The deceased? Internet Explorer 6. The aging Web browser, survived by its descendants Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, is being eulogized at a tongue-in-cheek 'funeral' hosted by Aten Design Group, a design firm in Denver, Colorado."
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Bark Beetles Hate Rush Limbaugh and Heavy Metal 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the tiniest-minds dept.
Aryabhata writes "According to scientists, climate change and human activity have allowed bark beetle populations to soar. They decided to fight the beetles by using the 'nastiest, most offensive sounds' that they could think of. These sounds included recordings of Guns & Roses, Queen, Rush Limbaugh and manipulated versions of the insects' own sounds. The research project titled 'Beetle Mania' has concluded that acoustic stress can disrupt their feeding and even cause the beetles to kill each other."

Comment: Perfect micro will warp gameplay (Score 2, Interesting) 200

by xnor (#30080034) Attached to: <em>StarCraft</em> AI Competition Announced

I imagine that a computer's ability to control units with instant reflexes and frame precision will make AI Starcraft a completely different game from anything we've seen. Watch some Tool Assisted Speedruns and see how the gameplay of a person playing frame by frame transcends that a skilled human playing normally. Games are designed, tested, or balanced with the expectation that a player cannot press a button thirty times a second, anticipate the frame in which a projectile which hit, or issue commands at ten map locations at once. Without these limitations, the game can be broken and become something the designers never intended.

I expect the contestants to abuse lots of bugs and glitches exploitable only with frame-perfect control. For example, there's a known bug when about 1% of the time, a dragoon shot will miss a moving SCV (with no high ground or cover). If something like this can be consistently reproduced, the game will warp. Another rare bug has units become stuck while moving past each other, causing them to dart at ridiculous speeds in a perpendicular direction. This is likely reproducible, and could become the main mode of unit movement in this contest. Even if this doesn't work, there's probably a way to move faster by issuing rapid commands in a way that takes advantage of animations, since Starcraft ground unit movement speed is not hardcoded but animation-based.

Even without bugs, an AI could dance around ranged units to be basically invulnerable to melee, or any slower unit with lower range. This will give Terran a powerful rush strategy (how ironic).

Imagine a game of Terran versus Protoss. The Terran builds a fast barracks, and sends two three marines at the Protoss base. By then, the protoss has two zealots, but they won't matter, since they'll never get a hit. The Terran player dances the marines to shoot the zealots while taking no damage by always moving whichever two marine are being chasing, while the third is free to fire. Even against an equal-sized zealot force, marines are slightly faster that zealots, so they can shoot and move with impunity. The marines can slowly make their way into the Protoss base and behind the mineral line where they'll slowly wear down the mining probes' health, even as the Protoss makes focussing on any one probe impossible. The Protoss might try to get a surround with probes, though I think the marines will escape. Even if the Protoss fends off this rush, the Terran can have vultures before opponents have dragoons and wreak havoc with them.

Since zerglings are faster than marines, I'm not sure if this strategy would work in TvZ, though we might still see some epic bunker rushes.

Note that I don't think this distorted gameplay is bad, just different from human play. I rather like the ridiculous perfection, timing, and bug-abuse of tool-assisted speedruns, and look forward to seeing what the contestants come up with. I would love for a contestant to find a strategy that completely breaks Starcraft as we know it and wins unopposed. However, I think those who expect the final matches to look like really polished high-level human Starcraft play might be disappointed.

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RIAA Says "Don't Expect DRMed Music To Work Forever" 749

Posted by timothy
from the just-ask-what-and-whether-you're-buying-or-renting dept.
Oracle Goddess writes "Buying DRMed content, then having that content stop working later, is fair, writes Steven Metalitz, the lawyer who represents the MPAA, RIAA in a letter to the top legal advisor at the Copyright Office. 'We reject the view that copyright owners and their licensees are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to creative works.' In other words, if it stops working, too bad. Not surprisingly, Metalitz also strongly opposes any exemption that would allow users to legally strip DRM from content if a store goes dark and takes down its authentication servers."

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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