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Comment Perfect reproduction is difficult / undesireable (Score 1) 226

This came up before with Java, which, in its original incarnation, demanded exact reproduction of floating point results...with horrible horrible results. Generally, when people perform floating point calculations, they want AN answer, not THE answer, because they know there isn't a unique exact answer.

This issue was described far better than I can in William Kahan's essay, How Java's floating point hurts everyone everywhere

Comment What is the story here? (Score 1) 388

1) the NSA is recruiting?

2) the NSA is spying on everybody and recruiting by injecting banner ads into TCP streams to recruit TechCrunch readers?

3) a banner ad company (unnamed) is serving NSA ads to anybody that searches or surfs pages where NSA occurs more than 5 times, then uses cookies, flash cookies, unique browser characteristics, and any other form of persistent storage and leaked information to continue to serve these ads across browsing sessions?

4) That Dan Tynan, a TechCrunch writer and O'Reilly author, doesn't understand how ad distributors do business?

Comment It's a muninciple license (Score 1) 206

The license, if it existed, would exempt you from being fined by the city for unlicensed shooting of a drone. The owner of the drones, particularly if the owner of the drones is the state or federal government, will not be so nice. As a joke, it's funny. People taking it seriously, believing it offers some legal protection, are delusional. It's like doing a search-and-seizure on your neighbor with a badge from a Cracker Jack box.

Comment Re:Root of It (Score 0) 156

I don't want to support BitCoin but your post isn't very well thought out. Exchange between currencies is always an issue. I remember when Canadian coins were rejected at the cash register. Did that mean Canadian currency was not actually a currency? Bitcoins can be easily exchanged for services. If you live near a techno-survivalist farmer, you can probably get eggs for bitcoins. Now that governments are starting to recognize bitcoin and regulating it, it won't be long before you can get water and electricity (in some communities) in bitcoins. Mt. Gox just rolls up all the bitcoins and does accounting on the side, so if you want to verify funds, you can just ask him. He might not tell you, but that's different than being cryptographically impossible. I've never been able to charge-back a USD cash transaction, either, not without some physical or legal threat behind it. This is all just off the top of my head. You really need to think through your arguments more.

Comment Re:I was entirely sympathetic to Snowden (Score 1) 330

A single generals opinions does *not* make a countries policy, i hope so at least, otherwise i would be pretty worried about the things said in the US electoral campaigns.

A valid point, and one I considered when making my post. I would submit that it might be indicative of the general culture over there. However, the general in question is the dean of the National Defense University. I'm pretty sure his opinions have a not-inconsequential effect on the officers and future generals coming out of there. And by not-inconsequential, I mean defining.

A look at the map reveals that China has surprisingly small territorial conflicts with other countries - and these are fueled mainly by the fact that some of these countries are under US protection. Or does anybody believe tha Japan would insist in owning some islands if they would have to pay for their own security?

This statement is not even remotely accurate. The China-Japan issues can easily be characterized as a China-US issue, but are you going to claim the same for China-Vietnam? China-India? Both tried to stand up to China in the last 12 months and both had to back down. This is what Xinhua calls "improved relations". What was it called when the US was waving its big stick around in Central America? Imperialism? Bullying?

Comment Re:I was entirely sympathetic to Snowden (Score 1, Insightful) 330

China became the enemy of the United States in 1949. Don't you have Wikipedia where you live? Or books?

Oh, you mean NOW. How about a Chinese general advocating a nuclear first strike policy against the United States in 2005? This is not a friendly nation. This is an expansionist, dare I say, imperialist, nation, that expects to go to (nuclear, see above) war over Taiwan, disputes territorial claims (violently) with almost all of its neighbors, including the ridiculously large south china sea "exclusive economic zone", using cheap currency to buy influence and soft-power through-out oil-rich Africa, supporting violet Maoist rebel movements in Asia, basically, acting like post-war US and doing everything the US was so heatedly condemned for.

Frankly, the US is too small and becoming too irrelevant to safely classify the large chunk of humanity called China as an enemy.

So, what you're saying is, they are a dangerous enemy. Okay.

Comment No. (Score 4, Informative) 272

Current thinking is that there were simpler life forms without DNA-based genomes (e.g. RNA) which then acquired a DNA genome. The first DNA would then be essentially a reverse-transcription of an existing, non-trivial RNA molecule, starting when that first primitive reverse transcriptase enzyme appeared. The same complexity analysis on the RNA would be MUCH steeper, as RNA is far more mutable and reactive than DNA. This theory, let's not even call it that, this observation of a trend, ignores the technology shift above and obtains this highly speculative conclusion. And, the extrapolation is still invalid.

A transistor isn't much of a computer, but it is a switch, and three of them is a logic gate. 3 nucleotides is not a genome of a living thing. There's no point in extrapolating the length of a genome below the minimum length of a viable genome if the question you're trying to ask is "when was the first genome?" The graph shows billions of years of very short genomes starting at 9 BCE.I don't know what the minimum genome is, but I'm sure it's not 1 pair, or 3 pairs. A good guess would be the 4 BCE mark on the graph, though.

Comment No. (Score 3, Interesting) 272

" If true, this retro-prediction has some interesting consequences in partly resolving the Fermi Paradox."

A single base pair is not alive, not even in a primitive way. The extrapolation is invalid. A more interesting statement would be the minimum complexity of the first living things 3.5-4.0 billion years ago.

Comment Local/State/Federal regulation may apply (Score 1) 257

Supposedly, there are elements of the tax code that makes it undesirable for people to hire self-employed programmers. Instead, they would rather hire from consulting companies. The tax code does not classify them as professionals in the same way as doctors, lawyers, and licensed engineers. Here is a possibly out-of-date article that may be relevant:

I cannot find the references, but the reason I remember this factoid is because there was a man who went postal, citing his inability to make a living as a programmer due to tax laws.

Comment Re:Fair Use Applies to All (Score 1) 418

Since I explicitly stated that the copyright holder has not pursued legal action, I clearly do not believe that his is continuing his lawsuit, contrary to your first claim, and therefore, you clearly did not read my comment, and I stopped reading your rebuttal at that point, as you clearly have some viewpoint of your own you are trying to push and can't be bothered to form a cogent argument for it. Have a nice day. I will however, follow the advice of the insightful poster above you and review the judge's opinion.

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