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Comment Entropy (Score 2) 160

The entropy and other statistical measures of the Voynich language is different from Indo-European languages. Zandbergen goes through this in some detail. To quote

Voynichese is nearly as information-rich as Julius Caesar's Latin, and significantly more so than the Vulgate version of Genesis.

Voynichese is less information-rich than Latin in the first two characters of each word, but compensates by greater variability in the trailer.


The statistics of Voynichese and a Mandarin text written in the Pinyin script (using a trailing numerical character to indicate tone) are very different.

There is actually a lot more of this in this and other papers. The Voynich language, for another example, has a lot more repeated words than (say) English. I seem to remember that the closest match in terms of word repetitions was with Vietnamese, and there was some speculation that it might be an invented script for that language, but that didn't pan out in detailed examination. The upshot is that it is just not realistic to just assume that Voynich is a common language written in some weird script (and, also, that these substitution games have been played before).

Comment Re:Unimpressed. (Score 1) 223

So what would impress you? Having a lawyer write up a whole new license? Keeping it closed source?

Dropping the LPL for a 3 clause BSD or combined MIT license would be better than the GPLv2, and the GPLv3 would be better, if the intent was to get it in the door at the FSF, since they are quite religious about that, and they would prefer Linux switch to GPLv3 as well, since the license is basically an instrumentality of the GNU Manifesto, and intended to accomplish the goals GNU set out to accomplish. It's why they always tack a "GNU/" prefix onto Linux and piss the Linux people off. In terms of straight uniformity and simplification, since parts are already under the MIT license, that might be preferable. I doubt that they could purge the LGPL without pulling an Android/Bionic move to get the C library out from under the license.

I really don't see code from Plan 9 making its way into Linux, despite the license compatibility, and I don't see it being adopted by the BSD crowd or Mac OS X, both of which are more likely to pull in ideas from an ivory tower like Bell Labs. Like the old Salutation Consortium, the reference implementation being under the GPL makes it relatively unattractive to adopt the code to the people most likely to do so.

So basically, they've thrown it over the wall, and are hoping someone is on the other side to catch it.

Comment Re:Reduce usage - pay more (Score 1) 362

That and 90 billion gallons of water in Alfalfa sent to China, and 97 billion gallons used for fracking...

That's about 275,000 and 300,000 acre-feet respectively. According to the wiki, agricultural use was 29 million acre-feet, urban use about 8.7 million acre-feet. So the two uses you cite represent less than 1% of overall water usage each. (And are your figures nationwide or just for California? I assumed just for California.) I'm all for righteous indignation, but let's try to keep some perspective on scale.

Also I hear the commercial water rate is lower then the residential rate, ie. the per gallon price is cheaper for the corporates then for the sheeple.

As it so happens, I have our latest commercial water bill right next to me (for water used at a commercial strip mall in Southern California). $30 per hcf (hundred cubic feet) + $29.75 per hcf in service and delivery charges. Works out to:
$59.75 / 748 gallons = 7.99 cents/gallon.

My residential water bill is a flat monthly service charge of $26.87 + $2.29 per hcf for the first 12 hcf, $2.55 per hcf for the next 18 hcf, and $3.41 per hcf for any water use beyond that. Or:
1 hcf = $29.16 = 3.90 cents/gallon
10 hcf = $49.77 = 0.67 cents/gallon
25 hcf = $87.5 = 0.47 cents/gallon
50 hcf = $168.45 = 0.45 cents/gallon

So once you get past very low usage amounts, the commercial rate is about an order of magnitude higher than the residential rate.

I suspect it's agricultural water use which gets a lower rate than residential, and you're misremembering.

Comment Re:What about recieve? (Score 2) 120

It can be used both ways. What they're describing is basically tomography. By analyzing the signal recorded from different locations, you can construct a 2D or 3D representation of signal strength, thus allowing you to pin down a specific phone's transmissions based on location (rather than frequency or code or time - what's used for OFDMA, CDMA, and TDMA respectively). The reverse process would involve modulating the transmission strength and phase from multiple towers in a synchronized fashion so that the peak signal strength in a 2D or 3D field happens to be where that phone is located. It also frees you from the Shannon limit on bandwidth because the amount of channel noise is now location-dependent, rather than solely being frequency-, code- or time-dependent. Very clever work.

Comment Re:Subcontractors (Score 1) 147

Probably. But they aren't as dumb as you think. I have met them on occasion in conferences and they seem to have a pretty good grasp at maths theory, physics, etc. Many of their diaspora are top notch research staff in North America. So dumb they are not. Their problem is they are too isolated by sanctions and can't easily access modern machine tools and other things required to actually build stuff.

Comment Re:FTL Faster Than Light (Score 1) 669

I've beaten FTL using every ship -- both configurations -- except for the Crystal ship which I've never unlocked. But even so, I still get into unwinnable situations now and then. The game sometimes gives you a death ship opponent specifically designed to take your ship apart. I can't believe that's completely random. But it's a roguelike, so you can't expect to win every game.

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