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Comment Solution? (Score 3, Interesting) 260

I had something like this was an interview question once. My solution:

Assume we are stacking pancakes with largest at the bottom.

  1. Find the largest unsorted pancake
  2. Flip that to the top
  3. Flip from the bottom-most unsorted pancake. (One additional pancake is now sorted)
  4. Repeat until sorted

To me, assuming that you consider "Find the largest unsorted pancake" to be O(N), the algorithm is O(N^2). Number of flips is 2N. Where's my turing award?

So I must be missing something... Is one not able to find the largest unsorted pancake easily? Perhaps you are only able to look at the size of the topmost pancake. The article was unclear.

Comment And nothing of value was lost (Score 3, Insightful) 183

The WiMAX network is pretty bad. Coverage is virtually nonexistant, even in cities "with WiMAX coverage" In Austin, there are very few places where WiMAX works ... and seemingly never in places like the airport where you actually want it. If you ever happen to get it working, speeds are marginally better than EVDO.

LTE should work much better, and it will align with the rest of the industry.

Comment The hand of the market at work... (Score 1) 732

Engineers manipulate the environment to make it better (more valuable).

Got a desert? Irrigate it and it's much more valuable.

Got a large land mass? Add transportation infrastructure and people can get around easier.

Computing is a new environment that is an extraordinarily awesome environment to be engineered in.

Finance is another complex environment that can be made more valuable with engineering. If the tech companies are really hurting for the smart folks, they'll start paying competitively.

Friends don't tell friends not to go into finance if they think it's in their best interest. It seems like interesting, challenging, profitable work. I don't see why that's wrong.

Comment Old news is fun! (Score 1) 159

News flash: ARM designs low-performance processors that are also lower power!

Seriously, Slashdot? This is news?

And now ARM is going after high clock rates with deep pipelines. They'll end up with microarchitectures that are are more or less equivalent to x86 ones. Oh, and they're well behind the game when it comes to important architecture features like 64 bit. A 32 bit "server" architecture is a laughable concept.

The real thing that ARM has that x86 doesn't? You can license their core and put it in your SoC, where all the important stuff actually lives.

We see this same ARM article every few weeks. It's the same bull every time. I'm starting to expect that tomorrow I'll see slashdot / slashvertisement articles that "nature's harmonic simultaneous 4-day time cube" has been proven.

Comment Just a linear regulator? (Score 1) 64

Is this the classic head switch with feedback to adjust the output voltage? This kind of voltage regulator has been around for a long time, and is extremely common in embedded devices. You have the head switch there anyway for power collapse, just add some control to the gate voltage. Not terribly efficient, but you get increased R and so decreased V squared over R. Better than no regulation for small increase in area over what you had already (A big head switch).

Perhaps it's yet another case of Academia "discovering" what someone in industry figured out a long time ago...

Now if it's a easy to fabricate buck converter, it might be interesting... we have to have those off-die. But I think fabricating those capacitors and inductors isn't easy.

Comment This just in... (Score 3, Insightful) 118

FM Radio could interfere with television broadcast channels 5 and 6, or aircraft navigation, since they're right next to each other!

AM Radio could interfere with aircraft beacons, since they're right next to each other!

Please. We've been allocating spectrum for things for a long time. Interference can be monitored and controlled. Do you really think that mobile telephone companies would put up with broadcasters puking all over their spectrum? Or vice versa? Or either putting up with amateur radio interference?

Or, perhaps worst of all, do you think the Hams would put up with someone interfering with their spectrum? They can triangulate secret government projects accidentally using their shortwave spectrum.

Yes, interference happens from all sorts of places. You'll likely find that devices in your adjacent spectrum are less likely to interfere than other sources of interference.


Should I Learn To Program iOS Or Android Devices? 403

HW_Hack writes "In my early career in the '90s I had a hardware tech degree, but also a strong interest in software. I completed software courses in assembly, Pascal, HTML, and C as I prepped for a CS degree. I then got my chance to do hardware design for a major US firm and went that direction for a good 18-year career. I now work in a good sized school district doing IT support work at a large high school. I plan to revive my programming skills this winter so I can write apps for the flood of mobile devices. I am very much platform / OS agnostic and I support on any one day OS X, XP, Win 7, Linux servers, and now iOS as we pilot iPads in our school. My question focuses on three topics: Which programming environment (iOS or Android) is easier to jump into from a technical perspective / number of languages needed to master? Which one has a better SDK ecosystem of documentation, programmer support, and developer community(s)? Where is the market and the money going? I do not expect to get rich doing this, but with my insights into K12 needs I hope I can write effective apps for that market."

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