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Comment Re:Hidden land-based bigoty (Score 1) 745

you can probably have water based civilization, but I find it hard to imagine technology under water. we first discovered that fire gave off heat because accidental fires can happen on land. we also discovered it gave off light, and we used it to conquer caves and so on. we could probably explain fire to dolphins at some point in the future, with enough patience, and technology too, but I doubt they could get there without our help.
it seems pretty realistic to me to expect that a space travelling civilization will develop in an environment where they can first build hammers and nails, i.e. melt metals.

Comment Re:So what's "random" then? (Score 1) 210

one small question: why do you say that thermal noise is a quantum phenomenon?
I haven't really heard anyone say it before. I do know that the electrons in a conductor at normal conditions form a quantum gas, and I do know that every physical system is a quantum system in the end, but could you point me to a more detailed description of these random number generators?

Comment Re:Am I the only one that misses buttons? (Score 1) 72

I think I miss buttons more than you. phone shmone, I hate that my external LCD has no buttons.
I want a big, easy to feel in the dark, cheap, classic button that closes or opens a circuit, dam it! Like the red button on this thing.
I'm only 28, and I'm already thinking about the fact that some young people have never felt and heard the satisfying "click" that a real button makes. It is somehow strange to feel so old.

Comment Re:I did not evolve from an ape.... (Score 0) 201

Just in case you really are being serious:
You cannot "prove" anything when you are talking about the physical universe. You can only show that some model of the universe is successful in reproducing direct measurements.
Let me make it more clear: if you do not believe evolution is the best answer we have to explain the relationships we can observe between the various species present on Earth today, you are an idiot. You may be right, because it is always possible for some god to make fun of us, but you are still an idiot. Furthermore, if you do believe that evolution did not take place and we were created by a god, then you will have to realize that it is just as true that you were not born to your mother, but you were brought to her by a stork. I will not accept any evidence to the contrary of the stork hypothesis, because any evidence can be faked (just like the evidence for evolution can be faked).

What you should do is get away from slashdot, this dwelling place of the infidels, and go educate yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dRyl9VksgU .

Comment Re:No Thanks, EFF (Score 1) 686

there are costs related to keeping things running.
but in principle yes, I would like my internet service provider to let me know what percentage of my monthly bill goes to paying back the initial costs of setting up the network, what percentage goes into paying each of their employees, etc.
my point was that people should be payed for creating things, not for selling them. at least in the case of software, books and other stuff that can be copied with virtually no cost.

Comment Re:No Thanks, EFF (Score 2) 686

I'm a physicist. Among other things, I've made a few codes and I've developed some numerical schemes. What would you say if I asked everyone in the world who wanted to use my formulas to pay me a nominal fee? What is the difference between you asking them to pay to use your algorithm, and me asking them to pay for using my formula?
I agree you have to be payed for your work, but you have to be payed when _you create_ something, you shouldn't be payed when _someone is using_ something you created. And yes, I understand it's complicated to make that work, but it's the truth. And it works for physicists and mathematicians.

Comment Re:pdf (Score 1) 453

html.
the point is that in codes you might have long lines, and in PDF files you have restrictions with the actual sizes of pages. also, you don't usually need a lot of weird characters, you don't need antialiased fonts, but you do need a lot of links.
I routinely use the online documentation for Python and C++ (cppreference.com for instance), and it's fast and simple. To be honest, I've never written a programming language manual, and I know next to nothing about html, but I suppose that if I write code that is commented according to some "standard", some tools are available for turning those comments into a manual for my code (html or pdf).
Or maybe I'm confusing manuals and indexes, I'm not sure...

Comment Re:pdf (Score 3, Interesting) 453

I have a small content about PDFs. Note that I also think PDFs shouldn't be opened by the browser.
You do however state that PDFs are only useful for pre-press and printing. I am a physicist and I can tell you that LaTeX does wonders for my productivity. And PDFs are smaller than PostScript files. Usually, if I need to interact with someone, we send each other the LaTeX files, or LaTeX files and the corresponding PDF files. We read PDF, and we write LaTeX.

Note that I wouldn't recommend writing or reading a programming language manual in PDF form.

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