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Comment Re:Valid point (Score 2) 289

Maybe you're right about the career opportunities, but for proof I'd want to know what the last guy who maintained Hawking's rig is doing now. Is he launching his own company or did he just get sick of the job and go back to mending broken appliances? Also, Hawking is pushing 70 years old and he still has ALS. Would you bet on his lasting another five years, with your livelihood hanging in the balance?

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 229

Well, NASA used to be the only game in town, unless you were a Soviet. Now, a bright and motivated person can choose to cobble together the $200K for a Virgin Galactic flight. It's not orbit, but you can be sure that if they take your money you're going, unlike at NASA where even if you're hired you never know.

Comment Re:Physical requirements... (Score 1) 229

Yeah, but if they hired you today, you're not going into space tomorrow. You're at the back of line, leaving plenty of time get into shape. Like most want ads, this one was written by someone at a desk, someone with an ass every bit as wide as yours, who is relying on folklore and inertia as much as actual experience in crafting the requirements.

Comment Re:Someone correct me if I'm wrong but... (Score 1) 160

Heh, no, I don't want to return to a classical universe. I like computers too much for that. I just wish there was some way quantum theory could make intuitive sense. Besides enabling the construction of modern computer hardware, quantum theory has firmly poked its head into the bailiwick of even software types like me in the form of BQP and what other NP problems it might contain, so I can't really ignore it. But at the same time, whenever I read a description of superposition I feel like a rube being enticed to play three card Monty.

Comment Better late than never (Score 1) 250

I'm glad phones are finally getting smart. I've been waiting for years for my phone to be smart enough to turn itself off when I go into a theater, and more importantly, turn itself back on after I leave. That someone can patent ideas as simple as this is proof that the patent system needs large bombs dropped on it until there is nothing left.

Comment Re:Identifying what exactly? (Score 1) 548

yeah. That's similar to what we've been doing so far with WikiLeaks, right?

Not exactly. Lying consistently is coNP-hard. We should be dubious of a flat list of names dumped onto the net. But if someone dumps a huge trove of correlated information like those diplomatic cables, having the trove be both a convincing and a false narrative is exponentially more difficult for them to execute... assuming P != NP :-).

Comment Re:*sigh* Not Again... (Score 5, Insightful) 515

When the FBI is involved, it always turns out to be some disgruntled sad sack or sad sacks who they talk into some terrorist act. There is an endless supply of such broken-down, weak-willed people, which gives the FBI a steady stream of good PR to keep their budget fat. I'll hold my applause until they catch someone smarter than I am.

Comment Re:Say WHAT? (Score 3, Insightful) 211

With Google around, plagiarists would have to be idiots to try it at this point.

What I want to do when I read a paper is learn something I can use to make my code better, or to learn that the problem is way harder than I thought and I need to find a workaround. The problem these days is actually being able to read papers without being affiliated with a university, because so many papers are behind publisher paywalls or trapped on internal-only university servers. Someone having to pay what a textbook costs to read a ten year old paper is probably not what the author had in mind when they wrote it.

Please whatever copyright you use, post the paper online so bright but indigent students can read it.

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