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Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 134

A very reliable rule of thumb is that if there are N possible hash values, then you should expect 0.5 hash collisions after hashing N items.

No you shouldn't. You should expect 0.5 collisions after hashing N/2 items. Trivially you are guaranteed at least M collisions when hashing N+M items.

I don't actually know off the top of my head how many collisions you should expect if you hashed N items.

Comment Re:Prior use (Score 4, Interesting) 354

the GSM spec contains a special call type 'emergency' which is meant to be triggered when you press that, or dial 112 or 999 (or presumably 911) so the digits really don't matter to the network. The idea was that those calls could kick someone else off the network if it was congested, for an emergency. I don't believe it was ever implemented though.

It was implemented. In the UK at least if you call an emergency number when you have a weak signal it will dramatically improve for the duration of the call as the cell tower reconfigures itself to use up to its maximum power and, as you say, drops any other call that was interfering with the call placed by your handset.

The towers are smart enough not to drop any calls or boost the power unless it will help.

Comment Re:We are the 30% (Score 1) 724

I agree that a 30% cut is a bit too much...

b) When a company sells digital software themselves, they don't get to keep 100% of the sale price. They have to pay for hosting, bandwidth, marketing, sales processing, manhours involved in all of this, etc., etc., etc.

I own a small business selling apps on the iOS store and I agree that 30% is a reasonable price for what they provide.

Apple do nothing to market or promote your apps, so you should not have included that. You missed a relatively important factor in that they test and validate the apps they sell which gives consumers more confidence to purchase than they have on competitor's app stores.

Comment Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 338

This sounds reasonable to me - the telephone company has no business filtering phone calls, so it should not filter text messages either. Subscribers may choose to employ a spam-blocking service, which could be provided by other people than the phone company.

I agree with this in principle, but I would add that it is a matter between the subscribers and the telephone company; I do not see that any third party has grounds to interfere in that relationship.

If the telephone company's scheme is optional, subscribers are given a clear choice, and subscribers may change their choice at any time without penalty then I would say it's fine. Failing that, if subscribers have a choice of telcos and at least one of them offers an unfiltered option there is no need for any regulator to get involved.

Comment Re:First-to-file isn't a problem (Score 1) 183

The only trouble with the America Invents Act of 2011 is it is not an Amendment to the Constitution, which it needs to be in order to change the original text of the Constitution which clearly specifies (re: "Inventors") the "first to invent" system over the "first to file" system.

No it doesn't. It specifies that the rights over their discoveries shall go to the Inventors but it nowhere specifies the process that inventors shall be required to undergo to secure those rights.

Under first-to-file as it is practiced elsewhere it is still illegal for anyone other than the inventor to secure a patent on a discovery. It is really a very minor change which only makes a difference in the case of near-contemporaneous discoveries. It mostly benefits accidental inventors who are less likely to be able to provide any evidence for the date of invention than the industrial-scale patent-generators who receive most patents.

A secondary effect which may turn out to be rather more important is that the current US system requires that you file within 1 year of the discovery or never file for patent protection; so an invention cannot be kept a trade-secret and used for 40 years before being patented by that same person/corporation when they feel there is a risk of someone else working it out, effectively securing them a 65-year monopoly. First-to-file elsewhere generally allows this; I am not familiar with the US statute in question.

Comment Re:Another reason... (Score 1) 1030

You did your testing on a pre-production test domain, and you have a managed code base that allows for easy transition to other domain names?

Why add in an unnecessary risk? If third-party code (unbeknownst to you) names its tables with the domain name you can test it all you like on a pre-production name but as soon as you flip to the real name it will stop working. And the first time you will know about it is after you flip the switch and your customers complain.

Or are you seriously suggesting you create an entire new server environment to make modifications to your existing web sites?

Pretty-much everyone I know does this; you make a new VM in EC2 or Peer1 or Rackspace or whatever, install and configure everything under its final name, test it, then switch the DNS entries.

Once you are certain the DNS changes have propagated everywhere they're going to get (wait TTL * 2 after the change) you stop and delete the previous VMs.

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