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Comment Social Engineering (Score 2) 176

Yet another technology to confuse the end users. There will be countless 3rd party versions of this, due to anti-competition legislations, a significant portion which will be "free" or "lower cost alternatives" and not do what it promises to do.

Nothing should get between the OS and the metal. The OS should be smart enough to watchdog all processes.

Comment Re:"Clocks" (Score 1) 439

Ever seen the lights dim in your house when the AC comes on? That disturbance produces a higher frequency swing than this article is talking about. It may just be a voltage drop, but if you perform a Fourier analysis over the disturbance, you'll see a large phase shift over the transition. Power generators experience huge swings when power lines go down, and demand drops in the megawatt range. Happens all the time. Your fans don't break.

Comment Re:"Clocks" (Score 1) 439

Not quite. You still need the frequency (Hz) to be the same on both sides. This is more like advancing the spark timing in your car's engine. If the spark comes late, your engine produces less power. As you advance the spark, the engine produces more power ... at least until it starts backfiring or producing other expensive sounding noises.

Comment Re:Need uint (Score 1) 101

For many purposes, unsigned types just delays a problem. "I need to count over 32000 so I'll use an unsigned short" ... And then the code breaks when the unexpected happens, and the count exceeds 65000. An extra bit of count range is NOT desirable... If you want bigger counts, use the larger type!

For the most part, math on unsigned integers produces the same result as math on signed integers. Division, being the exception, but if you are dealing with integers, you likely aren't doing a lot of division anyway.

Count down loops are harder with an unsigned variable. "for( x=10; x>= 0; x--)" is an infinite loop!

Bit banging is really the only place the unsigned types are useful.

If you really, really, need unsigned integers for a particular problem, you could always use JNI and program that part in a different language.

Comment Re:Bad pop-sci writing makes kittens sad (Score 1) 131

At one point, I read an article that refuted dark matter. (i'm certain i found it here on Slashdot) Dark matter was necessary to marshall the galaxy into its spiral shape. But these researchers realized that as the galaxies rotated, the stars at the outside edges of the galaxy were moving at a significant fraction (like 1 or 2 percent) of the speed of light. Relativity then causes the apparent mass of these stars to increase. Due to the squared term, 1% only leads to a 0.01% increase in appearent mass, but they ran the numbers for the distributions of stars, their orbital distances and velocities, and found that including this relativistic effect completely eliminated the need for dark matter in the formation of the shape of the galaxies.

It has been years, and dark matter is still being searched for. Was this research refuted? Does anyone remember it?

Comment Re:Monitors are cheap, so why not? (Score 1) 1002

It isn't the extra screen space. Yes, for documentation and reference material, the extra space is nice. Code? Sure, why not. That's nice to have to. But real important part is running code in a debugger, without generating paint messages as you single step through code, causing infinite loops, or other non-deterministic behaviors. For that, an extra screen is critical, and a second computer to use for remote debugging is almost a requirement. Of course, it depends what you are developing.

Comment Re:In the news: Angular momentum conserved! (Score 1) 253

Let's simplify this. Person takes elevator to top floor, then elevator returns to starting floor. No need to worry about counter weights. There has been a net change in the height distribution of mass, which will have caused a change rotation. Vehicles that accelerate (including deceleration and mere changes in direction) on a road will have an effect as well. Add driving to a different elevation for greater effect. Pumping oil out of the ground should also have an effect, as will other types of mining.

Comment Re:Humph (Score 1) 179

It is just a clever restatement of "If all you have is a hammer, everything look like a nail."

[Cue disaster brewing]

Companion: Doctor, I think we're screwed.

Doctor: No problem, I've got a screw-driver.

[Dramatic, unexpected avoidance of disaster]

Comment Re:hopefully (Score 1) 648

Mmmm. Let's get government grants for the whole Flying Spaghetti Monsterism theme park. This gives, "think of the children" a whole new meaning. The children would start a grass roots effort to fight creationistic dogma with, "can you take us to Spaghetti Word."

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