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Comment Re:Nerd Blackface (Score 1) 442

I know that The Big Bang Theory is filmed in front of a live studio audience. But however they manipulate the laughter from that live studio audience -- be it audience manipulation, audio manipulation, or whatever -- gives a result that, to my ears, is indistinguishable from a laugh track. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

(Yes, I do hear a difference between the laughter in The Big Bang Theory and the laughter in, for example, The Cosby Show, also filmed in front of a live studio audience, but apparently less manipulated.)

Comment Re:not the norm in other non-athletic competitions (Score 1) 221

A similar situation exists in the card game bridge. There are three major classes of events: open (men and women), women's (only), and senior (old men and old women). There are some mixed events as well (each partnership must have one man and one woman). Teams including a woman win open events from time to time, including at the highest levels. However, by sheer numbers, most of the top players are male -- notwithstanding the era in which Dorothy Hayden Truscott may have been the best player of either sex in the world.

Comment CLR, Tichy, Hacker's Delight (Score 2) 247

Other than the obvious Cormen, Leiserson, and Rivest (plus Stein these days, apparently): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... I found H. J. Tichy's _Effective Writing for Engineers, Managers, and Scientists_ very useful. I haven't finished _Hacker's Delight_ by Henry S. Warren, Jr., but there's some good stuff in there.

Comment Re:Connect Four (Score 1) 136

Nine Men's Morris is a draw with perfect play. Pentago itself is a draw with perfect play if the first player's first move is constrained to be in the corner (before rotating one of the quadrants). Some variants of Nim are first-player-loses, as are some small-board variants of other games (I seem to recall that Go is a loss for the first player on a handful of the very small boards, like 2x4 or something, but I'd have to go look that up.)

Submission + - Two Billion Dollar Cosmic Ray Detector Confirms Possible Signs of Dark Matter (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The first results from a huge—and hugely controversial—cosmic ray detector aboard the International Space Station confirm a previously reported excess of antiparticles from space. Readings from the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) could be signs of particles of mysterious dark matter annihilating one another in the inky void. Or they could be merely subatomic exhaust from a pulsar or some other run-of-the-mill astronomical object.

Comment How far we've come from METAGAME (Score 4, Interesting) 47

"Pell's motivation was actually not game generation, but general game playing: by the early 1990s, there was a worry that chess-playing AI had delved too deeply into special-case code that was very specific to chess."

Whereas nowadays, there's a worry that brute force solves all AI game-playing problems. If the search space is small enough, you run alpha-beta with iterative deepening and a few other tweaks. If the search space is too large for that, you run Monte-Carlo Tree Search.

I last chatted with Barney Pell at a AAAI conference in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, by that point, he had given up the METAGAME research, primarily because he couldn't get people interested in it.

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 717

When you're dealing with people like [...] this [..], there's no use in trying to apply logic.

I'm certainly not going to defend all American stupidity, but look closely at that image in particular. That's a power strip with Type E electrical receptacles, not Type A/B. The likely countries in which that picture may have been taken are Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, Poland, and Slovakia; definitely not the USA.

Comment Re:Is that a man or a woman? (Score 1) 559

There really isn't a way to have men and women compete together in most sports.

One of my pet peeves about feminists is that they want to claim that this is possible, but it simply isn't. Men are much more adapted to hunting, fighting, and running than women, women have evolved in a more sedentary role and as such are built for that role.

Certain sports that involve much more raw intellect women could compete on, but if it significantly involves a physical challenge, forget about it.

Beyond that because men get more out of adrenaline plus get a boatload more testosterone and muscle mass we shoot straighter, faster, and more often than female counterparts.

Zhang Shan would like to show you her Olympic gold medal in Skeet Shooting! Oh yeah, she won it in 1992, back when men and women competed together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Shan

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