Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Yes, of course! (Score 1) 185


Yes, of course. The point of these questions is not just to acquire information, it's also to get you to provide false information, i.e. lie. Then you can be easily charged with lying to immigration authorities.

Personally, I know I wouldn't even be able to begin to comply with this kind of demand.

Well that's too bad.

Does that include aliases on bulletin board systems from the 1980's?

If someone else can still prove that you had this account, yes.

Comment Re:That's stupid. (Score 1) 224

That's what the yellow light is for:

In that case, the amber phase has to be made long enough to accomodate the worst reaction time legally allowed and the worst deceleration legally allowed, and the highest speed legally allowed on this stretch of the road.

At least in the US, the duration of the amber period is fairly arbitrary, though. Which is where much of the discussion about red light cameras stems from. If there were fixed minimum durations (at least 3 seconds, 5 seconds if the speed limit is higher than 40 mph), things would be clearer.

Comment Re:Uncertainty principle! (Score 1) 408

So foot all in the usa is boring as hell?

Err ... it's deterministic? I didn't know that.

I find it boring, because it's three seconds of action followed by much more than three seconds of setting up. This rhyhtm just doesn't capture my attention.

And what is probabilistic about typing or program? You write a loop and it doesn't stop being that loop construct doing a determined thing input values so all programming, all programs, including games are boring?

Programming itself isn't deterministic. There are basically infinitely many approaches to solving a given problem and the interesting part comes from finding the one that is suited best to the given situation.

Running a program that is completely deterministic (including input data) on the other hand is horridly boring after the first time. And running it more than once is more or less redundant.

including games are boring?

Games achieve nondeterministic behavior through different user input and possibly using some form of (pseudo) RNG. A game without nondeterministic user input isn't a game since it's noninteractive.

All movies are boring because you pretty much know what will happen at the end.

Most movies are boring after watching them once, unless you're trying to memorize it or spot details you missed when you watch it he first time.

Music relies on predictable future to be pleasing, it's the root of "rythm".

However, music also relies on subtle differences in each performance, otherwise live music would be completely dead.

And why would the programmer want to make the simulation "more fun" for you?

I never claimed this. The simulation is supposed to be interesting and possibly fun for the customer, not for the simulated entities. Just like an aquarium is supposed to mainly please its owner and not the inhabitants (however, most aquarium owners don't want to see the fish belly-up).

Comment Re:I don't have any you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 185

What if I don't have any social media accounts.

Then you're either very suspicious or lying, and both warrant extra special treatment. Step over here for a minute ...

And what constitutes a "Social Media Account"?

If your definition is narrower than the authorities' definition, you're potentially in trouble. So: No, yes and yes.

Does it include ANY website that you communicate, like our very own Slashdot, and any random forum you belong too for hobbies, and GitHub and other sites that facilitate communicating with others over certain topics?

If you don't want to be charged with lying to authorties, yes.

Comment That's stupid. (Score 1) 224

Just make the grace period something that's humanly perceptible, say one second. It'll have the same effect on traffic safety (since someone who doesn't intentionally run red lights won't care how long the grace period is), catch the egregious offenders, and reduce the amount of legal stuff surrounding the tickets (Much fewer discussions about the case if you can say "Hey, we gave you a grace period of one full second and you still got caught.").

Leave the cases within the grace period to actual cops who need to fulfill their daily harassment quota.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 408

maybe something more mundane like the speed of light being the cosmic speed limit is actually a bug,

I'd also consider this a design choice. If the simulation runs on a distributed, parallel system, limiting the rate at which an event in one part of the cluster affect parts of simulation running in other parts of the system simplifies communication ... and probably debugging, too.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 408

EVERY SIMULATION always starts from nothing

Nope. A simulation starts with initial conditions that can be set by whoever is running the simulation.

In the simulated universe, the simulation could have been started three seconds ago and signs of earlier events (up to the big bang) are merely due to the chosen initial conditions.

EVERY SIMULATION also has a speed limit. It is the maximum rate of execution of the program

Um .. the simulated entities would not be aware of the speed at which the simulation runs to an outside observer.

And the speed of light would not be a technical limitation of the simulation, but a description of the system being simulated. Someone in control of the simulation could move an object across the universe by twiddling a few variables between two simulation steps. To simulated entities, this would appear as a supernatural phenomenon - magic, divine intervention, you name it.

In EVERY SIMULATION new things come into being, where nothing like them existed before.

Um .. no. Simulations can be horridly boring and predictable. Simulation of a capacitor being discharged across a resistor...it's just a boring exponential decay curve.

Of course, things can be spiced up. By randomness, or chaotic behavior (things that can be described in a comparatively simple formula that cannot be solved analytically).

Comment Re:Uncertainty principle! (Score 1) 408

No, limited precision would correspond to quantization. That is, you can't take a smaller step than 1e-308 meters or such.

Only if it's implemented in a bad way.

If you have a certain amount of memory allocated for storing both location and impulse, but you can dynamically decide how the memory area is split between location and impulse, you'll end up with something like the uncertainty principle.

You can have a high spatial resolution at the cost of a low impulse resolution and vice versa. And before using each value, the computer fills up the unstored bits with RNG noise to make the quantization effect less deterministic; a kind of large scale dithering.

Why would any sane programmer add such ridiculous complex systems both at the very small and very large scale?

The customer demanded an extensive and interesting simulation that nonetheless can run on the available hardware?

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 408

I think they are called black holes...

Black holes are a bit too common and too obvious to be design bugs. I believe they are intentional, to limit the complexity of the simulation over time.

Something similar goes for the expansion of the universe. It limits the duration of the simulation; once heat death is achieved, the simulation can safely be aborted without inconveniencing any of the (then nonexistent) simulated entities. That may be a somewhat anthropocentric argument, though.

Comment Re:Uncertainty principle! (Score 1) 408

So it must always be simulating these probabilities.

Yes, just think of it as one big sandbox simulation.

since it would be FAR easier to just make it determinate

But determinate things are boring as hell. That might be okay if you're doing a simulation for predictive purposes, but if the simulation is for entertainment, you want randomness, otherwise there's no point.

Hm. Maybe HELL is actually the determinate version of the simulation.

Slashdot Top Deals

Don't compare floating point numbers solely for equality.