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Comment Re:Bad regulation is bad, but some rules are OK (Score 1) 295


Never had the joy(?) of doing a hardware design spec, but I once spent about a year of my life on the software design and spec for a major contract.

Even (especially!) standards as complex as the definitions of programming languages come with dates or version numbers. Fortran 66 is not Fortran 77 is not Fortran90 is not Fortran 95 is not Fortran2003 is not Fortran2008. Close, and there's probably a common subset in there somewhere, but they aren't the same.

Ditto for any other programming language with an ISO standard -- the year is part of the standard number. (Although curiously, C89 and C90 are the same language, because the 1989 ANSI C standard (X3.159-1989) was adopted as the ISO standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1990) in 1990.)

So yeah, if you're spec'ing something as part of a billion-dollar project, hardware or software, get the details nailed down. At the very least, stick in verbiage to the effect that "all standards named here-in, unless otherwise specified, shall refer to those current as of the date of this specification."

Comment Re:"after billions of dollars in budget overruns" (Score 1) 295

And "clean" is also relative

It is when you consider the amount of mining, separation, transportation and disposal of the energy-equivalent amount of coal and ash -- 1 cubic centimetre of uranium is about the equivalent of a mile-long train load of coal.

(Or the amount of mining, refining, etc, etc, to manufacture and install the equivalent in solar panels or wind turbines.)

Most people have no comprehension of the energy density of nuclear vs chemical fuels. This might help.

(Fun fact -- the trace thorium in coal has more potential nuclear energy than the chemical energy of burning the coal.)

Comment What's that in Libraries of Congress? (Score 1) 295

promised to generate enough power to light up 1.3 million homes.

So how many megawatts is that? (And no, given the name of the plant, searching for "watts" doesn't help.)

And are we talking trailer park homes or mansions? Does "light up" include heating/cooling, running the electronics, etc, etc.

Who comes up with these freaking units, anyway?

(Grouchy because /me hasn't finished first cup of coffee yet.)

Comment Re:Doesn't surprise me (Score 1) 58

That's why I think that a fair amount of money that Kim Dotcom's Megaupload made was legit.

>99% of those people who wanted free stuff wouldn't have paid him. And they might even be running ad blockers. In contrast I can imagine employees of organizations signing up for paid accounts to transfer large files to customers. I used it to transfer large (legit) files. Didn't go for the paid account- the downloaders could wait - wasn't a business thing. If I needed it for business I might have expensed it.

Comment Re:Well, duh. (Score 1) 75

"Maths" is a lot more than arithmetic (A rat in Tommy's house...).
The most important mathematical discipline in science is simple Boolean logic that (at least at one time) was taught as part of the freshman high school math curriculum. The tools of logical thought and formal deduction rather than "hand waving" explanations are the *first* requirements.

More to the point of the article...
Scientists generally organize themselves into a couple of different disciplines--simply because the skill sets (and technical requirements) tend to diverge:
Statistical analysis and mathematical modeling (the subject of the article) are extremely important to both.
The job of the theoretician is to produce a descriptive, predictive, and testable mathematical model and study that model. And to describe experiments and predict what the results might be *if* the model and the hypotheses it's built on are representative of reality.
The job of the experimentalist is to determine whether the model is actually consistent with reality.

Take as a timely example the theoretician's prediction of gravity waves, and around a hundred years later, the experimentalist's observation of same.
Makes a nice ringtone...and a nice conversation starter--when folks ask "what's that noise", you can explain how science takes a lot of persistence and work.

Of course, sometimes experimentalist invalidates the theoretician's model; this is when some of my old professors told me "I was writing Science Fiction...didn't mean to, but the results are in...". Of course you have the theoretician who refuses to submit to experiment, but that doesn't mean they're all charlatans.

Comment Re:For them theoretically hacking a private org? (Score 1) 344

But timezones match working hours, ip ranges and easy to discover code litter.

All of which are dead easy to fake if you're doing a false-flag operation, and should be at least obfuscated as a part of normal operational security.

Unless, of course, that's what they want you to think. (So clearly, I cannot choose the cup in front of you.)

Comment I hope they're installing some softer floors (Score 2) 76

Theft isn't the only reason Apple tethers their display phones to the tables; tethering also serves to prevent drop damage. I'd inadvertently discovered this during a visit to the local Apple store, after previously having pigged out on some greasy pizza from the mall's food court. Thanks to the security tether, the slippery wayward iPhone simply did a bungee jump out of my hand, rather than an impromptu "drop test" on Apple's slate/stone/some-sort-of-rocklike-substance floor.

Of course, after a drop or two, the demo iPhones will finally be an accurate representation of what the phone will look like if you use it without a protective case.

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