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Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 2) 368

The counter point, for me, is that's a very complicated way to produce the universe we actually live in. What is the purpose of the simulation? Is it to be similar to Conway's "Life", in which case why build something so convoluted, and why cheat as apparently the programmer did with 2 and 3?

If not, if the aim was to create sentient beings (well, me at least, I can't speak for you idiots), then, again, why create a system that requires fourteen billion years to actually produce them, with them being around for a mere 50,000, and each having a life span of (almost always) less than 100 years?

And if you're about to argue the universe was created ten seconds ago, well, no, because there's apparently information in it covering about fourteen billion years. To ensure the system is stable, the logic and current state has to fit that fourteen billion years AND has to be stable right now. One off-by-one error and the Earth will go spiralling into space, or get sucked into the Sun, or just disintegrate, or turn into a black hole for a split second, or...

I can explain why John Carmack created a number of "virtual reality" (Doom and onwards) games, but he didn't create some overly complex physics model, just the bare minimum to work for the observer. Our universal engineer, however, appears to have created this enormously convoluted system for no apparent reason. I'm not seeing the reason to assume intelligence when a more likely reason for the things you note is that our universe is more complex than you want to believe it is.

Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 2) 143

I actually really like this idea:
Define a Star as a body that has achieved a nuclear fusion reaction.
Define a Planet as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Planetoid as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that does not orbit a star.
Define a Moon as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet.
Define an Asteroid as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Natural Satellite (here's to you, potato shaped Phobos) as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet. Maybe call it a Moonoid?


Define Pluto and Charon as a binary planet; since they appear to orbit each other (and binary stars are already defined).
If this means Sedna and a few other bodies become planets -- fine. But at least the definitions are easy.

Comment Re:Make my words (Score 3, Insightful) 127

Slashdot did something similar in the early 2000s, and survived. That's why you have "Friends and foes", not a personal blocklist, which would be more useful.

It'll have little affect on Reddit itself, but might or might not succeed as a feature. If it succeeds, more power to them, because Facebook is awful, and Twitter is managed terribly and limited by its very nature.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 267

If every bank involved agrees the invalid signature is valid, what happens to the money?

Stealing a coin here or there from a wallet that hasn't been touched in a while would be more "practical", and for all we know, is being done now.

Anyone can audit the blockchain, not just miners.

It'd be possible to find every bitcoin not traded in the past 3 years, assert it "lost" then the attacker fraudulently claim them with the attack given, and it's possible he could liquidate after the theft without anyone noticing until he's cashed out.

It's not just miners checking the transactions.

Comment Pity, since I can't accept the EULA (Score 1) 137

Google's Chrome browser, on the other hand, remained unhackable during the contest.

Unfortunately for me, I can't accept Chrome's EULA.

It incorporates Adobe's, which (if I recall correctly from my AT&T Android-based smartphone) has several clauses I can't abide - including a never-compete, don't block updates, don't work on circumvention tools, we can change the license without notice, ...

I don't intend to do anything that might come back to limit my future software work or employability. Clicking through such a license (even if every bit of it is struck down by the courts - which I'm not holding my breath expecting), especially on a device that "phones home" in a way that is easily identified with my true name, is an invitation for an all-versus-one gladiatorial match with two multibillion-dollar corporations' legal departments.

Comment GitHub is in California (Score 1) 74

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. ... I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation [company-owns-all-your-inventions] policies impose.

Because it's already been adressed, long ago.

GitHub is in San Francisco, which is in California and governed by California labor law.

California labor law says that (paraphrasing from memory):
  - As a compelling state interest
  - overriding anything in the employee agreement
  - if an employee invents something
  - while not on company time or using company resources
  - and that invention is not in the company's current or immediately foreseeable business
  - then the invention belongs to the employee
  - (and the employment agreement must include a copy of this information as an appendix.)

(IMHO that law is THE reason for the explosive growth and innovation in Silicon Valley and why other states have been unable to clone it. Invent something that your current company won't use, get together with a couple friends, maybe get some "angel funding", rent the office across the street, and go into business with your new shiny thing. So companies bud off new companies like yeast. And innovators collect where they can become the inventor, the "couple of friends", or the early hires, creating a pool of the necessary talent to convert inventions into companies when they happen.)

What GitHub has apparently done is say to the employees:
"For the purposes of us claiming your IP, your lunch time and breaks are your time, even on company property, and your use of our computers and disk storage for things like compiles, storing code, and web research in aid of your project, does not count as 'using company resources'."

In other states, and other companies even within CA, that might be a big deal. For a company in CA, whose whole business model is providing archives for other people's software projects - and giving it away free to small groups, while charging large groups (or small groups that grow into large groups), it's not a big deal, and right IN their business model.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 267

I do understand Bitcoin, and what you are describing is impossible. Bitcoins cannot be transferred from one account to another unless you have the private keys to the account that currently holds them. It's like a signed check - it can't be transferred to another account without a valid signature.

Comment Re:Honest question: what is the best... (Score 1) 102

HP makes some decent Windows tablets around the $100-200 range, depending on screensize and built-in cellular broadband (3G, 4G, etc.) I have a Stream 8 and I'm very happy with it - alas it's discontinued, but the Stream 7 is still around. The only issue is a lack of memory, but that's not as noticeable on these devices as you might think.

HP has a good reputation for producing adequate hardware at prices that are not anything special. Whenever I'm in the market for computers that are just about good enough I generally check them first, so there's that.

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