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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 736

@tian2992 you win this thread.

Determining the number of steps required to complete a computation is similar in many ways to determining whether or not a given computation will loop infinitely -- it absolutely impossible to develop a general algorithm to detect all infinite loops, as we know from the entscheidungsproblem.

For similar reasons, it impossible to develop a general algorithm that can predict the number of steps for any possible computation, and it is very difficult to predict the number of steps to completion for all but the simplest computations. For more complicated computations, heuristics are required to estimate the completion time.

Estimating by file size and number of files tends to work pretty well when you have that information available to your program, but it does require some effort to take this data and use it to develop an estimation for time to completion, many programmers are too lazy to even bother.

Comment Re:Color me surprised. Or not. (Score 1) 577

I have a hard time believing that Santorum actually expected to have a chance at this stage. My mother is a Neo-conservative Christian party-line voter, and even she is considering voting for Obama again; and not because she likes him. The entire GOP lineup is a mess.

Wow, neo-conservative christians hate mormons that much? So much that they would actually consider voting Democrat if given the choice? That's hard to believe.

Comment Re:Media doesn't matter (Score 1) 312

Also, it seems tapes are always trying to catch-up with improved hard disk technology, but they never do. Sure, 8 terabytes seems good now, so the "next generation" of tapes will be able to backup data from 8 1TB hard disks, which might be OK until about 5 years from now when 8 terabyte hard disks come out. Then all of a sudden a simple RAID-1 array of 8TB disks is as large as your next generation tape used to be, and has the advantage of both random-access and redundancy. So for all your investment in tapes, it turns out it may have been easier to just upgrade your RAID disk arrays with larger disks.

Really, tapes have a niche for storing data that no one will ever need to read once it is written, which is common in industries that have regulations requiring them to store records for a certain period of time before deleting them.

Comment Re:Numbers are meaningless (Score 1) 198

Does using the tablet have smooth and instant responsiveness? At the end of the day, that's all that matters. Tegra 100 or ipad 100 won't matter if the OS that uses it isn't smooth and keeps up with the user interactions. Consumers just care about experience, how they get there isn't of interest to anyone other than nerds.

At the end of the day, if it only lasts for 30 minutes on a full battery charge, then your smooth and responsive tablet with it's watt-guzzling high memory bandwidth is worthless, and consumers will care very much about that.

Comment Re:I always look at personal info on lost phones (Score 1) 222

The article focused on how often or for how many minutes certain files and programs on the lost phones were accessed. 57% of the time the "stored passwords" file was accessed, and 66% of the time, a "Login/Password" screen was accessed which had the password auto-completed so anyone could have access to the account, for whatever service it was (not mentioned in the article).

What they didn't check for was how many people were like you:

I always look for a contact named ME, HOME, MOM, WIFE, ICE, etc. so that I can find out who the phone belongs to and get it properly returned.

So this research is a bit spurious: in their analysis they make NO attempt to isolate cases of natural and innocent curiosity with cases of malicious intent, they just assume all access of the device was malicious. But looking at a passwords file may well have just been someone thinking "what kind of password does this guy use?", and not someone looking to steal their identity. If I find a phone, I am very curious to know what kind of horrible things might have happened to this person if a criminal had found this phone instead of me.

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