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Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 230

Yes, technically it compiles with both g++ and gcc for me. If it weren't for using stdio, I'd say that it's more C++ style (not all C++ programs need classes) because of no (void) for functions and main is declared at the bottom (for C++, functions must be declared before use, so it's common to see main at bottom for quick codez like this). Let's just agree that it's C and C++ having sex and call it a day :) My real gripe is that he compiled a .EXE and is clearly using Windows! For shame... for shame... got to convert this politician to Linux, but I guess I'll forgive him this one time.

Comment Better dumbed down article.... (Score 1) 356

Just means that the choice of word should change:

His precise words were: "The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes -- in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape to infinity."

It seems clear. There are no forever and ever holes of blackness. There is always the chance that light might emerge.

Hawking continued, however: "There are however apparent horizons which persist for a period of time. This suggests that black holes should be redefined as metastable bound states of the gravitational field."

Comment Re:because (Score 1) 876

The problem is if a new, faster algorithm comes out. For sorting, it's pretty much done, so you're right. But for something else, if we have a graphical programming language, we'll have to alter the underlying structure some way. Let's say we have blocks/triangles/etc. How do we represent a quick sort vs a bubble sort vs a merge sort? And is that more efficient than writing text? If we think of a better solution, how are we to represent it? Do visual aids make our mind think of better solutions better than text in all scenarios? Will we have all of the visual objects that we need?

As a small example, at my current job, we had a SQL query running extremely slowly. I modified part of the query to be cached in Java, and it became 10x faster. If we abstract to visual objects, that SQL query and SQL query+Java will look identical. If we make it less abstract, then eventually we're using visual aids called characters (each letter in the alphabet and mathematical symbols are graphical images technically). Also, I'm able to manipulate everything in such a way that I'm not dependent on someone else to fix the underlying problem. I can debug the base code, and I can make it faster. If it's too abstract, I can't. Why did GameMaker not become the de facto standard for PS/XBOX/PC? Every year, they're pushing the envelope to make it faster and improved.

Which brings me to my next point, you'll still need some type of textual language to create this graphical language -- to create the underlying base structure.

Lastly, typing is pretty quick. With a graphical language, I'll have to move objects around with my mouse. With a very complex problem, that could take a lot longer than just typing up some text. For python, I just write: print 'hello' For a graphical language, I'll have to find the print section of objects (through I guess a large menu? or a toolbox?) and drag it onto the screen and then type in 'hello.' I'll need a damn large menu and/or toolbox of objects that I'll have to scan through. Now imagine "print str(2+5/70)" That took me 2 seconds to type. For a graphical language, I'll have to find and drag down print; find and drag down str cast; find and drag down the + image; and find and drag down the / image. Or something like that. It will suck.

For simple stuff (and for GUI programming), it works. Complex things will be way more inefficient.

Comment Re:Opera, but.... (Score 1) 381

I love Opera to orgasmic levels, but 2013 just wasn't the year for Opera (although tab stacks was a really cool feature added). They've been really letting the Linux community down, and because I use Linux almost exclusively (except for those rare moments where I have to RDP into a customer's server during work), it's a big let down. I ended up voting for Chrome, and I'd say that 2013 was definitely the year for Chrome. Firefox didn't change negatively or positively for me.

Comment Re:A champion may not even exist (Score 1) 131

For the first paragraph, that's why there are many tournaments, the candidate's tournament, etc.

For the rest of your reply, the same could be applied to any sport: tennis, scrabble, basketball, etc. It's called the "human" element. People may be sick or under stress or whatever and blunder. It's also apart of the sport. You should try to maintain your health so that you win on game day; if your opponent stays in better health, then tough. Staying healthy (not sick) and injury-free is apart of your training. If no one ever made mistakes, yes, we'd have a better idea of who is the best, but it'd be boring, and they would need to not be human or be a cyborg...

Comment Re:How does he do against computers? (Score 3, Informative) 131

utterly destroyed

I would say easily beaten in a match, but definitely not utterly destroyed. In 2003, Kasparov drew with X3D Fritz. In 2006, Kramnik was beaten 4-2. Grandmasters still have draws and sometimes wins; that is not utterly destroyed IMO. I think utterly destroyed would be straight wins with 0 points. I'm also curious about different timing (e.g., 10 minute games) and chess variations (e.g., Fischerrandom/Chess960 and Capablanca chess).

ratings well above 3100

Computer chess ratings aren't accurate for computers (as they're banned from tournaments and humans progress from bad to the best so hard to push rating beyond 3000). 3100+, when translated, simply means a bit better than Carlsen, but we have no idea about its true rating. During the 1st 9 matches, all chess engines gave every move by Carlsen a sub-optimal (meaning there are many branches that could lead to optimal, but can't go enough plys/levels deep to determine) to optimal rating. The 10th match had the only bad move by Carlsen that I remember. I don't think Carlsen would be utterly destroyed against a "3100" elo rated chess engine, but probably beaten 3 to 2&1/2.

Comment Re:What was the "huge mistake" by Anand? (Score 4, Informative) 131

Isn't it typically when playing white you play to win and black you play to draw (that one-move advantage is huge)? So the fact that Carlsen got a win as Black was huge, right?

With grandmasters, it's said that there is a slight advantage too white, but it's still not huge. It's still theoretical, and I don't think black is that bad off IMO.

Can someone explain the details of the mistake to me?

Are you talking about game 9? Well, essentially at the blunder point, black has 2 queens. With the blunder knight move by Anand, Carlsen then moves to Qe1. Now, when Anand moves Rh4 threating mate, Carlsen can simply trade the queen for the rook. Now Carlsen will be up by a rook (~5 points). This is a huge advantage and no way for Anand to win, as his mating opportunity is now completely lost.

I've always wanted to be good at chess (I equate it to being "smart") but I've never been able to be very good at it.

The Polgar's have some good books. Study middlegame and endgame puzzles. Play a lot of games online. Most people think that fast games and overuse of computer analysis weakens your play, so play long games when you can and use computers analysis sparingly. Also, study historical games by masters (see if you can predict the next move). As far as openings, as a beginner, just pick a solid line for white (I suggest pawn d4) and a simple response for black from white's pawn e4/d4. The more games and puzzles you do, the better you will be. Play in local tournaments to keep your motivation up or join a club. Eventually, buy a book on openings or even start studying unorthodox/irregular openings (as they're a lot of fun and it rattles people); Nc3 (dunst opening) is usually regarded as the strongest irregular opening.

Comment Re:How does he do against computers? (Score 3, Insightful) 131

What's interesting about that game that a lot spectators don't realize:
1. Before the match, the computer (and computer programmers) analyzed all of the historical games by Kasparov and his most favored openings; any human at the level of Kasparov will have a very long footprint of history, while Kasparov didn't have any historical games of the computer to look at and to analyze
2. Both matches (1996 & 1997) ended after 6 games with the computer only winning by a 1-2 points, even without #1
3. "The rules provided for the developers to modify the program between games, an opportunity they said they used to shore up weaknesses in the computer's play that were revealed during the course of the match. Kasparov requested printouts of the machine's log files but IBM refused, although the company later published the logs on the Internet" (wikipedia Deep Blue page). I don't think this should have been allowed; the software should be true AI and learning without assistance
4. "Kasparov demanded a rematch, but IBM refused and dismantled Deep Blue." (wikipedia Deep Blue page) Kasparov and others never had another chance to beat it, after finally having a small history of games to analyze its playing style.

However, despite this, I think that a computer will most likely still reign supreme, but to be completely fair, I think it would require a history of games for the opponent to analyze and no human intervention during the match. However, the programmers can add in a "learning" module of some sort that analyzes each game afterwards, but no human intervention (e.g., programmers tweaking lines of code) is allowed during the match of games -- only before or after.

And on a related note, my main gripe with Watson was the physical responsiveness. There were times when the human hand reaction time could just not match the computer physically.

I would like to see a computer play blitz games against a world champion, as long as my gripe with Watson is ensured that they can't move physically faster than a human's reaction time.

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