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Comment Its statistics, plain and simple (Score 1) 460

Statistics at that level are approximations, plain and simple. Ask any statistician and they'll explain in detail how it works. If you choose, educate yourself. Take the time to understand what it is they are saying and make your own interpretation. The reward is worth it. Even boards like Slashdot and Reddit are more echo chambers for like sentiment than actual education on the facts. Do the legwork.

Comment Re:Multithreading is a solved problem (Score 1) 497

Interestingly, when you dig down deep enough you find that the hardware really isn't quite up to snuff. A year or so back I was tasked with performing a ludicrous number of calculations on an on-going basis ... back of the napkin math told us that our existing system would take ~1.5 years to perform 1 set of calcs and we needed them every 3 months or so. TPL in C# was up to the task and I was able to squeeze the calcs down into 22 hours running on my development desktop. Deploying the solution to a medium sized server brought to light the limitations of NUMA architectures in multi-processor systems. If your app breaks that NUMA barrier, performance drops so much that its really not worth scaling out.

Comment Re:Gutted (Score 1) 762

I enjoyed SGU as well. Watched pretty much all of the previous series as well, and SGU was by far the least "campy". The episode that started out with the Flogging Molly track hit the nail on the head ... a bunch of unprepared people in a REALLY bad situation, each struggling with their own personal demons just to make it to the next "worst day since yesterday."

I will be sad to see it go, feeling that it was (by far) the best thing SciFi had going for it. I guess now they can concentrate on more wrestling shows... *sigh*

Comment is the problem notification or detection? (Score 1) 351

If the root of the problem is notification of the event, then the solution can be had much more cheaply than launching a dedicated satellite, can't it? What about simply renting the transponder space on an existing satellite and installing simple receiving stations in coastal areas that are hooked to early warning alarms/sirens? Build the ground stations as passive listeners and you might even be able to run the thing from solar power alone.

I don't think the problem is technical, however ... there are 12 different ways of skinning that cat. I think the real question is "who is going to pay for it?" Sat/transponder space/ground stations/engineering aren't free. I could see an international organization footing the bill for the NOC which transmits warnings and the specs for protocol ... that would make most sense I guess. Then leave it up to the central government or individual communities to buy receivers from 3rd party vendors? Is this an untapped business opportunity?

Comment Re:the correct solution (Score 2, Funny) 403

What is this "b-ack-ups" you speak of? and a "fi-le ser-ver"? isn't it easier for everybody to just keep the most recent copy of their own work? if you need a file, you just have to wait for everyone to reply to your email saying when was the last time they edited the file and then you can look on their computer, copy the file, make your changes, and drop it right on the production server... amIright?

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You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford