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Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 2) 354

It describes the very low level of a program and a computer.

No it doesn't. It describes the very low level of a program running on a computer from 30-50 years ago. The lessons that it teaches about algorithmic complexity are still valid, but the low-level stuff is not. Once you get to limits of the implementation, rather than of the algorithm, artefacts of caches in pipelines are far more important to performance. Not only will you not find, for example, Hopscotch Hash Tables in TAOCP, you also won't find an explanation of the underlying reasons for their performance.

Comment Re:Surprising? Not so much. - they're stupid (Score 1) 133

Exactly. Is there extra funding for ISPs to add extra security for politician's data? If not, then it might not be easy to get with a search warrant, but you can bet that some of it will be leaked. Do MPs have some special sign-on for all Internet access? If not, then you can bet that some hotspot or mobile provider won't know that they're MPs and so will hand over the data when someone goes fishing for data on a particular IP address. Do MPs have their own Internet accounts that they don't share with their family? If not, then you can bet that someone will request the data on their husbands or wives and get the results indirectly.

Comment Re:Copy machine at stores (Score 1) 263

The main use I can see for such a machine is printing replacement parts for the cheap bit of plastic that breaks in a load of consumer equipment, but where the replacements are too difficult or expensive to buy. Unfortunately, doing that well will also need some kind of 3D scanner so that you can put in the broken bit and modify it (e.g. put in two parts and then drag them around until you have a single object).

Comment Re:DEA already has rescheduled and overruled itsel (Score 1) 148

Actually, their constitutional authority to exist is that the Executive Branch calls them into existence to execute the provisions of laws passed by the Legislative branch.

It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, and that amendment has been repealed. This leaves no authority for any branch of the government to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or use of any drug. Any act of the congress that purports to do so is not a law at all, it is as James Madison would describe it, a usurpation.

-jcr

Comment Re:CyanogenMod is the only hope for some devices.. (Score 1) 74

Unfortunately, it's not so great at that. I have an HTC Desire (Bravo in the USA) that still works and I'd like to reuse as a SIP client. Unfortunately, it only runs CM 7.2. That would be fine if it were a patched version, but the latest nightly build was 2013 and that's so old that it doesn't contain an up-to-date certificate list or an SSL client library that supports modern versions of the TLS protocol, meaning that you can't use it for anything network connected.

Sure, the device is pretty old, but it has a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and up to 32GB of flash on the SD card: that's ample for a lot of uses (it wasn't so long ago that I was using a desktop less powerful!) and throwing it away seems horribly wasteful. It was launched in 2010 and the last release (not nightly) from CM was 2012. That's less long-term support than Apple gives for iOS devices and Google gives for Nexus devices. Unfortunately, there's not much money to be made in supporting hardware that the manufacturers consider to be obsolete.

Comment Re:It's not that easy (Score 2) 179

Time zones compensate for the problem that, in different places in the world, the sun is not at its highest point at the same time. They provide a quantised approximation of a solution so that the sun is at approximately its highest point at noon. Time zones are sufficient wide that the error from being in a different place within a time zone is significantly larger than the error from the small changes in rotation that leap seconds compensate for. If we didn't have leap seconds, this would remain true for about the next thousand years. I propose that in 1,000 years one of the following will hold:
  • The position of the sun will not matter too much to the majority of the human race.
  • Humans will be extinct.
  • Civilisation will have collapsed to the point where a universal time standard is irrelevant.

It's really hard to come up with a scenario in which the problem that leap seconds solve actually exists.

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