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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 331

Centrally planned economies are NP-hard. That's the first argument against them. The second is probably the USSR. As you decentralize planning, you break the problem down into smaller and smaller problems, but lose the guarantee of global optimality (except under certain unrealistic conditions - Pareto efficiency, but then you might as well roll free-market anyway).

The justification for private ownership of capital is property rights. Whether you derive those rights from self-ownership or religion is irrelevant. What is lacking is justification for the theft of that private property, which you fail to supply.

Additionally, at the end of the day, social priorities - even if computationally ranked - are defined by the axiomatic system from which we derive our morality. The idea of computing axioms is kind of circular. What mathematical formula would you like to optimize to choose between libertarianism and communitarianism? What isGood() function do you propose?

Comment Re:..typical... (Score 1) 83

No. The only person who really 'beat' Turner Whitted to ray tracing was Appel, back in the 1960s. Turner Whitted formulated ray tracing in the 1980s. Ingo Wald's primary contribution to the field has been the development of packet-based ray tracing, which is the technique of exploiting operational coherence exhibited by a group of 'nearby' rays by tracing them together through the acceleration structure. It is especially effective when vector units on the CPU or GPU are used.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot 1

cbytes writes: "So I received a spam email today that acts as if I sent a dirty message to someone and the message I'm getting is the reply. I look it up and it is a virus they attached, so no biggie, it's just spam, right? Well the kicker is that the email address it has in the To: column isn't my email address. It lands in my email but it's addressed to a address I never had. So how does it say it's to, but end up in my inbox??"

Submission + - Tron-Legacy Hits the Grid (

Cybermonger writes: "TRON Legacy has amazed crowds on last December with its huge success produced by Disney Studios. Now The Walt Disney Studios release the so awaited Limited/Special edition HD DVD/Blu-ray packs and all the 'Tronic' paraphernalia related to the film to once again conquer the hearts of true TRON fans. Check the website for these updates and all the magic Disney is bringing up through this movie."

Submission + - Driver Sued For Updating Facebook In Fatal Crash ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: 21-year-old Chicago motorist Araceli Beas has been accused of attempting to update her Facebook page on her cell phone when she allegedly struck and killed 70-year-old Raymond Veloz. The victim’s daughter, Regina Cabrales, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, asking for an unspecified amount of money.

Cabrales alleges in her suit that Beas operated her vehicle without keeping a proper and sufficient focus, drove while using an electronic communication device, and failed to slow down to avoid an accident. As proof, she points to the fact that Beas’ Facebook page showed an update posted at 7:54 AM on December 7, 2010, which is the same time that Veloz’s cell phone records showed a call being made to 911.


Submission + - Possible Discovery of New Planet (

kbensema writes: The Independent is reporting the possible discovery of a new gas giant in our Solar System. If the data — to be released in April — confirms this discovery, Tyche will claim the dual titles of most massive and most distant planet that orbits the Sun.
Data Storage

Submission + - Intel 310 Series Mini SSDs Now Shipping, Benchmark (

MojoKid writes: Actor Rick Moranis must be moonlighting at Intel, because honey, somebody in Santa Clara shrunk the solid state drives. And it's not as if SSDs are big to begin with. Intel's new 310 Series SSDs utilize the same 34nm NAND flash memory technology and controller found on the chip maker's 2.5-inch SSDs, but in a form factor just 1/8th the size; a scant 2 inches (51mm) long by 1.18 (30mm) wide and flatter than a pancake. The new tiny Intel
SSDs are now shipping and despite their diminutive stature, performance is actually pretty similar to that of the company's popular X25-M 34nm SSD. Intel says the 310 Series is shipping to customers for $179 in 1,000-unit quantities for the 80GB version of the drive.


Submission + - House Extends Key Provisions of Patriot Act (

odd42 writes: The House voted 275-144 Monday night to extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act, overcoming a small uprising of House Republicans last week that briefly delayed the measure.

Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's proposal allows federal agents to continue to use enhanced surveillance powers until Dec. 8. The extension still needs Senate approval to become law.


Submission + - IBM's Watson surges to Jeopardy lead, retains tie (

jbrodkin writes: IBM's Watson surged to a giant lead in the early minutes of the Jeopardy man-vs.-machine challenge, taking a $4,200 advantage into the first commercial break by dominating "Beatles People" and several other categories. But the massive supercomputer relinquished "his" lead and ended Day 1 of the three-day challenge in a tie at $5,000 with Jeopardy champion Brad Rutter. Ken Jennings finished the first day in third place at $2,000.

The first historic moment came when Watson buzzed in and said "What is shoe?" in response to a clue asking for a four-letter word describing both the iron fitting on a horse's hoof and a card-dealing box in a casino. That was Watson's first correct answer, with the computer started a major roll, taking $5,200 into the first commercial break, compared to $1,000 for Brad and $200 for Ken. But there were a few strange answers along the way. Alex Trebek called Watson "very bright, very fast, but he has some weird little moments once in a while."

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