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Comment Re:Check your arithmatic (Score 3, Informative) 214

I'm not so sure about that. I lived in Midtown for 3 years without a car. Grocery store was 4 blocks away, plenty of restaurants within walking distance including a great pub right across the street from me. The Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, Shakespeare Tavern, and Piedmont Park were all within easy walking distance, and if I was willing to walk a bit further Centennial Park and Downtown Atlanta were only about half an hour walk. If I wanted to go further afield, there were two Marta stations within 3 blocks of me.

Compared to other places I've lived (Southern California, New Jersey, Far suburbs of Chicago), Midtown Atlanta was by far the most walkable and livable without a car.

Comment Re:haha (Score 2) 119

But any competent marketing department would get the hint when 589,141 out of 668,872 people disliked a proposed change.
You need to poll far less than 30% to get a statistically significant result representing the wishes of those 1,000,000,000 idiots.

"Statistically Significant" doesn't really make sense here...that sort of computation assumes that the people being surveyed are a representative sample of all users.

In this case we've got a pretty strong selection bias going on where people who are most upset about the new policy are the most likely to vote.

Comment Clever Coffee Dripper (Score 1) 584

It's an ingenious little device that's sort of a cross between a French Press and a pour-over filter. You pour the coffee and hot water in a paper filter at the top and let it infuse for a few minutes. Once your coffee's sufficiently strong, you place it on top of your cup, which lifts the stopper and lets the coffee drip out the bottom. For more on this. See for more information.

Comment Re:Astroturfing on Amazon? (Score 4, Informative) 129

An example of Astroturfing on Amazon:

Of the 35 five star reviews, about 30 were posted in a 1 week period by people who have no other reviews. Of course, each of those reviewers carefully voted up all the previous other 5 star reviews to promote them in the review rankings (so

Comment Re:Sport specific -- fencing (Score 1) 82

For an epeeist, that's really terrific coverage. I know what I'm looking for, and the announcer/color commentary are just a distraction. For a non-fencer, it must have been terrible.

As a non-fencer, I actually found the epee much easier to follow than the other events (mainly because there was no need to worry about right of way). The other events were enjoyable to watch, but I did a lot of taking the scoring on faith/outright ignoring the scoring and just watching the fencing.

Comment There WERE computers involved, indirectly. (Score 1) 170

From the abstract of Tao's paper: Our argument relies on some previous numerical work, namely the verification of Richstein of the even Goldbach conjecture up to $4 \times 10^{14}$, and the verification of van de Lune and (independently) of Wedeniwski of the Riemann hypothesis up to height $3.29 \times 10^9$.

Richstein's work (available at ) definitely involves a computer, and I assume the Riemann hypothesis verification does as well.


Submission + - John Nash's declassified 1955 letter to the NSA (

An anonymous reader writes: In 1955, John Nash sends an amazing letter to the NSA in order to support an encryption design that he suggested. In it he no less than anticipates computational complexity theory as well as modern cryptography.

In the letter he proposes that the security of encryption can be based on computational hardness and makes the distinction between polynomial time and exponential time: "So a logical way to classify enciphering processes is by the way in which the computation length for the computation of the key increases with increasing length of the key. This is at best exponential and at worst probably at most a relatively small power of r, ar^2 or ar^3, as in substitution ciphers.

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