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Comment Re:Let me ask a "stupid" question (Score 2) 318

In your requested layman's terms:

Proving that P=NP would prove that mathematically "hard" problems can be solved "easily." Encryption algorithms are designed around the fact that these hard problems can't be solved quickly by a computer. If P=NP, all modern encryption fails, which means most Internet commerce comes grinding to a halt until another solution can be found.

All NP-complete problems (the "hard" problems mentioned above) derived from the 3-SAT problem, so if 3-SAT were proven to be easily solvable (3-SAT is in P), all NP-complete problems are easily solvable.

This is just one real world application of this problem.

Comment Re:Cheaper to buy CDs (Score 1) 551

I've never had that impression. I thought it cost around $9.99 to download most complete albums off of itunes (I'm guessing I don't use itumes). I can pay this for most albums on to get the physical disc + album art - DRM.

Comment Atari ST (Score 1) 272

I got my PC gaming start on the Atari ST, and Sundog was a game I played religiously. Way ahead of its time. In the game, you're a captain of a starship left to you by your dead uncle. You can explore various planets in the universe, explore cities within those planets, go out into the wilderness, etc. It had a simulated stock market economy where you could by goods cheap on one planet, and sell them for a higher price on planets with greater demand.

Dungeon Master is another Atari ST game that I played all the time. Very good early example of your 1st person dungeon crawler.

Loved the games on that old ST...

Comment Re:It's down to the cost of one disk? (Score 3, Insightful) 551

If the burn even works. I have a Compaq laptop that came preloaded with Windows Vista. Tried burning the recovery because I wanted to wipe the drive, reclaim my 8 gigs by deleting the recovery partition, and install Ubuntu. It would get through 99% of the burn and then just fail randomly. After going through half a dozen DVD-R's, I just gave up.

Comment Re:What's wrong with it? (Score 1) 828

Not quite sure why you're calling pretty much anything other than an engineering class "bullshit." Universities are not trade schools. There are plenty of places around that will teach you a technical field without all of the "filler" you seem to despise. A university is there to educate you. Sure, you pick a major and that is your focused area of study, but you also take classes in the arts, social studies, etc to become more well rounded. In other words, to become an educated person.

If you took classes you considered to be bullshit, that's your own fault. You're free to register for any class you want, pick a better one next time.

I don't know about you, but I'd get sick and tired of taking 100% engineering classes day in and day out. I enjoyed taking classes other than the technical ones, it provided a nice break from the math heavy curriculum of a technical field.

Comment Re:What's wrong with it? (Score 1) 828

professors' air of sophistication; they all acted like they know something we don't.

Well, they do. You're sitting in the class because you're trying to gain knowledge they already have. Otherwise known as learning. Some profs are smug and arrogant, but so are many people that I've worked with in the "real world."

Comment Re:Yay for common sense (Score 1) 612

This thinking is correct if a university education is simplified to being only training for a future job. An education should provide you with more than programming or networking skills. Most people also take history, foreign language, art, or any other class that provide intangible life skills. Try having a conversation with someone you've never met if you only know the field of computer science. My non-CS classes in college have helped me everywhere from striking up a convo at the bar to understanding world politics.

University education is not just about job training. Having said that, education costs in the US are indeed ridiculous.

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