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Comment Re:celsius (Score 1) 1233

This is also why Fahrenheit is better than Celsius. When was the last time you ever saw anyone advocating a metric circle? 100 degrees to a circle is preposterous; many useful angles are no longer integers (for example, 30 degrees becomes 8 point three repeating. Ugh.).

Similarly, 180 degrees between boiling and freezing is better than 100. Science should be based off of Rankine, not Kelvin. Not that that will ever happen, of course.

Comment Re:Hard Drive? (Score 2, Insightful) 94

Well, they are right in that it's bounded by memory. A number of languages let you do arithmetic on arbitrarily large integers. Rational numbers are basically 2 integers of random size, and if arithmetic functions for rationals aren't provided (as in e.g. common lisp or Haskell), they can be implemented. Sure, it might be slower (addition and subtraction is O(n)), but if you're a researcher and if you know the program is correct, you should be able to just leave the computer on for a week or two (or however long) to let it run.

More than that, this problem is embarrassingly parallel - each number doesn't change the result of any other, so you can very easily split up the work load on many computers, or write something that will run on GPU's or something. At a certain point, arithmetic will become too time expensive (because the number uses so many words of memory). So either you run out of memory first (unlikely) or things start to take to long. Possibly things will start to take to long when the numbers become larger then some cache, and the cache miss rate will drive your running time into the ground.

Comment Re:Where's Darl now? (Score 2, Interesting) 259

My grandfather's business, a steel yard in West Virginia, uses a Unix server that runs SCO. I've told him about the law suit, but they'll probably continue to run it until it's no longer supported.

There's probably a number of small businesses like his, that started using SCO back in the day, and never bothered to learn about their comparatively recent legal troubles.

Comment Re:A little too alarmist (Score 1) 408

If the guy uses underage models, he is.

The crux of the issue is child abuse, really. Photographic child porn is illegal because you have to abuse the child in order to get it. With a charcoal picture, you can either abuse a child or not.

Possessing child porn is held to be criminal because it creates a market for abusing children. Having a charcoal drawing of a lolicon which was drawn from the artists imagination does not create a market for child abuse, and should in no way, shape, or form be illegal to produce or posses.

Comment Re:stupid idea (Score 1) 369

Would allowing citizens easy access to guns really reduce the number of deaths/injuries a year? I doubt it.

Tell that to the people who had no choice other than cowering in their hotel rooms and waiting to be executed.

Easy access to guns decreases deaths from some things (e.g. the terrorists probably wouldn;t have killed as many), and increases deaths from other things (e.g. crimes of passion - bar fights that escalate too much, or arguments that get out of hand, and most importantly suicides - suicides done with a gun are the minority of suicides but the majority of successful ones, IIRC).

It would be interesting to see which way the total number of deaths go with increased/decresed access to guns. Does the number of suicidal people who would choose to eat their gun outweigh the number of violent criminals who would be stopped sooner or be more cautious if their victims could more easily kill them? And which would you rather have an increased number of?

The Courts

First Guilty Verdict In Criminal Copyright Case 278

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Brooklyn man has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by a federal jury in Virginia. He now faces up to five years in prison, a quarter-million-dollar fine, and three years of parole, not to mention the 'full restitution' he has to make to the RIAA. The charges against him stem from his role as 'Dextro,' the administrator of one of the Apocalypse Production Crew's file servers — APC being one of the release groups that specialize in pre-release music. While he's the 15th member of APC to be charged under the US DOJ's Operation Fastlink, he's the first to be convicted. He will be sentenced on August 8th. For those wondering when infringement became a criminal matter, you can thank the NET Act, which was signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton."

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