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Comment Train as you do (Score 1) 285

Might be okay for practice grenades perhaps, but can "green" bullets reproduce the weight and flight path of bullets used in war? If it doesn't then you might as well be running around shouting "Bang" for all the good it does you. If your practice bullets don't go the same place your real bullets do, you'll be shooting in the wrong place.

Comment No longer code (Score 1) 218

I don't write software for a living, but I used to write it for a classroom (on C-64s), I recall a program I rewrote, the original version was brute force and had to be compiled (there were compilers for C-64 BASIC) to get anything like a decent speed. My rewrite was about 10,000 times faster, so that running my version in the interpreter was faster than the original compiled version!

If you don't consider complexity your "quick and dirty" solution may not be as good as you think ...

Comment Some are easy to look for (Score 1) 147

Battery drain can be because of incorrectly configured hotspots. No doubt anyone who is in the same place all the time could spot a "stingray" - a cell tower that appears and disappears. So they could look for some obvious possibilities,

Disappearing Facebook posts? Is their password that bad, or are they posting content that could be subject to DMCA takedown? Otherwise I'm not sure FB would cooperate.

Comment Re:Depends on price (Score 1) 341

We have $5 movies on Tuesdays, along with $2 (each) small drinks and small popcorn the same day. So yes, $50 is too much unless it's for some 4K and/or 3D version ($2 surcharge at the theater for 3D). Though in my case I'd be watching by myself so even $25 is a bit much. However, no way to charge per viewer at home so I can't expect them to cater to me there.

Comment Secure browsing? (Score 1) 126

Obviously they mean secure, not private. Really, no one cares what I do online - I'm rather boring - so I don't care (much) about tracking. But there are times when I'd like to be even more anonymous. And that's easy enough - it's called a VPN.

Given that I'm only aware of two browsers with a built-in VPN, I have to ask - are they working for that Tor browser (based on Firefox) or for Opera (based on Chromium) ... or have they been in a cave somewhere and never heard of either?

Comment Multiverse: Does it matter? (Score 1) 387

If a theory produces no verifiable predictions then it is philosophy, not science. If parallel universes have no effect on this universe, then it doesn't matter whether they exist or not.

And as a mathematician - mathematics is not "real", and never has been. Numbers do not physically exist, no one claims they do. But as abstractions mathematics can be a very useful tool in describing reality. As long as you understand the limits of your model. If for instance you were to say "Space has to be infinite because a plane is infinite" you need to prove that a plane is a good model for space - you can't just assume it.

Comment Hexcode (Score 1) 515

Way back in 1977 or '78, my dad worked for RCA. When they decided to offer a hobby computer (as a kit), he picked one up. At that time, hobby computers came with a hex keypad and you entered two digits (one byte) directly into memory. The manual included a very simple language for writing games along with half a dozen examples such as a clone of Pong..

The processor was something called an 1802, also called a COSMAC, while the computer as a whole was called a VIP. It had a very simple instruction set, so I sat down with some graph paper and figured out what each instruction was doing.

Of course, that's a lot simpler when you only have 2K of RAM (and that was expanded from the original 512 bytes) as opposed to today's multi gigabytes, no way to do that now.

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% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis