471 posts • joined Saturday 3rd November 2007 01:28 GMT
Re: The big problem is:
For nuclear reactions, it doesn't matter what chemical compound the atoms involved are part of. Having pure elements makes controlling the reaction easier (so you aren't also turning oxygen into fluorine, for example), but isn't necessary.
Turns nickel into copper, eh?
Should be easy enough to test - put a piece of pure nickel in, let it run for a while, then take it to an independent lab and have them do an elemental analysis of it. No concerns about revealing "trade secrets" there.
Of course, they'll never agree to it, as it would immediately show their claim of achieving fusion to be false. There are too many hallmarks of bad science to consider this credible. The only question I have is whether they've managed to fool themselves and actually believe what they're saying, or if they're just trying to fool everyone else.
is that they're killing Windows Phone entirely, replacing it with Windows RT/8/9/Blue. I seem to recall them saying a while back that they wanted a more unified interface across all versions of Windows.
I remember SimEarth had a 'terraform Mars' scenario. It would be interesting to see that game redone with more sophisticated modeling, now that personal computers are a few orders of magnitude more powerful than they were when it was released.
It appears they asked the question, "which of these eight issues are you most concerned about?", as if people are only capable of caring about one of them, and assumed they don't give a damn about the other seven. A properly done study would have allowed people to indicate how concerned they are (from 'not at all' to 'extremely') about each of those issues.
Also, "seventeen years of continuous surveys" is flat-out wrong. According to the linked report, the survey was conducted exactly three times, in 1993, 2000, and 2010.
A study with methodological errors, written up in a paper with multiple analytical errors (severe enough that some scientists say it should not have been published), by a biased group with a history of similarly flawed analyses and questionable use of statistics. Move along, nothing to see here.
Hopefully in a couple of years we'll see different scientists re-do the experiment properly and publish results that actually mean something.
Re: OS X & x86!
The PowerPC chips were problematic, particularly on heat - even the G4 laptops were uncomfortably warm - so I can understand the shift to a different architecture. I'm just disappointed they didn't pick another sane and properly-designed one, such as ARM. Compared to either, x86/x64 is a 35-year-old steaming pile of crap, with one layer of (mostly) backwards-compatible cruft bolted on after another.
Something of a point
To elaborate on his stock market example, if you look at prices on a minute-by-minute basis, there's a tremendous amount of random fluctuation (i.e., lots of noise). If you only look at daily closing prices, you have a few orders of magnitude less data to process, and it's just as good for making medium- and long-term predictions. Of course, it's easy to go too far; monthly stock market updates might not provide enough data to extrapolate from with an acceptable degree of confidence. And there are exceptions: an automated arbitrage trading program might be able to make use of price updates as often as every second.
As for log files, many of them are useless, and most will never be looked at. But when security breaches happen, they're essential in figuring out how someone got into the system and what they accessed.
The point here is that companies need to work on collecting better quality data, not more of it.
Poor choice of words
Referring to a supernova as a "Big Bang", and saying the most recent supernovae can provide the most information about it, is rather confusing for anyone who's paid attention to cosmology.
Another problem is that package providers don't always have a fixed URI that always points to the latest version. Open-source projects have a tendency to become unmaintained without notice, at which point there's no one to update it to use current packages.
They used automated static analysis to search for bugs; there's no practical way to go through several hundred million lines of code by hand. I'm sure people have found clever ways to write bugs that can't be found by that approach.
Avoid them like the plague, chlorine trifluoride, and IE 6 combined. Their work is overpriced, gaudy, and made to be 'interesting' or 'novel'. Quality and utility are sacrificed, often to the point that junior draftsmen could do better.
"Chrome catching IE slowly"?
If the current trend continues (which it probably won't), Chrome will pass 50% market share in two years, and IE will be dead and forgotten in five.
Safari usage shows a similar jaggedness, which suggests a 'use PCs at work but Macs at home' demographic. The Firefox line has become relatively smooth, though; anyone have an interpretation of what that means?
Would you mind spelling them out at least once? It makes the article much more comprehensible to people who don't happen to work in the same field. I was rather confused as to why Microsoft has an Estimated Retail Price division, and why they cared about Cardiac Rhythm Management software.
When an account is deactivated, remove it from other people's 'friend' lists, and remove everyone from their own 'friend' list. That eliminates this technique entirely, far more effective than some warning that most people will ignore. Even if users are aware of what's happening, it doesn't matter much if they still can't 'unfriend' the account in question.
Of course, this requires Facebook to delete information, so it will never happen.
This may or may not cause other software vendors to change their coding practices.
But I sure as hell don't have any confidence that Microsoft will change.
Even if dates are stored in a discrete year/month/day format, a competent programmer would never have let this happen. Any function that creates or modifies such a date should normalize it into a valid form. (For example, a user should be able to add 60 days to a date and get the correct result.) This is not difficult:
While day is greater than numDaysInMonth: subtract numDaysInMonth from day, increment month.
Proper handling of invalid months is left as an exercise for the reader, should take about 5 minutes. Add another 5 if you want to make if bulletproof and handle negative values as well. First-year CS students can do this; for a company such as Microsoft to screw it up requires sheer incompetence.
Re: What Am I Missing?
The article states that Arctic sea ice reached a minimum in 2007; this does not say anything about what has happened since then other than that it has not gotten as low again yet. You've assumed it's been continuously increasing for the last five years, which is not the case. The years with the lowest minimum sea ice extent are, in order: 2007, 2011, 2008, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2006, 2002, 2004, 1995. While 2007 was the absolute minimum, every year since then has still been lower than the previous record (2005).
"The moisture lost to the Arctic in the form of melting sea ice has to end up somewhere" - that would be the Arctic Ocean. More exposed ocean water does mean more evaporation and eventually precipitation, but there isn't necessarily any relationship between the quantity of sea ice lost and the increased quantity of precipitation.
Sure - as long as it's within Facebook. Try to get your data out in any way, and you'll find it feels more like 20-grit sandpaper.
Nice to see so many people thinking about how this can be used to benefit humanity, not just high boffinry. The trick will be to get the cost of manufacturing it low enough.
Drinking pure water generally isn't a problem; you can get enough of trace minerals through food, unless you're on an unusually restricted diet.
In theory, the server could pre-fetch URLs, scan them for malware, and have the client throw up a warning if something is found. I doubt they're actually doing this (they'd probably say if they were), but the same technology could be used for good purposes.
Most of that time is spent copying OS data from one place on the drive to another, which is much faster than reading it from a CD or DVD. There's also a tool to create an image of the drive with apps etc. installed. The refresh/reset will take longer, but that's still faster than re-installing everything by hand.
If they're really clever, OS/security updates will be applied to the clean backup copy as well, so they won't need to be downloaded again after a reset.
According to the linked article, there will be an option for a single-pass random overwrite of the entire drive. Not military-grade cleaning, but good enough for most people. Rather cleverly, it skips data encrypted by BitLocker, since that will be unrecoverable anyway.
Or will the phone companies still charge you for sending and receiving text messages?
I haven't owned, let alone watched, a TV for years.
Haven't missed it one bit, either.
Agreeing to the T&C containing this clause would arguably count as authorizing such access. Just because you don't read it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
If you look at the comments in his source code, you'll note that it cancels the requests before they can be completed if the site hasn't been cached. So it doesn't pollute its results if run repeatedly, and doesn't leave traces of having been run (aside from the script itself being cached, of course).
I've worked with a few beekeepers, and the design of hives is quite simple; any half-decent carpenter can build them. Making the wax comb foundation is a bit trickier, but I'm sure someone could set up an operation with support from a microlending bank. Honey yields might not be great with that many hives close together, but it's essentially free.
It's about time boffins took this idea seriously. Assuming extraterrestrial life exists, and developed independently (as opposed to the far-fetched 'mysteriously seeded from outer space' theory), there's no reason it needs to be remotely similar to life as we know it. Many years ago, Isaac Asimov hypothesized on the various liquid media life could potentially exist in. Depending on temperature range, these include water, ammonia, hydrocarbons, and silanes (like hydrocarbons, but replacing carbon with silicon). Ammonia-based life might function somewhat like ours, but the others would have a truly alien biology, unlike anything we've ever seen.
Privoxy (www.privoxy.org) is a locally-run, content-modifying web proxy designed to block ads and privacy/tracking issues. More technical to set up and use than most browser plugins (regexes are everywhere!), but offers more control and finesse than, say, NoScript. Among other things, it can block elements by URL pattern, not just host. Exorcises annoyances such as <blink>, onunload events, JS and HTML content cookies, banner ads by size or link, Google/Yahoo/MSN text ads. Can bypass click-tracking redirection URLs. Also removes/edits HTTP headers, including the ETags mentioned by AC 19:52 .
Not mentioned in this article are the Flash-based 'zombie' cookies. They can be at least partially dealt with by not loading every Flash object automatically. Some browsers include this as a feature; Safari users can install the ClickToPlugin extension (hoyois.github.com/safariextensions/clicktoplugin).
"strong signal that rose and fell with time"
Sounds like a nova, GRB, or any other transient, natural phenomenon. If it repeated with the same amplitude, at a fixed interval, exactly 17 times, there might be something interesting going on. As it is, it's insignificant.
Don't serve third-party ads. Having no advertisements at all would be ideal, but many web sites depend on them as their only source of revenue. So turn them into first-party ads by getting the ad content, running it through a malware scanner or three, and host them on the site itself. In addition to blocking poisoned ads, this would get rid of ad network tracking, and allow highly-targeted advertising (e.g., on social networks) without sharing personal information with other companies. Everyone wins.
Some reports suggest that this has been going on for more than just a month, so perhaps they could be criticized for not acting sooner. But it's good to see that they're going beyond the usual 'oops, sorry' response and are offering to compensate victims. That, and having outside experts confirm that the vulnerability has been fixed, should win back a lot of customers.
re: machine processing
Maple, Mathematica, etc. are great - if you give them the problem in a form they can understand. Presented as an image, it's a good bit more challenging. Conventional captcha-solvers can stop once they've identified all the characters. This requires also parsing the correct mathematical meaning, which is sensitive to the spatial layout (e.g., 112 is different from 11^2 (11 squared = 121) and from 11_2 (11 base 2 = 3), and then solve it.
The best captchas I've seen are semantics-based, asking questions such as "what is the domain name of this site?". Answering them correctly requires understanding natural language, which is trivial for humans, but almost impossible for computers. Specialized knowledge also works well; in this case, anyone who needs truly random data has most likely studied calculus, and if necessary can look it up or ask a colleague who remembers it better.
or maybe: http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/surge.html
Ever see HTML written in MS Word?
It's hideous. In addition to all the Microsoft-only stuff, the same complex style tags are used over and over. Turning it into plain HTML reliably reduces file size by 80%. It sounds like they've found a way to automate that sort of process.
'Structured' files are typically binary formats, where data is stored at fixed offsets within the file. Unlike XML, there's no way to shorten those without corrupting the file.
but now I wonder what would happen if you remove one of the platters and try cooking it.
If the applied force is not directly in line with the craft's center of mass, there will be a torque, and thus rotation. No friction necessary.
Once you hit the heliopause, you're in interstellar space; there is no solar wind to 'sail' with.
Rather that a fixed image, make the fake address bar and Google search form fields. If anything is entered, redirect the user to that site. Since it behaves normally, people will be even less likely to notice that it's not real.
Enabled by default
which is good, but should it even be an option? I can't immediately think of any situation where you'd need to turn it off, so why not have it permanently enabled? I doubt it will be too long before someone finds an exploit that lets them turn off the sandbox.
From what I've seen
(pics from better scanners, not the Gizmodo ones), it's really not worth the outrage people are working themselves into. It's still crummy black-and-white, there's not enough detail to really be interesting and the weird traces from clothing make the whole thing rather unattractive. Just two minutes of searching online will find erotica with more definition and far better lighting. It reminds me more of C-3PO than naked people.
Looking at the *rest* of the file, they doesn't look nearly as similar. The Android code is a good bit uglier by not using generics or for:each constructs, return statements on void methods, hardcoded constants.
Seems fairly obvious
The arguments to PolicyNodeImpl() are anonymized (bad code style) and its visibility is changed, the assignment of isImmutable was moved, and braces are added to if statements (good code style), but otherwise the code is identical, so someone clearly copied it. I'm sure there's a version control system somewhere that can identify who did it.
That said, I'd still like to have the original code as well, to see how much "adjusting" Oracle did for their presentation of it.
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