2555 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
How dare they attack us with missiles without transponders! It's not fair!!!!
Uncertainty about quantum computing?
Well, it's quantum, innit?
Just got a message from Vodafone
saying how nice it was of them to decrease roaming charges.
I smiled and thought how nice it was that somebody (Steely Neelie, I think) in the EU is forcing to do so.
The thumbs up it to the EU (this time), not Vodaphone
Beware of Geeks bearing gifts
Sorry, couldn't resist
Is it just me
Or are these researchers just begging for an Ig Nobel Prize?
Absolutely! I grew up in the Apollo era, and as a seven-year-old nagged my parent's (successfully) to see the first moon landing in the middle of the night. Astronauts and cosmonauts were heroes that transcended national boundaries. They showed us we could reach beyond Earth. Almost every boy in my class wanted to follow Gagarin and Armstrong. I consider that a rather better aim in life than to become filthy rich in finance. If astronauts inspire a next generation of kids to reset their ambitions and aim for the stars (literally, not in the X-factor sense) it is money well spent.
Re: Re "Troll icon.....in remembrance."
Isn't getting thrown off the Register for making irrelevant remarks is a bit like being thrown out of the Pogues for excessive unruly behaviour
@Ugotta B. Kiddingme
You mean the Extremely Annoying Dude On Narcotics? That's news to me!
Search as primary means of navigation?
The primary gets up my nose quickly. I may be old-fashioned, but I prefer remembering where I left things, and simply moving directly to the right location (cd under linux, or multiple clicks in windows explorer). If I forget, I just use find/grep in linux, and search when on windows (after berating myself for forgetting ;-) ).
I find hiding the "complexity" of a file system from me just annoys me. Others may like it of course.
Please note that the opinion expressed above is solely the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of those with other opinions
I remember following its launch
and the trip past the planets. Wonderful spacecraft, still going strong after all these years.
I will raise a glass to all those who made this feat possible.
Re: Let me fix that for you...
Reminds me of a comment by Rich Hall:
"Good things come to those who wait, shit shows up instantly"
If we cannot find an ideal planet, maybe the Magratheans can build one to our spec?
Re: UTF-8 alternative
Just using a different fixed font encoding is identical to using using the oldest cypher in the book: simple substitution. You can easily simulate the enigma machine on your PC, and that is much better than the proposed solution. However, note that fairly old computer machinery could already crack that (with the help of some nifty linguistic trickery and a few coding blunders of the Germans)
One-time pads do a rather better job, and are easily accessible (though harder to distribute).
A Norwegian blue?
Sorry, couldn't resist
Re: scare tactic
If you can get your hands on a good one-time pad (least significant pits of camera noise will do) you have a provably safe encryption, because the (truly random) key is as long as the message. Quantum computing does not help one jot. Trying all keys gives you (apart from a load of rubbish) all possible plain-text messages of the given length, and all possible zip/rar/tgz/bz2/... files of the same length, exploding the possible space of intelligible solutions further. Somewhere in that humongous space of solutions is the right one, but you have no way of telling which one is correct.
The only problem is transmitting the key over a secure channel. That is not that difficult: store these random bits steganographically on a DVD or Blu-Ray disc containing footage of the kids playing, and take them personally to the intended person when visiting them on holidays.
Any image (large) might contain some subtly hidden message (just replace the least significant bits of the image with bits from a compressed, encrypted file). Even this crude method can be very hard to detect, as a compressed file is already close to noise in its bit patterns (high entropy signal). Any high entropy signal can be considered suspect for that reason (photon-noise-limited astronomical images spring to mind)
The NSA are of course aware of steganography, and could use this to suggest any media file is suspect. The only problem they then face is tracking all such data.
I still bear scars on my very soul from the pain of having to remove Symantec's crudware from my machine. I think nuking the disk from space did it
You cannot punish us, or everybody will suffer was a message the bankers used successfully.
Did not do much for their popularity, did it?
Re: "practical applications be drawn from it"
Not necessarily, I am afraid.
The part where Hitler loses is not in Mein Kampf, that part is found in books on history, but I doubt any self-respecting loony dictator would allow mere historical facts to get in the way of a megalomaniacal plan. It is more likely he will be thinking (word used without prejudice) along the lines of "If only good old Adolf had waited till he had the bomb, like I have done".
Re: World's cleverest company states the obvious
Evidently, they did not read C. Northcote Parkinson's chapter "The Short List" in Parkinson's Law. It tells you exactly how to weed out unsuitable candidates, and he presents an algorithm which gets you just one applicant (the right one) obviating the need for an interview.
I find it odd they did not find that paper, as it must have been scanned by them, and a quick google got me this.
At Google, unlike the X-Files, the truth is in there.
In both cases, it is a matter of finding things
An overhaul/replacement of LinPack is long overdue
Even the conjugate gradient benchmark, while very useful, does not say it all. Conjugate gradient problems are present in many optimization methods, but not in combinatorial optimization. Maybe an additional benchmark is needed for that. Some image and signal processing problems are not easily cast into an optimization framework at all, for these we would love to have a better benchmark.
Twinings "Prince of Wales"
If I have to use tea bags I go for this one, because the Keemun black tea it contains does not turn bitter when you forget to remove it from the mug.
I tend not to use milk, ever since my student days, when the question "how many lumps" could accurately be used for the amount of milk, from time to time.
I do wonder what Steve Irwin would have said
"Look at the size of these little buggers!
Isn't it AMAZIN' !"!
Or Les Hiddins, the bush tucker man:
"These bugs mighn't look very appetizin', but they're full of minerals, particularly titanium"
Re: Do they do latex yet.
I cannot yet print my LaTeX in 3D, but perhaps somebody is writing some useful class files, style files and drivers
Tungsten boots? Do you have an infestation of Feegles?
Re: Ah those were the days..
DIBOL, short for DIABOLIC ?
Much as I like cats, you really do not want a robot to be cat-like. Consider the difference with dogs when you throw a stick. The dog runs after it and collects it. The cat looks at you as if to say: "Hey, you threw it, you go get it." I consider this a clear indication of the more advanced intelligence of cats, as compared to dogs.
A simple rule of thumb is:
A dog has a master
A cat has house-mates
A Siamese cat has grooming staff
Re: Any rope is the problem
Enter the Heisenberg/Schrödinger elevator. It tunnels to the correct destination, and allows an arbitrary (but uncertain) number of elevators per shaft. Add defocused temporal perception and they will be there before you know you want them.
The only downside is their tendency to sulk in basements.
And there I was thinking that producing better, more competitive products was what capitalism was about!
Deary me, how naive of me.
Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .
Is their legal team run by Mr Slant?
Alternatively, SCO might really be a vampire outfit. Somebody spilled blood in the wrong place.
Sorry, too obvious, really
Re: Hang on
SKA does not really work with steerable dishes, it uses synthetic aperture based on many small antennae. By combining the signals from many sources with the right delays, you can form a vast number of beam shapes with a vast number of different side-lobes. This in principle allows you to let a telescope be blind in the direction of fixed radio sources. If you know terrestrial sources are a problem, you can in theory create a null-sensitivity for things on the horizon, or (more easily) in the specific direction of a particular source.
Source above the antennae which drift around and are difficult to predict are a pain, and a cause of many ruined pieces of data.
Re: Caveat Emptor
Well measured response. but I would like to add one more tiem:
8. Beware of injelititis: managers who have a combination of a large degree of incompetence and a similarly large degree of jealousy, a combination known as injelitance. Injelitant people in managerial roles cause a disease called injelitis. These people actually prefer to have a third-rate team, because they know deep down in their hearts they themselves are second-rate at best. Do not think you can single-handedly change the course of such a department (key words to watch: "Yes, mr. X is brilliant, but mr. Y is more sound"). Abandon such departments at warp speed.
See: C. Northcote Parkinson: Parkinson's Law, or the Pursuit of Progress.
Or Billy Conolly would get my vote
and of course the inimitable Tom Baker.
Re: aggravated copyright violation
But probably, like bankers, they are considered too important to jail by the DoJ!
And of course Iran can now gleefully point a finger (rightly or wrongly) at the US if the US makes a fuss of these activities on human rights grounds.
People in glass houses
Sad world indeed
Enter Otto von Chriek:
Finally!!!! Ve vill haf proof of ze existence off ze DARK LIGHT!!!! Efen in ze roundworld!
Re: HP BC
Perhaps, but I doubt she would be significantly worse than many currently in the senate.
Re: And again: Biometry is not suitable for Authorization
You can have multiple faces if you are a master of disguise, just like inspector Clouseau
No, just thermodynamics
The classic random walk is exemplified by a person (typically male) who is so drunk that at each step he cannot remember which direction the last one was going.
By saturating the senses with loud noise, combined with the usual quantities of alcohol involved, I would expect that those involved in mosh pits have a similar level of randomness in their motion, especially when adding collisions with other "particles."
I will submit the paper to Annals of Improbable Research for their Scientists now know corner.
Weren't www.beautifulpeople.com previously listed as www.narcissism.com ?
Having plans in place is not a problem
Running around like a headless chicken when the proverbial shit hits the fan is. So yes, it makes sense to have plans in case war breaks out.
Thus, I do not find it at all surprising that there are plans in place for both defensive and offensive action. What is a problem is their constant data gathering on everything. Adding more data to a pool indiscriminately is like wall-of-death fishing: you catch and kill all sorts of stuff you did not intend to. I also do not buy the argument that they have "advanced data-mining algorithms". Data mining is a fancy word for pattern recognition in big data. To stay in the parlance of mining, let data be the ore, and information be the metal you want to extract. As the percentage of metal in the ore becomes lower, it makes less and less sense to extract the ore from the ground in the first place, unless the metal is very very precious. Even then, it is possible to be sidetracked by things that look like the metal, but aren't. Fool's gold (iron pyrite) springs to mind.
Likewise, if you gather data about everybody, looking for a minute percentage of people that actually hate the US sufficiently to do it real harm, the chances are false positive rates will skyrocket. This is a very real danger. It is much better to gather information in a far more directed manner, instead of implicitly suspecting everybody of ill will (which in itself seems to be a self-fulfilling mode of action).
As I have said over and over again: adding hay does not make finding needles easier. In mining parlance, there may be gold in them there hills, but it is better to drive a well-chosen shaft than indiscriminately removing the whole range of hills from the face of the earth, and sifting through tons of worthless rubble.
Given that the earlier leaks were about the far more dangerous data snooping, a cynic (who? me?!), might think this leak is there to distract from the more dangerous issues.
Are you sure it doesn't translate to Skynet?
Mine is the leather jacket
Somehow this reminds me of my parents in law, who (after a career teaching mentally less agile people, to put it mildly) were used to settle every argument by the application of equal parts of authoritarianism and volume (they still go at it hammer and tongs at each other, producing Pythonesque near infinite loops of "Yes it is! No it isn't!") .
They found out the hard way that this did not work on a scientist with a voice that some have compared to Brian Blessed in full spate (but only when I talk enthusiastically about anything or am just plain angry).
Maybe NASA needs to get in touch with the IAU from time to time.
Re: Slow as Sharepoint
Eadon: Maybe clearer vision of the article topic would result if the head was removed from the place where the sun don't shine.
The duration of the trek has everything to do with not allowing a robot to cheerfully drive itself off a cliff. Besides, if the engineering quality of Curiosity is anywhere near as good as that of Spirit and Opportunity (remember their "three month" missions?), Curiosity has time on its side. It's no Scott against Amundsen race to the pole.
Re: Probably not good.
You are about to hear a long story, starting with
When I were a lad, we never had ......
Do you still want to continue?
I only read the Planet of Adventure tetralogy, and quite liked it, but not so much that I dug out more, I must confess. Sad to hear of his passing but he has had a great innings on this planet, just shy of his century.
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