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309 comments

Thank God! (-1, Troll)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189508)

Thank God! And cancer? Still unsolved. I'll bet computer time could be used for that too. (sorry, bullsh*t like this hits very close to home for me recently. Nothing like having people dying, and then hearing how we are using resources for utter crap)

Re:Thank God! (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189568)

Cancer is unlikely to be cured via brute-force computing. If you've got a computational problem that would help towards a cancer cure, have you asked Google to donate time for it?

Re:Thank God! (2, Interesting)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189748)

If you've got a computational problem that would help towards a cancer cure, have you asked Google to donate time for it?

No, he'd rather just complain. It's much easier to criticize researchers than to do the research yourself.

Re:Thank God! (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190016)

Actually, I was at a high-performance physics computing conference this summer in which a genetic oncologist talked about some of the computational challenges in cancer genomics and said, basically, "There's lots of room over here if you physics folks want something else to chew on." It won't be cured by brute-force computing alone, but there are certainly computational challenges where a few million core-hours would be welcome.

Re:Thank God! (1)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190188)

The computational resources are available. If the researcher needs clock time, he can talk to the folks at TeraGrid [teragrid.org] , among others. Of course, the researcher you mentioned was doing something similar to what OP wants, although more politely and probably the "correct" way, which is to try to get people who are working on problem X to work on cancer instead. At least the oncologist was "walking the walk" in that he is actually working on his topic of interest instead of just complaining that there is no cure for cancer.

Re:Thank God! (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189592)

Yes, you're right, we should devote all our time to getting ourselves to live longer, and none of our time to making our lives more interesting and enjoyable. That'll make a lovely world, won't it.

Re:Thank God! (3, Insightful)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189756)

Yes, you're right, we should devote all our time to getting ourselves to live longer, and none of our time to making our lives more interesting and enjoyable. That'll make a lovely world, won't it.

That's what the lifestyle police are pushing for.

Eat food that tastes like cardboard, run like rabbits, and take pills based on how long they'll help you live (never mind quality of life - e.g. so hormone therapy for women is out - can't have 1 more heart attack per hundered even if it makes life bearable for the other 99) and you'll live longer or at least it will feel like it.

Re:Thank God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189842)

The inevitability of our demise serves as functional justification for throwing ourselves into our favorite causes with reckless abandon.

Since we will die anyway, ultimately we have nothing to lose, so we can justify the taking of extreme risks in attempting to accomplish whatever is important to us.

Re:Thank God! (3, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189884)

Yes, you're right, we should devote all our time to getting ourselves to live longer, and none of our time to making our lives more interesting and enjoyable. That'll make a lovely world, won't it.

I agree completely. After watching so many people "live" well past their prime I'd much rather have a good life and a fast death.

Re:Thank God! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190020)

Besides, manually traversing the enormous tree of possible Rubik's Cube states to get to the solution in 20 moves will make any person's life seem much, much longer!

Re:Thank God! (2, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190022)

making our lives more interesting and enjoyable

It appears that you have never watched me attempt to solve a Rubik’s cube.

Re:Thank God! (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189616)

If we're comparing things like that, then I think you better quit the internet and donate your computer/internet subscription money to cancer research. Much more useful than this comment.

Re:Thank God! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189680)

Thank God!

And cancer? Still unsolved. I'll bet computer time could be used for that too.

It can be shown that a cure for cancer can easily be derived from a method of solving any Rubik's cube in 19 moves.

Re:Thank God! (5, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189690)

Thank God! And cancer? Still unsolved. I'll bet computer time could be used for that too. (sorry, bullsh*t like this hits very close to home for me recently. Nothing like having people dying, and then hearing how we are using resources for utter crap)

I don't think the limiting factor in cancer research is lack of computer time. If it were something so simple, getting the resources wouldn't be a problem.

Your raging is pointless.

Re:Thank God! (0, Troll)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190104)

That's where you are wrong. There is a lack of resources, funding, and computers cycles. There have been cycles running for years. I know cancer researchers, and I've donated time, money, and my computer cycles. Great job though moderators, bump up misinformation.

You'd rage too if you were 34 and had to deal with this shit. And watch, I'll get marked as Troll again, even though I'm not and have a great post history. Whatever.

Re:Thank God! (3, Insightful)

adamjgp (1229860) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189996)

Thank God! And cancer? Still unsolved. I'll bet computer time could be used for that too. (sorry, bullsh*t like this hits very close to home for me recently. Nothing like having people dying, and then hearing how we are using resources for utter crap)

Guess you should be using your spare cycles to help cure cancer. Lead by example instead of using your resources for the utter crap that is posting on slashdot!

Re:Thank God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190030)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1638258&cid=32071298 [slashdot.org] "Lost" doesn't contain filler! Thank God! And cancer? Still unsolved.

Every waking moment should be spent supporting cancer research, right? Isn't that the standard you are criticizing others for failing to meet?

I'm not at all saying cancer research is unimportant. Far from it. It's vital.

But if you're going to demand that everyone else singlemindedly pursue a valuable research project that is personally important to you, and that any time spent pursuing things you think are unimportant is ignoring the dying, you could at least make a halfhearted attempt to lead by example.

And if you think watching "Lost" and doing other things occasionally that aren't in direct support of cancer research is just living your life, then maybe you might consider offering the same courtesy to others.

Enough! (5, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189528)

Enough with the Rubik's cube junk, someone please tell us how to unhook a bra with *1* move.

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189584)

If you're over 20 and still can't do it (or even with just one hand)....

Re:Enough! (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189590)

Easy.

Step 1:
Unhook the bra

It's all relative - what do you consider 1 move? I came across this argument during my first DnD session, and subsequently, haven't played it since.

Re:Enough! (3, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189646)

You gotta do what I did in 8th grade...find a girl who wanted to learn how to unzip a fly with one hand, and was willing to let you practice taking her bra off with one hand.

I haven't seen her in well over a decade, but I hope her training paid off. I know mine did!

Re:Enough! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189836)

You gotta do what I did in 8th grade...find a girl who wanted to learn how to unzip a fly with one hand, and was willing to let you practice taking her bra off with one hand.

I haven't seen her in well over a decade, but I hope her training paid off. I know mine did!

Tip: if true, that girl back then just wanted to get in your fly, you lucky son of a gun. Sorry if the news is a little late

Girls have trousers of their own and can practice opening a fly without assistance.

Re:Enough! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189954)

Tip: if true, that girl back then just wanted to get in your fly, you lucky son of a gun. Sorry if the news is a little late

I was fairly oblivious back then... till very much "in-training", lol

Girls have trousers of their own and can practice opening a fly without assistance.

She always said that it wasn't the same when she did it to her own. ::shrug:: I wasn't gonna argue with her, know what I mean?

Re:Enough! (2, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190050)

Unzipping a fly with one hand is a bit like tying shoes.

You’re an expert at tying shoes? Now go try tying someone else’s shoes.

Re:Enough! (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189956)

I'm curious about how that paid off. I've been removing bras two handed for ages now, and it has never been a significant or even minor inconvenience. Maybe it's because I have strong legs?

Re:Enough! (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189678)

Tell her to take it off.

Re:Enough! (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189926)

Are you kidding? You expect him to talk to a girl?

He actually only needs to know how to unhook a bra because it's currently holding a bundle of Cat6 together.

Re:Enough! (1)

2names (531755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190014)

...and I wouldn't need to unhook it normally, but some douche bundled up some of our fiber runs in there and I need to move the dmarc...

Re:Enough! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189930)

Tell her to take it off.

Ask, don't tell.

Re:Enough! (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190058)

Sometimes they like to be told what to do.

This only applies in the bedroom.

In all other circumstances they prefer to be the one telling you what to do.

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190158)

Huh, I didn't know that the girls you rape would do what you told them to?

Re:Enough! (2, Informative)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189746)

Are you new here? This is /. so, it should be listed here [wikipedia.org] :-)

...someone please tell us how to unhook a bra with *1* move...

Re:Enough! (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189754)

Start with your right arm behind the wearer. Make sure your thumb is on the reinforced section holding the clasp, behind the clasp, on the side to your right. Your index and middle finders should be in a similar position on your left. Squeeze your thumb and the index and middle finger towards each other, while also pressing slightly in (towards you) with your arm. The bra should now be unhooked.

(Lefties use your left hand and switch left and right above.)

Re:Enough! (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189998)

That's just unhooking, not removing. Removing in one move is best accomplished through the brute force method. Grab the side opposite the clasp and yank hard.

Re:Enough! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189870)

My brother's a paramedic and he says scissors are the fastest.

Re:Enough! (4, Funny)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189896)

Placing the hand such that the forefinger is bent against the section of the bra closest to the back and the thumb is over the piece in the foreground with the hooks, slide in the detaching direction with the thumb.

Alternatively, just ask her to take it off for you ... but that may be a problem if you didn't actually know the girl on the bus in the first place.

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190140)

This thread is useless without diagrams.

The exact sequences (4, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189542)

Moves 1 through 19: repeatedly hit cube with hammer

Move 20: reassemble the smashed bits into a solved cube.

Warning: Your cube may or may not remain functional through use of this solution.

Re:The exact sequences (4, Funny)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189662)

1) Turn one face 45 degrees
2) Pry upward on one middle edge piece until it pops out
3) Remove all edge and corner pieces
4) Put the cube back together, but flip exactly 1 edge piece
5) Give it to someone who knows how to solve it
6) Laugh maniacally when they just can't seem to get that last piece where it belongs.

Re:The exact sequences (4, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189696)

Your method, while functional, shows a decided lack of hitting the cube with a hammer. Where's the fun in that?

Re:The exact sequences (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189878)

This would be a fairly obvious misplacement to anyone familiar with solving technique (as provided in #5) since there is no sequence to modify only one edge out of place at the end of a solve.

Re:The exact sequences (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190080)

Am I mistaken in presuming that you meant “corner piece”, not “middle edge piece”, in step 2?

The REAL story here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189552)

Google invents time machine to improve compute capabilities!

Re:The REAL story here: (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189610)

35 "computing years" is not the same as normal years. It's like saying 100 man hours. It can be 35 computers for 1 year, or 7 computers for 5 years.

Re:The REAL story here: (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190060)

Or 1 computer for 1 day if the reference computer is an 8086. Or more likely if you are google, 12,775 computers for 1 day.

There is a good reason (5, Interesting)

calderra (1034658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189558)

I know it won't stem the tide, but this is good research. I'm sure there are a million other algorithms in the world that can benefit from this. Shortcuts they had to invent to make sure they were using minimal processing time, full understanding of how much money and time it really took to get this process done to make other projects more practical, etc etc. This sort of thinking, even if silly on its own, has a broad range of applications.

Downsides (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189562)

20 mechanical turk sweatshop workers and 157 pigeons died to get this information.

Another way of thinking about this. (4, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189586)

The shortest path between any two configurations (be them solved or not) on a graph of all possibilities will be no greater than 20.

Re:Another way of thinking about this. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189910)

The shortest path between any two configurations (be them solved or not) on a graph of all possibilities will be no greater than 20.

This only guarantees a shortest path of length 40.

If the "solved" state lies on the path then it is no more than 20 to it from one configuration, and no more than 20 from it to the second configuration.

Re:Another way of thinking about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189924)

The shortest path between any two configurations (be them solved or not) on a graph of all possibilities will be no greater than 20.

Are you sure it's not 40?

Re:Another way of thinking about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190018)

Not true: to get from one unsolved configuration to another you may have to first solve (20 moves) then scramble again (20 moves), for a total of no more than 40 moves but possibly more than 20.

Re:Another way of thinking about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190194)

Can you prove that?

Call configuration S "solved". Then it seems to me there could be configurations A and B such that distance(A,S) = 20 and distance(B,S) = 20, but where do you get that distance(A,B) = 20 as well?

By the triangle inequality we have that distance(A,B) = 40 for sure. Could there be certain Byzantine configurations A and B which are more than 20 moves apart from one another?

That's nothing (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189588)

I got a team working on solving Rubik's cube in 1 move.
The proof only need 30 years of computering to be proven, however as we only got one computer we won't release is before 2040 (and then we'll claim we were that close to the solution, but due to a timestamp bug we had to restart from scratch in 2038).

Re:That's nothing (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189708)

Actually 1 move isn't hard, because there are only 12 possible moves, thus 12^1 = 12 permutations. It does not take much processing power to find one rubik's cube that none of the 12 permutations will solve.

Re:That's nothing (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189770)

The computer time is necessary to find the move that isn't one of the 12 we usually think of, and will solve any cube.

35 years of computer time?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189596)

Given that Google isn't 35 years old, Google must have invented a time machine to solve this problem.

I always knew Google had some smart people, but this is very impressive.

I'm surprised it wasn't kdawson who wrote this summary.

You meant to say that this problem required 35 years of computer time on a particular model of computer.

So, you could take less time on a faster computer, or add more computers to solving the problem.

English motherfucker! Do you speak it?

Re:35 years of computer time?!?! (2, Informative)

Skippyboy (978787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189804)

Finally, we were able to distribute the 55,882,296 cosets of H among a large number of computers at Google and complete the computation in just a few weeks. Google does not release information on their computer systems, but it would take a good desktop PC (Intel Nehalem, four-core, 2.8GHz) 1.1 billion seconds, or about 35 CPU years, to perform this calculation.

From the article. They are guessing based on a known configuration how long it would take.

35 years of computer time (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189598)

How about measuring that in actual computer usage? X MHz on Y cores per Z nodes over A hours? Or at least say it would have taken one X MHz processor 35 years to compute it. Computer-hours are nothing line man-hours or horse-power. At least those have good limits to their vagueness. Computer-time might as well be arthropod-lengths (are we talking dust mites or ancient giant sea-scorpions?).

Re:35 years of computer time (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190046)

What about Moore's Law? Do they consider that in their equation? 35 years of computer time is only 17.5 years of computer time a couple years or so from now.

Re:35 years of computer time (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190116)

And considering the processor speeds from 35 years ago, I'm not sure if I would want an application such as this running that long, anyway.

35 years?!!! (0, Redundant)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189652)

It can't possibly be 35 years! Google is not that old.

Stop regurgitating meaningless numbers. Even the article itself can't seem to explain the 35 (cpu) years. What kind of CPU?

Re:35 years?!!! (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189706)

They started it on an ENIAC emulator and then sped it up according to Moore's Law.
All very proper.

Re:35 years?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189972)

Why start so late? Perhaps the Atanasoff-Berry Computer [wikipedia.org] , which was what the ENIAC was based on, would be a better starting point?

Re:35 years?!!! (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189742)

it was probably 35 CPUs running for a Year. or 70 running for 6 months. article is BS

Re:35 years?!!! (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190032)

No no no, Brin started the computation 35 years ago on his TRS-80, then upgraded hardware as his career started taking off.

Re:35 years?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190088)

TFA.

Finally, we were able to distribute the 55,882,296 cosets of H among a large number of computers at Google and complete the computation in just a few weeks. Google does not release information on their computer systems, but it would take a good desktop PC (Intel Nehalem, four-core, 2.8GHz) 1.1 billion seconds, or about 35 CPU years, to perform this calculation.

Was that so hard?

Re:35 years?!!! (1)

Flambergius (55153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190094)

From the article (www.cube20.org): "Google does not release information on their computer systems, but it would take a good desktop PC (Intel Nehalem, four-core, 2.8GHz) 1.1 billion seconds, or about 35 CPU years, to perform this calculation."

Maybe read the article next time.

Why approximate numbers? (3, Insightful)

Romario77 (1844904) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189656)

They give the distance and number of positions for the cube here: http://www.cube20.org/ [cube20.org] What I don't understand is why they have only approximate number 20 moves - from the article on the link above I understand that they solved all of the 20-moves combinations so they must know the exact number of those combinations

Re:Why approximate numbers? (1)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189812)

Because they weren't looking for the best solution, just ones that were 20 moves or less. So some of the items they have tagged as taking 20 moves might instead take 16-19.

Re:Why approximate numbers? (1)

WorkerGnome (680060) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189832)

No--While they solved every position in 20 moves or less, they did not search for the optimal solution for each position. So if they solved a position in 20 moves, they stopped solving it, even if there was a possible 19 move solution.

Re:Why approximate numbers? (2, Insightful)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189872)

I believe the article said their solution algorithm did not search for optimal solutions, only for those that are 20 moves or less. (It has already been proven that there exist positions that can not be solved in less than 20 moves)
So, they can probably give an upper bound on the number of positions solvable in 20 moves, but not an exact number.

Re:Why approximate numbers? (2, Informative)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189986)

They quit testing moves when they found a solution in 20 moves for a given starting state. This means they don't know if a given starting state requires 20 moves. There may be an 18-move solution that they missed.

22 in the graphic?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189712)

Why does the graphic on the left show 22 moves? if the number is 20

Good use of resources there, GOOG. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189726)

A few years ago we reported that it had been proven that Rubik's Cubes could be solved in 23 moves. Well now that number is down to just 20. Proving it required 35 years of computer time donated by Google to get it done.

Wow. What a revelation. I hope whatever fossil fuels were burned and associated CO2 that was ejected into the atmosphere was worth it.

Thank God we know how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189772)

Now if they'd put the same effort in defeating the common cold...

They're counting double moves as one (2, Interesting)

BitterKraut (820348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189790)

I wouldn't say they're cheating, but I am a bit dissatisfied with their way of counting moves. Rotating a face by 180 degrees is not an elementary move to me. I'd like to know god's number in elementary moves.

Re:They're counting double moves as one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33189960)

Agree. A quarter turn is one move.

Re:They're counting double moves as one (2, Interesting)

allusionist (983106) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190130)

It's a bit subjective, honestly. I count 18 elementary moves - each of the 6 faces rotated in one of three ways - quarter clockwise, quarter counterclockwise, or half. Some people also consider slices (rotating the center but not the sides) an elementary move, giving 6 more elementary moves (each of the two slices rotated 3 ways) - I consider them two opposing edge rotations, just as you consider a half rotation two quarter rotations. In the end, however, all that matters is consistency - if you can solve a configuration in 10 moves (counting a single half-turn as two moves) and I say I can solve it in 9 (by counting it differently) that's when we have a problem. But in a case like this, since they are already setting an arbitrary target number of moves, it doesn't matter how they count them /so long as the results are compared to other results counted in the same way/.

35 years (2, Funny)

redmond (611823) | more than 3 years ago | (#33189992)

I've also been working on solving the Rubik's cube for 35 years. It's taken me 63,412,452,120 moves and I have one side solved and a line on another side.

[off-topic] Gramar (1)

pfiver (993546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33190148)

From the old article, Posted by timothy on Friday June 06 2008:
[...], which he used it to show [...]

Who the heck is IT the inventor of that strange kind of grammar ????

Why Idle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33190162)

Why is this on Idle? Rubik's cubes have deep(ish) and fascinating mathematics behind them; they've been a staple toy of geeks pretty much everywhere, for decades; and this is a fascinating new result that puts an end to an old question.

If this isn't "news for nerds", then what is?

I mean, what's next? Claimed P != NP proof verified, Millenium Prize claimed, story on Idle?

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