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Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Why? (736 comments)

@tian2992 you win this thread.

Determining the number of steps required to complete a computation is similar in many ways to determining whether or not a given computation will loop infinitely -- it absolutely impossible to develop a general algorithm to detect all infinite loops, as we know from the entscheidungsproblem.

For similar reasons, it impossible to develop a general algorithm that can predict the number of steps for any possible computation, and it is very difficult to predict the number of steps to completion for all but the simplest computations. For more complicated computations, heuristics are required to estimate the completion time.

Estimating by file size and number of files tends to work pretty well when you have that information available to your program, but it does require some effort to take this data and use it to develop an estimation for time to completion, many programmers are too lazy to even bother.

about a year and a half ago

Harvard Software 3D Prints Articulated Action Figures

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Finally (75 comments)

Who needs life size, I'd be happy with a Dead or Alive "Ayane" action figure with silicone boobs. I am tired of paying top yen for these figures.

more than 2 years ago

The Pacific Ocean Is Polluted With Coffee

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Mmmmmmm (294 comments)

Caffeinated bacon?
Baconated grapefruit?
"Admiral" Crunch?

more than 2 years ago

Did an Unnamed MIT Student Save Apollo 13?

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:If True: Shameful (258 comments)

I had mod points yesterday, now I don't. I would have given them all to you.

Fuck Slashdot's moderator policies.

more than 2 years ago

Germany Sets New Solar Power Record

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Wow, that's enough (568 comments)

You mean, enough electricity for 18 time leaps in a Delorian powerd by a flux capacitor.

more than 2 years ago

Where's HAL 9000?

Ramin_HAL9001 I'm working on it! (269 comments)

Just give me a few more months, we'll have a HAL9000 soon enough.

more than 2 years ago

Emacsy: An Embeddable Toolkit of Emacs-like Functionality

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Take over the world (127 comments)

Why would you use vi bindings in Emacs? Why not just use vim? ViperMode is especially terrible, it doesn't implement the function of vi's "f" or "t" commands, which I use only a million times every day.

more than 2 years ago

Mozilla Leaves Out Linux For Initial Web App Support

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Fork it, then (403 comments)

There are like 20 forks of Firefox for Linux already, I can't even keep track of them all: Iceweasel, Seamonkey, Icecat, Swiftfox, Flock, ...

There are even more based on WebKit.

more than 2 years ago

Iraq Emerges From Isolation As Telecommunications Hub

Ramin_HAL9001 I give it 12 months... (59 comments)

before the religious conservatives in Iraq decide to start censoring their internet.

more than 2 years ago

Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Color me surprised. Or not. (577 comments)

I have a hard time believing that Santorum actually expected to have a chance at this stage. My mother is a Neo-conservative Christian party-line voter, and even she is considering voting for Obama again; and not because she likes him. The entire GOP lineup is a mess.

Wow, neo-conservative christians hate mormons that much? So much that they would actually consider voting Democrat if given the choice? That's hard to believe.

more than 2 years ago

How Linus Torvalds Helped Bust a Microsoft Patent

Ramin_HAL9001 Just that one? (103 comments)

Well done. Now, what about the other 200 patents that cover that exact same algorithm?

more than 2 years ago

After 60 Years, Tape Reinserts Itself

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Media doesn't matter (312 comments)

Also, it seems tapes are always trying to catch-up with improved hard disk technology, but they never do. Sure, 8 terabytes seems good now, so the "next generation" of tapes will be able to backup data from 8 1TB hard disks, which might be OK until about 5 years from now when 8 terabyte hard disks come out. Then all of a sudden a simple RAID-1 array of 8TB disks is as large as your next generation tape used to be, and has the advantage of both random-access and redundancy. So for all your investment in tapes, it turns out it may have been easier to just upgrade your RAID disk arrays with larger disks.

Really, tapes have a niche for storing data that no one will ever need to read once it is written, which is common in industries that have regulations requiring them to store records for a certain period of time before deleting them.

more than 2 years ago

NVIDIA Challenges Apple's iPad Benchmarks

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Numbers are meaningless (198 comments)

Does using the tablet have smooth and instant responsiveness? At the end of the day, that's all that matters. Tegra 100 or ipad 100 won't matter if the OS that uses it isn't smooth and keeps up with the user interactions. Consumers just care about experience, how they get there isn't of interest to anyone other than nerds.

At the end of the day, if it only lasts for 30 minutes on a full battery charge, then your smooth and responsive tablet with it's watt-guzzling high memory bandwidth is worthless, and consumers will care very much about that.

more than 2 years ago

'Honey Stick' Project Tracks Fate of Lost Smartphones

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:I always look at personal info on lost phones (222 comments)

The article focused on how often or for how many minutes certain files and programs on the lost phones were accessed. 57% of the time the "stored passwords" file was accessed, and 66% of the time, a "Login/Password" screen was accessed which had the password auto-completed so anyone could have access to the account, for whatever service it was (not mentioned in the article).

What they didn't check for was how many people were like you:

I always look for a contact named ME, HOME, MOM, WIFE, ICE, etc. so that I can find out who the phone belongs to and get it properly returned.

So this research is a bit spurious: in their analysis they make NO attempt to isolate cases of natural and innocent curiosity with cases of malicious intent, they just assume all access of the device was malicious. But looking at a passwords file may well have just been someone thinking "what kind of password does this guy use?", and not someone looking to steal their identity. If I find a phone, I am very curious to know what kind of horrible things might have happened to this person if a criminal had found this phone instead of me.

more than 2 years ago

Data Breach Flaw Found In Gnome-terminal, Xfce Terminal and Terminator

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:The sky is blue! The sky is blue! (184 comments)

He is mounting "/dev/sdb1" to "/tmp". Most Linux systems mount the in-memory only "tmpfs" to "/tmp", so data written to it is in memory only. Unless the pages comprising "tmpfs" are swapped to disk, none of this information should ever even touch the hard disk. But the way he set it up, "/dev/sdb1" will capture all terminal data. Why would you even set it up this way to begin with? It's not the default setup.

This is pretty stupid. Not a security vunerability, just another thing to be careful of -- never mount a physical disk to "/tmp".

more than 2 years ago

RIAA CEO Hopes SOPA Protests Were a "One-Time Thing"

Ramin_HAL9001 The first rule of PR is... (441 comments)

If someone exposes your dishonest scheme, lie, lie, lie, lie, and lie some more, repeat the same lies over and over again in every venue and on every news network so often that people start to think you are telling the truth. Accuse everyone else of being dishonest, accuse everyone else of conspiring against you, tell everyone who will listen, and if anyone who listens actually believes your lies, praise them for being fair and balanced.

The second rule of PR is...
lie, lie, lie, lie, and lie some more, repeat the same lies over and over again in every venue and on every news network so often that people start to think you are telling the truth. Accuse everyone else of being dishonest, accuse everyone else of conspiring against you, tell everyone who will listen, and if anyone who listens actually believes your lies, praise them for being fair and balanced.

more than 2 years ago

Is It Time For Hacker Scouts?

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:Author must not know the kids of today too well (186 comments)

Mod parent up, please.

I think what you are trying to say is, it won't help the people who really need help? Anyway, you're a great writer, and this was an awesome post.

more than 2 years ago

Is It Time For Hacker Scouts?

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:I was a "hacker" scout in 1994 (186 comments)

I'd give Explorers two thumbs up, except that I think they belong up the bigoted Boy Scouts of America's ass.

That is so true. I was lucky, the Boy Scouts weren't as bad as they are now. Even so, the small college town I grew up in was so full of liberals, bigotry simply isn't an issue in our local troops. Discrimination may be the official policy of the Boy Scouts nowadays, but as long as there are liberals who know that it is wrong and who know how much of a positive influence the Scouts are to kids, discrimination will be hard to enforce.

Still, it would be nice if there were a more open, secular, perhaps even co-ed version of the scouts that were as popular. They exist, but not everywhere like the Boy Scouts do.

more than 2 years ago

Is It Time For Hacker Scouts?

Ramin_HAL9001 Re:I was a "hacker" scout in 1994 (186 comments)

I had a similar experience in Boy Scouts. Someone in the Boy Scouts had the bright idea to send around invitations to a computer and software oriented extra-cirricular program, some guys at the local community college allowed us to use their computer lab. We learned things like how to put together a computer from components, and how to install MS-DOS from floppy disk. I was in the C programming group, and we learned the basics of the C language. The computer lab guys set us up with the Borland C compiler and we were off writing programs with "conio.h" for inventing fancy command-line programs.

Unfortunately, it was difficult to maintain interest after a while. We just ran out of ideas. Putting together a comptuer is so easy, even kids can do it in just a few hours, and so everyone shifted to the programming group where there weren't enough skilled instructors to teach everyone. Then, once you get the syntax down, programming is easy, but the more complex ideas related to computer science, like algorithms and data structures, are a bit too difficult for kids to understand. Even I didn't get it at the time.

If we had more skilled teachers, it might have worked out better. But that is always the problem, isn't it? How do find skilled teachers?

more than 2 years ago



Learn Basic Computer Programming in 5 Hours a Week

Ramin_HAL9001 Ramin_HAL9001 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Ramin_HAL9001 (1677134) writes ", an article at Slate describes the project, a project that promises on it's home page that "you'll be building apps and web sites before you know it."

Code Year'(TM)s minimum commitment is one new lesson every week. The company says that it will take a person of average technical skill about five hours to complete a lesson, so you're looking at about an hour of training every weekday. That's not so bad, considering that the lessons are free, and the reward could be huge: If you'(TM)re looking to make yourself more employable (or more immune from getting sacked), if you’d like to become more creative at work and in the rest of your life, and if you can’t resist a good intellectual challenge, there are few endeavors that will pay off as handsomely as learning to code.


Link to Original Source


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