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Comments

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The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia

SashaM Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (286 comments)

Apple's stock is best to day-trade, because it rides 10% swings constantly.

As someone who has actually invested in Apple for a few years, this didn't sound right to me. So I checked. The last time AAPL had a daily change larger than 10% was on 11/24/2008, when it jumped 12.55% from 82.23 to 92.55.

about 2 years ago
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The Decreasing Impact of Death In Sci-fi

SashaM Re:If you want real headaches, read some Stross (373 comments)

It's all really very simple. The concept of "you" or "me" is just that - an abstract concept. This concept only makes sense when certain conditions hold.

more than 3 years ago
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No P = NP Proof After All

SashaM Re:Mistake in Summary (318 comments)

You can solve TSP for 1 million cities if you're willing to wait a few billion years

No you can't. You can't solve TSP for 1 million cities before the expected heat death of the universe.

Umm, do you have a proof of that?

more than 3 years ago
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J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting

SashaM Not watching J. J. Abrams (392 comments)

After the betrayal that was "Lost", I'm no longer watching anything by J. J. Abrams. Apparently the latest model of attracting viewers is to keep throwing mysteries and questions on them, without any plan to ever answer them. This is not something I am interested in.

Compare "Lost" to "Babylon 5".

more than 3 years ago
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First-Sale Doctrine Lost Overseas

SashaM Re:That's Not What The Article Says (775 comments)

I recently gave up trying to explain to some mentally challenged person here on Slashdot the very simple concept of property ownership and how once somebody sells you something they literally have no rights over it. Morally, ethically, etc... no rights.

I don't think it's as clear cut as that. If I sell you a painting I made, would you not agree that I still have the right to say that I painted it? Would you say that you have the right to erase my signature, draw your own and tell everyone you painted it?

more than 3 years ago
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Going Faster Than the Wind In a Wind-Powered Cart

SashaM Re:store and release energy? (315 comments)

Assume that, to begin with, the car is moving at wind speed. The wheels are spinning (because the car is moving) and you can use that energy (i.e. brake the car) to push the propeller

No, you can't use that energy to move forward. The experiment boils down to two mediums moving relative to each other (we can choose to tie the coordinate system to the ground, to the wind, or at any constant speed). If you are stationary relative to one of the mediums, you can only use the other medium to change your velocity. You can only use it to change your velocity in the direction of the movement of that medium.

Imagine two opposing winds with between them, moving at the speed of wind1 (in its direction). Can you use wind2 to propel yourself in the direction of wind2?

As the grand-grand-parent says, however, it is very much possible to achieve the feat in the article by storing energy during the acceleration phase (you would end up accelerating slower than you would otherwise) and then once you reach wind speed, use that energy to move faster. Once that energy runs out, however, you will slow down to wind speed.

more than 3 years ago
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Blizzard Suing Creators of StarCraft II Hacks

SashaM Re:Let them know how you feel (385 comments)

The string "SC2" is forever and ever reserved as an identifier for the best quest ever made, and a definite contender for the best game ever -- Star Control 2.

about 4 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

SashaM Re:I went one further (1260 comments)

I'm probably too late to get modded up, but since none of the existing responses gave the exactly correct explanation, I'll have to post rather than moderated.

sqrt(1) is 1. It's not -1. By definition.

A list of transformations of an equality like the one given in the grandparent's "proof" is shorthand for a list of "implies" statements. For example, a proof like this:

2x-4=0
2x=4
x=2

is actually shorthand for:

A. 2x-4=0 (assumption).
B. 2x-4=0 implies 2x=4 (by rules of arithmetic).
C. 2x=4 implies x=2 (by rules of arithmetic).
D. 2x-4=0 implies x=2 (from B and C, as implication is transitive).
E. x=2 (from A and D, by Modus Ponens).

When you rewrite the shorthand proof in the grandparent post in full form, the mistake becomes (more) obvious: a^2=b^2 does not imply that a=b. But this has nothing to do with the sqrt function, it is because of the square function; because it is not an injective (one-to-one) function.

To illustrate by taking it to an extreme - instead of f(x)=x^2, let's take a different non-injective function: f(x)=0. Would you have any trouble realizing that f(a)=f(b) does not imply a=b?

As an amusing curiosity, one way to define |x| (the absolute value of x) is sqrt(x^2). |x|, as you may guess, is also a non-injective function.

about 4 years ago
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Sorting Algorithm Breaks Giga-Sort Barrier, With GPUs

SashaM Re:Ugh. (187 comments)

Uhh, what?

An algorithm that runs in n*log(n) is slower than n.

Also, big-O is the wrong thing to use here - you want little-o (or little-omega). An algorithm being O(f(n)) only means that the algorithm runs in (asymptotically) less than or same number of of steps as f(n). An algorithm that runs in k*log(n)+p steps is in O(n^2) and in O(n) and in O(log(n)). To show that an algorithm A (that runs in f(n) steps) is faster than algorithm B (that runs in g(n) steps) you need to show that g(n) is in w(f(n)) ('w' is little-omega), or conversely that f(n) is in o(g(n)) ('o' is little-o).

I hate the use of the equals sign with the asymptotical growth notations, because it is extremely confusing to people who forget that O(f(n)) is a set, as are o(f(n)), w(f(n) and Omega(f(n)). If you use '=', you get confusing things like n=O(n^2) and n^2=O(n^2), so one might deduce that n=n^2. So let's everyone agree to use \in instead of '=' from now on. OK?

Big-O Notation

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Eases Restrictions On iPhone Developers

SashaM Re:Common sense prevails (195 comments)

As an avid EVE player and an experienced software developer, I can confidently tell you that from the perspective of software design and development EVE is a pile of steaming crap. Every new release breaks existing features and known bugs last for years. Much of the code, the developers themselves have admitted, can't be touched anymore because nobody understands how it works. Instead of fixing bugs, they write new features which are released unfinished and then promptly forgotten when the next expansion is due.

What keeps EVE afloat and myself playing the game is that the concept itself is amazing. The day I managed to load Elite on my Sinclair, I knew that the the same game, with added massively multiplayer gameplay over the network would be awesome.

more than 4 years ago
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H.264 and VP8 Compared

SashaM GIF screenshots are useless! (337 comments)

Who in their right mind would compare codec quality by encoding screenshots in a lossy image format??? To add insult to injury, the GIF image files in the article have a .jpg extension.

This article, and the person who wrote it, are worse than useless.

more than 4 years ago
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Is Apple's Attack On Flash Really About Video?

SashaM Re:God save flash! (595 comments)

I think this video illustrates it best:

Most of the examples where he tried to interact with the "game" and failed were simply not written to respond to iPad's touch events. It's pretty easy to add touch listeners, but they just haven't.

more than 4 years ago
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Adobe Stops Development For iPhone

SashaM Re:Apple slows down innovation on all fronts (497 comments)

Uhh, except that Apple are at the forefront of developing those same new web technologies you're talking about. They are among the first to implement them in their web browser(s). You've just explained exactly why it's unlikely that Apple's reasons are what you say they are.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Your PC Really Need a SysRq Button Anymore?

SashaM Re:This is not your father's Thinkpad Lenevo! (806 comments)

They would do better to remove the CAPS LOCK key, which is more bulky and - as far as I know - useful only to morons who don't know how to keep from SHOUTING on the internet.

I can't believe this is being repeated on slashdot of all places. Does nobody capitalize their constants anymore?? P.S. The otherwise lovely new Apple USB keyboard drives me insane when I use it to write code because of this feature (which I can't find how to disable).

more than 4 years ago
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The Environmental Impact of PHP Compared To C++ On Facebook

SashaM Re:Ridiculous (752 comments)

"What about the environmental impact of the extra time required to write the same functionality in C++?"

Should be about equal to the environment impact of maintaining the PHP language itself; in fact, it is likely to be less than that, since there would be no need to maintain the actual interpreter, but only duplicate some functionality. This is really a one-off, and the libraries could be reused by thousands of enterprises.

You're making a strange argument. Why does maintaining the C++ language have less of an environmental impact than that of maintaining the PHP language?

Bugs and security breaches do not cause any more CO2 emission than bug-free code, so I do not really see your point in bringing them up.

So having a person wake up and drive to work to fix something in the middle of the night doesn't cause any pollution? And that's just a very minor issue (and minor impact). Serious bugs and security breaches can create a lot of extra work with a lot of environmental impact.

P.S. Due to the laws of thermodynamics, work is always (thermal) pollution :-)

more than 4 years ago
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The Environmental Impact of PHP Compared To C++ On Facebook

SashaM Ridiculous (752 comments)

That's a ridiculous way to analyze it. What about the environmental impact of the extra time required to write the same functionality in C++? What about the impact of whole classes of C++ bugs that don't exist in C++ (and, perhaps, vice versa) with the downtime or security breaches resulting from them? Or a hundred other ways in which writing all that software in C++ would be different of which I can't think at the moment?

more than 4 years ago
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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

SashaM LyX (823 comments)

LyX

With some practice (and appropriate shortcuts), you can enter formulas faster than you can write them down with a pen.

more than 4 years ago
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Is That "Sexting" Pic Illegal? A Scientific Test

SashaM Re:Evolving Standards (711 comments)

... will inevitably lead to a slow migration of the legal standard to an ever more permissive definition of provacative

A strictly increasing sequence can, nevertheless, have an upper bound.

more than 5 years ago
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World of Goo Ported To Linux

SashaM Re:DRM-Less (223 comments)

While by no means a short game, I'd hardly call World of Goo lengthy. I recall spending months on Lemmings, an oldie in the same genre, with sometimes weeks on certain difficult levels. World of Goo took me a whole of a few days to finish. I'm looking forward to harder fan-made levels.

more than 5 years ago
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Smooth Open Street Maps For the iPhone

SashaM My GWT map (46 comments)

My GWT maps are just as smooth as Google Maps, and the library supports the WMS tiling protocol, which I'm guessing is what OpenStreeMap uses. I'll have to investigate and talk to the OpenStreetMap guys to maybe use my client.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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SashaM SashaM writes  |  more than 8 years ago

SashaM writes "I am the developer of Jin, a client for chess servers, licensed under the GPL. About 6 months ago I was contacted by the Internet Chess University, asking for a commercial license for Jin. After negotiations failed, IChessU decided to nevertheless use Jin, but did not release the full source code of the client they built. I have contacted both the FSF and the EFF, but they were unable to help me because they are not licensed to practice law in Israel (both I, and the owners of IChessU are Israeli). I have no intention of dropping the issue, but I am now stuck with paying a lawyer out of my own pocket, which is very limited. Read the whole story.

The question is then, what kind of protection does the GPL really give the small-time FOSS developer, who can't afford fancy lawyer to enforce it? What does this mean for small-time FOSS developers?"
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SashaM SashaM writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SashaM writes "I am the developer of Jin, a client for chess servers, licensed under the GPL. About 6 months ago I was contacted by the Internet Chess University, asking for a commercial license for Jin. After negotiations failed, IChessU decided to nevertheless use Jin, but did not release the full source code of the client they built. I have contacted both the FSF and the EFF, but they were unable to help me because they are not licensed to practice law in Israel (both I, and the owners of IChessU are Israeli). I have no intention of dropping the issue, but I am now stuck with paying a lawyer out of my own pocket, which is very limited. Read the whole story.

The question is then, what kind of protection does the GPL really give the little guy, who can't afford a lawyer to enforce it?"

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