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Tesla IPO Raises $226 Million

addaon Re:I'd say it's overpriced (274 comments)

But if you had a car that got only 25 MPG, you would have spent less than $3000 more on gas. Do you really feel like the hybrid drive system added less than $3000 in cost to your initial purchase price (even ignoring time value of money)?

more than 4 years ago

Amazon 1-Click Patent Survives Almost Unscathed

addaon Re:who uses it? (117 comments)

No. The Kindle does this exactly right (from a UI point of view –not talking about patent nonsense).

It's "one click" to purchase. When you've clicked, you're at the confirmation screen. From that screen, all standard navigation (back, home) works; but there's a single button on that screen. That button reads, and I paraphrase, "oops, I didn't mean to click that, un-buy."

This is awesome UI. Do NOT present a confirmation dialog for undoable actions; instead, make them easy to undo.

more than 4 years ago

Students Build 2752 MPG Hypermiling Vehicle

addaon Re:96 pounds (233 comments)

Gas density is around 6 lbs/gallon, not 3.4 lbs/gallon.

more than 4 years ago

"Logan's Run" Syndrome In Programming

addaon Re:A question for all you experienced types out th (599 comments)

I know a decent amount of HTML, but that's about it as far as my programming knowledge is concerned. I'm looking to get into a programming language as a hobby, with no plans to pursue it as a profession. What would you all recommend I look at? I've gotten conflicting opinions on Ruby, PHP, C#...what would you suggest (again, just as a hobby) and why? Thanks for the time.

PowerPC or MIPS assembly. After that, you'll understand what a computer does.

Then Common Lisp or Scheme. After that, you'll understand what a programming language does.

Then Perl. After that, you'll understand the alternatives.

Then C, and you can write some real code.

more than 4 years ago

Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money

addaon Re:Friends (504 comments)

This is why you always pay for things like computers with a credit card.

about 5 years ago

NASA Wants To Fund Space Taxis

addaon Re:uh-oh (136 comments)

Also, when you figure out reentry, you get a supply of human-flavored jam and jelly.

more than 5 years ago

If We Have Free Will, Then So Do Electrons

addaon Re:Wave equation? (610 comments)

Wouldn't the other limitation of a computer powerful enough to simulate all of the particles in a universe be that it would have to be as big or at least a significant fraction of the universe itself?

It's not clear that we know the answer to this question. In terms of processing speed, there's no requirement for simulating at full speed, so this is not an issue. In terms of precision, a bit- (or word-) serial approach can achieve any finite precision with merely a reduction in speed, so also not an issue. So the remaining questions are (a) is a simple finite precision Turing machine sufficient for simulating the universe and (b) how much space do we need for information? (a) comes down to a strong form of the Church-Turing thesis, which Is we're not sure; (b) is a function of both maximum density of information and the actual information in the universe (taking into account redundancy), which are closely linked (see also the holographic principle).

In summary, who knows?

more than 5 years ago

Can SSDs Be Used For Software Development?

addaon Umm... (480 comments)

If you're not good enough at arithmetic to understand that this isn't an issue, should you really be developing software?

more than 5 years ago

Wolfram Research Releases Mathematica 7

addaon Re:From my point of view (234 comments)

The student version is cheap (free at most decent universities). The Wolfram folk are great if you need a deviation on the license for student stuff (running on a multi-processor machine before multiple kernel executions were included in the default license); just ask. As a long-time student, Mathematica is the greatest tool out there, and is the only software out there where I'm consistently excited about no versions, and /always/ find ways to incorporate at least a few of the new features in my existing notebooks. With Mathematica 6, Manipulate[] was an absolute game changer. With Mathematica 7, I'm betting ParallelTable[] and the new charting features will be just as big a deal, for me.

more than 6 years ago

Apple Announces New MacBook, Pro, Air

addaon Re:First post? (774 comments)

You don't need a course for this, just to do some reading. The biggest thing to understand is that the things you buy in the market (whether they're shares of stock, or the short sale of stock, or options or other derivatives) are just contracts that reflect a belief. That is, a standard stock purchase is buying a contract that will give you a profit if your belief (that the company's value will increase over the time period you hold the contract) holds. A short sale is just buying a contract that will give you a profit if your opposing belief (that the company's value will decrease) holds. The mechanics of the contract are interesting (a short sale is a sale of stock you borrow for the purpose of selling; to close the contract you must return the stock by purchasing it at then-current prices), but are merely an instantiation of your goal. Once you start thinking this way, derivatives and ETFs and all those other things make lots of sense. Just state your belief -- "i think that fourteen days from now AAPL's stock price will have decreased by more than 5% but less than 10%" -- and then figure out what mechanism exists (and there's almost always something, these days) that reflects exactly that intention. Now, before you start buying based on this understanding, you need to start thinking about confidence intervals and such, but it's a major start.

more than 6 years ago


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