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### Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms

Re:100 pounds? (160 comments)

100 pounds of enriched uranium is a lot.
https://xkcd.com/1162/

5 days ago
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### 450 Million Lines of Code Can't Be Wrong: How Open Source Stacks Up

Re:HIgher defect density indicates BETTER code (209 comments)

while (source[i] != '\0')
{
dest[i] = source[i];
i++;
}

So one error in that code would be 1 defect per five lines or so.

Here's all the code you need, what a better programmer would write:
while (*dest++ = *src++);

Your "better code" is actually not equivalent (the first loop doesn't copy the nul terminator). Even if it was equivalent, I don't think I would necessarily call it "better". This particular piece happens to be fairly idiomatic and many would understand it, but cramming as much semantics in one line as possible is usually not a good idea. I agree that in general less code is better for equivalent behavior, but usually that means better factoring, not putting more code in one line.

about a year ago
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### USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

> something that predated the definition of units in the metric
> system in physical units by almost 200 years.
That definition depends on gravity at the point of measure (I think. I'm not sure what's "a pendulum at 38 degrees"). How is it more a "defined in physical units" than 1/10,000,000 the distance from the equator to the North pole (original definition of the meter), of the mass of a given volume of water (original definition of the kilogram)?

about a year ago
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### Solid State Quantum Computer Finds 15=3x5 — 48% of the Time

Re:Can someone explain... (262 comments)

Most NPC problems fall into this category.

Actually, by definition, *all* NP-complete problems fall into this category (unless P = NP)

about a year and a half ago
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### Boeing's X-51 WaveRider Jet Crashes In Mach 6 Attempt

Re:What's the hurry? (190 comments)

Last I heard, jets were going as fast as possible (despite the large increase in fuel consumption from near top speed to top speed) because of the savings in staff costs. So, fuel savings wouldn't necessarily hep that much.

about a year and a half ago
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### Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software

Re:The NYSE shouldn't reverse trades. (223 comments)

For everyone that loses money, some one else would gain it.
The market is not a zero-sum game.

about a year and a half ago
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### What's To Love About C?

Re:One good reason... (793 comments)

Well, if you can add a field at run-time then by definition you can't check its presence at compile-time.

about 2 years ago
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### What's To Love About C?

Re:One good reason... (793 comments)

More importantly, it is runtime-resolved.
I personally would consider this a disadvantage.
I like my type-checking at compile-time thank you.

about 2 years ago
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### Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

Other than the "convenience" of being able to get at your email, a crutch for a stunted sense of direction, and a safety net for poor before-hand planning
These are all excellent reasons for using a smartphone (and you don't need a stunted sense of direction to find maps useful). Anything after that is bonus.

more than 2 years ago
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### Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

Re:Not sure I'd want an engineer/politician (727 comments)

> besides intercourse
What makes this one more logical than any other, especially since you claim that having children is illogical? I'm curious.
Also, you seem to assume that being logical means maximizing productivity. Personally, my goal in life is not to be the most productive. Entertainment is actually closer to it.

more than 2 years ago
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### OCaml For the Masses

Re:Another functional programming fan (338 comments)

But don't think that Lisp is always the right language for scripting your text editor (dodges blow from Emacs partisan).
Lisp is functional, but not statically typed. Loses most of the benefit IMO.

more than 2 years ago
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### Fusion Thrusters For Space Travel

Re:It seems more fission than fusion (192 comments)

12C -> 4He + 4He + 4He is exothermic. (The reverse reaction is an energy source for stars under some circumstances.)
You meant endothermic then.

more than 2 years ago
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### Forget Space Travel, It's Just a Dream

You mean like a solar sail?

about 3 years ago
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### Apple AirPlay Private Key Exposed

Re:Open source win (306 comments)

information theory
You probably mean "cryptography". Information theory is related but different.
Anyway, cryptography makes a distinction between "obscure" and "secret". The idea is that good cryptography requires a secret. If something is in your possession (like a program on your disk), it's not secret to you (exception could be made for some secure chips that are designed specifically so that you can't read their secret).

about 3 years ago
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### Book Review: The Art of Computer Programming. Volume 4A: Combinatorial Algorithm

Re:Knuth, it may get you a job. (176 comments)

How is calculating complexity "trivia"? Were the algorithms only described by name?

about 3 years ago
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### Smart Phone Gets Driver Out of a Speeding Ticket

Re:cool story bro (254 comments)

> How sensitive would a device have to be, and how fast would it's
> processor need to be, to detect a 10mph difference from the
> frequency of a radio signal coming from space I wonder?
Well, GPS works at about 1GHz; I think we can assume that a GPS receiver can count the number of cycles.
10mph vs speed of light is about 10^-8, meaning about 10 cycles difference in a second. Seems measurable (GPS also provides very accurate time measurements; there might also be possibilities of measuring interference between signals from different satellites). The link I gave indicates an accuracy of about 0.5mph using a combination of doppler shift and location change measurements.

more than 3 years ago
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### Smart Phone Gets Driver Out of a Speeding Ticket

Re:cool story bro (254 comments)

Interesting.
Either way, the fact that a given position is off doesn't really imply that the speed is wrong (as long as the position is consistently off).
Also, it's the first time personally that I've said that, and there is obviously reason to think that some GPS receivers do use the doppler shift, so please don't be so mad.

more than 3 years ago
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### Obama Calling For \$53B For High Speed Rail

Re:Stupid Idea (1026 comments)

High Speed Rail would have the EXACT same security measures as airplanes, except they would be even less safe as blowing up track is easy, especially when you have hundreds of miles to choose from.
How do you explain that, in the countries that have high speed rail, the airport security is the same as in the US but there's no such thing for trains?
Bombing a plane is already not the most effective way to kill people, it's mostly for show. Attacking a subway would still work better than attacking a high speed rail (or low speed rail for that matter, I don't see why that would make a difference except for popularity, I guess)

more than 3 years ago

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