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Your Entire PC In a Mouse

j-beda Re:In inevitable questions of why... (165 comments)

I say, "Why not?"

It's a crazy idea. I don't think it's going to fly particularly well, but hey, if they want to try something unique and crazy, I'm not going to stop them.

I mean, ten years ago if you told me that one of the best ways to stream stuff to my TV was through a stick the size of a zagnut bar that plugged directly into my HDMI socket, I would've told you you were nuts.

Bring on the crazy ass designs. Let's see where this goes.

Good point.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

j-beda Re:simple game, complex players (340 comments)

Imagine you played 4x4 tic-tac-toe but put pictures on the board - one corner is Hitler, another corner is Beyonce, one is the prophet Mohamad, another is Obama. The pictures would likely affect your opponent's play if they don't have the exact optimum strategy memorized. Recognizing their psychological bias would CHANGE your optimum strategy. The psychology would be different playing against an Isis member vs against Jay-Z, so the optimum strategy would be different for each opponent.

I don't think you use the phrase "optimum strategy" the same way I would. While it is true that psychology could infleuence how your oponent might play, if you have the game solved, the oponent's play does not matter. For 4x4 TTT, a winning strategy is outlined here http://all-r-math.blogspot.ca/... which also references Zermelo's theorem showing that "For any finite two-player games of perfect information in which the players move alternatingly and in which chance does not affect the decision making process, one of the players will always have a non-losing strategy. If the game cannot end in a draw, then this non-losing strategy is a winning strategy." Physchology does not enter into it for these types of games.

It seems as though the term "optimum strategy" is being used in the context of "Perfect Play"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

But I digress. If in fact the robot is using a "perfect play" strategy, as defined above, then knowing it's strategy won't help. The optimal strategy against "perfect play" is by definition also "perfect play" - any other strategy against perfect play is sub-optimal. It is true (as referenced above) that "perfect play" will never exploit the weaknesses of non-perfect play, but that does not mean that "perfect play" provides any weaknesses that can be exploited by some other strategy.

So, it looks like the site has recovered - have you played yet? Have you been able to consistently win? http://poker.srv.ualberta.ca/

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

j-beda Re:should explained how you know what they fold (340 comments)

I guess we should really read the articles to find out what they classify as "optimal strategy".

I could believe that there exist strategies that would be effective against certain players/strategies than their "optimal strategy" (by "more effective" I suppose I mean "would beat them faster"), but that does not mean that their "optimal strategy" against any oponent does not exist.

On what basis do you make the claim "The programmers assume an optimal strategy for poker, but there is no such optimum strategy as such."?

Tick-tack-toe, chess, and go all clearly are not "games of skill" if you have the knowledge of all possible board configurations and their interconnections. For chess and go it is not clear when (if ever) our storage and calculating abilities will completely be able to map out the space, but the space is defined. Since there is no chance element involved it is easier to see how knowledge of the space translates into the optimal moves.

For games like poker, craps, and rock-paper-sissors(-lizard-Spock?), it does become a bit more difficult to define "optimal" since each hand or round is non-deterministic, so there is no possiblity of guaranteeing a win in any particular round. In RPS, there is a strategy that is guaranteed to win at least 50% of the time, against any possible other strategy. Even knowing that your opponent is using this strategy does not give you enough information to consistently beat it. Why do you think that such a strategy does not exist for poker?

Is there a name for one-card poker? Each player gets one card, you bet/call/raise/fold and you are done. Has that been "solved"? A quick web search turns up a three-card-deck variant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... which has been analyzed back in 1950. Is there some qualitative difference to suggest that more complex forms of poker cannot be analyzed in a similar way?

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

j-beda Re:That's my last paragraph. Also, rarely would it (340 comments)

But I don't think you are playing enough hands to really get any useful data. How many hands do you think you need to get data from in order to be able to draw any strong conculsions about the bot's hand based on their bets? And you get no useful data when it folds as I assume you don't get to see their hand then.

And it doesn't really matter anyway - you could know exactly what the bot would do in any situation (by getting a copy of the 11TB of lookup tables), and it doesn't give you any advantage without knowing the hidden cards.

If the authors are correct and they have an optimal playing strategy, the opponent can play any way they want and it doesn't make the robot's job any more difficult - in the long run the optimal strategy will not be beaten by any other strategy.

Of course I could be wrong in my understanding. Do you think your playing is good enough to beat it? Are you planning on giving it a go when the website it not crushed under the weight of everyone else trying to test it out? http://poker.srv.ualberta.ca/

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

j-beda Re: Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

according to the summary, this research used brute force, which means the must have simulated all possible permutations for each given situation.
then, whichever outcome with the highest expected value would be chosen. since they had already solved it. the robot might just be looking up the opimal call for any situation from the database.

so there might be no probability calculations at all, just lookups.

this is a big handicap, because if you know the robots mind, you also know what cards he has, based on his bids, and you can make him believe you have a stronger or weaker hand than that, by projecting a hand based on your bidding actions.

Having brute forced all possible combinations, you still only know what cards have been revealed - so the betting strategy comes out in terms of odds to follow when betting: in this situation do X 5% of the time and Y 35% of the time and Z 60% of the time. Knowing what the the robot does does not really give you a lot of info about what the robot's hand is.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

j-beda Re:You DO know apprx what cards it holds, the poin (340 comments)

I suspect that the rules the robot follows (without reading the article - where's the fun in that?) are not of the form "In situation S(1234) do response R(456)" but rather are "In situation S(1234), 22% of the time do R(456) and 78% of the time do R(678)". Even if you know exactly what the algorithm is, you wil not be able to tell much about the robot's hand by seeing what its bets are.

Game theory types of strategies quite often have this "Do X 20% of the time and Y 80% of the time" nature, especially for games where there is incomplete knowledge.

about three weeks ago
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You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

j-beda Re:obviously they should track the sun (327 comments)

But adding trackers can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars

hmm... sounds like there's a good reason why it might be expensive... it has an eye or something, detects where the sun is, and uses some microcomputer technology and patent encumberd logic to do things the way they do things in the 25th Century, we imagine.

But it just needs to be a clock. So I don't see why it would cost even $200 per panel to install a single axis "tracker" that is actually just a friggen clock. Seems like this space might be ripe for taking out all possible competition with one amazing "dumb" product.

I love engineers. But maybe we have too many and their bored? Maybe not enough and their bored? idk. No excuse for overengineering a problem with a really simple/cheap solution.

The engineering needed to mount big pannels on a solid framework at a set angle is much less complicated than one that is able to be moved, particularly if you desire those large panels to be safe in expected high winds. The timing system is probably only a miniscule fraction of the cost.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

j-beda Re:Marriage is 80%/80% (720 comments)

If you expect a marriage to be 50/50, you'll probably be disappointed. Because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, two people who are equally giving will probably feel that they're doing 80%. I do a lot for my wife, and she does for me. Mostly, we do for us. We want time together, so we make time for that, etc.

80/80? Sometimes it can be as high as 120/120, but it can also drop to 30/30 if you factor in all the potential benifits of having someone looking out for your interests in addition to their own.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

j-beda Re:Don't fight it (720 comments)

Apparently it doesn't work the other way around, though. There seems to be a double standard where people are expected to make all sorts of completely unnecessary sacrifices to appease some control freak partner, but the partner doesn't take into account the other person's feelings, as if their own are any more important.

You can't make everyone happy every time, so you are supposed to negotiate so that both people feel that they are better off together than they are separate. In a healthy relationship ometimes that means you choose to do things their way, and sometimes it means that they do it your way, and sometimes it means that you both do it some third way.

A key to "making it work" to noticing when things are sliding towards unfairness and resentment. If one partner is bothered by dirty dishes just a bit more than the other one, it can easily degenerate to one person washing the dishes the vast majority of the time. Similar for sweeping or picking up the untidy stuff laying around. Possible options are negotiated chore lists, alternating cleaning duties or other such things (make a big list of everything that people do, one person divide it into two lists, and the other person choses which one they will do - don't forget things like servicing the car, doing the taxes, and anything else you can think of that you want to share responsibilty over, and revisit on a regular basis)

If you are not working on this type of thing early in a partnership, it could prove to be very difficult to "fix" things once one or both of you get tired of the current situation. Like anything important in your life, to do it well require active engagement.

about 2 months ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

j-beda Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (1128 comments)

The hero cop was ruled innocent that's all the citation you need bitch.

A full trial could have ruled him "not guilty" (which is not the same as "innocent"). The grand jury decided that there was not enough evidence to justify a trial, which is arguably a stronger statement than being found "not guilty" at trial, but still is not the same as being ruled "innocent".

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

j-beda Re: Record an Apology (159 comments)

It might be wise to release a press statement warning of the scam in your points 1 and 2 and state that they are "cooperating" with regulators and authorities to catch the scammers.

I put cooperate in quotes because trechnically it is true as long as it is reported to them whether they act or not.

But it seems that one of the ways this works is the legitimate number being used to trick people. Well, if the news runs a story about it, that element goes away.

This could actually work in your favour, as the resulting news coverage could increase your legitimate business, and put pressure on the enablers upstream to do something about it.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

j-beda Re:Ancient news (327 comments)

So are you really asking what could be wrong with Apple categorically refusing to implement a standard ATA command that is essential to good SSD performance?

There have been a lot of references to various devices that do not actually follow that ATA command in a way that results in data integrety. There have also been a few references to refute the claim that TRIM support is essential to good SSD performance. Good "garbage collection" code in the SSD and sufficient overprovisioning can match system performance compared to systems with TRIM support.

about 2 months ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

j-beda Re:Benefits, but still misses the point... (698 comments)

Of course, the REAL issue isn't even guns, it is mental health. We have kids who are unstable, unbalanced, and unloved, and the system does nothing for them. There is no way to identify problem or challenged kids and get them some help before they go off the deep end.

This isn't limited to kids, we have the same problem with adults. The mental health care system in this county is sad, we don't offer help early enough to those who need it and as a result, we have people who go crazy and do stupid stuff.

I think your thoughts on the use of firearms by the general public are likely to create so strong of a gut-level response (both in support of and against) that your point about mental health issues is likely to be missed. Approaching these problems from the point of view of mental health rather than an exercise in policing tactics response times seems more likley to result in longer term improvements. Regarless of one's position on public use of firearms, I suspect that most people would like to see a society where fewer people were "unstable, unbalanced, and unloved" - it is unfortunate that it is so difficult to get everyone to agree how to address those issues.

about 3 months ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

j-beda 100k per school? (698 comments)

School shootings are bad. They are also rare on a per-school basis. Chicago for example has about 613 elementary and high schools - is it a wise use of resources to spend up to 61 million dollars for this type of system? I bet we would save more lives by hiring an extra crossing guard per school, or putting in traffic speed bumps around the school.

about 3 months ago
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WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Found, Shut Down

j-beda Re:Now (59 comments)

You mean jailbroken iOS devices downloading pirated software from a dodgy store?

Non-jailbroken devices that don't have this store available are immune to this, as this malware isn't coming from Apple's store.

Actually, it looks like this is driven by a Mac OS X application the at was spread by being delivered along with legitimate software from a software collection site (like the info-mac archives once was in those halcion days of yore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... Or maybe it was cracked/stolen/pirated software that contained the malware.

Once installed on the Mac OS X computer, making use of legittimage Apple developer credentials, the software seems to have been able to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices when those devices were attached to the machine via USB.

about 3 months ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

j-beda Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

The reason you can refrain from providing a passcode is because the 5th Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, and the very act of providing the passcode may in itself be incriminating, since it demonstrates that you have an awareness and knowledge of the device and the means to unlock it. Which is to say, while the police may have the authority (when authorized by a proper warrant) to search your phone, they do not have the authority to compel you to give up your own rights by providing a passcode.

If that was the only argument, how would the following be different?

The reason you can refrain from [unlocking with your finger] is because the 5th Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, and the very act of [unlocking with your finger] may in itself be incriminating, since it demonstrates that you have an awareness and knowledge of the device and the means to unlock it. Which is to say, while the police may have the authority (when authorized by a proper warrant) to search your phone, they do not have the authority to compel you to give up your own rights by [unlocking with your finger].

about 3 months ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

j-beda Re:don't use biometrics (328 comments)

You had me believing your first paragraph. Then I got to the second. Richilieu was never demoted to bishop!

about 3 months ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

j-beda Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

Credit card 15-20% APR, debit card you make money though interest. How is not having a credit card is a poor financial decision?

Not having access to immediate credit is less useful than having access to that credit. It is probably a poor financial decision to USE credit at 15%, but having a credit card with a 15% APR is better than having NO access to immediate credit at any rate.

If you currently are speding x$ per month by way of a debit card, you could spend the exact same amount each month on a credit card, and at the end of the month pay off that credit card with the money from the bank, thereby gaining the (admiditaly minimal) intrest for having that money in the bank. Many credit cards also supply extended warantees, theft protection, travel insurance and other benifits, including points/miles/credits/cash rewards. Each of these features is available from credit cards with no fees.

It should be noted however, that carring a balance at 15% will quickly swamp the small financial gains listed above. If you cannot pay off your credit cards each month, they are best avoided.

about 3 months ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

j-beda Re: Good luck with that. (558 comments)

That's what the system in Canada has turned into. Most banks only allow 2 or 3 debit transactions before they start charging for access to your own account. In fact, the banks here count online payments and pay-by-phone as counting towards that limit. So pay your power bill and phone bill, then pay 50Â fee for evey debit transaction. You can avoid the fee by paying $10 or so every month to the bank or by keeping a minimum of $1500 in an account that pays 0% interest. Banking in Canada sucks.

PC Financial and other online banks have much better fees (typically zero for this type of thing). Most credit unions are also pretty good. The FInancial Consumer Agency seems to have a tool to investigate every type of account from every institution out there: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng...

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Role-Playing Game in "Latin Prose Composition" class

j-beda j-beda writes  |  about 2 years ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In a classroom where students battle away at mythological creatures and Latin grammar, Dr. Gellar-Goad has reinvigorated an out-dated course and brought new teaching methods with a twist of adventure.

In his first year as a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Classical Languages, Gellar-Goad has developed a unique and innovative method for teaching Latin Prose Composition, a class which is a major requirement for Latin majors. It is typically a course designed to be an intense review of Latin grammar and rigorous practice translating English sentences into Latin."

Link to Original Source
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Online "guilds" share featurs of real life gangs

j-beda j-beda writes  |  more than 5 years ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In June 2009, Dr Neil Johnson published a paper titled "Human group formation in online guilds and offline gangs driven by a common team dynamic" in Physical Review E that found the way in which WoW "guilds" form can be described by a mathematical model that can also be applied to an unrelated group of people, namely street gangs in Los Angeles. Since "Any group that satisfies these fairly autonomous, competitive criteria would also (fit the model)," said Dr Johnson, the findings are of interest to though combating international as well as local terrorist cells."
Link to Original Source

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