The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield
IANAG (I am not a gamer). Also, I did not RTFA, but I did read the summary, where it explicitly didn't comment on the game itself, but on 'poor behavior'. I think there's a difference.
Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light
Ah, this is getting off topic, but your comment raised a question in my mind. Suppose the light is blue shifted for an observer approaching it so that it does have the energy to form an electron-positron pair, but for another observer not approaching it as fast, it doesn't have the energy. Might one observer see the pair formation while the other did not?
After the Belfast Project Fiasco, Time For Another Look At Time Capsule Crypto?
Could the encryption be in the form of a one time pad? Then it would be 'unbreakable'. Perhaps there could be several one time pads, and only when all of them were brought together would the data be decodable.
Ultimately, the only suggestion I saw, including suggestions on the site, that would be as inviolable as the laws of physics, is sending the message in to space as electromagnetic radiation to a place where it would be echoed back. But first you would have to have something in position to do the echoing, so that won't be practical for a long time.
All the other methods depend on the world not changing too much. Governments, laws, and institutions remaining stable, Encryption methods not being cracked. Using a satellite in a far elliptical orbit would work with present technology, but if the message is supposed to be kept for 50 or 100 years, technology might catch up and the satellite be retrieved sooner than the originators wanted.
After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out
Despite being on the Internet for a pretty long time (I made my first post to Usenet in 1984) I only have a hazy notion of what Facebook is. I've heard about it, and in googling and stuff actually been on Facebook pages of some sort I think. I say this to establish my credentials as NOT being a Facebook fanboy.
Nevertheless, I've heard that in other countries when there were revolutions and stuff going on, people used Facebook to rally and organize. So give the devil his due. (Or am I getting Facebook mixed up with some other social media thingy?)
Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module
I got my intro to programming in the mid 1960s with 'the college computer' a PDP-8 that we programmed in Fortran using punched cards. In those days, just getting access to a computer was a pretty big deal, but things were changing, so 'programming paradigms' started appearing, and the first one that I remember was 'structured programming'. This is where I first heard the mantra of 'goto-less' programming. (Before that, the mantra was not to write self-modifying code, which was something you almost had to be writing assembly language code to be able to do, though COBOL had an 'alters' statement as I recall.)
I remember being somewhat startled by the idea of excluding gotos. How could you write non trivial code without any goto statements? I actually thought of it almost as a challenge to figure out how to do so. The opposite of structured code was 'spaghetti code'. Anyway, it's become a conventional bit of wisdom that I suppose is just automatically passed down to each generation of students without anyone ever seriously questioning it, except those who find they really need it sometimes. At some point I started defiantly putting an occasional goto in my code again, but not often.
The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence
Aargh, you're right, my bad. My brain must have cross-connected with something else.
The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence
A discussion of decision making algorithms for various situations is a reasonable topic, but using the word 'kill' with respect to what the robots should do was bound to provoke responses the kind of responses the author is bemoaning.
The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality
I used to write drivers for hardware a looong time ago (disc drives, UARTS, that kind of thing.) I realize that these graphics cards are way more complicated and trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of them can be a lot of effort. (I can remember spending a day trying to save a single instruction inside a device interrupt, and those were relatively simple devices.)
Even so, eventually you can't just kkep adding people to a project. If the concepts are well known then you get some decent programmers to do a workmanlike job of writing the software. If there are still areas of research and black art, then you need people who are initiates in the black art. So, I'm just curious, how many people, and what kind of skills, are involved in creating good drivers for this hardware, and, when a new piece of hardware comes out, how much new stuff is required to make use of it?
Why Disney Can't Give Us High-Def Star Wars Where Han Shoots First
Why worry about this kind of stuff when so much worse is going on? Maybe it's a good way to practice for the bigger stuff. Somebody starts out fretting about overdone 'intellectual property' for their favorite movie, then later, they're ready to take on something bigger. (Or maybe they become jaded and cynical and ask 'why bother', who knows?)
Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?
If it's just a few tapes, don't you know anybody, friend or relative who still has a VHS player tucked away in their attic or basement that you could borrow from?
BTW I still have a working VHS player. Once in awhile I'll find where somebody has put their old VHS tapes out on the street or something and there will be a title that intrigues me enough to take it home and try it. (I also still have an old analogue TV capture card from the late 90s that works.) I don't think you need to be too concerned with the player itself. The quality of the images from those old VHS tapes certainly leaves a lot to be desired after one has gotten used to HDTV, but, if there is no alternative, as when it's a home movie, then it's just a question of whether it's worth the bother at all. If the tape isn't playable in standard consumer equipment, then ask yourself it you want to pay the premium for a recovery specialist.
Data Mining the Web Reveals What Makes Puzzles Hard For Humans
Once in a great while, I drag it out and try yet again to solve it. (Sigh)
PS Yeah I know there are books that tell how to do it. That's not what I'm after.
Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode
There are people who are attracted to Science Fiction as a literature about ideas. 'Darmok' is a relatively pure version of that. It does have a physical threat and there's some facing off between the aliens and the Enterprise so it's not completely devoid of Space Opera, but maybe not enough to please, or maybe not done well enough to please those that were expecting Space Opera.
Also, the idea in 'Darmok' is very subtle and cerebral for TV, and I think that's why a lot of people like it. It must have been a tough one to write. I do think they glossed over some complications. Children would have to learn a more conventional form of language first, in order to be taught about the metaphors for example.
I do vaguely remember reading something like this is in some sci fi book I read once. I think it might have been a Larry Niven book. The protagonist is stuck among some aliens who communicate by singing excerpts from some big epic. He meets another human who was raised among them from the time she was a child and knows some basic usages and teaches him enough to get by. It was just one episode in the protagonist's various adventures in the book.
Suzette Haden Elgin's 'Native Tongue' and Jack Vance's "Languages of Pau" also deal with ideas about language in science fiction but not in the same way as 'Darmok'.
Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode
The guy from the Ars article went over to the IMDB for checking outside his own little village. Tvtropes.org is another good place to look for disussions and other opinions on anything to do with entertainment. There they use to have a trope called "The Good Troi Episode", though when I went to confirm, I found that it's been renamed to 'A Day In the Limelight' after some discussion amongst the tropers. (Personally, I knew instantly what the trope was about from the old name, much more than 'Day In The Limelight', which doesn't even seem to be about the same thing. After all, having a day in the limelight doesn't mean you have a good episode for a change.) The episode in question is "Face of the Enemy", episode 14 of season 6. The implication is that this was the only episode featuring Deanna Troi that was actually good.
How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370
I found this article in the Christian Science Monitor to be very plausible. That was on March 18, when they were still looking all over the place for the plane, and it's a scenario that still holds up. Basically, something went wrong, the pilots started to head for the nearest airport, but then passed out.
Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"
Ronald Reagan waged economic warfare on the Soviet Union. I think that dog might hunt again, what with all the money Russia is spending on its military right now, and maybe trying to digest the Ukraine which I think could be expensive.
Lies Programmers Tell Themselves
Hey I once rewrote something from scratch and made it better. But that was after I had been fixing bugs in the old version for about a year. Also, I had written from scratch some similar things.
Lies Programmers Tell Themselves
Yeah, but how about when they tell YOU two weeks? My boss told me I had 2 weeks to write a coverage analysis tool for Ada (This was back in the 1980s). I just nodded and said OK and walked out of the office, then it hit me. I walked back in and said "How many weeks!" His reply was, "I finally got your attention."
It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music
My creds, I saw the original broadcast of that first Beatles' performance on Ed Sullivan; I was 17 at the time (and really envious of all the attention they got from those girls.)
Now to try to make an objective comment, or at least to try to figure out the phenonemon from an objective rather than a 'get off my lawn'/'children no longer respect their parents' perspective.
The technologies of recording and broadcasting must have profoundly affected our relationship to music. I say 'must have' because I've never lived in an environment that wasn't saturated with opportunities to hear music. In fact, music is thrust upon me, and I have to tune it out. I do think the money people cheapen music, just like they will cheapen food, or clothing, or whatever. I'm nostalgic for the old fashioned disc jockey experience, and college radio stations where the student DJs would find stuff they personally liked with various idiosyncracies.
I read somewhere about an Irish fiddler who may have been the first to record Irish fiddle music. His record was a big success, so after that, all the other Irish fiddlers started copying his style, abandoning their own unique styles, which are pretty much lost now. (Sorry, I don't remember details like the name of the fiddler, or when the record was made, though I think it was the early 1920s, but there's a lesson in there somewhere.)
Fresh new music has I think usually come from places that were a bit isolated, but which could then be introduced to the rest of us through the new 20th century technologies. Jazz exploded on the scene with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, not because they 'invented' jazz or were the best of their day, but because they were the first to be recorded.
Early rock and roll or thythm and blues was not encouraged by the industry, but the young picked up on it. And I think nowadays, the industry is always catering to the young, because they are the ones who will spend money on this stuff. Each new generation of musicians grows old with their own fan base, except that yes, nowadays, there don't seem to be any new generations of musicians that capture a loyal base the way Elvis Presley, the Beatles, or Led Zep did. (BTW, I'm 'too old' to appreciate Led Zep myself.)
I'm not sure why that is (That no Elvises or Led Zeps show up anymore), except maybe there is no place for a new sound to grow and mature away from heavy marketing influence. I have a CD of 'ska' music from Jamaica. It's old, primitive stuff, but the musicians there had a chance to hone their sound until it became polished, solid reggae. I think that's because Jamaica at the time was isolated enough, without being too isolated, that they could do that. But where is a place like that now? Instead the music industry marketeers are ready to grab and squeeze everything as soon as it shows as a blip on the radar.
When I search out new music to my liking it's usually older music in genres I didn't pay much attention to before, older Country, old Jazz and blues, partly that's because the lower quality stuff has been filtered out for me already. If I try to listen to new stuff, I have to wade through a lot of mediocre and downright awful along with everyone else.
Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?
As others have mentioned, this is an old idea, that we might live in a simulation. Anybody ever see "Close To The Truth" episodes on TV? I remember an early one talked about this quite a bit (It'ss a show that has folks like Ray Kurzweil, Alan Guth, and Leonard Susskind as guests, as well as theologians.) I don't remember who, but somebody on that show said that if any one from some universe ever has the ability to do a simulation and follows through, then the odds are that we are in a simulation, because 'most' universes would be simulations.
However, the big question to me is, is the universe discrete or not? Physicists, correct me if I'm wrong, but quantum stuff seems to suggest that it is discrete, while Einstein Space Time seems to be continuous. Continuousness would mean you really could have a perfect circle in the universe for example, with a diameter to circumference ration of pi, and that could not be simulated by a Turing machine style computer.
Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination
I once saw a TV documentary, I think it was "The Body In Question", Jonathan Miller was definitely the guy demonstrating. He put some sort of breathing equipment on his face, so that he kept breathing the same air over and over, except there was something to absorb the carbon dioxide. So he never felt bad. He tried doing arithmetic and stuff, and gradually lost the ability, finally, just before he passed out, helpers came and took it off and started giving him extra oxygen.
That looked like the cleanest, most painless, method of execution I could imagine, and I don't know why it's never been tried.