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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

tonywestonuk Re:Test driven development. (548 comments)

I think if I knew about TDD at the start of wanting to learn to program, I think I would have avoided it completely, and done something else with my time. Seriously, for all the advantages of TDD, the problem is it is just not fun at all.

about 2 months ago

More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

tonywestonuk Re:Limits of Measurement (144 comments)

mx+b - I used to think, as you did. Then I read this. - - and then I still didn't believe it. So, as a computer programmer, I tried to make a program that would mock what was happening. My theory was if I could model it in code, then it wasn't spookiness. Well, after trying for a few days, I couldn't do it. I realised the *only* way I could make my program work, would be to make the emulated particles in my program communicate with each other..... which means one of two things 1) Entangled particles have some way of Faster than light communication with each other.... (I still think this is impossible!) or 2) The universe we live in is just so weird, that nothing actually exists as we know it. Its only our observation that makes things real. everything is somehow influenced by everything else. That space and time and thought... aren't the separate things they appear (As Wesley Said)..... thinking this way, two entangled particles don't need to communicate - they behave like they do, because they can only ever behave this way in the observational field we project, and that they inteact within..... this observational field isn't something that only intelligent beings can produce - but more, any particle can be an observer of other particles if it is able to receive information about those particles. This I believe to be more the truth. Have you seen a speckle pattern made by a laser as it hits a wall?..... have you notice when you move, the speckle patten moves? How does the speckle patten know where you are, in order to move? It doesn't. You are just effecting it, by your observation of it. A different observer, sees the speckle patten differently. I think, somehow, something similar to this is going on. However, the observed quantum behaviour is caused by every observer of the event, causing it to show a particular result.

about 3 months ago

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

tonywestonuk Re:Signals (144 comments)

Maybe not communication..... ....but, maybe its part of a super ion-drive thruster, that can accelerate ions to near lightspeed before throwing them out the back of their spacecraft. This would give them very close to an actual impulse drive, without violating that annoying Newton's Third Law.

about 3 months ago

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

tonywestonuk Alien Spacecraft (144 comments)

Its aliens who have created an Ion drive capable of accelerating Hydrogen ions to near speed of light.. - Giving an almost limitless supply of thrust. What we are seeing is pollution from the thrusters!

about 3 months ago

Happy 95th Anniversary, Relativity

tonywestonuk Does mass matter? (120 comments)

"Would it bend according to Newton's predictions if you took the "mass" of a photon to be E/c^2?" Did Newton predict that the 'bend' of something in a gravitational field, was related to its mass?? I always thought it was speed that mattered. Doesn't matter if its an atom, or a hammer., both will bend the same way.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

tonywestonuk Database Scaleability. (272 comments)

"I'll need to be able to pull by date or by a number of key fields"

So, in other words, you have already decided on key fields. If you use a database, this has things call index's, that can search billions of rows for a key field in a fraction of a second.
If you don't use something with INDEX's then you can't do this.

Where has this idea that Databases can't scale come from? - The world runs on Database for heaven sake. Do you think when you take money out of an ATM, its going to MONGODB? - And yet there are millions of ATM's and you can take money out of your VISA account in almost all of them anywhere in the world. That is called scale.

about 6 months ago

3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted In Woman

tonywestonuk Its transparent.... (132 comments)

How cool is that!!! If that was me, I would make sure they didn't put the skin back on, and added a few blue flashing LED's for additional affect.

about 7 months ago

Physicists Test Symmetry Principle With an Antimatter Beam

tonywestonuk Interesting... (106 comments)

from TFA:
"It will not be used as a disintegrating death ray, but to study symmetries and invariants. This is much more interesting..."

Oh, no its not! :-p

about 8 months ago

Microsoft Quietly Fixes Windows XP Resource Hog Problem

tonywestonuk CO2 (246 comments)

I wonder, how much Co2 has been released into the atmosphere, with this bug present on millions of computers, over decades, causing PC's to eat more electricity than they should.

about 9 months ago

Neural Net Learns Breakout By Watching It On Screen, Then Beats Humans

tonywestonuk Re:It's called a "JavaScript Programmer" algorithm (138 comments)

Its also more formally called TDD. Create some code that tests the suitability of the existing code to solve the problem. Then randomly change the code until it passes the test, and all the others. Repeat, rinse, etc.

about 10 months ago

India Cautions Users On Risks Associated With Virtual Currencies

tonywestonuk Bitcoin isn't a currency. (121 comments)

Its a commodity. Like gold, or silver.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

tonywestonuk Re:Apple (408 comments)

Apple don't keep changing stuff around in their Mac OS, unlike Microsoft do with windows, so my mum can keep up to date without getting lost.

Yes, I do have to fix stuff sometimes, but that doesn't include removing dozens of spyware etc.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

tonywestonuk Apple (408 comments)

When I see comments like this, I am SOOOO grateful that mum bought a core duo imac 6 years ago, and it still is going strong....

about 10 months ago

A Link Between Wormholes and Quantum Entanglement

tonywestonuk Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (186 comments)

Imagine 2 envelopes, A and B. Inside both envelopes is a hidden binary code, just printed on a card.


These envelopes are sent to Alice and Bob. However, Alice doesn't read the code directly. She first generates her own pseudo random stream of random 0's and '1's. She can control the ratio of 1's and 0's, by initially choosing an angle, and the Generator will spew out a sequence that all '0's if the angle is 0degrees, or all '1's if the angle is 90degrees, and any angle between 0 and 90 will adjust the ratio accordingly.

Alice then X'ORs her stream of 0's and 1's with that printed on her card, in the envelope, to give a result.

At the other envelope, BOB does exactly the same. He also has a pseudo random number generator, (using the same seed as Alice). When he sets his angle to 0, and Alice sets her's to 0, they will BOTH end up with the same sequence on the PRNG, and so XORing the number on the card will result in the same message. In fact when Alice and Bob set their PRNG to the same angle, they always will get the same sequence, and so their message will always match. Nothing spooky going on here.

The spooky thing happens when Alice and Bob choose different angles. Lets say that Alice sets her angle to 0 degrees, and Bob chooses 30 degrees. They do the calculation, and it appears the final sequences correlate 3 out of 4 times.... or 25% of the time there is a difference between Bobs and Alices code. Bob then changes his angle back to 0, and Alice sets hers to -30 Degrees. Again, after doing the calculation, they work out that 25% of the time the codes differ.
If alice sets hers to -30 and Bob sets his to 30, it would be common sense to say that there could be no more than 50%, the codes will differ. Except this is not the case. In the real world, using real entangled particles the result comes out to be 75%. What *must* be happening for this result, is the original hidden code printed on Alices and Bob's card MUST some how change, when the other party changes their angle.... OR, that there is no hidden code, but something else is going on... No hidden fixed sequence of numbers can explain the experimental results. This is 'Spooky' action at a distance, and can't be explained using traditional physics on its own.

about a year ago

A Link Between Wormholes and Quantum Entanglement

tonywestonuk Re:Another way to think about QM and Waves (186 comments)

I have noticed this also.... For example, how would a programmer of a games physics engine, allow particles within that engine to move at any velocity. A computer only has a finite amount of power, its really difficult to make a particle move through infinite space, if it is going to have to render that particle at every position as it travels along.
What happens if the particle's speed approaches that of the limits of the computers CPU. Dont want to end up skipping frames.... Well, one way would be to slow down the time perceived by that particle. this way the computer wouldn't have to spend as much time rendering it. Of course this might mean there are side effects, like time dilation, but the alternative would be things just disappearing at position a, reappearing at position b some distance later, which wouldn't be indicative of a crap physics engine. And, well, the particle isn't gonna know, its not like its got its own 'clock'...its just a particle.

about a year ago

Bitcoin Hits $400 Ahead of Senate Hearing On Virtual Currency

tonywestonuk Re:Really? (276 comments)

Actually, the government can confiscate bitcoins.... Go ask SilkRoad.

about a year ago

Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware

tonywestonuk Crappy Android (201 comments)

"Like Windows, Android has built a dominant market share because any hardware manufacturer can license it."

If that is the only reason that Android has for having a dominant market share, any old phone manufacturer can load it with crapware and sell it to the gullible?

Nothing like competing on merit is there.

about a year ago


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