Search found 554 matches

by wumpus
Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Encode a message so it can't be read until a certain time?
Replies: 84
Views: 52346

Re: Encode a message so it can't be read until a certain tim

If I try to channel my inner Randal and answer this "what if" style, I would tell you to forget about "encoding": Send that sucker on a planetary journey (especially around the outer planets) that isn't coming home till "a certain time". http://xkcd.com/1337/ Like so. F...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:23 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Help me appraise/sell my computer!
Replies: 7
Views: 4767

Re: Help me appraise/sell my computer!

Cryptocoin miners have two modes: 1. The card is "worth it" (AMD 7970, 7950, R9 290, R9 290x, NVidia 760). 2. The card is "not worth it" (everything else) If a card isn't performing at the best performance / watt, it is worthless to the cryptocoin miner. The 5770 isn't a bad car...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:26 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Help me appraise/sell my computer!
Replies: 7
Views: 4767

Re: Help me appraise/sell my computer!

More thoughts: You have to look at what you are selling: Office+windows8. Office may well be the most valuable thing you have here, and it is closely tied to the motherboard (I'm assuming the later. OEM Windows is tied to the motherboard, so I'm assuming that Office is to). You have a pile of parts ...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Encode a message so it can't be read until a certain time?
Replies: 84
Views: 52346

Re: Encode a message so it can't be read until a certain tim

Essentially what this boils down to this: You either need to know something about the future that no one else can, or you need a process that MUST take a certain amount of time. This depends. For the sufficiently near future, all you "need to know" is current technology (unless you insist...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Iran is building a Fake Aircraft Carrier
Replies: 50
Views: 11530

Re: Iran is building a Fake Aircraft Carrier

While visual IDs haven't mattered since militaries switched to jets , this used to be *unbelievably* important. Shortly after Pearl Habor, US naval anti aircraft were shooting down more US planes than Japanese. Eventually, gunners got better (playing cards and specialized training helped). Fans of ...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:59 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1854
Views: 332900

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

In the Future, humans will consider it beneath them to turn on a heater when cold. In the Future, humans will consider it both primitive and dangerous, when too warm, to open a window. I think its been awhile since cars became aerodynamic enough that opening a window has been too primitive. I'm pre...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:46 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: 12 Volt DC Power Supply
Replies: 4
Views: 4158

Re: 12 Volt DC Power Supply

The fuses will protect the amplifier from drawing more current from the power supply than the amplifier can handle (car batteries can supply amazing amounts of current). It won't protect you from drawing more current from the power supply than the power supply can handle, so I would recommend loweri...
by wumpus
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:01 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: 12 Volt DC Power Supply
Replies: 4
Views: 4158

Re: 12 Volt DC Power Supply

Easy answer: your 12/5/3.3/-12VDC power supply is mostly designed to produce just 12V (assuming it is remotely current) as that's what GPU and CPU power supplies take. This is likely by far the cheapest way to buy a few hundred watts of 12V. As far as the power goes, that is a harder question. The b...
by wumpus
Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: [Resolved] [Python] Parallel, fully independent tasks
Replies: 11
Views: 4887

Re: [Python] Parallel, fully independent tasks

@wumpus: Thanks! That was quite helpful. My code is now ... and the only real way to do that is to just factor the number, so we're back where we started. Also, thanks for pointing out PyPy. It cut the time on my benchmarks by a factor of 10! My idea was to make it work first, then add the tricky s...
by wumpus
Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:50 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1854
Views: 332900

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Yet cars still don't have the thermostats that specifies when to turn the compressor on and when to turn the heater on. At best you get a single temperature so if you set it to 70, the compressor turns on at 71 and the heater turns on at 69. Seriously, I don't turn the heater on unless my car drops...
by wumpus
Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Iran is building a Fake Aircraft Carrier
Replies: 50
Views: 11530

Re: Iran is building a Fake Aircraft Carrier

Every military in the world tries to build representational replicas of potential opponents, so that pilots and soldiers can wargame to various extents. Its a well known fact that US Supercarriers are not left alone. Instead, they move in so called "Carrier Groups" I suppose that a metal ...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: [Resolved] [Python] Parallel, fully independent tasks
Replies: 11
Views: 4887

Re: [Python] Parallel, fully independent tasks

multiprocessing appears to be what you are asking for. It has a few problems: 1. Starting a multiprocessing thread requires an entire separate python interpreter. You might not be happy killing and starting new threads all the time. 2. Multiprocessing appears to be tied to CPython. Heavy numerical p...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:07 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Transexuality as an illness?
Replies: 59
Views: 16939

Re: Transexuality as an illness?

Just out of curiosity, has anyone really looked into sexual development in in utero? Presuming you're talking about sexual development of the brain, then yes, I've looked into it a bit. Good. But my point was more in terms of the title "Transexuality as an illness?" and the assumption tha...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Transexuality as an illness?
Replies: 59
Views: 16939

Re: Transexuality as an illness?

Just out of curiosity, has anyone really looked into sexual development in in utero? My (likely out of date) understanding basically states that human brains (and the rest of the body for that matter) start out as female, but will turn male if hit with a burst of testosterone while a fetus (at presu...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:52 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Article: The Pixar Theory
Replies: 10
Views: 3737

Re: Article: The Pixar Theory

I guess the real question is who is in charge of Pixar (and has control of the scripts), how old are they, and how long have they been with Pixar? Some time back (1980s?), it was a fad for sci-fi authors (especially old ones with enough works to make it both interesting and challenging) to do this w...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Laptop/phone's headphone jack as a DAC
Replies: 8
Views: 6322

Re: Laptop/phone's headphone jack as a DAC

audio outputs are usually AC coupled - can't put out a constant DC value often both a DC blocking series Capacitor is used and the audio DAC itself has a digital high pass filter built in if you only want audio frequency AC you're fine except for level calibration but for converting audio AC to a D...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:23 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 12142

Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

Based on just my own gut feelings regarding large machinery, I think 20 years would be a nicely conservative estimate for the lifetime of such a device. It is also logical to assume that any government using them would be running them continuously, given the fact that uranium separation is a slow p...
by wumpus
Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:18 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Laptop/phone's headphone jack as a DAC
Replies: 8
Views: 6322

Re: Laptop/phone's headphone jack as a DAC

If you run out of bandwidth or have other issues with the headphone port, you might get better results from the VGA port. http://youtu.be/EfBwz_SiK8s You would need a (wideband) amplifier (technically, an attenuator) if you used the VGA port. I'm pretty sure it gives 0-1V with 8bits (you would only...
by wumpus
Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:17 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: What determines the pricing of hardware?
Replies: 5
Views: 5644

Re: What determines the pricing of hardware?

It primarily depends on the amount of competition for a design. Memory (DRAM, flash cards, SSD space) can be based strictly on the cost of the raw transistors (less so with SSDs, the controllers and excess space allow for competition outside of price). If the business pages are endlessly weeping abo...
by wumpus
Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:44 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Could I give random strangers access to my stuff?
Replies: 8
Views: 7592

Re: Could I give random strangers access to my stuff?

Of course. Here is the tale of the internet coke machine . Why you would do this is another question. When the world wide web was invented, Tim Berners-Lee assumed that web pages would be globally writable (he probably hadn't looked at USENET for awhile, or assumed that hackers could take back pages...
by wumpus
Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:56 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Imminent Hard Disk Failure
Replies: 4
Views: 11949

Re: Imminent Hard Disk Failure

Sounds like a S.M.A.R.T. failure. My initial memory said that after careful tests of huge amounts of hard drives, google found them useless. Recent googling says that is wrong, but doesn't give any indication of absolute failure, just "30 times more likely on specific types of reported errors&q...
by wumpus
Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:12 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?
Replies: 20
Views: 10146

Re: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?

"Corrupting the bios" in 1994 would most likely be fixable by pulling the battery and/or applying the "reset bios" jumper. In 1994 updating the bios was likely done by swapping socket chips (I actually did this around 1992 for a video board. I had bought a new RAMDAC chip for it ...
by wumpus
Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:48 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham
Replies: 39
Views: 15250

Re: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

From what I understand, the shorter the program the more it helps creationism. If you have a one hour program, you can throw a half hour of things that sound good (and take too long to debunk) against the wall. I'm not sure this was so obvious in William Jennings Bryan and Thomas Huxley, but I'm pre...
by wumpus
Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:27 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Tesla vs. Edison
Replies: 15
Views: 15004

Re: Tesla vs. Edison

" liked to overstate their creative genius" I am curiously unaware of of Job's creative genius. Edison seems to have invented the research laboratory and nothing else. From what I've heard of Jobs is that he knew a hit device when he saw one* (and could keep such a device in the lab until...
by wumpus
Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: High-Base compression
Replies: 9
Views: 7304

Re: High-Base compression

First, I just don't understand the point. You might want to read up on arithmetic coding. It sounds like what you are looking for. Second, Digital Equipment Corporation (back when the VAX was new, maybe even before) did something like this back in the day. The "high base" was something lik...
by wumpus
Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:10 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?
Replies: 20
Views: 10146

Re: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?

The catch is that FAT is simple enough that there were plenty of "undelete" and "unformat" programs around (which might not help if you hadn't defragged the disk recently). Best guess is that this was in a brief safe period between computers made for the informed professional or ...
by wumpus
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:02 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Best anti-virus program?
Replies: 20
Views: 10683

Re: Best anti-virus program?

Knoppix, Puppy and a few others are specifically set up to work well straight off the CD for common needs, without further setup. Copy to RAM and the speed penalty applies only to the boot process... and even that's still tolerable. Is this comfortable for your everyday OS? Not really, but good eno...
by wumpus
Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Hexagonal pixels
Replies: 14
Views: 5688

Re: Hexagonal pixels

I'd be happy if video card/"TV" signals finally realized that pixels don't stack on top of each other, but sit side-by-side (this may have happened already, but I've been watching reasonably closely and haven't seen any sign of it happening for video cards). I don't know about subpixel re...
by wumpus
Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:29 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1036
Views: 386968

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

I can't say I agree with the "Harry must be confunded". I fail to see any time that Harry actually considered his own mortality before attempting his stunts. He is certainly different from the canonical Harry in gryphindor, although I will claim that "rational" Harry ignores doin...
by wumpus
Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:38 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Best anti-virus program?
Replies: 20
Views: 10683

Re: Best anti-virus program?

I'd vote for the OS installer. No virus survives a reinstall of the system. Um... there are plenty of viruses that can survive a reinstall of the OS. How many of them are in the wild? Of course if you have hardware attacked by the NSA Tailored Access Operations, the only thing you can expect to do ...
by wumpus
Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:31 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Bugs popping up only under optimization
Replies: 25
Views: 7708

Re: Bugs popping up only under optimization

(IEEE 754 if I remember correctly) Nah, IEEE 754 only specifies binary 16, 32, 64 and 128 bit formats. You need the extra precision during calculations to get the end result right, but I don't see why you would have the extra wide registers. Nope. At least IEEE754-1985 included "extended preci...
by wumpus
Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Hexagonal pixels
Replies: 14
Views: 5688

Re: Hexagonal pixels

I would expect to see non-standard pixels show up in camera sensors first. They already have a tendency to include more green sensors than red and blue (this is unlikely to work well with monitors, but I could be wrong). My guess is that hexagons would work better if you could easily make them, but ...
by wumpus
Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:57 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Do I need new computer hardware?
Replies: 13
Views: 6795

Re: Do I need new computer hardware?

I'd grab a live CD/USB and run memtest ... Note that if the memtest passes and the "live CD/USB" has a live OS on it (other than just memtest) you could run that for awhile and see if the hardware acts up or not. If the hardware still acts up, then you need new hardware (although which on...
by wumpus
Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:39 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Tesla vs. Edison
Replies: 15
Views: 15004

Re: Tesla vs. Edison

Did Edison invent anything that fucking awesome ? No? Didn't think so! Compare Tesla's few hundred patents vs Edison's thousands and you don't think that at least one of said thousands are that cool? Even as we enjoy things such as recorded music and video? Just like how McDonald's has more restaur...
by wumpus
Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:47 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Haskell Comic
Replies: 3
Views: 3877

Re: Haskell Comic

Just out of curiosity, haven't more than a few languages been made to enforce "religious" coding practices first and be tools second? Java is probably the first that comes to mind: OO is enforced, and the language enforces its ideas. ADA: designed to be the tool of program managers, it pro...
by wumpus
Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: RMS: Madman or genius
Replies: 34
Views: 23192

Re: RMS: Madman or genius

RMS: Madman or genius? Yes. The title is "RMS: madman OR genius" not "RMS: madman XOR genius". While the truth of "madman OR genius" doesn't belong in religious wars (most people who know of him will agree with at least one state), in this case I would claim that it is...
by wumpus
Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?
Replies: 20
Views: 10146

Re: Could a kid mess up a computer from 1994 through DOS?

I'm pretty sure I bought my first zip drive in 1994. Wipe the low level sectors (easy with linux, probably have to code up some C/asm in DOS) and you could create your own "click of death" zipdisks*. Look at some of the graphics card craziness on fractint (the 1994 [and especially earlier]...
by wumpus
Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:26 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What is the smallest object that has gravity?
Replies: 65
Views: 18262

Re: What is the smallest object that has gravity?

Quick answer: an electron. (There may be other, even more basic particles with no known size, but electrons are reasonably familiar, have a rest mass, and (when I learned physics) no known volume.) No idea how to balance electrons in such a way as to measure the gravitation. Charge is so overwhelmin...
by wumpus
Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:09 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Matter/Antimatter Symmetry--a tricksy proposal
Replies: 38
Views: 7660

Re: Matter/Antimatter Symmetry--a tricksy proposal

Has it been established that antimatter flows forward in time (it appears to follow the equations exactly as if going backward in time, but observing enough of them to see the direction of entropy is another story)? In such an event it is quite possible that the universe was filled with antimatter b...
by wumpus
Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:47 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Gaming laptop
Replies: 16
Views: 11304

Re: Advice for Software QA Work + Gaming laptop

Yes, that "blow away Skyrim" is the kicker (don't even ask about current games). The system Knightexemplar linked to is said to do ~35 fps in Skyrim at 1950x1080 win 8x AA. If that isn't enough, the next highest 17" GPU on the same site (I'm assuming they have Sager's full line) will ...

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