Search found 486 matches

by wumpus
Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:55 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do kids in school dread math?
Replies: 40
Views: 6253

Re: Why do kids in school dread math?

In that case, students seem to be taught the Chinese Room method of "understanding" math. There's also the issue in that until you hit Geometry, you are learning "arithmetic/computation" and never math*. Common core may well be eliminating the "Chinese room" issue in m...
by wumpus
Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1849: "Decades"
Replies: 89
Views: 8421

Re: 1849: "Decades"

Shouldn't we have seen this coming? For the last 100 years we've done basically the same with the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1870s and 1880s were known (at least partly) the heyday of the Wild West. The 1890s became "the Gay Nineties" in early 20th century parlance. The 1920s were the R...
by wumpus
Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6596

Re: Superconducting CPU?

One thing I should point out is that I *think* a superconducting CPU would be amazingly faster (for some computations). The point isn't power. The point is that your clockspeed is mostly determined by the RC (resistance time capacitance) delays in the circuit. If R drops to zero, all your gates (in ...
by wumpus
Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio
Replies: 15
Views: 2747

Re: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio

The obvious (to this non-mechanical engineer) issue is at what point does the gearing suffer from stiction. I'm assuming it is several gearsets that multiply each other. There are two types of friction, static and dynamic. If you have a gear moving without stiction (static friction) moving an object...
by wumpus
Mon May 29, 2017 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1559
Views: 218689

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

This rocket is designed as an orbital rocket, so it should be able to reach orbit. My guess is they had issues with their trajectory that wasted delta-v. Even going suborbital is pretty impressive! It took spacex four tries to get Falcon[1] into orbit. From the sound of it, they should have enough ...
by wumpus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: What's the best battery cell?
Replies: 20
Views: 4648

Re: What's the best battery cell?

zinc/air is pretty interesting (and probably the coolest single use battery). Typically used in hearing aids, it uses air as one of the annodes. This gives it amazing power/weight (but it is still pretty expensive). Also once you expose it to air, it will keep going until it dies. More on a possible...
by wumpus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Pi vs Tau
Replies: 19
Views: 6256

Re: Pi vs Tau

Do we really need to add a "2" to Euler's identity? You don't get to change Euler's identity simply because of pi*r**2. Switch to tau if and only if "2" is sufficiently fundamental as "1" "e" "j" "pi/tau" and "-".
by wumpus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Steering showdown
Replies: 27
Views: 9244

Re: Steering showdown

If by "block" you mean that 10-2 hands lead down to forearms pointing down to/past 8-4, that seems awkward. By "block," plytho means that the airbag will break your arms when it deploys. ( Or worse. ) (OK, "will" is being dramatic, but "can and is more likely to w...
by wumpus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:19 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Battery Tester Project
Replies: 34
Views: 11425

Re: Battery Tester Project

Ouch. If I ever do something like this I'd carefully find all the through-hole parts left in the digi-key catalog and use them first. Then figure out what is left in [relatively wide pitch] SMT. Solder paste is typically done with a solder stencil. Typically made (and with similar costs) to PCB. I d...
by wumpus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:08 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Why don't we use composite hashes?
Replies: 5
Views: 2376

Re: Why don't we use composite hashes?

The two big reasons that we don't use composite hashes are efficiency and hard coded hashes. It is much more likely that simply using a current hash is going to be more efficient than using an old one (for equal values of security). The exception is if your old hash has been hard coded. That situati...
by wumpus
Mon May 01, 2017 2:48 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1559
Views: 218689

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

Remember that mass = energy (Einstein's famous E = mc^2). There are many forms of energy, and mass is one of them. Mass is a pretty stable form of energy, which is why ordinary physical or chemical processes (such as slamming objects into each other, or burning stuff) don't affect it. But things li...
by wumpus
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1824: "Identification Chart"
Replies: 27
Views: 4889

Re: 1824: Identification Chart

I'll need to update this chart. :) US Military Aircraft Identification Training.png Note that Robert Heinlein repeatedly mentioned Samuel Renshaw's work (mostly in Citizen of the Galaxy, but also in Friday with a cameo in Stranger in a Strange Land and a few more). As far as I know, the only practi...
by wumpus
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1819: "Sweet 16"
Replies: 49
Views: 8042

Re: 1819: "Sweet 16"

I think the team on stilts might have something of a height advantage. I see lots of goaltending calls in their future. It would be interesting watching them try to protect the dribble. Dunno - I'd put only one guy on stilts. He wouldn't play defense, but just hang out near the paint at the offensi...
by wumpus
Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Amazon.com's Counterfeit issue
Replies: 11
Views: 3478

Re: Amazon.com's Counterfeit issue

And it works the other way around of course: If you plump for the cheapest vendor for a product (which I invariably do), you could well be supplied by one of the higher-end vendors. In theory. But I don't see the incentive. Jose This. If the odds worked out that more value in high-end items (not nu...
by wumpus
Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: I need a new desktop, might try building my own?
Replies: 41
Views: 17072

Re: I need a new desktop, might try building my own?

Everything else fits together like legos. Expensive legos. It is surprising how many things this is true for. True for any industry that learned the lessons of Captain Murphy, USAF [of "Murphy's Law"]. Everything that *can* connect together, somebody *will* connect it together, so you had...
by wumpus
Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 15078

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

Agreed, Randall messed up here. Air is not blue; it's colorless. Nope. You've got the very misconception that this comic is designed to fight. Without air, the sky would be black. Ask yourself what material up there is colored blue? Not "sky." It's the thick air layer. Sunlight shines on ...
by wumpus
Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 15078

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

It's not about people asking why colors happen, which is certainly a good kind of question! It's about how many people have this specific cliche as their programmed response to the question of why the sky is blue, often and misleadingly to the exclusion of saying that "air is blue", as if...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: AMD Carrizo, is it actually good?
Replies: 21
Views: 9922

Re: AMD Carrizo, is it actually good?

Great feedback Knight. Very detailed. The only thing you left out in your detailed analysis of the company, that I am aware of, is the fact they have patents on x86 .... architecture? I'm not an expert, but I have read their patents are very valuable, hence why buy out rumors were kind of squashed ...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:17 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Banned from Stack Exchange
Replies: 35
Views: 9213

Re: Banned from Stack Exchange

Essentially, yeah. An amusing example of that one from the World of Warcraft forums: they censor the word "rape". Not surprising. They censor lots of words. Their forum package supports the ability to link in-game items on the forums. For a long time, linking items such as [Drape of Cruel...
by wumpus
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?
Replies: 15
Views: 4119

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Note that while all "unbelievably fast" drives are PCIe drives, the inexpensive ones can be iffy. I suspect that the crucial BX300 series (in 2.5" form factor) is what you want. ~$0.25/G and reasonably fast (compared to other SSDs. Compared to "old seagates" it is blindingly...
by wumpus
Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:35 am UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Planned obsolescence and the best computer ever
Replies: 10
Views: 5039

Re: Planned obsolescence and the best computer ever

The BSDs run nicely with limited resources. Remember: the machine that made a Unix / X desktop environment hugely popular in academia was the Sun-3/50, which had 4 meg of ram. None of the modern BSD's are as slim as circa 80's 4.3BSD, but still. A lot lighter than Linux. I remember using a Sun-3/50...
by wumpus
Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Intel & Micron announce “3D XPoint” memory
Replies: 17
Views: 9594

Some competition

http://nantero.com/technology/ No idea how close they are to production, but they inked a deal with fujitsu recently. Pretty much claim the same or more as 3d Xpoint, but there seem to be the slightest whiff of wesealing that makes me think that you can have: speed of RAM OR less power than flash OR...
by wumpus
Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: GOP Operative Confesses: Most PACs Are Scams
Replies: 30
Views: 5696

Re: GOP Operative Confesses: Most PACs Are Scams

Is this legal? Aren't PACs counted as non-profit charities? What's the technical term in English. NGO? Anyway, aren't there rules about what those sort of clubs can do? Presumably I can't start a charity, collect lots of donations, and then give myself all the moneys. The odd thing is that since th...
by wumpus
Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: A comic ripping off XKCD?
Replies: 9
Views: 5632

Re: A comic ripping off XKCD?

Are there any good "fan cartoon" XKCDs around? One of the girls who modeled a guitar and bikini on wetriffs had one, but that was abandoned shortly afterwards as she prepared to go off to college (but seemed to live on almost as long as wetriffs itself). I can't think of any others.
by wumpus
Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1720: "Horses"
Replies: 55
Views: 7905

Re: 1720: "Horses"

I suspect Randall is idealizing horses a little too much. Yes, horses can balk at conditions they see as unsafe, but they still have their limits, including that they are domesticated, and trained to obey human orders. An unwise human rider can certainly ride a horses into unsafe terrain, urge them...
by wumpus
Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:27 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Planned obsolescence and the best computer ever
Replies: 10
Views: 5039

Re: Planned obsolescence and the best computer ever

90s laptop? For a decade? How many spare backlights to you have and how good are you at replacing them? Note that this should be considered a "wear item" and replacing such is pretty much standard practice. The inductors and power transistors for inverter that drives the backlight should r...
by wumpus
Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1708: "Dehydration"
Replies: 109
Views: 11328

Re: 1708: "Dehydration"

Hydrated = Your urine is clear (with exceptions for 'electric neon yellow' vitamin B coloring, 'murder red' beet juice dye) Not enough people know this. Actually, this is by far the most common bit of pop hydration advice you will get from friends and strangers, and it is not based on a single bit ...
by wumpus
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:10 am UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Overclock
Replies: 1
Views: 4178

Re: Overclock

80% fps improvement in games? On more than one? Getting 25% improvement would be shocking. 80% implies far more changes that can be expected. I hope the temperatures are survivable (I really can't tell anymore). About the only thing that I can think of that would cause such a thing (80%) would be so...
by wumpus
Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Red Cross Skims Off 25% of Donations
Replies: 24
Views: 5013

Re: Red Cross Skims Off 25% of Donations

Are there any other ways to give blood in the US? Not only are there issues with the Red Cross themselves, but they feel the need to harass anyone so gullible to give them blood by calling multiple times a day demanding more blood (cell, landline, whatever. They hammer them all). I used to give bloo...
by wumpus
Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1698: "Theft Quadrants"
Replies: 21
Views: 4747

Re: 1698: "Theft Quadrants"

Nuclear launch codes: Presumably these are what the President gets from the football, not the "0000" that for all we know is still used to arm the nuclear weapons.
by wumpus
Wed May 18, 2016 4:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1671: "Arcane Bullshit"
Replies: 27
Views: 5511

Re: 1671: "Arcane Bullshit"

I'm really wondering what in the world happened to Randal this week. Obviously, when he was working at NASA you could call this happening "Wednesday" (less true in the robotics department, but they probably have a ton of microcontrollers strewn around that were (and the toolchain) designe...
by wumpus
Wed May 18, 2016 3:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Supermyths: Myths About Debunking Myths
Replies: 30
Views: 5873

Re: Supermyths: Myths About Debunking Myths

While the idea of debunking the mythical debunking is interesting, I have to question the utility of debunking a "just so story" and use a term as charged as "debunking" for it. When are trying to determine a specific historical effect (not so much an event, but what it meant), y...
by wumpus
Mon May 09, 2016 4:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1559
Views: 218689

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrLJ3jCgn84 SpaceX successfully lands again. More impressively was that this was from geosynchronous orbit. The landing was much more aggressive in this one than the earlier landing, some people are estimating an average approach acceleration of 4 to 5g (40m/s^2 to 5...
by wumpus
Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5414
Views: 743968

Illinois considers trying to limit prison for the innocent.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35971935?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link Pretty bad when you understand that the legal system will simply take whoever the cops first arrest and lock them up. Illinois now considering not prosecuting and throwing into prison the obv...
by wumpus
Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1671: "Arcane Bullshit"
Replies: 27
Views: 5511

Re: 1671: "Arcane Bullshit"

Where on the graph does "actually enjoys programming in assembler but can't be assed to figure out how makefiles work" fall? http://store.steampowered.com/app/370360/ TS-100 is for you. I'm really wondering what in the world happened to Randal this week. Obviously, when he was working at ...
by wumpus
Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:03 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: energy currency?
Replies: 63
Views: 14752

Re: energy currency?

Eh, nobody really cares much about backing these days. And it's fairly hard and expensive to actually put megawatts under your mattress. This pretty much kills it. Call aluminum "frozen electricity" all you want, you can't get the electricity out of the aluminum. Hydrogen is a pretty lous...
by wumpus
Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:20 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Wanted: "Layered/tiered" password manager
Replies: 15
Views: 6229

Re: Wanted: "Layered/tiered" password manager

You store passwords in the cloud? Well there's your problem... What you need isn't a "layered/tiered" system, but crytographic salts. Salts are something added to a password to change from a generic/reused password to a unique one. The most common example is when having passwords for multi...
by wumpus
Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Engines big enough....
Replies: 28
Views: 4824

Re: Engines big enough....

edit: also you don't have to necessarily go straight up. startram which has been mentioned before in this thread is also a kind of space gun and does not shoot straight up. You don't have to shoot straight up. It might even work better, but understand that a significant chunk of the energy will onl...
by wumpus
Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:18 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Approximate speed classes of programming languages
Replies: 33
Views: 39959

Re: Approximate speed classes of programming languages

You could throw in microcode, though. It's like firmware for your typical CPU to "emulate" an architecture (even machine code is an abstraction now) and take care of internal tasks. But it's not really usable and tied to a particular chip revision. Microcode has a weird place in this. It ...
by wumpus
Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Engines big enough....
Replies: 28
Views: 4824

Re: Engines big enough....

It's theoretically possible to move the Earth, but it would be dangerous and take a long time. Basically the trick is to use small bodies to deflect bigger bodies using multiple passes around other even bigger bodies and lots of fiddling around to keep everything on course. In effect, you can use J...

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