Search found 265 matches

by TomBot
Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:39 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0567: "Urgent Mission"
Replies: 129
Views: 29886

Re: "Urgent Mission" Discussion

This comic is totally unrealistic. Everyone knows Ben Franklin wouldn't respond the way he does in the comic. He'd obviously say, "Haste makes wa--" before the time-traveller tells him to shut up and says his piece. I actually think we could save a lot of trouble by going back to just bef...
by TomBot
Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0567: "Urgent Mission"
Replies: 129
Views: 29886

Re: "Urgent Mission" Discussion

And while you're at it, you should use your time machine to ensure that pi is defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius, not its diameter. No way, that would add a constant to the circle`s area formula... Well, the extra 1/2 is the same as the constant in the formula for accele...
by TomBot
Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:38 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0564: "Crossbows"
Replies: 171
Views: 64523

Re: "Crossbows" Discussion

Perhaps the consequence of Higgs excitement is that on Tuesday, something will appear that can only be dealt with by crossbow? I actually do have two coworkers with crossbows. There are also a surprising number of holes in the wall in a nearby empty cube. It is wise to make noise before rounding cor...
by TomBot
Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0562: "Parking"
Replies: 192
Views: 57568

Re: "Parking" Discussion

Wow, what are the chances I just saw this a few days ago: http://leenks.com/gallery803-30.htm
by TomBot
Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:41 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: One space or two?
Replies: 94
Views: 15483

Re: One space or two?

Further, we already have two mechanisms for differentiating new sentences, full-stops+capitalisation, so ¿why would we need a third? :roll: Well you can look for periods, but they're hard to see, and ambiguous with abbreviations and decimals. Or you can look for capital letters, but they're ambiguo...
by TomBot
Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:30 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Day the Earth Stood Still sent to Alpha Centauri
Replies: 49
Views: 5662

Re: The Day the Earth Stood Still sent to Alpha Centauri

Heh, if they can receive terrestrial TV broadcasts (unlikely), and can decode analog but not digital TV signals (unlikely), what will they think had happened this February when a big chunk of a continent goes dark? Your ambiguous use of tense words confuses and infuriates me. Is this Feb 08 or Feb ...
by TomBot
Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:14 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: One space or two?
Replies: 94
Views: 15483

Re: One space or two?

Two spaces. Honestly, mostly because that's what I was taught in school, but allow me to rationalize. A wider space is more practical because it's easier to pick sentence breakes out of a paragraph of text. Now granted, HTML specifies that consecutive whitespace is collapsed, so browsers can't rende...
by TomBot
Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Defusing a nuke with smashing?
Replies: 35
Views: 4036

Re: Defusing a nuke with smashing?

On the topic of explosive lenses - I can see that if your blasting caps start the shock wave at a single point, you need fancy hyperbolic lenses to get them to a converging sphere. But why not just have the whole thing spherically symmetrical, and use a huge number of closely-spaced detonators? (Lik...
by TomBot
Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:59 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Day the Earth Stood Still sent to Alpha Centauri
Replies: 49
Views: 5662

Re: The Day the Earth Stood Still sent to Alpha Centauri

Assuming the aliens have a similar enough concept of vision to understand what a 2-d image is, I don't think an analog television signal would be hard to decode. If you're looking at an unknown signal like that, the first thing you're going to look for is repeating patterns. Since each line is prett...
by TomBot
Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:35 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Downwind faster than the wind
Replies: 262
Views: 28462

Re: Downwind faster than the wind

Hmm, this is interesting. I have not yet convinced myself that it's impossible. Here's a more simple, though perhaps less realizable apparatus, that might illustrate how it could be possible. Picture an water wheel, but with the paddles about halfway between the center and the edge. There are pivots...
by TomBot
Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:39 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Free Will?
Replies: 264
Views: 27071

Re: Does Free Will exist?

I was going to write a big wall of text here, but I doubt I could say much new. My general belief is, by most theoretical definitions we do not have free will, but this doesn't bother me because it has no practical consequence. I find that an intellectual belief that I have no free will does not det...
by TomBot
Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: My decent into Atheism and Death
Replies: 39
Views: 4018

Re: My decent into Atheism and Death

Honestly, the concept of a dreamless sleep doesn't bother me all that much. Similarly, I have no great problem with the extremely long period of time in the past when I did not exist, or the several years when I can't remember my existence. I can't remember ever believing in the Bible or other relig...
by TomBot
Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:11 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Has anyone saved every XKCD to their PC?
Replies: 13
Views: 1310

Re: Has anyone saved every XKCD to their PC?

Unfortunately the images aren't named that simply, so a loop won't work*. On the plus side, the directory where the images are is showing an index page, so try this: wget -rl 1 -np -nd http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ If you're on windows you'll have to find a copy of wget. Then, go Start, run, type cmd...
by TomBot
Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:02 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Newegg's reliability [SOLVED]
Replies: 7
Views: 1235

Re: Can I trust newegg?

I've never gotten burned by this, but their return policy for LCD monitors sucks. (Though it's awesome for everything else.) Never had any kind of problem with them. Sucks that they're in California, though, because when I'm here I have to pay tax.
by TomBot
Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Creationism
Replies: 914
Views: 83196

Re: Creationism

The reason I do not believe in your god is the same as the reason you do not believe in the spacefaring teakettle. So it's safe to say that you don't believe in God because you have no hope for the afterlife? I mean, I don't believe in a teapot floating in space because I have no reason to. I don't...
by TomBot
Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Creationism
Replies: 914
Views: 83196

Re: Creationism

[...] I have faith that the teapot doesn't exist because as far as I know, it doesn't. There's no evidence that it does. However, I don't know for certain that God exists or that I'm going to heaven, but I have faith that He does and that I am. And there's no evidence for either. So what I was tryi...
by TomBot
Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:01 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Creationism
Replies: 914
Views: 83196

Re: Creationism

Also, using the definition of science, it's true that God isn't Science. But I will stand by my statement that, until science can produce something that goes beyond "I don't know" on an issue, it is simply fair that we attempt to fill those holes with other knowledge. It's so clear, and p...
by TomBot
Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:48 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Creationism
Replies: 914
Views: 83196

Re: Creationism

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Yes, the first point of view I was talking about includes that the universe was actively created by God, at some geologically recent time extrapolated from the Bible, and is that same age. And I did intend to create a dichotomy of views, to argue that the gulf be...
by TomBot
Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Creationism
Replies: 914
Views: 83196

Re: Creationism

If I'm understanding correctly, this argument is about the degree to which the current scientific theory and a 6000-year interpretation of the Bible need to be contorted to be in agreement. I think it's a futile exercise, and not just because discussions of relativity are hard to conduct on the inte...
by TomBot
Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:19 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Nice curves...
Replies: 2
Views: 1292

Re: Nice curves...

I would suggest not doing it with code directly. Like, have a series of records that store position, heading, and time, and then have the enemies move and rotate such that they reach the points at the right time. Read all that stuff from a file. Then, you have the option of generating the path with ...
by TomBot
Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:41 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Cross-platform Unicode in C++. :-S
Replies: 16
Views: 2010

Re: Cross-platform Unicode in C++. :-S

Doesn't GTK already include some fancy localization support, which reduces to putting L in front of your string literals and making translation files?
by TomBot
Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:39 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Shortcut to a local directory: possible? (i.e. without C:\)
Replies: 30
Views: 3043

Re: Shortcut to a local directory: possible? (i.e. without C:\)

If you're using NTFS on the drive, you can use "Reparse Points", which are Window's limited implementation of symlinks. You could google up a program to make them, or Cygwin's "ln -s" might work, not sure. If you're using FAT, no such luck.
by TomBot
Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:06 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: car on a treadmill
Replies: 28
Views: 3489

Re: car on a treadmill

Unfortunately, I think the idea the extra energy "goes into the ground" falls into the same category. Let's assume the treadmill is attached to the earth. When two bodies (the car and the earth) exert a force against each other, the ratio of their velocities will be the inverse of the rat...
by TomBot
Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:34 am UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: RAM competition
Replies: 19
Views: 2388

Re: RAM competition

3 GB, definitely. The clock speed increase only helps by the full ratio of clock speeds if you're doing something totally memory-speed based, which is very seldom. (Actually it's not even that simple, there's also latencies to consider.) But going from 2 to 3 GB will make a noticeable difference. Wh...
by TomBot
Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:14 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: cout speed in C++ - How to make it slower?
Replies: 26
Views: 2975

Re: cout speed in C++ - How to make it slower?

Maybe they're missing DLLs? Try sending a release build.

Also, people are running random .exes you send them? :twisted:
by TomBot
Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:08 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: car on a treadmill
Replies: 28
Views: 3489

Re: car on a treadmill

Intuitively, I think the 'paradox' would still occur if we assume the wheels are massless, and there is no friction. So the question, as I understand it, is, "if both cars are producing the same amount of power, and one of them ends up with more kinetic energy, where did the other's power go?&q...
by TomBot
Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:19 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: car on a treadmill
Replies: 28
Views: 3489

Re: car on a treadmill

Work is the integral of force over distance, not time. (In the case of constant force, W=F*D.) Because of the treadmill, A is applying force over a larger distance, so to do work at the same rate as B, the force must be correspondingly less.
by TomBot
Sat May 31, 2008 3:33 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Best language for n00bs
Replies: 261
Views: 81650

Re: Best language for n00bs

Don't learn specific languages - learn how to write good algorithms. I didn't realise Java had for-each until I learnt about its existence in PHP. Don't feel bad, it probably wasn't part of the language when you learned it, it's new in 1.5. When I learned QBASIC as a kid, I had been programming for...
by TomBot
Wed May 28, 2008 4:35 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: ...Because it's the law (Unjust rules and laws)
Replies: 139
Views: 12371

Re: ...Because it's the law (Unjust rules and laws)

Not True. DRM (Digital Rights Management) software makes certain files unusable. You can't put these on MP3 Players with out counter-software. Expensive counter-software. I guess I should have said that I believe you are legally allowed to. Whether you are capable of doing so is another question. A...
by TomBot
Sat May 24, 2008 6:45 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Best language for n00bs
Replies: 261
Views: 81650

Re: Best language for n00bs

I won't disagree that learning resources are helpful, but I don't think it's the biggest factor. You need to be (self-) motivated, and for that you need to be able to very quickly get to a point where you can do something cool. I mean, hell, I learned QBASIC back in the day with nothing but its help...
by TomBot
Fri May 23, 2008 7:46 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Unsigned integers
Replies: 39
Views: 5736

Re: Unsigned integers

Actually, there is no guarantee that integers wrap as you expect - the result is simply undefined. (I learned this by submitting a GCC bug about wrapping working strangely. It turns out the optimizer can just do whatever it wants in that case. There are some options to override that, though.) This i...
by TomBot
Sat May 17, 2008 5:56 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: IPv6
Replies: 21
Views: 4061

Re: IPv6

Well, one thing you're not considering is that it's useful for the address space to be as sparse as possible. By the time all the cells in our body are nanobots with their own address or whatever, you don't want to have the address space 10% full, because then you need a really good scheme for alloc...
by TomBot
Sat May 17, 2008 5:38 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: use of fewer than
Replies: 4
Views: 1669

Re: use of fewer than

I would assume that the usage in the article is just accidentally incorrect. It wouldn't be the first time mainstream media failed to accurately represent a scientific paper. I think I tend to use "at least n" and "at most n" most frequently, but I probably switch a lot. Being a ...
by TomBot
Sat May 17, 2008 5:15 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: The pursuit of Total Slack
Replies: 34
Views: 4096

Re: The pursuit of Total Slack

Man, I was about to agree that laziness is the principle virtue in programming. But segfaults on failure? :-(
by TomBot
Sat May 17, 2008 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Getting my WMP54G to work on ubuntu
Replies: 7
Views: 1301

Re: Getting my WMP54G to work on ubuntu

Atlon64 can run the 64-bit Ubuntu (not at marketing gimmick so much as AMD inventing the instruction set and Intel copying it), however, it's probably not worth doing in your case. Ndiswrapper can work in 64-bit, but it requires the 64-bit windows drivers, and those can be a pain, because even fewer...
by TomBot
Thu May 15, 2008 12:27 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: The value of Sudo
Replies: 77
Views: 12342

Re: The value of Sudo

One advantage to sudo that I didn't see mentioned - it lets you tell someone, "type 'sudo blah' and enter your password" instead of "type 'su', enter root's password, type 'blah', and type 'exit'". Yay for concise instructions. But still the main advantage is people won't feel co...
by TomBot
Wed May 14, 2008 10:13 pm UTC
Forum: Food
Topic: The best kind of cookie
Replies: 78
Views: 6474

Re: The best kind of cookie

Slightly underdone thick ginger-snaps coated in granular sugar. That is all.
by TomBot
Tue May 13, 2008 8:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Chu ck Norris
Replies: 11
Views: 2172

Re: Chu ck Norris

Well that's what the spoiler is for - to keep him from escaping earth. But see the problems with it above.
by TomBot
Tue May 13, 2008 8:22 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Chu ck Norris
Replies: 11
Views: 2172

Re: Chu ck Norris

The optimal beard angle would be 45 degrees. At the speeds we're talking about, there's no time for air molecules to interact with each other, so treating them as independent point masses, we want them to hit his beard and be deflected upward at the maximum possible speed. (Drag is inconsequential, ...

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