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* Posts by Frumious Bandersnatch

2262 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Interesting Cover Story

I think you mean "double entendry"...

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Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Consider, for a moment, the impasse of the one-god Universe

He is all-knowing and all-powerful.

He can't go anywhere since He is already everywhere.

He can't do anything since the act of doing presupposes

opposition.

His universe is irrevocably thermodynamic having no

friction by definition. So, He has to create friction:

War, Fear, Sickness, Death,

To keep his dying show on the road.

Sooner or later, "Look boss we don't have enough energy

left to fry an elderly woman in a flea bag hotel bar."

"Well, we'll have to start faking it."

Joe looks after him sourly and mixes a bicarbonated

soda. "Sure, start faking it. Sure, and leave the

details to Joe."

... link

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Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Hmmm

I guessed this was going to be a story about data serialisation formats. I was going to suggest my mate Yamal to do the necessary rewrites...

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Total recog: British AI makes universal speech breakthrough

Frumious Bandersnatch
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So how does it work?

Viterbi decoders?

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Microsoft to rebuild Redmond campus, including cricket pitch

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: How about "flat latte"

See "placébook" video, obviously.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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I know this ...

It's Unix! (done badly)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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TWATIHKAL

The Windows Aero Trademark I Have Known And Loved.

(best not mention TIFKAM)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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How about "flat latte"

in honour of modern monochrome iconography and fashionistically re-inventing "late"?

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Gatesland?

Should that be "Gatesgatesland"? I mean, in keeping with Watergategate and all that...

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Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: They're going to move it.

> Highlanders wore plaids not kilts.

And that's why they're not dead men?

(Too cryptic? Blame the subversive revolt against the Motion Picture Production Code...)

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Hey girl, what's that behind your Windows task bar? Looks like a hidden crypto-miner...

Frumious Bandersnatch
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continuations...

Hello, lambda calculus ...

(I wonder will this curry favour with the readers?)

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KFC turns Japanese bath tubs into party buckets

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Yum

> Cole's Law

Huh? You mean the one mandating thinly-sliced cabbage?

(ISBN 0843106743, IIRC)

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: common::sense

I will check that out. Thanks.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: common::sense

Thanks, but I did mention needing to use binmode (the use utf8 was only there so I could use a bareword 私 as a hash key)... and yes, I have come across times when I've had to turn UTF8 upgrading off locally on stderr/stdout after turning it on globally. Mainly because some libs or functions don't properly set the utf8 flag on returned data, so going back to raw output is often quicker/easier than messing around with utf8 internals that correctly set the utf8 flag on variables that have been affected. Especially if all you want to do is just add a quick print/warn for debugging a section of code.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification, but I've been there, believe me :)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Perl.... Arrggh

> I started to learn perl - from books - and it was the worst experience ever.

I started learning it as a substitute for awk and various horrible shell variants. It was a great replacement for awk because it did everything that did, but with more power. It was better than shells because it had all the features a proper programming language has (eg, associative arrays) and had a single, fairly logical way of doing string interpolation (the worst part of all shells, which all decided on slightly different ways to handle the problem). Oh, and it's obviously much quicker to write in Perl than something like C.

For people who come at Perl from the same direction I did, it was a brilliant language. I guess that people who came to it later, and who aren't building on previous awk/sed/*sh experience, it can be kind of hard to understand the power (and even simplicity) that Perl delivered.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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common::sense

First I've heard of it. I write a lot of code that uses utf8 and then has to binmode stderr and stdout to avoid "wide character" warnings when printing utf8 strings. It seems that common::sense solves the latter problem

$ perl -le 'use common::sense; my $a = { 私 => "あなた"}; print $a->{"私"};'

あなた

$ perl -le 'use utf8; my $a = { 私 => "あな た"}; print $a->{"私"};'

Wide character in print at -e line 1.

あなた

Now if only I didn't have to open files with 'open FILE, "<:encoding(UTF-8)", $fn' every time ...

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Pint

not a drill?

In memory of Fats Domino"

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Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

Frumious Bandersnatch
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you missed an opportunity in the article

to talk about how programmers actually code up the selection of a random combination or permutation. You need something like a Fisher-Yates shuffle (using lists) or Floyd's algorithm (using sets) to ensure that the results aren't biased in some way.

It's all to easy to come up with a naive algorithm for, eg, dealing a hand from a deck of cards that seems to work but favours picking certain hands over others.

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Raspberry Pi burning up? Microsoft's recipe can save it and AI

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Yup. Well, C1 and XU4. The C1/C2 have gbit Ethernet and are faster than the Pi boards. You can also fit emmc (from the same supplier) for faster onboard storage. USB2, like Pi.

XU4 with "cloudshell" case is very nice. Uses one of the USB3 ports for a SATA bridge so you can put in a laptop drive. The other USB3 is accessible for other uses. The whole thing makes a nice small-form NAS. It's also got a small LCD screen (CGA res) integrated in the case so it can be used as a (tiny) terminal in a pinch, or most likely you'll want to use it for status messages. It has an IR sensor, so you could use remote to turn on the screen and control the box without a keyboard. Also has Gbit Ethernet.

Horses for courses, I reckon. Pi is cheap and cheerful, but C2 gets you more bang per buck, benchmark-wise. The more expensive Odroid boards are just more grown up with more RAM and faster I/O interconnects. Better for more serious projects/roles.

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Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Actually, you can make a soccer ball out of all hexagons...

Bear with me on this...

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/solid/buckynet.gif

Remove those pentagons from the template and sew it up around a spherical ball. Granted, the holes will be pentagonal and the ball itself prone to bursting due to the inner bladder being exposed, but still...

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Advanced Bistromatics!

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Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Terminator

How about a little balance?

The article quotes Professor Mark Bishop saying "nothing to worry about." How hard would have been to find a Bishop Mark Professor to warn about the ROTM and tell us all that the end is nigh?

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FCC commish cites infamous porn ruling to slam shady US mobile competition report

Frumious Bandersnatch
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nicely slow-rolled tension in the headline

I had to read to the middle of the article before I read "I know it when I see it."

Unfortunately, the Pai approach is "I'll see [to] it when I believe it", with cash and political capital being a powerful reason to believe almost anything, even before breakfast.

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Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

Frumious Bandersnatch
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not about utf

SMS did (still does?) have a 140-byte limit because it was piggy-backing on an existing control channel. The standard didn't include UTF-8 support so what happened was that if you used any Unicode char, a flag was set and all the message was sent as UTF-16, thus losing half the space or being twice as expensive.

Twitter has always, AFAIK, supported UTF (I guess UTF-8). The 140-char thing counts actual characters, not bytes.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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I think you just have to be a bit more flexible in understanding what was intended by "double the amount of information in one character". In fact, as you point out, the shortest translation of あほ would be "fool", which has twice as many characters in English. That's the sense that's intended.

The CJK languages don't use spaces and many words are only 1 or 2 characters long.

(382 characters)

文字に就き情報の二倍と言う事を掴むため、余裕がもっと必要だと思うけど。実は、君の言う通り「あほ」の一番短い英訳が「fool」に成って、長さは日本語より二倍です。そんな解釈が出る。

日中韓は、間隔も無いし、単語の長さとして、1~2字も多いです。

(122字)

Not quite 2:1, but you can see the point.

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NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Hmmm

I'm reminded of the plot of the film "Moon". Did those guys really get to come home at the end or spoilers

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Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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There Might Be Grounds?

Everybody wants to wear prosthetic foreheads on their real heads...

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

Frumious Bandersnatch
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confusing "setup" and "set up" one of my personal bugbears

The first is a noun (or adjective) while the second is the only proper way to use it as a (phrasal) verb.

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: there's always

Plenty to be getting on with.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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there's always

computational chemistry

space exploration

biosphere maintenance

fusion/Thorium power generation

world peace

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Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Hmmm

As regards looking for Russian interference, isn't this a case of deliberately ignoring the Dave the Orang-utan in the room?

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: What the FEEL?

The scoops are on their way, bob.

(IT'S MADE OF PEOPLE, PEOPLE!)

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Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Well they're putting up resistance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olkS6KdF0Mw

(chosen for the "sitting here in limbo" line, but Lord, they deserve to win)

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Australia reviews defence export controls, perhaps easing cryptography research

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Is this an outbreak of common sense?

Thanks for that, grumpyoldbloke. If they're being dicks, then I think they should definitely get honorary NZ citizenship.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Joke

Is this an outbreak of common sense?

If so, and if I were in the NZ government, I'd be inclined to give everyone in the Oz government honorary NZ citizenship. Just to foster good neighbourly relations.

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Give a boffin a Xeon and a big GPU, get a new big prime number

Frumious Bandersnatch
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> then you just collect a sufficiently large set of primes, multiply them all together and subtract 1 - bingo.

I thought about this yesterday and realised that it didn't work. Consider the product of the first n primes less one. You're basically using a prime sieve, but trying to generate new primes from it rather than doing primality testing.

For a sieve to work on a number n, you have to have a table of all possible prime factors up to sqrt(n). However, the list of primes and products grow at different rates, so you're going to come across a product whose square root is greater than the largest prime in your list, breaking the ability of the sieve to test whether the number is a prime or not.

This happens quite quickly since 2 * 3 * 5 - 1 is 29, and sqrt(29) > 5. Then comes 2 * 3 * 5 * 7 -1 = 209, which is composite with factors 11 and 19, thus kicking the whole idea in the head.

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Linus Torvalds passed a kidney stone and then squeezed out Linux 4.13

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Maladie cher maladie

I'll see your Rolling Stones and raise you a Bill S Burroughs... "The Junky's Christmas"

The boy looked at him, his eyes blank with pain. Finally he got one word: "Kidneys."

" Kidney stones?" Danny smiled. " I don’t mean it’s funny, kid. It’s just … I’ve faked it so many times. Never saw the real thing before.

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Well, whad'ya know? 'No evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: So much for that Russian collusion story...

If there weren't any wiretaps, the whole thing goes down the drain.

All it says is that a tap on the Trump end wasn't legally requested. It doesn't mean that there weren't any on the other ends. I suspect that that's why Trump got his knickers in a twist: he feared that his team was caught on tape because some of his unsavoury contacts were being legitimately "tapped". That's the simplest explanation for why his son (son in law?) approached the Russian government to set up a secret diplomatic channel.

Yeah, as you say, "so much for that Russian collusion story".

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @AC Funny... but no.

Define what you think the DoJ means when they say 'wire tap'.

The headline writer gets to use vague language like "wiretap". According to the article body, the request didn't use that word. Or at least not the part that was quoted, which asked about any orders for "an intercept of telecommunications or ...".

Does it mean that they didn't eavesdrop on calls without placing bugs on the phone?

That would seem to fall under what they asked for: was there an order for "an intercept of telecommunications". Doesn't matter if they placed a bug in or near the phone or got the phone company to patch in for them.

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Crypto-busters reverse nearly 320 MEELLION hashed passwords

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Hashes

A handy mnemonic for remembering -ice vs -ise is that if you're on the fence about spelling, remember that "fence" is a noun. Works for almost all tricky things like "defence", "advi[cs]e", "practi[cs]e", "licen[cs]e" and so on.

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Deputy AG Rosenstein calls for law to require encryption backdoors

Frumious Bandersnatch
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irresistable force vs

immovable object.

My money's on maths (the latter protagonist here).

何となく、そんな矛盾の問題はとても面白いですよね。

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Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Q "Why, sirrah, may a caudled fillhorse be deemed the brother to a hiren candle in the night?"

A "Withal, because a candle may be greased, yet a fillhorse be without a fat argier."

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Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

Frumious Bandersnatch
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36 Dramatic Situtations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thirty-Six_Dramatic_Situations

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Uncle Sam outlines evidence against British security whiz Hutchins

Frumious Bandersnatch
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The Constitution of the US and each individual state applies to anyone who is in the United States (and respective state), not just citizens.

http://www.mirandawarning.org/mirandarightsandnonuscitizens.html

The page above seems to agree with you.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Does he sound like a baddie?

Like Alan Rickman, maybe?

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Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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New Scientist covered some of this a few years back

An additional problem becomes that you need fuel to keep factories up and running (to make new parts) and fuel transportation and delivery (think petrol stations, among others) requires electricity. No grid means no fuel, at least at the start. Expect that martial law would have to be introduced, with strict fuel rationing until repairs to the electricity grid could be carried out, which, as the article states, won't be overnight. Of course, you've probably also got to power water pumping stations and the like.

In a society like the US with so many inequalities, it's hard to see how calmness could prevail. It's not like POTUS can just go on TV and convince people it'll be OK, especially if he's the one that egged on the attack.

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Read IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's letter to staff: Why I walked from Trump's strategy forum

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @F Bandersnatch yeah, but ...

Not me. I am attempting to do the opposite of making people forget about this. Judging by the number of downvotes I received and the great preference people had for my first first post over my second, I can only conclude that people (a) don't appreciate irony (especially the recursive variety), or (b) much prefer to interpret my first post as literally suggesting that Trump isn't fascist enough over the sanitised version that presents a post-Fascist apology for my original statement.

OK, I guess that confusion surrounding irony (or meta-irony) angers people. No argument there.

For the record: Nazis are limp-dicked lizards that use the "supremacy" myth to cover up their basic inhumanity.

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Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Why do those pictures...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gernsback_Continuum

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Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Isn't this related to chaos theory ?

Not really. I believe that's it's related to the "no free lunch" theorem, or at least something like it can apply. Your standard fractal generator (eg, Fractint) has various optimisations for calculating the "limit cycle" and deciding whether a point leads to "capture" by the attractor, or how long it will take. All nice for making pretty pictures, but if you want to, say, model the weather, you need to iterate to find the final state of the model. The "sensitive dependence on initial condition" part of "chaos theory" does indeed rule out there being a quick solution without having to calculate all the intermediate steps. Same with blockchains or the Byzantine Generals problem: the person provides a proof of work that they have actually done the calculations.

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