5 threads in 1

Robert Harley (Robert.Harley@inria.fr)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 11:57:27 +0200 (MET DST)

Jim Whitehead wrote:
Subject: Re: Once again, what's a PASSLQ.
>Of course, even this category doesn't cover all the situations, since
>presumably you would want to separate people who are living together in a
>committed relationship from those people who are roomates who happen to be
>of the appropriate sex, but they're just roomates.

Perhaps the census bureau should get over the pretense that they
really care who you're sharing living quarters with... enough of the
euphemisms! Replace POSSLQ with WAYS: Who Are You Screwing?

Ernie P wrote:
Subject: Re: Israel is heaven for writers?
>Well, I'm not sure "most" is entirely accurate. The Torah, except perhaps
>for parts of Genesis, was written in Egypt and the desert before entering
>Israel. Several of the prophets wrote from Babylon. Many of the Psalms
>were composed while David was 'on the run.'

Hmmm. I was under the impression that these were oral traditions that
came into significance as a means of strengthening the Jewish identity
in the troubled centuries between the great kings and the hellenistic
period. I.e., most would have been committed to paper in the 6th
century BC in exile in Babylon or adjoining centuries in Israel or
Judah, in any case long after the events of the Pentateuch. Maybe I'm
talking through my ass as usual.

JoeK wrote:
Subject: Re: Physics of computing
>how many forkers subscribe to the theory of quantum cryptography

Not me. It has recently been shown to be fundamentally flawed.
Supposedly two parties could send particles back and forth in states
which are unknown in a strong sense: you know they are unknown because
if your adversary observed a particle before sending it that would
collapse its wave-function and you could tell that that particle was
compromised. A generic attack is to create pairs of particles with
correlated states (but don't observe them), send one of each pair and
keep the other in a cardboard box under your bed. Everything goes
according to plan but after the protocol is finished you can open your
box and observe the states of the particles you kept thereby
discovering those of the ones you sent (which were demonstrably
unknown to you when you sent them and you were not supposed to be able
to find out anything about them after having sent them).

>"Even if experiments cannot yet tackle the measurement problem fully,
>they have much to contribute to a very hot field: quantum computing.
>how does a machine "process" with bits that are both 0 _and_ 1?

I've got a computer in my pocket. Most people call it a coin. When I
want to solve a problem with an n-bit answer I flip the coin n times
and each time write down 0 for heads, 1 for tails. The chance of
getting the answer is exponentially small in n, but if n is less than
15 or so and I'm very patient, it works OK. Usually my Alpha is faster.

A quantum computer is a (non-human) device that flips a coin and
records the answer in exactly the same way. As long as I don't
observe the output, there is a superposition of all possible outputs
including the correct one. The only problem is that the correct one
is an exponentially weak component of the wave-function.

The only thing quantum-computation guys haven't quite figured out yet
is how to extract that signal reliably for n more than about 15.

In other words, quantum computation is currently a crock of shit.

That's "on the record".

JoeK also wrote:
Subject: Re: Crossposting, FoRKposting, and PoSTforking...
>why does everyone on fork seem to have such bad freakin' taste in
>music? doesn't anyone around here listen to something melodic now and
>then? how about a lead singer who can actually sing?! [...]

May I humbly submit Andrea Bocelli singing modern opera? Recently
I've been listening to "Con Te Partiro'" and "Romanza" a lot...
that and the Metallica oldies.

Rohit wrote:
Subject: Re: I'm collecting spam
>This, which was only marginally related to begin with, has the added Rifkin
>trademark of being WRONG. What part of the gTLD-MOU do you NOT understand,
>Zippy? There are no gTLDs for sale. [...]

Depends on how many zeros are on the check. Then again there is always
hostile takeover of the Internet... Adam in commando gear leads an
insurrection at ISOC, quickly followed by a coup d'e'tat at IETF...
piece of cake! Hey, now we know why he's been working out so much!

-- Rob.