←2020-12-26 2020-12-27 2020-12-28→ ↑2020 ↑all
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01:56:19 <oren> It is well known that there are a lot of things named after lagrange, and a lot of things named after euler
01:57:01 <oren> is there only one thing named after both lagrange and euler?
02:11:21 <zzo38> Unfortunately, I don't know.
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09:37:11 <b_jonas> wtf did my mouse die?
09:40:08 <b_jonas> nope, it was just out of battery. way too soon after purchase. oh well.
09:42:29 <b_jonas> also merry Christmas
09:42:41 <int-e> hmm, curious... were the batteries included
09:42:59 <b_jonas> yes
09:43:05 <int-e> this is outside the sphere of my experience; I have a cabled mouse
09:43:33 <int-e> but I do have some experience with batteries included with products... and most of the time they suck
09:44:00 <b_jonas> in fact the battery included says "OEM, Not for retail sale
09:44:01 <b_jonas> "
09:44:22 <b_jonas> it's a quite nice mouse btw, I should buy a second copy some time
09:45:06 <int-e> And, hmm the wireless mice I've seen used had their own rechargable battery and a special platform to provide electricity
09:46:23 <b_jonas> I can recommend it: Microsoft U7Z-00003 Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850 black mouse, with USB receiver, AA batteries
09:46:37 <Arcorann> My wireless mouse uses standard AA batteries so I just use rechargeables
09:47:15 <b_jonas> int-e: I know there are ones without rechargable batteries, but I prefer the ones with replacable batteries. at least these days, when wireless mouse consume little power.
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10:38:10 <rain1> https://www.reddit.com/r/Unexpected/comments/kksfqi/i_dont_know_what_actually_happened/ puzzle and soltution
10:41:11 <int-e> "Removed - Not Unexpected" <-- makes finding the puzzle harder than solving it
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12:30:27 <b_jonas> you know, it's sort of magical how our home gas appliances work without electronics. appliances that fall back to turn off safely when there's no electricity, that I understand. but gas stoves, water boilers and heaters (with pilot lights) working without electronics controlling them, how the fuck is that ever possible?
12:32:53 <int-e> valves and other clever mechanical engineering. some of it may even involve bimetallic strips
12:34:24 <b_jonas> but a valve doesn't do anything by itself. you control it either by electronics or by another valve.
12:34:42 <b_jonas> so "valves" doesn't really explain it to me
12:34:48 <shachaf> Looking at the details of how people use tortoise-and-hare to find hash collisions, they're pretty surprising.
12:34:49 <int-e> And no, I couldn't make it work either. I know barely enough to make it not seem magical.
12:35:27 <int-e> shachaf: hmm. is there a paper of web page you're alluding to specifically?
12:35:28 <b_jonas> I also say often that washing machines seem magical to me.
12:35:34 <int-e> s/of/or/
12:35:56 <shachaf> int-e: My friend showed me some code.
12:37:06 <shachaf> It goes like this, approximately:
12:37:07 <shachaf> let tortoise = 0; let hare = 0; do { tortoise = f(tortoise); hare = f(f(hare)); } while (tortoise != hare);
12:37:34 <int-e> Yeah, I know this one. I never implement it anymore though
12:37:51 <shachaf> let x, y; while (tortoise != hare) { x = tortoise; y = hare; tortoise = f(tortoise); hare = f(hare); }
12:37:59 <shachaf> And then x,y is a collision.
12:38:18 <shachaf> Finding a cycle isn't the part I'm surprised by, it's finding a collision.
12:38:32 <int-e> I only have a hare running a head leaving markers behind at... usuaully... powers of two.
12:38:39 <int-e> ahead
12:38:58 <int-e> which probably has its own name that I don't know.
12:39:39 <shachaf> Is it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_detection#Brent's_algorithm ?
12:40:11 <shachaf> It's still not entirely intuitive to me why the second step works.
12:40:25 <shachaf> Actually, it doesn't, because I forgot to set tortoise = 0 before the loop.
12:40:40 <int-e> yes, that's the one
12:42:20 <int-e> I've pondered Gosper's version too but I didn't find it all that attractive.
12:43:04 <shachaf> Is this for cycle finding or collision finding?
12:44:23 <int-e> yes
12:45:27 <int-e> but I guess it's really about the cycle detection at that point.
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12:48:18 <int-e> the last time I experimented with collision finding I didn't worry much about the efficiency of extracting a collision once I have found two starting points leading to the same distinguished point.
12:48:36 <shachaf> Well, this method doesn't use distinguished points at all.
12:48:39 <int-e> I'd run the computation of the distinguished point again, twice.
12:48:51 <shachaf> The distinguished point method I have no problem with, but it doesn't need tortoises or hares.
12:49:15 <int-e> once to find the difference of the lengths of the two chain, and a second time to actually pinpoint the actual collision
12:49:27 <int-e> *chains
12:49:54 <shachaf> Oh, I stored the difference in the table when I computed the chains.
12:50:00 <int-e> the same thing applies to finding a single cycle
12:50:22 <int-e> (and its starting point)
12:50:22 <shachaf> The distinguished point method has nothing to do with cycles, does it?
12:50:50 <int-e> but there's a common problem
12:51:37 <int-e> Both methods give you values a, b, c such that f^k(a) = f^l(b) = c for some k and l.
12:52:57 <int-e> And then, assuming that the sequence starting at a isn't a suffix of the sequence starting at b or vice versa, you can extract a collision.
12:53:53 <int-e> And I solved that problem (inefficiently) using just a,b,c, so that method applies to identifying the starting point of a cycle as well
12:55:10 <int-e> What is specific to the distinguished point method is that this computation really *is* expected cheap compared to finding suitable a,b,c.
12:55:50 <int-e> Whereas in the cycle finding case the computation on this naive level may easily double your computation time or worse.
12:57:12 <int-e> So... hmm. Yes, I can believe that there are some cute tricks.
12:57:36 <shachaf> I think maybe I was missing something that should have been obvious about this.
12:58:19 <shachaf> Hmm, no.
12:59:59 <int-e> The way I think of it is finding the largest n <= min(l,k) such that f^(k-n)(a) != f^(l-n)(b).
13:02:37 <int-e> It may not be the best way at all, especially if you have memory available to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.
13:04:07 <b_jonas> int-e: yes, the speedups for finding collisions are magic too
13:04:26 <b_jonas> but I sort of understand them better than the engineering in gas appliances
13:05:17 <b_jonas> in that I have some confidence that I can sort of figure out what you can speed up how much and what can't (not perfectly, but somewhat), but I don't know how to tell what you can implement without electricity and what you can't
13:06:38 <shachaf> OK, I finally got it, I think.
13:07:03 <shachaf> When you run the Floyd thing and the tortoise and hare meet, you know that f^t(0) = f^2t(0) = c
13:07:23 <int-e> If you have f^(id)(s) for 0 <= i <= N/d, then you can test f(k),f(k+1),...,f(k+d-1) against that table to check whether you're inside the cycle
13:07:36 <int-e> shachaf: right, so the period divides t
13:07:46 <shachaf> Which means if you start with 0,c and keep applying f to each side, after times you'll get f^t(0),f^t(c)
13:07:52 <shachaf> Which we know are equal.
13:08:03 <shachaf> So you apply f until the first time they're equal.
13:10:03 <shachaf> Man, I'm so bad at thinking about this somehow.
13:10:25 <int-e> shachaf: whereas in Brent's method, you get f^t(0) = f^2^k(0) for some k,t, so you need a bit of modular arithmetic to get started.
13:10:46 <shachaf> I don't know how Brent's method works yet.
13:11:09 <int-e> for can advance to a t' >= t with t' = 0 (mod t - 2^k).
13:11:15 <int-e> for? you.
13:12:08 <int-e> (the t in Brent's method satisfies 2^(k+1) >= t > 2^k)
13:19:32 <int-e> shachaf: So what is the purpose here? Finding hash collisions, or finding the starting point of cycles?
13:19:49 <shachaf> The context was finding a hash collision (of sorts).
13:19:56 <shachaf> What's the difference?
13:20:08 <shachaf> Oh, I don't know why I said that.
13:20:27 <int-e> The difference is that cycles tend to be long, so things parallelize badly.
13:21:07 <shachaf> I think the goal was to write the minimal amount of code to do it.
13:21:22 <shachaf> Since the number of hash function applications was only in the billions.
13:21:45 <int-e> okay
13:22:39 <int-e> That indeed makes tortoise and hare attractive :)
13:22:49 <shachaf> I think the Pollard lambda method is the most reasonable in general.
13:23:06 <shachaf> Since you can parallelize it easily, tune memory usage, etc.
13:23:20 <int-e> Yes, that was my confusion.
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13:38:35 <shachaf> int-e: Thanks for clarifying despite my stubbornness.
13:38:59 <shachaf> It turns out the Wikipedia page I linked to even talks about finding the start of the cycle, which I somehow thought it wasn't.
13:40:09 <shachaf> Hmm, the other thing I was unsure about with the tortoise and hare was, can the hare ever miss the tortoise the first time around the cycle?
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13:41:25 <int-e> just pick a cycle of length 1 and a long preamble... 9876543210000000000
13:42:54 <int-e> You should be able to compute the exact number from the length of the cycle and the length of the non-cyclic prefix, but it'll be prone to off-by-one errors :)
13:43:36 <shachaf> A cycle of length 1?
13:46:50 <int-e> The tortoise has to walk the whole prefix, and then a few more steps until the number of steps is divisible by the cycle length.
13:47:19 <int-e> At which point, if the cycle is shorter than the prefix, the hare will already have been around the cycle several times.
13:47:38 <shachaf> Oh, sure.
13:47:47 <int-e> f(x) = x <-- cycle of length 1.
13:48:30 <shachaf> What I mean is specifically whether the hare can jump over the tortoise after the tortoise has entered the cycle.
13:48:43 <int-e> no
13:48:52 <int-e> the distance changes by 1 in each step
13:48:56 <int-e> not 2.
13:49:19 <shachaf> Oh man, that's a good point.
13:49:57 <shachaf> I guess that answers everything.
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13:58:39 <shachaf> The other thing I learned about recently was minimap perfect hash functions.
13:59:29 <shachaf> The "hash, displace, compress" method seems pretty simple.
14:08:40 <shachaf> I see, so the idea of the Brent thing is that the tortoise is too slow.
14:09:20 <shachaf> And so if you've been going for a while without the hare seeing the tortoise, maybe the tortoise should teleport to the hare.
14:09:34 <int-e> well, 1/3 of the calls to f are spent on letting the tortoise catch up
14:09:50 <shachaf> Right.
14:10:07 <int-e> and the teleporting eliminates that cost, though obviously that doesn't come entirely for free
14:10:12 <shachaf> So here the tortoise stands still, and once in a while it teleport to the hare.
14:10:35 <shachaf> And once the gap between teleportations i large enough (larger than the length of the cycle), the hare can go all the way around and find the tortoise.
14:10:35 <int-e> because now you'll generally find the cycles a bit later
14:11:12 <shachaf> But now, hmm, you no longer have this f^t(0) = f^2t(0) property (as you were saying).
14:11:28 <int-e> yep
14:12:07 <shachaf> Instead you have...
14:12:24 <shachaf> Some point that's on the cycle, and the number of steps it took to get to that point.
14:13:27 <shachaf> What can you do with it?
14:16:01 <shachaf> Oh, no.
14:16:08 <shachaf> You have the cycle length, of course.
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14:17:30 <shachaf> I see, you answered everything above.
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18:17:25 <arseniiv> <b_jonas> I also say often that washing machines seem magical to me. => but they are. If we’re to believe some people. they use FuZzY lOgIc, which is by definition a sort of black magic
18:18:42 <arseniiv> I very much hope that at least some washing machines don’t use fuzzy inference ans do use instead a normal humane statistical inference like Markov-something-Bayes-something
18:18:52 <arseniiv> s/ans/and
18:20:08 <kmc> b_jonas: at my last apartment there was a gas leak caused by the landlord's idiot "handyman" turning off the gas and then turning it back on without relighting all the pilot lights
18:20:19 <kmc> so not all appliances handle that properly :P
18:20:25 <arseniiv> (I believe fuzzy models don’t have easily extractable semantics and statistic models do)
18:20:39 <kmc> and I think the ones that shut off if the pilot light goes off use a thermocouple to detect it, so are electronic in nature
18:21:48 <kmc> or at least electrical
18:23:06 <kmc> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocouple#Gas_appliance_safety
18:23:35 <kmc> it seems that the thermocouple itself generates the voltage needed to keep the pilot valve open, and this is how the appliance works without an external electrical power supply?
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19:18:01 <b_jonas> kmc: that... shouldn't happen. gas appliances do shut off when the pilot light or flame goes off. all stoves and gas ovens do, and I think all heaters should too.
19:19:39 <b_jonas> on the other hand, the market seems right, because good washing machines, good gas stoves, heaters etc are quite expensive, so you pay for the magic. so it's not magic from an economic perspective, only from an engineering one.
19:19:51 <b_jonas> well, only from the perspective of a non-engineer like me.
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19:21:08 <int-e> For something purely mechanical, a valve operated by a bimetallic strip still seems plausible to me.
19:21:29 <int-e> The pilot flame may be small but it's still quite hot.
19:22:53 <kmc> yeah, some may work that way
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19:24:00 <kmc> b_jonas: I took an emergency preparedness class where we were specifically warned about this problem, and then a few months later it happened to me personally. so no, not all appliances automatically shut off when the pilot light goes out. they may be old or malfunctioning, but they do exist
19:24:35 <kmc> and that's why they say if you shut off the gas supply to your house you shouldn't turn it back on without a gas technician there
19:26:08 <kmc> i don't know, it's possible the idiot handyman messed something else up and we got the wrong explanation secondhand
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20:04:52 <b_jonas> kmc: hmm, when was this?
20:14:08 <kmc> last year
20:27:27 <b_jonas> kmc: this is not a wisdom that I heard, and I have shut off and restarted gas in this apartment multiple times, and I think I may have done it in my parent's apartment too. It might apply if you use shoddy gas technicians, or any of that very old gas technology found in old houses.
20:28:37 <b_jonas> kmc: and I've experienced the opposite problem recently, where the thermal sensor of the convector went wrong such that it wouldn't keep the gas on even if the flame was forced for several minutes. the gas replairman replaced it, and now it works fine again.
20:30:27 <b_jonas> if anything, it's non-gas electric appliances where I've experienced that they can be unsafe, like this electric heater in the bathroom that turned on in the middle of the night for no reason (admittedly only the fan, not the heat; it was its last run, I've unplugged it since, but haven't physically removed it from the wall yet),
20:30:57 <b_jonas> or cheap electric kettles that go wrong and don't ever turn off even when the water has been boiling for a while.
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21:36:19 <fizzie> Electric showers were a thing I'd not seen before moving to the UK.
21:36:49 <shachaf> Are they good?
21:37:27 <fizzie> I think there are better expensive ones, but the one in our previous rented place was cheap and kind of not so great.
21:38:02 <fizzie> The cheap kind don't have independent flow and temperature controls, they just have two power settings (turning on one or both heating elements) and fine-tuning the temperature is done by adjusting the flow rate.
21:38:33 <fizzie> So in wintertime, you get a pretty small trickle of water to shower with.
21:39:02 <fizzie> On the plus side, by definition they won't run out of warm water, because it's all made on-demand.
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21:50:13 <myname> wait, how can you run out of warm water?
22:14:46 <fizzie> Uh, the same way you run out of anything else. Using it faster than it gets heated up, and sufficiently long to exhaust whatever amount you have stored pre-heated.
22:14:49 <fizzie> Can't say I've ever lived anywhere where that's really been an issue (or even reasonably feasible), but I don't think it's a foreign concept.
22:19:29 <myname> but couldn't you heat the water with electricity before it gets to your shower and therefore neither have to deal with electricity in your shower nor running the risk of missing hot water?
22:21:58 <fizzie> Well, it's not my field. But I take it a "general-purpose" water heater is not designed to heat up water particularly *fast*, it just has a tank of some suitable size that's kept hot and ready for use, which can then run out.
22:22:33 <fizzie> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_heating#Storage_water_heaters_(tank-type) "In household and commercial usage, most North American and Southern Asian water heaters are the tank type, also called storage water heaters, these consist of a cylindrical vessel or container that keeps water continuously hot and ready to use. Typical sizes for household use range from 75–400 L (20–100 US gallons). --
22:22:39 <fizzie> This is a popular arrangement where higher flow rates are required for limited periods."
22:24:22 <fizzie> I'd say in general UK flats tend to be more "independent" than what I'm used to. The place with the electric shower was in a moderately sized (~30 flats?) building, and where back in Finland that would have definitely had a building-wide hot water and heating, here it was all per-flat.
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22:24:48 <myname> yeah uk and water is kinda weird
22:25:14 <myname> like, i hate the idea of separate faucets for cold and hot water
22:25:20 <fizzie> This new place doesn't, but I feel like it's more the exception, and even here they have a per-flat "HIU" that measures the amount of energy used so that it can be billed per-flat.
22:25:50 <fizzie> Yeah, that's weird too, though orthogonal to the issue where the hot water's coming from.
22:29:19 <fizzie> And a third thing: they just don't seem to get district heating here. It seems to be treated as some sort of exotic novelty.
22:30:30 <fizzie> (I think *now* they have some bigger plans along those lines, what with all the climate things.)
22:35:52 <b_jonas> myname: there are two types of water heaters for showering and dishwashing. the better kind heat the water as it flows through the pipe, in which case you can't run out of it. the worse kind has a big tank of water that it heats, and you use the warm water from its top, if you use up a full tank of water quickly you get cold water for the shower.
22:36:21 <b_jonas> fizzie: ^
22:36:55 <fizzie> That's pretty much the gist of my Wikipedia link, except with a less emphasis on the better/worse axis.
22:37:12 <b_jonas> "<myname> like, i hate the idea of separate faucets for cold and hot water" => yes, that's a weird thing that the UK does for some reason. I don't understand it either.
22:37:34 <myname> historically it was done to keep clean and potentially dirty water apart
22:37:54 <myname> and nobody wanted to change that
22:39:08 <b_jonas> I also don't understand these tiny taps for bathroom sinks that are so low that you can barely fit anything in the path of the water. like, would a few more inches of pipe for the faucet kill you? sadly those exist even here.
22:39:10 <fizzie> I haven't seen *that* many separate faucets here, to be honest.
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22:39:45 <b_jonas> they make a little bit of sense in public installations because they're harder to vandalize, but even that doesn't work out that way in practice
22:40:20 <fizzie> I've always wondered if they do that in public toilets to discourage people from filling water bottles from those taps.
22:40:30 <myname> wait, how do you vandalize a higher faucet more easily than a lower one?
22:42:33 <b_jonas> fizzie: yes. I still fill water bottles. if necessary, I use a 0.5 liter bottle a intermediate storage to fill 2 liter (or 1.5 liter) bottles, I took a 0.5 liter bottle in addition to the large ones for long bus trips for skiing for just that reason; plus I bend the plastic battles, and force the faucet to rotate (it's usually not attached to the sink strongly enoguh) so there's more space under it
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22:42:39 <b_jonas> diagonally
22:43:06 <b_jonas> fizzie: but those faucets also suck for washing face or eyes, and for drinking directly (without a bottle or glass)
22:43:18 <b_jonas> the more extreme ones even make washing your hands harder
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22:43:57 <b_jonas> but sometimes those low faucets are installed in universities or hospitals or homes, where there's no reason not to want people to fill water bottles
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22:45:34 <myname> we have one place at uni with automatic water dispensers that stop after about half a liter
22:48:17 <b_jonas> oh yes, the malls are even worse. I most passionately hate Allé (the carbon monoxide mall), which has these photosensor taps that, if you let the water flow for about a minute, it shuts the tap off for five minutes, so you have to know to interrupt the flow in between to be able to wash your hands. that in addition to the very low water pressure in the taps, too low to allow washing the soap off, that
22:48:23 <b_jonas> these ones have too, just like the bathrooms in most other malls.
22:48:40 <b_jonas> and now they compound this with fucking signs saying how they're working to stop covid and that you should care about hygenie
22:48:54 <b_jonas> but still don't change the bathrooms
22:49:13 <myname> wait, so i can ddos all taps?
22:51:04 <b_jonas> myname: yes
22:51:09 <b_jonas> but only for five or ten minutes
22:51:17 <b_jonas> after you leave they'll turn back on
22:51:38 <myname> good enough to annoy a whole bunch of people
22:51:38 <b_jonas> you can also ddos all taps by leaving nasty disgusting stuff there by the way, or just stealing them, as it happens in some public places here
22:51:49 <myname> wat
22:52:40 <b_jonas> also half of these malls don't have storage lockers or cloakrooms, the other half supposedly have them but make them hardly usable in practice
22:53:13 <myname> there is the story here about a branch of the BND (the german intelligence agency) being super secret and all and some night somebody stole all the faucets in the whole thing
22:53:22 <b_jonas> it's disgusting, I mean the point of a mall would be to share infrastructure like toilets and lockers among shops to make them cheaper, but no, they just have a building and rent it out and do as little as they can get away with
22:53:28 <myname> i don't get why anybody would do that
22:53:49 <myname> i mean, clearly you can steal something more valuable than faucets, can't you?
22:54:15 <b_jonas> myname: only the faucets? that's the half-assed version. some go all the way and steal the sink too.
22:54:43 <myname> i guess that's way harder to do and transport in larger quantities
22:55:21 <b_jonas> myname: and no, you can't steal anything more valuable from those hospitals and clinics: they already don't put out soap or toilet paper because they know it would be stolen in an instant, so at most you could steal the benches or seats, but only the heavy ones, the rest are bolted down
22:55:45 <nakilon> hi! myname is
22:55:48 <b_jonas> well, there's more valuable stuff obviously, but in places where it takes more effort or risk to steal
22:58:17 <nakilon> btw, "the BND (the german intelligence agency)" -- considering how Germany loved to bullshit the world about Navalny, saying "he was poisoned" and on the proposition "give us any proof" responding "meh, just believe, Putin is evil, gogo NATO"
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22:59:11 <nakilon> I won't there is any intelligence there
22:59:16 <nakilon> *won't say
23:00:13 <nakilon> anyway
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23:07:17 <myname> i have neither any idea nor interest about it
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