Highest Rated Comments


hatheaded220 karma

If you look at the front of each ship you will see that the red cross is centered for Comfort, and offset to the port side for Mercy. This was done after the helicopter pilots had a hard time telling the two ships apart!

Ok, now I have to know if any pilots ever landed on the wrong ship by mistake, and what kind of ribbing did they endure? (Sort of like this Navy pilot: https://tacairnet.com/2014/01/09/wrong-ship-sherlock/)

hatheaded63 karma

Aside from notability questions, I have given up on Wikipedia editing as well. There was an article on a computer hardware product, where I worked at the company who made the product and was an engineer on the design team. This article made some blatantly, factually false statements about the technology used in the product, statements that we used to see as FUD from a competing company.

Now, I realize there's a lot of danger in having someone who works at the company edit an article about that company's products. I get that. In the interest of full disclosure, I explained who I was and where I worked, and I proposed some edits (mostly deletion of the FUD) that removed the factually false statements in the comments page. I did not actually edit the article directly, to avoid conflict of interest appearance. I also don't work at that company any more and don't have a particular axe to grind, it was just irritating that false statements of fact were made, and some of them were rather silly (e.g. "it can catch on fire") with no references to back it up.

I also included some references to operating temperatures, and other technical documentation. I also want to emphasize that I was professional, courteous, and polite in my writing.

The result? I was threatened with banning and told to go away. The false statements remained the last time I checked a bit ago.

While I'm sure I could have gone to arbitration, etc. I just did as I was [very] rudely told and went away. Not worth it. If Wikipedia wants to be a platform for unsourced corporate competitor bashing and rumor mongering, that's fine. I never would have been a prolific editor, but there are perhaps a dozen or so articles on which I could make some very authoritative contributions, based on my direct experience backed up with documentation. I'm not going to do so now, so that some narcissistic admin with an ego to stroke can make ad hominem attacks in response to rational, polite discussion.

hatheaded38 karma

How does cryptography/encryption work in languages other than English?

One way to estimate this is to consider the entropy of a language written in its native characters, like the Roman alphabet used by English, or the Hangul script used for Korean.

For English, this has been provided in this essay: https://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/papers/stanford_info_paper/entropy_of_english_9.htm

This article preview of a scholarly paper lists some values for the entropy of Chinese writing: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-540-30211-7_49

I'll use values from just the latter here: English Per-Character entropy: 4.03 English Per-Word entropy: 11.37 Chinese Per-Character entropy: 9.7062 Chinese Per-Word entropy: 11.4559

You must keep in consideration the storage size in bits for the Roman alphabet and Chinese characters in the most common text encoding, UTF-8. In UTF-8, an ASCII letter in upper or lower case, the digits 0 through 9, and many symbols and punctuations marks can all be encoded in just 7 bits.

To encode Chinese symbols, from 16 to 32 bits are required in UTF-8, which reflects for the higher per-character entropy value.

The real challenge in breaking cryptographic messages containing text operates at the "word" level, because if you are only looking at one letter at a time, you can form no words and thus cannot determine if a particular key is correct.

So it looks like Chinese might be a small amount more unpredictable from a Shannon information entropy view (11.37 for English, 11.45 for Chinese) but that would seem to be fairly close.

hatheaded22 karma

How did Iran know there were 35 people on board an aircraft, as opposed to say, 25 people, or 38 people?

hatheaded21 karma

Child of the detente era cold war here (b. 1966), and I don't remember ever being taught the U.S. would "win" a nuclear war. It was all M.A.D. and detente for us.

Born and lived in Florida for the first 12 years of my life. It was common for 50's and 60's era subdivision housing to have concrete bomb shelters in the back yard. Little 1-room concrete, half-buried structures with an "L" shaped entry hallway and a steel door.