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My sister is the proud owner of the complete Star Trek: The Next Generation, and we've been re-watching first season while we eat dinner/do mending/make crafts/etc. It's much better than it has any right to be, actually, with surprisingly strong performances and decent writing. Apparently that first season cost a million per episode, and we're assuming a lot of that went into the special effects budget since they were done by ILM and they can't be cheap. (Although sadly, some of the effects are showing their age more than the actors' performances are...)

I can't remember which episode it was, but one of them contained some technobabble that I found fun because it was just a simple description of checksum bits within data. "That's not futuristic!" I joked, "We have those right now." I point vaguely in the direction of a library book. "Bet the barcode on that has a check bit."

Anyhow, in a case of "once something comes up, it starts coming up again and again" that I can't remember the term for (although there is one, and I think it's some german band name or something equally esoteric -- anyone know?) ... err. where was I? Oh, yeah. So, I just saw this graphic and it amused me because I actually think checksum bits are awesome because I'm that kind of mathematician *and* they'd just come up in the Star Trek technobabble (and I guess I'm also that kind of mathematician).

[Edit: Jay helpfully reminds me that the term I'm looking for is Baader-Meinhof. See Rob's comments on the gang it was named after, which was not a band. We should come up with a new name that's shorter, more etymologically related, and easier to remember!]

I've spent all week writing erudite paragraphs for my paper and I think I used up all my literary skill... okay, so I'm just tired and a bit lazy. But look! Math and codes!

Image via Mint.com


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