When is a Scimitar better than a Longsword?

The longsword deals 1d8 slashing or piercing damage. The scimitar deals 1d6 slashing damage with the forceful and sweep traits. At first glance, it seems that the scimitar might break even for damage with the longsword only when there’s a reasonable chance of hitting a third or more attack in a turn. Considering the rarity of that, the scimitar comes across simply inferior to the longsword (in terms of average damage per round).

The scimitar is a thematically cool weapon, though, and I’d like to see it be useful.

In what circumstances does a scimitar outdamage a longsword?

What’s better for a new dnd player, component pouch or arcane focus?

I’m just starting out in dnd and creating my first character (a half-elf wizard) and I’m at the equipment section. I’ve looked up the differences between the component pouch and arcane focus and can’t decide! Should I chose the component pouch because it’s more expensive and therefore harder to get later? Should I get an arcane focus and have it double as a quarter staff? Should I just buy a cheap sack thingy instead of the component pouch? Is one easier to use than the other? I don’t know!

Are Gloom Stalker Rangers better than the normal ranger subtypes that appear in the players handbook?

I am joining a campaign with some friends and they suggested that I should play a Gloom Stalker Ranger. I rarely get a chance to use things from anything other than the players handbook so I want to try something new. I want to know if it’s even worth playing a gloom stalker and still contribute to the party with both damage and role-playing capabilities because currently my friends are playing rogues and I want to fit the setting (which is a thieves guild type setting) and still do a good amount of damage to help balance out the party.

WordPress or custom coding better for this project?

I’m a LAMP developer with a ton of experience building custom-coded websites in a variety of PHP frameworks who has been tasked to develop a website for a customer who strongly prefers that I use WordPress. My WordPress knowledge is extremely limited. I have built a couple of simple sites using Envato themes that didn’t really require any custom plugin development, or meddling with source code.

This site would be different. It would be a custom fitness tracking website where users can login, view videos of exercises, and log their workouts. (Yes, I know there are a million of these out there, but this company wants their own).

Here’s an overview of my major requirements:

  • Customer accounts with secure login
  • Paid Subscriptions with multiple levels allowing access to different features
  • Videos of exercises
  • Forms to log progress (time, reps, etc.)
  • Charts and graphs to view progress
  • Leaderboard to show comparisons of members
  • Ability for future iOS/Android apps to integrate with the website/database

From my limited knowledge of WordPress, I would have to build some custom plugins for this. I don’t see anything out there that would accomplish all of these requirements. I’m also assuming that I would need a separate MySQL database to store the majority of this data.

Are these requirements able to be accomplished with WordPress in a relatively straightforward manner? How would a WordPress expert go about tackling this project?

How can I get better at identifying the “right time” to use my spell slots?

I’ve played a bunch of DnD 5e, but my current campaign is my first time playing a Warlock outside of a one-shot; right now I’m almost to level 5. I’m playing more of a face/roleplay-focused role, so my invocations (Aspect of the Moon and Devil’s Sight) are generally more useful out of combat, but I made sure to take several combat-oriented cantrips, as well as shatter, to have at least one good damage-focused spell.

In general, I’m having a lot of fun, but I’m having some trouble getting used to having only two spell slots to play with beyond the very early levels.

A couple of sessions ago, I eagerly fired off both my spell slots at what looked like pretty juicy targets. I did plenty of damage… but when enemy reinforcements showed up, I was out of ammo – and in hindsight, I would have had even better targets to use my spells on if I had kept them in reserve.

In response, the next session, I resolved to try to keep a shorter leash on my spells. I played through a combat encounter trying to keep my spell slots in reserve, but I felt like limiting myself to cantrips, weapon attacks, and "utility actions" like shoving kept me from pulling my weight. I then felt silly for being so cautious when we decided to take a short rest at the end of the encounter anyway. I felt especially silly when the same entire story repeated itself later in the session.

Of course, I can (and do) encourage my party to take short rests when we have the opportunity to do so (as long as people could use the HP and it’s not just because I’m out of spell slots), but in general I feel like I’m doing a poor job of identifying the "right" times to pull from my limited resource pool.

Of course, this problem isn’t limited to Warlock – every spellcasting class has to make these judgment calls – but with such a low number of slots to work with, playing Warlock is definitely testing my resource management. I recognize that adeptly managing my limited spell slots is just part of the game, but is there anything in particular I can do that would help to pick out the best times to bust out a spell?

How to prove that there is no algorithm with worst-case running time better than this one?

I have the following data:

  • A set $ V$ of tasks, the starting time $ s_j$ of each task and the duration $ p_j$ of each task.

  • A set $ K$ of resource, each resource has an availability function $ R_{k}$ that is piecewise constant.That is, for each $ t = 0, .., T-1$ , we precise $ R_{k}(t)$ the number of units available at $ t$ . $ R_k$ is an array of length $ T$ .

  • Each task $ j$ needs $ r_{j,k}$ resources to be processed (it could be zero). This quantity needs to be available during all the processing time starting from $ s_j$ .

Here is my attempt to verify that the resource utilization at each $ t$ is no larger than the availability function.


Using an example to comprehend why “safely” erasing a drive yields better results than filling it up with meaningless data

A hypothetical 1GB USB stick is full of sensitive documents/images/etc. and it is not encrypted.

The owner wishes to discard it and is aware of having to safely erase it first.

There are several tools and utilities to do this. Some can be configured to do it “faster yet less safely”, others do it “slower but more safely”.

As opposed to have it erased using all the different ways known to do this, the owner chooses to simply drag all the current items to the recycle bin and then paste one 1GB (~2-hour) black screen movie file to the USB stick.

Again, no fancy erase utilities are used. The USB stick is then discarded.

If it falls into the wrong hands, can any of the sensitive files (that filled the stick before the movie file was pasted) be retrieved?

(1) If no, why do complex hard drive erase utilities exist? Some of them feature “safe” erase procedures that take houuurs, when simply filling a soon to be discarded HD with meaningless files, can do the job?

(2) If yes, how can 2GB (movie file + sensitive files) co-exist in a 1GB stick? Seems to me like the only logical explanation is (a) the movie file was in fact less than 1GB, (b) the USB stick was secretly larger than 1GB as stated, or (c) the movie file was copy-pasted only partially and the owner did not notice.

Are two 8 GB DDR3 (1600) better than two 8 GB DDR3 (1600) + one 4 GB DDR3 (1333)? [closed]

I have an old computer setup which has two 8 GB DDR3 (1600) RAM. I have found another 4 GB DDR3 (1333) RAM and trying to understand whether adding this 4GB RAM with those already mounted 16GB RAM will increase the computer performance or not.

I don’t have much knowledge on computer hardware. If anybody could give me an answer in layman’s term, I would be grateful.