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Comment: First of all... (Score 1) 668

I'm so sorry for your situation and for the sorrow I'm sure it will bring to your family.

All I can say is that we all have different paths through this life and, as such, we all have different things that would be important to us. I would simply say to ask yourself if this is the most important thing you want your daughter to know of you. If it is, I'm sure you'll find some good advice here. If it is not, you owe it to yourself to both yourself and her to say those other things first. I hope you've actually gotten to the point where this really is the most important thing you want to talk about with her. If so, you are a lucky man, regardless of the final outcome, for she knows your heart already.

Comment: Re:Best money Tom Steyer ever spent (Score 1) 429

by frank_adrian314159 (#49127361) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Because [random person] went to a few teabagger meeting, extended his sensory tendrils, and discerned racism, then the Tea Party is forever thoughtcrime.

No, not thoughtcrime. Just not embraced by people who see that together with anything remotely sensible from the TEA Party, there's huge swathes of nonsense that needs to be "honored" to "respect" its crackpot hangers on. It's not the (very few) good ideas, it's the huge number of bad ideas that seem to be pushed along with them. In the future, thank you for not trying to get us to support people who have mostly bad ideas by attempting to whitewash the bad ideas with the good.

Comment: Re:To answer your question (Score 1) 279

Historical note: x86 is a bastadised rip-off of the PDP11 instruction set.

And as with most technological descendents, the folks who did the job botched it. Incredibly obtuse instruction decoding, special instructions that do five things at a time (most of which are not useful), and horribly slow to interrupt and restore.

The PDP11 was built as a "hardware Fortran machine" ie one instruction represents one Fort[r]an instruction as far as was achievable in 1970.

Uh, not really. The PDP-11 was designed as a general-purpose ISA, used as much for assembly code as Fortran. In addition, it hosted four OSes (RT-11, RSX-11/M, and RSTS/E from DEC and UNIX from an odd place called Bell Labs). The different OS'es used different tools. A lot of RT-11 code was used for industrial control and was done in Assembler (did some of that), RSX-11/M was their mainline OS for applications and was programmed in COBOL (the implementation here sort of sucked) or FORTRAN (a pretty brilliant implementation) or Assembler, and RSTS/E was an odd duck that had a BASIC interpreter. UNIX had C. The best thing about programming on the -11 (besides the nice, relatively orthogonal ISA) was the FORTRAN automatic overlay feature. It let you bundle code into overlay segments that were automatically swapped in when routines in the module were called. A performance killer when used improperly, it was the only way I could fit a FORTRAN program that took 320K on an IBM\360 into the PDP-11's 64K.

C is (just one) PDP11 assembly language!

I don't think I'd go that far. There were many things (conditional branches on overflow, control of interrupts/traps, computed gotos) that, although accessible via assembler, could not be easily done in C. That's why today you still have assembly modules and/or use of inline assembly in UNIX code.

The VAX instruction set was an attempt to achieve a higher level machine code, which worked quite well - most VAX assembly instructions are actually function calls to application specific microcode.

As were most instructions in those days. As for "worked quite well"? Well, there was that whole RISC/CISC thing going on and, you know what? RISC sort of won the technical war - it may be papered over with an ugly CISC instruction set on the inside, but internally, it's all condensed onto execution on a mostly RISC core.

X86 was a poor ISA when the first 8086 chips were made (but good, given hardware capabilities at the time). That was about 40 years ago. MIPS and Sparc (and ARM) are all better than x86.

Well, yeah. They have the benefit of hindsight and much less self-inflicted baggage. On the other hand, that baggage has kept Intel in the game while they try to catch up to ARM in power consumption.

Comment: Re:Question In Headline (Score 5, Insightful) 150

by frank_adrian314159 (#49114613) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

How does a single company make bad decision after bad decision so persistently?

A conundrum for the ages to be sure, but my humble opinion?

Ahem... A company that makes bad decision after bad decision does not understand the difference between a good decision and a bad decision.

Do I win a prize?

Comment: Re:Didn't like it before.. (Score 1) 303

No, I'm blaming Pandora for a shitty algorithm that always eventually directs people towards the most popular music (as defined by their overall population) regardless of what the individual indicates as his/her preferences.. Start out the day listening to punk and you'll soon enough end up with Katy Perry anyway. Bayesian logic and priors work well, except when they don't.

Comment: Re:"Fairness" (Score 1) 303

There's no such thing as "fairness" - it's a fairy tale concept that causes humans far too much suffering.

As does attempting to say that because things aren't fair, it's fine if everything stays as unfair as it currently is, or becomes more unfair. In general, the better we all behave, the better off we all are. If you deny this, you are an enemy of civilization.

Optimization hinders evolution.

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