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Comment: Minix on Atari ST (Score 3, Interesting) 130

by sbaker (#47424723) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

I ran Minix for a year or more on my Atari ST - having a UNIX-like operating system on a machine I could have at home was a truly awesome thing. Tanenbaum's work is fascinating, useful and will be around for a good while...which is more or less the definition of "successful" in academic circles.

The debates with Linus were interesting - but I always felt that they were arguing at cross-purposes. Linus wanted a quick implementation of something indistinguishable from "real UNIX" - Tanenbaum wanted something beautiful and elegant. Both got what they wanted - there was (and continues to be) no reason why they can't both continue to exist and be useful.

Tanenbaum's statement that the computer would mostly be running one program at a time was clearly unreasonable for a PC - but think about phones or embedded controllers like BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi? Perhaps Minix is a better solution in those kinds of applications?

Comment: Re:Show me the money! (Score 1) 441

Point is the 8 months payback delay is calculated taking for granted there is a high-performance electricity storage unit. This unit cost and even existence has not been taken into account in the payback delay. For now, there is no high-performance storage units anywhere in the world, hence its cost should be then infinite since the technology to build them is not there yet.

Otherwise, the study should take into account the cost of integration with the existing grid and the variation costs of other energy suppliers when the wind farm is supplying the grid. This cost is higher than you may think. This study is bullshit anyway.

Comment: Re:WUWT has a more FUD take on the calculations... (Score 4, Informative) 441

Well, forget WUWT and you will see there is not much calculations neither in the original claim and in fact, there is a big warning sign in the text, something the cost has not been taken into account in the evaluation but mandatory for their hypothesis to hold, here it is:

"Wind turbines are frequently touted as the answer to sustainable electricity production especially if coupled to high-capacity storage for times when the wind speed is either side of their working range."

So, they presume the high-capacity storage exists and it has zero cost. Seems to me a bit optimistic.

Comment: Re:WUWT (Score 0) 441

What's the point? You fear to be infected? Read the argumentation for what it is and see if it make sense. If not, argument yourself on what you believe doesn't make sense. It is not because it has been published on such a site it is automatically wrong and evil. You offer no argumentation than saying it is coming from the enemy. You are acting exactly like a denier yourself.

Comment: Re:off the shelf software (Score 1) 37

I guess this shouldn't have made its way to /., this is an internal news publication and they don't claim having made any breaktrough technological advance by doing this neither. See this as an internal publication to publicize what is done at Sheffield University to undergraduate students.

Comment: Re:More than one Higgs Boson? (Score 1) 42

by AchilleTalon (#47299163) Attached to: Fresh Evidence Supports Higgs Boson Discovery
No, because the OP's question was rather than why all these caution around the identity of this boson if there is only one Higgs. However, he didn't suspect the question doesn't make sense neither if this Higgs boson is another Higgs boson instead of the first Higgs boson, at the end it is still a Higgs boson anyway. The reason the physicists were so cautious about the identity of the particle is not because it could be another Higgs boson, it is because it could be another particle predicted by another theory which would instead of confirming the Standard Model rather than debunked it.

Comment: Re:More than one Higgs Boson? (Score 5, Informative) 42

by AchilleTalon (#47297559) Attached to: Fresh Evidence Supports Higgs Boson Discovery

In the energy range of the LHC the Higgs boson is not the only new particle that could have been discovered. You cannot automatically tag the particle a Higgs boson unless you observe and measure some of its characteristics, which is exactly what is done here, to prove it is actually a Higgs boson and not another exotic particle from another exotic theory. The Standard Model is far to be the only existing one and the LHC is also seeking for physics beyond the Standard Model. The few characteristics originally observed from the early announcement were insufficient to make certain it was a Higgs boson, that's why it was originally called a Higgs-like particle.

Comment: Re:Management botched it again (Score 1) 128

by AchilleTalon (#47297069) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

Twice rather than once, by picking an application which have a steep learning curve for such a task. I cannot imagine you can make this process so complicated you are ending with a steep learning curve for the end-users while the role of the user interface is to ease everything for the user. How could a old system interface being easier to use than the new one? And easier up to the point it is really complicated and you have to invest a significant amount of time and money on training?

How bad could be your user interface to lead to such a thing?

Comment: Re:Families come first (Score 4, Insightful) 370

by AchilleTalon (#47292955) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry
Very strange reasoning. Since I am one of these older people, I never had so much time to throw at my job. My kids are all working or completing graduate studies. You know, normally, you are young enough to reproduce when you have kids. I mean, usually the mother is less than 35 years old. It is very likely a newly hired young engineer will eventually have family and suddenly shorter nights and all that things which are well beyond for the older ones. Sad to say for you young guys, life doesn't end after 45.

Comment: Your problem (Score 2, Insightful) 466

by AchilleTalon (#47242533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

Your problem is hidden in the list of requirements which have absolutely nothing to do with the programming language itself and all with the APIs. No matter how fluent you are in a programming language, if you don't know the specific APIs for GUI desktop, Web, mobile, etc, you will not succeed.

Frankly, I don't feel your question is serious given you are describing yourself as an occasional programmer which needs to be able to program code for almost all platforms and type of interfaces. Seems to me like a forged question to try to find a one-size-fits-all solution for your hypothetical needs.

Nobody learn all the APIs in the world in case. You learn them as you go along and some of them requires major time investment which you will surely avoid to do if you are really an occasional programmer without time to learn in detail the API for perhaps a one-time-shot usage.

Comment: Re:Turing Test Failed (Score 1) 432

by sbaker (#47204313) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

I think that to pass the Turing test, you have to tell the judges that the entity they are about to talk to *might* be a computer program. Eliza worked because people had never encountered a computer that even tried to be remotely human - so the assumption was that this was a real person from the outset. Also Eliza is a psychologist - so she gets to ask all the questions and steer the conversation into territory she can actually handle. Responses to things she can't parse are things like "So how does that make YOU feel?" - which work in that situation.

In a real turing test, the questions are completely open and the judge is initially highly sceptical that this is a real human.

Judges in these contests always seem to low-ball the questions. Ask "How would Santa Claus fend off a horde of attacking Ninjas?"

Those are insanely difficult questions for an AI to get right without some neutral "I don't feel like answering that right now" kind of response. A 13 year old kid would leap in and start wondering whether Santa could fly away in his sleigh and drop presents on them...or set the elves loose on them...or ask another question in return, like "Can the reindeer help out?"

Something that requires creativity - not just knowledge (which Watson could pull off) or a decent use of the English language (which Eliza could manage to some degree).

Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once. Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.