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Comment Re:Porsche != 'Luddite' (Score 2) 212

I agree with what you said pretty much.

I don't like driving at all and if someone gave me a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini etc I would sell it and if I could get a self driving car I would otherwise I would just save the money for now. I look at cars as a way to get from point A to point B and I don't want to be bothered in any way by them.

What I want is a safe self-driving electric car that can take itself to the repair shop or call for help when needed and arrange a replacement so I can worry about other things.

The only problem is that insurance is based on risk pools. This means that as people switch to self driving cars the risk pool for cars that people drive shrinks and by definition they are the most unsafe drivers compared to the autodrive cars. This will mean insurance will go up and move people will stop driving their cars for money reasons and the insurance will keep going up.

Eventually very few people will be able to drive their own cars no matter what their views on on it since they won't be able to afford the insurance. Not sure if I really like that endpoint very much but it would end up with a much safer world and much faster transport.

Maybe there should be more tracks and designated areas for people to drive for themselves or something.

Comment Re:trying to figure out how to survive (Score 1) 293

You will have the freedom to do this if you can afford the insurance.

Insurance is based on risk pools. Over time the risk pool for people that drive themselves will become smaller and smaller and end up as the highest risk category and so insurance will be much more expensive.

The government won't have to stop you from driving a car yourself. Insurance will end up pricing most people out of that market before government is ever involved.

Comment Re:My conclusion is that linux sucks for games (Score 2) 115

How fast MATLAB runs will vary based on how much CPU time it can get. If Xorg+WM takes more CPU time than Windows does then MATLAB won't have as much CPU time to run with.

Anything that makes the OS offload more work or do work more intelligently will increase the speed of any cpu bound operation. Just like you do the same total number of operations if you use a triple nested loop to multiply two matrixes or you use xGEMM. However the xGEMM version will run almost 100x faster since it uses the CPU FAR more efficiently. If Microsoft has made their system more highly optimized and better at offloading that would make MATLAB faster.

Comment Re:My conclusion is that linux sucks for games (Score 3, Interesting) 115

Actually the grandparent is right. Windows has gotten much more performance over the last few versions. With Windows 7 MATLAB ran about 20% faster on Linux than Windows. With Windows 8 the Windows version was very slightly faster and with Windows 10 the different is about 5% now in favor of windows.

Overall I suspect it is nothing magical. Microsoft has just worked very hard to offload more work to the GPU and also to optimize many other aspects of their systems for power usage. I get about an hour more battery life on windows vs linux.

Comment Linux and OSX are not ANY different on this issue (Score 5, Informative) 458

Skylake chips support some new power management features that allow the chip to throttle based on load far more efficiently than older chips. Microsoft is not adding special support to that to Windows 7 for example. The chip will still work on Windows 7 but not all features will work.

If you use a Debian install from 5 years ago it also won't support any of those new power management features and they are not going to backport those features. You can install a new kernel and a new version of some of the power management libraries, that will probably involve rebuilding a lot of user space and in the end you are probably going to break something else. What you would have to do is just use a distribution new enough to support all the features on your new processor.

OSX is going to do EXACTLY the same thing. Apple is not going to backport skylake power management to a 5 year old version of OSX and all the risks that could have. They are going to take the newest version, work out the details on that, validate it and support it.

Intels and AMDs new processors will continue to work on older Windows and Linux versions just like before. It is just that Microsoft has officially announced they are not going to backport new processor features to older operating system versions.

Comment Re:The herd's moving (Score 5, Insightful) 508

It is even worse than that. If you provide a host population for a virus it will mutate over time. It could mutate around the vaccine the others have taken and become generally infectious again.

One of the things many in medicine are worried about is that anti-vax people are going to provide a host population and something like measles will mutate and go back to killing millions of people. It is unlikely that we will come up with a new vaccine very quickly and even if the government makes this a crash project and devotes insane resources to it progress could still be slow.

For many of these diseases that we can vaccinate against we have nothing else. The diseases are still deadly and we don't really have a way to treat them.

The worst problem is that this outcome is inevitable if you have a host population. Anti-vax people put EVERYONE else at risk and it is just a matter of time until it happens.

This is why vaccines should be 100% mandatory unless there is a valid medical reason. I don't care what your religion, personal beliefs etc are. If you are going to live around other people you have to be vacinated.

Comment Re:Why does a web browser need GPU for basic (Score 1) 148

Using a GPU to render a website allows faster rendering with lower power usage.

Think of all the elements on a page that can be composited with something designed to do it with different levels of transparency.

If you want laptops and mobiles to run faster and last longer on battery power then part of that is using computer resources more efficiently. Lots of stuff right now is wasted and the CPU is busy with memory IO due to poor algorithms.

Comment Re:No it isn't (Score 2) 62

Well the software I am talking about is the result of a lot of very difficult research that has taken many years to do. The people writing the software are doing the research.

There is no simple algorithm that a professor came up. It is a complex physical model and it is highly non-trivial to figure out which parts need to be modeled and why to get the correct physical behavior.

Others use the software to try and solve a specific problem that would have been impossible without a lot of very hard work in getting the technology to do it. That work should be given credit since in the academic community credit is all that really matters for your career long term. That is one reason I don't like academia and look forward to finishing and going back into corporate research.

Comment Re:No it isn't (Score 3, Insightful) 62

A lot of scientific software is extremely specific and designed to enable very specific types of research. There are many fields where there are 1 or 2 pieces of software exist and they where written inside the community.

They most certainly should get credit for writing that software and enabling very specific research since in many cases without the software the research would not even exist.

Comment Re:damn this hipster science. (Score 1) 85

There is a possibility these super heavy atoms could be stabilized if they could react and form a molecule. They could even have very useful properties. Even if they don't exist for long right now they are distinct elements from anything else on the periodic table.

Chemical reactions take place on the order of a few femtoseconds so there is FAR more than enough time for these things to react and make a stable molecule. Look at uranium. On its own it decays as a radioactive compound but if turned into uraninite it is stable and far less dangerous.

Comment Re:AMD settled (Score 1) 225

For numerical work modern CPUs have gotten MUCH MUCH faster than older CPUs. Things like FMA, more vector ops, load and store two cache lines per cycle etc. These features are hard to take advantage of in higher level languages but modern cpus are vastly faster than older ones. For any normal users modern cpus are fast enough. If you need higher performance in games and simulation software you can write your code to use the CPU more effectively.

In the end a GPU is really not any faster than a CPU but a GPU forces you to write your code in a way that is more efficient on a vector processor. You can make the same kind of changes for a CPU can get a HUGE performance boost.

Comment Re:I like this a lot (Score 1) 514

Genes already cross between species. It is not as hard as many people think. On a biological timescale it is actually pretty fast.

Saying that something is done with GMO or Organic is not like writing pork on something. GMO is not something in a food and neither is Organic.

We do label food for contents.

Radiation and chemical mutagens will eventually produce a plant with a protein similar enough to the one on peanuts that causes allergic reactions. Labeling something as Organic does not change that in any way. It is a useless label and devoid of information.

All food should be tested. Our technology is advanced enough that all food should have DNA and protein assays stored on a government website. That way you could have a smart phone app and list what you don't want in your food (allergens, religious objections etc) and simple scan a QR code on the food and your phone could tell if the food is okay. Labeling GMO or Organic is never going to help you.

That you even call it a mutant organism indicates you really don't understand this technology and are acting out of fear. Sure we what do in the lab is not a conventional process but the methods we use in the lab are the SAME methods that nature fundamentally uses. CRISPR is taken from a natural source and all of this stuff we have learned from nature. Genetic engineering is darn safe and pretty easy to do now. The real danger is in radiation and chemical mutagens since they are more random.

If you create labels that you know are going to feed into panic and many of the supporters of labeling have a stated goal and making people react out of fear then you are not helping people. Labeling something as GMO is not going to help anyone and it is going to be used to create harm.

In the end I don't see the point in informing the public on an issue they are not qualified to make a decision on. If we want to have better food labeling we also need to have better education to go with that so people can make rational decisions.

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