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Comment: Re:Infinity (Score 1) 1067 1067

I am not concerning myself with representations of mathematical values, except to show the parallels of why it works. IEEE 754 defines a positive and negative infinity, because it has a specific signed bit. Thus, it's easier to define a positive and negative infinity than to produce special code to handle "exceptions"... note also that IEEE 754 defines a positive and negative 0 separately. No, they really do.

My model is a theoretical one that hasn't reached mathematical consensus, and it likely never will. I just note that this is an argument for infinity being signless.

Comment: Re:Infinity (Score 1) 1067 1067

More importantly is what happens when you graph it: the limit of 1/x as x approaches zero is discontiguous. It's positive infinity when descending on the positive numbers, but negative infinity when ascending from the negatives. No one value can represent both!

Let's assume that the set of integers is Z_\inf. K? We can now define negative numbers as the 1's compliment of the number plus 1. 1 = 999...9998. then plus 1 = 999...9999. This plus 1 results in an infinite carry out, and the value 0. Awesome.

Now, let's look at 1/0, we see that from the right it's approaching \inf from the bottom, while we see that from the left, it's approaching \inf from the top. Now, at 0, obviously these two will be coincident, because we're working in Z_\inf, that value is the same value. Namely, -\inf = \inf. But that doesn't make sense, only 0 can be it's own negative!

But we've already known for a long time about Z_n where n is even, -(-128) in Z_256 is -128. -(-65536) in Z_2^16 = -65536. So, there's no trouble in making -\inf = \inf ...

Basically, 1/0 grows so fast that it manages to wrap around the entire infinite series of numbers. Which is exactly what it does...

Comment: Re:Infinity (Score 1) 1067 1067

That is simply false. There are an infinite number of algorithms that might contain the (sub)expression X/X for which zero is a valid value of X. To assume it's a programming error is sheer unmitigated stupidity that I might expect from a mathematician that has never written a real program in his life.

Dude... you perhaps haven't heard, but computers run entirely upon theoretical mathematics... I know, it's popular to say it's engineering, rather than mathematics, but it's mathematics. It's always been mathematics.

Comment: Baidu Team's Apology Appended to Official Notice (Score 3, Insightful) 94 94

From the official announcement found in the NYT article (full of details we mostly already know) there comes an update with the team's response:

Message from the team in question:

Dear ILSVRC community,

Recently the ILSVRC organizers contacted the Heterogeneous Computing team to inform us that we exceeded the allowable number of weekly submissions to the ImageNet servers (~ 200 submissions during the lifespan of our project).

We apologize for this mistake and are continuing to review the results. We have added a note to our research paper, Deep Image: Scaling up Image Recognition, and will continue to provide relevant updates as we learn more.

We are staunch supporters of fairness and transparency in the ImageNet Challenge and are committed to the integrity of the scientific process.

Ren Wu – Baidu Heterogeneous Computing Team

So, while they deserve the year ban, the apology is nice. It's a shame we can never know what results a fair competition could have yielded ... and an even bigger shame that the media misreported Baidu as overpowering Google. I suppose the damage is done and the ILSVRC has made the right choice.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the classification problem but why isn't this run like most other classification problems (like Netflix and many other data challenges) where you get ~80% for training and the remaining 20% are held back for the final testing and scoring? Is the tagged data set too small to do this? Seems like wikimedia would contain a wealth of ripe public domain images for this purpose ...

Comment: Re:You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 276 276

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this.

Americans are quick to believe the Official Narrative, no matter how absurd. Mass media is the professional 'troll' that gets people to fight each here.

Again, you're conflating two things that are significant enough that I don't see a simple one-to-one comparison here.

The clear difference here is that the trolls in the article are a nebulous entity whereas the media trolls are not. I know to laugh at Glenn Beck and Katie Couric. I know who they are. I recognize their blubbering stupid talking heads. They're a trainwreck of lies and half truths. On the other hand, you can't stop google from returning search results that confirm what you're looking for. When it's a "trending hastag" on Twitter, you can't figure out if it's legit or not. How do I know that podonski432 on Twitter is the same individual on Youtube named ashirefort posting videos of an explosion is the same person retweeting podonski432 and adding ashirefort's video to their tweet?

Mass media doesn't employ subterfuge and I sure as hell can stop reading the New York Post & Washington Times & CNSNews & Huffington Post and all that other drivel. I can't, however, identify easily that this account on Twitter is just the new troll account that tricked me last time.

You do know that it's news if the New York Times is caught lying or spreading known falsities, right? I watched Jon Stewart hold a "reporters" feet to the WMD fire on one of his recent episodes. There's no self-policing mechanism like that among trolls.

Comment: You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 276 276

It's just about time to drag the American organized political trolling on sites like reddit, twitter, and tumblr into the open too, right?

Well, astroturfing is no new tactic but ... I think what this article deals with is scale. 400 clearly skilled (bilingual at the least) individuals running multiple catfish personalities online day in and day out ... the whole thing on a budget of $400k a month? That level and size is probably unparalleled by ... say, Digg's conservative idiots.

You have one entity orchestrating the 12 hours a day work of 400 individuals on topics that are pro-Russian and tangentially pro-Russian. They are sophisticated enough to "hit play" at a certain time to unfold a natural disaster or assassination or anything to destabilize/confuse a region and they do so over many accounts on multiple social media platforms. They create video, screenshots, websites, etc. And they use proxies and sufficiently sophisticated means to appear to be disjoint at first glance.

They appear to have run an exercise on a rubber plant explosion in Louisiana for no other discernible purpose than to test out their new super powers or demonstrate their abilities to their customers/leaders.

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this. This is paid. This is tightly controlled. This is prepared. This is unified. American organized political trolling is just a run-of-the-mill monkey shitfight with the occasional Koch Bros/Soros website (usually easily sourceable) thrown in.

Now if you can point me to a faked ISIS attack on American soil right before an election that was done by some political group stateside, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Comment: Re:MS Paint (Score 2) 290 290

Most, I hate the Sparta icon... it's white, with no contrast border... which makes everything that is assigned to it being the default program, show a white globe on a white background... it's like, "way to go, Microsoft!" followed by a slow clap.

"clean" "modern" design... which will never work decently on all backgrounds... you know... like good logos, and designs...

+ - Jason Scott of textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs-> 1 1

eldavojohn writes: You've probably got a spindle in your close tor a drawer full of CD-ROM media mailed to you or delivered with some hardware that you put away "just in case" and now (ten years later) the case for actually using them is laughable. Well, a certain mentally ill individual named Jason Scott has a fever and the only cure is more AOL CDs. But his sickness doesn't stop there, "I also want all the CD-ROMs made by Walnut Creek CD-ROM. I want every shovelware disc that came out in the entire breadth of the CD-ROM era. I want every shareware floppy, while we’re talking. I want it all. The CD-ROM era is basically finite at this point. It’s over. The time when we’re going to use physical media as the primary transport for most data is done done done. Sure, there’s going to be distributions and use of CD-ROMs for some time to come, but the time when it all came that way and when it was in most cases the only method of distribution in the history books, now. And there were a specific amount of CD-ROMs made. There are directories and listings of many that were manufactured. I want to find those. I want to image them, and I want to put them up. I’m looking for stacks of CD-ROMs now. Stacks and stacks. AOL CDs and driver CDs and Shareware CDs and even hand-burned CDs of stuff you downloaded way back when. This is the time to strike." Who knows? His madness may end up being appreciated by younger generations!
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The downside of owning the internet (Score 1) 57 57

.. the best way to address that problem would be for the EU to define the standards and the process to be followed...

This, absolutely this. In order to force someone to turn over information, I have to have a valid subpoena issued by a court with jurisdiction. The fact that they just punted this to "you figure it out" means Google is given arbitrary discretion on how they can fulfil this, and the recourse to disagreeing is to take them to court and sue them again.

If you're going to give someone a right enforced by the government, then you should provide the necessary process to issue a "strike-records decree"...

BTW, Google still tells employees not to talk about this stuff in public, because Google has to so carefully watch its steps. (Disclaimer, I used to be a Google employee this year)

The problem is also the consent decree that says "anything that Google says, it has to actually be doing"... which can end up really nitpicky if lawyers want to be... and "my various governments" are all looking to catch Google for something, anything... so, they are being a bit nitpicky...

Comment: Re:They're right you bunch of freetards (Score 1) 612 612

Worse, the H1Bs require their employer to sponsor them to remain in the United States, which they will only do if the individual is working for them.

As a result, the employer not only holds and H1B's livelihood under a Damocles Sword, but even their residence in this country. You want to quit? Well, I hope you're prepared to move yourself back to where you came from on your own dime, which is also what happens if we fire you.

So, the employer has even more power over H1B workers, to the point where the worker is unlikely to report anything but the worst abuse...

Comment: Re:Defense of the Article (Score 1) 425 425

So there could be two groups, those who look to improve their skill, who quickly distance themselves from the group that doesn't. Of course, there will still be wide variance in skill between the members of each group. I'm sure you can think of other ways it could happen.

No, I can't. I started out and I sucked. I got better eventually through experience. In order for it to be truly bimodal, people have to start in either camp A or camp B and end in the same camp they started in. Because if you transition from one to another over time, any point in time will capture a group of people in between the modes. Now, you can argue that people don't spend much time in between those modes but you haven't presented any evidence for that. What's more likely is you have geocities coders on one tail and John Carmack/Linus Torvolds on the other tail. And in between are people like the presenter and I. And since I'm not instantaneously going from bad to good, the reality of the situation is most likely some degree of a normal curve filled with people trying to get better at programming or even just getting better though spending lots of time doing it and learning a little along the way.

For all your attacks on the presenter, your argument of a bi-modal distribution sounds more flawed to me. I would love to see your study and hear your argument.

Comment: Defense of the Article (Score 1) 425 425

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

To be fair, you can spend a great deal of time talking about something and make progress on the issue without solving it.

For example the current metrics are abysmal so it's worth explaining why they're abysmal. I just was able to delete several thousand lines of JavaScript from one of my projects after a data model change (through code reuse and generalization) -- yet I increased functionality. My manager was confused and thought it was a bad thing to get rid of code like that ... it was absolute dopamine bliss to me while he felt like our production was being put in reverse. KLOC is a terrible metric. But yet we still need to waste a lot of breath explaining why it's a terrible metric.

Another reason to waste a lot of time talking about a problem without reaching an answer is to elaborate on what the known unknowns are and speculate about the unknown unknowns. Indeed, the point of this article seemed to be to advertise the existence of unknown unknowns to "recruiters, venture capitalists, and others who are actually determining who gets brought into the community."

So he doesn't know......programmer ability might actually be a bi-modal distribution.

Perhaps ... but that would imply that one does not transition over time from one hump to the next or if they do, it's like flipping a light switch. When I read this I assumed that he was talking only about people who know how to program and not "the average person mixed in with programmers."

If he had collected data to support his hypothesis, then that would have been an interesting article.

But you just said there's no way to measure this ... how could he have collected data? What data set could have satiated us? The answer is quite obvious and such collection would have been a larger fool's errand than the original article's content.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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