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Comment Re:Are the laws of physics the same everywhere? (Score 1) 181

Laws of physics allows for Randomness, or at least a complex set of cause and effects that is beyond the ability to predict, as the attempt to measure all the factors will change their outcome, or a less sciency person may say these values we cannot be controlled by us are being controlled by a greater intelligence force. Needless to say in all intensive purposes there is randomness. Random stuff tends to balance itself out on the macro scale. Planets and Stars are round, and they orbit each other in elliptical orbits, they spin in galaxies.... But as you get into the smaller we find more randomness. That sandy beach may be made from different rocks, which may have a different properties. So animals who evolved to live on these beaches had adapted to deal with these difference, embracing the environments strengths and protecting itself from its dangers. So a bug evolved on one sandy beach with sand that has smooth edges may be more prone to digging in it to hide, while sand with sharper edges may be better used to cover the animal as to protect itself.
The environment you exist on will direct how you evolve. Our brains are designed for grassy plains, where we walk upright to be taller than grass, we can use our eyes and ears to find prey and avoid predators. Our smell isn't so great, but being above the grassline the stuff we would be able to smell wouldn't be as useful information. But we had learned to communicate with sight and sound.
An alien would have evolved with a much different set of random elements. Say like a bunch of mole men. No need for eye-sight. but much more on smell and sound. An intelligent group of life forms with less or no site would be making different observations. Except for reaching to the stars, they may be wanting to dig to the planet core. And they share information over the sniffernet. Their world view would be alien to us making communication difficult. and even undetectable by other advanced races.

Comment Re:Animals (Score 2) 181

We can communicate with animals. We can learn there gestures, mannerisms, vocal noises, even analyse the smells they produce. We can often tell if they are happy, sad, angry at least for mammals and birds. However animals don't have the same level of communication that people do. Sure some animals makes complex sounds but it doesn't mean they are performing complex grammar. A Dolphin going Screech - Chirpity - click - click may just mean "Fish over here", and perhaps an identifier on who he is.
We can identify this stuff. We think we cannot communicate with animals because we don't get into these deep conversations with them but they don't think like that. They are not that deep.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 415

Right but that's the problem - you're talking about how much it costs them when you die, but how much it costs them is not a measure of how much it costs society as a whole. A $300,000 payout to your widow does not mean you were only worth $300,000 if you were also personally responsible for another $500,000 of income for your company (and hence contribution to GDP).

So how much you impact on a health insurance company's profits, is not directly relevant to how much your life was worth overall - it is only a fraction of total costs. When you pay for life insurance, you're not paying to insure against the cost of your death to society as a whole, only to cover your cost to your surviving relatives to make sure they can still afford to live, and even that isn't necessarily directly related to how much you were actually worth to them, but is instead a function of how much you were willing to pay for life insurance in the first place. If you took two people earning the exact same salary doing the exact same job, and one paid half of what the other did in life insurance contributions such that one's family only gets a $150,000 payout, whilst the other gets a $300,000 payout then it doesn't make sense to argue that those are valuations on those people's lives- why is one worth half what the other is when their contribution to both society as a whole, and to their families via their identical incomes was identical?

So AmiMoJo is right when he says it's difficult to figure out how much a human life is worth. It goes beyond simple direct contribution to GDP and that's where the real complexity lies - if a scientist isn't earning much, and isn't selling much directly but is churning out important papers on nano-materials that create a billion dollars in additional industrial productivity then it's easy to see how their relative low wage, low life insurance payout doesn't remotely reflect their actual value.

You can't measure worth of human life objectively in terms of only life insurance costs.

Comment 4 gigs is all the RAM you will ever need. (Score 1) 208

I expect that is may be mostly do the fact most apps made today still are created with the idea of 32bit in mind. (For Windows and Linux). When designing software there is a sweet spot where of how much RAM to use, vs how much to read off of slower storage such as a hard disk or download from the cloud, vs. how much you should calculate in real time. As technology progresses and prices changes this balance fluctuates. MS DOS and those old DOS apps were designed around the under 640k RAM. and reading data from the disk. So many of the games were generated via Vector graphics. As the CPU time was fast enough to draw the graphics, vs trying to store bitmaps in RAM, and loading it from the disk. Then once the Faster Accessing of the hard disk came around with larger storage, then you got more bitmapped images, where you can read more complex images and display them faster then it would take the CPU to draw them at that quality level. As well RAM has been breaking the 640k barrier, at this point we can have Windowing information as we now have the RAM to run the application and extra to store the data behind an overlapping window...

Design methods change as technology changes so you code needs to deal with the new balance of technology available in the systems.
Sometimes we call it bloat, but it is about having your program taking optimal advantage of the resources to meet what the system can do.
I have a program I created on the server that takes over a hundred gigs of RAM. It really flies because I have a good portion of the data cached in RAM for quick retrieval faster then it takes to download it from the Database. The app I would have written a decade ago, wouldn't work like this app, because we didn't have the RAM, so it would have been designed with more of creating direct read tables in the database with copies from other data elements, probably using extra disk space, to get things indexed so it will work in reasonable time. As well it may need to have been split across multiple servers.

Comment Re:Perl? LOL. (Score 2, Insightful) 161

Perl still has a place, however it isn't the golden child language it once was.
Perl heyday was during the mid-late 1990's when having a Relational Database was considered an expensive (in software price and/or in system requirements) so for Web Applications, that needed to do a server side data processing there was a lot of reading flat text data. Perl is still king at flat text processing. However with MySQL, PostGreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 being created and designed to be good enough to handle the large data sets, and with system resources that can fit on your mid range server. So PHP, Java servlets, ASP took Perl golden child status, as they are better designed to interact with the database, as well the ability to embed your code with your HTML simplifying the process.
So its place as the de facto language for all things web is rather dated... However it is still good for text processing and can do what it needs to do.

Comment Re:Sincerely, good luck (Score 2) 686

Problem is Linus in terms of Linux has been granted God Like reputation. And no one is willing to dispute his power. He may had been a nice guy back in the 1990's but the power had made him more willing to just speak his mind, and not listen to the little guys.

I personally like to hire people who is willing to tell me I am wrong so I can learn.

Comment Re:Obvious ruling (Score 4, Interesting) 203

"It's the smaller US companies that are probably going to take the brunt of this - the one that don't currently have any servers in the EU."

Actually I'm not sure that that's the case. If a company operates only in the US (e.g. is headquartered there, only makes money there, only has staff there), but an EU citizen gives them their data, then the EU citizen is effectively accepting that their data will be held under the US' weaker data protection regime.

The problem here is that Google, Facebook et. al have set up European subsidiaries for tax dodging purposes and so EU citizens are interacting with EU subsidiaries who are held to EU data protection standards. Those subsidiaries cannot make the decision for users to send their data to weaker data protection regimes - only the users themselves can opt to do that.

Comment Re:Not a hard and fast rule... (Score 2) 281

It is much the same concept of parallelizing algorithms. Some algorithms are easily parallelized where each unit isn't dependant on the other. Then you have others which cannot be parallelized, Things need to happen in that order and the start of the next step is dependant of the part of the first. The same with development projects. In order for someone to complete a particular section they need the results from an other. Then you have the difference between academic vision of software engineering, and real life. all the specs cannot be thought out.

People are always available for work in the past tense.