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Comment: Re:Big Mistake (Score 1) 33

by Mostly a lurker (#48537961) Attached to: With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions
If you believe advances in lithography are no longer occurring, you are clearly unfamiliar with the huge investments attempting to bring EUVL (extreme ultra violet lithography) to production fabs. However, in another sense, you are correct that other technologies (such as plasmonics) are going to be more important in developing the future 3D chips. You have not convinced me that Intel's move is going to make it much easier for China to become leaders in these areas than Micron's R&D centers in Shanghai and Xiamen and its fab in Xian.

Comment: Re:Big Mistake (Score 4, Insightful) 33

by Mostly a lurker (#48537501) Attached to: With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions
Perhaps. That is certainly a valid concern. However, the state of the art in this area is continually advancing very quickly. Just having an advanced fab in China does not mean that Chinese engineers are able to create the next generation chips and fabs. I think Intel's move is quite logical, and the danger of intellectual property theft not too serious in their case.

Comment: Samsung's own firmware/software ready to improve? (Score 1) 51

by Mostly a lurker (#48517685) Attached to: Samsung's Open Source Group Is Growing, Hiring Developers
I have long respected both Samsung's commitment to R&D and the general quality of their hardware. Unfortunately, they have never quite managed to couple this with well thought out firmware and software. I hope they are intending to package best in class open source components with an intelligent framework. If so, I am sure the quality of their offerings will improve markedly.

Comment: Rather good idea, I think (Score 2) 186

by Mostly a lurker (#48517491) Attached to: Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind
I rather like the concept, if applied well. What usually happens now is an impatient server wanting you to order asap. This could be a boon to those who like to take their time ordering. No need for any human to be involved until the menu says your order is finalized.

Comment: The ultimate big data challenge (Score 2) 90

by Mostly a lurker (#48464841) Attached to: New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps
It would be fascinating to know the infrastructure and methods used for storage and to process this volume of data. Presumably, they initially store everything, and then somehow process it to decide what is worth keeping as future potential blackmail material, or occasionally intelligence purposes. The scale of the task is mind boggling.

Comment: Re:Nice and all, but where's the beef? (Score 2) 127

by Mostly a lurker (#48394573) Attached to: US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer
The singularity, where supercomputers can advance scientific knowledge unaided by humans, is still some way off. However, you are mistaken if you believe there have not been huge advances in scientific knowledge in the last 20 years, or if you believe the rapid pace of advancement would have been possible without the computing power that has become available to support that effort. In earth sciences, medicine, high energy physics, astronomy, meteorology and many other scientific areas, the simulation and information organization capabilities facilitated by state of the art supercomputers have been absolutely crucial.

Comment: Mixed feelings (Score 4, Insightful) 928

by Mostly a lurker (#48278075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?
Sometimes, availability really is critical. In that case I want to take the risk of an automatic restart before the cause is investigated. However, it is important to appreciate that the approach is risky . The restart can cause cascading errors that change a reasonably simple issue into a multi day recovery operation.

Comment: Re:zomg singularity! (Score 3, Interesting) 145

I was disappointed at how in claiming a never-ending increase in the pace of technological advancement, Kurzweil never dealt with the regulatory and consumer factors, and the whole notion of how humans perceive time in general. The wheels of government can only move so fast, and so mankind's access to radical new technology outside the lab (e.g. self-driving cars, new medical tech) must slow down to match the speed of regulatory agencies.

You make some good points. However, I believe the march towards the singularity will march inexorably forward for one (highly undesirable) reason: the insatiable appetite of the leaders of nations for power. The populations of those countries will not even be allowed to know much of what is being developed with hundreds of billions of their tax dollars, but technologies that leaders perceive could enhance their ability to dominate the world will be financed. There will be no regulation. If you want to know the state of the art in visual recognition, you should look at military applications: robot soldiers and autonomous drones. For applications of big data (especially its usefulness in widespread blackmailing activities) then, in spite of some initial missteps, look at the pervasive collection of data by the world's "intelligence agencies".

Comment: Distasteful stuff, but should not be illegal (Score 5, Insightful) 475

by Mostly a lurker (#48188403) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK
The laws against child pornography should be aimed at protecting children from exploitation, not in making morality statements. Cartoon drawings of children engaging in sex acts certainly indicate people with pretty sick imaginations, but no children are hurt in their creation or consumption. I have seen worse on walls in public washrooms.

Comment: No data, so choose your favorite villain (Score 4, Funny) 303

by Mostly a lurker (#47716333) Attached to: Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical
Since the source is completely unclear, most posters will blindly assume it is the fault of whichever group is their bête noire. Some favorites will likely be China, North Korea and Russia, but use your imagination folks. There is just as much evidence that it is caused by evil bankers, genetically modified foods, pedophiles or US militarism.

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger