Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Philip K Dick called it (Score 3, Interesting) 127

by sg3000 (#47263295) Attached to: Emotional Contagion Spread Through Facebook

So the "Empathy Box" from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is real? And now?

Ok, you just blew my mind.

I remember never quite getting the whole "empathy box" idea in the book. It seemed unlikely and quite foreign. But you're right: that's what Facebook is. People sharing their good and bad news in order to participate in some group emotion. And, just like Rick's wife was "addicted" to it, lots of people were addicted to checking Facebook (at least for a while, the interest in Facebook seems to have waned). So Philip K. Dick was prescient about that after all.

Comment: Re:I was born at the right time... (Score 1) 153

by Rene S. Hollan (#47133547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

Conversely, I didn't dabble much with cassettes. The business for which I coded, very briefly used a cassette deck to load BASIC into the Altair, but switched to 8" hard-sectored floppy drives (being a business, it had "infinite financial resources" compared to my meager means, for some value of "infinite") very quickly: fiddling with the level settings and waiting eight minutes to load BASIC (after enterring the cassette bootloader by hand from the front panel) was not practical.

I DID once write a loader for that same Altair 8800 that used a TI Silent 700 with dual digital cassette heads that recorded at 5120 bps (IIRC) on digital cassettes (or high quality cassettes with a hole punched at the right spot in the leader :-) ).

I guess the punched card thing was more of a mainframe/mini-computer thing. When I started my undergraduate degree in 1979 most programming at the university was still done on punched cards and run "batch". We did have a row of ten DecWriters, and an express CRT terminal, but there were more punch card machines available. When accounts were issued, they were in the form of orange "control" punched card (80 column) "ACCOUNT command" cards. More mainframe CRT terminals were added over time, and were covetted because they were 1) faster than the DecWriters at 1200 bps over current-loop interfaces, and 2) didn't suffer the inconvenience of having to constantly go get scrap paper (and ensure that someone didn't comandeer your DecWriter!). The downside was that they displayed 24 rows of 80 colums text. So, having got a clean compile, one of the first things one would do was request a printout from the mainframe printers.

What I would do was code on the terminals, and at the end of the term, or when I was running out of my very small disk space allotment, get special permission to have my programs punched on cards for posterity. I got "mag tape" privileges about 1980/81 but realize that the recording density was 1600 bpi (later 6250) and the longest tape real was 2400 feet, so about five megabytes on a long tape (later 22.5 MB, but the 6250 bpi tapes were "finicky"). Only recently did I get rid of about 100 pounds of punched cards.

Comment: Re:I was born at the right time... (Score 1) 153

by Rene S. Hollan (#47132701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

HP2000 timesharing computer system with remote access via teletype at 110bps and an accoustic model. I can still remember the smell of teletype ribbons and paper in the high school computer room.

Why? To be able to get the computer to compute stuff for me. Initial programs were to print trig/log tables so i wouldn't have to buy them. I was already a science geek, computing orbital parameters for fun, and adding logs was easier than multiplication.

I was 13 years old. It was 1974.

The next year the high school got a 300 bps DecWriter. OMG! That was "fast". We got a card reader and optical scan 40 column cards, so we could "program" outside of the computer room. At some point we got a 1200 bps portable thermal paper TI terminal.

By 1975 or 76, I was hacking on an Altair at a local business, writing accounting software for them in Basic.

My first computer that I actually owned was a 6809-based system running Flex around 1984. A PC clone came shortly after that. By this time I was well on my way toward an Honours Computer Science degree.

Comment: Can we send Justin Beiber as his ambassador? (Score 5, Funny) 304

If we send the Beeb's in Zuck's place I think we could make everyone happy. Iran gets a white boy they can prosecute or just hold without cause for a really long time and the US no longer has to put up with his illegal actions or that noise he purports to call music. Considering there's a petition before the White House to have him deported back to the Canada anyway, I vote we offer this as an alternative.

Comment: Re:When you gag the enginers ... (Score 1) 373

by sg3000 (#47048375) Attached to: The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

Please explain how one gets from broken plastic clips on a vanity mirror to "rolling sarcophagus" in a way that wouldn't make any other engineer's (let along lawyer's) eyes roll

Quotes like this that make me miss the defunct Forum 2000. This sounds like a great quote from The Cube SOMAD.

I agree with the GP though. I recall a guy I used to work with who used hyperbole a lot. I recall that he once referred to a so-called "fiasco" which, upon deeper inspection, translated to him trying to schedule a conference call where he couldn't get the other people to agree on a time. Once I figured out his hyperbolic tendency, I could safely moderate the "disasters" he was warning of. I shudder to think what would happen if his emails are ever discovered for a lawsuit.

Comment: H1Bs do not work "cheaper" (Score 1) 466

As a former H1-B holder, and current lawful permanent resident ("Green Card"), here long enough to become a citizen (> five years), H1-B DO NOT work cheaper.

At least, it is ILLEGAL to pay them less than 95% of the prevailing wage in the local area (as determined by the State Dept. of Labor). Furthermore, the employer has to bear the brunt of non-immigrant related legal paperwork and the cost of sending them home at the end of their visa. H1-Bs actually cost employers MORE than citizen workers.

While it is true that contracting firms and employers themselves will often lie regarding wages, this is criminal, and strongly opposed by legal H1-B workers as much as it is opposed by citizens.

Comment: Re:Dead-end bureaucracy (Score 1) 230

by Rene S. Hollan (#46882595) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

Of course, the vast majority of people doing programming in 1983 didn't do any of this. If you count everyone who was entering any code (from "Hello World" on up), the vast majority of programmers were working on 8-bit microcomputers that didn't require jumping through any such hoops. If you had a Commodore 64, you could get a basic test program working in less than a minute:

10 PRINT"HELLO WORLD"
20 GOTO 10
RUN

Then once you figured that out you could learn about variables, figure out how to write to the screen RAM, and eventually figure out sprites. And then once you figured out that interpreted BASIC at 1 MHz wasn't fast enough to do a decent arcade game, you'd move on to assembly. I'd wager a majority of the people programming today learned in an environment like this. Edsger Dijkstra and other academic computer scientists hated BASIC, which they thought taught bad habits and caused brain damage, but they were wrong. It was this kind of hacker culture that created the flourishing IT industry we have today, not the dead-end bureaucracy represented by Thatcherite Britain.

Quoting another post to get past the damn filter.

Then once you figured that out you could learn about variables, figure out how to write to the screen RAM, and eventually figure out sprites. And then once you figured out that interpreted BASIC at 1 MHz wasn't fast enough to do a decent arcade game, you'd move on to assembly. I'd wager a majority of the people programming today learned in an environment like this. Edsger Dijkstra and other academic computer scientists hated BASIC, which they thought taught bad habits and caused brain damage, but they were wrong. It was this kind of hacker culture that created the flourishing IT industry we have today, not the dead-end bureaucracy represented by Thatcherite Britain.

How to make the lineprinter rip the paper:

              PROGRAM FOO(INPUT, OUTPUT)
10 PRINT 20
20 FORMAT(133H+---- .... ----)
              GOTO 10
              STOP
              END

Stupid formatting doesn't work, but you get the idea.

AI

Computer Spots Fakers Better Than People Do 62

Posted by timothy
from the just-don't-make-eye-contact dept.
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Using sophisticated pattern matching software, researchers have had substantially better success with a computer, than was obtained with human subjects, in spotting faked facial expressions of pain. [Original, paywalled article in Current Biology] From the Reuters piece: '... human subjects did no better than chance — about 50 percent ...', 'The computer was right 85 percent of the time.'"

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

Working...