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Comment: Re:From another article... (Score 1) 341

by Rhys (#49295251) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

Remember it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be better than the bottom 50% of drivers. The bar here is not high. How do the bottom 50% of drivers handle random system failures? Say ice on the road. If he doesn't implement 'panic' as an option, its probably already above a good chunk of those folks, judging by accident rates in winter storms.

Comment: That was a review? (Score 2) 177

by Rhys (#49009009) Attached to: The First Ubuntu Phone Is Here, With Underwhelming Hardware

I expected comments from someone who has, you know, maybe touched the device at least once.

I'm not enamored with the phablet trend. I like my Galaxy Nexus, its about the idea size to me. Something smaller with touch could be exciting. I don't need a billion pixels on the phone, but it needs to have some grunt and a good way to get a big keyboard, mouse, and monitor attached.

Comment: Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (Score 1) 323

by Rhys (#48399801) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Had our local bean-to-bar chocolate maker not passed away, I'd be happy to pay that much for his. They were amazingly good. Then again I've paid $100/(std-size) bottle for ice wine (we had a taste on a vineyard tour and knew we had to take a bottle home). My dad mocked me until he tried it and decided he must have done right as a parent, since he raised a very wise son.

Some things are costly to make, rare, or both. Some things are also worth paying for because they are costly to make, rare, or both. These sets make a nice Venn diagram. The key is finding the overlap and buying that stuff.

Comment: No, context matters. (Score 1) 299

by Rhys (#48287243) Attached to: It's Time To Revive Hypercard

I don't want a self-taught developer writing flight control, banking systems, or medical embedded systems code. I'd rather have someone formally trained doing that work. On the other hand, there's plenty of places where if the code doesn't quite work right I don't really care that much. From everything of the once-thriving online text based gaming community (the MUSH, MUCK, MOO, MUX, MUD, etcs) to simple web pages or even stupid phone apps, there's a place for "non-professional" programmers.

Similarly, there is a place for non-professional carpenters -- my trained-programmer father has made every bookshelf in my folks house, a couple tables, has redone the 2nd story deck multiple times, and redone the roof (structural and laying shingles) on the horse barn on the back of the garage, and a bunch of brio-compatible track for me when I was ~4. He doesn't redo the main house roof (45 deg slope or more -- too steep), nor does he repoint the structural brick exterior (1920s house) or do plumbing when it involves sweating copper.

He also taught me enough of it (I helped him on most of what I listed above as a teen) that I've done plenty myself; four bookshelves, two desks (one used bookshelves for legs, the other is just an oak plywood surface for a geekdesk base, but stained and varnished a nice deep brown), and one storage cabinet with removable shelves that just happen to be 60x90 LEGO studs in size. Oh and an exterior door on my own 1960s-era house -- that was worlds of fun since while you can order a door and frame to the right opening size, the way houses set doors into the house's wooden structure has changed since my place was built. That was a learning experience (doors are a pain in the ass) and I let professionals have the fun of the next exterior door that needed to be replaced -- who, by the way, cracked the trim worse than I did when they replaced it.

Its about knowing what you know, what you don't, and what you should (or want to) call in a professional for.

Comment: Turbine? Punish anyone? Surely you jest! (Score 1) 50

by Rhys (#48008757) Attached to: Infinite Crisis' Superhero Origins Story

The motto of people playing their MMOs has ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS been "exploit early, exploit often." That was true in 99/2000 with Asheron's Call just months out the gate, and it was(/is?) true two months ago as it got put out to pasture (one-time-fee-to-play, no new dev work).

Turbine will patch the hole but only once in a blue moon will they even consider taking action against paying customers, and usually even then only a slap on the wrist 1-3 day ban. The macros, duping hacks, speed altering programs (gear).

Comment: Re:Wrong question (Score 5, Insightful) 634

by Rhys (#46964091) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

There's actually significant upside.

Ever debugged a memory error in C? Ever done it when it is timing dependent? How about on 1024 nodes at once? Good luck opening that many gdb windows.

I TA'd the parallel programming class. I told the students (largely engineers & science, not CS) -- use fortran. Lack of pointers is actually a feature here.

Comment: Re:or 2 competing providers before an area loses P (Score 1) 449

by Rhys (#46614725) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

Even though I'm in town I'm not sure I buy cell over POTS. I have this thing called a basement (actually, under the front porch, concrete coverage 90-95% on all 6 sides -- small wooden ceiling/floor at one end), and I live in the midwest, where hiding in it from tornadoes is a thing that we do. I also have a buried landline (won't get snapped by falling trees). As soon as the cell companies can get me signal in the bunker, then we can being the conversation about removal of the POTS line.

Barring that we can talk about other technologies that would substitute and fill a similar feature set. Buried FTTP would be an acceptable substitute. Sure, there's the power loss issue for signaling in a disaster event from my end (though that's a signal in and of itself), but I'm willing to take that burden and USPes aren't really that complex a technology nor that high a cost. For the sort of trouble expected here (tornado/wind damage), FTTP should be about as reliable as POTS.

Comment: Re:And at only 78,000 USD, it's a steal! (Score 4, Interesting) 110

Even if it wasn't 78k (and it isn't, they listed it at 3k if you RTFA) that is a steal if your compute load can actually extract the 8 Tflop from it -- assuming that's the 64-bit flop, not the 32-bit flop.

I mean, slightly under 10 years ago I know a big-10 university that paid 3000k for a cluster with less Tflops (around 7, but not all in one computation/network).

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, another few years that should be in laptops or phones.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.