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Comment: Re:No, she doesn't. (Score 4, Insightful) 817

by Sir_Sri (#47511623) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Ya I think the problem is that forums bring out people who say some truly terrible things, and there isn't really much you can do about it. They say stuff to men too - but it's more death threats than sexist, and they say racist things to (or about) blacks and jews, muslims, latinos, and the chinese too.

The perils of anonymity I suppose.

It's not like it isn't a valid concern that people are out saying these things, but jews and blacks essentially face the same problem: if you go and look at a few hundred or a few thousand internet comments on any post there will be a couple of things that are basically just crazy people rambling. Unfortunately you don't know when random crazy people rambling on forums are actually a threat (if ever), and that they exist and want to say those things at all is a bit of an existential threat to your general day to day existence.

There isn't really an obvious prescription. You can educate people all you want about not saying offensive things, but a small handful of people will continue to say offensive things because they're trying to be offensive. And the anonymity of the internet lets you say both unpopular things which are valid, and unpopular things which are just nonsense.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 530

by Sir_Sri (#47404997) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

And yet in 150 years he's been essentially proven wrong on that point - he certainly understood the battle between capital and labour, but he underestimated the ability of people to adapt. We needed Karl marx to help grasp the consequences of too much wealth perpetually flowing to capitalists (as compared to aristocrats who were essentially capped at owning 100% of the land). But we can also have people add a lot more educated value and decision making to manufacturing. When he looked at the world he saw a collection of illiterate masses being replaced by machines with no where to go.

When robots make everything and they don't all need to be nearly exactly copies we'll need specialists to help us individually understand what meets our requirements, send off and order for a custom design of everything and off you go. Oh, you're 197 cm tall sir, but want to drive a car with a sun roof? No problem. We'll design one for you, and have it built and delivered by the end of the week. Oh madam, you're 150 cm tall, and married to the 197 cm tall guy - and you want to be able to see over the dashboard in his car, and for him to have headroom in yours? No problem we can make one like that for you. What about you sir? 180 cm tall and 170Kg, well no problem sir, we can custom design the seat for a man of your size, rebalance the car for when you're driving to get optimal performance and safety.

Individualization and customization is the future of manufacturing. That will change the requirements for people certainly - but it won't cut people out of the process. It will just make them into specialists making more sophisticated choices about more complex things.

Comment: Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (Score 5, Insightful) 530

by Sir_Sri (#47404961) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

China has a massive manufacturing hub in the hong kong - shenhzen - guangzhou region because a huge collection of components are available there, with a large collection of factories and workers who can flexibly shift between factories to meet rapidly variable demand (particularly for somewhere like foxconn who work for many related businesses - oh, dell you can wait 48 hours while we throw together 100k phone screens for apple who need them right now, and in 48 hours we'll have enough staff brought on board to do both).

If you're important enough and need enough made they'll shut down schools for you to get more workers. And the areas are small (relatively) stand in the centre draw a 100Km circle around yourself and you've got 120+ million in a giant megacity making stuff for the world. It's amazing and terrifying and a lot of other things all at once. Imagine what the industrial revolution London did to the world - only 100x bigger. And that's thing - while some of the advanced semiconductor components are made elsewhere still so much of the supply chain, glass, displays, the motherboards, the plastic etc. etc. etc. all in a tiny little radius all shipped out around the world in 3 days.

Comment: Re:True in theory (Score 1) 186

by Sir_Sri (#47334657) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

Well it *might* be true that healthcare data mining could save many lives. That's an educated guess - that large enough sample sets would let researchers discover correlation and causation effects that we have never noticed, and they can do this using machine learning algorithms, or just the nature of enough data to actually show trends.

But yes, for travellers and for the US you need to worry about what insurance companies are going to do with that data, and if they're going to improperly use that data to deny you care you paid for, or if it makes it impossible to get healthcare coverage based on data.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to make medical data privacy irrelevant. Even in places where you cannot be denied coverage regardless of your medical history (say the NHS, where even if you break into NHS hospitals and steal stuff all the time they still cannot deny you entry for care) you still don't necessarily want your neighbour to be able to discover that you where hospitalized for having a dildo stuck up your ass.

Comment: Re:And the problem is? (Score 1, Insightful) 75

Because there are probably known vulnerabilities actively being exploited by government agencies that they were told not to fix.

Of course if you're using AWS you're almost certainly subject to NSA surveillance anyway, so... it's not any better or worse than them spying on it through other channels.

Still, considering the situation with truecrypt was announced with 0 warning and no trivial alternatives to migrate infrastructure to I would think people are more or less stuck with it for a few months.

Comment: Re:Linux didn't made much sense for the consumer a (Score 3, Insightful) 173

by Sir_Sri (#47209467) Attached to: Alienware Swaps SteamOS For Windows

I bet if microsoft goes all in on the Windows store and locks you into only stuff bought from the windows store then the Steam box would have a much better chance. But it seems almost impossible that MS is going to actually go that route at this point. I could be unpleasantly surprised though, but now that Ballmer is gone that seems unlikely.

As long as you can use Steam for windows... and buy games through steam on Windows Linux gaming is basically for ideological purists, for people who represent the 85% of the market or so that use windows, or the 12% that use Mac Steam works so why change? They'd need a really compelling offering.

Comment: Re:So glad it's over (Score 2) 151

Except that Titan isn't really a gaming card. The big draw is the double precision floating point performance. The GTX 780 - which is the same part for gaming purposes, is about 700 dollars (they have almost identical single precision performance, which is what gaming is), so 2 780's would be about 1500 dollars (to compare to the titan black dual GPU monstrosity).

And you don't need top end parts unless you're gaming on 4k (which is either a 3500 dollar monitor for a good one, or a ~500 dollar Seiki TV that is capped at 30fps with crappy colour).

There has *always* been more expensive hardware than most people need or want. But for people who have money there's nothing particularly wrong with having super expensive stuff. If you made 500k a year what would you spend it on? What about 5 million? What about 50 million?. If nothing else the power of one of these 3000 or 1500 dollar cards is going to be mainstream for 300 bucks in 3 or 4 years (or sooner if TSMC can get 20nm working), it doesn't do you any harm that someone else can buy it.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 3, Informative) 325

by Sir_Sri (#47182111) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

The US only graduates about 2000 phd's in comp sci every year, and a chunk of those are foreigners who intend to go back to their home countries.

But yes, Google and MS take a large chunk of comp sci PhD's as do a few other places.

Where I am (and other places track) where people end up - it's a majority academia - if you count the 1/3 of students who are chinese, and go back to china to become professors in china that skews the average. If you look at people who stay in canada and the US it's about 50/50 academa/industry. Lots of people going to academia don't do so with much fanfare because they do postdoctoral fellowships or they do some teaching while working elsewhere and then slide into teaching full time when the 6 weeks vacation and a pension plan start to become beneficial (I just started as an assistant prof and it's 82k/year with 6 weeks vacation and a pension plan at a university you've never heard of).

Comment: Re:f-35, beta feature set (Score 1) 417

by Sir_Sri (#47177239) Attached to: Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

Cute, but they aren't really buying them right now. It's agreeing to buy from one of the tranches in future.

The issue is whether or not they were going to (re)open the bidding process and under what terms. We could buy aircraft right now if we wanted to buy used, or we could buy Eurofighters or modernized F18's reasonably quickly. F18's and F35's would come with industrial guarantees (we buy x billion in aircraft we get some fraction of x in guaranteed production of boeing or F35 parts in canada). Or a couple of other options that have various features (the rafaeles from France or the Gripen from Saab or F16's etc.).

But of course we already agreed to be part of the R&D for the F35 and the point of that was to be in on the programme from the beginning and to buy aircraft, so we could withdraw but that would likely make more than a few people angry, and all of the other options entail different risks. I'm not sure in the end that it makes a great deal of difference, countries fly all of the potential aircraft on the list, and the F35 is slated for significant production, and really any of them would mix some sort of industrial, combat capabilities and strategic interests in a reasonable way.

Comment: Re:Apple doesn't offer a garbage product range (Score 1) 711

by Sir_Sri (#47161937) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

iPhones are good for people who aren't ever going to be able to understand their phone, will use it for important things, have money, and want something that will just be updated. Android and the lack of software updates is a serious mess, and hardware is only useful if you can understand how to use it.

Comment: Apple doesn't offer a garbage product range (Score 2) 711

by Sir_Sri (#47156075) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

Apple doesn't offer a product in the garbage range.

If you go into a store today you can probably still find devices for sale running android 2.x. Expensive high end devices too, but if you buy a cheap droid you're in for a bad time. In the same way you can buy 7 and 8 year old blackberries too. I wouldn't recommend most of the really cheap droid products to anyone.

Comment: Re:So the conclusion is... (Score 2) 155

Being a professor is not a low paying job.

Being an adjunct professor is usually unpaid - but it's because you're a professor (or otherwise employed) elsewhere, and sessional instructors are paid a pittance because they're supposed to have other jobs, including grad students.

But I just started as an L5 (which is the same pay band as a starting assistant professor) where I am - I'll slide over to assistant professor when I am actually granted the PhD, and that's a starting salary of 82k, 6 weeks vacation and a pension and benefits plan at a university you've never heard of with at total of 4 full time CS faculty equivalent. Admittedly, I have undergraduate students from where I am finishing my doctorate who are going to microsoft and google for ~70-80k, but they don't get 6 weeks paid vacation and they work at companies you've heard of in cities you know exist.

According to my contract assuming I stick around for 30 years for retirement and bump up one step per year along the grid I'll retire at 157k/year (in today's money) used to calculate my pension, assuming I do no teaching overloading, no senate, deans office or chairmanship work. And I can consult on the side as much as I want, just not on university equipment, as long as all of my courses get taught acceptably and the total of 4 grad students a year (2 part time 2 full time typically) that the department has are supervised.

So thats for a bottom tier university, with virtually no research expectations and basically focused on undergraduate teaching, and I'm being paid the same way as every other prof in all the other faculty. Big places - the nearest big well regarded school to us is University of Toronto, and they pay better, and not to much farther along is waterloo, who are more or less the same pay band as we are.

That's not great certainly - I know a few people from my doctoral programme who are starting around 130-140 in the valley, and about 90-100 in places with sensible housing prices. You can certainly clear 250, 300 if you consult, and I can do that, but having a professorship with a pension plan is a good place to be.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.