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Comment Re:How does Pi compare to PDP-11 (Score 1) 235

How does a Pi with a remote text terminal session compare performance wise to a PDP-11 :-)

Way faster, way more capable. I worked with a PDP11 on a summer job. If I remember correctly, it had 2x64KB memory (data and code pages); the Pi has more main memory than the PDP had hard rive storage.

It managed to support about a dozen concurrent users that used it for monitoring an industrial process. It was tight enough, though, that we had to stop people using a full-screen clock application, since it couldn't cope with all terminals running it at the same time.

Comment Re:Science journals have done this as well (Score 2) 135

There is no longer any need to filter prior to publishing - filtering can happen after. Researchers should just "publish" their papers on their own or school's website.

There is a need. Look at it from the readers' side. You are asking me to trawl the websites of tens of thousands of labs and researchers in order to keep up with events. And we'd all have to individually act as gatekeepers, sifting out the good stuff from the bad, the deliberately fake and the crap put out by people with mental health problems.

I already spend far too much of my time just trying to stay on top of what happens; without aggregators - places to collect papers in one place - and gatekeepers - people that do the filtering so we don't all have to - I could spend 100% of my time on this and still fail.

I absolutely agree that we don't need the classic limited-space, expensive paper journal. PLoS and the like, along with Arxiv for preprints, are good replacements for that. Especially as they're pushing for applying metrics on a per-paper basis, not journal.

The problem is the editing/gatekeeping/evaluation. Peer review sucks. Problem is, I have yet to hear of another system that would both suck less and actually work in a real-world setting. And we do need it. We need to share the job of filtering out the valid science from the invalid crap, the pranks and the religious rants.

Comment Re:3m x 3m is still pretty big.... (Score 1) 137

Yes; you don't just need the free area, but enough extra margin that you don't risk bumping into things or breaking something when you flail about. Especially since you can't see, are focused on a game and have little clue where you actually are in real life. 3x3m really means 1.5x1.5m of actual, safe space - or less.

Comment Re:Different use cases (Score 1) 94

I know exactly what this is. And it is still larger, more expensive and more power hungry than most AVR processors. At the extreme end, you can get an ATTiny in a 8-pin DIP package that costs less than 50 yen in single units and needs nothing more than the usual sprinkling of 10uf capacitors to work. If you need the additional processing power and memory, ARM is a good choice; but in many cases you do not, in which case it is not.

Neither is "better" in an absolute sense; which is the better choice depends on your application. It's not really an apples-to-apples comparison. They're targeting different parts of the application spectrum.

Comment Different use cases (Score 2) 94

The ARM is more powerful, but is also bigger, costs several times more and draws more power. If you don't need the power - many or most embedded applications don't - you're increasing the cost and reducing battery life for nothing.

Don't get me wrong; A tiny low-end ARM system is fun and useful. Just like an ATTiny, or ATmega, or larger, more capable ARM systems. They all address different needs.

Comment Remarkable people (Score 5, Insightful) 367

A remarkable number of people believe homeopathy works. A remarkable number of people believe in gods, devils, prophets and an afterlife. A remarkable number of people believe scrying, remote sensing, dousing or fortune telling is real. A remarkable number of people firmly believe various economic, political or social "truths" in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect. Those remarkable people almost certainly includes myself, and most likely you as well.

Comment Re:Promote longer life? Not so fast (Score 2) 91

Japan's farmers are old because Japan is a segregated society. Farmers, fishermen, and other manual laborers who's professions are considered 'unclean' are a subclass heavily discriminated against.

No. You're confusing manual labour - well respected, fishermen and farmers especially - with "burakumin", the old class of people that did work forbidden by buddhism, such as butchering, leather tanning and so on.

Discrimination of burakumin still exists, but mostly among the kind of people that worry their daughters will marry the "wrong sort" of people, and "wrong sort" also includes not having a foreigner in the family tree, not being a member of the right country clubs, having insufficient money and so on. The recent mayor of Osaka, for instance, is burakumin, but while there are many reasons to dislike him, I've heard of nobody doing so for that reason.

Comment Re: Switching (Score 1) 147

2) Compatibility with .docx sucks. Compatibility with Excel is _terrible_.

Excel is almost hopeless, since you really need the full scripting environment as well.

But docx has not really been a problem in practice. If you make sure you have the fonts installed, it's good enough. I asked one of our secretaries once about the doc files I send her. She said there were always some oddities - but there were oddities in files from everybody at the department. And most of them do use Office. Different versions; some use the US English version while others use the Japanese one; different base settings and so on.

Libre Office incompatibilities were in her eyes no worse than Office incompatibilities with itself. She didn't know I wasn't using Office, in fact.

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz