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Comment: Re:Coding vs. literacy (Score 1) 208

by Urkki (#48929951) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

If you imagine quotes around first and second paragraphs, does that put the pompousness into different light? The style was indeed intentional, though I would not call it pompous.

About you setting up straw men about "writing everything from scratch". Nobody does that. By that criteria nobody in the world understands IT. If I really meant that as useful standard, wouldn't it be a humble admission, not arrogance?

Comment: Re:Coding vs. literacy (Score 2) 208

by Urkki (#48911467) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

You probably failed to read the last paragraph, or then I just wrote it too poorly to be understood.

That being said, I do understand how the browser, the OS, the ./ servers and databases, and the network in between work well enough, that none of it is a mystery to me. I think having this understanding is a good thing. I don't know if it is possible to have this understanding without being able to program at least a tiny bit. This sounds roughly analogous to being able to enjoy a good book vs. being able to write a good book (vs. just getting a movie made from the book...).

Comment: Coding vs. literacy (Score 2, Interesting) 208

by Urkki (#48910991) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

Hmm. If you can't read, you are restricted to looking at pictures. If there is someone to read for you, then you can hear the parts of text they choose to read for you, otherwise you are pretty much restricted to children's picture books. A lot of what happens in the world is simply a mystery to you.

If you can't program, you are restricted to using existing features in the way they are implemented. If there is someone to help you, then they can write a piece of code for you to do whatever mundane task (be it VBA, shell script, a feature or a complete application), otherwise you are pretty much restricted to clicking at links, icons and menus. A lot of what happens in the computer is a mystery to you.

Hmm. Not convinced, myself.

Comment: Re:Boom. Boom. Boom. Another one bite's the dust.. (Score 1) 121

by Urkki (#48854153) Attached to: Astronomers Record Mystery Radio Signals From 5.5 Billion Light Years Away

A massive spinning magnetron gradually slowing down until centrifugal force can't keep it from collapsing into a black hole anymore.

If you te going to make that much popcorn, you probably should not use microwave owen anyway. Use a kettle, it's cheaper, tastes better, and easier to get seasoning and butter just right.

Comment: Re:Planets? (Score 1) 170

by Urkki (#48840141) Attached to: Analysis Suggests Solar System Contains Massive Trans-Neptunian Objects

At that range, you have to wonder enough time has elapsed since the formation of the solar system for them to have "cleared the neighborhood" around their orbits.

If they are detected by looking at how they herd the minor bodies in the outer solar system, then I think it is safe to say they are indeed planets.

Comment: Re:Pullin' a Gates? (Score 2) 449

by Urkki (#48715279) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

It already is wrong...

Linux Workstation: 16cores = way faster builds than 4 cores.

Did the 4 core CPU have 1/4th of the transistor count of the 16 core CPU? Then I'd expect it to be much slower of course. Point of Linus was, a 4 core CPU with same transistor count (used for more cache, better out-of-order execution logic, more virtual registers, and so on), as 16 core CPU will be faster on almost every task. So cores beyond 4 (the number Linus threw as the ballpark count) make sense only, if you really can not spend any more transistors in making those 4 cores faster, but still have die space to spare.

Comment: Re:Pullin' a Gates? (Score 5, Insightful) 449

by Urkki (#48715255) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

Why not? Currently Firefox has problems rendering (loading) two pages simultaneously, although it should be able to handle tens, using several cores.
Same with Evince (which is crap anyway), it cannot do anything in parallel, should be able to use tens of cores.
Javascript? Although the language is the worst I have seen since APL, a smart compiler could at least in some cases parallelize it (maybe with speculative execution or like).
And so on.

It will turn out to be as wrong as "640k".

Javascript is generally used in event driven manner, so it will perform quite well on a single core. Firefox having trouble loading multiple pages simultaneously should still be IO-bound, not CPU-bound, and if the engine has trouble, then it's an SW architecture problem where more cores will not really help.

Point of Linus was, taking a 6 core CPU, and replacing 2 cores with more cache and more transistors per core should make almost anything on Desktop run faster.

Comment: Bad summary, shocking (Score 5, Interesting) 449

by Urkki (#48715213) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

Linus doesn't so much say that parallelism is useless, he's saying that more cache and bigger, more efficient cores is much better. Therefore, increased number of cores at the cost of single core efficiency is just stupid for general purpose computing. Better just stick more cache to the die, instead of adding a core. Or that is how I read what he says.

I'd say, number of cores should scale with IO bandwidth. You need enough cores to make parallel compilation be CPU bound. Is 4 cores enough for that? Well, I don't know, but if the cores are efficient (highly parallel out-of-order execution) and have large caches, I'd wager IO lags far behind today. Is IO catching up? When will it catch up, if it is? No idea. Maybe someone here does?

Comment: Re:If "catastrophe" is already "highly likely" (Score 1) 363

by Urkki (#48688407) Attached to: Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

I hear there's lots less carbon in the atmosphere of the moon, we could always move there.

The problem with the moon and carbon dioxide is, just exhaling a few times will make the CO2 ppm in lunar atmosphere rise to Jurassic levels. And then next thing you know, there will be allosauruses roaming about eating the colonists. So going to moon is no solution, we'd need to be even more careful about carbon emissions there.

Comment: Re:If "catastrophe" is already "highly likely" (Score 1) 363

by Urkki (#48688297) Attached to: Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

Chit mon, if we're already screwed, we might as well party and pollute like there's no tomorrow. Might as well use the earth all up since it's a goner anyways.

When all is lost, you don't have care anymore. Thanks, global warming alarmists.

But all is not lost. Things are just going to be bad, but just how bad, that remains to be seen.

On the other hand our ancestors lived self-sufficiently off this land for millenia. On the other hand, that was not very fun life. But then, even if global civilization collapses, information does not disappear overnight. I for one will teach my kids both to make fire with flint and steel, and create and program a robot which can make fire with flint and steel. That should cover a lot of possible futures.

Comment: Re:Need a wrench (Score 1) 99

by Urkki (#48676737) Attached to: NASA Makes 3-D Printed Wrench Model Available

you could just give the money directly to engineers and scientists to invent cool stuff

Have you ever actually worked with R&D engineers and scientists? They don't convert money into cool stuff. They convert cool problems into cool stuff, given sufficient resources to allow solving the given cool problem.

Comment: Re:Limit it to actual war fare games (Score 1) 232

by Urkki (#48671763) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

the perennial favorite thermo-nuclear war. Though the last one would actually be pretty boring. The players would have to do nothing to compete.

The real problem with thermonuclear war as Olympic sport? The only way to win is not to play.

Not just that. The only way to win is to make sure nobody plays.

I'm continually amazed how humanity has managed to successfully keep winning this particular game for almost 70 years now! But how long can this winning streak continue?

Comment: Re:That's all well and good.. (Score 3, Interesting) 37

by Urkki (#48671603) Attached to: 300 Million Year Old Fossil Fish Likely Had Color Vision

...but was it 4K?

Well, I don't know about that, but at least it was better than Oculus Rift, if images in TFA are anything to go by. Something like semi-spherical 320 by 240 degrees with 3D zone of maybe 120 by 240 degrees in the middle, or thereabouts.

Also, it's not just the vision, the display system goes with lateral twin ultra low bass audio arrays, capable of generating fully spherical acoustic environment awareness experience.

% "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work" -- Robert Orben