Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: F-35 (Score 2) 222

by the eric conspiracy (#47419933) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

The F-35 is a classic example of what is wrong with the military-industrial-political complex.

It's bloated. To an extreme nearly unimaginable. Layer on layer of bureaucracy and self interest slathered immeasurably deep. It's not possible for this to be efficient or effective.

The problem is NOT the concept of the plane or its implementation. Nor is it with the inevitable startup issues. Any design no matter how brilliantly conceived would have similar problems when constructed by the set of institutions that are in play here.

What I am afraid is that the only thing that will change this is a real existential threat to the United States. Only then will we see focus on what is really important. The sort of focus that led the United States to an economic output greater than the rest of world combined during WWII.

Comment: Re:The Future's So Bright (Score 1) 390

by jafac (#47411795) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The only bad programmers I've ever encountered, are programmers that are inconsiderate.
Those who do not consider that the purpose of a computing language is to communicate with other developers, not just the computer. That's really the main common-factor I've found among "bad programmers". It's a skill, that can be learned, but it's an emotional skill. Some people can be very intelligent, brilliant even, and still not want to learn that one crucial skill.

Comment: Yup (Score 1) 24

by the eric conspiracy (#47411243) Attached to: Another Dementia Test Oversold

This is a generic problem with media reports of medical results. No understanding of the statistics.

Add in the lack of repeatability of many studies (for example just about anything claiming bad effects from low doses of bisphenol-A has proven to not be repeatable) and outright fraud (Wakefield) or attempts to push the data using questionable statistics (Séralini) and you have a giant problem with media and medical research results.

Comment: Re:it depends on what "skilled worker" means. (Score 3, Insightful) 397

by dkf (#47397905) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

To put things in perspective - the old owners had plants in 5 different states. Each of the other plants consistently lost money. Our plant consistently MADE MONEY, despite mismanagement. Quarter after quarter, the accountants posted profits from our plant. In effect, we carried four other money losing plants for years. The owners could never bring themselves to unload the money losers, instead taking the profits we earned to shore up the other plants. They followed that policy until bankruptcy put them out of the game completely.

Were any of those plants making key inputs for yours? If they were, and it wasn't practical to consolidate that function, then closing them down would have crippled you. Which individual plants make money is one thing, but where there's internal transfer of items between units of the business, the value attached to those items is fairly nominal in practice; it's the overall business that really makes the profit or the loss.

Or maybe they're just incompetent fucks. That could be true too. Hard to say without the full facts, but the fact that bankruptcy hit is strongly indicative.

Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 1) 368

WE don't lack the will.

We lack the power.

The ones with the power lack the will (or desire) - because their power depends on control of generation of energy through resources they control; namely fossil fuels. They're not going to give up that power while they have it. Not voluntarily.

Comment: Re:So what are good languages to get into? (Score 1) 191

by dkf (#47395117) Attached to: IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

A masters in computer science program means taking about 10 three credit courses to get the degree. That means learning potentially 10 different languages. Which 10 would you choose? Which of those 10 are a must to learn, which would be merely advantageous to know?

Take at least one OO language (Java's fussy and bureaucratic, but its a pretty good example of the breed and is likely to be useful after you get your masters), at least one functional language (probably Haskell these days), at least one declarative language (Prolog or SQL), and don't just learn programming languages. You also need to learn about data, about data structures, about algorithms and their analysis, about parsing and compilation, and about concurrency; these are all independent of any programming language.

But computing is well served by not just learning about computing. If you have time, learn about math, stats and logic too, and learn how to communicate your ideas effectively; you'll never get far if you can't communicate with other people well.

Comment: Re:Transcendence (Score 1) 550

And by booboo I naturally mean something along the lines of

if(target->ThreatRating == ThreatRating::American) { target->Kill(); } // booboo

I'd guess something like:
        if(target->ThreatRating = ThreatRating::Trrist) { target->Kill(); }

Let that be a lesson to you: Trrist must evaluate to 0, for humanity's sake!

Comment: Re:The frustrations of AI. (Score 1) 550

If hardware isn't the problem, then it must be an algorithmic one. So, why can't an algorithm be discovered that is a breakthrough?

The problem is that it requires a true breakthrough, and there's no way to predict when that will happen. It also doesn't help that we don't really know what intelligence really is; all we've got is lots of things it isn't. I suspect that when someone cracks it, there'll be lots of people going "Is that all?! Anyone could have got that." and they'd be right, except that nobody did and it involves something both trivial and non-obvious. It might also require a lot of parallel processing, which we're still learning how to do well.

As we don't have any handy breakthroughs right now, we should instead study how brains really work and how to make computers do useful things (including stuff like "understanding" speech, "understanding" written natural language, drive cars safely, etc.) Those might or might not make the breakthrough easier, but they'll have other benefits along the way so they're still right to do.

The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

Working...