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Comment: Re:We Really Don't (Score 1) 150

by Black Parrot (#48910827) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

Sorry... I was going for the joke and didn't pitch it very well. My actual views are more like yours.

As for the reality of the subject matter, I would borrow the concept of "probably approximately correct" from machine learning, and give it a 90-95% chance of being ~80% correct. (The 80% is lower to allow room for some more big discoveries like inflation.)

Unfortunately, people will be (hopefully) studying this for thousands of years on top of the <100 we have so far, and none of us will live to see how it turns out in the long term.

Comment: Re:I have an idea.. (Score 1) 362

It's like the old Texan saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can't get fooled again."

I always heard it as: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

And of course, the word of choice usually wasn't "fool".

(Is this really a regional saying?)

Comment: Re: There are still contingency plans (Score 3, Insightful) 272

It depends on the specific service member in question.

http://oathkeepers.org/

During the time of the US Civil war, Americans shot their literal brothers - not just their squad mates.

It starts with one soldier. How many follow, and when they follow, depends on the rhetoric of the separatists, how they conduct themselves, how they spread their message, and the counteracting rhetoric and actions of the government.

All of us are alive because people on both sides of the Atlantic with their finger on the "launch" button skipped opportunities to press it. Soldiers are people in difficult situations, trying to balance many opposing directives.

Comment: Re: They better be damn sure we're not home... (Score 1) 379

One or two shots to a subject wearing body armor is typically enough to incapacitate them. That second shot can even be fatal, depending on the armor, the round, and the shot placement. Armor is there to prevent penetration and dissipate as much of the bullet's energy as possible. However, that first shot is going to do enough damage to leave at least a good amount (if not a ridiculous amount) of bruising around the impact zone. At that point, the body armor is compromised (not useless, but no longer fully capable). Another shot will do anything from leave a lot more bruising to fully penetrate. The most likely case is where you'll start getting ribs cracked. All subsequent shots increase the damage to the subject and each carries a rapidly increasing risk of penetration of the armor and death for the subject. Even without penetration of the armor, the human body can only handle so much kinetic energy.

In any event, it would be uncommon for an individual who's taken two shots to the chest to be combat effective. More commonly, they'd be lying on the ground in a lot of pain. Considering how many attempts it takes to get a shot on target for the head versus the center of mass, you're vastly better off going for the center of mass even if you know for a fact that your target is wearing armor. And before you bring up the North Hollywood shootout, understand that there were a number of factors that allowed those guys to carry on during the shootout, not the least of which was the poor accuracy of the firearms available to the police on scene at the range at which they were forced to engage.

It's unfortunate that the man you knew died while trying to stop a courthouse shooter. However, that one incident doesn't change the fact that the odds vastly favor center of mass targeting. Getting headshots on a paper target at a fixed distance and height, with no motion whatsoever, in an unstressful situation isn't that challenging. Getting them on a real human head at variable heights and distances, full range of motion, non-targets in the way and behind the target, in the most stressful situation you'll ever face (where millions of years of human evolution are working against you to destroy your vision, higher reasoning, etc) is one of those things best left to Delta operators who train on that day-in and day-out for years and years on end. And I'll bet if you talk to those guys, they'll also tell you that a center of mass shot is the perfect starting point as you'll get a hit faster and cut down on the motion that makes the head shot nigh impossible.

Comment: Re:This. SO MUCH This. (Score 2) 471

by rjh (#48901439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

This is true and good, so long as you're interested in making software that can be done entirely with existing technologies. As soon as you hit the brick wall of "but there isn't anything in the standard library that does this," you need the old graybeards who spent their entire careers making the standard libraries you rely on.

Speaking as one of them, the pay and hours are both good and it keeps me on the cutting edge of some fascinating technologies.

The common idea is that we over-40s who've been doing this professionally for 25+ years can't adapt to modern software dev practices. Quite the opposite, really. Mostly we're kept so busy that we don't have the time.

None of this is meant to disrespect what the younger generation does with (as you say) "connect the dots library calls". That code needs to be written, and it's best if it's written by smart people who care about their work. :)

Comment: Re: I use Kaspersky (Score 1) 467

by Loki_1929 (#48891647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Got stuck with Vipre at work for a few years. It was nothing short of a complete disaster, to the point where on some systems, it just had to be shut down completely so the systems would function. Combined with the latest ratings from AV Comparatives (lol @ 88% detection rate and huge false positives) and I'd say nobody should ever run that garbage. It's truly terrible.

ESET's NOD32 is good and Kaspersky is very good. Nothing else has been consistently good for quite a while.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 3, Informative) 157

by bmajik (#48885689) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

RT has desktop mode.

It's patently untrue that the web is the future for "the kinds of apps that made windows dominant"

Actually, windows was dominant for every kind of app. The growth in apps of all sectors - LOB, entertainment, etc -- is on devices, and people regularly pan device apps that are just thin shells around a browser control.

People want native apps on their devices. MDD (multi-device-development) is something enterprise is very interested in -- they need to deal with a BYOD workforce, and they always want to economize on IT spend.

If it had been feasible to make Win32 apps run well on ARM, don't you think we would have done that?

The most insightful thing you wrote is this:

"But yes, Intel hasn't been asleep, and ARM is no longer as much of a requirement for mobile devices"

Consider the following -- and note that while I work at MS, I am neither privy to, nor attempting to disclose -- any high level strategy

1) Microsoft delivers a lot of value to enterprise customers because of app compat
2) think back a few years at what the CPU landscape looked like -- think about the power consumption of Intel's offerings. Remember, there was no ATOM yet.
3) app compat, battery life, performance -- if you don't have a low-power native x86 processor, you can only get two of these at a time.
4) Enterprise customers want all three
5) Intel, years ago, didn't appear to have any intention to deliver a low-cost, low power x86 part
6) this meant that MS would be unable to deliver low cost, new form factor mobile devices that could still run legacy software
7) this would force a wedge between new form factors and the Microsoft platform advantages (great compatability)

Clearly, what needed to happen is that something had to convince intel to develop a low cost, low power, good performing x86 chip

Based on 20+ years history, considering ARM, AMD, dec Alpha, etc, what makes intel innovate well and do its best work?

A credible marketplace threat to Wintel.

Claim: The purpose of Windows+ARM was to force intel to develop a low-power, low-cost x86 chip. If Windows+ARM took off in its own right, great. But the main purpose has been to secure a $99 x86 windows tablet -- which means that enterprises have the price points and form factors they want, and the app compat they need.

Exhibit A:
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Strea...

I happen to like my RT tablet -- but the Surface Pro is a credible do-it-all device, and now software that runs on the Pro is the same software that runs on your $99 HP tablet and your $4999 gaming rig.

Back when windows+ARM started, the intel hardware to allow that continuum didn't exist.

As I said -- nobody at MS tells me how things really go down. But this is a high stakes game. The people at MS aren't stupid.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer

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