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Comment: Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (Score 2) 301

I've never, ever had the severe kinds of problems you mention, and I've been on Ubuntu or its derivatives (most recently Mint) for years and years.

I've seen all sorts of similar stuff. Mind you, it's not as bad as the GP suggests. If you're running Debian testing, you *will* get bit on the ass inevitably. And Ubuntu prompts you to boot more than any other distro largely because the others don't really prompt you to boot at the GUI layer after a kernel update.

I've seen some updates that render a system unbootable (the one that comes to mind was that /dev/hd* to /dev/sd* migration a while back), and there's been some pretty boneheaded small glitches too (Ubuntu recently updated to show a pretty background image at boot rather than the far more useful prompt for my whole-disk decryption password). And things like drivers can be a pain (nvidia graphics and anything involving the name "Broadcom" in particular).

The main difference from Windows, though, is that I've never, *ever* had to solve a Linux distro issue by reformatting. I've had to boot into rescue to edit files, sure, but in over 20 years of running Linux, I've never had to completely nuke a system in order to "save it" from a broken update. In fact, I think the only time I've had to do so was way back when I had to tweak my own storage drivers.

Comment: Deeper experience (Score 1) 637

by c (#47616065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I'd trust a programmer who's never dealt with the sorts of problems caused by manual memory allocation (or, even nastier, compiler bugs) about as much as I'd trust a plumber who's never gotten shit on his hands.

It's not that I think garbage collection is bad, but the sorts of bugs caused by memory stomping tend to be some weird non-deterministic stuff which makes you question your sanity and your tools. You have to learn to narrow things down as deep as possible, to trust nothing, question everything, abuse your tools, and occasionally go on some very strange side-trips.

Now, Java can lead you down some strange alleyways (concurrency, for example), but it doesn't even come close.

Comment: Re:it's not that hard to use Wikipedia (Score 1) 189

by c (#47566329) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

If you see a statement in a Wikipedia article that you are thinking of repeating or relying on for something, look first to see: does it cite a source?

The problem being that Wikipedia's been around long enough that (like in this case), it's entirely possible to point to a source which got its original erroneous information from Wikipedia.

Which leads to a much harder secondary problem: how to determine/rank the quality of Wikipedia sources.

Comment: Re:Thankfully those will be patched right in a jif (Score 2) 127

by c (#47564967) Attached to: Old Apache Code At Root of Android FakeID Mess

should I have to throw away a $300 paid for phone that still works, electrically (at least)?

Well, there *is* an unofficial CM11 port. It sounds like the limited memory and storage was a bit of a deal-breaker for everyone trying to support the Nexus One (even the alternate ROMs) until KitKat came along with its reduced resource needs. I suspect installing the Google Play Services stuff to get the app scanning might be asking a bit much.

But yeah, generally speaking I don't disagree with your premise. The Nexus series, of all devices, would be something I'd expect Google to go above and beyond to keep working. I can sorta understand OEM's dropping their flagships pretty much as soon as the conveyors on the production lines stop spinning (and fuck-you-very-much HTC), but I'd hope that platform champion number one could do a little better than that.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 160

by c (#47545339) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

Perhaps you mean something different with the term 'muscle memory' then?

Hmm. Yes.

I'm talking about it from a cognition perspective, which I think is also termed "motor learning". You're using a definition which describes my second point, which is that (in a nutshell) the body undergoes a physical change which adapts it to better performing those rehearsed movements.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure it's meaningful to talk about those separately, though. If you repeat a physical task often enough to change the body at a physical level, you're almost certainly going to rewire the brain to repeat that task efficiently as well.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 160

by c (#47542945) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

Most important: muscle memory as I pointed out above is 'stored' - more precicely: hardwired - in the neurons/nerves directly attached to the muscles. Not in the brain.

It's in the brain. They don't really know exactly where muscle memory is stored, but it's in the brain. Most likely in optimized synaptic networks in or around the motor control area, but the specific location and mechanism hasn't been nailed down.

That being said, there's a certain amount of muscle "memory" in the muscles themselves, in the sense that elasticity and power will become optimized for the patterns of motion they perform frequently (i.e. if you perform circular movements calling for short muscle fibers, you'll probably have a harder time with linear movements calling for long muscle fibers), and obviously nerve pathways for those repeated actions will be strengthened. This would reduce the amount of higher level neural effort needed to perform those kinds of movements and the actions would "fire faster". But really, there's not enough neural meat down there to handle the processing necessary for anything substantial enough to call it a "motor skill".

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 160

by c (#47540989) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

TFA makes the discussion that it's all about a highly efficient foot-motor control area that can operate with minimal external input (i.e little conscious thought), which pretty much describes muscle memory. There's no mention of "special neurons", just regular motor control areas that are wired for efficiency and operate with less noise.

Where someone might conclude that it's different from "muscle memory" is that muscle memory is usually focused on specific motor tasks, while this research is basically saying that entire areas of the brain related to motor skills which have a highly developed muscle memory work more efficiently. Which, I'd think, would be pretty obvious. Developing expert-level muscle memory is in practice about learning entire repertoires of movements, not just a single specific movement, and a consequence of having muscle memory for a large set of similar movements means the brain is wired such that anything resembling those movements will be handled at about the same skill level with about the same amount of conscious thought. If you've spent your entire life practicing all the 50 different ways to kick a ball under all possible conditions (different balls, ground conditions, shoes, lighting, angles, etc) then its unlikely you'll ever need to put any conscious thought into making your feet connect with anything ball-like.

Comment: Duh (Score 3, Insightful) 160

by c (#47538013) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

I guess that's a sexier headline than "Expert Soccer Player Has Good Muscle Memory", and it does tie into that recent bit of excitement down in Brazil, but otherwise I'm not seeing anything in the summary that comes as a surprise... Is it that part where they quantify the differences in neural activity between "expert" and "amateur"?

Comment: Re:Boring (Score 1) 52

by c (#47512363) Attached to: AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

Most of us drone users stay well away from houses.

As I said, I live in the country.

Most ATVers, snowmobilers, boaters, hunters, etc are perfectly respectable people who go out of their way not to bother anyone, and I have no issue with them.

Those other fuckers, however... I have absolutely no doubt that drone technology will become simple and ubiquitous enough that the sort of asshole who enjoys annoying people with expensive toys will inevitably discover and abuse it.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller