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Comment: Re:Mathematics, Pen, and Paper (Score 1) 386

Here is a typesetting comparison between Word and LaTeX. Here is some more discussion. Really, I think LaTeX was created by people who are passionate about the 2000 year old art of typography (Roman). For a long time, MS has ignored far too much of that history in the way it typesets. In my experience, I can always tell a Word document from a LaTeX document, even if the fonts are substantially identical. There is something sub-consciously beautiful about proper typesetting.

Comment: Re: the effect (Score 1) 386

What do you mean "in the future"? I've got students whipping out graphing calculators to multiply 2*2.

True story: A math teacher I know once had a student come up to him who claimed his calculator was broken. The teacher took the calculator and entered 4, hit square root and got 2. Entered 25, hit square root and got 5. "Hmmmmm...it seems to work for me" he said. The student then proceeded to take the calculator, enter the number 1, and hit square root repeatedly. "See...the button doesn't work".

Comment: Mathematics, Pen, and Paper (Score 3, Interesting) 386

Try to do calculus problems without pen and paper. Would Microsoft suggest using MS Word Equation Editor?! Just give me a minute while I swallow my vomit. Ok, I'm fine now.

I'm a LaTeX aficionado. I do quite a reasonable amount of math type-setting. I use LaTeX because the output looks amazing, and because I can use my keyboard alone, instead of having to click on menus and buttons. However, it is still an order of magnitude slower than good old fashioned hand-written problem solving.

+ - New Chips Could Bring Deep Learning Algorithms to Your Smartphone

Submitted by catchblue22
catchblue22 writes: At the Embedded Vision Summit on Tuesday, a company called Synopsys, showed off a new image-processor core tailored for deep learning. It is expected to be added to chips that power smartphones, cameras, and cars.

Synopsys showed a demo in which the new design recognized speed-limit signs in footage from a car. The company also presented results from using the chip to run a deep-learning network trained to recognize faces. A spokesperson said that it didn’t hit the accuracy levels of the best research results, which have been achieved on powerful computers, but it came pretty close. “For applications like video surveillance it performs very well,” he said. Being able to use deep learning on mobile chips will be vital to helping robots navigate and interact with the world, he said, and to efforts to develop autonomous cars.

+ - Baidu's Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer Beats Google at Image Recognition 1

Submitted by catchblue22
catchblue22 writes: Chinese search giant Baidu says it has invented a powerful supercomputer that brings new muscle to an artificial-intelligence technique giving software more power to understand speech, images, and written language.

The new computer, called Minwa and located in Beijing, has 72 powerful processors and 144 graphics processors, known as GPUs. Late Monday, Baidu released a paper claiming that the computer had been used to train machine-learning software that set a new record for recognizing images, beating a previous mark set by Google.

Comment: Re:Shuttle (Score 1) 55

by catchblue22 (#49656161) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

Call me a cynic, but the only word I see there is "if".

Yeah well, you probably would have been cynical of SpaceX when their first three launches failed. Now they are on track to dominate the entire industry, even without reusability. Looking at Musk's history, when he says something is possible, you can be quite sure that success is in the set of possible outcomes.


Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record 372

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
mrflash818 writes: For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA's latest results. “It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone."

Oculus Rift Launching In Q1 2016 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the virtually-immediately dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Oculus has announced that their Rift virtual reality headset will be coming out sometime in the first quarter of 2016. They've also posted a couple images of the final consumer headset design. The device was Kickstarted in August, 2012. Consumer-level release dates have slowly slipped further and further out since then, though they've shipped two different development kits. Ars points out that a 2016 launch date will bring the Oculus Rift to market after the Valve/HTC VR headset, and possibly after Sony's Project Morpheus.

Comment: Re:Shuttle (Score 4, Insightful) 55

by catchblue22 (#49626675) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

I mean, who's SpaceX's biggest customer? The US Government.

They are the world's cheapest launch service provider and that is without re-usability. They will likely become the dominant launch provider in the world. If they get re-usability to work economically, this will enable mass launches of inexpensive satellites, which could change the entire communications industry. Musk doesn't think small.

Comment: Re:Last time one was used? (Score 2) 55

by catchblue22 (#49626639) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

I suppose its not a bad thing to have just in case but I don't see the reasoning behind the fixation on it as a design requirement and their ranting about its "importance" in press releases. In almost 300 manned space launches a Launch Escape system has only been of verifiable use in a single incident(Soyuz T-10-1).

The same rockets used for the launch escape will also be used as a propulsive landing system that can land like a helicopter.

Comment: Batteries with Solar Systems = No Net-metering (Score 5, Interesting) 317

by catchblue22 (#49608397) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Companies like SolarCity basically install solar systems for no money up front, and then lease them back to you for a period. For many houses, even with these fees, the SolarCity systems will save the homeowner quite a bit of money. Licenses to sell power back to the grid are usually restricted, even in states they are allowed. If you have a battery system installed, you will no longer have to sell your excess solar energy back to the grid. You'll simply be able to store it in your battery for later use. Thus, homeowners with these systems may not have to apply for licenses for their solar systems, since they will not be doing net-metering. This will allow many users to install solar panels who couldn't before. It removes the ability for utilities and/or state governments to restrict the number of homes with solar panels. This is why these batteries will likely have a huge impact.

Comment: Re:queue the.. (Score 1) 250

by catchblue22 (#49602051) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

I remember supporting an office with win95 and Access. I had tech support conversations that almost went like this:

Him: My computer just crashed.

Me: So what did you do then?

Him: I rebooted it.

Me: Well there's your problem. Reboot the computer again. Then tap the computer gently and pray to the god of your choice and reboot a third time...

Him: ...Thanks. That worked.

Entropy isn't what it used to be.