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Comment: Actually, not a single interesting answer (Score 4, Insightful) 592

by davids-world.com (#48845543) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?
Sorry, but I couldn't find interesting answers in that Reddit thread. It's mostly that people choose to run OSX over Linux, and why.

The few GNU/Linux users do it for idealistic reasons, or because they're developers, or because they like the latest OS on very old cheap hardware and don't mind to deal with whatever this entails.

The more interesting question is really if freedom exists when you never make use of it. (Do you actually hack the kernel or fix somebody's proprietary binary-only drivers as a GNU/Linux user?)

Comment: Relative speeds and training (Score 1) 525

by davids-world.com (#48497401) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates
I've driven thousands of kilometers on the German Autobahn. The safety issue is not so much the speed relative to the ground, but the speed relative to other drivers. If you're going 170kph in the left lane in your BMW, and grandma in her 1990 Volkswagen swerves left to overtake a truck, you've got pretty limited distance to slow down (at high speed). German autobahns are sensibly limited to 130kph in urban areas, for windy stretches of road, or two-lane portions.

French interstates work quite well in that respect. Everyone does about 130kph (that's 81mph), and this speed limit is strictly enforced. Relaxed driving, really.

The other thing to take into account is driver training. The kind of tail-gating I'm seeing here in the states rarely happens in Germany. Yes, you get the angry BMW driver flashing his lights at you when you're in "his" lane (road rage is universal), but that's typically over in a few seconds. Drivers wisely keep their distance.

Math

Riecoin Breaks World Record For Largest Prime Sextuplet, Twice 51

Posted by timothy
from the well-the-sextuplet-was-just-sitting-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes Last week, Riecoin – a project that doubles as decentralized virtual currency and a distributed computing system — quietly broke the record for the largest prime number sextuplet. This happened on November 17, 2014 at 19:50 GMT and the calculation took only 70 minutes using the massive distributed computing power of its network. This week the feat was outdone and the project beat its own record on November 24, 2014 at 20:28 GMT achieving numbers 654 digits long, 21 more than its previous record.

Comment: Re:It doesn't work like that... (Score 1) 91

by davids-world.com (#48346385) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain
That was my view as well until learned a few things about this "continuous, analog computer". We know that it is neither analog (neurons can have threshold functions) nor continuous (some important, central processes are quantized - e.g., about 50ms per "decision" in a structure called "basal ganglia").

As for this paper, you seem to neglect that even the supposedly continuous, analog computer will have sub-processes that run in parallel, but are correlated and make a distinguishable contribution to the task the global system is concerned with. If you like to picture a network of neurons, then its structure with will one of many separate clusters (a "small world" network, for instance) rather than a random graph.

Comment: Re:Brodmann Areas (Score 1) 91

by davids-world.com (#48346173) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain
It's certainly interesting that the PCA-like analysis in the cited paper comes up with a similar number of subsystems, although I wonder if they ended up matching the Brodmann areas. And importantly, any set of areas is more like a subsystem, in which, if my quick look over the paper serves me well, activations make a unique contribution to task solving.

The question is, does this bring us closer to a computational understanding of how the overall processes work? Localization of function alone doesn't, IMHO. DTI (neuroscience) and cognitive modeling based on architectures (cognitive science) may make better progress.

Comment: Re:Lost me because of Java (Score 1) 156

by davids-world.com (#48192003) Attached to: GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today
These distributions exist... (shameless plug: Aquamacs 3.1 was released today, based on Emacs 24.4). You're right in that its Java support is sub-par. Packages like JDEE exist, and CEDET has recently been included in Emacs, but you won't get out-of-the-box code completion, nice visual debugging, inline compile error messages and so on.

Comment: A PhD degree won't make you a better programmer (Score 1) 479

The PhD is not a degree designed to increase your chances on the market for jobs that do not require a PhD. I think that's the underlying misunderstanding. (I'm an assistant professor at a research university, I have a group of PhD students. Careerism, especially for undergrad degrees, is a common perspective-shift at US universities.)

A PhD really prepares you for a career in research/science, academia. You sound like you're looking to be a programmer (again). Did the reasons go away for which you chose to do a PhD?

Try the big players: Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and so on. They hire PhDs quite happily, and you can apply what you've learned.

Comment: How is this different from filtering? (Score 1) 106

Could someone who works in that field explain how this would is different from the filters that CytoSorbents has been developing for a while now? (See: http://www.cytosorbents.com/te... ). These are already on the market.

It looks to me like their technology is very different (and quite cool: nanobeads? magnetic? proteins?). One issue with the CytoSorbents product is that efficacy has only been proven in terms of reducing cytokines and preventing "cytokine storm", but not in terms of lowering actual mortality.

This new filter seems to remove the primary pathogens (according to the Nature article), as opposed to cytokines (as the submission here suggests).

Comment: Verzion had problems, too (Score 1) 222

Woke up at 3am, and it took me 45 mins to place my order. The website was slow and produced some sort of error, which I later found out had to do with me having an employer discount (that makes zero difference for the purchase).

If they actually ship Friday next week, I'd be surprised/delighted.

Comment: That was in 2011 (Score 1) 126

This was in 2011, if you look at NSF's award page. And just to put things in perspective.. This sort of money is enough to pay for four graduate students (50% effort), some very limited summer time of two professors over the course of four years, and a modest amount of travel to conferences. It's a very good grant from a great source that allows you to get some good work done, but it doesn't go as far as the uninitiated might think.

Comment: Lunch with a Terrafugia guy (Score 2) 66

by davids-world.com (#47673971) Attached to: Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part Two of Two)
OK, so at Oshkosh a couple weeks ago, I had lunch (by chance) with a guy from Terrafugia. The food was poor, but the stories were good.

They flew in their prototype at last year's AirVenture. The video looks good. What you're going to get is a roadster/plane with foldable wings. I'm saying roadster, because it's going to have two seats - not because it's going to drive like a sports car. This will make it qualify as a Light Sports Aircraft, which means that pilots won't need a medical (important for many). Licensing is a little simpler, too, although everyone I know goes for their full PPL.

As an airplane, it's not particularly fast (93kts cruise - slower than your typical Cessna 172 Skyhawk), and it maxes out at 460lbs payload (full fuel, I guess), if the specs I have are correct. It drinks 100LL or premium motor gas (which is cheaper), and goes some 400+nm, though I'm not sure if that is with reserves (you need 30min day VFR, 45 at night, and typically you want more).

The person working on this at Terrafugia advertised it as a plane that's great for a business trip, because it will get you home most of the time: if the weather is bad, you just land and drive around the weather. That's a neat concept.

The price? At Oshkosh, they were saying around $270k. I asked about insurance, and it sounds like there will be separate insurance policies for road/air use, and it seems that the road policy more expensive than a car insurance (they said 3% of hull value), because of the added utility (more miles driven/flown). I'm not sure if I follow that reasoning.

For comparison, you can buy a used Bonanza for much much less, and you'll get a lot more airplane for your money. You will also get a new Cirrus SR20 around that price point (but that's a plane, and as such not as practical). In the long run, as prices come down, I get see how this is going to be practical for a lot of people that need to travel for work (or can afford to go places for fun).

Comment: Where cats go (Score 1) 110

by davids-world.com (#47648527) Attached to: Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving
I'd be much more interested in what my cat does all day out there. Where does she go? Are there any GPS collars out there? Thought about using a Spot, but their recording intervals are too long (because they signal straight to a satellite). It's too big as well. There are some studies on this. Most (pet) cats don't seem to wander off too far from their reliable source of food. An eagle might be a better vehicle for a war-flying device!

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan

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