Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

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. " 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.

Comment: Re:Is it a Mad Max movie though ? (Score 1) 770

Isn't it a little weird to say "I go to Mad Max movies..." as if there were some kind of continuum, when there are a total of four now over a period of 36 years, with the most recent one 30 years ago? This is just a movie. Like it or don't, go see it or don't, but the idea that you are going or not because of some habit you have with respect to your regular Mad Max viewing habits is just weird!

+ - 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.

Comment: Re:Big job (Score 1) 55

by Immerman (#49706149) Attached to: MAME Changing License To Fully Libre One

As far as I'm aware, emulating Macs is perfectly legal. It's only running MacOS on that emulated Mac that's an issue, because the MacOS license specifically states that it can only be used on legitimate Apple hardware. If you want to run Linux on your emulated Mac though, that's perfectly fine.

Hmm, though I seem to remember that back in the day Macs had required software in ROM as well - and copying that was illegal in most contexts. In fact, I remember some emulator that came with support for a custom expansion card into which you could plug the legitimate ROM chip from your old Mac if you wanted to be completely, unquestionably legal.

Comment: Re:Since when rewarding pirates is "good"? (Score 2, Insightful) 214

Except that unauthorized software copying costs the source company nothing - unlike the Mercedes factory that faces considerable per-unit costs. Meanwhile in the *specific case* of OS, office, and a few other genres of software, vendor lock-in is achieved largely via network effects. Get enough people using illegitimate software on their personal PCs, and companies will tend to use the same thing. And *they* run the risk of license audits, so will tend to buy legal software. If most individuals were acclimated to using Libre Office, do you really think companies would still be inclined to pay the MS Office tax and have to keep track of licenses, etc.?

For non-infrastructure software of course the argument evaporates - Valve gets no benefit from people pirating Half Life.

Comment: Re:Since when rewarding pirates is "good"? (Score 2) 214

The differece of course being that nobody has ever been directly hurt by software piracy - at worst someone has been deprived of potential profits. And even that assumes that the infringer would have otherwise resorted to buying the software, which is rarely the case.

+ - 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:Pretty sure the heat death of the universe will (Score 1) 386

by Immerman (#49689067) Attached to: Criticizing the Rust Language, and Why C/C++ Will Never Die

Sure it can. In C and C++ you can *specify* that using pass by value, or by pointer to constant object. Granted it's still *possible* to cast away constness, but only reckless idiots do such a thing without being really, really sure it's safe to do so. And so long as you don't jump through hoops to eliminate const-ness you're protected from accidentally changing something that was supposed to be unmodifiable.

Comment: Re:A.I.? (Score 1) 402

Who says a "true AI" has to match the way the human brain works? It has to get at least vaguely similar results - but that's likely an entirely independent criteria. And in point of fact, and from what little I know of neuroscience, your description bears absolutely no resemblance to the way the human brain works.

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.