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Comment Enjoy the journey, not just the destination (Score 1) 323

You are getting the PC for fun (gaming) right? So consider the process of building the hardware and customizing software part of that fun. You get to learn about various technologies available in 2015 and the art of putting them together. If you go with Linux and spend effort to customize your system, you are also getting marketable CS knowledge. All in all, the enjoyment of the process is worth the price of a few games even if you can't compete with Dell purely on price.

Submission + - Visual ARM1 - Celebrating ARM's 25th Anniversary (

trebonian writes: Today is the 25th anniversary of ARM Ltd., UK. To celebrate and honor their amazing work, we present the Visual ARM1, created in collaboration with some of ARM's founding engineers.

Designed by Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber before there was an ARM Ltd., the Acorn RISC Machine was the first of a line of processors that power our cell phones and tablets today. Unlike our projects based on microscope images, the Visual ARM was created from a resurrected .cif chip layout file, used under our license agreement with ARM. We also photographed one of the few ARM1 chips at very high resolution, and our photograph is featured at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge.

Credit goes to ARM founding engineers John Biggs for inspiring the project, discovering the tape, and recovering a usable .cif file, Lee Smith for spotting the variable record format used to encode the file (an artifact of the VMS on Acorn's VAX that at first appeared to be widespread corruption of the file), to Cambridge University Computing Services for reading the Exabyte tape, and to ARM founder Dave Howard for help unraveling the VLSI CIF dialect. Our chip simulation and visualization was developed by Barry Silverman, Brian Silverman, Ed Spittles, and Greg James.

Comment Great idea (Score 2) 206

The whole purpose of shooting raw images is to do advanced processing later. However, any such processing involves creative choice which alters the image to the taste of the person doing the processing. It's easy to alter the white point and have some journalistically important details lost in the shadows.

Also in a high stakes case suspected forgery, it may be possible to detect forged images by looking at minute noise and encoding choices made by a particular camera model. Faking these details well enough to fool the experts would be beyond the expertise of most would-be forgers.

Of course, Reuters could ask for RAW files themselves and have even more fidelity/authentication potential. But those files are huge, many journalists do not have a fast internet connection where they work, and the publisher would need expertise on RAW workflows.

All in all, I think it's a reasonable decision and will be successful against unintentional/unconscious alterations and causual forgery.

Comment Need more mature languages (Score 3, Interesting) 232

Python provides no true concurrency due to global interpreter lock. Java is not suitable for realtime due to unpredictable GC, while C/C++ is not suitable for anything which should never crash or return random results due to memory corruption. None of mainstream languages make automatic use of multiple cores and GPU - explicit provisions must be made by programmer to parallelize part of the program, often with error prone semantics and a separate language like OpenCL.

Yes, those are hard problems, but it's also 2015 and we can come up with powerful compilers and JIT virtual machines. Going back to less concurrency than plain old shell scripts where '&' starts a true separate process is not an answer.

Comment Re:Software needs to catch up (Score 2) 167

Really? Every browser window or tab should hang if Javascript in one of them is slow? Loading and decoding an image for one of the icons on screen should prevent the UI from processing touch events? Many of those problems have been solved by important applications ad-hoc, but sane behaviour by default would be great.

Comment Re:Software needs to catch up (Score 1) 167

Nothing has to be made final, subclasses just need to obey the contract declared by superclass. This can be accomplished, in the worst case, by making everything synchronized.

Make default for loop potentially parallel and have compiler complain if it can not prove that by either code inspection or, as a last resort, explicit annotation on the loop or methods that it calls. Then introduce an sfor keyword for when you really have to make things sequential.

Comment Re:Software needs to catch up (Score 1) 167

Multithreading requires every instance of concurrent execution to be micromanaged by the programmer, leading to a lot of code which is not parallelized in practice. Potential concurrency should be the default case for, say, all for loops and serialization an explicit paradigm that a programmer is aware of. Coupled with strong compile time checking that can detect safe and unsafe code.

Comment Software needs to catch up (Score 1) 167

Mainstream programming languages are still sequential by default and the likes of OpenCL are too hard to learn for simple tasks. UI code is still single threaded in most systems, and that drags most computation into that thread as well through programmer laziness. It's time for languages which are parallel by default and where ability to parallelize a loop is verifiable at compile time. Yes I know FORTRAN is much closer to that then C/Java, but that's due to being primitive to a degree that will not fly in 2015.

Comment Mobile gaming sucks (Score 1) 166

Due to unfortunate Apple's decision to set price minimum to $0.99, both app stores are flooded with dumb repetitive gameplay not worth paying for. They should have set base price at $9.99. Then, if someone manages to sell 100 copies of an interesting hobby game, they can buy themselves a new iPad and get motivated to do more.

Now it could well be that iOS has more copies of Candy Crush than Android, but I am not missing them in any way. What I wish is that Steam had an Android client with cross-platform play for desktop games with mobile ports, like Talos Principle and Fran Bow. Then each game would be worth more than desktop or mobile port alone, as I wouldn't have to give up big screen or conversely wait until I am home to play.

Comment Re:H1-B program die die die (Score 1) 284

If there really were a shortage of tech workers, which I don't believe for a moment

I interview at least one person per week for a well known, desirable company. In the last year, not one has been able to write a half a page of code using two hashtables and rational thought - no gotcha insights required. I say there is in fact a huge shortage. Say, anyone wants to apply?

Comment Needs also scale with population (Score 1) 284

These H1Bs are an infusion of folks who are paid $60K, which is higher than average US income, into US population. They are now travelling, eating out in restaurants, sending their kids to daycare and buying computer hardware and software. When otherwise, they would spend their disposable income in India or whatever country they come from.

The only practical downside is restriction on transferring between jobs, which depress wages for both H1B holders and US citizens. Give folks a year to either find another US job or put their affairs in order and leave. Every other objection is plain irrational prejudice*.

* Obviously, entire 7 billion of Earth population can not move to North America. Luckily not everyone wants so, and imposing a sensible requirement of supporting oneself and earning a lower middle class salary narrows to influx to manageable numbers.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long