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Comment Re:science fiction (Score 1) 34

That would be great, but based on the papers I've seen (here, for example), "1% platinum" is high by at least two orders of magnitude -- that would be 10000 ppm; actual estimates are closer to 100 ppm, and that's for the very richest of precious-metal-rich asteroids. Am I missing more recent analyses?

Comment Re:Fifteen years. (Score 1) 59

The fact that graphics cards use lower-precision floating-point representations reflects the fact that not all applications need double precision. Single precision is obviously no good for something highly nonlinear and iterative (like CFD), but it's enough for the modeling behind 3D graphics; that's why these single-precision monsters are scaling out (volume of production) so rapidly, right?

Maybe we can agree on "native precision". I'm not sure ASCI White would have gone much faster if you threw it a problem that required only single precision calculations...?

Comment Fifteen years. (Score 5, Interesting) 59

In 2000, the fastest supercomputer in the world was IBM's ASCI White, with a peak performance of 7.226 TFLOPS. Its theoretical maximum performance was 12.3 TFLOPS. It weighed over 100 tons, and drew 3MW of power, plus another 3MW for cooling.

One. Six. Inch. Card.

Comment Re:Highwaymen, robbers, carjackers (Score 1) 236

Please fill us in on the algorithm you're using to distinguish hostile and non-hostile pedestrians.

I guess I see your point -- if it's known that autonomous cars will always stop for a pedestrian, there will be some people who decide to take advantage of that behavior. They'll realize that if they step in front of this car, it will stop. It will also alert other cars in the vicinity (so they don't have to stop as abruptly for the destination), it'll probably alert law enforcement (because a pedestrian is illegally interfering with traffic), and it'll doubtless log video of the car's immediate surroundings during the incident. But, then again, robbers and carjackers aren't normally known for their strategic brilliance, are they?

Until autonomous cars are closer to deployment, though, I hope you're continuing to push for the abolition of seat belts. After all, they could prevent you from being thrown to safety in a fiery crash!

Comment When you define anything as "cheating"... (Score 4, Insightful) 706

When you define any extramarital intimacy as "cheating", you've already cut off the debate paths that the victims from the summary illustrate. Not, mind you, that AM's marketing did much to discourage that definition.

But, hey, enjoy your puritanical two-minute hate, and don't worry about collateral damage.

(Posting as AC, even though I've never gone near the site, because I'm stuck with this country's puritanical environment and the consequences it imposes for even talking about ethical decisions that don't fit the standard mold. And, yeah, I guess I'm a bit of a coward.)

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen