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Comment: Re:Hooray! (Score 1) 676 676

Hillary is 67. That's three years older than Romney was four years ago and only three years younger than McCain was in the election cycle before that.

The only candidates the Republicans have ever run (going back to 1856) who were older than Hillary were McCain, Bob Dole, and Reagan (for his re-election, not his first term).

The people who complained about Republican candidates being old white people are proclaiming Hillary is just the perfect age now. It was all just hypocritical grousing.

Comment: Re:gtk2 deprecated? (Score 2) 193 193

Because the people behind gtk3 are actively hostile to everyone but the GNOME project. Not only breaking functionality that non-GNOME projects need, but seeking out GTK applications and pressuring them to remove functionality just because GNOME Shell no longer uses it.

Details and further criticisms are all over the web; a couple starting points are here or here .

GTK is generally seen as a dead end these days. Many if not most of the folks who develop GTK apps that aren't part of the core GNOME project are scrambling to port to QT or something else. And GNOME itself is a struggling project and has been bleeding market share for 4 years now.

Comment: Hurrah for performance improvements! (Score 2) 192 192

With all the work that has been poured into MoarVM, MoarVM Perl 6 is now painfully slow.

This is a tremendous improvement. The best they'd ever managed with Parrot was "abysmally slow." Before that, perl 6 implementations ranged from "diabolically slow" to "the madness-inducing manifestation of the visage of Gn'oguracha, Elder Slug-God of Unspeed."

A typical statement from a recent presentation: "2013.08 was about 3,600x slower than Perl 5. 2014.08 is 34x slower. Better. But still sucks."

If they keep pouring in the effort, eventually they may reach parity with Perl 5, which was simply very slow. It is unlikely they will ever approach the performance of modern javascript engines, which are just plain slow.

Comment: Finally (Score 1) 134 134

I'd been thinking this would never see the light of day.

The Cairo backend stuff was a focus in 2010 and 2011 and everyone thought 0.49, the first version with the new renderer, was going to be released in 2012.

Whatever happened in those three years, I'm glad they've turned the corner and hopefully future development can be release early release often again.

Comment: you're missing the point, GP is right (Score 1) 230 230

The article is about GPUs.

ATI was fabless, and though AMD did still own their own fabs for three years after the ATI acquisition, that was completely irrelevant since TSMC still fabbed all the chips anyways. There were rumblings about doing some chips on AMD's own fabs but it never came to pass.

So the grandparent is right. ATI / AMD Graphics and Visual Solutions and nVidia have both always been fabless.

People who think owning your own fabs is always fabulous are disconnected from the realities of the semiconductor industry. It just isn't feasible for most companies to duplicate all the huge material and R&D investments that have to be continually at full throttle just to have any chance to compete in the fab space. Gamers, who care disproportionately about retail add-in graphics cards, routinely overestimate the size of the graphics card industry; Intel's revenue is over 10x either nVidia's or AMD's. Only a fab that gets a lot more business than just nVidia's can possibly hope to compete. TSMC fits that bill.

Comment: Re:Egg subst battery farm "free range" (Score 1) 47 47

I'm not saying "let's stop calling free range meat 'free range' and start applying that label to plants." If you seriously thought I was then your reading comprehension skills need a lot of work.

Most people who buy "free range" or "organic" food feel a moral passion about it because they think they're doing something positive for the environment, animal welfare, or both. They are dead wrong. The organic and free range food craze is not an environmental benefit but an environmental menace. That's what I was saying.

If your purchases of free range or organic food are only motivated by taste, then my earlier post doesn't really address you at all. But "tastes more like I think it's supposed to" is a lousy gluttonous excuse for taking actions that lead to ecological disaster.

Comment: Re:People eat grass? (Score 1) 47 47

You don't need to. Livestock require 8-20x more land per gram of protein produced than plant based protein sources. Switching entirely to plant based foods would allow returning >90% of that land to its natural state and growing crops only on the most suitable 10%.

(Of course, the shift in land use need not be entirely restricted to those lands; if livestock were abandoned the protein crops needed to replace them could be grown anywhere, not just on land formerly used for livestock. And your 80% figure is wrong anyways- it could be close to the total percent of that used for grazing, but most certainly not for the portion of that which is "unsuitable for growing anything except grass.")

Comment: Re:Egg subst battery farm "free range" (Score 1) 47 47

Diabetes is actually less common in vegetarians than the general population, and diabetes has a strong positive correlation with overall meat intake.

The insistence that the type of carbohydrate doesn't matter to diabetes risk is absolutely false. Plenty of plant based foods contain sufficient calories without causing problems with blood sugar.

Protein intake in many first world countries, especially the US, is hugely higher than it has been in any other era of the world. People subsisted just fine off grains and beans for millennia, without the high incidence of diabetes that exists in today's age of high meat intake and high refined sugar intake.

Comment: Re:Not humane? (Score 1) 47 47

"more distributed" means more land use. The studies on this have already been done: moving from battery farms to free range requires 20% more feed per gram of protein (largely due to the lack of precisely temperature-regulated environments) and on the order of 10x more land use.

10x the land use=huge habitat destruction and increased global warming. We already use 1/3 of the earth's total land area for livestock.

c.f. this or this.

The extra food those chickens have to consume is not "free" in any environmental sense no matter where the chickens are. It costs a lot of energy and land. And human labor is an astoundingly costly input, even just from an environmental perspective.

Your views of the labor market and modern food production are totally disconnected from reality. Your conclusion basically is "the only reason we quit all being hunter-gatherers is because of The Man. Take out a handful of shadowy puppet masters and we'd all go back to happy neolithic paradise." Modernization of food production is the central thing that has raised the standard of living from the stone age to the present day, and economic efficiency is not some kind of bogeyman.

Comment: Re:Not humane? (Score 1) 47 47

Raising enough eggs to meet present demand for them in "free range" ways that meet with your moral approval would require tremendous habitat destruction, accelerate global warming, and increase poverty and death across the world. How is that any more humane than the present situation?

Comment: Egg subst > battery farm > "free range" (Score 1) 47 47

The interview says

Also, most eggs don't come from very good places. Yes, some come from nice, free range farms. But the reality is that most come from dirty, filthy, factory farmed facilities, that are bad for the environment

but the reality is that though "nice free range farms" may make people feel warm and fuzzy they are MUCH WORSE for the environment than battery farms. Feed inputs are ~20% higher per gram of protein, and land use is obviously tremendously higher. We already use an entire third of the planet's land surface to support livestock; trying to raise all that livestock in "organic, free range" ways just because people have an aversion to modern food production methods would actually require tremendous habitat destruction and accelerate global warming.

The same thing is true of other trendy organic etc methods. They are less efficient in ways that matter not only economically but environmentally. There are reasons people moved away from the "old ways" to be able to feed the planet.

Moving almost entirely to plant-based food is the only way to substantially improve the environmental impact of our food production, and it's urgent for us to do.

Hampton Creek's mission is an important part of that. It's just unfortunate that they seem to some extent to have bought into the anti-science, environmentally counterproductive attitudes of the Whole Foods crowds.

Comment: Re:Wooah! (Score 1) 74 74

But frequentist analyses aren't any more "objective," they just hide biases from view and include inductive biases that aren't even rationally compatible with any consistent state of belief.

With Bayesian analysis your starting point is out in the open and must be justifiable and defensible; analysts are accountable for their priors.

You can also, of course, examine what would follow from several different priors. This is much more straightforward than trying to shake the hidden biases in a frequentist model.

Comment: Balderdash. (Score 1) 129 129

Any "nerd" who posited that bandwidth and storage concerns would be so totally irrelevant that we'd happily waste 10-20x as much of them for practically zero benefit was not so much a "nerd" as a total idiot. Having more bandwidth means you want to do more with it, not waste it for no reason.

Real "nerds" worth the cred understand that not only does lossy compression provide great results at small fractions of the sizes of the best lossless representations, but research into lossy compression also helps us understand the structure of real-world information, intelligence, and human perception in new ways.

A future where we have lossy formats which achieve results equal to today's formats in a quarter the bandwidth because we've come to better understand the structure present in real-world signals and the ways humans perceive and interpret information is a cooler and more exciting future than one in which we [url=http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/01/19/the-hidden-expense-of-energy-costs-print-is-costly-online-isnt-free/]waste exajoules of energy and help destroy the planet[/url] by sending each other millions of terabyte-sized high resolution lossless cat videos.

Comment: Re:No Flash, though, please. (Score 2) 57 57

Oh, by the way, one of my pet peeves is seeing vector animations from Homestar Runner, AtomFilms, etc uploaded to raster streaming video sites. The original vector animations had bitrates low enough for dial-up, ran smoothly on a Pentium III, and scaled flawlessly to any resolution. The raster (usu. H264) versions frequently look much much worse despite 20x the bitrate and dedicated processing hardware.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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