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Comment: Re:Averages (Score 1) 109

by jma05 (#49718011) Attached to: Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans

> Makes me wonder how I managed a 16 hour surgery the other day without ever getting bored or distracted (kind of hard to do when the patient is trying so hard to die on your table).

Clearly, without your patient's help in keeping you focused, you would have gotten distracted and wandered away from the OP after seeing a squirrel in the window :-).

Seriously, you know enough Statistics to know that your circumstance does not make a case against the study in any way, even if it was a comparable task. Your surgery task is a compound, concurrently distributed team task. It is not anything like the candidate tasks under consideration in this study. You don't need to have special powers of concentration to not be distracted in a surgery (at least no more than passing boards).

Comment: Re:Why not Python? (Score 1) 94

by jma05 (#49710217) Attached to: In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

I mean the full Python stack (IPython notebook + Spyder with IPython, PyLab, Pandas, statsmodels).

For almost everything in stats, I prefer the RStudio experience. The flow feels much better, even though my Python is much better than my R. Machine Learning is one stats topic though, where I still prefer Python - I just like Scikit-learn.

If I was doing linear algebra directly, I would have preferred the Python stack with NumPy. PyLab stack is more for Matlab users than R users. On the stats side, Pandas and statsmodels are still not yet an R replacement for me. They are a great start though and seem to have gotten everything right so far.

Comment: Re:Why not Python? (Score 1) 94

by jma05 (#49709387) Attached to: In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

I use both R and Python. R itself is actually quite nice and more efficient for interactive use, once you get used to it. For interactive exploration with statistics, I actually prefer it to Python (and I have been using Python for ~15 years). Lots of helper functions. Everything uses the DataFrame datastructure. Good, concise and consistent documentation.

Unless you are a R library dev, for most users, its best to see R as a shell for statistics, rather than a programming language. So its language horribleness does not matter much.

I use Python to process data and R to explore it. Once I settle on something, if I need to put it into a larger pipeline, I either find an implementation in Python or link R to Python via rpy2.

> A python statistics library with some funky C linkage to the R library would take over in milliseconds

That's what rpy2 is.

Comment: Re: What has Rust been used for? (Score 1) 181

by jma05 (#49517385) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

> there's nothing else out there that is even attempting to solve the same problems.

You mean move semantics? That would be the main innovation of Rust. C++ also has them now. Perhaps Rust has them better, but it would be inaccurate to say that no one is even attempting to solve these problems.

Comment: Re:Hasn't Google been doing that for a while now? (Score 1) 109

by jma05 (#49427755) Attached to: Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding For YouTube

I do indeed prefer mplayer over VLC since the CPU utilization is better. However, my mplayer does not do VP9. VLC nightly was suggested and it worked. But I would like to switch back to mplayer as soon as I can.

I did update my ffmpeg. The one that comes with Trusty did not work with youtube-dl.

Comment: Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

by jma05 (#49422255) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

I am aware. .NET Native just removes some JIT costs and improves load times (60% is the claim). It does not make actual program execution much faster. I don't expect the benchmarks to change much. Although, MS CLR was probably a bit better in performance than the Mono implementation. Let's see how this code merge fares. There are free and commercial native compilers for Java. They don't help all that much. I imagine things to be similar. No idea about how good the disk and memory improvements will play out.

Comment: Hasn't Google been doing that for a while now? (Score 3, Interesting) 109

by jma05 (#49420449) Attached to: Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding For YouTube

I use youtube-dl to download presentations from Youtube. I have been getting VP9 webms for months from Youtube. If you type youtube -F , you can see all the DASH webm streams, which are encoded by VP9. The non-DASH webms are VP8 videos. With youtube-dl, you can select the DASH video and audio streams and combine them with ffmpeg. The file sizes are indeed much better.

Short Test Video:
youtube-dl --prefer-ffmpeg -f 247+171 https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
39 secs of this 720p clip comes out to 5.6 MB. With H264, it would 10.8 MB.

The only problem I have is that I have to play them by dropping them in Firefox. I have not managed to get any of my desktop media players to get the codecs (Ubuntu 14.04). If any of you solved this, let me know.

Comment: Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 3, Interesting) 223

by jma05 (#49412749) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

> Both C# and C++ offer low level functionality

Not really. Can you write a device driver in C#? How about a plain DLL? CLR is a VM. Its CPU performance is OK (2-8 times slower than C).

http://benchmarksgame.alioth.d...

But programs written on it have memory requirements that are higher than ones written in plain systems languages. The runtime footprint on the disk is also massive. I don't think you can really make a case that C# is a low-level language. It is not that much more CPU efficient than Java. Mono performance is worse than Java.

http://benchmarksgame.alioth.d...

Of course, CLR is better than dynamic language aka scripting language runtimes. But that's about it.

Comment: Re:Disabling Heartbeat - scroll down! (Score 1) 156

by jma05 (#49384157) Attached to: Firefox 37 Released

I don't understand art very much and I certainly don't understand modern art. I don't have a taste for Picasso. But it cannot be denied that he introduced/developed several novel art forms and was a talented painter.

> I've cleaned a paintbrush on a piece of cloth and created something better than Picasso. I've seen preschoolers with finger paints do better.

That's just a cheap shot with no basis. You should at least make an effort to find out why people who venerate him as one of the greatest ever, do so. You and I are just not qualified to judge it. Your critiques are no different from a religious fundamentalist who pooh poohs Science without making an effort to study it beyond high school.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 1) 87

by jma05 (#49380155) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

Well, of course, there are good and bad lectures and lecture videos.

> Well done presentations are the exception -- don't try to build a rule on them.

I am not sure I agree. I have been satisfied with the quality of video lectures in MOOCs. I expect MOOC videos (I just use Coursera) to be better than simple lecture videos that I was accustomed to in the pre-MOOC era. M is for Massive. So I do expect that better care is taken in their production.

> which brings us back to the thrust of the article -- doing video properly takes more time than it's worth

We have an article because these lecturers are the exception (IPython Notebooks are quite good teaching tools though). If I wanted a simple presentation with no expectation of effort on media, I'd normally just go download some course lectures from iTunesU.

A good presentation does not need a whole lot of effort. A screen cast format is not bad at all. It can involve slides, live code building, refer to web resources, screen drawing etc. That's pretty multi-modal and does not need a complex set up.

Comment: Re: There's a lot of stuff (Score 2) 87

by jma05 (#49379253) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

Hah. I have seen a bit of what you mean and I cringed myself. I am from a developing country (and studied in the West). Its just that the educational culture is a bit different over here. Students can get rather needy. Project work expectations are pretty low here (unlilke test performance) and they might be having a harder time to adjust. Its probably not a bad idea to have regional realms of some sort, so that students of similar cultures can participate, without stepping on other's toes.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie

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