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Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 1) 81

by Rei (#49499137) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Indeed, the figures Musk cited a couple years ago was that over 80% of the part count of a Falcon 9 is sourced in-house; it's a critical part of their approach to keeping costs down. He wanted to do that with Tesla as well but it proved impossible, only about 20% of their parts (at the time) were produced in-house. Unsurprisingly the biggest problems in their early days came from external suppliers, like the gearbox issue on the Roadster.

Comment: Re:Give the money to Elon Musk (Score 1) 81

by Rei (#49499119) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

ESAB is a Swedish company. What use is it to NASA to dote largess on a Swedish welding firm?

I'm actually rather disappointed with ESAB here. I have one of their MIG welders from the 1960s and it still works; they're a respectable name.

I feel bad for NASA mind you, in that I don't think many of their problems are their own. They get all sorts of legacy systems forced upon them due to political reasons ("You can't do decision X that would be more efficient because 1000 people in my district would lose their jobs"), they never get the funding to engineer new things from scratch based on lessons learned, etc. I do wonder, mind you, whether their heavy reliance on external contractors is something they could reform.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 1) 154

by lgw (#49498497) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

in the US, if you're laid off you can collect the unemployment insurance you've already paid for. If you're fired or leave voluntarily, you can't collect unemployment insurance.

Can you point to a single state's laws that use that terminology? I've never heard of one. It's all about "fired for cause" vs "fired without cause". You may prefer the terms "fired" vs "laid off", but that's a newish meaning for "laid off".

What really matters to me is "do you get a respectable severance package?" You don't necessarily get one even if you're 'laid off", as some companies are really broke, and some are complete assholes.

Comment: Re:Open Tech is closing? (Score 1) 100

The real question is, after 30 years of personal computers, why can't we simply hit the "off" switch or pull the power plug?

On my Windows boxes, the (soft) power switch works just fine, thanks. It's set up to do a graceful shutdown, so it won't shut down if an application foolishly needs to ask me whether or not to save changes, but that's mostly the application's fault (see Notepad++ for how to do it right), and I could set up the power button to do a "maintenance shutdown," which force closes everything, if applications were written better.

Powering off without any notice at all, safely, would really limit performance in many ways - I'm just as happy to wait a second or two for unsaved changes to be parked, all the write caches to flush and so on.

I want a computer that I can just switch off, then switch on and be instantly back at what I was working on, or at a login screen. Instantly.

Basic physics will keep persistent storage slower than volatile memory, but if you're content with 1990s performance, you could probably build a PC that worked that way. Heck, it probably exists for some exotic use case.

Comment: Re:yeah, not too surprising (Score 1) 160

You fool.
When he spoke about the spying on Americans, he was doing the right thing.
When he spoke about the NSA spying on other nations and terrorists, he became a traitor.
The reason is that the NSA was set up to SPECIFICALLY to spy on other nations, terrorists, foreigners, etc.
And consider that just about every nation in this world attempts to do the SAME THING, and regards it as legal, means that it is legal for NSA TO DO THE SAME.

Comment: Re:Sexes ARE different, thankfully (Score 1) 558

1. That's not "a" study, it's from a metastudy. The simple fact of the matter is, while the news makes a big deal of any study that shows a statistically significant difference between genders, most of these statistically significant differences are barely above the level of noise.

2. Where are you getting that quote from the paper? A search for those words doesn't reveal that.

There absolutely are some very demonstrable differences in certain psychological regards - mainly sexual. The most obvious of these, for example, is the fact that women are more likely to be attracted to men and men to women. But that's far from the majority of studied sexual differences that get so much play in the press. " With very few exceptions, variability within each sex and overlap between the sexes is so extensive that the authors conclude it would be inaccurate to use personality types, attitudes, and psychological indicators as a vehicle for sorting men and women. "

3. Girls are far less likely to get involved in chess to begin with in all countries (again, the fact that children mimic sex distribution of behaviors of the previous generation, no matter what they are in the particular society one is in), so one shouldn't be surprised that this is reflectected in the highest levels. Chess, as a competitive sport, has always been predominantly a "men's sport", internationally. But as XKCD notes, this is changing. The Polgár sisters are a great example. Their upbringing was an experiment by their father; to see what would happen if children were raised with extensive training in a specialist intellectual topic from an early age. One ended up an International Master while the other two ended up as Grand Masters, with Judit ending up one of the world's most powerful players of any gender. Their father's choice removed gender self -selection from the picture.

4. Oh please, you're not seriously going to pretend that there weren't tremendous pressures in Victorian society for women to not be involved in STEM-style careers, or that they weren't usually expressly banned from such. Even women who took them up as hobbies (usually well-to-do women) were often strongly advised against it, that it was harmful to a woman's delicate composition to be mentally straining one's self (a risk of the catch-all Victorian women's distorder "hysteria"; the cure for "hysteria" was to refrain from all serious physical and mental activity). This is the culture that ours came from, and it's been a slow incremental process of moving away from it ever since. The fact that you'd call "citation needed" on that is absurd, that's like "A normal human hand has five digits [citation needed]."

5."I'll see your 50% and raise it to 100%" - how does this even make sense? Women are 50% of the population (roughly). Nobody is talking about disinteresting men from pursuing STEM careers. There's already interest there. The goal is to try to also get more interest from women, to work against the carryover cultural connotations of STEM as "men's work".

6. " Are there laws or even customs, that prevent girls from entering a STEM field and excelling in it" - it's like you didn't even read my post.

7. "But what if it is bilogicial — as seems perfectly probable?" - not according to the actual research. And if one person wastes their time trying to become a physicist when they'd have made a better fry cook? Well whoop-di-freaking-doo. The world is still a better place.

Comment: Re:I like it... (Score 4, Interesting) 100

by Rei (#49497293) Attached to: Exploit For Crashing Minecraft Servers Made Public

I once coded for a game, Eternal Lands, where I discovered a major security bug. The game had a feature where if a person said a URL, it would turn into a clickable link. This was opened via a popen call. No input sanitization. Aka, vulnerable to injection. A person who simply speaks a malicious URL and makes it look like something interesting to click (hiding the insertion command in the path) could run it on anyone's computer who clicks to open the link.

Big problem. Simple fix. But try as I might, I couldn't get them to let me fix it. They were fine with me writing a whole new special effects graphics system for them, but one simple input sanitization, noooo, the popen works, let's not mess with it and possibly "introduce a bug"! Eventually it took me writing a sample command on the forum that would make a file in the user's home directory (which anyone who knows anything about unix commands could make far more malicious) by clicking on the URL. Suddenly they let me patch the system immediately (and deleted the forum thread... I don't blame them).

I didn't want to have to resort to that. But I didn't want a potentially dangerous exploit sitting in the system.

I never got approval to fix all of the other potential exploits in their system. Their networking protocol was terrible. I only ever saw the client code, but there was literally zero authentication that the server was who they said they were and that packets weren't malformed. Their entire security model was "let's initiate a TCP connection to a hard-coded IP and unconditionally trust everything that we receive". I can't imagine what their server code is like. But they wouldn't even let me add in trivial bounds checking to make sure that the packets weren't oversized - the most minimal of sanity checking.

The fear of changes breaking stuff often leads developers to neglect security. Changes to improve gameplay or graphics? Of course, our users will love it! Changes to the protocol? Nonono, the protocol is working, why risk breaking it?

The short of it? Don't have too much faith that that MMORPG you're playing isn't hackable in a way that could be nasty to your system.

Comment: Re:Three puzzles (Score 1) 172

by lgw (#49495931) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

He writes his paper and submits for publication: "Rats prefer to turn left", P 0.05, the effect is real, and all is good.

There's no realistic way that a reviewer can spot the flaw in this paper.

Actually, let's pose this as a puzzle to the readers. Can *you* spot the flaw in the methodology? And if so, can you describe it in a way that makes it obvious to other readers?

I guess I don't see it. While P 0.05 isn't all that compelling, it does seem like prima facie evidence that the rats used in the sample prefer to turn left at that intesection for some reason. There's no hypothesis as to why, and thus way to generalize and no testable prediction of how often rats turn left in a different circumstances, but it's still an interesting measurement.

You have a null hypothesis and some data with a very low probability. Let's say it's P 0.01. This is such a good P-value that we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative explanation. ...

Can you point out the flaw in this reasoning?

You have evidence that the null hypothesis is flawed, but none that the alternative hypothesis is the correct explanation?

The scientific method centers on making testable predictions that differ from the null hypothesis, then finding new data to see if the new hypothesis made correct predictions, or was falsified. Statistical methods can only support the new hypothesis once you have new data to evaluate.

Comment: Re:Is the math not towing the groupthink? (Score 1) 172

by lgw (#49495801) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

Oh goodness, are people reading this headline to think they are removing p-values in favor of just accepting speculation with no statistical analysis!?!

This is a social science journal. Statistics are obviously a tool of the Patriarchy and should be shunned. (This mockery has become a meme now - you can buy "logic is a tool of the Patriarchy" t-shirts for goodness sake.)

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 1) 117

by Kjella (#49493901) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Sigh, where to begin.

AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!

Not .28nm, just 28nm and Broadwell is made on the same 14nm process as Skylake.

Only saving grace is ATI graphics. If nvidia gets a hold of .17 nm chips then it's game over too.

They haven't called it ATI graphics for 5 years, but now I'm quibbling. What's important is that both AMD and nVidia makes their GPUs at TSMC and so have access to the exact same technology if they pay.

I was a loyal AMD user too. I tried and stayed til last year. It is frustrating but an i7 4 core with 8 virtuals with hyperthreading really sped uo my games compared to the 6 core./

Hyperthreading has little to do with it, the step down with pure quad-core (i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i5-4690k) has usually been far more cost effective for gaming. Four Intel cores simply beat eight AMD Bulldozer cores.

AMD needs to leave [x86] and go all ATI to stay solvent.

They're in the same boat on graphics, the last major new architecture was GCN in 2011 and it's way overdue for a replacement. So that depends, have they actually invested in a new architecture? With their R&D money going everywhere else, I don't see how.

Comment: Re:Sexes ARE different, thankfully (Score 1) 558

Or, maybe, women and men simply aren't the same?

The anatomy and physiology are demonstrably different.

Obviously what's at hand here is mental differences. Are there demonstrable mental differences? Yes! But there's only one issue with that...

In almost any sentence where people say "Women (verb)..." or "Men (verb)..." and it's about something psychological (as opposed to, say, something involving reproductive organs or a statistical difference in strength / height or the like), 99% of the time it's equally accurate to simply say "People (verb)..." The popular perception of the degree of differences between genders (including the effects of both brain structure and hormones) is often vastly different from the statistical reality. Screw Mars and Venus; men and women are from Earth. Psychologically, we're statistically virtually identical in most measures. And in many cases where there are differences that even manage to meet statistical significance, what differences there are may well be artifacts of culture.

Human children learn through imitating. They adopt role models (such as their parents at an early age) and mimic their behaviors, to the degree that it can even hinder them (one of the sort of psychological tests where chimps perform better than human children is to lay out a puzzle and have an adult solve it in front of the subjects, but insert a bunch of needless time-wasting steps; the human children almost invariably perform all of the time-wasting steps while the chimps catch on quickly that they're pointless and skip them). As a general rule, children most mimic members of their gender, something that socially they're rewarded for. By the very nature of this system, it inherently perpetuates the carryover of any totally non-gender-related but nonetheless gender-segregated activities from the previous generation. If you had a society where eating apples was something almost exclusively done by men, even if you didn't specifically teach the next generation that apples are a "men's fruit", the vast majority of girls wouldn't take up eating apples.

Given this, whether there would be any factual basis or not for women to be better or worse at STEM, the very fact that historically there were fewer women in STEM (a legacy from the old Victorian moral system), this will automatically lead to there being fewer women in STEM in the next generation. Now, one can do nothing and just hope that, after enough generations, the problem will remedy itself. Or, one can decide that having 50% of the human population having a solid interest in the sort of careers most valuable to the improvement of the human condition is a good thing, and maybe we should give a shot at remedying this, even if just on the "offchance" that it's not biological.

Comment: Re:We all need to realize... (Score 1) 117

by Kjella (#49493467) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

...we need AMD. Because if AMD goes away, Intel has zero competitors in the x86/64 market.

AMD gave up on the markets I care about in 2012 so I don't really care, what's worse it that without AMD there's really no competitor to nVidia in the high end GPU market either.

If AMD goes the way of the dodo bird, so do our cheap processors.

That's what smartphones and tablets are for, you only need x86 if you're doing anything CPU intensive and anything CPU intensive you shouldn't be doing on a cheap CPU in the first place.

Moreover, we'll likely lose a great deal of software freedom as what Intel says becomes law across the whole board. UEFI and TPM?

AMD supports all the same DRM standards as Intel.

What used to be the "traditional" AMD has already imploded, if anything they'll exit the consumer market and become a pure specialist/custom player but they're not recovering to compete with Intel/nVidia. They got $17 million left in stockholder equity, losing both on revenue and margin every quarter and way behind on both CPU and GPU technology. I don't think they can be saved in a way that matters to us.

Comment: Re: Video from the barge (Score 1) 109

by Rei (#49492993) Attached to: An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure

Not necessarily. A stronger RCS system would probably have for example saved this last rocket - even though that wasn't the fundamental problem. Again, that's the purpose of backup systems. They're not the primary - they're there for if the primary fails, which it will sooner or later even if you've ironed out the major bugs.

I'd wager that they chose nitrogen not because of the best thrust / mass combination for their needs, but to try to make regulatory approval for landing on land easier.

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