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Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 4, Insightful) 210 210

For the moment, I think we can limit ourselves to the number of atoms in the solar system. One rough estimate is that there are 10e29 stars in the universe. If the atoms were divided up approximately evenly between these star's systems, then there'd be 10e82/10e29=10e53. So we have one IPv6 address for each cluster of 10e15 atoms.

Except! I've heard it estimated that about half the matter in the solar system is in the sun, and we don't want to use up the sun to build computers, because we need it to power the computers. So, 10e14 atoms per IPv6 left to work with.

So the question before the audience is:can you build a device that implements an IPv6 stack and a minimal radio transmitter that allows it to communicate with other, similar devices, using only 10e14 atoms? If so, or if it can be done in less, then we may have a problem*. Otherwise, I think we should be fine for now.

(To give you a rough estimate of what you're working with:10e14 atoms of silicon would mass about 46 nanograms.)

Submit your solutions to :)

* Although the problem may not be manifest until we convert the *entire* Earth, core and all, into these devices, along with all the other planets, and colonize the Oort cloud, and do the same there. :)

Comment Re:French cowards (Score 1) 329 329

That's why, when I (soon!) become a genocidal conqueror, I will be asking people for their voting records before I line them up against the wall.

Curses! WTF is this "secret ballot" my advisors are bringing up? *sigh* There goes my invasion plan. (If I can't have the executions, then I don't see why to bother.)

Comment Re:May you (Score 3, Insightful) 329 329

And let's also hope that nobody ever actually commits rape and gets caught and convicted.

Censorship is always a two-edged sword. I have never heard of any form of censorship where you couldn't rightly cite some examples where it's a good idea, but freedom-lovers can play the examples game too.

Loose lips sink ships, but the king is taxing us unfairly. Which side are you on?

Comment The real question... (Score 2) 112 112

Ok, so he's the CEO of a big company that makes robots--among many other things. So I really have to wonder if he's actually as clueless as this makes him appear, or if he's cynically trying to convince stupid people that they should by his company's pseudo-friendly robots?

Or is there some third option I'm overlooking?

I mean, he might as well say, "robots must be designed to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything." That's just about as plausible, given the state-of-the-art. (And then he could try to sell us speaking robots that can say "forty-two".) :)

Comment Testing developers. Developers. Sheesh! (Score 1) 687 687

This was a study of developers. Developers are not exactly typical users. Developers like things like vi and EMACS. And, in fact, developers can already buy keyboards with (for example) caps lock switched with control. (If they care, and are too lazy to remap their own keys.)

Do a broader study of general computer users, and then maybe we'll talk. (No real skin off my nose anyway, since if you design a keyboard layout Idon't like, I'll just remap it to be the way I do like. 'Cause I'm a developer.)

Comment Re:Closed Ecosystem (Score 1) 92 92

they totally messed up on the whole android build/deploy/update system.

From what I understand, a significant chunk of the problem with mobile device "longevity" is that closed source drivers for the SoC's used in phones are typically provided by chipset vendors, and if the driver model used by the O/S ever changes then the SoC vendor needs to provide a newer set of drivers. Which they aren't going to do when they are no longer selling the chipsets.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 352 352

Still, I have no problems with the efforts to make programming easier. Anything that helps will not only make it easier for novices, but will also aid professional programmers.

Sometimes that's true. Sometimes, the things that make it easier for novices get in the way of the pros and often necessitate workarounds.

Granted, sometimes the pros are just being stuck-in-the-mud reactive twits. You gotta take it case by case.

Comment Blame the users: here's why (Score 2) 120 120

As usual, I prefer to blame the victims (us).

On a desktop personal computer, it would never occur to you to think "Oh, I just assume I'll get software maintenance from my ISP," and if anyone ever actually said that then you would point your finger at them and laugh and their over-the-top stupidity.

But change the form factor of the personal computer to handheld and suddenly we don't do the pointing and laughing. On the very face of it, it's JUST AS STUPID. So WTF?

Users are not exercising their common sense. They simply aren't. You can make excuses for not using common sense and explain why we did this very obviously stupid thing, but don't pretend it's not happening. Every morning you're getting up and putting a "kick me" sign on your back. You know that you're doing it and you know what consequences will invariably flow from it.

"I don't have any other signs to put on my back! All the signs on the market say 'kick me!'"

"Just because I wear a 'kick me' sign that doesn't mean anyone really has license to kick me! They shouldn't be doing that to me!"

Ok, go on and say those things. You even have some valid points, and the things you're saying might even be technically correct. But that doesn't mean you don't sound stupid, because you don't have not getting kicked in your requirements! WTF, people?!

Stop thinking of handhelds as some weird special case where ALL your experiences with software maintenance magically don't apply! THAT'S STUPID! So yeah, I'm a victim-blamer. You know when you buy your PC from your ISP or from a manufacturer who has a history of preventing maintenance, what's going to happen. And when people pretend they don't know the invariable consequences of buying PCs from ISPs, the stupidity takes on a flavor of dishonesty. Mmmm, yum!

Comment Re:But don't equate coding with comp-sci (Score 1) 132 132

I'd use Watson as a great example of how deep learning systems won't make coding go away too soon. From the Wikipedia entry:

Watson uses IBM's DeepQA software and the Apache UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture) framework. The system was written in various languages, including Java, C++, and Prolog, and runs on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system using Apache Hadoop framework to provide distributed computing.

Any guesses as to how many lines of code and development hours are behind that stack? How about a guess as to how long it'll be before Watson is able to make useful contributions to a significant part of that software stack? Is it worth thinking about the hardware stack, or the effort put into curating the database?

Watson is, basically, a sophisticated search engine built upon a massive mountain of human effort.

Experience says that the more complex systems become and the more ubiquitously they're deployed, the more you need people who can build them, expand them, bend them and glue them into place. It doesn't seem to follow a curve like agriculture where productivity can continuously increase while labour contracts. It probably will turn that way, eventually, but I don't expect to be around for it.

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.