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Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 89

by nine-times (#47554873) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Hence a single score is completely unsuitable to address the "quality" of the algorithm, because there is no single benchmark scenario.

So you're saying that no benchmark is meaningful because no single benchmark can be relied upon to be the final word under all circumstances? By that logic, measuring speed is not meaningful, because it's not the final word in all circumstances. Measuring the compression ratio is meaningless because it's not the final word in all circumstances. The footprint of the code is meaningless because it's not the final word in all circumstances.

Isn't it possible that a benchmark could be useful for some purposes other than being the final word in all circumstances?

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 89

by nine-times (#47554857) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Depending on what you're talking about, providing a huge table of every possible test doesn't make for easy comparisons. In the case of graphics cards, I suppose you could provide a list of every single game, including framerates on every single setting on every single game. It would be hard to gather all that data, and the result would be information overload, and it still wouldn't allow you to make a good comparison between cards. Even assuming you ad such a table, it would probably be more helpful to add or average the results somehow, providing a cumulative score. Of course, then you might want to weight the scores, possibly based on how popular the game is, or how representative it is of the actual capabilities of the card. But if that's the result that's actually helpful, why not design a single benchmark that's representative of what games do, rather than having to test so many games?

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 89

by nine-times (#47554827) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

there's not a meaningful way to pick the "best" in that group that everyone will agree on

Metrics often don't provide a definitive answer about what the best thing is, with universal agreement. If I tell you Apple scores highest in customer satisfaction for smartphones last year, does that mean everyone will agree that the iPhone is the best phone? If a bunch of people are working at a helpdesk, and one closes the most tickets per hour, does that necessarily mean that he's the best helpdesk tech?

It's true that a lot of people misuse metrics, thinking that they always provide an easy answer, without understanding what they actually mean. That doesn't mean that metrics are useless.

If you're comparing a bunch of cars that get 32-35 mpg and go 130-140 mph, there's not a meaningful way to pick the "best" in that group that everyone will agree on

Yeah, but that's a really dumb metric since most people don't actually care what the top speed of a car is. Or to be more truthful, only morons care about top speed unless it's below 80mph, since you basically shouldn't be driving your car that fast. So really, in a metric like this, the "top speed" isn't a metric of "faster is better". It's a metric of "fast enough is good enough".

But if you were in the habit of doing car reviews, it might make sense to take a bunch of assessments, qualitative and quantitative, like acceleration and handling, MPG, physical attractiveness, additional features, and price (lower is better), and then weigh and average each score. That would enable you to come up with a final score which, while subjective, makes some attempt to enable an overall ranking of the cars. In fact, this is the sort of thing that reviewers sometimes do.

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 89

by nine-times (#47553917) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Since the "correct" weighting is a matter of opinion and everybody's use-case is different, a single-dimension metric isn't very useful...[snip] User A is trying to stream stuff that has to have latency less than 15 seconds, so for him the first algorithm is the best.

And these are very good arguments why such a metric should not be taken as an end-all be-all. Isn't that generally the case with metrics and benchmarks?

For example, you might use a benchmark to gauge the relative performance between two video cards. I test Card A and it gets 700. I test Card B and it gets a 680. However, in running a specific game that I like, Card B gets slightly faster framerates. Meanwhile, some other guy wants to use the video cards to mine Bitcoin, and maybe these specific benchmarks test entirely the wrong thing, and Card C, which scores 300 on the benchmark, is the best choice. Is the benchmark therefore useless?

No, not necessarily. if the benchmark is supposed to test general game performance, and generally faster benchmark tests correlate with faster game performance, then it helps shoppers figure out what to buy. If you want to shop based on a specific game or a specific use, then you use a different benchmark.

Comment: Explains some things (Score 3, Interesting) 157

Maybe these fliers were honest, and Comcast just believes the investing in an ISP is a money-losing venture. It would explain some things.

I guess the only sensible response is to sell your stock in Comcast. They view their own business as a money-pit and a disaster waiting to happen.

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 5, Insightful) 89

by nine-times (#47553137) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Can you explain in more detail?

I'm not an expert here, but I think the idea is to come up with a single quantifying number that represents the idea that very fast compression has limited utility if it doesn't save much space, and very high compression has limited utility if it takes an extremely long time.

Like, if you're trying to compress a given file, and one algorithm compressed the file by 0.00001% in 14 seconds, another compressed the file 15% in 20 seconds, and the third compressed it 15.1% in 29 hours, then the middle algorithm is probably going to be the most useful one. So why can't you create some kind of rating system to give you at least a vague quantifiable score of that concept? I understand that it might not be perfect-- different algorithms might score differently on different sized files, different types of files, etc. But then again, computer benchmarks generally don't give you a perfect assessment of performance. It just provides a method for estimating performance.

But maybe you have something in mind that I'm not seeing.

Comment: Re:Can we just recognize it as currency and be don (Score 1) 133

by nine-times (#47551675) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Does it really qualify as a currency yet? I don't know. How do we define what makes a currency?

And don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to claim that bitcoins aren't worth anything. But Garbage Pail Kids trading cards are probably still worth something. There may be someone in the world who would accept them as payment for goods and services. Does that make them a currency?

Does a currency need to be backed by some kind of country? Is there an expectation of stability of price? Do you need an area of economic activity where the currency is ubiquitously accepted as a form of payment? Maybe you know the answers to these questions. I don't. There are probably a lot of people in Congress who don't.

Comment: Re:No need for a conspiracy (Score 1) 265

Though I don't remember Apple being explicit about it, it seems that their OS updates support the past 3 models. iOS7 was released when the iPhone 5s had not yet been released, and supported the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5. You can still buy an iPhone 4s, so I would expect that iOS8 will support it, but will not support the iPhone 4 anymore.

So you will probably be able to upgrade your current phone, though it'll probably be a bit slow and will lack some features. That's just an educated guess, though.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 1) 429


And please note, in case you don't understand how comparisons work, that you don't compare things that are identically the same. They're the same, so it doesn't make sense to compare them. You also don't compare things that are so similar that people have a hard time understanding the differences. In those cases, it's much more meaningful to contrast them.

The only time it really makes sense to compare things is if they're significantly different and yet have similarities. Coffee and amphetamine are very different, and yet both are addictive stimulants that lots of people use in order to be productive. That makes for an interesting comparison.

Comment: Re:The only good thing (Score 4, Insightful) 429

Yup, they're constantly warned by old people and movies alike, that only dumb, cool, sexy people with exciting lives do drugs. It's much safer to live like your boring suburban parents, who incidentally probably also do drugs-- at least alcohol, coffee, and antidepressants, if not marijuana and cocaine.

I actually don't do any illegal drugs or prescription drugs. I'm just pointing out that our society sends some seriously mixed messages.

Comment: Re:No need for a conspiracy (Score 2) 265

People will complain that the sun is too yellow.

Exactly my point.

I am suspecting your are putting your own biases into the words that I spoke.

And I'm quite sure that you're being disingenuous. Or maybe not disingenuous, but dumb. Possibly just in denial? Regardless, I could continue pointing out where your arguments don't make sense, and you'd continue to shift your argument around and pretend to be saying different things. Why would I spend time on that kind of thing?

Comment: Re:umm duh? (Score 1) 175

by nine-times (#47548713) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

You're searching for technical solutions to business problems.

Sometimes there are technical solutions to business problems. But my point from the beginning is that it wasn't simply a technical issue of whether we can encrypt things. It's whether we, the users and developers on the Internet, can agree on a set of standards that make encryption easy for people who don't understand encryption and can't be trusted to figure it out.

You keep pointing out that we theoretically could do all the things that needed to be done. I'm trying to point out that still, we keep not doing it. Sure, there are libraries for encrypting things, but what I'm trying to drive home is that encryption isn't the problem. The problem isn't "I need to encrypt a file," but "I need to be able to store my files so that they're secure, accessible, easy to find, easy to share, and nearly impossible to lose. If it's properly implemented, encryption can help with the "secure" part, but it can also easily hinder the rest. Until you can develop a complete solution that solves the entire problem while transparently encrypting files without causing other problems, encryption doesn't help to solve the problem.

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