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Comment: Re:The 3 year cycle... (Score 1) 118

I dunno. It just thinks like the rate of change has slowed down a lot over the last decade. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

10+ years ago, performance was more than doubling every two years through a combination of higher clocks, die shrinks, extra transistors, fundamental breakthroughs in logic circuit designs, etc. Right now, mainstream CPUs are only ~60% faster than mainstream CPUs from four years ago because clocks are stuck near the 4GHz mark, die shrinks are becoming much slower in coming, nearly all fundamental breakthroughs have been discovered and modern hardware is already more powerful than what most people can be bothered with so there is a general lack of demand for significantly faster low-mid-range CPUs to make things worse.

Progress is slowing down and I can only imagine it getting worse in the future.

Comment: Image processing (Score 1) 118

by fyngyrz (#47787737) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

I use -- and write -- image processing software. Correct use of multiple cores results in *significant* increases in performance, far more than single digits. I have a dual 4-core, 3 GHz mac pro, and I can control the threading of my algorithms on a per-core basis, and every core adds more speed when the algorithms are designed such that a region stays with one core and so remains in-cache for the duration of the hard work.

The key there is to keep main memory from becoming the bottleneck, which it immediately will do if you just sweep along through your data top to bottom (presuming your data is bigger than the cache, which is typoically the case with DSLRs today.) Now, if they ever get main memory to us that runs as fast as the actual CPU, that'll be a different matter, but we're not even close at this point in time.

So it really depends on what you're doing, and how *well* you're doing it. Understanding the limitations of memory and cache is critical to effective use of multicore resources. You're not going to find a lot of code that does that sort of thing outside of very large data processing, and many individuals don't do that kind of data processing at all, or only do it so rarely that speed is not the key issue, only results matter. But there are certainly common use cases where keeping a machine for ten years would use up valuable time in an unacceptable manner. As a user, I am constantly editing my own images with global effects, and so multiple fast cores make a real difference for me. A single core machine is crippled by comparison.

Comment: Sources of water (Score 1) 490

by fyngyrz (#47787677) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

The moisture source for lakes and rivers is -- inevitably -- precipitation over lands upstream. Either as direct runoff, or as recurring eruptions from underground aquifers. If the prevailing winds don't bring the more humid air over the cooler, higher landscape, sure, you'll see drought. But you'd see it anyway, more heat or not. When the prevailing winds are bringing more moisture over those same types of terrain, you're going to see more precipitation, not less.

The historical record bears this out. When the earth is warmer, we get (a lot) more plant growth. That's simply not going to happen if the precipitation is reduced for any reason. And, at least as far as I am aware at this time, there is no mechanism that would cause reduction in precipitation. Warmer air holds more moisture, yes, and that effect is in full view in the tropics -- with deluge level rainfall when that moist air hits colder atmosphere and the moisture inevitably precipitates as rain. 400 inches / year as opposed to about 100 inches / year in otherwise similar temperate regions.

I would certainly agree that if the wind patterns change, then the rainfall will too. In both directions. But it seems a little farfetched to say that such changes will result in a consistent decrease in winds traveling onshore. What would such a claim be based upon?

Comment: Re: Impacts (Score 1) 490

by fyngyrz (#47787631) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Is this year actually a warmer year? Didn't I just read that we're in a 20-year hiatus in the warming trend?

Yes, warmer air holds more moisture -- anyone who has worked the steam tables to convert between relative and absolute humidity knows that (and I have done so for my auroral photo opportunity prediction freeware), but it's also susceptible to precipitating more moisture when convection brings that moist air up into the colder altitudes. That's why tropical rainfall tends to be in deluges as compared to, for instance, the typical rain shower in Pennsylvania. We know for a fact that the tropics are warmer and wetter in terms of rainfall amounts per year -- and that since they are warmer, their air can hold more moisture. But that's not stopped them from having much more rainfall than anywhere else. While there certainly may be outlier statistics, the general case seems clearly to be: warmer = wetter = more rainfall.

Temperate rainforests get as much 100 inches / year. Tropical rainforests get up to 400 inches / year. If it's not the heat that's doing it, what do you propose is the mechanism?

If it *is* the heat that's doing it, then what is the mechanism where more heat, heat that corresponds with previous tropical climates in the earth's past, won't repeat the same effect here? Looking at the past CO2 level graphs as correlated with plant growth and temperature, there's a very strong correlation with CO2 and plant growth, and with temperature. Plants love CO2, but they still need moisture to survive, and where there's more plant growth, it's pretty much a certainty that there's a significant water supply.

So far, anyway, the idea of warming in the tropics -- or anywhere there's basically unlimited water and related prevailing winds -- leading to drought seems to be a non-starter.

It's not that I can't accept it, it's just that to accept it, I need a sound scientific reason to do so. Just saying that one expects drought in the tropics seems like hand-waving at this point. There are plenty of legitimate concerns - a slight, very, very slow rise in sea level, movement of crop-appropriate bands in cultivated areas, that sort of thing, but tropical drought doesn't appear to be one of them.

Also, recent news shows increased plant growth worldwide... something to think about in a situation where CO2 is known to be increasing at an accelerated rate.

Comment: Re:DDR2/3/4 (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by pjrc (#47786861) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Just to put "some time now" the time frame into perspective, the last mainstream PC memory form-factor to use asynchronous DRAM was 72 pin SIMMs.

When PCs went from 72 pin SIMMs to the first 168 pin DIMMs, in the mid-1990s, the interface changed to (non-DDR) synchronous clocking.

Comment: Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (Score 1) 110

by MillionthMonkey (#47786101) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

When I was hourly at a place where they weren't allowed to send us home early, they would find all manner of useless busywork for us to do if they caught us done without more work to do.

What were they making you do? Was it extra programming projects, crossword puzzles, or mopping the floor? Just curious

Comment: Re:ok, so, what now (Score 1) 82

by vikingpower (#47785985) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far
Nope. Not the western hemisphere, but rather the eastern. Humans came from Africa, which is in the half of the globe that has eastern longitude. From there, they spread to Asia and Europe, and from Asia to the Americas, the latter movement having been a rather recent event in human history ( less than 100.000 years ago ).

Comment: Simple. Easy. (Score 3, Insightful) 100

by vikingpower (#47785659) Attached to: Japanese Publishers Lash Out At Amazon's Policies
Boycot Amazon. I do, and a lot of people here in central Europe do ( although almost all of the boycotters do live in large cities, with easy access to book stores ). It is actually a physical delight to go, in persona, to a a book store, browse, take your time, and buy -- or place an order for something they don't have in stock. In the latter case, getting the phone call that "your book has arrived, Mr. Faustus" is delightful, too,

Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 2) 505

by squiggleslash (#47783721) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Why must everything be gender balanced?

Why should the fact that not everything need be gender balanced mean that you can't argue that a specific thing should be?

To put it another way: is Wikipedia helped or harmed by having only one gender contribute to it, given it's supposed to be a repository of human knowledge?

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  1. .

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 2) 505

by squiggleslash (#47783707) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Also why is it that WP should do more to appeal to females but FB doesn't need to do more to appeal to males?

Because Wikipedia is, for better or worse, intended to be a repository of human knowledge, while Facebook is a repository of cat photos, freemium games, and promotional potato chip coupon pages.

Having half the (intelligent, knowledgable) population under-represented in Wikipedia is a problem as it will impact the information Wikipedia makes available, and the usefulness of that information, and thus the usefulness of Wikipedia as a whole and its ability to be a repository for human knowledge.

COBOL is for morons. -- E.W. Dijkstra

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