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Comment Re: I was able to successfully use a docx (Score 3, Interesting) 183

Yep. I always use LibreOffice to edit and send back documents for work. It usually works OK, but with frequent glitches. I worried about that, so I once asked our admin if she had a problem with the docs I sent back. She said mine were no worse than those she got from everybody else, and she had never realized I wasn't actually using MS word to edit them. Glitches and formatting errors is apparently completely normal even with the same version of MS word on different computers.

Comment Re:Power efficiency is good in some places, not al (Score 1) 337

John Cook (put his blog in your RSS feed if you don't already have it) made a very good point recently: The speed gains from Moore's Law are dwarfed by the speed gains from algorithmic improvements. And unlike Moore's Law, we're not yet seeing a limit approaching for better ways to solve stuff. The post in question:

Comment Re:Power efficiency is good in some places, not al (Score 1) 337

A lot of tasks intrinsically don't scale, or scale only up to some limit. Some people are running into this already in the HPC world, were we have big parallel machines that they can't take full advantage of. Their simulations simply don't scale above a certain number of cores.

This problem is becoming steadily worse, since people want to make models with more detail (that tends to not parallelize well), and simulate much longer timeframes than before. If you're simulating protein interactions over one millisecond, then it might not matter if it takes an hour or two. But if you want to use that to understand LTP in neurons and simulate a second or two, then it becomes a very major problem if your model can't parallelize further and the per-core speed stays put.

Comment Re:last chance to buy quality Sharp products (Score 4, Insightful) 48

Geeks are just as good the world over, whether Japan, Taiwan, EU, US or China. Product quality has nothing to do with the quality of the designers and builders and everything to do with the budget and time constraints they have to do their stuff. And that is all about where their company wants to position itself in the price/quality/reputation landscape.

Sharp has a well-deserved reputation for good quality and sometimes off-beat or niche products that delight a few even if they don't become huge sellers. And that's of course part reason why they've been in trouble for some years now. Foxconn doesn't have a reputation for premium products or for doing their own thing.

I share the worry that Sharp as we know it will disappear, and just become another nameplate pasted on bland, forgettable me-too stuff.

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1310

Heya, you posted AC but I hope you can still read this. Thanks for acknowledging my existence on here. That's the first time anyone has in all the time I've been here. Not that anyone needs to do that but that was nice. :) haha

If youre just talking about the link to our journals on the posts we make, that is true we can get to our journal that way but that still shows that it is broken imo because its found in such a convulted way. Slashdot can't expect us to make a post or find one of our old ones just to get a link up to our journals or have us remember the direct link to type into the browser. On other sites theres usually links either in our account page or some other prominent location to navigate our own stuff and around the site. I don't know why our journals are hidden like this (or missed when they revamped the site) especially when slashdot started out as a journal.

I thought maybe it was my browser but on a clean install of chrome without any addons, it is still the same. On the mobile phone it is even worse, even posts do not have the journal links.

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1310

Could you please raise the issue that journals are broken on here. For one, theres no way to get to a persons journal by clicking links. we have to resort to typing in our journal address in the browser url bar. Secondly, journals entries get archived within a short amount of them and then nobody can comment on them. Shouldnt the journal owner have a say in how long they want to accept comments for?

Comment Re:Gazebo, ROS, OpenCV, Point Cloud Library (Score 1) 78

What dbc says in his answer. But there's also that you can to some degree choose to shift complexity to hardware or software.

You can for instance have a very expensive, high-quality, difficult to design and build harmonic-drive limb joint. The hardware is strong, accurate and reliable. There's no backlash or slack anywhere. Your software for moving the joint can in such a case be more or less "move_to_angle(something)" and you're done.

Or you can have a hobby servo moving a hinge consisting of two holes threaded with a wire hanger. You can build it in five minutes. But now your software has to take all the slop, and all the inaccuracies into account. The behaviour of the joint will change depending on bending angle, direction to the floor, what it's holding and probably a lot more. You'll need extra sensors and probably some kind of adaptive system that learns to control the rickety thing.

So you can decide whether you want to shift more of your problems to the hardware or to the software.

Comment Re:The Future! (Score 1) 149

What makes this especially interesting, is the victory was not achieved with the sort of brute-force approach used by Deep Blue in chess.

Wake me when a computer can beat a human champion while using 100 w of power or less - about the equivalent power consumption of a human. Actually, the brain uses about 20% of this but lets be generous.

Comment Re:Lesson could have been learned from the Ruskies (Score 1) 118

There were very good reasons to use a pure oxygen atmosphere. And some very good reasons why it was a really bad idea. NASA found that out. The hard way.

These things happen. At least it happened on the ground where they could figure out what went wrong. If it had happened in space there would have been screams, garbled telemetry, then silence. Nobody would have ever known what happened.


Comment How about a story? Please? (Score 1) 232

If you have a good story, everything else falls in to place.

I remember talking to people about The Matrix. They went on at length about the special effects. The story (if any) was incidental. I concluded it had no story at all.

The opposite extreme from my recent experience would be something like the old British spy show The Sandbaggers. Most of it is people talking on the phone and arguing in offices. And it's utterly spellbinding...


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