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Comment: Is it measuring result of exercise or ...? (Score 1) 132

by shoor (#49182545) Attached to: Treadmill Performance Predicts Mortality

From what I read, they looked at people who took a stress test, and the ones who did well tended to live longer. What I'm wondering is, were the ones who did well people who were exercising diligently to get there?

There's a presumption that the people who didn't do well, if they worked out and lived healthier lives generally so that they improved their scores, would automatically be as healthy as the ones who were already doing well. But were the ones who did well from the getgo doing well because they had been exercising etc?

I'm not trying to say that exercise and eating right isn't a good idea. I'm just thinking that what is measured isn't only the result of a good lifestyle but also something more intrinsic, maybe genetic.

Comment: Re:real cost benefit new language (Score 1) 520

by shoor (#49068317) Attached to: Nim Programming Language Gaining Traction

The cost of a new language is that programmers have to take time to learn it and develop an infrastructure for it, things such as software libraries to do math, communications, user interfaces, etc. Not every programmer will learn every language, and, in particular, learn every language well, which may be a handicap for employers as they have a smaller pool to hire their programming teams from in their chosen language.

Companies have to spend time deciding which language to use, with a lot of people pitching this language over that one, and developing the languages will include a lot of duplication of effort.

The benefit is that new languages may improve productivity, with emphasis on 'may'. There's a lot of controversy about how good some languages are that have been widely deployed for a long time. Ideally, there will be a shakeout and the best languages will win, but I'm not convinced that's the way things happen. More likely it's whichever language gets the best salesmen out there selling it, and, to paraphrase Mae West, 'goodness has nothing (or little) to do with it.'

The earliest writing systems were complex and required years to learn. When easier to learn alphabets came along, the old scribal class would resist because it meant they couldn't command the high pay and respect they were used to. I suppose that might also exist to some extent with programmers and programming languages. It's hard to know who is being genuinely fair in judging languages.

The holy grail for employers and people who just want to use their computer to get work done, as opposed to people who make a living writing code (and I was one of those people who made a living writing code for over 20 years), is to have an artificial intelligence program where you can just explain what you want to it in human language and it will generate an optimal block of binary code to do it (after clearing up any ambiguities in your human language specification).

Comment: Re:Peanuts (Score 1) 411

by shoor (#49032487) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

'having the code read like sentences' was one of the goals of COBOL wasn't it?

I studied COBOL in college, and the best Professor in the Department was a big fan, but I rememder it as being generally perceived as 'uncool'. (And I was the guy who, when given a choice of which language to write a project in, would write it in Univac 1100 assembler. This was before 'C' became widely known or implemented.)

Comment: Re:The alternative (Score 1) 411

by shoor (#49032373) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

Actually, I think you can have 'fluff' in assembler, though when writing assembler you're usually very focussed on some very specific thing that needs to be done, and sometimes every CPU cycle counts, so in practice, yes, you'll see less fluff.

I have just enough experience with Perl that I think I know what you're talking about with 'too-clever Perl'. There must be some great examples of 'too-clever APL' out there unless the mag tapes and IBM 2311s they were saved on have all Gone South by now.

Comment: Re:'Nothing' is an exaggeration (Score 2) 136

by shoor (#48894529) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

There are options to one's lifestyle that matter vis a vis cost of living. If you live frugally in a high cost of living area, you may still be spending more than if you live frugally in a low cost of living area, but you can probably save/invest more money from that high salary, so it may pay off as part of a long term plan to build up capital.

I also realize that inflation can wipe out savings. Any long term plan is something of a gamble. My point is, that one shouldn't be too simplistic about weighing the alternatives.

Comment: Re:I thought the 'lazy evaluation' was clever (Score 1) 76

by shoor (#48881775) Attached to: The Camera That Changed the Universe

I see most replies are critical that you didn't read the original article. (Maybe they don't get the 'lazy evaluation' part if they've never dabbled in functional programming.) Maybe they don't know about the actually rather serious philosophical speculations that our universe may be a simulation. Anyway, I for one thought it was clever.

Comment: What is the future supposed to be? (Score 1) 258

by shoor (#48796315) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

A thousand years from now is Homo Sap supposed to still be the pinnacle? A million years from now? Are we just supposed to evolve 'naturally' the way we did away from homo erectus? (And do you suppose that went easy on Homo E?)

I realize that since we H. Saps are still sort of in charge we may try for a gentler transition that has probably happened in the past, but we do want a transition don't we? I mean, we don't want everything to be just us with our limitations a zillion years from now do we?

Comment: Re:The beaks won (Score 2) 138

by shoor (#48602477) Attached to: How Birds Lost Their Teeth

I think it has more to do with being light weight since birds fly. After all, not all birds dig for grubs. Of course, not all birds fly anymore, but maybe the common ancestors did.

Another thing, birds evolved from reptiles. I watched the science documentary series 'Your Inner ...' (Inner Fish, Inner Reptile, etc). They mentioned that reptiles can replace their teeth but the teeth are undifferentiated, whereas mammals, who only get two sets, have them custom designed with a tight fit so some are good for tearing flesh, some for grinding, etc. Presumably the teeth the birds lost would have been less efficient reptile teeth.

Comment: nobody knows the future but AI is gonna happen (Score 1) 417

by shoor (#48567035) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

Unless we wipe ourselves out or reduce ourselves to a stone age existence, AI will happen. Whether it will replace ordinary human beings in a gradual, gentle way (maybe preserving us awhile the way we preserve threatened species now) or whether it will be something more unpleasant, that's what is hard to predict. There's bound to be surprises however it goes.

But suppose somehow the folks opposed to AI could stop it. Then what? 1000 years from now, would ordinary human beings still be doing their thing? Would we have managed to create a utopia or would there still be human vs human strife? And a million years from now, would they still prevent anything 'superior' from replacing ordinary humanity? Is that a future to be yearned for?

Perhaps it will be a kind of middle way of transhumans with artificially enhanced intelligence, with the artificial part of the transhumans becoming a larger and larger part of the total being until the purely human part is just a tiny vestigial thing.

Comment: The original 68000 interrupts were inadequate (Score 1) 147

by shoor (#48440837) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

The original 68000 was almost there for running a real multi-tasking OS. But, it didn't save enough state on the stack during an interrupt. You couldn't guarantee restoring a process's exact state when returning from an interrupt. I heard stories of designs that used two 68000s where one was running one step behind the other. I don't know how true they were. I see on the wikipedia that Motorola fixed that with the 68010 in 1982 and that's when the 68008 came out. So maybe the 68008 doesn't have that problem.

Comment: Re:In theory (Score 1) 130

Hmmm, I really like that saying, but I learned it as
"In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they're different." It might even be a Unix fortune. I've seen it attributed to Yogi Berra. (A lot of things are attributed to Yogi Berra by the way, "Deja Vu all over again" is another one.)

In my day (and I'm old enough to have actually seen Yogi Berra play, though he was in the outfield by then), computers were not that common, so going to school was a place to have access to a computer. I did notice that by the 1990s, employers would give you some kind of test to make sure you weren't a fraud during the job interview, no matter what your resume said.

Eureka! -- Archimedes