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Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 53

I have personal knowledge of this, as I know the guys who developed this toolkit, and I used to work in their group at Microsoft Research. I have also released open source software from MSR.

To some extent this relates to the regime change that happened after Ballmer left. Microsoft previously shunned open source and the Linux ecosystem. Now they are much more open to it, and are shifting to Linux for (e.g.) their GPU computing. Apparently they are also rewriting a lot of the CNTK code to work better with Linux. (Technically, C++ should work well with both Windows and Linux, but with things like threads there can be differences in the way you do things).

They likely shifted this from the standard MSR license (which only permits research use) to the MIT license mostly in order to increase adoption. Even many academic users do not like research-only licenses because if you become dependent on that type of software it closes the door to later commercialization and some types of collaboration with industry. I myself am an example of this-- previously I did not consider using CNTK because of the license. (In the meantime I have built my own toolkit with similar capabilities, and will likely stick with it now because I understand it).

The group wanted to convert to a more open license for a while but were probably waiting on management and lawyers. They are probably upset that it didn't happen sooner, because in the meantime Google released TensorFlow, which will have taken away a lot of the potential market.

Comment Re:Basic income methodology (Score 1) 474

Even in the short term, the Economist analyzed the implications of a full basic income and found it unaffordable

It's important to note that for people who are working, getting $800 from their job vs. $800 from the state are not equivalent at all, because the $800 from the state requires higher taxation, and taxation disincentivizes economic activity. C.f. the "dead hand of the government".

Comment Re:or -effective- against the infidel imperialists (Score 1) 497

I agree with this. (note: I am also an engineer, and also ex-religious, although from an offshoot of Islam, not Islam itself). I think the engineer mindset is relevant because engineers are quite logical and willing to follow an argument through to its conclusion. That is, if they believe in Islam, they are likely to accept arguments that its solutions should be propagated by force if necessary.

Comment Re:OK lets be real (Score 1) 621

Wikipedia is very strict with its 'no defamation of living people' policy. Even if you supply a sourced reference in a reputable places such as a New Yorker article it can get rejected.

This happened to me when I tried to update the Wikipedia page about the prosecutor in the Amanda Knox case with a reference to a New Yorker article about some of his previous misdeeds.

Comment Re:missing option (Score 1) 307

I block all ads, but completely block access to sites that I have found particularly time-wasting:

Comment Re:If they want to make money (Score 1) 137

I think $200k a year is quite high for a university professor's salary, unless for someone very senior (e.g. department head). I think $100 to $180k is the more normal range. For someone who is a well-known researcher in a hot field, they can probably expect compensation in the $300k to $500k range or more if they went to industry (educated guess based on what I know of salaries of people in my field).

Part of the issue is that all university departments have a mix of people, some of whom have skills that are useful in industry and the real world, and some of whom don't, and of course their salaries won't reflect that, they will reflect mostly seniority. So when companies hire away those who are actually doing useful stuff, all that remains is those with outdated skills or those with a very academic approach (e.g. people who are better at writing papers than code). That has a bad effect because it's the ones that are hired away that would have been teaching students the most marketable skills.

I do have first-hand experience of this issues (I'm a research professor at a top-ranked university).

Comment Re:BULL (Score 1) 417

At last someone pointing out that there isn't a fixed amount of work. (Also known as the lump of labor fallacy).

It may be true, on the margin, that H1B workers depress wages for US workers in similar occupations in the short term, but they also help to grow the US economy overall, especially the tech economy, and almost certainly improve living standards for Americans not in that very limited pool. (And they probably have very little effect in the long term, on the US market for tech talent, as they are growing the market by making it more favorable for capital).

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