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Comment Re:Assembly (Score 1) 426

Also learning ASM gives you a better feel for how the hardware sees your higher level code, so it helps to build instincts about what is likely to work well and what will drag ass.

Fully agree with this, and beyond to the hardware level, memory, caches etc.

However... i don't know how to write ASM at all. And i primarily code in JavaScript! *hides behind monitor from elitists*.

I read some books on optimisation out of interest and inevitably about assembly, i found Michael Abrash's books particularly interesting combined with the historical context: "Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book" and "Zen of Assembly Language". Although at the time i couldn't always follow the ASM code line for line, the concepts were very clear and i have found them very useful even in my pitifully high level language... and anyone who has read them should understand why.

Comment More Accurately DarwinBSD (Score 1) 160

... but that name was taken

I was thinking something similar, and to be fair it is called "NextBSD" but as far as i can tell from the GitHub repo it's some combination of FreeBSD and Darwin, the open-source base system that OS X runs on top of. I think the Next name just fit well.

Maybe this one will be more successful than the previous short lived attempts to make the Darwin sources into something useful... I'm not sure what exactly they are doing that is different though.

Comment Re:acoustic fusion (Score 1) 395

I had a look. I like the thinking behind the design more than the design itself...

Not that i'm qualified to say so, but I do feel others are conceptually doing it wrong by trying to sustain pressures and conditions in a star, it makes more sense to find a natural fit for a small scale fusion reaction. Another way of looking at it is trying to use the nature of materials and mechanics to do the work instead of brute forcing it...

Might seem like a strange analogy but: the biomechanics of a fish allow it to swim upstream even if it's dead, If upstream is fusion then tokamaks and such are like trying to push a brick upstream, but there have to be better solutions that think about fusion without brute-force, a quirk of nature, not tons of supercooled electromagnets.

Comment No Kneejerk required (Score 2) 244

we have no reason to believe that any sort of consciousness exists in it.

Defining consciousness is an endless philosophical debate... but forget all that, it's a brain - something we know to exhibit the properties that everyone uses to define consciousness, how can you possibly say there is no reason to believe it is concious? what arbitrary metrics are you using to call it unconscious? because craniometry is pseudo-science.

I'm not sure how i feel about this either, and maybe it's fine... maybe we can prove it to be effectively brain dead but useful enough to observe chemical processes in the brain... that doesn't mean we can conveniently sweep conciousness under the rug though.

This is the best way to study the human brain without actually stealing one from an unwilling donor.

I don't know how we reconcile the fact that some people have a religious objection to messing with the parts that we're made of and the fact that there's huge benefits to be gained.

You don't have to be religious to have a problem with this. I don't care where the brain comes from, it can be a willing donor or grown in the lab, the issue people are going to have is empathy with a potentially concious organism... i'd even extend that to sufficiently advanced synthetic neural networks, and i think most non-religious people would agree that conciousness is not bound to us "special" naturally grown humans for all time, it applies to any kind of brain.

The point is: it's a brain - not a kidney, that doesn't mean you can't do experiments, it just means you can't dismiss ethical considerations (do not confuse this with religious ones).

Comment Gona have to update their DVD warning... (Score 2) 168

You wouldn’t steal a car
You wouldn’t steal a handbag
You wouldn’t steal a television
You wouldn’t steal a movie

Downloading pirated films is stealing, stealing is against the law, PIRACY. IT’S A CRIME

To bring these inline with the new jail term:

You wouldn’t knife a person
You wouldn’t rape a child
You wouldn’t blow up a school bus
You wouldn’t steal a movie

Downloading pirated films is murder, murder is against the law, PIRACY. IT’S A CRIME

Comment Re:Color Support (Score 3, Interesting) 233

I have some love for SVG... at least the sane parts of the spec, and it's quite a big part of my day job... But i have a lot of hate for inkscape:

A significant part of that is because it's really shitty at generating SVG. It might "use" SVG as it's format, but it does not treat it natively, it uses it's own name-space, litters files with it's name-space even when you request it to save plain SVGs. It converts much of it's data into SVG while saving the original "inkscape" data embeded in it's sodipodi namespaced XML embedded in the same file... really not very different from illustrator, SVG is it's output not it's internal format.

I don't touch files intended for the web with inkscape, but make them by hand, using inkscape to generate path data but that's it... Creating web safe SVGs with inkscape is just too much pain.

Comment Cosmological Expansion Comes to Mind: (Score 1) 199

And what do you know: (from TFA)

The decline in galaxies’ energy output coincides with the universe’s ever-increasing rate of expansion, which is due to a mysterious, anti-gravity force referred to as dark energy.

So yeah, but no... it's just that you can't see as much of the newer stuff... ever, cos > speed of light. Not an entirely accurate headline but makes no difference i guess, the point is that cosmological expansion guarantees that everything we see will become less and less, that's before even bothering to consider start birth rate / death rate.

Comment Your doing it wrong (Score 3, Informative) 233

but we still need to teach our students how to extract images from a PSD template. The industry format for graphic designs is PSD so The Gimp (XCF) is not really an option

Really? Sure i'd chose photoshop over gimp, but i'd choose nether for web design... manipulating rasters for anything more than tweaking images should not be part of modern web design, slicing up images is 1990, don't teach this, design with grid systems, use pen and paper or a wireframing tool, teach typography, the rest is code.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion