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Comment Apocryphal .... (Score 3, Insightful) 135

.. doesn't mean what the article writer appears to think it means.

Anyhow, that a new highly complex processor contains subtle bug that's fixable without hardware modification isn't exactly earth-shaking news, surely? How about they just fix it, and we move on.

Comment Re:50 years of nonsense (Score 1) 114

I do follow the news. None of these things work yet. Personally, I doubt they ever will, without extensive infrastructure, and even then only in very specific situations. Self-driving cars will not be driving around inner city streets. Robots will not be walking kids to school. End of story.

Also - VR is a dead-end technology that no-one wants, and 3D tv was a terrible idea.

Also - Google making 'combat robots', does this alarm anyone else? I'm sure we'll make robots that are good at killing people, but that doesn't require intelligence.

Comment Re:Don't do the crime, you won't have to do the ti (Score 4, Insightful) 173

That's obviously a completely irrelevant, and shockingly callous statement. Don't you find it a little strange that the more disadvantaged someone in your society is, the more difficult and expensive everything becomes? Live in a poor neighbourhood, pay more in insurance. Suffer poor health, pay more in health insurance, if you can even get it. Wind up in jail, be unable to afford a telephone call to your family, who may very well be the only people you have left.

The whole thing is tilted, so that once you start falling, you tend to keep going, and there may be no way back. Whatever good fortune you have experienced in your lifetime, I'd wager much of it came from luck. Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps you pulled yourself out of the gutter, perhaps you were born into poverty, suffered ill-health, wound up in jail through no real fault of your own, and still managed to survive, and eventually to overcome.

But that's pretty vanishingly unlikely. I certainly didn't. I was born with good health, a reasonable brains, into a comfortable situation. Education was both provided for free, and I was expected to undertake it. When I completed it, a job was easy to come by. I bumped into a wonderful girl by accident, and how I have a beautiful family, and a good and happy life. All of that, all of it, was nothing better than luck. That luck could change any day. I am not so conceited and blind to imagine otherwise.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 808

Well, that's a very good point. The first rule of optimisation is that you'll always get a surprise.

However, in many cases performance has to be designed into a system, which isn't quite the same thing as 'premature optimisation', but it's a case of choosing algorithms sensibly etc.

But, back to the point, please show me the real-world java program that outperforms the equivalent real-world C++ program.... Because I design and write high-performance software for constrained environments for a living, and we would never use Java in a million years. But, if it could outperform the C++ that we do write, well, that would make me think again.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 808

It matters very little today.

Actually, the opposite is true. Today, nearly a majority of computing tasks are carried out on battery powered devices. Performance gains of even a few percent directly translate to battery life, and since computers aren't really getting any faster anymore, we need people to look harder at performance. The choice of using java (ok, Dalvik, or whatever google decided to call their stolen version of java) on a mobile device is exactly why we need quad-core monster devices with massive batteries. If they'd done the work to design an API in a fast language, like C++ or something, the global energy savings would not be insignificant. They would have been a couple of years, at least, later to market - and that might have killed the entire project - but the fact remains.

Car analogy: Energy is expensive. Build efficient vehicles.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 808

it becomes economical to statistically analyse the code and alter it based on workload

While that *might* be true in very specific use-cases, I'd wager that the overhead of monitoring the workload in order to properly inform some optimisation algorithm, would defeat any minor gains that the optimisation might have delivered.

The trouble with all these arguments around bench-marks, and theoretical performance gains of dynamically compiled languages, is that the advantages simply never show up in real life. Game engines are written in C++, almost exclusively, and those guys are on the cutting edge when it comes to performance. Why are they not using Java?

Comment Re:Literally.... (Score 1) 459

I personally see it slightly differently. Naturally we can all agree that languages evolve, but they do so under pressure from way in which language is used. In this particular instance, it seems that the change in the way 'literally' is used coincides with a lack of focus on the actual truth of things. Now that 'literally', does not any longer appear to mean 'of or pertaining to the real and genuine truth of something', what word might we use in its place?

Comment Re:I really hope (Score 1) 459

No, private industry with a profit motive will always be more efficient

If by efficient, you mean make more money, more quickly, and employ fewer people. Then yes, private enterprise will probably be more efficient.

If by efficient, you mean look after people better, and provide better healthcare outcomes - which remember means that people wind up needing less healthcare - then no. Private enterprise will not be more efficient. It's hardly in the interest of a private healthcare outfit to need to provide less, and cheaper, healthcare, but greater public health is the goal of any healthcare system, which ought to mean exactly that.

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