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Comment Rather than a diatribe... (Score 1) 467

There were two *great* comments prior to mine:
(1) Have rock-solid algebraic (symbolic) manipulation skills;
(2) Really know your trigonometry.

My family has been using Sylvanus P. Thompson's "Calculus Made Easy" for several generations (the book was first published in 1910). It really is a wonderful introduction to Calculus (targeted at high-school students). There are two versions:
(1) The classic text, search for "Sylvanus P. Thompson" and "Calculus Made Easy";
(2) The updated text co-authored by "Martin Gardner".

Comment Re:Interesting article (Score 1) 69

Yes. There is a large focus on two different aspects in a lab I used to work with a few years ago:
(1) Retinopathies (problems of the eye);
(2) Preventative treatments for cancer.

Here are some links:
[1] http://inbt.jhu.edu/biosensor-targets-retina-cells/2006/11/15 -- a multilayer "machine" which executes a biochemical program;
[2] http://nanohub.org/resources/3541/download/2007.10.15-leary-nt501.pdf -- lecture notes on the state-of-the-art nano- magneto- and silicon particle drug delivery as of late 2007.

Comment Re:Texas (Score 1) 232

So ... wait. You're claiming every Texan is responsible for a few judges, probably locally elected? This sounds like gross generalization of guilt, to me. How about I turn around and make a responsible demand: since you demanded punitive action against every person in the state of Texas regardless of guilt, how about having your personal citizenship revoked?

Also, having lived/stayed in a number of states now, I can say that racism and other breeds of bigotry are universal (or not), and that none of the states I've been to have I met people more/less bigoted than anywhere else [mostly not bigoted]. Well, except upstate New York and northern California; some of the people I met up never got past the 1950s.

Comment Re:He's partly right. (Score 1) 596

Now, when he says "truly correct", I'm assuming he doesn't mean formal proving. That would be absurd, especially for an operating system as complex as Windows or Linux (or really anything with limited resources). Anything short of the formal proof and you just have empirical evidence that it works - but if there's a billion branches and trillions of code paths, nobody will hit all of them with all data.

I used to hear similar sentiments with regards to compilers. Check out Xavier Leroy's work: http://pauillac.inria.fr/~xleroy/ Yeah, that's mainly the work of one guy; his students' work is related, but not necessarily in support of his project.

There are a lot of us who are spending serious time understand Coq et al. because formal verification is advancing to the point where if you don't understand the technology and how to use it, you're going to be out of a job.

Comment Re:3D chips (Score 1) 170

Screw the heat, you're going to have an IO and power deliver problem. Assuming a cubic uptake of density of transistors, you'll only have quadratic uptake in IO ports. Right now we use the 3rd dimension to help increase IO and power density (lifiting it up/down a layer; because we have a quadratic/linear problem with current chips). By the time you've managed to solve those problems (lowering transistor density to allow IO/power paths) you'll end up with a plain-old-chip, anyways.

Comment Re:Assembler? Really? (Score 1) 295

Hold on, there, Sparky. Assembly, C/C++, your-favorite-compiled-language ... are all just as "fast" as each other. They're all dependent upon the compiler for "speed". I recently moved to Big Company where we do Serious Embedded Programming. The old-skool assembly programmers were always bitching that "compilers were no good" and that to get real speed you had to "program to the iron." Here's what I observed: they redesigned the algorithms when moving to assembly. So, basically, they had algorithmic improvements. This was generally true except, in certain cases, when it was impossible to completely annotate the "hot" variables and how register spill/fill should be performed. In this case I suppose we are just dealing with a lack of expressiveness, and not any sort of fundamental problem with "high level" (or lower level) languages.

Comment Re:RTFP (Score 1) 272

Just read through the patent. (1) The writing is quite clear and understandable -- kudos; (2) the patent is obvious to any member of the field. I cannot believe that any software engineer/equivalent-expert could sit in front of a court and claim that it is not obvious without perjuring themselves. Literally, all this patent does is separate the "control" codes from the "content", where the control codes include indirection information. Even in school when we had to encode data with metadata, this is one of the techniques we used (the other is markup).

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