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Comment Re:Huh - this is different (Score 1) 235

All politics, embarrassments, etc. - don't care... As long as 1) the ride is cheaper, and 2) the drivers are good, that's fine.

Some hairy chimp expressed pretty much exactly this attitude around a campfire 80,000 years ago, and then genius social engineer—this was before the law of unintended consequence—pulled eternal damnation out of his ass, and it's been fucking hell ever since.

Comment napkin AI (Score 1) 135

AI is the dumbest term, and always has been.

"Artificial cognition" would have been better, but here's the rub: it biases the conversation towards the perceptual foundations of intelligence: the auditory and visual systems. And there was no way back in the 1950s to build either. Not enough tubes. Not enough aircraft hangers. Not enough Hoover dams.

But you could build a very primitive chess computer, and then pretend that from the top of this skinny beanstalk, one could directly assault the penthouse suite of adaptive intelligence, or its supreme overlord, AGI.

So the cart was placed way before the broomstick pony on day one. This term has done untold damage to the profession ever since.

10 Games That Take Minutes to Learn and a Lifetime to Master — clickbait exhibit 1

Ah yes, your grandfather's tube-compatible "napkin AI" writ large.

Comment false dichotomy as business model (Score 1) 507

Few sane individuals would turn off security updates at the critical security level concerning defects offering networked remote execution with escalation.

These little reason for this relatively small group of patches to disrupt normal operations, if Microsoft were to take a conservative stance.

But somehow Microsoft manages to bundle in weird instability bycatch, and you're either left with your pants down, or your pants on fire. For which the only viable solution is an OS-upgrade cycle with a new-and-improved EULA, which somehow never fails to be ever more Orwellian.

Pants or privacy. Choose one.

Nice business model, should your customers willingly board the train.

Comment Re:TI has coasted for long enough. (Score 1) 281

I understand that innovation for innovation's sake is not necessarily what this specific market calls for, but there's no way that the hardware they are selling should cost what they're charging.

You don't understand as well as you think you do.

Maintaining this tired, obsolete technology in long-term stasis is a feature not a bug, and it's priced accordingly.

Whether this remains the right testing methodology is another question entirely.

Malcolm Gladwell on Why We Shouldn't Value Speed Over Power — 13 April 2017

Adam Grant interviews Malcolm Gladwell on why we shouldn't value speed over power — 1 May 2017

Malcolm Gladwell interviews Adam Grant on how nonconformists move the world — 2 March 2016

Barry Schwartz: Lotteries for College Admissions — July 2012

I'm not the biggest Gladwell, but I thought he was fine in these clips. It was high-flyer Adam Grant who quivered like a little girl when probed about his personal life (this becomes less annoying further in).

Comment ring erosion (Score 1) 486

Explaining the rules of professional interaction is not an act of condescension; it's the first step in treating students like adults, as formerly known.

Adulthood (as formerly known) used to involve kissing stone-encrusted rings. I, for one, do not miss these goober encrusted overlords.

Note that this summary doesn't defend formality as a useful custom (what does it accomplish, exactly?), but rather defends formality as a valued human tradition among fuddy-duddies known as The Gainfully Employed (soon hereafter known as The Recently Outsourced).

Comment Darkness at Noon (Score 1) 44

... any attempt to even understand how the process works is illegal or is believed to be illegal by law enforcement ...

Way to go, Chicken Little. I always figured you for a feathery, thoughtcrime propaganda stooge.

Data extraction methods

Most of these techniques are more akin to screen scraping than decompiling or reverse engineering.

Comment Re:I normally like Krebs, but... (Score 1) 222

I agree that the wording could have been better.

Yes, and at the same time, it could hardly have been worse.

I find it depressing to indulge in my darkest projected nightmare that those involved blow through the entire $26,000 on a sleep-deprived cocaine and hooker binge, and are right back at it a week later.

That would be the honest thing to write after a weekend movie binge including The Wolf of Wall Street, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brewster's Millions, 21, The Starbucks scene in Austin Powers, and the opening train scene of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in which Steve Martin crows over pocketing an ill-gotten $20.

The problem here with that this sad-sack lament is that it depends upon his movie-binge–infused paranoia that those involved regard $26,000 as an insanely large sum of money and that they have a unlimited supply of in-roads to lather, rinse, and repeat their way into A) more cocaine and hookers, or B) more cocaine and hookers, a nice house in the suburbs, plus a tidy 401k.

Comment Re:Great show, but its core joke is impossible tec (Score 1) 115

Like warp drives and lightsabers, it is tech which cannot work as described because [it] conflicts with well-established theory. (Google "Shannon information" for details.)

You'd have better served your reader by directing him or her to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

That's an in-joke for the information theory cognoscenti.

Comment the doomed and the domed (Score 1) 171

When battery energy density reaches about 3-5x of current commercially deployed tech, we can finally have our VTOL flying cars, then we'll have a whole new set of problems,

Let me guess, the new "set" of problems includes really hot, well-ventilated fires in skyrise towers everywhere.

Then there will be an immediate mass return to brutalist architecture, only all that concrete and brick will function as really tall security bollards, and we'll all stop talking about gated neighbourhoods, and start talking about domed neighbourhoods.

"Shuttered", prepare thyself for gentrification.

Comment Captain Deiter Determinism reaps what he sewed (Score 1) 138

Itanium is a direct result of the hardware people and the software people refusing to rub elbows in the same room.

Itanium's designers basically declared war against their software peers. Our beautiful machine would run fast, if only your crappy software didn't expose so many execution hazards.

Thus Intel set up a grand gauntlet for the compiler writers to finally prove their ultimate hardware manhood: by writing an Itanium compiler that didn't suck.

We all know how that went.

I've always though the made the critical error on the first step after connecting with the baseball: the bundle should have been a collection of highly dependent instructions that only wrote back to the register file once fully executed. A bundle would be dispatched to one execution unit's queue, and sit there until complete.

Because the bundle has internal dependencies, this means that each bundle would have a significant internal latency, so each execution unit queue would need a fairly deep dispatch buffer. "Waste of silicon!" cry Intel's virtuous hardware engineers. "Latency is a thing in the world!" whimper Intel's pussy-whipped compiler writers.

I also think that for compact instruction packing, that not every input argument to a bundle should have been able to name any old register out of the giant register file (256 registers, IIRC). Maybe a few global references, then plenty of 4-bit register selectors, accessed out of register file shards (the base shard could be selected by any number of mechanisms, up to and including the program location from which the instruction bundle was fetched; so maybe the code only ends up relocatable modulo 64 or modulo 256? what a horrible tragedy—plus the compiler writers already had great register colouring algorithms, so we had somewhat of a proof-of-concept in hand for the compiler complexity).

Because you're bypassing the register file for many bundle internal arguments (the result ax in the expression ax + b never hits the register file), fewer register file (and memory) reads satisfy more total instructions. I would have liked to see a bundle of about the same size able to specify up to eight simple instructions, if sufficiently chained together.

To a certain degree, this opposite-George approach kicks determinism to the curb. Well I say better sooner than later. Hey Intel engineers, look at your vaunted determinism now, dead with a bottle on skid row, after a long, loosing battle.

(The other thing Intel liked about determinism was its first five letters. Sometimes stupid ideas present a broader field for patent lock-up land-grabs. Moral of the story: greed carefully.)

It's easy to come up with hundreds of good reasons why my opposite-George approach wouldn't have panned out any better, but a smart group of engineers is paid to find clever solutions to most or all superficial obstacles. Whether any counterfactual designs might have proved viable is permanently lost to history. I'm just relating my own instinct at the time, FWIW.

Another thing: I would have endorsed a big/little design for interrupt handling (of the asynchronous type), with only a small set of agile (aka bundle-free), little cores able to handle interrupts. Then you can really afford to thin out check-point writes back to the register file (which is always a hot point to begin with). The magical, invisible forwarding mesh to support this illusion seamlessly would still be extremely complex, but that's also true on every other modern design.

From my perspective, Itanium was plenty innovative, unfortunately, it was mainly innovative in pure stubbornness and greed.

Comment Anarchy, State, and Utopia on open-kimono DoD (Score 1) 75

Anything developed using tax dollars MUST be made open source and freely available to all. It absolutely should, and *must*, be available on the internet.

Your main contribution to the debate seems to be using TWO entirely different methods of bold (followed by the near synonym "absolutely" and a second helpful repetition, this time of the word "available"—but I don't see these as your main contribution; did I mention your main contribution?)

Also cute is how you managed to conceal the word "government" under the tiny word "tax". Weird assertions about the true and absolute nature of government are one of the principle diagnostic aids for Goldbug's disease (and several other, related conditions).

The definitive diagnostic for Goldbug's disease is when Anarchy, State, and Utopia laughs you out of the room (check out its prescient lack of a chapter on open-kimono DoD).

Comment everyone gets their 15 minutes of John Williams (Score 1) 75

I can't remember the last time—if ever—a Microsoft promotional video warranted a Chariots of Fire musical swell.

"Jesus Christ (speak of the devil) I can't remember the last time we introduced a product that changed the world (for the better). And it's got our name on it. ('Me too', 'me three' echoes a pair of nearby cacti.)"

You have to forgive them, it's been a long 40 years, out in the desert, trafficking in neurotoxic juniper berries.

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