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Comment Re:GPU drivers (Score 2) 89

That might be the intent, but, for a lot of software patents, at least, the language is too vague and broad to for things to work out this way. They're written with the intent of catching as many possible technologies in the same net; disclosure is not a concern.

Comment Re:Needs Revision. (Score 1) 292

I was thinking about taking the programming course at my high school (I didn't know the horrors of Visual Basic at that time). The teacher heard that I knew perl, and asked if I could help out with a script the school had been having trouble with. I thought that sounded like it might be a fun project (I'd never been able to touch production code before), and said I'd come by after school to take a look at the code. I showed up, and the teacher gave me a ten-page printout of this convoluted perl script, and told me that I could just circle any problem I found and write notes in the margin when giving it back...

I decided not to take the programming course.

Comment Re:Black Friday = reflect on pricing and consumeri (Score 1) 198

What a terrible and uninformative website. The front page is a bunch of vague fluff, and the "about" page is two youtube videos with absolutely no summary. I'm intrigued by (what seems to be) the basic idea, but I'm not sure I want to invest half an hour watching these videos when nothing has been communicated in the text. Also, an interview page with questions that open with "A quick look at your resume shows that you are by far an ingenious person" is... not encouraging.

Comment Re:Most CS research today is junk. (Score 1) 116

Maybe all the low hanging fruits are taken?

More likely the field has just moved on to new problems and methods, and the GP doesn't know enough about these new areas to have noticed. In a lot of domains, we've gotten about as far as we can get with deterministic, rule-based algorithms, and the vast majority of research on statistical methods has happened since the beginning of the 90's. Bayesian methods in particular have proliferated only in the last five years or so.

Comment Re:Hate to say it... (Score 2, Insightful) 485

If the thief hadn't stolen it, customs would have confiscated it anyway.

What are you talking about?? Customs only cares about expensive gifts, expensive items you intend to sell (including counterfeits), and items that might introduce invasive species or diseases. I'm an American who has been in and out of the US several times with my laptop, and I've never encountered any problem with customs. "abroad" is not some scary, law-less pit of oppression. Try getting out sometime.

Comment Re:This just makes sense (Score 3, Insightful) 1345

I take Jesus as described in the Bible as basis for my morality.

And how is that any less arbitrary than the GP, particularly in the absence of reliable evidence that there was anything special about Jesus? I agree that metaphysical questions about the origin of morality are hard, but falling back on religion only pushes back the question one more step.

Comment Re:Wishful thinking? (Score 1) 183

What is being suggested is that someone hid the changes (which would require manual access to the git files). My understanding is this would not be too hard, but apparently it is?

What do you mean by "git files"? If you mean the files tracked by git, then yes, it is very hard. The two links provided in the summary explain how git uses cryptographic hashes to verify the current files and history. Alternatively, you might mean the git program itself. The attackers could conceivably have swapped in a modified git binary to ignore hash mismatches. But this would be discovered when anybody on a non-compromised machine ran git fsck, or recompiled git (using a compiler from a non-compromised machine). So this is hard to do silently as well.

Comment Re:Prior knowledge of the language is used (Score 1) 133

So if they're coding that "whitespace separates words", then any text written in Mandarin will consist of sentences with one single word? Mandarin and many other Asian languages (other Chinese dialects, Korean, Japanese, Thai) do not use whitespace to indicate word boundary.

Look at the proceedings of any major NLP conference in the last five years (e.g. ACL 2011 or EMNLP 2010) and you'll find a number of papers on unsupervised word segmentation.

I won't find language AI interesting until we have true language learning. Sure, this may be better than previous attempts at language AI, but when there are limiting assumptions built into the foundation of the code, I find it hard to believe that it will ever be able to "learn" any language.

Do you mean that? You won't even find AI interesting until we have solved the entire problem of language acquisition? I don't know about you, but problems strike me as much less interesting once we have solved them, and consider progress towards that solution extremely interesting.

Comment Re:"Those who cannot remember the past... (Score 1) 219

ok, people who are actually radical leftists have almost as many issues with Obama as they did with Bush. Seriously, where do you get your notion of what constitutes a "radical leftist"? Just because Glenn Beck, in all his journalistic integrity and informed criticism, makes no distinction between Emma Goldman on the one hand, and Barack Obama on the other, doesn't mean that there is none.

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