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Comment Re:You know why? (Score 1) 250

Just the opposite. Human children believe everything they are told - it's the only way they can get up to speed on 200000 or more years of accumulated culture. The fact that children will believe whatever they're told accounts for silly childhood beliefs like the tooth fairy, santa claus and the easter bunny.

Only mature adult humans scrutinize what they are told and test it against observable evidence. Science is the adult cognitive activity par excellence.

Fundamentalists and others who believe goofy shit without evidence are, in fact, still cognitively children.

Science could not possibly be a neotenous trait since it is children who believe whatever goofy crap they're told and adults who put their knowledge to empirical test.

Comment Re:Actually that sounbds quite large. (Score 1) 603

No, he was not. This change will actually *slow* tasks of lower priority so it is *not* a speedup. In the example given by your parent and the videos from TFA, the compile will actually take *longer* because more cpu resources are being given to the video playback. A compile job taking *longer* is not a speedup.

However, from the user perspective, the video will play more smoothly and since you were watching Big Buck Bunny to kill time while the compile was happening, you likely won't notice or care that the compile took x% longer than it would have under the existing kernel.

Comment Re:Google Go... (Score 1) 583

GOO was already taken - it's a lisp dialect by Jonathan Bachrach of MIT. "GOO" is an acronym for "Generic Object Orientator."

Bachrach was one of the people working on Dylan, and people in language and compiler development circles (such as the creators of Google Go) would likely have known about his work (or at least know how to google "goo language" and discover that the name was already in use for a computer language).

Comment Re:"Alice" one of the best learning languages toda (Score 5, Informative) 330

Common Lisp, which is what the book uses, has the first ANSI standard OO programming system, CLOS - short for the "Common Lisp Object System" - which includes multiple inheritance, generic functions, a meta-object protocol, and is in all essentials, a superset of the capabilities of the object systems of mainstream OO languages such as C++, Java, Smalltalk and Objective-C.

No one is advocating entering a time warp to the 1960s to use LISP 1.5 for the teaching of modern OO programming, least of all Conrad Barski, the author of Land of Lisp, which uses ANSI standard Common Lisp.

Comment Re:metaprogramming FTW! (Score 0, Troll) 330

Perhaps it speaks to management's desire to treat programmers like assembly line labor inputs - unskilled and easily replaceable. This approach will always lead to lower quality software, and/or project budget overruns and/or schedule slips, and/or outright project failures.

Programmers are not unskilled labor. Since management insists on treating them as such, management settles on tools that can be mastered by the least skilled programmers. Since that's what the market wants, most schools teach to that low-ball target (i.e., university education in computer science becomes mere java vocational training).

Those wise enough to understand that programmers are highly skilled labor know that they should get out of the way and let the experts choose their own tools. When that happens, such enlightened organizations will frequently choose languages other than C, C++, C#, and Java. They'll sometimes even use languages such as common lisp as ITA software does for its QPX system which powers most of the online travel search business, such as Orbitz, Bing Travel, many large arilines, etc. and which is why Google is trying to acquire ITA...

Comment Re:Anyone else noticing the CPU situation? (Score 2, Informative) 827

Seriously, they couldn't find a spot for a commodity 1.8" ssd (~ $550 for 256 GB on newegg)?

Not and keep it the thickness and weight it is with the battery life it has. By not going with an ssd enclosure they save a significant amount of space which allows for more than half of the total volume to be integrated batteries.

Comment Re:Ron Gilbert (Score 1) 827

Half of all mac purchasers are current mac owners (steve said precisely this in the keynote today). This means that moving to an App Store only system will render the existing software, and probably a whole lot of the data that software generated, useless to half of all potential new mac buyers.

Apple are not going to piss off half of their potential buyers by requiring them to buy all new software and do massive data migration just because they buy a new mac.

This is not denial. It is simple economic common sense. Your paranoia is much like the oft repeated "insight" that apple should license Mac OS to other hardware vendors. The argument against both that old chestnut and the current claims that "t3h l0ckd0wn iz c0ming6!!!" is precisely the same: Apple is a for-profit corporation, and they aren't going to piss away half of future Mac sales simply to enforce software lockdown.

What Steve expects will happen is that users will choose to buy an iOS device instead. When he says that touch devices are the future and the PC is dead, he anticipates that most users will find that they can do what they need to do on an iPad or equivalent. Pro and power users will continue to buy full fledged UNIX Mac OS X devices, replete with the ability to install software any way they like. It's just that this portion of the overall market is going to shrink progressively going forward.

Like Steve said in an interview a while back: general purpose PCs are like trucks; trucks will always be with us; we need them to deliver goods, etc.; it's just that the overwhelming majority of people drive cars, not trucks. Steve expects that in the future, the overwhelming majority of users will use iOS devices, not general purpose PCs.

Comment Re:App Store looks interesting... (Score 1) 827

The user will take less time browsing apps than it does now by googling for mac stuff, surely.

These are in no way exclusive. You can have your app in the App Store, and also have a web presence that users will find by ordinary web searches. Your web presence will simply redirect users to the App Store.

Comment Re:Floppy drives anyone? (Score 1) 630

Mac OS X recently turned 10 years old. The right click has been available in Mac OS X from the the beginning, so for a decade now. Not all Macs came with right mouse buttons, but you could always plug in a two (or more) button usb mouse and have it just work.

Mac laptops and desktops have shipped with right click capable mice and trackpads for quite a while now (e.g., on the MacBook Pro I'm typing this on, tapping the trackpad with two fingers instead of one yields a right-click; iMacs ship with an Apple Magic Mouse or trackpad, both of which work the same way - two finger tap = right click).

Comment Re:Hmm. Possibly misunderstood? (Score 1) 830

Would not most of you agree that an entire person is described by the genetic data contained withing one stem cell? Or at least within one sperm cell and one egg cell?

No. That's the whole point. DNA encodes the protein ingredients needed to grow a person as well as their delivery schedule (i.e., when their manufacture is turned on and off). DNA does not encode how to assemble those proteins into a person. The assembly instructions are implicit in protein folding (unsolved), complex multi-protein interactions (unsolved), the behavior of an existing, fully functioning living cell (i.e., the egg, incompletely solved), the complex behavior of the thousands of different differentiated cell types as the person gestates (unsolved), and the environment (uterine, intercellular, etc., again, incompletely solved).

Trying to make a person from DNA is akin to building a functioning self assembling supercomputer given nothing but a Radio Shack invoice for transistors, and various low level electronic components; only a person is many orders of magnitude more complex than the most powerful existing supercomputer.

Comment Re:Uh (Score 4, Insightful) 830

if you rtfa you'll see that the million lines of code only gives you the proteins that make up the brain - i.e., it gives you a parts list and a delivery schedule, not a set of assembly intstructions. The genome doesn't give you how the proteins interact, in usually complex ways (i.e., three or more proteins interacting simultaneously), in billions of cells in parallel, over the course of 9 months to give us an infant brain (even leaving aside the tremendous amount of development that takes place in the brain during childhood).

As the author of tfa writes: To simplify it so a computer science guy can get it, Kurzweil has everything completely wrong. The genome is not the program; it's the data.

IOW, the program is the developing organism itself, the complex protein interactions and it's (uterine) environment none of which are encoded in the genome. The organism uses the data encoded in the genome to produce proteins which interact with each other and the organism and its environment to grow cells which eventually form a brain.

The mistake in Kurzweil's thinking is the typical mistake engineers make when dealing with biology; the enviroments into which engineers place their designs do not typically spontaneously cooperate in the construction of the engineer's design. When an engineer designs a circuit board, his lab bench doesn't spontaneously start soldering connections and adding components for him and automatically complete parts of the design
without his explicit instructions. But the organism does precisely this with proteins syntesised from the genome.

As a result, the genome alone cannot possibly tell you how to "make" an organism, because the genome only tells you the parts list and delivery schedule for the organism, not the assembly instructions. The assembly instructions are not explicit anywhere in the system; the assembly instructions are implicit in the combination of the complex behavior of the cells of the developing organism, the uterine environment and the very complex ways the proteins sythensized from the genome interact.

In order to extract the actuall assembly instructions we'd need a full blown molecular biology simulator that could correctly simulate:
1. protein folding (still unsolved)
2. comlex multi-protein interaction (still unsolved)
3. simultaneous behavior and development, (i.e., in parallel) of billions of living cells each undergoing trillions of chemical reactions per second (computationally prohibitive)

IOW, it's not going to happen in the next 10 years.

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