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Comment Re:Problem... (Score 2) 116

Are you sure you're a real archeologist?

Any interesting artifact these days is obsessed over to an incredible degree. It gets x-rayed, carbon dated, chemically analyzed, stuck in a MRI machine, looked at with a microscope, and the debates about the conclusions that can be drawn from those things last for decades.

Comment Re:Problem... (Score 1) 116

I'd come up with some way of hinting at and explaining the encoding. Here's an idea:

The surface starts with a visible circle, 1 mm in diameter. The next circle is a bit smaller. The next is smaller still, and so on until the size of the bit is reached. This would draw somebody examining the device to trying to see where this detail ends.

Next to this there's a visible, etched ASCII table, with the binary representation for each letter, and an example text that's unlikely to be lost to time, with its binary version.

In the real size bits, there is a progression of: 0, 1, 10, 11... This illustrates how data is encoded. At this point, the etched alphabet should make sense.

Next there is a diagram showing how the data is organized in blocks.

Then there's a diagram highlighting the location of error correction data, and the way it's calculated.

Then there are more diagrams of the logical structure -- a simple filesystem, maybe just a tar file, with one file after another.

After all this, there's finally the data. To make it extra obvious, the blocks can be made to have visible separate, so that the grouping is obvious.

The idea is that you could start looking at the visible details, get drawn to the hidden ones, and have plenty clues along the way to figure out what it all means. And all this could be on every device with plenty room to spare for the real data.

Comment Re:Designer Humans? (Score 1) 153

Lab straints of E. coli have a bone to pick with you. They reproduce through "clones" and evolution still occurs. Even with clones, nothing's perfect, and there's variation within the population.


Though I meant clones in the "clone army" sense, like if some nightmarish dictator decides that from now on, new people are made by producing a million copes of the "perfect factory worker" template.

Comment Re:Designer Humans? (Score 1) 153


Evolution will keep working unless we start just making clones. Even if every human is born from a test tube, there will be still evolution, in the form of say, parents selecting which genes they deem more fit, and the environment and biology will keep rejecting those that aren't compatible enough with life or the environment.

Comment Re:Oh, the joy! (Score 1) 283

This is all black magic to non-DBAs. It is arcane. When I use a file system for storing blobs -- as simple files -- I don't need a DBA. Back in the early years of
modern computers, you needed a file system administrator, for more-or-less the same reasons that you need a DBA now: file systems were fragile. Now, file systems are one of the most reliable parts of computer systems: they Just Work

That's a dangerous and unfounded assumption.

Filesystems are reliable only at the metadata level: if you yank the cord, the system will still boot afterwards. You won't end up with a filesystem doesn't mount, or where the system manages to mix two files up in such a way that writing to one damages another. But that doesn't guarantee much about your precious data. A half written file will be half written, or even corrupted, unless precautions are taken. And those precautions (in which order to write, how to ensure your data is safe, when to fsync) are just as arcane as the database stuff, if not more. Because databases deal with that crap internally and give you a much simplified interface.

Take for instance a simple exercise: writing .jpg files with product images. But just because the file is there doesn't mean it's good, if you crash at the wrong time you might have half an image, or something that seems to be the file, but is really full of junk inside. So you need some way to determine when a file is really fully written. So now you're keeping a list of checksums which is prone to the same corruption, or doing durable renames, which is arcane magic, and still goes wrong when filesystem developers find another way to optimize while following the very lax spec (see the ext4 debacle)

Comment Re:Arianna (Score 2) 94

I'm replying to the poster, not to the article.

My point is that if you take the "free market" idea to its ultimate expression, then it's just about money. If the market demands a liberal viewpoint, then as a good businesswoman it makes perfect sense for Arianna to ignore whatever personal political views she has and supply what's being demanded. It even makes sense to switch the viewpoint back and forth repeatedly depending on what pays more at each point in time.

So why is it that the grandparent is complaining about it? It's perfectly in line with the free market philosophy.

Comment Re:GPU programming is a nightmare. (Score 1) 57

Just like any cutting edge tech. Not so long ago you'd be writing graphics code in assembler. And dealing with the memory restrictions DOS had to offer.

On top of everything, the binary is a mismash of compiled executable chunks sitting in the interpreted code. Essentially the if a competitor or hacker gets the "executable" they can reverse engineer every bit of innovation you had done to cram your code into these tiny processors and reverse engineer your scientific algorithm at a very fine grain.

Big deal. It's funny how touchy people get the moment they do something vaguely original. The GPU's architecture is known, the optimization strategy for it is well documented. A big part of what you'll end up writing is just following the device's constraints, and so not really original.

Aren't scientists supposed to share data and knowledge, anyway?

Comment Re:Oh fucking Christ Part 2 (Score 1) 315

So what are things like in IT in the USA? I hear there are people working 60 hours a week as well, and not getting paid for overtime. In the games industry, there are people working 80 hours. In the medical profession, 80 hours seems to be the average in the USA (at least according to Wikipedia).

Well, easy, that should be illegal as well.

Aside from that, studies show that productivity decreases after 40 hours anyway, so working 80 is completely pointless and counterproductive.

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