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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.

Submission + - City of Boston pays $170,000 to settle landmark case involving man arrested for (aclum.org) 1

Ian Lamont writes: "The City of Boston has reached a $170,000 settlement with Simon Glik who was arrested by Boston Police in 2007 after using his mobile phone to record police arresting another man on Boston Common. Police claimed that Glik had violated state wiretapping laws, but later dropped the charges and admitted the officers were wrong to arrest him. Glik had brought a lawsuit against the city (aided by the ACLU) because he claimed his civil rights were violated. According to today's ACLU statement:

As part of the settlement, Glik agreed to withdraw his appeal to the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel. He had complained about the Internal Affairs Division's investigation of his complaint and the way they treated him. IAD officers made fun of Glik for filing the complaint, telling him his only remedy was filing a civil lawsuit. After the City spent years in court defending the officers' arrest of Glik as constitutional and reasonable, IAD reversed course after the First Circuit ruling and disciplined two of the officers for using "unreasonable judgment" in arresting Glik.


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