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Journal Journal: APK stuff 1

Microsoft's Hosts file changes in Windows 8 generated a predictable discussion about, and then by, APK, but this discussion caught my eye and I thought was worth raising in a "Mind boggled" way.

The pertinent points:

- APK made a claim about his code that resulted in someone calculating that it was taking about 4 million CPU cycles, or up to 16 million instructions, to process each HOSTS file entry.
- In the ensuing discussion, APK said that his algorithm processes each entry multiple times. He also claims that a slightly optimization to his method would result in the algorithm becoming 98% accurate.
- He also claims, if I understand it correctly, that his code actually turns off the Windows process scheduler - by apparently giving this batch processing code a "realtime" priority - while it runs, for extra speed.
- The reason it takes 4-16 million cycles per record? Apparently, again quoting APK, this is because there's string processing involved with 11 string operations on each record.

Now, to be clear, we're talking about a program whose job is apparently to generate a hosts file from a list of hostnames, deduping and doing other minor clean-up operations on the list, and writing it all out with "" on the front of each hostname. For the deduping, apparently APK's using a sort - and he denies using a bubblesort, so I guess that's something. Me, I'd use a hash table, but what do I know?

I'm not trying to get at APK, but is anyone else having a WTF moment based upon the above description?

User Journal

Journal Journal: I swear Austrian economists are the most stupid on earth 2

(Just to be clear: by Austrian, I'm talking about the school. It's possible that economists who live near Germany are also stupid, but that's not what I'm talking about.)

From what I can see, the logic is:

1. Follow a theory to its logical conclusion. Eg. "All government actions are bad + "socialist" (ie "government does things") governments provide healthcare" -> "Nobody has access to healthcare in socialist countries", "No healthcare -> people die early", "If people die early, there are no old people!"

2. Assert logical conclusion as fact, without checking. "Yeah, well of course Britain doesn't have a pension problem, everyone dies before the age of 30 in that country!"

3. When others assert "WTF", come up with logical process rather than facts. "Uh, hello. Britain has socialist healthcare! Nobody in Britain can possibly live long enough to reach the age of 30, given they all die of preventable diseases!"

4. Simply ignore statements to the contrary. "No, Britain's socialist healthcare system means everyone dies before the age of 30. And Keynesianism is totally discredited."

User Journal

Journal Journal: Seeking a non-douchebag explanation of why I'm wrong... if I am 5

So, a few days ago I posted this. Heated language perhaps, but I didn't think the contents would be particularly controversial.

A lot of being flamed and modbombed later, I withdrew from the discussion. I'm still kinda baffled.

Now, there are a hundred things that might be wrong with my assertions so let me explain what I was trying to say, and then you can either say "You're wrong", or "You're right, but that's not what you said", or "You're right, and the flamers are wrong", or some other explanation.

StatCounter announced, a little while ago, that their stats show Chrome as the #1 browser.

I'm finding that difficult to believe, and fortunately I'm in charge of monitoring the GAs for a group of websites I consider... well, not 100% representative (are any?) but reasonably unbiased in favor of any particular browser (it's not a tech or corporate site. I'm not going to name it because (a) I have to protect my employer and (b) to be quite honest, I wish we produced a product I felt prouder of.) So I checked, and found that Chrome was in third place on our sites (using visitors as the metric, not using visits, or anything similar. We get about half a million a month, so it's a good sample size.) Firefox had around two and half times as many users, and most users were on IE.

This is so ridiculously different that it's hard for me to take the SC figures seriously. I'm not saying they're 100% representative, It's just if Chrome were #1, I'd expect our figures to at least show nothing worse than, say, all three browsers being at similar levels of usage. IE/Firefox/Chrome at 30%/28%/25% I can handle, but not 60%/22%/9%.

I've not heard any webmasters suggest their figures are remotely close to SC's. In fact, those I've spoken to are similarly baffled by the SC figures. They don't make any sense.

So, anyway, I got flamed for putting forth this argument (and my quoting of GA figures was modbombed out of the discussion. Wow.) The arguments were, to be honest, baffling, and that's one of the major reasons I'm having a problem. I may be completely misunderstanding the "counter argument", or I may have presented the argument in the wrong way.

What I got were arguments along the lines of:

1. You're counting visitors. You should be counting websites.

I don't understand this argument. I don't understand why I would count websites.

2. Your website may have half a million visitors a month, but there exists on the Internet other websites that are more popular.

I'm failing to understand what that has to do with anything at all.

When I explained why I thought what I thought, I actually just got a bunch of substance free "OMG I can't believe you're such an idiot" responses.

I'm not exaggerating. I don't mean "You stated black is white!!! You idiot! White and black are at completely different luminescences! How is this remotely like this" I mean "You're a dumbass, the sample size is one not half a million"

So... what say the people who do not (I think) hate me for no reason? Without using terms like "You dumbass", can you explain to me what my failure of understanding and/or communication is?

I'd appreciate it. If I'm wrong, I'd genuinely like to know why.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Troll proposal 5

Wondering if it'd be worth writing a "standard troll" (you know, like *BSD is dying, My Mac Sucks, that kind of thing) from a "Tablet enthusiast" that'd, well, make the point about how utterly ridiculous the things are.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dear President Obama 2

It's been, like, two and a half years. And you haven't taken Pudge's guns away.

It's not like he doesn't deserve it, and he's pretty much expecting you to do it anyway. And I'm pretty sure Pudge's guns have more useful things they could be doing. They could be given to our military to help defend our nation against terrorists. Or, even better, you could give them to poor people, to defend themselves when they're trying to vote.

As it is, I'm pretty sure the big fat paranoid idiot solely uses them as something for his fingers to stroke when he's downloading porn over the Internet. And that's not just creepy, it's also dangerous.



User Journal

Journal Journal: Back to Apple... 8

I'm on my way back to Infinite Loop, and I'm starting on Tim Cook's first day as CEO. Wish us luck.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Another thing on economics 8

I posted a long-ass comment about why the Fed uses "Core Inflation" rather than "Headline Inflation" in my live journal, before coming here and finding stuff that's even worse.

So, a comment, based upon reading a subthread by one of my "friends", and also comments that get posted to the same blogs I was complaining about in the above article:

You can't get out of a depression by having "deflation": you see, that's what a depression pretty much is.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, crap 2

T-Mobile was the last honest (well, insofar as a cellular operator can be honest) carrier. They even hosted forums on rooting your Android phones (and wished Cyanogen happy birthday on Twitter) for fuck's sake.

The bastards aren't even content to take over and slowly do their evil thing: AT&T hates T-Mobile customers so much they're even going to turn off 3G and "4G" (HSPA+) for TMo customers within a year of taking the reins.

If the merger goes ahead, I'm not really sure who to go with. Probably whoever's cheapest. Virgin Mobile maybe, or MetroPCS. The latter even has an LTE network. I'd make a comment about hoping the Obama admin quashes the merger on competition grounds, but I'm sore after working on the new house, and I'm not sure my sides can take it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: So, that Nuclear thing... 1

Has anyone actually got a reliable source regarding the Japanese reactors? Because, quite honestly, I'm even having difficulty getting stuff I see as reliable from the Bad Astronomer. When nobody seems to know if it's worse than Chernobyl, or safer than Three Mile Island (?), and the conflicting news changes by the hour. Hell, even the Japanese and US governments seem to disagree.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What was it Obama wrote? 3

One of his first executive orders or something, didn't he say something like "The United States does not torture"?

Response to the claim "Elections have consequences" after the Repugs took over the House: No, they don't.

BTW, I don't think even Jack Bauer would think they're taking the right approach with Manning. For all of his faults, TV's personification of Dick Cheney's conscience generally only tortured people when he needed information quickly to prevent an imminent loss of lives. Torturing anyone for allegedly embarrassing the government by leaking low level "secrets"? Actually part of me thinks there's even a chance Bauer would help Manning out.

On a separate note, I see it's even more difficult to find a "Post journal entry" button. Right now I have to type "" in the URL bar. How long before they remove from Slashcode?

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