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Comment Re:I have problems with this (Score 2, Interesting) 1319

Ask yourself this:

In a one-dimensional existence, if you were a line, what would a square look like to you as it passed through your existence over time? Another line, right?

In a two-dimensional existence, if you were a square, what would a cube look like to you as it passed through your existence over time? Another square, right?

In a three-dimensional existence, if you were a cube, what would a tesseract look like to you as it passed through your existence over time? Another cube...

Time is the common element here. It defines the passage of an object through its plane of existence. A fourth-dimensional object contains all the aspects of its three-dimensional representations over time. If you try to define that fourth-dimensional object at a specific frame in time in three-dimensional existence, it becomes a three dimensional representation of the fourth dimensional object.

Now, what if what we refer to as "God' has an unmitigated perspective on our fourth-dimensional objects? God is able to observe all our aspects and the choices we make throughout our three-dimensional existence. This isn't as much predestination as it is omniscience. We still have free will to make the choice, but God knows the choice we make.

It does make me curious, though. What does a fourth-dimensional human actually looks like?

Comment Re:AMD needs its swagger back (Score 2) 235

And can you run ECC memory on that Q6600? I know not everyone has to do this, but when you are talking about workstation-level tolerance, ECC memory becomes important, and to find that in the Intel world, you have to step up to Xeon processors and mainboards, which are much pricier.

On the other hand, with standard off-the-shelf Athlon II, Phenom II and BD processors, I can use ECC memory (depending on the mainboard, of course) and get workstation-level memory tolerance.

Again, I give you the caveat that not everyone has this requirement, but it sure is nice for those of us who want workstations without having to buy server parts.

Comment Re:In Soviet... (Score 3) 77

In France the government fears, or at least respects, the people.

Considering what happened during the French Revolution, the current Powers-That-Be has good reason to fear the French people. They stormed the Bastille once, and celebrate it every year just to remind the government that they aren't afraid to do it again.

That, and the French people weren't afraid to invent and use the guillotine.

Comment Re:fool. (Score 1) 189

1) Sandy Bridge is on its second generation. It inherits from the long line of progression from the Core legacy and has done very well considering the amount of money that Intel has pumped into developing these processors. To say that these chips are very mature would be an understatement.

2) AMD has invested a fraction of the R&D expense that Intel has sunk into developing SB/Core architecture when comparing it to BD development. On top of that, BD is in its infancy and is exploring new paths to try and gain efficiencies. I think BD developers need to be proud of their accomplishment, even if it doesn't quite match up clock-for-clock against SB. As the design for these processors matures, and AMD releases a few more Steppings, we will probably see improvements in power usage and performance.

3) As this was a new model, none of the OS kernels out today use these processors in the most optimal way. As the architecture matures, I'm sure that the OS developers will redevelop thread initiation and assignment to make better use of BD's assets. This in itself will net better performance even without improvements in the overall design.

You might think I am just rooting for the underdog, but as a consumer, so should you. Without AMD to keep Intel on it's toes in the X86 market, we will eventually see new chips from Intel that are nothing more than speedbumps, but at prices that will make it difficult for anyone to afford. Intel still prices competitively where AMD still has alternative product, but look at where AMD has not kit to compete. Intel will price there accordingly, because they can. No competition means that the price will float as high as demand.

I try to alternate my personal machines. One year, I will buy AMD, while the next, I will buy Intel. For one machine, I may buy NVidia graphic cards, while another will use AMD. The home media server in the closet is due for an upgrade. I went with an Intel Xeon build three years ago. This time, I will build it with BD Opterons. Do you think anyone besides me will notice the difference, unless I told them? Probably not.

Comment Re:32 bit servers in 2011? (Score 1) 125 have access to the source code, have software vendors working (or willing to work) on a recompile, or an in-house development team who is familiar with ARM architecture, to include best practices to get the highest performance. This is the Achilles' heel, really. You toss a stone and you will hit a halfway-competent developer who understands X86...not so easy with any of the RISC architectures, and to find efficient coders working with ARM processors, you are going to have to go shopping in the mobile development market. Most businesses are conservative anyway, and won't take the extra effort or spend the extra money to switch operating platforms, especially if the ARM architecture only offers lukewarm benefits compared to staying with tried-and-true X86.

Comment Re:They're impossible to fire (Score 1) 593

I remember a story from my childhood. One of the local grocery stores was going through the pains of unionization of the workers. The management was fighting hard to keep the staff from forming or joining a union. All it took was a chance conversation between one of the guys unloading trucks at the docks with one of the truck drivers (who all happened to be Teamsters), and all the sudden, truckers stopped taking deliveries to this particular chain of stores. Independent truckers were willing to do it, but only for 2-3 times the previous rate. In the end, the management went ahead with the unionization and things have been quiet since.

Comment Re:They're impossible to fire (Score 1) 593

How is it that countries like Sweden, Norway, Germany and Finland are consistently at the top of average pay per worker, yet you have companies clamoring to expand their workforce in these countries? All four of these countries reinvest heavily into their population, in the form of free higher education, universal health coverage and collective bargaining protection.

Germany has always been an economic powerhouse, yet at the same time, has also always been one of the most socialist countries in the world (one could argue that it was the birthplace of the modern socialist movement). Even their professional workers (lawyers, engineers, architects, IT workers, programmers, etc.) have their own trade organizations that enforces individual rights and standards. What in their society has allowed their corporations to work closely with unions and still maintain a responsive and reliable workforce? I thought union created lazy workers, and the only way you can keep workers efficient is to constantly threaten their livelihood?

I have friends who work over there, and they are horrified at some of the corporate hi-jinks I have relayed to them that are SOP here in the US, such as mandatory overtime, canceled vacations, use-it-or-lose-it vacation and sick time, let alone average workweek schedules. My friend Rolf, for instance, had to get special dispensation from his local trade representative in order to work through a regular-scheduled holiday so his company could meet a contract requirement for getting a product to market, and even then, the trade representative not only required that Rolf get paid double his usual rate, but that he was also to take time off to make up for the missed holiday after the work was completed. And his company had to abide by that decision. Yet still his company remains one of the most profitable in their industry, even with all the additional union restrictions on worker time and pay.

Comment Colleges see their future, and it ain't so bright (Score 1) 768

What a lot of folks here aren't taking into account is the fact that the whole collegiate education system will be turned entirely on its ear in the next few decades. In fact, we are seeing the nascent stages of this already happening with the wider dissemination of knowledge via the internet. For instance, if I want to learn how to start programming, I can pool enough information from a variety of Google searches to cover about 3 semesters worth of programming courses. For a nominal fee (nowhere near what I would pay for a single course over a semester, let alone for a single lecture) I can take that acquired knowledge and turn it into a certification that translates into a real wage increase, or at least a chance at opening a door.

To be honest, I have picked up more knowledge since leaving college than I acquired in college. Did college give me a framework to learn this new knowledge? Not really. For instance, I spent the majority of my college career planning to be a graphic artist, but using techniques before the advent of computers. I used computers all through college, but they were for writing term papers or to look up course materials and email, and, of course, a few games from time to time, but never really for graphic design.

But my entire industry was turned on its ear by the advent of computers, so much so that by the time I graduated, I had discovered that no one out there was hiring folks with traditional training, but they were paying top dollar for experienced artists who could work in Photoshop and Illustrator. So, over the course of two weeks, I went through a crash course to learn both programs, and landed my first job out of college working for an advertising agency. I kept that job for about 2 months until my paycheck bounced (a reality-check for me, since nowhere in my college career did they cover this part of the work) and then I moved on to bigger and better pastures.

Ever since then, there has been that temptation to go back to school. But each time, when I have been faced with new crossroads in my career, instead of going back to school, I have instead knuckled down, picked up the right material to learn and then picked up the certification as a matter of due course. I taught myself through most of my programming and development experience this way, picking up C++, HTML, Perl, Java, SQL and several other languages. I even went so far as to tie in my graphic design background and now spend a large amount of my time doing UI design.

To be honest, the last time I spent time in a classroom was over 20 years ago, and the last student loan I paid off was about 15 years ago. But I feel that I am constantly learning and refining the knowledge I already possess. I guess this is the true definition of "professional." My next "re-invention" will be to move into game programming and design. I fully expect that I will do well considering my design experience, programming experience, as well as my background in UI design. Is this going to be a paying gig? Probably not, since I make more than enough money at my day job. Is it going to be fun? You bet it is!

Comment Re:How do we work this (Score 1) 988

Icons on a grid? Lisa, circa 1983. Macintosh, circa 1983-84.

On-screen keyboard? Desk Accessory circa 1985 on Macintosh OS, which allowed you to use an on-screen keyboard controlled by the mouse.

Multipoint touch gestures? FingerWorks (a company acquired by Apple) was the pioneer in multipoint "gesture" recognition, going back circa 1998. Both of the founders of FingerWorks continue to work for Apple (AFAIK), developing technologies that are used in the iPhone and MacBook trackpads today.

Apple even developed an entire OS centered around a tablet computer (the Newton), which predated Palm by about 10 years.

Apple may have stood on the shoulders of some giants, but they got where they are by all means legitimate.

Comment Re:Since no one ever buys them... (Score 2) 698

Part of the reason why Doctors in other industrialized nations do well is because the state picks up the bill on their education and provides legal protections against rampant malpractice lawsuits without merit, thus lessening the need for costly malpractice insurance. In most industrialized countries, even a legitimate malpractice lawsuit tends to have lower payouts due to the fact that the patient still receives the benefit of health coverage and cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

Take these factors into account, and a doctor in Switzerland, or Germany, for instance, can make anywhere from 50-60% less gross than a doctor here in the US, and still end up with more net income in the end when you take out the payments made to student loans, malpractice insurance and any number of board and licensing fees. Also consider that most practices cover the malpractice insurance of the rest of their medical staff (i.e., nurses, equipment techs, etc.).

The other side of the coin is that practices in other countries usually have a shorter list of insurance carriers to deal with, and most, if not all of them, are required to pay in a very timely manner, whereas in the US, every insurance company has their own way of handling insurance payouts, and failure to follow their exacting methods will result in payment denial. Even if you follow their procedure, most insurance companies take 60-90 days to pay out to providers. And this is common in the industry.

Comment Re:Interesting. (Score 1) 221

Cooking does somewhat reduce the "natural" nutrtive content of some food, but it also makes almost every other food more digestible. In some ways, cooking has allowed us to reduce the amount of gut we have to carry with us to digest food more fully. An cooked egg, for instance, delivers more readily digestible proteins than a raw egg. Cooking also reduces the chance of becoming infected with a food-born pathogen.

There are many proponents of a "natural" raw diet who deplore the "unhealthy" addition of cooking, but the human body has adapted to cooked food over many generations now. Our digestive tracts tend to be much simpler than, say, cattle or goats, who have to break down a nutrition-poor diet in order to extract the greatest amount of energy. This is why cattle and goats spend most of their day browsing, and why we don't spend most of our day doing the same.

Raw food has its place with certain foods, where appropriate. At the same time, I will still continue to cook food where appropriate too, since I personally don't like becoming a host to listeria, e. coli and who knows whatever food-born pathogen exists out there.

As for pro-biotics...most ruminant species spend the first few months of their lives going around and eating their mother's dung. This is the most effective way the child has of capturing some of the bacterial culture that already exists in the parent's gut. Last I checked, this wasn't a human behavior, though I am sure there are other means of passing biotic cultures from one gut to the next (without the involvement of fecal material, I would hope).

Comment Re:This guy is just blowing smoke. (Score 1) 662

You know, I look at traffic enforcement as a teat for municipalities to suck on the income of the average citizen that really doesn't have a point. If traffic enforcement was really about public safety, then they should ticket everyone who violates traffic laws. I'm not just talking speeding here, either. Point in case (used it right there, btw), red light cameras actually reduce fatal accidents where they are installed (I can cite several articles, but I leave it to intelligent folks here to use their google bar for once). I say install cameras at major intersections on on major roadways known to have issues with traffic that is unable to adhere to the advertised speed.

In fact, Germany is a point in case also. The only time you see Polizei pull someone over on the side of the road is if they were in gross violation. They leave the small stuff to the cameras, who bring in more automated revenue in an hour than any single officer could do in an entire day of traffic patrol. This leaves more officers (witha bigger budget, I may add) able to do...I don't know...real police work, rather than babysitting the driving public.

So I say, as an average taxpaying citizen, bring on the cameras! People are mostly dumb, but after they start getting $50 ticket after ticket, with two pictures of them driving their cars in clear view, and clear evidence of the violation (excessive speed, failure to observe signal changes at an intersection, etc.), maybe they will start to change their ways and start driving a little safer. And those folks who get excessive tickets? Next time they go down to the DMV to renew their license, or go in to renew their tags, someone might bring up the fact that they do see an excessive number of violation enforcements, and maybe reccommend a few driving courses...

BTW, I commute in a carpool over 140 km each way every day up and down IH-35 in Texas. I have seen every kind of driver under the sun. Hence the reason I say that the average driver is pretty dumb. They almost always drive in excess of the posted speed limit, and are usually distracted by the phone conversation they are having, or drinking/eating, I have seen people try to work on their laptop while driving, let alone a smart phone. And I have seen accidents that will set your hair on end. Makes me all the more aware that I drive with both hands on the wheel and both eyes in constant motion, aware of everything aroud me, especially that poor distracted idiot three lanes over who is drifting into my lane (without a turn signal, of course) and wants to try and prove that two objects can exist in the same place at the same time. Yep, if we had cameras on these folks, we would either have to reduce taxes because of so much income, or they will either be forced off the road or start reforming their behavior. Either way, it's all good from my perspective.

Comment Re:If your town gets its water from a river... (Score 2) 300

This is news HOW?

Of course Republicrats don't give a damn about the environment...or, rather, they are only concerned about it if it means profits for their cronies (and themselves) in the end. For instance, if they can charge more for an incidental change that doesn't increase their costs, but it is beneficial for the environment, then all is good with the world. If they have to pay more, then they will only do it if they are forced into it by laws, and then, only if they can't get a variance in the law in their favor. I've seen this happen time and time again with zoning requirements, impermeable ground cover and runoff/retention requirements.

As for the tiered scheme...this only applies to residential customers. Businesses get a huge break on rates per gallon as their usage increases. Residential customers usually end up subsidizing businesses. Consider that a catfish farm just outside of San Antonio uses as much water as the entire city of San Antonio...and I bet the owners don't pay nearly as much as all the residential customers of San Antonio combined.

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