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Comment Re: also in the news ... (Score 1) 447

It's funny, I've thought a time or two about leaving IT and starting a lawn and snowplowing business. Why? Pay isn't quite as good, but except in the winter when you're plowing, you set your own hours, don't need to interact with people, and the pay is pretty damn good just the same. If only for allergies....

Our 'lawn boy' is an 18 (now 19?) year old gay kid. He's been mowing lawns for 3 years, every summer. He has bought his own new truck -with cash - and all the accessories you'd expect. He makes at least $70k/year after taxes, and that's just with the people we know are his customers, paying voluntarilly, in cash/check, $20-40 at a time.

No 401k or insurance necessary.

Those poor lawn boys...

Comment Re:Consumer Info [Re:Ridiculous Extrapolation] (Score 1) 374

They milk their prior reputation.

In any scam, there's always an enabling mark with the deep pockets.

In this case, the mark is the tired sectors of button-down industry (presently known as The Swamp & its canyon suburbs) that only hire the Big Bucks Diploma from Big Bucks School, while the bargain bin is stuffed to the brim with brilliant scions of cheap alternative education.

Milk + MOOC = mook

Comment No shit (Score 1) 319

And I dunno about schools these days, or everywhere for that matter, but way back when I was in high school the books usually used something that was quasi-cylindrical like a Robinson or some such. Tended to give you a good picture of whatever they centered it on (which would usually be whatever was being talked about) and squished things near the edges.

I don't recall ever seeing a Mercator projection. Maybe the local maps were, like when it was showing a single country, but of course it doesn't matter a lot at that point as the distortion in a small area isn't that large whatever kind of projection you use.

Comment That's how these things always go (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Whenever there's a "language popularity" thing online they always do their research by looking at what people are doing online. Either what they are talking about, what they are sharing, etc. Somehow none of them ever consider how horribly skewed this is.

The simplest counterexample to something like this is embedded software. It is unarguable that there's a lot of development of that going on. Everything today gets controlled with a micro-controller or small CPU. Actual custom designed ASICs/circuits are reserved for only a few applications, most things get a more general purpose device and do it in code. Your car, your cable modem, your microwave, your TV, etc all of them run code.

Well guess what? That embedded code isn't done in Javascript or Ruby or any of these other trendy languages. Often as not it is done in C/C++ (and sometimes partially or all assembly). It just isn't the sort of things that gets posted about online. First the code is almost always proprietary, so the project itself isn't going to get posted as it is property of the company that paid to have it written and second it is professionals working in teams doing it, not people who are getting started out or playing around. They are likely to get help internally, not talk about it on the Internet.

So if you want to look at Github to see what is popular on Github, that's cool, but when people try to generalize that to development overall, it is false. To get a feeling for what is really popular in software development you'd have to poll programmers working at a variety of big companies since that's where a lot of the code is being generated.

Comment If the goal is reducing federal spending (Score 1) 648

Then restoration is not the way to go. You can't on the one hand say "We have to cut spending!" and then on the other say "We have to give the military back what we cut!" If you want budget cuts to try and balance the budget ok, but then the military has to be part of it. It is bigger than any other agency, by a large margin. You could eliminate (not cut, completely eliminate) education, transportation, agriculture, HHS, and the DoE and not even come close to the whole military budget.

Another way of looking at the military cuts is restoring it to 1990s levels, percentage wise. In the mid 90s defense spending was about $270 billion which was about 16% of the budget. In 2015 defense spending was about $640 billion (estimates are harder here since congress doesn't include Iraq and Afghanistan costs directly in the budget) which is about 16% of the budget.

Comment That's fine but you can't cheer this budget on (Score 3, Informative) 648

Because it not only doesn't cut the military, ti increases it by $54 billion. That offsets any other cuts. Combined with them wanting big tax cuts for the wealthy (who have the most to tax) that means a higher deficit. If you thing is cutting the debt, these guys are not interested in it. This proposal does nothing in that regard.

Also cutting spending isn't the only way to balance the budget. Increasing income works too, either via raising taxes or increasing the overall economy. Well guess what? Many of the programs being cut are the kind of things that help economic growth. Science is that way. The US is rich and prosperous in no small part because of science and development. When you are on the forefront of new things, you make a lot of money. Cut that, and it cuts future growth.

Comment Well ok there Trumpet (Score 3, Informative) 648

You are either a complete Trump fanboy, or just hopelessly naive because this budget IN NO WAY reduces the debt. Never mind you silly argument of "living off a credit card" (if you don't know how public debt different from revolving debt, go spend some time reading or take ECON 200) let's just focus on the budget:

It includes a massive increase of $54 Billion to the military. This is the military that is already funded 3x the next highest military (in fact if you add #2-8 in spending together you don't equal it), that has spending more than transportation, education, housing, international affairs, science, labour, and agriculture COMBINED. We really need this? We need that much more money for the military?

On top of that they are also set to propose sweeping tax cuts, particularly for the rich.

This is NOT something that'll reduce the debt, not even reduce the rate of increase.

If you want to compare it to a family (which as I said, it doesn't really work like personal finances) this is a parent saying "No I'm sorry kids, we can't afford to get a new water heater even though ours isn't working well, and I can't get you new clothes, we have too much debt. In other news I'm buying myself another new car and cutting my hours to 35 per week!"

You show me a budget that cuts the military like everything else, that at the very least keeps taxes where they are if not increases them, I'll give the "we have to cut the debt" argument credit. However so long as it is "less taxes, more defense spending" you can GTFO with that crap.

Comment unius tunius timeo (Score 2) 161

Kurzweil is a ground-floor card-carrying member of the Extrapolarian Society. I've been following his shtick forever.

He actually was, once upon a time, as smart as he thinks he is, but then he flunked Latin, and now he's become Exhibit A for hominem unius tunius timeo .

The actual challenge here isn't to figure out how much he's wrong. The challenge is to figure out how much he's right. And he's more right than most people think. But they can't get past how wrong he is, and still there shooting fish in a barrel, entirely missing the main event.

Comment the appcoin "as you wish" adventure exchange (Score 0) 553

After reading up, I'm getting the feeling that the home run THROBBING BONER victory condition is to cannibalise what they perceive as Bitcoin's inherent scalability limit.

I suspect this premonition/pretense/pretext is the money-bag money-shot behind the scenes.

The Appcoin Revolution: Interview with Mike "Buttercup" Vine of LBRY:

CT: Do you see a possibility where (intentionally or not) your appcoin becomes an altcoin, and competes with Bitcoin as a currency?

MV: Yes, any appcoin has the potential to overtake Bitcoin. In the commodity world, it's hard to find something that can compete with gold as money because of gold's unique physical properties and distinctiveness [money-bug blather redacted]. There is a strong argument that you do want to have a resource that is used primarily as money. LBRY Credits are not designed to outcompete Bitcoin in that role.

However, if Bitcoin adoption levels off and LBRY apps are used by billions of people, then cryptocurrency speculators and users may decide that they feel more comfortable holding and using an asset that has a more widely-demanded end use.

But surely that's only a stretch goal. The next level down is harder to pinpoint.

Bitcoin will still be a payment option on the LBRY app, but it won't power the network. Fortunately, services like ShapeShift.io will make it easy to convert LBRY Credits to Bitcoin and back.

Sounds easy.

Shapeshift.io has been hacked

Oops. Now the claim from ss.io is that they had fully effectively firewalled user assets and that this is not the hack you're looking for. Okay, sure.

The boundary to the real economy is no small matter. I could be earning LBRY Ponzi credits tomorrow. Oh, yes, they are a Ponzi credit (on the production side) until you have a valid plan to get them back out again (and a lot can happen between here and there). As things stand, appears that the main road out exits through the Fire Swamp known as Bitcoin. Nobody ever gets burned or sandbagged or ROUSed to death en route there. Sign me up.

I do kind of like this new era of kinder, gentler, reduced friction, liberal-values, neoliberal Ponzi schemes (we'll not discuss the environmental Death Star of sweaty appcoin minting minions.)

But ... bottom line, end of the vine, to get out, there has to be an equal and opposite demand to get in. Well, that's 90% of the iceberg here, and the sticky end of the wicket, too.

Comment one cheap CC Apollo away from mission accomplished (Score 2) 553

That doesn't work all that well, especially on videos with a lot of specialist jargon in it. Like university lectures.

A Netflix-style competition with sizeable pot at stake (a dime per U.S. citizen?) would address this problem PDQ.

Academic lectures, above all things, would quickly succumb to preconditioning on the right bag of words. Speech technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. It mainly needs improvement in automatically zeroing in on the appropriate jargon domain. Wikipedia is already a topic modelling gold mine just waiting to be fully exploited (of course, you'd have to cleverly cut through the mess, but that's what the big prize is there to expedite).

This small sum of money in the grand scheme of things would about solve this problem permanently, with spin-off advances in speech recognition for all involved.

And it's not like hearing loss is just for the deaf. It's a universal progressive condition exacerbated by good diet, exercise, and otherwise exemplary health.

Comment Re:Crippled Ryzen 7 (Score 1) 173

I'm still waiting to discover the on-chip interconnect. I'd imagine that some kind of on-chip TSV would provide a hefty upgrade in the width of the data path between the CCX modules, that would still have some penalty, though far less than the historic standard.

I really can't see how Naples is going to use the same CCX if AMD hasn't done something interesting here, but what do I know? Also, one active core per CCX helps with heat spreading and available boost.

Furthermore, AMD producing chips with four CCX modules as an economy product is suggestive of some kind of packaging constraint. Like have a TSV substrate that's designed to straddle the corner of each of four CCX modules and not wanting—for now, while defect rates remain adequate—to produce a special tandem TSV substrate, and tool up for its assembly. Perhaps the game plan is to drive down the price of the hexacore modules until these become standard at the low end, and not bother ramping on a twin CCX assembly process for volume production at all (maybe just niche mobile products, and maybe then with a somewhat thinned CCX module a year down the road; or—a slightly bulked low-voltage CCX module with four cores and no substrate interface at all).

But I'm just using logic here, rather than digging around for revealed information, and that has only a modest track record.

The time for digging is after Naples.

Comment Frankly this is what they should have launched 1st (Score 0) 173

The current Ryzens are kinda underwhelming. Not because they are bad chips, but I find myself in a position where they wouldn't be what I'd recommend to most people.

For your average user, they are way overkill. Hell even a quad core is overkill for normal desktop/media consumption/etc usage. They are too expensive, a cheaper Intel i5 or i3 is the way to go.

For gamers, they don't perform as well as Intel's high end in general. Games are multi-threaded these days, but generally have one main thread that is the big limit and the others are much smaller. It is rare to see them max a quad core, much less more than that. For best performance they need high clocks and IPC, and the 7700k does a better job at that for about the same money as the 1700. Only 4 cores, but as I said just doesn't matter to games. Likewise the 7600 or 7600k are in general better and even cheaper.

For audio production Ryzen seems to have higher latency. Maybe this gets resolved later, but right now you need to set your ASIO buffers higher to avoid dropouts with the same project. Also since CPU load isn't generally the limiting factor (CPUs are very fast compared to the needs of audio processing) the extra cores aren't useful unless you do REALLY heavy mixes. So better to go for an Intel CPU and get lower latency for cheaper, or maybe an Intel HEDT CPU for the same price as the 1800X.

Video encoding is the one area they seem to really win at. There the more core equal more performance and you can get 8 for the price Intel sells you 6. So if that's what you are after, then it is a good deal. Not really the most common use.

These though, for the price they should be killer. The 4 cores are likely to at least compete with the 7600 and cost you a good bit less. Could make them a very good contender for gamers, or just general desktop users that want a solid system.

I'll be real interested to see the benchmarks when they come out.

Comment hierarchy of antique bogoids (Score 1) 154

AMD-K6 3D (90 bogoids)
Intel Core i7-4771 @ 3.50GHz (9940 bogoids) * 1%
Via C3 Ezra (100 bogoids)
Intel Pentium III Mobile 750MHz (103 bogoids)
AMD Athlon 64 2000+ (116 bogoids)
Intel Pentium 4 1300MHz (119 bogoids)

Wow, a couple of clown chips, and a searing indictment of Passmark, all rolled up together.

You can really see how Passmark should have been properly named Parkay Malarkey Spinmark.

Parkay Pentium 4, you are so busted.

[*] Cooking instructions: apply Parkay to soggy white bread, wait five minutes, LET THERE BE TOAST.


In the least surprise ever, turns out pajamas man-child develops tight-loop benchmark suites for the trade press. Normally. Except for this one time.

Setting: One unusual sunny morning.

Right at the crack of too-damn-early, there's a loud, surprising knock on the door. Curious, he shambles in sloppy slippers to the front door, where he's greeted by a slight man in a slick seersucker suit, who warmly extends a cold hand, and exclaims "my good man, you are just who we need".

"And who are you, again," asks pajamas man-child, with maximal crack of too-damn-early rhetorical sarcasm.

"I'm from Butler, Shine & White, department of Natural Born Unusual Suspects."

He lavishes upon his smooth introductory move a practiced pump on each of 'Butler', 'Shine', and 'White', Vaseline vise-grip apexing right on the 'na' in 'natural', relaxing on 'orn', then releasing precisely on second 'su'.

"Me?" pyjamas man-child replies meekly, meaty ham agog and drifting.

"True to form, true to form. Ewww, what's that sooty smell?"

"Shit, you caught me mid-spread. Must have left a large, hot lump."

"Well that's just the thing we'll be speaking about."

"What is?"

"Here's the thing. Here's the thing. We have it on good local authority that you're the king of shinola soliloquy."

"Local authority? Man, I'm so going to sue that pesky early-bird arborist."

"Don't be hasty. Let me tell you what we have in mind."

Pajamas man-child scratches behind his hairy pinna for a moment. "Sure, okay, fire away. Do tell me about this soliloquy shinola business."

"No, no, no! You've got that bass ackwards. Trust me, we've got all the soliloquy shinola money can buy. What we don't have ... yet ... is the natural born shinola soliloquy."

"Uh, if I catch your drift ... what I mean is ... uh ... you know ... the spread ... it answers back."

"For sure, we'll dub that in. Now how about let's discuss terms."


"In all high-margin, commodity seriousness."

"Okay then, come on in. Want some toast?"

"Uh, thanks but no thanks. Just in case, I brought us some fresh croissants." BS&W holds up large brown bag with hand-lettered accent marks on every vowel.

"Looks like you brought the entire continental buffet."

"Truth is, I'm here to see you spread."

"That's going to take a lot of spread."

"We'll use the big tub."

"Uh ... you just said 'tub' right? Not, uh, 'tooh' as in 'toothbr—'."

"—aw shucks, just between us, what's the big difference?"

"Uh, tubes come with a screw top ... or so I've heard."

"Yes, we did consider novel packaging, but it just doesn't say 'butter'."

Comment No kidding (Score 2) 143

Google and Apple don't care about you as an individual. To the extent they care about your data, it is as an aggregate, for statistics and optimization and advertising. They aren't interested in trying to get your bank account number and steal your money, for example, the amount of money you have is fuck-all on their scale. They would not be interested in committing a crime with very real consequences for a totally inconsequential amount of money.

However a random thief that steals your smartphone? Ya they are absolutely interested in something like that. They are interested in getting as much money from you in any way they know how. That is how they operate.

While we certainly do need to consider information security and privacy with regards to big companies, the risks and reasons are very different with relation to individuals and it doesn't mean that we just ignore the problems of individuals. They are the bigger issue.

Like at work, we get people who manage to get their accounts compromised all the time. It has never, near as we or the FBI can tell, been a big company doing it. Google has never Phished someone's password and used it to spam, Apple has never used someone's information to get in the employee system and change their direct deposit target. That has always been an individual, or small group of hackers: A criminal (or criminals) dedicated to criminal activity. That is the real risk that our users really face, and the one we need to be far more concerned about than analytics Google gathers on them.

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