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Comment Re:Who gives a fuck? (Score 4, Informative) 134

A lot of researchers are using GPUs for things very different than graphics. A professor was telling me just last week that the boundary between a machine learning training algorithm being interesting was to train to deal with a problem in a week or less [note one trained it does its job much faster, that's just the get-it-ready-to-go time], and that GPUs were often used for that training. The bit width requirements are modest, but the amount of data to process is huge.
Of course, he went on to show how the approaches his students had come up with were faster and more power efficient by orders of magnitude for many common algorithms, but still they were trying to improve a normal way of doing things, which is to get up and running fast using GPUs are a source of number crunch.

In summary, people who don't actually need so more horsepower buying it helps keep it being developed for the smaller number of people who get it who are actually doing something useful with it.

Comment Re:Huge loophole and very bad idea. (Score 1) 355

Look, I don't like Hilary. I don't think this plan is anything more than an attempt to get votes. But your particular complaint about what would happen if the plan were carried out strikes me as misguided.

Foreign students who are here to get a degree ALREADY get to stay as long as they are working on a degree. The crunch comes when they graduate. They need to have a job lined up to stay in the country, and so companies have a lot of leverage in hiring and then how they treat them afterwards under the H1B program. The degree is already the argument the companies use to get them the H1B.

This whole dynamic is a large part of why they can be used to undercut salaries for permanent residents and citizens. It also creates unnecessary bad feelings toward the US by folks we should actually prefer to stay here rather than going back to somewhere else and help offshoring efforts. The plan seems to me a good solution to breaking this dynamic and reducing H1B abuse.

The only drawback I see, which does need a careful selection of institutions to minimize, is that some folks are justifiably unemployable despite somehow managing to obtain an advanced degree. We wind up with them as permanent residents and that costs something in public services. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the costs for uneducated illegal immigrants, but it is something. On the whole, I'd consider the tradeoff a good one.

Comment Re:Who's really to blame here? (Score 4, Interesting) 63

Oracle is certainly to blame.

For the accounting firms, it depends on how good of a quality and nature of the lie is in the books. The accounting firm can only comment on whether the records they receive are consistent and have a correct process based on their inputs. If the wrong stuff is far enough upstream of the books, there's a GIGO problem.

Of course, by the time you reach that point, you've got even more blame on Oracle because then the intent to deceive becomes a lot more clear, since somewhere along the line folks (like the whistleblower in question) who put in that data have to be told to make shit up. Whether the point at which they were making stuff up is at a point a good audit would catch, I don't know. I am not an accountant, nor do I have any special insight into Oracle's bookkeeping process.

Comment Re:WTF with the spurious Obamacare reference? (Score 4, Insightful) 607

I know more people who have lost their healthcare as a result of Obamacare than who have gotten health care who did not have it before. Then again, I know more working class folks than non-working who can get the biggest subsidies.

That's just anecdotal of course.

Less anecdotal is that health care costs have risen considerably, and that even if one has insurance under Obamacare, the cost of getting sick is high (look at deductables and out-of-pocket maximums of the various tiers).

Comment Oddly (Score 1) 386

The only thing about the study that suggests that freewill is an illusion, is that despite the data suporting the opposite the published conclusion is that one has no free will, as if the author were fated to come to such a conclusion.

The data appears to show that when given time for the conscious mind to interfere, the choices made were indeed different than the automatic responses.

Comment Re:Easy to explain, it's a rational plan (Score 2) 149

There is plenty of lithium on this planet. But that isn't the problem. As we have both said, the problem is the economics. The assumption in my comment, highlighted by the second half, is that since they are doing this as a business, they will stop scaling when they no longer see profit to be made by doing so. As long as there is profit in doing so, the total potential market size is a POSTIVE for the business case, not a negative.

Comment Re:Easy to explain, it's a rational plan (Score 3, Interesting) 149

The summary claims they are doubling what they did last year. If they keep investing in the infrastructure to keep scaling up each year, being at one millionth right now is only 20 years away from your estimate of what the US would need.
Of course in practice the trick is to stop scaling up when there won't be people who want it or you business goes bust instead of being highly profitable at the end, but yes, this sort of infrastructure overhaul in 20 years is not only a rational timeline but pretty agressive in historical terms.

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