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Comment Re:Saves you on bandwidth (Score 5, Insightful) 61

Bitch moan, bitch moan. If I had a need for such a dataset, I think I'd be damn grateful that I didn't have to collect it myself. As for the cost of processing the pages, the article suggests that running a hadoop job on the whole dataset on EC2 might be in the neighborhood of $100. That's not that costly.

Comment Re:Interesting, however (Score 4, Insightful) 61

It may or may not be a small part of the problem, but it isn't a small problem to crawl that many web pages. This likely lets people save a lot of time and effort which they can then devote to their unique research.

Maybe it will cost a fortune to analyze that much data, but there isn't really anyway of getting around the cost if you need that much data. Besides, for what its worth, the linked article suggests that a hadoop run against the data costs about $100. I'm sure the real cost depends on the extent and efficiency of your analysis, but that is hardly "a fortune."

Comment Re:Is this an Amazon sponsor thingy? (Score 2) 61

A conspiracy? You're going to have to pay someone for the compute time. It's not like a lot of people have big clusters lying around, so lot of people are going to opt to pay Amazon anyway.

As for selling access to the data on physical media, it doesn't look like there is anything to stop you from taking advantage of Amazon's Export Service to get the data set on physical media.

Comment Re:When do we get compression? (Score 1) 803

Well, putting aside the fact that you are talking about filesystem internals, and the OP is talking about conventions for filesystem layout:

Disks are really big these days. The things people tend to fill them with are images, video and audio that is already in a compressed format. So, for the average user, directory compression isn't going to be a big win.

To put it more succinctly, this isn't an important filesystem feature.

Comment Re:I would be a bit worried to fly in this plane. (Score 1) 366

Aeronautical engineers involved with civillian passenger aircraft seem to have an appropriately conservative attitude about risk. That doesn't mean that there won't be problems when they try to innovate, but I have a hard time imagining that the 787 will actually go into commercial service without thorough vetting. Its still a new design, of course, and problems will be discovered and fixed once the aircraft are in regular use.

It may be less safe than, say, an older model with more real world use, or a new model with less ambitious design and technology, but it is less safe from a baseline with a remarkable degree of safety.

Comment Re:Disappointing lack of technical details. (Score 1) 95

Thanks for the clarification. I'd misread the 2.5 minute time as being the total throughput, not the time it took to output a single completed frame, but rereading the paper, it seems like it is indeed the time to expose a 1024x1024 frame. Its unclear to me how long the computation took.

Comment Re:Disappointing lack of technical details. (Score 3, Informative) 95

I dug into the technical details a bit and posted some of what I found on my blog, along with links to the papers describing the hand and facial animation work in more detail:

The short answer is that the facial animation was produced by software written in Fortran and run on a pair of PDP-10s, and the hand animation was likely running in the same environment. When each frame was finished, it was displayed on a CRT and captured to film using a 35mm animation camera. For the facial animation, each frame took about 2.5 minutes to render.

Comment Beware Agent Provocateurs (Score 4, Interesting) 467

Assuming this story is true, I'd be concerned that this is an attempt to draw the US Government into a confrontation that will help the hard-liners in Iran. As for who would want such a thing.

Clearly the hard-liners would like to try, once again, to get people to rally behind them in the face of "the great satan." You'd also have to look at the US Neocons, many of whom would like to remove any sympathy for Iran or Iranians that gets in the way of their long-disgraced axis-of-evil BS. And then there is Israel. At least some in Israel are on the same page as the neocons, though I wouldn't want to suggest that their position is universally held.

Anyway, I'm suspicious of the motives of anyone who wants to use this as anything but a reason to get the cops and/or FBI on the case.

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