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Comment Re:I don't care if I know the outcome/Real Fans (Score 1) 61

I used to tape hockey games pretty religiously and then take the time to watch them sans commercials even if I knew the outcome. Just enjoyed watching an hour and twenty minutes (when you take out commercials and the in between period crap) of hockey for relaxation. If there was a team in Toronto where you could count on seeing a reasonably good game again, I'd probably start doing it again.

I suspect that if you are a pretty die-hard fan of a sport (regardless of which sport) you'd do the same thing.

The best response for the leagues/associations/etc. to this would be to try and broadcast their games without commercial breaks but use the scrawl more effectively while not being annoying to get ad revenue.

Comment Re:what about h.265? (Score 1) 50

I hear it does great things for 4k, so it seems that it would be really great for HD, and even older 720 or 480 content too.

The main reason it does great on 4k/UHD is that the fixed 16x16 macroblocks in H.264 are too small, HEVC brings flexible coding tree units (CTUs) that vary from 64x64 to 16x16 which obviously has the most effect for the highest resolutions. If you restrict it to 16x16 CTUs you get a ~37% penalty on 2160p, ~19% on 1080p and ~9% penalty on 480p. So not as big a deal for older content as you might think.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

Comment Re:what about h.265? (Score 5, Informative) 50

It's not just about money, either. The licensing situation for H.265 a cluster-fuck, with patent holders having split into 2 licensing pools and several other patent holders that aren't participating in either pool. So even if companies were content with paying the licensing fees (which are significantly higher than H.264), they don't have any easy way of doing so that will cover all the patent holders. Most big players would prefer to pay and use H.265, but the patent holders have gotten too greedy and too splintered.

Most of the major players have gotten fed up with this shit, and committed to pool their patents and expertise create a royalty free format AV1, in place of H.265. Alliance for Open Media includes: Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Netfix, Amazon, BBC, ARM, Intel, AMD, nVidia, Broadcom, Cisco, Polycom, and more. The only companies that haven't signed on yet and are big enough to prevent wide adoption are Apple and Qualcomm, and Qualcomm has previously supported VP9, so I don't know why they wouldn't support AV1 once it is ready.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 155

Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!

Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.

TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.

Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 2) 333

It describes the very low level of a program and a computer.

No it doesn't. It describes the very low level of a program running on a computer from 30-50 years ago. The lessons that it teaches about algorithmic complexity are still valid, but the low-level stuff is not. Once you get to limits of the implementation, rather than of the algorithm, artefacts of caches in pipelines are far more important to performance. Not only will you not find, for example, Hopscotch Hash Tables in TAOCP, you also won't find an explanation of the underlying reasons for their performance.

Comment Re:Surprising? Not so much. - they're stupid (Score 1) 132

Exactly. Is there extra funding for ISPs to add extra security for politician's data? If not, then it might not be easy to get with a search warrant, but you can bet that some of it will be leaked. Do MPs have some special sign-on for all Internet access? If not, then you can bet that some hotspot or mobile provider won't know that they're MPs and so will hand over the data when someone goes fishing for data on a particular IP address. Do MPs have their own Internet accounts that they don't share with their family? If not, then you can bet that someone will request the data on their husbands or wives and get the results indirectly.

Comment Re:Never admit (Score 1) 333

I get laughed at when I suggest memcached because all the cool young programmers "know" that redis is where it's at.

I had to look up this "redis" thing. I saw on the front page that it supports geospatial data. Then I looked up what constitutes "geospatial data" as far as redis is concerned. Then I cried a little.

It might be a fine product at what it was designed for, but any time I see people throwing around big words that they don't understand, it's a safe assumption that what they're trying to sell me is a toy.

Comment Re:If you want to write a book, just do it (Score 1) 333

Sure, yeah, you could take a few weekend courses and bang out some stuff and possibly even find a job paying decent money. But if you want to move up in the world you need to turn your hack and slash techniques into a refined art. The kind of crap commodity programmers write is the stuff that skilled developers get paid a lot of money cleaning up or just re-implementing. (...) If you want to work in the big leagues on important things, you need to be open to learning some things and respect the craft.

With all possible respect to all the CS experts of the world, that's not what they teach. Finding a good organization of your application that makes structures easy to break down, processes easy to follow and changes easy to implement doesn't involve deep, abstract mathematical formulations with optimal answers. It's about creating functional units (objects, layers, modules, services) with clear responsibilities that abstract away internal details, create well defined and narrow interactions, break up and explain complex logic, that everything behaves like and contains what you'd expect from common language definitions and naming conventions and with sufficient high level documentation that anyone of moderate intelligence can understand what bits need to go where.

Or to put it another way, if you sent the source code through an obfuscator the CS experts would probably be just as happy with the output as the input, after all the algorithms and functionality are all unchanged. It would make it an incomprehensible mess of spaghetti code and "there be dragons" that nobody understand how or why works, but those are practical concerns. The same is error and exception handling, CS is all about correct algorithms that never get called with invalid input or run into any of those practical problems that cause poorly written software to crash, often without leaving behind any useful reason why and if there's any possibility to just fail this and move on.

I think you're onto something about the craft and the art. If you want to make swords for an army it's a craft, if you're making a nobleman's fine blade it's an art. Most of the time what we want is robust craftsmanship, process as many passable swords as possible and discard any failures. Not very glamorous and not very artistic, we're not awarding points for style or elegance but whether the code you've built is a reliable work horse that gets the job done. Or maybe the difference between an institutional chef and a fine dining chef. One is serving a hundred people a good meal, the other can spend forever making a plate of fine art. Both are very different from being a poor chef, but being good at one doesn't really make you good at the other. And CS is the Michelin guide department.

Comment Yes (Score 1) 333

I've read the 1973 editions, cover to cover. I skimmed a few fasciles. Haven't kept up since then.

Do I recommend it? You bet I do, just like I recommend Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, The Mythical Man-month, and The Psychology of Computer Programming. That's not to say you have to have read classics like these to be a good programmer, but if you haven't internalised a lot of the material that's covered in books like these, I question how much you care about what you do. And if you don't care about what you do, it will show in the quality of your software.

Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 1) 333

It's also well worth the effort (and it is a lot of effort) to read the third volume, Sorting and Searching. The second volume (Seminumerical Methods) may be useful if you do certain kinds of work, but Fundamental Algorithms and Sorting and Searching are worth almost any professional programmer's time.

I have to admit I haven't bought 4A yet.

I really hope that Knuth is grooming someone to take over the work of completing the full set when he dies, or becomes unable to continue.

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