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Comment Re:Donna Ford (Score 2) 445

The article shows this referenced professor uses the same type of reasoning used to "find" bias in police arrests -- that because the gifted/arrested distribution differs from the local populace, racial bias must be taking place.

Her arguments boil down to this:
1) The tests used to find gifted kids are culturally biased. (Without explaining what this means.)
2) Teacher recommendations are also used, and teachers are racially biased. (Without giving the racial composition of the teachers.)
3) The parents of rich kids can afford coaching not available to the poorer ones. (Without presenting any data on how prevalent this may be.)

Guess it never occurs to her that reality might be taking place?

Comment Re:A mini ice age? Really? (Score 1) 185

But if no reputable scientists are saying that climate change is a death sentence, why do articles like the one below keep appearing? It's about Christiana Figueres, leader of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. It's titled, "The Woman Who Could Save Humanity".


Sounds like what we really need is a tool to annotate extremists on both sides. Why does this tool do that?

Climate change is not a death sentence. There aren't any reputable scientists saying it is. I think you may have been listening to some sensationalist media stories, and possibly embellishing what they state. If you like, you can read some of the published effects of climate change, and "all life dying" is not one of them.

Comment Re:But since nothing is CPU bound (Score 1) 126

Clocking them down is not stealing from CPU performance? Your own quote contradicts what you're saying.

Sigh. If you'd read the article, you'd understand why your statement makes no sense. Tom's Hardware goes on to note that Broadwell is ~5% faster than Haswell at the same clock speed. The reason Broadwell shows slightly lower performance on some benchmarks is that it's capable of dropping down to lower clock speeds to conserve power. But when performance is called for, Broadwell quickly ramps up to the same clock speed as it's predecessor. So for a sustained workload, Broadwell will be faster. It's only for those loads that frequently ramp up and down that Haswell comes out ahead.

So nothing is "stolen" from the CPU. Most of the extra gates proved by the 14nm process in which Broadwell is fabricated are used to enhance the GPU, which as noted by the reviews is now the fastest integrated graphics unit on the market. But nothing was taken from the CPU -- in fact, the CPU is enhanced to be 5% faster on a per clock basis and to also drop to lower frequencies when *idle*. If saving power isn't your thing you can always disable power features through either the bios or the O/S to keep the CPU at higher frequencies most of the time.

Dropping the CPU frequency to lower values when cores are inactive is an important feature in all modern CPUs. Many server customers care more about performance per watt than they do about raw performance. For laptops and handhelds, efficiency is critical. And even for desktops it's a nice feature.

Comment Re:But since nothing is CPU bound (Score 2) 126

You're mis-understanding the conclusion. Intel did not steal from CPU performance to improve the GPU, and in fact the cores on Broadwell are slightly more efficient than Haswell. Here's a quote from the Tom's Hardware article:

"As host processors, Core i5-5675C and Core i7-5775C should be marginally faster than Haswell-based CPUs at similar clock rates. The issue, of course, is that they employ lower frequencies than a number of previous-gen chips. So, they'll actually post lower scores in workloads that emphasize host processing (like the Sandra Arithmetic benchmark, above)."

Comment Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 2) 112

Ah, but you're forgetting the impact on the server market. All those smart phones and tablets accessing the web drive the need for more servers. Guess who dominates the server market? There's a reason Intel keeps breaking revenue records every year.

Also, the PC market is far from dead. Despite periodic predictions of its demise, PC shipments picked up last year and modest growth is predicted for 2015.

Comment Re:Dark Matter == Measurement Uncertainty? (Score 2) 37

There are several data sets that suggest the presence of Dark Matter:
    1) Orbital velocities of galaxies within a cluster are too high -- the galaxies should fly apart unless much more mass is present.
    2) Observed rotational velocities of edge-on galaxies are wrong: stars near the edge rotate too fast -- unless there's a cloud of mass beyond the observed disk.
    3) Gravitational lensing effects are too strong for the observed mass of the lensing clusters.
    4) Numerical simulations modeling the Big Bang up to present times work well only if Dark Matter is assumed.

There may be other data sets, but these are the ones that were presented in the Coursera class I took last year titled, "Galaxies and Cosmology".

Comment Re:wrong wrong wrong (Score 4, Informative) 180

Amazing. Everything you said about HT is completely wrong. Where ever did you get this information?

Intel's hyperthreading consists of two logical processors sharing the same compute resources. Each logical processor has its own register set but shares decoders, adders, shifters, cache, etc. as it goes about executing its assigned thread. The sharing process is vastly more complex and efficient than you seem to think -- there's no alternating of cycles. Once instructions are decoded into uops, they flow through the pipeline in a dynamic fashion that sometimes leads to one thread using most of the resources while the other one waits. In fact, this is a big advantage of the design -- when one thread stalls from a cache miss, the other one uses all the resources until the first thread's memory access completes. A much better plan than your scheme of using only even/odd cycles.

Managing this process is not simple, and steps must be taken to avoid both deadlocks and livelocks as the two threads compete for resources. But the process is dynamic -- the design allows one thread to run unimpeded when it makes sense to do so, while still preventing one thread from being starved at the other's expense. But this "every other cycle" notion of yours is pure nonsense. The core can retire up to four uops per cycle, and at times these all come from the same thread.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 5, Funny) 816

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin! Then again, it couldn't be worse than episodes 1 and 2.

Oh yeah? Picture this: Luke Skywalker's son flying off to be trained in the ways of the force by an aging Jar-Jar Binks. After stopping on the way to pick up Chewbacca's son. On Life Day.

Bet that's the scariest thought you'll have this Halloween.

Comment Re:They need to innovate (Score 2) 161

Actually, the "best gaming CPU for the money" article to which you refer only gives the FX-4170 a rating of "Honorable Mention". These are Tom's Hardware recommendations for gaming CPUs at varying price points (from the July version of the article):

~$70: Pentium G630
$100: Pentium G870
$110: None (FX-4170 Honorable Mention)
$125: Core i3-2120
$180: Core i5-2310
$200: Core i5-3450
$230: Core i5-3570K
$590: Core i7-3930K

Sadly, the best desktop CPU AMD has to offer is bested by the lowly Core i3, and is crushed by any of the Core i5s.

Comment Re:Warranty? (Score 1) 529

Contrary to your assumptions, mini-floodlights are in fact commonly used indoors. A quick check at the websites for Lowes or Home Depot demonstrates this clearly. In fact, the fixtures into which I placed CFL mini-flood lights were explicitly designed for indoor mini-floods and held incandescent mini-floods at the time. Your assertion that the lights are used incorrectly is, quite simply, wrong. Perhaps you should tell GE and Phillips (among others) that their CFL mini-floodlights are a "f-ing stupid idea" -- they seem to have no qualms about making and selling them.

A casual perusal of a pro-CFL site makes the following statement with regards to CFL statup times:

    "Only the flood light styles start at noticeably less than full illumination, but within 20 to 30 seconds they are at over 80% illumination."

My experience is that this is an understatement -- it takes mine at least a full minute to reach 80% illumination and they don't hit 100% until about two minutes. I've read from other sources that the start up times tend to deteriorate over time, so perhaps that accounts for the difference. But the simple fact remains your assertion that all modern CFLs start up instantly is wrong. Even pro-CFL sites admit as much.

Maybe the fact that you "always end up in this sort of discussions" is due to your refusal to accept the facts of the situation?

Comment Re:Warranty? (Score 1) 529

(And, incidentally, current CFLs have no startup time, at least not one that humans can notice. Complaining that you were sold something that is shitty that is supposed to last for five years is reasonable, but it's not a reason to not buy new ones, which do not have that problem.)

And, incidentally, you are quite wrong. There is a difference between the CFLs with the exposed "twisty" tube and those that are enclosed. I have some mini-floodlights in my kitchen that are of the enclosed type, and it takes them at least two full minutes to achieve maximum brightness. These are GE bulbs that are only a few years old. For the first thirty seconds or so, their brightness level is about that of a night light. Quite annoying. Oh, and I went through several bulbs that burnt out within a few months before finding a set that now seems reliable.

I do have other, exposed tubes that turn on quickly. But saying all CLFs have no startup time is just plain wrong.

Comment Re:Its not just Windows ... (Score 2) 332

iTunes may need to be redesigned and rewritten, but probably not broken up.

I agree with this last statement in that multiple apps is definitely not the way to go. However, I feel compelled to add that iTunes needs to be completely redesigned. I've had my iPad2 for about six months now, and was frankly shocked to discover just how awful is the iTunes user experience. I think many of the problems are because iTunes was written to manage DRM'ed MP3s and was later expanded to include movies, books, and photos. These other features were bolted on and do not behave consistently. (Why are MP3s, movies, and books in libraries but photos are not?)

I recently built a new PC and wanted to make it the new host for my iPad. Copying all the files over from the old PC to the new PC was easy, but getting iTunes reconfigured to match the old setup was a nightmare. This is part of the DRM legacy -- iTunes was designed to prevent the user from copying things easily to and from Apple devices. Else the users might use stuff they didn't buy through the iTunes store.

What's weird is photos I take with the iPad itself can be drag-and-dropped by Windows, but photos copied onto the iPad from iTunes are invisible. But if I edit an uploaded photo with the free photoshop app the modified photo is now visible. And this is a company known for its slick user interface? Really?

iTunes in its current form needs to die. The alleged rewrite can't come quickly enough for me.

Comment Re:There's no such thing as a "British" accent. (Score 3, Insightful) 516

Reminds me of a story I heard on NPR years ago. The Scottish speaker said he was at an American dinner party when someone used the term "you Brits". He kept looking around until he realized she was referring to him. He didn't consider himself British, so to answer the question, "Who is British?" he told a story that went something like this:

As a young college student attending freshman orientation at Oxford, he met a nice fellow from Wales. They discovered that, if they both spoke slowly, they could just understand each other through their strong regional accents. They both needed a flatmate and so decided to room together. Finding a flat listed in the paper at a reasonable location and price, they set forth. The woman who answered the door spoke such a thick Irish brogue that neither of them could understand a word she said. So, she fetched a gentleman from down the hall to act as interpreter. But his cockney accent was so severe they couldn't understand him, either. Eventually, he pointed at the newspaper listing, she held out her open hand, and the two of them put in the first month's rent. So, which of them is British? His conclusion was that, technically, they all were, but in practice they were all something else. He supposed the Queen was authentically British, but if anyone asks, he's a Scotsman!

Comment Re:Interesting read (Score 4, Interesting) 73

I attended an astronomy conference a year ago that included a presentation from a NASA guy on the mars rovers. He had a few disparaging things to say about Lockheed-Martin, including blaming them for the Mars Climate Orbiter failure. He said their contract included a statement to recalibrate the thruster in the metric system but they failed to do so. (Of course, he neglected to mention that NASA was managing the project and failed to catch the error.) He also said one of the rovers drove by the heat shield (built by Lockheed-Martin) from the rover landing and there was a big disagreement over examining the heat shield up close to see how well it held up. Lockheed-Martin wanted the data but wanted to keep it secret on the grounds it was a proprietary design. NASA said all their data is public so it's either we drive by without looking, or we take a look and release all the data. They eventually did the latter.

One more thing -- the same conference included a presentation by a professional astronomer who had overseen the building of an observatory in Chile. He had disparaging things to say about NASA -- that their cost estimate was 10X over what he eventually spent on the project. Guess it all depends on your point of view.

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