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Comment Re:"most secure" (Score 5, Insightful) 91

Most secure if you also ignore Chen's frequent attacks on Apple for not just handing data over to the US government... which, when you think about it, rather suggests that Blackberry's products are not really all that secure at all.

I'd get worked up, but the reality is that no one really gives a flying fuck anymore about Blackberry.

Comment Re:Welcome to 2014 (Score 1) 52

Punch bug!

X just released the most advanced Y yesterday.

We used to play this game in the seventies where if you were the first person to spot a VW Beetle, you got to punch the person beside you in the side of their arm.

The CMOS transistor was invented in the year of my birth (I guess I'm dating myself) and had a good fifty year run, now officially ended with even the IEEE is publishing articles pronouncing "the industry roadmap is dead, Jim". For pretty much the whole of that time, whatever was announced yesterday was pretty much guaranteed to leapfrog any product announced six months prior. Of course, this was always accompanied by the fanfare of snivellers announcing that Red (or Green) was back in the saddle, on top of the world, once again.

Now we're at the top of the CMOS maturity curve, where the old leapfrog game is no longer the dominant paradigm. Anyone determining fitness of purpose by some aggregated synthetic benchmark is not long for this world, as an employed person. Take Nvidia, for example, which benchmarks at 0 fps after you drill out the binary blob. How much else does that synthetic benchmark not capture?

One wonders, too, how the future trolls will continue to employ themselves. Having to preface your post with an explanation of a cultural meme from the 1970s will likely take some starch out of the activity.

What's an old troll supposed to do, as this grand old steamship empties out? After younger and more vigorous trolls have established themselves on Twitter or—gasp—Snapchat?

Old Man Billy Goatee probably sticks around and fires up that old-timey radio normally reserved for sending S-O-S calls in distant corners of the world where time stands still, to tap out in Morse code "X just released the most advanced Y yesterday", hoping against nostalgic hope that some isolated South Pacific islander loses his shit, and spends an entire week jamming every ham channel available with irrepressible indignant outrage.

Here's another thing. Period costumes are pricey to maintain. They need to be dry-cleaned regularly, or soon they begin to smell.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 202

I think life is probably fairly common. Intelligent life very likely much less so. Even on Earth, intelligence is a solution to the problem of survival used by only a small fraction of organisms, and even among the organisms that use intelligence as a solution, that intelligence doesn't have to be at the level exhibited by a rather small number of tool-using animals.

But it's going to be a long time before we figure out whether intelligence is rare or not. I don't think SETI is the answer, since incidental transmissions (like TV and radio) only propagate out a few light years before they become indistinguishable from ordinary background radio sources. No, I actually think we'll ultimately identify other civilizations through advancements in optical and radio telescopes which will betray tell-tale signatures like pollution in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets. That's still many years away, but eventually we're going to build large scale space-based interferometer array that will be sensitive enough to image continents and oceans on exoplanets.

Comment Re:Slashvertisements (Score 1) 333

There seems at the moment about a 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance of Trump actually being elected. While he's showing better performance than expected in some states, it still seems that Hillary has the advantage. But there's a helluva lot of time until November, and who knows, maybe Trump will finally start acting like someone who wants to be President, as opposed to someone who wants to mount the most expensive comedy routine in history.

Comment Re:how about conference with relevant languages (Score 1) 86

niche and egghead languages aren't how the world at large does things. Of those languages in summary, Java is used. Perl used to be but Larry has been doing wonderful job of letting it die and few would choose that for new infrastructure. the rest are fads

No, no, and no.

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
        — Edsger W. Dijkstra

I've never 100% agreed with this quote. A big chunk of computer science is about building better telescopes; and so it is with astronomy, too, that a not-insignificant part involves building better computers.

However, the real currency of the world is ideas.

Innovative computer languages express ideas about how the discipline of programming might be made better. People who study computer languages do so to prioritise ideas over mere skills, not without good motivation.

There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.
                — Peter Drucker

This sentiment motivated one of the all time best ideas in computer science.

The real hero of programming is the one who writes negative code.
                — Douglas McIlroy

Unfortunately, we could have learned this lesson centuries sooner, but for some narcissistic revisionism.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on giant moraines of revolutions discarded.
                — Isaac Newton (first draft)

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the boulders of giants.
                — Isaac Newton (second draft)

Larry's glacial pace may yet reshape the landscape in a profound way. Perhaps Camelia is the moulder of giants. Time will tell.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 202

I'm particularly troubled by these comparisons of DNA to source code. First of all, any programmer that would create code as sloppy and filled with junk sections would probably be canned. While the analogy works in simple terms, the way DNA and RNA encode and then transcribe that back into proteins is far far more complex than how a computer runs code. In some ways, DNA is far superior, because it tends to be a lot more fault tolerant, but in other ways it is much less efficient and tends to be much more error prone (which is a good thing, those transcription errors are one of the major ways in which life evolves).

Ultimately the analogy fails because cells are not computers. They do not function like computers. DNA could almost be more compared to something like a printing press, except that on occasion letters get inserted into the process, sometimes even entire sequences, and on other occasions letters go missing, not to mention the odd occasion where another press's sequence of letters get transferred.

It is a useful analogy for introducing certain concepts surrounding cellular activities and protein production, but it remains an analogy only at that basic level, and fails on the details.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 202

It doesn't keep me up. Even if we are cosmic accidents (and I happen to believe we are, though I suspect life, mainly unintelligent, is widespread throughout the universe). There's no "why" to the fact we are here, beyond explaining the biochemical origins of life and the peculiarities of hominoid evolution that lead to the rise of genus Homo. We are here, and that's what counts, and to my mind, the fact that we are the end result of a series of many probable and equally improbable events makes human life incredibly precious. Without some big sky god who can do it all again any time it wants to, it means if we wipe ourselves out, we may be wiping out something that is rather rare in the universe.

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 1) 128

And Moore's law has never been about performance.

I don't get the selective pedantry, here. There never was a Moore's "law" about the scaling of transistors over time. Pedantically, it probably should be called Moore's prescient, off-hand, transistor-scaling extrapolation. What ultimately came to be termed "Moore's law" never had a particularly strong basis in what Moore actually said.

Even then, The Moore Attribution (thank you, Mr Ludlum) behaved in practice more like Moore's Moneylust Mandate (this was all about performance). Hey, everyone, let's all draw a straight line, then conga dance our way into the penthouse suite!

For the last ten years or so, we've all been hearing a lot of: oh, no, we actually made it under the pole again—as we always do—any perception to the contrary is probably due to the diffraction limit of human vision.

Comment Re:Ninety-nine percent of the land is not used ??? (Score 1) 202

He loses a lot of credibility with this statement.

People get old, you know.

In all, the researchers calculated, those who completed at least some of these booster sessions were forty-eight-per-cent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia after ten years than their peers in the control group. Fake it to maintain it, meanwhile, appeared to have no effect.

The man is rapidly becoming a parody of whatever it was he once accomplished.

Submission + - WikiLeaks takes down DNC Chair after damaging release (cnn.com) 1

SonicSpike writes: Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party's convention, which is set to begin here Monday.

The Florida congresswoman's resignation — under pressure from top Democrats — comes amid the release of leaked emails showing DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party's 2016 primary contest.

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