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Comment Re:Its really the library not the language (Score 3, Informative) 224

> Also we went recently through a phase in computer science education where people were really only taught java. Its the only tool in their toolbox.

Yep. I went through the curriculum of the top 10 computer science universities in the country, and all of them teach either Java or Python in their introductory programming classes.

Only a single one (Stanford) even offered C++ as an alternative.

Which is why I'm working on a tool that will hopefully make C++ more appealing to educators, by replacing the traditionally horrendous error messages with an easy to read paragraph targeted at newbie programmers. I'll be presenting it at CppCon next month.

Comment Re:Just what I wanted.. (Score 1) 125

5 Mbps is what Netflix uses for its highest-quality 1080p streams. For a movie file analogy, 5 Mbps is equivalent to 2.25 GB for a 1 hour movie. The compression is there if you really look for it, but most people won't notice it.

Movies have a natural advantage of either having very little motion or having a lot of motion blur. There are exceptions (Children of Men) but for most of them this is the case, so a low bitrate can work if you have a lot of time to encode it.

Games tend to have a lot more motion and a lot less motion blur. And this service won't be able to use good encoder settings -- it'll need to use a real-time hardware codec, which significantly limits is quality. You might say I'm skeptical.

Comment Re:And what is AMD doing? (Score 2) 56

I can't tell if you are serious or not, but their Zen architecture should be dropping soon, and they at least in theory have caught up with the Intel CPUs of a generation or two ago.

If they have a good price point, they might start actually giving Intel some competition, which is good, since Intel has done next to nothing very interesting since the Ivy/Sandy Bridge days.

Comment Pi Desktop (Score 1) 134

Hi Eben,

I teach classes using the Raspberry Pi 2 (soon to be switching to 3, I hope) in a variety of contexts, such as with students wanting to learn ARM assembly and to K-12 teachers who want to do physical computing in their science classrooms.

It feels to me like the RPi is focused a little too much on Python and Scratch. I understand that it's called the Pi because of Python, but ARM assembly is my favorite assembly language, and bare metal assembly in particular is just a really natural fit for physical computing due to how easy it is to turn GPIO pins on and off. But the lack of documentation for the newer Broadcom SoCs has made it difficult for my students to write bare metal projects. So this leads to my question for you: are there any plans on rolling out better documentation / support / code examples for assembly on the RPi 2 and 3?

Despite this sounding like grousing, I would like to assure you that I love everything you've done with the Raspberry Pi and the notion of physical computing in general. Everyone who takes an assembly class or science technology workshop with me this year will get a free RPI3 and a bunch of sensors, wires, and motors to do hands-on, open ended projects. And I've been doing this for a while and it works really well. Thanks again for all of your vision and tireless effort you've spent in this arena.

Comment Re:How to advocate for desktop dev in a phone worl (Score 1) 512

>A lot of tech people tend to forget that for most people, a computer is not an end unto itself. It's just another tool for getting their real work done. Why "advocate" a desktop if people can get their work done on a tablet or phone? A desktop system has a lot of complexity that, for most people, probably tends to get in the way of actually getting their work done as much as it helps them.

Tablets and phones are consumption devices, not creation devices. They are a hideously bad match for trying to do any sort of serious development work, or even your bog standard PowerPoint deck. A Surface is about as tablet-y as you can get while still being able to do reasonable work, but a Surface is still a real computer under the hood. Anyone who works with touch-only systems could probably give you a long list of design decisions that slow them down when trying to do anything serious.

>I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies, programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think his point isn't just doing file operations, but rather that everything from the CLI is going to be faster and more powerful than a GUI when you know what you're doing. GUIs are great when doing graphical stuff, but for text-based work, text-based interfaces work better. UNIX is an operating system that is also an integrated development environment.

And typing fast really does make a difference. I mean, sure, Amdahl's Law and everything, but when you know what you're going to do, your typing speed will linearly translate into productivity.

Comment Ehh maybe halfway? (Score 2) 256

They've put a lot of work into Edge. Now that it supports extensions and has Adblock, it may even be good enough to use regularly. It sounds unlikely but it's not without possibility that it is better than Chrome in perf.

But Bing? They're nuts. The search results are measurably worse and the user experience is lacking advanced features that makes Google so powerful.

Comment Re:Windows Phone (Score 4, Interesting) 191

Huge missteps mostly recently. Windows Phone 7 through 8.1 were fantastic -- always smooth as butter, responsive, relatively bug-free, had a great UI, and had fantastic tools for devs. I also own several high-end Android devices and if you could live with less apps I really do think Windows Phone was superior to Android.

10 was a huge step back -- no longer smooth and incredibly buggy. I got a Lumia 950 to replace my aging 920 and only now a year later with the Anniversary release can I say it is something they should sell, but it's still only comparable to Android levels of smoothness. I really miss the lag-free 8.1 OS.

Comment Re:Here's the real reason for Nvidia's complaints (Score 1) 58

Yes, the HPC world is waiting for KNL because they don't want to port their old codes to CUDA. But that's just the expectation : people are starting to realize that running a Xeon code on KNL is by no mean immediate and you won't get much performance boost without a serious application rewrite ... just like porting to GPUs, maybe slightly easier though.

Exactly this. AVX-512 is now much more GPGPU-like than traditional SIMD, so even transitioning AVX-256 code to it isn't going to be trivial. I would not expect random code to perform better on it without serious work.

Comment Re:Hmmm. (Score 2) 58

Intel optimized per-architecture, not per feature. This had the end result of AMD chips taking the generic path and being slower, but I wouldn't call this tactic dirty. Why would Intel go out of their way to optimize for a competitor?

CPUs have a wide variety of timing and pipeline limitations, and optimizing purely for feature set will never get you peak performance -- this is why GCC has the exact same per-architecture optimization support.

Comment Re:Works of art or entertainment (Score 1) 134

Sixth sense is made better on the second watch. You watch the whole thing inferring that he's reacting with the world, and on the second watch you see the brilliant, meticulous attention to detail -- the stuff making you infer that, when in fact it is consistent and he is *not* interacting with anything.

Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

>False. What telecoms â" correctly â" object to, are efforts by local governments to compete with them. Private businesses, individuals, or non-profits are fine...

No. They lock up the last mile and do everything they can to stop private competition as well. If you're lucky enough to live in a densely populated and affluent area, you might be able to get high speed internet through microwave (the pricing is actually pretty competitive), otherwise you're going to be stuck choosing between the two horribly shitty options of either AT&T or Comcast.

It's a duopoly, and enforced by our legislators that are bought and sold by them.

Comment Re:Thanks for the great answers (Score 1) 167

>There is a saying in the C++ community, that many language features are intended to protect against Murphy, not Machiavelli.

And yet as C++ progresses, it becomes easier and easier to write simple and performant code that can't be exploited. We're a long way from the strcpy() days. I can, for example, uppercaseify strings without ever using a pointer, iterator, square bracket, or at(). And the strict typing of C++ stops every one of the exploits detailed in those Perl Jam videos, with -Wall being there to watch for anything you can do that is technically legal, but a bad idea.

>Unlike Java, Perl does not even try to protect you from malicious programmers. Being a scripting language, Perl also doesn't try hard to protect you from careless programmers. Nonetheless, these particular examples of brokenness would be hard to encounter by accident. You can't say that of PHP.

Very true. You will definitely encounter more accidental weirdness in PHP. But long past are the days where it was common practice in PHP to pollute your variable namespace with parameters passed in by the user. But the point of those videos is that even if you are a security conscious programmer, following established language patterns, the weirdness of Perl - the language itself - works against you in your goal of trying to write secure code.

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