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Comment This. (Score 1) 83

I have close knowledge of one project in which a codebase performs an action using an initial human-supplied table of data, then records the result as either a positive or negative outcome and adds that result back into the table. Then it performs another action based on the table data, records the result as a positive or negative, and adds that back into the table. Over time, of course, the table entries with the highest positive rate rise to the top and influence the actions that are chosen. It's CS101 stuff on a fairly mundane dataset.

But the codebase is hosted on Amazon and it's a marketing-led company, so they went to press with "Our innovative new artificial intelligence system uses a deep machine learning algorithm running on new exascale computing platforms to determine the best course of action to take in each case."

The engineers in the room were not happy about this. The marketing person said, "Don't sell yourself short. You developed a system that records data about what has already happened, remembers it, then makes decisions about what to do next based on what has already happened. I call that artificial intelligence."

One of the engineers shot back with, "When I was in college, we just called that 'computation.'"

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 247

Only if you never use suspend to RAM. 32GB of DDR4 will use 12W, constantly, for as long as the machine is storing data in memory, including in sleep mode. Currently, the sleep mode uses around 1W, so you're cutting the sleep time to 1/12th before you even start using the machine. In fact, with the current FAA rules on battery size allowed on flights, you'd only get about 8 hours of standby time in the model you're describing - not even enough to leave it overnight without needing to suspend to disk. In idle use (CPU and GPU not doing much, but screen on), you'd double the power consumption. In heavy use, you'd increase it by about a quarter. Unless you're spending basically all of your time with the CPU and GPU saturated and swapping heavily, you'd see far less battery life with 32GB of DDR4 than with 16GB of LPDDR3 (the choices that current Intel chips provide).

Comment Re:a little late, no? (Score 1) 247

The batteries in the MBP are as big as the FAA allows on planes. Even if you're not using it in the cabin, you're not allowed lithium ion batteries in the hold at all, so they'd have created a laptop that no one could take on a flight. That makes it useless for a lot of Apple's current customers and having two lines, one for people who might want to fly and one for people who definitely won't would be a pain.

Comment Re: They said they want us to die... (Score 1) 247

A C++ compiler will happily use 2-300MB of RAM. A MBP has 4 cores plus hyperthreading, so to make sure that you're using the CPU you're doing 8-way parallel builds. That will easily fit in 4GB, until you get to the small handful of template-heavy files that use 1-2GB each, and suddenly you're at 16GB and swapping, which kills performance for the whole build. The linker will take 4GB or so if you're not doing LTO, if you are then it will happily chew through 16GB.

Comment Credit card chargeback. (Score 4, Informative) 85

Go to your card provider (Visa/MC/Discover/Amex) and tell them to remove the charge because the service was not rendered and/or the charge was improper.

They will.

Once AT&T starts getting a lot of chargebacks, they will do something about it.

I had this sort of thing happen do me years back in NYC with Verizon. I called to cancel, was given a confirmation # and everything, and was still billed again the next month. When called again, furious, the manager I was escalated to said that they could not offer a refund because they did not have that policy. I said I don't care about policy, give me a refund, and he said there was literally no way for him to do that in the system and suggested (of course) that I accept the service for a month, since I'd already paid for it, and then if I didn't want it next month, I could call and cancel [n.b. AGAIN] then.

I hung up on him, dialed Visa, and had them charge it back. Of course THAT got Verizon's attention and a day or two later I was called by retention or some similar department to offer me a discount if I would stay on, along with a lot of apology garbage.

I told them I'd rather eat a bug.

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 1) 274

Windows is the last remaining bastion of the keyboard-accessible GUI. Mac never had it,

Huh? OS X is completely keyboard accessible (though there's a thing that you need to flick in System Preferences to enable it). In any OS X dialog that uses the standard NSAlertPanel interfaces, enter will perform the okay action and escape the cancel action.

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 2) 274

Windows excels in building user facing apps with good UI and good experiences

An odd quote about an OS that manages to get the buttons in the wrong order for basically every dialog box. Quick quiz: In your web browser's tool bar, does the left or right arrow mean forwards? In any random Windows dialog box, is the left or right button the proceed forwards one?

Comment Re:Just what the world needed most urgently... (Score 1) 186

Add to that, anyone who says that static typing improves performance clearly hasn't been paying attention to the last 30 years of compiler research. The StrongTalk team disproved this hypothesis quite soundly for any language that includes subtyping. The problem is that static type annotations must be conservative. They give you loose guarantees that are always true, but for optimisation you care about what tight guarantees that are usually true. Profiling (which JIT environments do at run time and AoT environments do as part of the build) gives far more useful information.

Comment Re:How many *useful* packages? (Score 1) 133

I agree that it's nice to have a large standard library that's decomposed in such a way that you can only pick the bits that you need, but a good standard library follows a common set of conventions and is designed in such a way that no individual parts conflict with others. NPM is not this: individual developers provide functionality using their own set of conventions and packages often conflict (made worse by JavaScript's lack of easy tools for encapsulation). As such, you may pick half a dozen useful functions, find them all in separate NPM packages, each with their own idea of what a sane parameter order or callback design is, and find that they all add a method on String with the same name and different semantics.

Comment Re:This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 1) 269

Why on earth do you think that the ruling class is unhappy with this one? A lot of people used the referendum to protest the policies of the Westminster Parliament that have been to the detriment of people outside of the South East for decades. The ruling class are now 'doing what the people demanded' by shifting more power to Westminster.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 529

I doubt you'd use an H1B for a postdoc, because there are other visa categories for workers with advanced degrees that are a lot easier to use. That said, the UK currently has an exemption for postdocs at universities for the salary requirement for our equivalent visa (which is a bit depressing, because the salary requirement is already quite low for a skilled job).

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