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Comment Re:What is a cuda core? (Score 2) 114

This is incorrect. CUDA cores are at a higher level than ALUs or FPUs; they're like small, simple cpu cores. They can do integer and floating point arithmetic, and they have hardware support for thread context switching, which they can generally do in a single clock tick. There can be varying numbers of CUDA cores in a streaming multiprocessor, but CUDA thread blocks are arranged in groups of 32 ("warps") which share a scheduling unit and which execute the same instruction in lock-step on different memory addresses. When threads running on adjacent CUDA cores read and write adjacent memory addresses, memory access is very efficient ("coalescing").

CUDA cores aren't as capable or powerful as CPU cores; they don't have things like branch prediction or preemptive execution, but they are cores none the less. They achieve high performance via sheer numbers - thousands of cores on top-end GPUs - and they're very good at streaming, which consists of doing the same operation in parallel on many array elements when each operation is independent of all the others.

Comment Contracting (Score 1) 275

Go contracting, keep learning, and be philosophical about the things you can't change.

I'm 41, been a software engineer for 15 years, contracting for 10 of those, and I'm currently taking a year off work to do a masters degree in High Performance Computing. IT is a field where there's always something new to do and something new to learn - but to some extent you have to go out and find these things; they aren't going to just come to you.

Managers can be idiots, and co-workers can be infuriating, but you can't change either, so why waste effort and happiness by stressing out about them? Do what you enjoy doing, and do it to the best of your ability, get the good reference, get the next contract, take your pay and go home and live your life with the people you care about.

Comment Re:Because I'm lazy (Score 1) 279

"Variable declared but not used" isn't noise. If you declared a variable, that means you thought you'd need it. If it turns out you didn't need it, then your understanding of your code evolved while you were writing it, and you didn't clean up your code to match. If you missed one loose end, there's a good chance you may have missed others as well.

Also, unused variables reduce readability.

Comment Re:The transformation is startling (Score 1) 539

Nonetheless, melchoir55 is right. Ask anyone who went to high school at an American international school in Europe; the local kids going to European schools were receiving a much higher standard of education. They worked a lot harder, too; we had it easy by comparison.

Another example: if a UK university offers a place to a student with an American high school diploma, the university will often require the student to do a preliminary year at the university to catch up with European students before starting the degree itself.

Comment Re:Drudge and other U.S. bloggers are next (Score 2) 349

"In the military they get extensive training in weapons safety, weapons handling, following order, etc."

This is a crucial point which is usually overlooked: in order to use a gun safely, you need to learn the rules and practice them. Believe it or not, a car analogy actually works quite well here: no one would suggest that you don't have the right to travel, and therefore it would be wrong to deny you the right to drive a car, correct? But before you're allowed to drive a car, you have to learn the rules so you know how to do it safely, and you have to pass a test in order to prove that you've done so. No one complains about this because it's perfectly reasonable; unless you know how to use a car correctly, you're a danger to others. Guns are the same.

Comment Re:Hey (Score 1) 535

Nope. You assume that the claims of an atheist and a Christian are equally likely to be true. They aren't; in fact, atheists aren't claiming anything at all. Atheists simply respond to the religious person's claim that a god exists by saying, "Really? Got any evidence for that? No? Then why would I believe it?"

Try replacing the word "god" with "giant invisible man living in the sky" and see how the logic works. Now try it with "tooth fairy", or "unicorns", or "my invisible friend Jerrol". There are equal amounts of evidence - none - supporting the claims that these exist, and that's why the atheist doesn't believe in any of them.

Comment Re:Collateralized vs Non-Collateralized Loans (Score 1) 461

This. Education is good for society. It may not be practical to give everyone a PHD, or even a bachelors degree, so you have to choose who gets to go to university. The optimal selection criterion is obviously academic ability. Making people pay means the selection process is at least partly based on how much money a candidates's family has, and that will necessarily result in a less-than-optimal selection, and that means less benefit for society. Oh wait, I forgot, politicians have their *own* best interests in mind, not yours.

Comment Re:We are half way down the slippery slope (Score 1) 597

A country's constitution is important, but "what's morally right" is important, too, and "moral" essentially means you cause the least suffering for the fewest. Over-permissive gun laws cause harm to many, and so do over-reaching search and seizure powers. There is a strong case against both.

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