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Comment cat (Score 1) 96

Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.
                —Betteridge's law of headlines

Don't panic! This is still science fiction, but it won't be too long before we can use AI to improve development, thanks to smarter tools that learn based on the individual developer's style and application and help write better, higher-quality code.

Indeed, third paragraph in, we're already knee deep into walking back the click bait, and just look at the mess we're in. Yaaaaaawn.

Any speculation as to this author's former occupation?

Comment a corporate magna carta (Score 1) 67

Back in 2008 when Jennifer Stoddart put the snow boots to Facebook, I came up with what still strikes me as a reasonable compromise, that legal proscriptions against reverse engineering only apply to products promising to collect/report no personal information whatsoever (with Draconian thumb screw stockades for corporations affixing a "does not collect" sticker by means of a cryptochemical Volkswagon-grade adhesive).

It just seems wrong that a toy can A) collect personal information, and B) the user has no legal capacity to investigate the nature of the personal data captured.

Wronger than wrong.

Also, such a law would demonstrate that sometimes a halfway sensible compromise is possible to achieve, which means that my proposal has less than a snowball's chance in T. E. Lawrence's head scarf (the sun never sets on the British panopticon).

Comment as it begins, so it ends (Score 1) 186

I'm not going to blame Fitbit. But they didn't earn any positive karma, either.

Nor am I surprised that the real reason came out of the blue, after it was too late to inform my decision (I would have bought one for spare, while supplies lasted).

Emphasis with Kickstarter is "start". Then it quickly morphs (usually) into the same old close-to-the-vest business wisdom, and you end up with half of the advantage you wished for, and a quarter as much stability as a going concern.

I have zero interest in any other smart watch.

Sigh. It's a sad thing.

Comment three large screens (Score 1) 72

Carousels can suck it.

I've whipped up CSS Userscripts to remove them from web pages more than once, lest I click on one in a moment of weakness (which I always regret 3 s later).

Old motto: there's another fish in the sea. This maxim is true, also, regarding web content. But it often helps to enforce this programmatically.

Comment ctrl-v strikes again (Score 1) 72

Google's main product is advertising and user info (to better target advertising), not search.

And this tired observation moves the discussion forward how exactly?

I've seen this helpful ctrl-v "eyeballs are the product" contribution more than a 100 and probably less than a 1000 times since I joined Slashdot.

Add some useful context? Ah, fuck it. ctrl-v has miles to go before it sleeps.

Comment Ooookay (Score 1) 75

I would think information overload would be less of an issue for the more youthful demographic. I am 40 and have had to get used to more information. My new work from home tech support job requires 4 monitors. Yike, that can be overwhelming for a guy used to doing the same job with one or two. I am just finally, after 5 working days, am getting used to navigating that way of getting work done. I don't really 'LIKE' it yet but it is slowly growing on me. I really dislike the information overload and I have to force myself to stop multitasking by keeping my smartphone in a different part of the house so that I'm not using it while watching TV. I really have to do the same for my laptop. I guess the psychologists are right when they say that the information stimuli is kind of addictive. Yikes!

Comment Re:Qualcomm doesn't make chips (Score 2) 106

You're entirely right that the memory subsystem is 90% of the battle for most server workloads once you exceed ten cores.

For integer workloads with unreasonable parallelism and unreasonable cache locality (that Intel's AVX doesn't already handle almost ideally), I'm sure this design will smoke Intel on the thermal management envelope, a nice niche to gain Qualcomm some traction in the server mix, but hardly a shot heard around the world.

And Qualcomm better be good, because Intel will soon respond with Omni-Path Knights Hill—perhaps also larded with HBM—that could probably take on the same workload between power sprints (less power efficiency in the CPU itself—which isn't always the main power draw—and probably more flexible as part of a tidy one-vendor-rules-them-all server mix).

I'm all for vendor diversity, but let's not get ahead of ourselves thinking that 10 nm levels the playing field, sucking down the data aquifer through a double-wide handful of drinking straws.

Yes, core count matters, but size matters even more when it comes to the hose.

Looky looky, the bow moveth:

Intel announcements for AI: Nervana 100x faster than GPU, Knights Crest & Mill 4x faster, SKL mid-17

Kx Streaming Analytics Crunches 1.2 Billion NYC Taxi Data Points using Intel Xeon Phi

Comment Re: What I want to know is who keeps telling Tom H (Score 1) 77

On Internet forums, especially if you're AC, "fascism" just means "zealousness". Like, "I hate the liberal fascists just as much as the conservative ones, and the Green Party fascists are the worst.".

No, what it means is that we have a troll here whose agenda is to tilt the entire exchange so that every political disposition is judged against the most strident example of the first-to-mind reductive cliche.

It's a war against subtlety. It's a war against moderates and it's a war against moderation—where "moderation" means the kind of people who think before speaking. It's a distributed, grassroots campaign to normalize the extremes through the implication that all stupidity is created equal. It's painting an f-washed world in which no person is angry or intense because they have a valid point to make about some aspect of society being not right. It's an exit ramp lowered to a swamp world where anger is a Halloween costume (Yoda, Darth Vader), rather than a tool (Martin Luther King, Jr).

That's what it means when 'fascism' becomes a trivialized wingnut stand-in for 'zealotry', a word which already has two boots firmly planted in labelling over listening. Add heels, click, and the world becomes corn-belt Kansas 24/7.

Comment Re:Fake news? (Score 1) 410

Those terms are meant to

I'm not feeling generous today, so I won't write a correspondingly pedantic essay about the meaning of words is never so cut and dried, not even when socially ratified by unnamed parties.

I've always thought the guy in the bright-orange vest with the LED-powered traffic control baton who originally assigned these things to the left and right was a bit of an idiot with a small mind.

But it appears he did have an algorithm after all, however naive. Thanks for boiling that down so succinctly.

Comment all lizard brains are created equal (Score 1) 161

I studied myself, and noticed the same thing: that my choices were a direct function of the quality of goods available. So I fired all the low quality options (and haven't looked back).

Also, if there's a giant bag of potato chips in the house, my odds of cooking a healthy meal go down by about 50%. So I fired the chips, too.

Netflix is right: all lizard brains are created equal.

Comment Re:AI doesn't exist (Score 1) 22

You think human intelligence isn't an algorithm?

This issue is surprisingly divisive, even among those you'd think would know better (feasible scenario: perhaps they do).

Federico Faggin at UC Berkeley 2-19-2014

Pretty good, if you like this kind of thing.

1h12m41 he takes a question from the audience, and goes off into space (Hilbert space) on the underlying quantum mechanism of human consciousness (and mental creativity).

"You know, I am one of those guys who do not think that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the operation of the brain. I thought like everyone else ... "

You think human intelligence isn't an algorithm?

Just one thing, is this unremarkable stock remark a terminating process, or have I personally fallen into an ELIZA trap?

Comment DK-impervious = DK-permeable (Score 1) 381

One of the most important things is knowing when you don't know enough.

TAoCP is a never-fail personal Dunning–Kruger removal tool.

I never finished the mathematics degree I once started, but I always found the larger concepts easy enough to understand when sitting beside a real mathematician.

I certainly would have difficulty completing most of the HM exercises (this despite also owning Concrete Math). I rarely have difficulty understanding the form of the solution if I cheat and look it up.

Another book I'd put into the same category, roughly, was the original Applied Cryptography where it ought to be far more obvious that one shouldn't naively roll one's own, but somehow, for too many DK-impervious DK-permeable programmers out there, it isn't. (I'm looking at you, Wi-Fi Alliance; and every idiot who ever used the speedy MD5 to hash a password database, with or without salt, or worse.)

There's little wrong with Knuth's exposition that actual competence wouldn't fix.

You do the math.

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