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Comment Obamacare killed US IT (Score 0) 483

"The red ink was partially the result of an increased caseload from Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. Medi-Cal reimbursements are so low that UCSF loses 40 cents on every dollar it spends on those patients’ treatment, he says."

Comment Marketing hash ruins the lede (Score 4, Informative) 83

That is one disappointing summary. Marketing cut-and-paste mixed with a bunch of irrelevancies.

This is RISC-V. That crucial fact and what it means is completely omitted from the summary. RISC-V is an open ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) out of Berkeley. By open I mean you can go over here and get the stuff you need to make a real CPU without any license costs or other IP entanglements. Open and free from the silicon up. RISC-V is a new 32/64/128 bit ISA with a clean, comprehensive design that is free of legacy cruft, bad ideas and other flaws, and the core instruction set has recently been permanently frozen so it's no longer a moving target for developers.

SiFive is a fabless semiconductor company "founded by the creators" of RISC-V to produce real silicon. HiFive is a little demo board with a (rather fast) RISC-V SOC. Some people have gotten hung up on the FTDI thing; that's just a UART to provide USB; it doesn't mean this is some kind of proprietary trap. Because the ISA is fully open competitors are free to make their own RISC-V designs as well and embed/attach whatever UARTs they want. Competitors are also free to use Eagle, gEDA, damp napkins are whatever they wish to design boards for their RISC-V chips, so that Altium hang up in summary isn't particularly relevant either.

Google has been a sponsor of RISC-V work and has been hosting conferences for the platform. They are also actively developing Go on RISC-V and there have been some rumors about Google using RISC-V to displace proprietary CPUs in their operations.

Comment Re:Metric / Imperial (Score 0) 167

Multiples of 3 are just so much more useful in everyday life than multiples of 10. I used the base 12 pica/point system in printing for many years, and always admired how trivially easy it was to calculate layout proportions. The human attention is drawn strongly to things in threes: three panels, three points in an argument, three parts to a story, and many others.

Comment Re:Credible study? (Score 1) 279

Is it just me, or is every evolution-based hypothesis -- and I do mean every single one I've ever read -- just a conclusion shopping for facts that may or may not support it, but cannot ever be proved experimentally? Shouldn't scientific hypothesis at least be testable? Let's leave metaphysics, philosophy, theology and all the other theoretical disciplines out of scientific inquiry. There's no experiment you could ever devise that would prove or disprove the hypothesis that monogamy caused the male penis bone to disappear, it's ludicrous on its face. Science is just ONE system of thought, not "the" system of thought. Not every darn square peg has to go through the round hole. No pun intended.

Comment Re:Credible study? (Score 2) 279

Is it just me, or does every evolution-based hypothesis -- and I do mean, literally, every, single one I've ever read -- seem like nothing more than an effect in search of a satisfactorily matching cause? When did we start coming to scientific conclusions first, and then go shopping for facts that "prove" them? These aren't even testable, now that I think of it. How could you possibly verify the truth or falsity of something like "monogamy caused the penis bone to disappear"? Shouldn't a requirement of a scientific hypothesis be that it can be experimentally demonstrated? Let's leave metaphysics and theology to the theoretical disciplines.

Comment Re:The Honeymoon is over I guess? (Score 4, Informative) 399

The exact same thing happened to me when I worked for one of the Big Six accounting firms. We HATED it, and as it turned out, it was a harbinger of things to come. Prior to that date, we had nice corporate social events held in nice places where we all dressed up. Afterwards, it was beer and pretzels, or no social event at all. It means that the bean counters are in control, and it's no longer going to be a fun place to work.

Comment Re:Trump is already a uniter (Score 1) 637

That's a truly crazy point of view. "Your brain is terrible at figuring out the real world" -- really? You mean, your brain is terrible at evaluating empirical data? The problems of which empirical data to accept as true are easily as big as the problems of deciding which common sense principle to apply. No knowledge comes for free.

Comment This is a non-experiment (Score 1) 228

Why is it worth looking for experimental proof that when people feel emotions, their brain chemistry will be involved in the experience? This is already well understood. I don't understand the point of this study at all. You might as well conduct experiments to determine whether water is wet. Was there any question that a religious experience is also an emotional one? ANYTHING deeply felt will be physically manifested. Duh.

Man, I hope the taxpayers didn't pay for this.

Comment Re:what the hell? (Score 1) 177

but you couldn't send a message to someone's phone number that they receive as an SMS message

Yes you could. I've texted my wife's phone and others many times over the years using Skype on Linux. I've been using Skype on Windows for the last 18 months, but the last version of Skype I used on Linux (skype-4.3.0.37-suse121.i586 by the RPM name) sent text messages to phones just fine. You needed a account with a balance and you had to setup your Skype account with your phone's number (such that caller ID identifies the caller/sender,) but I know for a fact that it worked.

So yeah, this huge Break Through! technology isn't all that amazing to me.

Comment Re:Computer scientists don't understand sociology (Score 1) 1321

We don't "blindly" trust any computer systems used in voting today, what in the world makes you think that's the case? We've been running elections for 230 years straight, and we know a thing or two about how to lock down the process. We black-box test voting equipment, then we seal them and keep a tight chain of custody.

Comment Re:You can't (Score 1) 1321

No, a human-readable summary of a ballot would tell you NOTHING. What kind of hacker do you think would print out evidence that the machine was hacked and give it to you? Please think about that for a minute. Of course the printed report would show what you THOUGHT you had voted. The machines are validated by black-box testing, then sealed and delivered to the voting localities, where they are re-sealed. Good testing + good chain of custody = a secure process.

Comment Re:Genuine question (Score 1) 1321

States run elections. Every state is different. In Virginia, where I live, recounts are regulated by law. A recount is possible only if the margin is below 1%. All recounts are optional in Virginia; the _loser_ has to request them. If the loser still winds up losing, they pay for the recount. If the margin is below 0.5%, then the state will pay -- but the loser still has to request it. Not all do.

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