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Comment Re:That doesn't change anything (Score 1) 98

Making money here means net profit. For a growing business, this should be negative. If you can borrow money at a 5% interest rate and use it to grow the business at a rate of 10%, then you report a loss but your company value increases. Amazon's strategy has been along these lines for most of its existence: all gross profits are reinvested in the business, so they always show a loss and their increase in value gives them the access to more capital through loans or by issuing more stock.

Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 3) 107

This is a common problem with most AI announcements. Is 80% accurate better than a simple statistical model? Often not. Does it scale up from a small sample size? Remember the recent face recognition thing that managed with only a hundred or so pixels? Sounded impressive, until you realise that the training set and the testing set were the same and that they only included around 1,000 faces, so simple information theory tells you that you only need 10 bits of information to identify each one and 800 bits doesn't sound quite so impressive.

Comment Re:Don't realize who the robber barons are, do you (Score 1) 98

And yet, in the UK where it is illegal to make union membership compulsory, unions seem to work better. If people see the unions working on their behalf, then they're generally happy to pay the dues (sure, you get a few freeloaders, but not enough to break the system). If a union is not representing the interests of the majority of its members, then it will quickly see its funding dry up. Importantly, voluntarily paying union dues is a big signal to the employer that the union actually does have negotiating power: it implies that the the union is trusted by the majority of the employees to bargain on their behalf. In many places, you have two or more competing unions (though the law says that any deal reached by one union must be offered to all employees, irrespective of whether they are members of that union) and so not only does a union have to represent its members' interests to retain its income, it has to represent those interests better than the competition.

Comment Re:They agreed to the cards (Score 1) 395

I expect the casino to be a little more savvy than the average rube.

If I walk into a baccarat room and complain that they aren't using my favorite Frobozz Magic Playing Cards with an official Frobozz Magic Card Shuffler and dealing them from a certified Frobozz Magic Baccarat Shoe, I expect to be unceremoniously thrown out.

But I guess I'm naive when it comes to the world of high-stakes gambling, huh.

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 284

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) 284

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) 284

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 Re:IT is amazing (Score 3, Informative) 91

Most folks drink stale coffee. Try roasting your own (I use Sweet Maria's for supplies) or going somewhere with a roaster on site who is honest enough to tell you the roast date. It should be from 2 to 10 days ago. Flavor development in coffee is a rancidification process. Like cheese, you want to catch it when it is a little, but not too, rancid.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 91

Let's not forget the effect of helicobacter pylori bacteria on ulcers, they are in general held to be the main cause these days.

I have another theory about the beneficial effect of aspirin, caffine, etc. We evolved with them. Our diet was rich in salycilates and chemicals similar to theobromine or caffine. They came from the plants we ate, some of which were mildly toxic and which we evolved to process to the point that we became dependent on some of their effects. There are a lot of things in the primitive diet that modern people don't eat much at all, like acorns which had to be soaked to remove alkalai and tannin.

If this is the case, taking aspirin and drinking coffee or tea replace substances found in a more primitive diet.

Comment test run (Score 1) 197

Which manufacturing capacity does ISIS have left? Which engineers have not yet run away from the sinking ship?

Someone is using ISIS as a test run for their latest toy, and it's not the Russians (they would test by themselves). Expect the US or some of its allies to use weaponized small drones in the next war against the next terrorists, the result of "years of military research".

Comment Re: Not really needed for drones (Score 1) 24

Modulation designators that state the payload type don't make much sense with digital data transports. You can do digital TV or anything else with 4 MHz bandwidth. Cellular doesn't make much sense unless they have a really long hover time and drone life, in which case it could be a pop-up base station.

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