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Comment India (Score 2, Interesting) 674

I stay in India, and I can speak about six languages, of which I use nearly four on a daily basis. My mother tongue is Tamil, which I use in conversing with my family. The local language in the place I stay (Hyderabad) is Telugu, so I use that when I'm outside. Many of my friends are north Indian, and I use Hindi (the national language) when with them. And of course, English is the official language at my workplace. I'd also picked a bit of Kannada and Bengali, though they've gone rusty over lack of use.

In India, its not uncommon to find people who know four or more languages. Nearly every state in India has its own language, distinct enough to not be passed off as just a dialect of one of its neighbors. People who have stayed in one or more states tend to pick up the local languages fairly quickly.

Comment Another take (Score 1) 1123

I'm science-minded, but I cannot really call myself either an atheist or an agnostic. I believe with near certainty the god doesn't exist, and that religion is an intricate illusion which societies have a natural tendency to create. Religion, when properly implemented, can give individuals the discipline and motivation to remain productive through their lives. So while I don't think god exists, I do believe that god and religion are a good idea.

I have more of a problem with science, actually. It tells me that I'm only a collection of atoms and molecules, and that when I die these atoms and molecules will still remain. My life, and indeed all of human history and the history of life on our planet will have achieved nothing beyond rearranging these atoms and molecules. That is a depressing prospect. I don't believe in god, but I think I would have been better off if I did.

My real problem, coming to think of it, is that I'm looking for one single absolute answer to believe in. Science has the answers, but can be depressing, while religion, though more pleasing, lacks solid answers. I wish absolute faith in both science and religion could coexist.

Comment Re:Impossible design (Score 3, Interesting) 222

There's a damn good reason why we want our processors to be rock solid. If they don't work right, we can't trust anything they output.

Have you ever tried transferring large files over a 100 MBps ethernet link? Thats right, billions of bytes over a noisy, unreliable wired link. And how often have you seen files corrupted? I never have. The link runs along extremely reliably (BER of 10^-9 I think) with as little as 12MBps out of the 100MBps spent on error checking and recovery.

Same case here. I'd expect the signal-to-noise ratio on the connects within CPUs (when the voltage is cut by say 25%) to be similar, if not better, than ethernet links. So the CPU could probably get along with lesser error checking and recovery. Or, if you choose applications (like video decoding or graphics rendering) that have no problems with a few bad bits here and there, you could manage with almost no ECC at all.

If you were to plot Error Rates vs CPU power, I'd say most modern CPUs lie at the far end of the region of diminishing returns. Theres a gold mine to be reaped by moving backwards on the curve.

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