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Comment 3D X Point has no transistors,10X as dense as DRAM (Score 1) 128

"This image covers the basic features of 3D Xpoint. The new memory is designed to be non-volatile, stackable (to improve density), and can perform read/write operations without requiring a transistor (DRAM requires one transistor per cell, which is one reason why it draws much more power per GB than a NAND flash drive)." ----

http://www.extremetech.com/ext...

Maybe transistors can't get smaller, but you don't have to use transistors. 3DXPoint is not as fast as DRAM but it is still so fast that it can replace DRAM in many applications. So the total amount of DRAM (and thus the number of transistors) required is greatly diminished.

Comment Old dog, old tricks (Score 5, Insightful) 376

In the late 1990s Microsoft was found guilty of violations of the anti-trust laws for using their monopoly in one market (operating systems) to leverage market share in another market (browsers). Through a number a dirty tactics, Microsoft stole the browser market from Netscape and avoided the creation of an independent, OS-neutral, platform for running applications.

Now, twenty years later, Microsoft up to its old tricks. Using the Windows 10 market share to leverage its browser. I'm thinking the Department of Justice might want to take a look at the Microsoft consent decree from their last conviction.

Comment Old laptop running Ubuntu and Xfce (Score 1) 326

I use a 4 year old Toshiba with 6 GB ram and a spinning disc for storage. Isn't that quaint? I stick with the latest Ubuntu LTS version because it has the most reliable support (security updates). Other spinoff versions like Mint are downstream from Canonical Ubuntu and don't react as fast (or as well) to hacks. Cinnamon is pretty but lacks the basic desktop features I want .... user defined launchers for URLs, programs, and files.... and the ability to dock those launchers in a user defined panel.

I use Xfce as desktop although Mate is a close second. Mate is pretty but slow. Mate is legacy code so it is unlikely to get faster. Xfce is fast and might get prettier, but I'm not holding my breath.

Comment Lots of bad assumptions here. (Score 4, Interesting) 1140

Greenstein "suggests instead focusing on the neediest people first, possibly by subsidizing jobs programs and making housing more affordable."

The whole reason for a UBI is that automation has changed the work paradigm. There are no longer enough jobs for everyone, no matter how much people may want to work. Jobs programs are useless if there are no jobs. Affordable housing is a great idea, but how is that different from a UBI? Whatever housing subsidy you apply is just part of the UBI. And of course you start with the neediest people first. There is nothing in the definition of a UBI that prevents that.

What is the point of claiming a $3 trillion per year cost? If it costs that much, then scale it back to a level that can be supported. This is someone who started out with an agenda and is manufacturing reasons NOT to have a UBI.

Comment Discredited? Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 237

"adhering to the since discredited notion that robotic space probes were adequate for exploring the universe." Uh, forgot a source for this one. :) Not only are robotic probes "adequate" but they are essential, since humans are fragile bags of water that can't withstand heat, cold, radiation, or lack of oxygen.

I wonder how much more knowledge about our solar system we would have if we hadn't wasted so much money and political capital on human space flight. And please don't tell me we are going to send humans on a generation ship to Wolf 1061c. (maybe frozen embryo's to be raised by an AI but that's it)

Comment Law and Equity (Score 3, Interesting) 195

What folks don't realize is that US courts consider "law and equity". That is, the court rules both on the fine legal points established by precedence AND also on what is fair. Most courts would say that the users did NOT consent to giving up their first born because they were not aware the term was there. And you can't consent to what you don't know. This would certainly be the case here because the offending clause was hidden in the fine print. And that is not "fair". So a ruling in equity would be in favor of the users.

Comment Re:read the polls (Score 1) 644

alvinrod, Actually I agree with you. HIllary can't be trusted to keep her word. But Bernie has forced these commitments in a very public, high profile way. And he isn't going to just go away. He will be on TV constantly reminding voters of Hillary's promises. And he will be organizing inside the Democratic Party and perhaps in a new American Social Democratic Party. The more Bernie gets his nose under the tent, the more constrained Hillary will be.

Comment read the polls (Score 5, Informative) 644

The most accurate polling analysis in the two most recent presidential cycles has been done by http://projects.fivethirtyeigh... They carefully look at all polls on a state by state basis and then build a national electoral model based on that data. It's updated every few days as new polls come out. Right now, Hillary is winning the electoral college by 338 to 199 with 1 vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Of course things can change, but that's a pretty big lead for this point in the race.

And note that Bernie did not walk away empty handed. He has already moved Hillary to his positions on free college and universal health care.

Comment Religion (Score 5, Insightful) 359

Star Wars universe is dominated by religious belief and power, at least by those at the top. The Star Trek universe is diverse but most of our view is through the dominant power of the Federation, which is a pluralistic, tolerant, and non-secular.

This tells the story. The Federation is successful because it's guiding philosophy is humanism, not worship of Midi-chlorians.

Comment It's a liability issue (Score 5, Interesting) 451

Self driving cars will transfer the liability from the owner of the car to the manufacturer of the car. This is already happening. Otherwise, they could never sell a car to anyone. But if the liability is held by the manufacturer, you can be sure the crash algorithm will be one that minimizes total casualties (and thus total liability).

And notice that this is the same issue behind the Will Smith film, "I, Robot". Will's character is rescued from drowning by a robot that lets a little girl drown instead. The robot had calculated the chances of saving each and Will won the AI lottery.

Comment Random stuff (Score 2) 62

As the cellular systems decay, there is probably lots of random stuff going on. Normal feedback pathways don't work. It's impossible to predict. But there is not really a reasonable mechanism for evolutionary selection for these processes so even the ones that make sense (like stress reaction or immune stimulation) are just vestigial precesses. Not interesting.

Comment Not optical, not fast, not 3DXP (Score 5, Informative) 77

Despite the use of the term "optical" there is nothing optical or "blue-ray disk" about this. Calcogenide glass is the PCM material. It is written and read with the application of voltage. There is no spinning disk involved.

The most obvious omission is a comparison to the Micron/Intel 3D Cross Point memory announced last summer and scheduled for commercial introduction in 2017. 3DXP is 1000 times faster than flash (not just 50 times faster). There would also seem to be a number of patent issues since 3DXP also uses calcogenide crystals as the storage medium.

It is journalistic malpractice to write an article like the two linked here without comparing the IBM research to the previously announced work by Micron and Intel.

Comment Don't pity Slovenia. (Score 4, Interesting) 208

I agree that American companies abuse the H1 visa program and that it undercuts American workers. But the implication in the article that Slovenia is an "impoverished" country is totally wrong. Slovenians are in general well educated and have a European standard of living. I suspect Tesla wants Slovenian workers because they know what they are doing. Maybe these particular workers are being abused... I don't know. But don't pity Slovenia.

Comment Biggest effect at the bottom (Score 1) 866

The largest effect would be at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. The lowest paid will be able to quit unpleasant jobs. But that work is still necessary to society. So work that can't be automated will see a big increase in salary. The garbage man may be paid better than a lawyer. Neither can do the work of the other. Which is more necessary? Which is harder to automate?

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