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Comment Re:Doesn't work that way (Score 1) 83

The concept of "offsetting" your bad behavior by purchasing carbon credits or investing in "green energy" is complete bullshit. It is the same concept that sociopaths use to justify their behavior. You can't buy your way to being good.

You know how to lose weight? By exercising. Even if you weigh 500 lbs and can only barely walk around the block once, by doing that pathetically inadequate one-block walk that you set up the conditions so that next week you can walk around the block twice, and next month you can walk several miles. Next year maybe you weigh only 300 lbs and can jog, and the year after that you've dropped to 180 lbs and can run a marathon.

Similarly, neither Apple nor any other industrial giant is going to be able to transition to 100% clean energy on day one. But they can start the transition, one small step at a time, and someday they'll get there, judgmental naysayers notwithstanding.

Comment Re: Who's to say? (Score 1) 111

Well, if you want to be pedantic (of course you do), heat isn't radiation. Black body radiation is a consequence of heat. And in point of fact the ionizing spectral components of the Sun's radiation generates over seventy-thousand cases of cancer in the US annually, and over ten thousand deaths. If there were an artificial radiation source that was that harmful we'd be right to be very concerned about it, that's substantially more than 3x the number of people who perished in 9/11 every single year.

The real issue here isn't people using linguistic short hand like "radiation" that Internet trolls can play "gotcha" with; it's people not understanding the difference between radiation per se, ionizing radiation, and radioactive fallout. Maybe you don't need to be a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to run the DoE, but you should at least be able to explain the difference between these things. And you'd certainly want anyone working in government to know the difference between preventable and non-preventable deaths.

Comment cat (Score 1) 102

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) 70

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 Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 1) 484

I've been following this story, and I expect we're not looking at the future, but rather stagnation in the status quo for the last fifteen years or so plus statistical noise.

Where things gets interesting when you start disaggregating the trends. If you look at the life expectancy data by county, the disparity is shocking: almost all rural and poor counties saw little or no improvement in life expectancy since the late 80s, but life expectancy has improved dramatically (5 years or more) in urban and wealthy counties. And here's an interesting fact: the gap between white and black life expectancy has narrowed, but this is largely due to stagnation in life expectancy among working class whites.

This indicates to me that poor access to health care advances for working class and rural whites has driven the overall stagnation in life expectancy. This is in part what Obamacare was intended to address, however it can't possibly improve the situation in rural counties without Medicaid expansion.

Comment Re:Resource Management - Death by Design. (Score 1) 484

I think you are underestimating the role that consumers play in their own downfall.

Cigarettes are bad for you, and everybody knows this, but millions of smokers buy them anyway. Nobody (outside of their own addiction) is forcing them to do so.

HCFS is bad for you, but it makes food taste better -- or at least, it makes people more likely to buy the food. So when company A adds HCFS, its sales increase, and if company B refuses to, it loses market share and might go out of business. Again, nobody is forcing consumers to buy foods with more HCFS, rather it turns out they do so on their own when given the choice.

I'm sure there are people in government (as well as in industry) who value maximizing profit over maximizing health, but they aren't the only bad actors here. There are many areas where people knowingly make health-negative decisions for themselves, simply because they value the short-term enjoyment more than the long-term health benefits.

I don't have any good solution to propose for that problem, but I think any workable solution will have to take that into account rather than just blaming all bad outcomes solely on the supply side.

Comment I'm kind of surprised they don't do more tie-ins. (Score 1) 337

I'm not talking advertising tie-ins, but why not do additional story lines available for streaming purchase? Especially in those big ensemble superhero movies that are always so narratively cluttered because they have to give you a thin slice of so many characters.

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 Re:Qualcomm doesn't make chips (Score 2) 107

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:Sad (Score 3, Insightful) 186

Well, I dunno. It seems like blaming Fitbit for Pebble's financial failure.

Let's take a consequentialist view of matters. If the rule is you have to buy the whole business and continue to operate it, even though it's losing money, Pebble goes out of business and it's customers and debt holders suffer. If you can sell of just the good bits without the obligation to continue running the failing as before, the customers suffer but the debt holders get some relief. Which approach is better?

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