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Comment as it begins, so it ends (Score 1) 183

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) 68

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) 68

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) 104

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: What I want to know is who keeps telling Tom H (Score 1) 76

On Internet forums, especially if you're AC, "fascism" just means "zealousness". Like, "I hate the liberal fascists just as much as the conservative ones, and the Green Party fascists are the worst.".

No, what it means is that we have a troll here whose agenda is to tilt the entire exchange so that every political disposition is judged against the most strident example of the first-to-mind reductive cliche.

It's a war against subtlety. It's a war against moderates and it's a war against moderation—where "moderation" means the kind of people who think before speaking. It's a distributed, grassroots campaign to normalize the extremes through the implication that all stupidity is created equal. It's painting an f-washed world in which no person is angry or intense because they have a valid point to make about some aspect of society being not right. It's an exit ramp lowered to a swamp world where anger is a Halloween costume (Yoda, Darth Vader), rather than a tool (Martin Luther King, Jr).

That's what it means when 'fascism' becomes a trivialized wingnut stand-in for 'zealotry', a word which already has two boots firmly planted in labelling over listening. Add heels, click, and the world becomes corn-belt Kansas 24/7.

Comment Re:Fake news? (Score 1) 407

Those terms are meant to

I'm not feeling generous today, so I won't write a correspondingly pedantic essay about the meaning of words is never so cut and dried, not even when socially ratified by unnamed parties.

I've always thought the guy in the bright-orange vest with the LED-powered traffic control baton who originally assigned these things to the left and right was a bit of an idiot with a small mind.

But it appears he did have an algorithm after all, however naive. Thanks for boiling that down so succinctly.

Comment all lizard brains are created equal (Score 1) 161

I studied myself, and noticed the same thing: that my choices were a direct function of the quality of goods available. So I fired all the low quality options (and haven't looked back).

Also, if there's a giant bag of potato chips in the house, my odds of cooking a healthy meal go down by about 50%. So I fired the chips, too.

Netflix is right: all lizard brains are created equal.

Comment Re:AI doesn't exist (Score 1) 22

You think human intelligence isn't an algorithm?

This issue is surprisingly divisive, even among those you'd think would know better (feasible scenario: perhaps they do).

Federico Faggin at UC Berkeley 2-19-2014

Pretty good, if you like this kind of thing.

1h12m41 he takes a question from the audience, and goes off into space (Hilbert space) on the underlying quantum mechanism of human consciousness (and mental creativity).

"You know, I am one of those guys who do not think that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the operation of the brain. I thought like everyone else ... "

You think human intelligence isn't an algorithm?

Just one thing, is this unremarkable stock remark a terminating process, or have I personally fallen into an ELIZA trap?

Comment DK-impervious = DK-permeable (Score 1) 379

One of the most important things is knowing when you don't know enough.

TAoCP is a never-fail personal Dunning–Kruger removal tool.

I never finished the mathematics degree I once started, but I always found the larger concepts easy enough to understand when sitting beside a real mathematician.

I certainly would have difficulty completing most of the HM exercises (this despite also owning Concrete Math). I rarely have difficulty understanding the form of the solution if I cheat and look it up.

Another book I'd put into the same category, roughly, was the original Applied Cryptography where it ought to be far more obvious that one shouldn't naively roll one's own, but somehow, for too many DK-impervious DK-permeable programmers out there, it isn't. (I'm looking at you, Wi-Fi Alliance; and every idiot who ever used the speedy MD5 to hash a password database, with or without salt, or worse.)

There's little wrong with Knuth's exposition that actual competence wouldn't fix.

You do the math.

Comment immune system flanked (Score 1) 324

Who knew that fact checking was an essential component of the human immune system?

Unbeknownst to him, all is not well in the harem. His wife and one of his mistresses are independently plotting his demise. The wife poisons the water in his canteen, while the mistress punctures the canteen so that the water slowly leaks out.

The Sheik sets out on the journey. After a few miles he feels parched. He unscrews the cap on his canteen and finds, much to his displeasure, that it is empty. He soon dies of dehydration.

Question: who caused the Utahan fracker's death, the wolf-calling media bias Republican or the relative-identity-politics Democrat?

Moral of the story: no time like the present to grease the squeaky wheels. And if that doesn't work, concrete shoes.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

Yes, so much depends upon one yellowish-green wheel to muck the mules, situated at the goddamn factual (and spectral) midline.

Comment use the Semantic Scholar, Luke (Score 3, Interesting) 68

I've been waiting for a good opportunity to take this new toy out for a spin. Semantic Scholar claims to have brain science almost completely covered.

* author search

Not bad.

* topic search

Not blindingly great. But the third link down is a primary hit.

Theory of Connectivity: Nature and Nurture of Cell Assemblies and Cognitive Computation

There's not a lot of related material here that I'd have gone chasing after the hard way. Apparently, either this research result or this search engine is still too new.

Nevertheless, I retain high hopes.

Comment Re:another editor fail (Score 1) 90

I've always wanted a job that involved no physical labor and no mental labor and no oversight of performance.

Too bad others felt the same way, as we're getting exactly that. I've never wanted such a job. The job I've always wanted is the one where I'm in flow for six hours at a stretch (at least once per day), there are more feedback loops than you can shake a stick at, mainly anchored in equally competent peers who likewise wouldn't have it any other way.

NASA, during the Apollo program, had many pockets of competence where The Right Stuff stretched as far as the eye could see.

9 Project Management Lessons Learned from the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Delegating to people who don't have experience with a certain task may seem counterintuitive, but it was something Apollo project managers actively encouraged — in fact, the average age of the entire Operations team was just 26, most fresh out of college. NASA gave someone a problem and the freedom to run with it, and the results speak for themselves.

Yes, parts of NASA on the ground basically looked like this.

Imagine the caliber of people you need to hire by default to make this strategy viable.

Gerald Weinberg's second rule of acquisition:

        (2) No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem.

Moral of the story: hire only those who dream for the stars, the kind of stars where Easy Street has no name.

Comment when the elephant craps on a haystack (Score 1) 468

When the elephant craps on a haystack, finding the needle is even less fun. When the elephant deliberately binges on legumes and kelp and sun-ripened fish sauce for the sole purpose of defiling the haystack, this thread—so far as I managed to get— is the end result.

So thanks to the first ten posts I skimmed for tilting the payoff matrix so far towards rational ignorance and learned helplessness that even my three adult decades of burly and well-callused sanity is squeaking like a little girl, blubbering like a baby, and asking for a day pass.

It's official. I call "uncle".

Comment mixed emotions (Score 3, Informative) 94

I purchased two Pebble watches as part of the original Kickstarter. One failed within a year (we were too distracted at the time to pursue a warranty claim), the other one is still "ticking".

Custom programming my own non-24-hour sleep-wake calendar was a big step for me in finding a cure. It finally put my metabolic reality on equal footing with the world around me, so that I could properly track each on its own terms.

I will always remember my Pebble watch as a life-changing event.

That said, I had doubts about Eric Migicovsky as a venture capitalist right from the beginning. When the original watch was delayed (I've done electronics fabrication before, it's far from easy with so much at stake on a new product) Eric obviously got some advice to keep reality close to the vest, and thus his public comments fell far short of the mark, given the situation. It's actually a flaw in the Kickstarter program that your promised delivery date is locked in stone prior to discovering you've got a landslide on your hands. (How to manage around that, I've never quite figured out. Kickstarter mainly appeals to flighty dreamers—too much honesty could seriously damp the lemming effect.) For my money, Eric failed the test of knowing when and where to draw the line on taking good advice. Any damn fool can advise you to keep your PR powder dry. Actual VC talent is required to know when to blow these damn fools off and venture out into the dangerous territory of actual honesty, while your users still care.

As for the watch itself, I'm still actually using my Pebble watch, for a single reason. Cure now in hand, in bottle form, I continue to wear my watch because its vibrate alarm is harder for me to ignore or forget than any other watch/phone I've had before, so I really do take my sustained-release melatonin at exactly the right time of day, each and every day, without fail.

I turned off BT completely after Fitness App Runkeeper Secretly Tracks Users At All Times, Sends Data to Advertisers because at this level of vigilance investment, extra battery life on both sides was more important than e-mail notification (and I hate pulling out my phone just to check a quick message).

Sad.

Comment Re:Eleven Million (Score 1) 590

Finding a small faction of them stupid enough to literally file an admission to a crime on the other hand isn't difficult at all.

Finding a small faction of them stupid enough to literally fight on the wrong side of a civil war on the other hand isn't difficult at all.

FTFY.

Suggestion. Try reading history. Nearly the whole of the present world order had its origins in a then-termed illegal act—pretty much all the wayback to Silverback Eden.

Twenty-five distinct vocalisations are recognised, many of which are used primarily for group communication within dense vegetation. Most of these mean "don't".

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