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Comment Re:oh no! (Score 3, Insightful) 64

like pretty much every delivery person and warehouse worker in the country?

Their job description also includes knowing what to pick up with minimal instructions and an extremely low error rate, as well as where to take it and when and how to drop it off, the ability to work for up to 12 hours repeatedly and reliably, independence from wall power, and the ability to deviate from this routine where and when required in reasonable ways.

Are you describing robots or people? Sounds like a job description suitable for a mobile robot. A human worker isn't going to magically know where to pick something up or where to take it unless some central system tells him to. And a robot is equally able to follow instructions like: "Go pick up item 718281718 from bin 7891 (use your scanner to find the right item), box it and walk it over to loading dock 287 for immediate shipping. There's a liquid spill in aisle 27, find your own way around it."

Comment Re:oh no! (Score 4, Interesting) 64

Oh no! All the people whose job description is to be 6 feet tall, to lift 100 pounds, to jump 4feet into the air and to be able to travel at 9 miles per hour are no longer economically viable...

Time to upgrade that resume.
Skills: can lift up to 101 pound jump 4 feet 5 inches into the air. Can travel at 9.5 miles her hour. Will cost no more 10% of a robot doing the same thing a year. A bonus feature: can travel at least 30 miles on a single charge!

you mean, like pretty much every delivery person and warehouse worker in the country?

An Amazon warehouse worker earns around $12.50/year, or $25K/year. Fully loaded cost including benefits and otther administration would be close to $50K. If this robot can replace 2 shifts of workers, if it costs $100K to purchase (around the price of a Tesla), it would pay for itself in a year, assuming the operating cost is low.

A bonus feature: can travel at least 30 miles on a single charge

Few humans are willing to walk 30 miles on the job without breaks, and human breaks last longer than the 3 minutes it would take to do a battery swap on a robot.

Comment Re:I like my curved monitor (Score 1) 176

I have a curved ultra-wide monitor, and I like the curvature

As a matter of personal interest what do you do on the monitor? I used one briefly and found it was horrible when doing anything like drawing, graphic design, photo editing, etc. It seemed to mess with the perspective.

Coding mostly, editor/IDE in the middle, debug output/IDE errors window on the right, browser window with docs on the left. With my laptop display open and used for email/Hipchat. I try to keep functions relatively short so they almost always fit within the vertical space of the monitor.

Comment I like my curved monitor (Score 3, Interesting) 176

I have a curved ultra-wide monitor, and I like the curvature -- I think it looks better than the same sized flat monitor I use at work when I look to the edges of the screen.

But sit much closer to my monitor than I do to my TV.

However, if I had a 4K TV and sat close enough to it to see an advantage in 4K (4.5 - 7 feet for a 55" TV), then maybe I'd see a similar advantage with a TV.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 142

The cheapest EC2 node has one CPU at a reserve pricing as low as $0.003 for a t2.nano instance. The exact math I used is:

(6500 * 365 * 24) * 0.003 = $170,820

I realize that a nano instances don't really have much CPU power available (they're intended to be used for bursty tasks), but Google didn't define what a "CPU hour" was, so neither did I.

Like you said, t2's aren't meant for sustained CPU use. You only get 30 minutes of full CPU use after launch, and they further limit how many t2's you can launch with the full initial CPU credit (100 per day) - so you can't just keep launching new hosts to reset the CPU balance and run out the balance for 30 minutes then relaunch. After you use up the initial credit balance, they throttle the CPU to 5% and each hour they give you another 3 credits (which will let you run at 100% cpu for 3 minutes). They've been very careful with pricing and launch limits to prevent them from being used as a cheap CPU compute farm.

Maybe Google didn't define what a "CPU hour" was, but they surely didn't mean "5% of a typical server CPU".

To get the $.003 pricing, you need to purchase a 3-year reserved instance for $69, so assuming you want to get the job done in a year, you need to purchase 6500 instances for $448,500, if you could use the full CPU. But you can't, so you'd really need almost 20 times that number.

t2's are great if you have a low CPU use case, but once your application exceeds the CPU credit balance, performance gets terrible very quickly (even getting an SSH session open can take 30 seconds on a throttled t2.nano instance), so you need good monitoring and the ability to re-launch instances if you're going to use them for anything significant.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 142

If you were actually going to do this, you would NOT use a CPU. A data-lite computation-intensive task like this is ideal for FPGAs, where it could be massively parallelized. If you needed to run multiple MITM attacks, then you could fab some ASICs and cut the hash/joule cost much more. There is likely some NSA datacenter in Utah doing this right now.

But Google actually did it and they say they used CPU's.

if you happen to have thousands of CPU's laying around that aren't always busy, using CPU's is apparently feasible.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 142

Well, what exactly a time unit of CPU computation means isn't defined (it's like saying "This item cost me 500 monetary units", there's no context), but if we just take it to mean a literal amount of time on any random CPU...

6,500 years of CPU time potentially costs as little as ~$171k USD at Amazon, and compute costs are continuously falling.

how did you come up with that price?

Spot pricing on a 36CPU c4.8xl is currently $0.46/hour.

6500 years in hours / 36 * $0.46/hour is $728K

Spot pricing may go lower from time to time, but on-demand pricing for the c4.8xl is $1.80hour, so $0.46 is already a significant discount. The upcoming c5 series should help with pricing.

Comment Re:done with user friendly (Score 1) 115

Ok, fuck it, I am done with user friendly. This is too far. Some people deserve to be hit by cars. Instead of this, let's revise traffic laws so that cars that mow down people using smartphones aren't liable for anything. Maybe we can pay drivers who mow down smartphone users a bounty.

When did the streets *start* being user friendly to pedestrians? Pedestrians are routed blocks out of their way to get to a destination that's just across the street, when they get there they have to stop and hit the "pedestrian beg button" to beg for permission to cross the street (even if the light is already green for cars when they get there, they sitll have to sit through an entire light cycle), and then when they finally get the pedestrian walk signal, cars get a green at the same time, so the pedestrians still need to watch for and dodge cars.

Which part of that is "user friendly" to any users but drivers?

Comment Re: Bull shit (Score 1) 172

The word "unlimited" has a common, everyday meaning that is understood by nearly everyone. Advertisers should not be allowed to make up a new meaning that is basically the opposite.

Exactly, I don't see why the FTC allows carriers to advertise limited plans as "unlimited".

Let them call them "high-limit plans", like they are. They can even call it "Super-mega-ultra limit" if they want to, but letting them advertise "unlimited" plans that have limits just dilutes the word "unlimited", and it will spill over into other areas.

"Unlimited miles with every car rental! (limited to 100 miles at full speed, afterwards car will be limited to 15mph unless customer pays 25 cents/mile "full-speed" surcharge)"

"Unlimited gym visits! (limited to 4 gym uses, subsequent visits may only be to our gym store)"

"Unlimited Coffee Refills! (limited to one coffee refill, subsequent free refills will use muddy water)"

Comment Re:Something is missing (Score 1) 359

Depends on whether shorter is time or distance.

The article says that "So, it created an algorithm that eliminated left turns from drivers’ routes even if meant a longer journey", and "the company said that the total distance covered by its 96,000 trucks was reduced by 747,000km"

How did they add longer journeys and reduce distance at the same time?

Comment Re:Constutution (Score 3) 91

And this is one of the reasons we are moving to Microsoft for our email and file storage. I have no idea why the 4th amendment only applies to Microsoft, not to Google, but so be it.

If you're worried about the government reading your emails, why risk using a USA company at all? Use a company that has no USA presence at all. Or better, roll your own offshore and control your own encryption keys.

Of course according to Trump, aliens are not people. I wonder whether he can find a corrupt judge to support that argument.

He's right there... aliens aren't always people, sometimes they are lizards, sometimes they are amorphous blobs

Comment Re:Where is all the information? (Score 4, Informative) 57

This article has three links. Two of them are to a Wikipedia page and one is to a BBC article from 2015.

How much has the height of Everest changed? Where is the link from 2017 mentioning this information?

Hello? Editors?

I think this is the missing phys.org link:

https://phys.org/news/2017-01-everest-true-height-spurs-fresh.html

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