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Comment Re:Is It A Problem? (Score 1) 255

When such bugs are part of 'core' library code that's called often enough in a myriad of applications, it could affect performance and usability of your system when you do need the processing power for other things.
Take this simple piece of code loosely based on something I wrote while in a long code session 10 days ago and found out, last week. Can you spot the bug? A hint: It decreases performance on average by a factor of 2 in certain conditions, it's very basic and the function definitely does what it says on the tin.


func (b barn) NeedleInHaystackAndDoMore(theNeedle needle) {
        found := false
        for _,aNeedle := range b.haystack {
                if aNeedle == theNeedle {
                        found = true
                }
        }
        if !found {
                b.haystack = append(b.haystack, theNeedle)
        }
        DoMore()
}

Comment Re:Same thing with manhatten island. (Score 1) 147

Says who? The fool that buys souls for 8-digit sums in the first place? Someone else that tries you to prevent selling your soul so they'll have it when you can no longer make use of it? I would be very careful with that proclamation, unless you have some insight I'm not aware of.

I would not accept that 8-digit sum for something that could be no more than dust in the wind. I'd first investigate the value of soul very carefully before I'd accept or reject any sum on it. And because I know I currently definitely can't, I'd say to the buyesman 'sway me, convince me, move me, enlighten me... Or sodd off!' Then, when he does, we may be able to have an adult conversation on a more like, equal terms base, you know.

Comment Re:That's pretty smart (Score 1) 249

In these cases there may be grounds to doubt the meters - even if properly calibrated. That's because some metering system in use can't handle high frequency fluctuating loads because they are built with too cheap components because of -reasons- (can be anything from the meter manufacturer wanting to cheap out to insufficient initial specifications to some engineer having a bad hair day and an insufficient design got passed). If you have a switching power supply that draws energy from the network in 2 KHz intervals, for one period every second and you have a metering system sampling at 2 KHz, for one period every second as well and they both run 'in sync', the meter 'thinks' you're drawing energy at 2000 times the rate you actually do. If they run out of sync, the meter will charge you nothing and if frequencies differ, your meter probably will measure a correct average, although depending on the frequency difference it might one month measure 'insane' loads while another month nearly nothing.

Comment Re:A better question (Score 2) 241

That totally depends on if they are done right. Some netbooks made were surprisingly capable. Cheap, small, sturdy and useful for the narrow set of tasks they were made for in the first place. Ideal as small computer when traveling, second PC to surf the internet on or write some documents when another family member has occupied the main desktop/laptop. And even as a generic college student PC for office applications many of them were more than capable. However there were also POSs, only capable of delivering a slideshow of BSODs.

A good netbook has a balance of hardware and software with a specific task set. Many successful netbooks had to forego a Windows operating system because of that, although some late models with Win Basic may have been OK-ish. Those unfortunately got bogged down over time due to too many updates or owners trying to shoehorn a regular version on it for the 'Aero' effect.
Later on, when the term 'Netbook' went out of fashion, it wasn't only tablets that took over. i3-class hardware got a lot cheaper (both in purchase price and power requirements) and so they gobbled up the market at the higher end. Some tablets were developed with sturdy keyboard docks that made them capable of everything a netbook could and some manufacturers still release a netbook-like configuration now and then. ASUS is still my favourite in that regard. And Chromebooks, except for the high-end ones are netbooks, if not in name. The market of mobile computing equipment just got more diverse and just 'Netbook' no longer covered it.

Comment Re:Where's the work! (Score 1) 125

It (work) / They (jobs) will be gone. And that should not be a thing to worry about as long as the right politicians are voted into office. Currently governments apply taxes mostly on work and money spent. When those are no longer viable options they'll have to tax something else to keep the nation running. Production and property. Or they'll have to (shudder) privatize. They'll need to distribute enough wealth or risk anarchy. Whether they take the 'left' or the 'right' road.

Those with creative ideas and the will to execute them will still earn. Those depending on cheap/manual/easily replaceable labor are better off -not- breaking their backs and have a nice walk through the park (or 'couch potato' some torrents) instead. Talking about breaking backs, as that's a health risk an employer has to insure against, I foresee such workers in the future becoming a liability even if they offer their services for free. Robot labor will eventually become cheaper than human labor offered voluntarily and 'without cost', unless, as a society, we accept people being worked to death.

That's why lowering the minimum wage is a dead-end road. Whether you're a 'commie' or a 'capitalist', or anything in between, changing the minimum wage to anything other than 'if you work for reasonable hours/week you can live off of that, have some small luxuries and support a modes family', will do more harm than good. When minimum wage is too low, you'll have people starving and not enough consumption to keep the economy going. When minimum wage is too high, people working above and beyond what's normal (those that used to earn a higher wage) will stop putting in effort to keep progress going because they can 'earn' the same 'doing nothing'.
As such, minimum wage is not and should never be meant to indicate the value of the lowest paying jobs employers are willing to not automate/offshore away. Because that will lead to distopia. It's an indication of what we, as society, think a human being should earn at least (and thus be able to consume in equal value), as a member of that same society. Whether the job is adding that value to society or not.

I foresee a lot of new hobbies in the not too distant future, manual labor being one of them. Maybe some of them will even become sports, so the really talented can earn money going that route. The others will be glad 'modern' humans will never have to do that anymore.

Who wants to manually wave cloth, pull a plough, delve coal using only a pick-ax or even operate a switchboard... or any of the other jobs that have disappeared because mechanical/automated labor is lots and lots cheaper than paying some human workers a decent wage?

Comment Re:Bah. My phone is based on electroweak theory! (Score 2) 129

Ehm, no. It doesn't matter in this case, Electromagnetism is enclosed by Electroweak theory. You don't need electroweak theory to build a smart phone unless you want it to run on fission decay batteries. You do need the electromagnetism part, though. For the theories behind how the various radios that are built into a smart phone, communicate wirelessly, at least.
Also, you need Quantum Mechanics for things like Transistors (Semiconductor theories) and GPS navigation (atomic clocks -> Photovoltaic effect). I'd rather they had mentioned that one... Miniaturization of electronics is fine, but you need discrete components acting as electronic switches that can be miniaturized well in the first place. Tubes and relays don't cut it (or we would be living in the 'Fallout' universe).

Comment Re:Anthropological principle (Score 1) 187

With current AI we see the 'mechanism' expressing a certain 'behaviour' when inputs are triggered and somewhere inside a threshold is crossed. We learn such an AI with examples and the treshold should cross when 'similar' (but different) examples are used as input. Sometimes it triggers on examples that may not, at first glance, have enough similarity with the learning set. That's where things get interesting. It has been often enough the AI eventually was 'right' (and it detected cancer cells where no doctor could, won a Go match, etc.).
But AI currently doesn't analyze a problem from all sides, weighs arguments and consciously comes to a conclusion, like humans (would like to) do. It's in my idea more like a subconscious processor. And I think, maybe, most of our brain works on a similar level, doing things intuitively. Because to do things consciously requires a lot more energy. I think consciousness does emerge when enough 'intelligence' is connected together, when there is enough 'idle resources' to analyze a part of your input from every angle possible. and when you 'learn' (and trust) to let most of your processing be prepared through your subconscious and then only cherry pick the really tough examples to give them all the attention (and energy) you have reserved for your conscious part to process... And then consciousness isn't just a by-product, its a valuable tool that reduces your false positives. But who am I to use my meager consciousness to ponder such a question and with so little (close to no) evidence?

Comment Re: Doing it wrong? (Score 0) 600

Hmmm, I do use recursion as one of my main data patterns.When you have a graph of elements it's damned useful to use recursion to set all elements in a wanted state or to access information buried deep from the entry point.
Who runs out of stack space on modern desktop computer platforms anyway unless you messed up your break condition or you've made very, VERY large data structures? I can expect such concerns on embedded devices, but even mobile stuff nowadays has (relatively speaking) 'infinite' memory. We're not programming for dumb phones or Palm Pilots anymore (and yes I did do programming for those and used recursion even there).

Comment Re:Ham Radio? (Score 5, Interesting) 177

If I had modpoints today....

HAM radio is one of only a hand full of (organized, if you want to) hobbies that encourage you to explore almost all facets of the modern technological equipment we nowadays surround ourselves with. Analog and digital electronics (radios, computer interfaces, micro-controllers and programmable logic, power supply and storage), software (embedded, drivers, applications, communications protocols), metal working (antennas and masts, wave pipes, but also building your own cases)...
And then of course all the science and mathematics behind it. Electrostatics and electrodynamics, meteorology (propagation), some thermodynamics (noise), some solid-state physics (semiconductors)...

Also it can be a very social hobby, because if you want to, you can interact with people in any country in the world with a few hundred dollars worth (either store-bought or paid for in time to build from parts) of equipment. Although, I do confess, chances to interact with a North Korean are very slim indeed.
If you choose to become a member of a HAM radio group, there are also local gatherings of HAMs you can visit, ask for advice and maybe learn a thing or two from. I'm myself a member of VERON (Association of experimental radio research, Netherlands), a Dutch radio amateur club. In the U.S. you have the ARRL.
If you're interested in volunteering during emergencies, HAM can be a good way in or addition to other 'hobbies' in that direction. In the Netherlands there is DARES (Dutch Amateur Radio Emergency Service). The U.S. equivalent is simply called ARES.

Don't be discouraged about the science and math. You don't need degrees in them. You can choose to calculate and design of course, but also to 'just' experiment, and see where it goes. As long as you use your common sense and observe a hand full of regulations that keep you from some major stupid actions (like ruining cell tower coverage in your block, hampering other commercial and emergency radio services or do bodily harm due to bundled/high power radiation).
Without a license you're limited to listening and a few 'free' bands for low power equipment but getting your license isn't that hard. A novice license exam should be doable for anyone willing to spend a few hours every week, for a year in learning the basic science behind the hobby and for reviewing the proper regulations. But your high-school physics and math probably covers most of it, if you paid attention in class. If you want to pass the exam for a full license, you need to dig a little deeper. Most people with college degrees including physics and math find it easy enough and anyone with or close to a bachelor in any remotely related field (in my case: CS - half way at the time, and a precursor hobby experience of (non-radio) electronics and computer hardware) may not even need to study, maybe only 'leaf through' the exam material to pass for the technical exam. Don't forget to review the regulations 'though. I forgot, and still passed by answering that part of the exam on common sense, but you save yourself a lot of stress not following my example ;) .

73, PG8W.

Comment Re:Just what Corporate Security needs... (Score 1) 145

What a marvelous idea you have! And think of all the crimes of stolen laptops you can solve with an unremovable connection at the BIOS level! And, in time, less robberies. Less burglaries as well, I guess. Everything implemented in the most user friendly way possible of course. No need to be bothered installing your own, imperfect, anti-theft services. The 'cloud' will solve it all (including the breezy feel in your cranium).
How much safer this world will be! That pesky bit of freedom we have to offer for that is nothing compared.

You can now switch off your sarcasm detector if you usually have need for it.

If Microsoft ever implements mobile connection technology in PC-grade equipment, before I even remotely would touch that stuff, I want a guarantee I can swap out/backup/etc e-SIMs in that hardware myself AND hardware-switch enable/disable the feature. Yes, I want a ****** button and traces on the PCB I can follow that show me the hardware can be disabled.

Comment Re:Damaging C02 is not at ground level (Score 1) 119

CO2 is a heavier gas. Yes, it exists at higher levels, due to wind and such. But, give it a rest and it would float down (It's lighter than oxygen and nitrogen). If you reduce CO2 at ground level, natural atmospheric processes will cause it to be reduced at higher level as well. No need for airplanes and such. Wind will be your best friend.

Comment Re:"Super-Efficient"? (Score 5, Insightful) 119

Well, 'we' are already working on a not-happy outcome for 'us' due to 'our' own shortsightedness and hubris. Be glad there are still people willing to look into (even if they are radical) solutions to reverse this shit, instead of moaning about some imaginary economic doom scenario if they were ordered to actually move their asses for once.
There are already a lot of things making perfect sense (also economically) to do to reduce more damage. But often they aren't done because of established order and general inactivity and who-gives-a-shitness. Well, I do.

Comment Re:What is the carbon footprint? (Score 3, Informative) 119

Guess what. Enzymes are usually called enzymes because they make possible a biochemical reaction, or enhance the natural reaction in such a way that they are not used up. Like a catalyst, but catalysts can be inorganic. Enzymes are definitely protein based, and as such, organic molecules.
As other proteins, they can denature or even disintegrate due to external circumstances (too much heat, acidity level) but in the right circumstances they keep existing and can process virtually indefinitely.

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