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Comment Re:What makes an engineer in the US? (Score 1) 525

My definition of 'engineer' includes 'legally responsible for the work they do', which is what happens with P.Engs in Canada. I don't know how it works in other places, but an engineer signing off on something means something. I have no legal liability for my code and I make no guarantees to anyone about it. (Keeping in mind that I'm a game programmer so, y'know, whatever.)

Comment Flash... (Score 2) 208

What did it in should be obvious... one security exploit after another, non-stop, for over 8 years. HTML5 might have been the final nail in the coffin but Flash really did itself in.

When Flash was originally conceived by Macromedia very little thought went into security, because at the time security wasn't a big issue (the Internet was still fairly small, compared to today, and hackers had not yet really ramped up on a large scale). The entire codebase was inherently insecure and trusting of the flash handed to it.

In all that time, ever since that first flash product went out the door, right on up to today, nobody did more than basic hand-waving around the security problems. I'm sure they will claim that they tried... but no... they really didn't.

In the end, people finally got tired of the endless stream of security exploits.

-Matt

Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 525

I find that whenever I try to set a hard, fast programming rule, I find side cases where I honestly probably should break it. It doesn't matter what the rule is about - spacing, line wrapping, what belongs in a class vs. a standalone function, what files to put various pieces of code... whatever rule I make, I find cases where it probably would be better for me not to follow it.

The same happens with comments. I'm very much in the school of long, descriptive function names and variables that are self-commenting. I hate coming across old, outdated comments that no longer apply to the code; with long, descriptive variable and function names, you can read what's happening and it's always up to date. And often that's enough. The code says what it's doing, it's straightforward... job done.

But that's not always enough. Because it's one thing to say what's happening. But it's another thing to say "why". When was the last time you put the word "because" in a variable or function name? That's what comments should be for. Not what you're doing, but why you're doing it. Sometimes code just needs descriptive variable and function names. But sometimes you really need the "why" explained.

Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 525

Or the more annoying:


void fn193(dt_1011 a)
{
/* BEGIN FUNCTION */

/* IF a is greater than 5 THEN*/
    if (a > 5)
    {
/* Loop 10 times */
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
        {
/* Call fn828 with arguments a and i */
            fn828(a, i);
        }
/* end IF statement */
    }
/* end FOR loop */

...

/* END FUNCTION */
}

.... without ever having mentioned why they're doing any of it. Yes, someone who used to work here actually programmed like that. A comment on almost every line, and none of them at all useful. :P

They did sometimes have function headers. Unfortunately they were mostly cargo-cult style copies, full of meaningless cruft and long-outdated information, and... it almost hurts me to say this... doublespaced. ;)

Comment Re:Why no 4k footage of the moon? (Score 2) 47

You said both the Moon and Mars. Can you not even read your own posts?

FYI, there are not "millions of people" who would like to sit around staring at a picture that only very slowly changes. And there's no point to live video anyway because there's no action; you can just broadcast stills and interpolate between them if that's what you want. All stills that NASA captures are released publicly for people like you to oggle at.

Lastly, in case you're actually curious, there are four missions active at the moon right now: ARTEMIS P1, ARTEMIS P2, LRO, and Chang'e 5-T1. The former two don't have cameras; they're simple satellites for studying radiation and magnetic fields. Chang'e 5-T1 is just a test mission for China to advance its technology for future moon missions. LRO is the only one that takes pictures. You can see them here. Unlike Mars, a well designed spacecraft like LRO (although not a cheap spacecraft) could have enough bandwidth for streaming live HD video. But LRMO is quite reasonably designed for science, not screensavers. It has three cameras. Two are black and white cameras which are more like a telescope (as with most spacecraft cameras) - black and white for maximum resolution (every pixel measuring brightness rather than every several combined pixels). I don't know if you've ever tried to capture video through a telescope while moving relative to the object you're trying to capture, but as a general rule it doesn't work very well, and there is nothing about the hardware that's setup for video processing. The third is a wide angle colour camera... "wide angle" in that the camera images are many times wider than they are tall, designed for capturing (nonaligned) strips of the surface in seven spectral bands (which do not correspond directly to what the human eye sees, but are most useful for determining the composition of the surface)

Not that they would ever waste such an expensive instrument's time on capturing a glorified screensaver for Slashdot ACs.

If you want a screensaver satellite, find someone who's willing to pay many tens to several hundred million of dollars to make a fancy screensaver.

Comment Re:Any photos of the entire Earth? (Score 1) 47

LM doesn't mean Lunar Lander, it means Lunar Module. I don't know why you expect NASA's search engine to find things when you call them by the wrong name. Do you expect it to turn up pictures of the space shuttle if you type in "Space Bus"?

As for your other stuff, you're clearly trolling, and I don't feed trolls.

Comment Re:I think (Score 1) 47

Thankfully the URL is easy to remember... just like images.google.com.

It's kind of amusing searching for keywords that you wouldn't expect to show up on a NASA image search. For example, I found a Native-American juggling hoops, old ladies line dancing at a farmers' market, kids dressed as Men in Black dancing underneath the Shuttle Endeavour, people using the primary mirror of James Webb to take selfies, actress Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) singing, NASA's hip-hop dance team Forces In Motion (travels around middle schools teaching Newton's laws), James Ingram singing "I believe I can fly" in front of Bill Nye, NASA administrator Dan Goldin laughing with (hopefully not at) a "bubble boy" in a protective suit, enough frames of someone testing out a spacesuit to make a stop-motion dance video, and a bunch of other unexpected weirdness.

Comment Re:Why no 4k footage of the moon? (Score 1) 47

What are you talking about? We''ve been sending some damned impressive cameras out into space of late. Heck, even not just "of late". Have you seen the HiRISE images of Mars? Forget 4k, you can download those in 8k.

Now, if you're talking constant live 4K video footage, the problem isn't the cameras, it's the bandwidth over such huge distances.

Comment Perfect timing (Score 2) 47

The timing on this is perfect. A group I'm in is working on a book and right now going through trying to get copyright permission on all of the images we want to use (and sometimes you can't get it without paying fees, or can't get in touch with the author). Having such a huge wealth of public domain images all together on one seemingly well-designed search engine will be great for finding substitutions.

Too bad there's no ready substitution for figures from papers, however :P For a nonprofit book a lot of the big servers charge around $50 per image. Which for a full length book (dozens of figures) is thousands of dollars. Most authors are very nice about granting permission, but the journals are all about cash.

Comment Re:I know just the man for the job (Score 5, Informative) 78

Not just been photos, there's been some reported video as well (also Queensland). I did check the gait of the animal in the video, and it matches a diagram of the thylacine's gait. But that's hardly unique to them, it just narrows down the range of possible species. There's old zoo footage here.

I doubt it's actually a thylacine, but who knows, weirder things have been discovered.

Comment Re:Yeah, but no (Score 1) 109

Dissecting the test output:

11737/s avg= 85.20uS bw=48.07 MB/s lo=66.22uS, hi=139.77uS stddev=7.50uS

That means the average latency is 85uS (averaged over all reads), the lowest latency measured was 66uS and the highest was 140uS. Another important metric is the standard deviation... that is, how 'tight' access times are around that average latency of 85uS. In this case, a standard deviation of 7.5uS is very good.

Comparing this to the Optane. what Intel has stated is that the average latency over all reads for Optane NVMe will be around 10uS. They also stated that the standard deviation would be much tighter. So that is comparative.

But here's the real problem... you ask whether Optane will beat a PCIe SSD as a HDD cache in actual real-world desktop circumstances. I will add 'at the same price point'. The answer to that is going to be 'no'. The reason is that you can buy 4x to 8x the amount of NAND NVMe-based storage as you can Optaane NVMe storage for the same price.

So instead of having a 32G Octane cache, you could have a 128GB-256GB NAND SSD cache for the same price. That *completely* trumps Octane, no matter how low Octane's latency is, for this use case.

-Matt

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