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Slashdot Asks: What's Your View On Benchmark Apps? 50

There's no doubt that benchmark apps help you evaluate different aspects of a product, but do they paint a complete picture? Should we utterly rely on benchmark apps to assess the performance and quality of a product or service? Vlad Savov of The Verge makes an interesting point. He notes that DxOMark (a hugely popular benchmark app for testing a camera) rating of HTC 10's camera sensor is equal to that of Samsung's Galaxy S7, however, in real life shooting, the Galaxy S7's shooter offers a far superior result. "I've used both extensively and I can tell you that's simply not the case -- the S7 is outstanding whereas the 10 is merely good." He offers another example: If a laptop or a phone does well in a web-browsing battery benchmark, that only gives an indication that it would probably fare decently when handling bigger workloads too. But not always. My good friend Anand Shimpi, formerly of AnandTech, once articulated this very well by pointing out how the MacBook Pro had better battery life than the MacBook Air -- which was hailed as the endurance champ -- when the use changed to consistently heavy workloads. The Pro was more efficient in that scenario, but most battery tests aren't sophisticated or dynamic enough to account for that nuance. It takes a person running multiple tests, analyzing the data, and adding context and understanding to achieve the highest degree of certainty. The problem is -- more often than not -- gadget reviewers treat these values as the most important signal when judging a product, which in turn, also influences several readers' opinion. What's your take on this?

Comment Re:Bad analogy (Score 1) 185

Come on, you haven't looked at Python for this kind of work have you?

R as a lot more libraries, that cover specific needs, but the basics (and more) are all covered in Python, and are extremely easy to use.

You need: Python + Numpy (or Scipy) + statsmodels + Panda.
Or get a pre-packaged distribution that has all that, like Anaconda or Enthougt (haven't used them).

As for your question, you need Pandas, which is similar to R's data tables: http://pandas.pydata.org/

import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_csv('foo.csv', header=[0], sep=',')

Pretty similar.

Comment Re:Anyone Who Talks About Deflation...... (Score 1) 691

Deflation encourages hoarding wealth and inflation encourages investment and wealth creation. Ideally you don't want a huge amount of either, but a small amount of deflation is certainly better for the economy than deflation.


You nailed it, so i was going to mod you up, but as you are already at +5 i thought it would be more useful to point out the typo.

Comment Re:Why compromise? (Score 1) 128

I agree with you.

Having a unified memory is a nice thing, but i expect it will only make a difference in something like the PS4, where you can target a specific architecture, which has GDDR5 as main memory, and doesn't have a discrete GPU. These two points are relevant: if you have "normal" DDR3 you loose a lot more than you gain by having UMA, and this will not change a thing in discrete GPUs because the PCIe bus is going to always be in the way of the GPU accessing main memory.

I think it is more a "nice to have" than a big step forward. The difficulty in programing GPUs lies in the different algorithms one must employ, and while having to copy memory back and forth between the CPU and GPU is a nuisance and something to be avoided, that usually isn't a dealbreaker, though i admit it is useful in some situations.

Comment Re:What is the ARM bringing? (Score 1) 230

For £300 I got an Atom-based netbook with an 80GB SSD, 4GB RAM, slightly smaller screen and 9 hour battery life. It can run Chrome, and a lot of other things. What's the ARM bringing to the Chromebook, if it can't give far better battery life?

£300 GBP are $482.
That's what ARM is bringing.
BTW where do you get a netbook with an 80 GB SSD?

Comment Re:No good news in that (Score 1) 350

They could go Android, sure, but Android phones are almost commodity phones, where the handset manufacturer isn't adding enough value to make them differentiators. That means as a customer, I could pick up an LG or HTC or Motorola or Samsung and get a pretty similar phone. And that means they all compete on price. That puts the Nokia phones up against the manufacturing might of China, which means that margins would start out razor thin and fade quickly to non-existent.

Well, that strategy worked for Samsung, so why shouldn't it work for Nokia, given that, at the time, Nokia had a better position than Samsung?

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 291

In Portugal, locked phones are the norm, but according to a recent law (which i believe is an EU directive), the carriers must unlock the phone when the contract ends, free of charge. Furthermore, during the period of the contract the customer can request the unlock for a reasonable fee (which last time i looked was indeed reasonable).

I believe this is a fair state of affairs, as the phone are effectivly subsidized.

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