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Comment Re:That doesn't change anything (Score 1) 105

Making money here means net profit. For a growing business, this should be negative. If you can borrow money at a 5% interest rate and use it to grow the business at a rate of 10%, then you report a loss but your company value increases. Amazon's strategy has been along these lines for most of its existence: all gross profits are reinvested in the business, so they always show a loss and their increase in value gives them the access to more capital through loans or by issuing more stock.

Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 3) 137

This is a common problem with most AI announcements. Is 80% accurate better than a simple statistical model? Often not. Does it scale up from a small sample size? Remember the recent face recognition thing that managed with only a hundred or so pixels? Sounded impressive, until you realise that the training set and the testing set were the same and that they only included around 1,000 faces, so simple information theory tells you that you only need 10 bits of information to identify each one and 800 bits doesn't sound quite so impressive.

Comment Re:Don't realize who the robber barons are, do you (Score 2) 105

And yet, in the UK where it is illegal to make union membership compulsory, unions seem to work better. If people see the unions working on their behalf, then they're generally happy to pay the dues (sure, you get a few freeloaders, but not enough to break the system). If a union is not representing the interests of the majority of its members, then it will quickly see its funding dry up. Importantly, voluntarily paying union dues is a big signal to the employer that the union actually does have negotiating power: it implies that the the union is trusted by the majority of the employees to bargain on their behalf. In many places, you have two or more competing unions (though the law says that any deal reached by one union must be offered to all employees, irrespective of whether they are members of that union) and so not only does a union have to represent its members' interests to retain its income, it has to represent those interests better than the competition.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 285

Only if you never use suspend to RAM. 32GB of DDR4 will use 12W, constantly, for as long as the machine is storing data in memory, including in sleep mode. Currently, the sleep mode uses around 1W, so you're cutting the sleep time to 1/12th before you even start using the machine. In fact, with the current FAA rules on battery size allowed on flights, you'd only get about 8 hours of standby time in the model you're describing - not even enough to leave it overnight without needing to suspend to disk. In idle use (CPU and GPU not doing much, but screen on), you'd double the power consumption. In heavy use, you'd increase it by about a quarter. Unless you're spending basically all of your time with the CPU and GPU saturated and swapping heavily, you'd see far less battery life with 32GB of DDR4 than with 16GB of LPDDR3 (the choices that current Intel chips provide).

Comment Re:a little late, no? (Score 1) 285

The batteries in the MBP are as big as the FAA allows on planes. Even if you're not using it in the cabin, you're not allowed lithium ion batteries in the hold at all, so they'd have created a laptop that no one could take on a flight. That makes it useless for a lot of Apple's current customers and having two lines, one for people who might want to fly and one for people who definitely won't would be a pain.

Comment Re: They said they want us to die... (Score 1) 285

A C++ compiler will happily use 2-300MB of RAM. A MBP has 4 cores plus hyperthreading, so to make sure that you're using the CPU you're doing 8-way parallel builds. That will easily fit in 4GB, until you get to the small handful of template-heavy files that use 1-2GB each, and suddenly you're at 16GB and swapping, which kills performance for the whole build. The linker will take 4GB or so if you're not doing LTO, if you are then it will happily chew through 16GB.

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 1) 277

Windows is the last remaining bastion of the keyboard-accessible GUI. Mac never had it,

Huh? OS X is completely keyboard accessible (though there's a thing that you need to flick in System Preferences to enable it). In any OS X dialog that uses the standard NSAlertPanel interfaces, enter will perform the okay action and escape the cancel action.

Comment Re:Ha-Ha! (Score 2) 277

Windows excels in building user facing apps with good UI and good experiences

An odd quote about an OS that manages to get the buttons in the wrong order for basically every dialog box. Quick quiz: In your web browser's tool bar, does the left or right arrow mean forwards? In any random Windows dialog box, is the left or right button the proceed forwards one?

Comment Re:Just what the world needed most urgently... (Score 1) 202

Add to that, anyone who says that static typing improves performance clearly hasn't been paying attention to the last 30 years of compiler research. The StrongTalk team disproved this hypothesis quite soundly for any language that includes subtyping. The problem is that static type annotations must be conservative. They give you loose guarantees that are always true, but for optimisation you care about what tight guarantees that are usually true. Profiling (which JIT environments do at run time and AoT environments do as part of the build) gives far more useful information.

Comment Re:How many *useful* packages? (Score 1) 133

I agree that it's nice to have a large standard library that's decomposed in such a way that you can only pick the bits that you need, but a good standard library follows a common set of conventions and is designed in such a way that no individual parts conflict with others. NPM is not this: individual developers provide functionality using their own set of conventions and packages often conflict (made worse by JavaScript's lack of easy tools for encapsulation). As such, you may pick half a dozen useful functions, find them all in separate NPM packages, each with their own idea of what a sane parameter order or callback design is, and find that they all add a method on String with the same name and different semantics.

Comment Re:This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 1) 272

Why on earth do you think that the ruling class is unhappy with this one? A lot of people used the referendum to protest the policies of the Westminster Parliament that have been to the detriment of people outside of the South East for decades. The ruling class are now 'doing what the people demanded' by shifting more power to Westminster.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 536

I doubt you'd use an H1B for a postdoc, because there are other visa categories for workers with advanced degrees that are a lot easier to use. That said, the UK currently has an exemption for postdocs at universities for the salary requirement for our equivalent visa (which is a bit depressing, because the salary requirement is already quite low for a skilled job).

Comment Re:minidisc is where its happening! (Score 1) 562

claims that ATRAC was inferior to MP3 which is lie.

No it's not (at least for the original ATRAC - the later versions were better, but pre-recorded minidiscs couldn't use them for compatibility reasons). The original ATRAC was horribly crude and threw away a load of frequency ranges before doing some fairly naive compression. I was at a lecture on digital compression techniques a couple of years after MiniDisc came out. The person giving the talk made us listen to both and the CD source without telling us which was which. Most people in the audience couldn't tell the MP3 from the CD but almost everyone could spot the ATRAC recording. Looking at the frequency curves of the two later in the lecture, it was pretty obvious why.

I completely agree with the grandparent on MD-Data though. In 1997, MD-Data could store as much as a CD on a cheap rewritable medium. If they'd licensed the player designs, you'd probably have seen MD replace floppy disks, especially in laptops and I doubt CD-Rs would have become nearly as popular as they did.

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