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Comment All of human activity and desire in NP? (Score 1) 519

Blah blah blah, communism... redistribute goods, whatever... integer linear programming. Wait wait ILP? WTF?

So the entire economy can be modeled as a single fixed integer linear program and matrix? The entire economy in a single NP complete problem? It'll be absolutely massive, have to be updated continuously in response to changes in conditions, like earthquakes, new technology coming into existence, and other fun monkey wrenches, and model tons of non-linearities (remember the L in LP), feedback effects (that L again), and then solving the thing (NP-complete).

LPs are fine for modelling and improving distribution of goods in lots of organizational situations. But run an entire economy? I'll see it when your acolytes produce a plausible research model after the 100 year research program you fund.

Predicting the stock market should be easier. Maybe try that first as a plausible demonstration? ...

I mean at least go for a plausible complexity class for modelling all of humanity like PSPACE-complete. This is really the part that bothers me.

Comment Re:Shockingly? (Score 1) 185

I thought the same thing initially, after all 1 IBM counts the same as 1 local coffee shop right? Of course most businesses don't care. But after digging into the survey's methodology details this 90% number is really bizarre. I suspect the actually number is quite a bit higher. By design, the companies they are strongly biased towards talking to R&D active companies. But the percentage of firms that don't care about IP among people that are actively invested in R&D is surprisingly high.
Looking into the importance question on just utility patents it turns out R&D inactive companies overwhelmingly do not care. R&D active companies tend to care significantly more. And unsurprisingly some industries really do care. For Computer and electronic products with active R&D, 44% say these are very important, 21 somewhat important, and 34 not important. (For nonactive R&D not important rises to 88%.) That 34% not important surprised me.

Comment Re:Less is More! Anyone with me? (Score 1) 818

To those who run *nix desktops and are frustrated by the latest Gnome variants, why aren't you running KDE?

You might as well ask:

To those who program java and are frustrated by the latest Eclipse, why aren't you running Netbeans?

Well I run neither, I use emacs (and vim depending on the situation). I am really just not that into IDEs for programming. Why I am not that into Eclipse is going to roughly translate into why I am not into Netbeans. Compared to emacs/vim, eclipse/netbeans are basically offering the same thing. I like the *nix approach of building a core of tools, and then building out from there. I find eclipse/netbean's big box solutions clunky and too hard to tweak when I need to. (Don't get me wrong I do get envious of junit support in eclipse sometimes.)

Now back to the original question at hand, I use xmonad instead of GNOME, KDE, or Xfce. (I have not recently experimented with anything else.) This is for essentially the same reasons as my preference for text editors over IDEs. Just not that into big desktop solutions when I select a windows manager. "But the features!", I hear the strawmen cry. Do I want floating windows, a start menu, right clicking for more options, a cluttered desktop, file managers, etc? Nope. I am sure a sufficient amount of customization could get all of these to something I could live with, but it is really not the starting point I want. Starting with xmonad and customizing my way to the features I want has worked really well for me.

Less is more!

Comment Sweet sweet cherries (Score 1) 381

The debate over whether stimulus worked or didn’t is too abstract to be of much help. It’s a better use of time to look at some specific stimulus programs and projects and see how they did.

Yes. Always cherry pick first before trying to get a broader perspective. This is the best way to get off on politics rage. This is why we are talking about this right? Right?

Also, the article's source seems to be down so I don't even figure out how in world they are claiming "$7 million for each additional household served".

Comment Re:First programming course? At Stanford?? (Score 1) 255

The parent hit it right on the head. Stanford CS still believes in teaching the people -- who are likely to professionally program -- using Java and C++. Seriously, the only reason this is being discussed like this is because of Stanford's unusual course numbering system. This is not the usual meaning of a "101" course. This is not a required intro course and most technical people will not bother taking it. (Knowing Stanford students, "techies" would probably consider it beneath them.)
The first programming class most people [who can hack it] take is the 106 series. The 106 series are the classes you expect all of the engineers, and most of the hard scientists (bio, chem, etc.), some of the economics majors, etc. This also includes the CS majors that don't skip to 107. Stanford has had an introductory non-majors class in Javascript for a while, CS 105. I only knew a couple of people who took 105 (both econ majors), and more than I am going to bother to count who took 106. (I hung out with techies.)
Just to give some perspective, lets check the numbers. Enrollment for 106A in 2009-2010 was 1087 over the year . The number I am pulling up for CS105 was approximately 300 a year in 2007. Final FYI, next year CS101 is only offered 1 quarter and CS105 is offered for all 3.
tl;dr non-event becomes headline due to misleading name

Comment Facts? (Score 1) 527

"There are more and more [computer science] jobs," says Alexander Repenning, a computer science professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, "but the interest is actually going down, and the interest of women in these kinds of jobs is going down even faster."

That is as far as I got. Every alarm bell in my head was ringing. Quite unpleasant. So I went and found something of possible value: http://www.cra.org/resources/crn-online-view/undergraduate_cs_degree_production_rises_doctoral_production_steady/ . Long read, but take a look at those charts. I think I am willing to step out on a limb and say, "Man people like the idea of getting rich for not much work, and during the dot-com boom CS was the place to pan for gold." I need to find longer term data though. Oh and the claim about women in the above quote is not born out by this data.

Comment Re:Outrage 8? (Score 1) 489

Yeah outrage number 2...

Her line: “We need to start making things again in this country.” When I start agreeing with Representative Bachmann, you know we’re in Bizarro World.

Nevermind that the US has never stopped making things.

The United States is the world's largest manufacturer

Lets go out and find some more of those fact thingies shall we. Sstatistics for 2002 and 2007. (for pretty pictures of 2002)
Only two data points, but it beats the pants off of the article's zero. Lets see total manufacturing sales beat beats inflation. Salary per worker roughly matches inflation. The first derivative on manufacturing jobs is negative.
And by the by, if you want to increase manufacturing jobs in the US, you are going to need to increase the [already high] worker productivity given the rather high labor cost in the US. This is a form pf innovation. Just saying.

Comment Re:Am I Confused? (Score 1) 700

Your definition of NP-completeness is a bit off. An NP-complete problem is a problem that is in NP and any problem in NP can be reduced to it in polynomial time. (This eludes some technicalities, but you can look them up if you really care.) So any problem in NP can be reduced to a 3-SAT query in polynomial time. If this result is correct, any problem in NP can be reduced to 3-SAT in polynomial time, which can then be solved in polynomial time by this algorithm. This results in a polynomial time algorithm for any problem in NP. Hence NP is a subset of P, and P==NP.

Comment Re:I'll be first to say WTF (Score 2) 700

the factoring problem, which is NP hard.

Quick correction. The integer factoring problem is in NP, but is not known to be NP-hard. Here are a couple of explanations:

Comment Summary? (Score 1) 198

Both do the following: they detect when some cores are being unused, they then give less power and decrease the clock speed to some of less used cores, and the power/clockspeed is then increased on the rest of the cores. The AMDs have do this by having 2 different of modes of operation with fixed power distribution/clockspeed settings for each mode. Intel does something more dynamic and on-the-fly.

Now I might have mis-summarized the article, but shouldn't that have been the article summary instead of a rephrasing of the article's lead?

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He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.