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Comment Re:Daily dose (Score 1) 62

Just spoke to someone on another forum -- Ontario resident who has the misfortune to own a house with electric heat. And in the past year their bills went from high but tolerable, to just under $700/month -- with the heat turned down as far as it can be without all the pipes freezing up, and their kids walking around wrapped in blankets.

The anti-warming types who raise such a fuss every time we have a hot summer are silent when an unusually cold winter kills a lot of people, whether through direct cold or financial hardship.

Comment Re:Students? (Score 1) 208

AI stagnated in academia because the average research budget grant simply didn't cover the cost of high performance computing at the time. In the late 1980's, MSDOS PC's were stuck with 4.77MHz/16MHz CPU's, 256 color VGA modes, and 64 kbyte memory segment block allocation sizes (aka tiny, small, medium, large and huge memory models for code generation). Academics were lucky to have a 80x87 floating-point coprocessor. Even the 32-bit or 64-bit workstations weren't that much faster due to the fact that many had external storage on the network. Even when there were fast workstations, they decided to slow everything down with interpreted languages like LISP, Prolog and Scheme. Some did compile into native executable code but required large code libraries. A lot of academics had to make do with PC's to do image processing. Unless they had an i860 coprocessor with a framegrabber board, they had to store images on disk, fetch each column or row of pixels one by one, do a FFT or inverse FFT, then write the data out, repeating the process for the other axis. Now the same work can be done using a HD webcam, a smartphone or an ink-jet printer.

Supercomputers were restricted to weather simulations and aerodynamics. Around 2005, it was possible for a desktop or laptop to do 3D volume visualization with some old school texture mapping tricks and high-level shaders. Now there are a dozen different methods of doing rendering and image processing each taking advantage of GPU capabilities; OpenGL, OpenCL, CUDA, DirectX, compute shaders, Matlab, Blender, GIMP, ImageMagick, WebGL, Java, Python (PyCuda, PyGL)

Comment Re:OK, so (Score 1) 86

Are you saying Samsung doesn't make the best wannabe iPhone? :-)

I used to like Samsung's products. After the S5, not so much. But I wasn't a fan of Samsung they way I was a huge Apple fan back in the day. However, Apple today is a very different company than the great company I remember. I've found a phone I like really well. I hope you do also. I don't expect that I will ever view Apple they way I once did. (And I never viewed Samsung the same way that I did the classic Apple.)

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 1) 17

You may mean that they can get away with any crime. Probably true.

But don't say bad things can't happen to them. The people in charge can make mistakes that have a significant impact on the country. Examples: banksters too big to fail. Detroit rust belt bankruptcies and bailouts. Wall Street nearly wrecking the global economy.

It is premature to suggest that nothing bad can happen to Samsung no matter what they do. After the excellent Galaxy S5, they afflicted us with the Galaxy S6, and then with the very hot Galaxy Note 7. I think the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco affected them significantly. The managers in charge of that need to be taken out back and promoted and given bonuses.

Comment Re:OK, so (Score 1) 86

I find it astonishing that the Galaxy S5 had removable battery, could accept an SD card, AND WAS FREAKIN' WATERPROOF. At least extremely water resistant. Oh, and had a headphone jack.

Then what did Samsung do in the Galaxy S6? Not waterproof. No SD card. And non-replacable battery. Why? (And Samsung stated as much . . .) to be more like an iPhone. More metal and glass. (freakin idiots)

Newsflash: if I wanted an iPhone, I would have bought an iPhone. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In the end, it was the bloatware that made me move away from Samsung. Now I like my Nexus 6P, unlocked, with no bloatware and plenty of storage. All paid for up front. And it's got a screen as big as a Galaxy Note. (Is that a Nexus 6P in your pocket, or are you just excited to see me?)

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 306

In my parents' case, they had high, solidly middle class or even upper middle class incomes but got into credit card and tax trouble related to doing outside contracting. This all happened right around the same time that I went to college, so it was very bad timing. The IRS fines really add up quickly, and credit card trouble is bad news, and was even worse in the late 80s with high interest rates.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 306

When you say "financial aid", I suspect you are not including loans. I think that is why it seems like we are talking past one another. I don't doubt that you make too much to qualify for certain need-based grants and scholarships. You almost certainly qualify for public loans and tax credits.

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