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Comment Re:meta-stable? (Score 1) 225

Well it hung around for a long time in the singular state (metallic hydrogen and solid diamond in a regular crystal). That was the low entropy state log2(1/num_states) = 0. That was also the metastable state. It was sitting on the metaphorical knife edge ready to fall off at any point. It did and now its in the new higher entropy and more stable state of "Splattered all over the lab and floating as a gas". log2(1/billions_of_states) = a much bigger number.

However it seems it was pushed by a laser light. In metastability in circuits we normally deal with thermal noise doing the pushing, but the noise is part of the system. So deciding what is in the system and what is not determines whether or not it's metastable.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 193

I doubt it. In case you haven't heard, Volvo has already committed to doing this prior to any government regulations. It seemed likely that most were going to have to take this step anyhow to bolster consumer confidence. Plus, this just makes sense. If manufacturers aren't willing to accept liability for real-life accidents caused by their software, then that software obviously isn't ready for deployment on a mass scale.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 193

At that point, with very few accidents *caused by* the self-driving vehicle, there won't be a financial incentive to shift the burden away from the manufacturer and onto the customer. The PR hit alone probably wouldn't be worth it.

Keep in mind that "acts of god" and other stuff for which the manufacturer can't be blamed is still going to require individual insurance.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 54

I definitely agree that MS made some bad decisions that annoyed a lot of their customers, and that may have pushed a few of them away, but let's be honest here: we still haven't seen any significant shift away from Windows in the desktop numbers. Microsoft Windows still dominates at 96%, Mac is an also-ran, hanging in their at ~3% or so, and Linux trails at 1%, like it always has, with even that spread across several popular distros, and dozens of less popular ones.

For gaming, you're seeing more support for Mac and Linux because the major engines support those platforms, and so it makes sense to release for all platforms possible. That's definitely the good news. I think many game developers (including myself) would LIKE to see Linux doing better as a hedge against MS, so go out of their way to support it when feasible.

If you're waiting for MS to die, though, it's going to be a long wait. They've wisely started focusing on things like cloud services, Xbox, new high-end hardware, and so on, and of course, they still completely dominate in the business world (for PCs and productivity software). They've also got a lot of cash reserves. They're no longer the dominant player in the industry like before, but they're hardly becoming irrelevant.

TL;DR: Wake me when Linux on the desktop breaks 1%.

Comment Re:Not Science, Medicine (Score 1) 279

Uh, no. This is where a good scientist keeps digging into it in order to expand our level of knowledge.

In which case your original premise that "causation is frequently so complex that it can not be deciphered with our current level of knowledge" is not correct. You cannot have it both ways: either the causation is understandable - with hard work and insight - or it is not. If it is understandable then this is what a scientist will go after because understanding is their goal. For a medical researcher establishing causation is enough which is very susceptible to random statistical flukes.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 54

But the game industry, and Valve in particular, are in a difficult spot as Microsoft moves to force everyone to go through their app store.

No one except a few outspoken crazies in the game industry believe that's going to happen. Even APPLE hasn't shut down non-store apps. There are simply too many legacy apps that are critical to businesses and/or individuals for MS to kill the Win32 API, and that's what would essentially be required to force this on everyone. Windows' strength is its backwards compatibility and the size and robustness of its 3rd party ecosystem. Windows isn't open-source of course, but it IS still a very open development platform.

So, no. Will not happen anytime in the foreseeable future. There's plenty of other stupid shit that MS is doing with Windows (like you mentioned) without worrying about stuff like this.

Comment Travel mode, AKA... (Score 1) 136

My phone has a global "travel mode", AKA "Airplane mode."

IOW, I just disconnect when traveling. Also when sleeping. And working.

The Internet in all its various forms and guises serves me. Not the other way around. If it's not that way for you, you need to stop selling death-sticks, go home, and rethink your life. Go on. Go.

Comment Idiocracy doubles down (Score 1) 102

You've really missed the point.

No, I really have not.

You are after complexity of the OS so that you can do complicated things with the OS.

I just want bloody subfolders and the ability to get at the filesystem. I don't care if I have to turn it on specially. I don't care if your snowflake pilots can't see it. I just want it to really work without having to root the bloody phone.

You think you're arguing for sophistication and intellect

Good grief, no. I'm arguing for pre-1990 levels, almost prehistoric levels by computing standards, of organizing capacity. There's nothing wrong with most user's intellects -- other than the intellects behind the reasoning that says "one level is all you get", now those intellects are simply downright crippled.

Your use cases differ wildly from most of the billions of the users of iOS devices in where you feel the need for complexity.

Yeah, my use case incorporates the concept of organization far beyond what these crippled devices allow, and yes, I readily admit this is beyond most phone-only users comprehension at the moment (although not if they have ever used a desktop or laptop computer), but just as you said, they (you mentioned pilots, I'd add four-year-olds) could cope with it if it was there. I don't even think they they should have to; I just think I should be able to.

The idea that everyone must suffer because pilots - or whomever - want simple is nothing less than anathema to me. I despise it, and I despise its proponents, and I find their reasoning (which is being far too generous) to be unworthy of serious consideration.

Filesystems promote organization. Single level folders went out of use in the 1980's, and the reason they did is because they are insufficient to organize any amount of data beyond a cupful. And no, "search" is not a valid replacement, before anyone tries to jump into that moldy old corner. The very fact that my home screen overflows onto additional pages and I am unable to properly, reasonably, organize my apps and data is a huge red flag that the system itself is deficient. Multiple cores, GHz+ clock speeds, gigs of ram and storage... and I can't have bleeding subfolders? Jesus. Hosiphat. Christ.

And the Long-Dong-Silver sized irony here is that if you DO dig into the actual systems underneath the sadly flattened icons to see how the phone actually works, what will you find? YOU. WILL. FIND. SUBFOLDERS.

There's simply no adequate justification for the intentional, irreversible crippling that's been done to end-user level of these devices. None.

Comment Re:Not Science, Medicine (Score 1) 279

No, they focus on correlation because causation is frequently so complex that it can not be deciphered with our current level of knowledge.

Exactly but if they were a scientist then this is when they would stop and go and look at a different problem that they can decipher with our current level of knowledge. That is part of being a good scientist: you have to tackle things which you can ultimately understand because it is that understanding which is the goal of science. In medicine the correlation is enough: if substance X or activity Y cures ailment Z that's good medicine, why and how is of secondary importance.

Comment Idiocracy (Score 2) 102

the vast majority of the tablet/phone purchasing world has no clue what you mean by that statement. They. Don't. Care.

That's exactly right. And because these devices are designed down to the level of the ignorant, rather than uplifting them, they don't have to learn. And those of us who could use these devices to a much greater extent remain reined in by this pandering to market. Subfolders are too complicated, the apologists tell us. There's no saving people too stupid to learn what a subfolder is/does. But those who are simply ignorant can learn in seconds. The insistence that this is "too much" is utterly pitiful to hear.

In the end, dumbing everything down is the surest way to the market consisting of the broadest portion of the Gaussian, and therefore, their money. That's why this is happening.

Time to watch the intro to Idiocracy again to remind ourselves why pandering to the lowest common denominator is a really, really bad idea.

Comment Re:Mostly, send the snowflakes to Venezuela (Score 4, Insightful) 183

I heard a rather heated argument the other day at work. It was heated because the devs were up against a deadline, and the debate was (from what I gathered) whether to push a fix forward or not for the next release. Not once did I hear any rudeness toward other team members by those in the debate. Any swearing and most of the frustration was directed at the code and process, not other people.

More to the point, such a culture is set by the guys at the top. Our boss isn't the type to rant or yell at others, and in turn, everyone understands that such behavior doesn't belong at our company. Simple as that.

It's entirely possible to remain civil with fellow employees at all times, even when you're frustrated or tense. It's not exactly *necessary* for a company to behave that way to be successful, but all in all, I'm going to prefer working at a company in which people are expected to remain civil with each other.

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You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.