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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Morpf Re:Slippery Slope (183 comments)

This is no slippery slope, this is utter nonesense! If facts stated about your are wrong, you let your lawyer send a letter, that the author has to remove or change the information. They will comply if it's reasonable, if not one can escalate and go on trail.

Long strory short: In Europe you already have means against someone unrighfully diffaming you. No need for censoriing.

3 days ago
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Google Reader: One Year Later

Morpf Still use RSS, going to build a new reader (132 comments)

I don't have the time to go to every news page and look through if something new and important was written. So I still use RSS. I want the information come to me, not to chase it.

My project is in a really early state (no customer - problem fit) as I haven't had the time to invest lately. Feel free to drop me a mail (next-reader@gmx.net) If you want to get updates or want to help me find out what current "problems" with readers and information acquiring in general you have. :) *sorry for slashvertising*

about three weeks ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Morpf Re:Maybe it doesn't measure science literacy (772 comments)

No, it doesn't.

What the quote states is like "because you can't know anything to it's fullest it's okay to just don't care at all." To compare apples and oranges: "Because I can't run a marathon right now it's totally okay to be not able to run even 3 km." Hint: The one able to run a half marathon is nevertheless in a better state than somebody who can't run even 3 km, even though both cannot run a marathon.

Science will undermine it's claims with experiments and reasoning. Moreover we see the results of science in our daily life. Many basic things you can test for yourself (for example just start breeding plants, stretching springs, heating metals, measure a circuit) and actually understand. If you show me someone making wine out of water or dividing a sea I will totally belief in this story. There is a difference between something you see describing your daily life, making predictions about things not yet seen (but later verified) and a story "you just have to believe". Should I believe in the Nigerian prince wanting to give me money, too?

about 2 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Morpf Re:Wait a sec (772 comments)

By definition everything we can't proof is just a theory. The only things we can proof are those, we base on a system of axioms ->see math. All the rest we can only explain, most often quite good, but most often there are missing pieces. We can't merge the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. Both theories work really well for problems "of the right size". I hope you will see, that gravity is a theory, too, even though it's a very well working as it bases on a model.

about 2 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Morpf This question is not inconvenient but senseless (772 comments)

This is like asking:
What would like being hit by?
a) A bus in your favorite color.
b) A banana. (You don't like yellow.)

Believing in evolution doesn't mean thinking "it's without a consequence to mess with anatomy / genes" actually it means the complete opposite. We actually think that the human brain evolved into something very powerful but also very delicate, you know?

But one inconvenient question for you:
How do you think selective breeding of plants and animals works?

about 2 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Morpf Re:Maybe it doesn't measure science literacy (772 comments)

The more abstract principles how evolution works were tough in the 7th grade or so (at least in Germany) when I went to school. Be it mutation, recombination and dominance of genes, DNA, RNA, transcription, cell division. Combine this with the just logical concept of "survival of the fittest" and you are mostly done with explaining/understanding evolution. How exactly the proteins work is another story.
But how hard can it be to grasp the abstract concept of evolution? Even more, when we use this knowledge for ages. Be it selectively breeding of plants, horses, cows, dogs, cats and so on.

about 2 months ago
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CERN's Particle Smashers List Their Toughest Tech Challenges

Morpf Re:joke (31 comments)

I was constantly shaking my head reading this book.

about 2 months ago
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CERN's Particle Smashers List Their Toughest Tech Challenges

Morpf Re:Biggest challenge is avoidance. (31 comments)

Of course a small black hole, it black holes actually exist, would quickly evaporate.

As we can observe black holes we can be quite sure they exist. ;)

about 2 months ago
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Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)

Morpf Re:It's a matter of trust (409 comments)

All the big players in cloud services are US corporations.

about 2 months ago
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Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Morpf Re:Maybe not extinction... (608 comments)

I think you are mixing up capitalism with the industrial revolution. Capitalism is fairer than say a caste system, but it doesn't make it good just by this. If every one is trying to maximize it's profit this leads to companies saving on wages. This may happen by improving processes and needing less people (good) or giving little money for huge workload (bad). Now you may say "Law of supply and demand! Nobody is forced to accept a too low wage." While this is technically true, there is always some one desperate enough to sell his work force under value just so he can pay his mortgage and food. So if companies are driving down wages in a whole sector the single person has no chance to get a good deal. There is another factor driving down wages: abundant supply in work force. There are not enough jobs for everyone, haven't been and probably will never be. Just look back in the old days where only the man would go to work and would supply it's family and even than not everyone had a job. Now look at the current situation: today both the man and the woman need to work, to have a decent life. So double the work force and an even bigger dependence leading to lower wages.

Going to research at an university most often means making less bucks than going into the corporate world. Yet those scientists make this step. Not because of the money, but because they love to solve problems. They love it more than a bigger pay check.

But today you are often enough dependent on third-party funding. Now you not only need to be a good researcher but you need to make big claims to the right peoples. And suddenly research becomes a business. Business need to make ROI in a short period of time. But fundamental research needs many years for any results and those often enough get into products maybe one or two decades later. So fundamental research is hampered. But not only this. By working together with the firms that are paying your research, you are no longer independent and your results tend to be biased. Moreover you may need to hold results back until patents are claimed. This all would not happen, if there wasn't financial interest in research.

Speaking for what happens in Germany: less regulation would actually makes it harder to get decent internet if you are not in the right spot in a big city. It's an easy calculation: ROI is way higher in areas with many subscribers that will buy the most expensive services. Good luck if you are in the urban areas. I really don't see how deregulation would solve this kind of problems.

about 3 months ago
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Google Mulling Wi-Fi For Cities With Google Fiber

Morpf Re:Why not a government service? (39 comments)

Not Wifi in it's tightest meaning, but internet may be called critical infrastructure nowadays.

about 3 months ago
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How much use would you get from a 1 gigabit internet connection?

Morpf Re:P2P video games will never be the same (224 comments)

And Exabytes of RAM and kilocore CPUs to cope with all the players and the hopefully destructible huge maps full of detail and the physics simulation...

Well I guess not anytime soon. ;)

about 3 months ago
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Google Mulling Wi-Fi For Cities With Google Fiber

Morpf Re:Why not a government service? (39 comments)

That is what happens if one privatizes critical infrastructure. Because it is critical, the enterprises can screw you over big times and milk you like a cow–and probably will do so.

about 3 months ago
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Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Morpf Re:Maybe not extinction... (608 comments)

Capitalism is bad. You may not see this, if you belong to the lucky ones, but it is neither fair, nor social or sustainable. And I bet my ass, if we were more collaborative, we would be way ahead in technology and social questions. It's collaboration that drives improvement. Just imagine science without it: Every would had to start at 0, not even knowing the fundamentals. Capitalism on the other hand is the exact antithesis of cooperation where everyone fights for it's own good and against all the others.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

Morpf Desktop Wikis (170 comments)

I started using desktop wikis for writing down my notes. Right now I am using Zim.

Bonus: You can read and edit the files with any text editor as it's just mark-up.

about 3 months ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Morpf Re:BS (359 comments)

Of course. It's those tech workers who are driving the housing prices up, and not the greedy house owners... Sure.

about 3 months ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Morpf Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (431 comments)

At the moment I'm surrounded by people who a single generation ago were doing poorly but are now among the leaders in our industry, all it took them is to shake off a negative view of themselves and their origin, industry couldn't care less were you came from, they want to know were you are today and going tomorrow.

This sounds quite illusory. "You only need to work hard and you'll become rich." News at ten: nope, won't happen. You need also lots of money to burn and / or lots of luck. What the AC wrote is not defeatist, it is realistic. When I look at the job market, entry positions ask for like 10 years of experience in the field even though they "target" newly graduated academics. I don't even want to think of the struggle of people without a degree. And with your system it's a big gamble to go to university as you will end up with a huge debt.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Modern Web Development Applied Science Associates Degree?

Morpf Beta again, really? (246 comments)

Dear Slashdot,
didn't you say you knew Beta was broken, what was wrong etc? Didn't you say, you would only redirect not logged in users to Beta? Well, I have my doubts as I am force over with Beta again. And not even a click to Classic works. Great work again with your Beta. I am really proud of you. Well sort of. Well actually I am not. You guys really know how to annoy your user base.

I hate Beta.

about 5 months ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Morpf Re:I fail to see parallelism in CSS flow (208 comments)

I think you'd be surprised how many real world day to day task can be and are parallelized: [...] searching

I thought searching a large collection of documents was disk-bound, and traversing an index was an inherently serial process. Or what parallel data structure for searching did I miss?

Searching a large collection of non-indexed documents from disk is likely disk-bound, yes - except you somehow formulated a very complex search or stream from multiple disks at a time - but maybe you are searching data already in RAM. Traversing an index isn't necessarily a serial process, depending on your data structure. There are parallel implementations for binary and red-black trees, as far as I know. Or one could simply use a forest of as many trees as one has searching threads. (will get worse performance when using less threads than trees). If you only have a sorted list or array you could use a parallel search. If your data is not indexed you are likely to be faster with multiple threads (if there is no other bottle neck like, for example, disk throughput). Maybe you are searching multiple things at the same time (like a string in authors and contents of e-mails) or you are searching with multiple parameters (filetype [type], last access after [date], string in content [foo]) where not all parameters are indexed.

rendering web pages

I don't see how rendering a web page can be fully parallelized. Decoding images, yes. Compositing, yes. Parsing and reflow, no. The size of one box affects every box below it, especially when float: is involved. And JavaScript is still single-threaded unless a script is 1. being displayed from a web server (Chrome doesn't support Web Workers in file:// for security reasons), 2. being displayed on a browser other than IE on XP, IE on Vista, and Android Browser <= 4.3 (which don't support Web Workers at all), and 3. not accessing the DOM.

I never stated that my problems are 100% parallelizable. ;) Parsing: Why not? Reflow: And if I have multiple boxes at the same layer? At least as long the dimension are fixed or bounded some parallel processing could be possible, if it would benefit I can't tell.
Often enough there is more than one page opened at a time. With every open page the likelihood of executing multiple JavaScripts rises and with multiple pages getting rendered at the same time you can use parallelism, too.

compiling

True, each translation unit can be combined in parallel if you choose not to enable whole-program optimization. But I don't see how whole-program optimization can be done in parallel.

Many steps can be parallelized, not all, as you pointed out. And even than I am not sure if there wouldn't be a solution for whole-program / link-time optimization, but I'm no professional concerning compiler building. And even then: I happen to compile multiple binary files with one run of make most of the time, so using multiple threads is for free (there is a reason make has the -j option).

about 7 months ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Morpf Re:Requires parallelism (208 comments)

I think you'd be surprised how many real world day to day task can be and are parallelized: almost everything concerning audio and video (images or movies), searching, analyzing, rendering web pages, compiling, computing physics and AI for games.

I can't think of one computing intensive day to day action that is not parallelized or wouldn't be easy to do so.

about 7 months ago

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