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One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

RandCraw Re:1 in 5 uses of statistics are b***shit (247 comments)

19% makes sense only if "IoT developer" includes everyone whose job title includes the words INTERNET, OF, or THINGS.


Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

RandCraw Obfuscator? Or just translate A-B-A? (218 comments)

Of course you could anonymize source code using an obfuscator.

But maybe the simpler way is to compile Java to bytecode, then decompile it back to Java. I suspect that's as effective as most obfuscators.

2 days ago

Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

RandCraw Re:Anyone else concerned? (164 comments)

Yes, absolutely I'm concerned. The radiologist got it wrong in assessing the tumor to have grown. That's so important to a cancer patient as to be an unpardonable sin.

But given the hodgepodge of modern medical testing, it's not terribly surprising. Clinical CT or MR images often have low resolution or voxels that are anisotropic (usually, longer head-to-toe than side-to-side). When comparing two images with differing resolutions, voxel shapes, or subject poses, two images can be difficult to compare.

That said, recommending surgery based on a mistaken read of an image is something I would *definitely* be concerned about. But that's why we get second opinions.

about two weeks ago

The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

RandCraw Caches, threading, SIMD/GPUs, and floating point (180 comments)

I haven't seen the article or video. But for 99% of developers, I'd say the only CPU-level changes since the 8086 that matter are caches, support for threading and SIMD, and the rise of external GPUs.

Out-of-order scheduling, branch prediction, VM infrastructure like TLBs, and even multiple cores don't alter the programmer's API significantly. (To the developer/compiler, multicore primitives appear no different than a threading library. The CPU still guarantees microinstruction execution order.)

Some of the compiler optimization switches have become more complex, and perhaps a few coding idioms are now deprecated/encouraged so that compilers better understand what you intend (so you don't make their job unnecessarily harder).

But overall, almost all developer techniques don't benefit from changes to CPU microarchitecture after 1990, aside from caches, SIMD, and GPUs.

And of course, ever since the 80486 (1989), all CPUs support floating point instructions.

about two weeks ago

Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

RandCraw Re:Streisand Effect and Mohammad cartoons (512 comments)

If there had been a major outcry from Muslims, how would you know? Are you attuned to their media?

Do you imagine most Muslims belong to sopme sort of large collective whose spokesman appears before media outlets to make official pronouncements? AFAIK, they don't. Aside from Catholics and the Pope, neither do Christians.

What's more, do you imagine that Muslims speak with one voice on most issues? When's the last time Christians agreed on anything?

I know a few muslims in the US. They tend not to be that outspoken about their beliefs, probably out of fear of intolerance. Like yours.

('Archangel Michael'? Really? How old are you?)

about three weeks ago

Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

RandCraw Re:Tim Cook is an MBA (598 comments)

There's a wonderful article "The Case Against Credentialism" by James Fallows in the The Atlantic (1985) which reads as if it were written today: http://www.theatlantic.com/edu...

It assesses professional degrees like MBAs as being inherently worth next to nothing, essentially serving a broken agenda in which our highly credentialed leaders know everything about form but nothing about function. Maybe virtual expertise is enough to govern a virtual world?

Too bad the US political parties didn't read this prior to the 2000 election. Maybe the would have fielded worthier candidates (and staff), and the US could have saved about a million lives and a few trillion bucks). Such is the cost of driving under the influence, I guess.

about three weeks ago

The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

RandCraw Re: Well duh (420 comments)

A bullpen makes a lot of sense to me. If coworkers doing exactly the kind of work I do were colocated, we'd all learn quickly what forms of interaction were productive and preferred, so we could avoid getting on each others' nerves. I used to work in a suite containing only team members. We all preferred it greatly to our present cubicle farm.

The principal problem with open offices are the disturbances arising from non-team members, especially the rude few who won't consider the harm their noise inflicts on neighbors.

about a month ago

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

RandCraw AI has no agency; they just sits and thinks (417 comments)

Etzioni's point is a good one. To date, all AI apps have been designed to passively sit and do nothing until given a specific task. Only then do they act. For Hawking to be proved right, AIs must take the initiative, to choose their own goals. That's a horse of an entirely different color.

Of course, there's no reason why AI agents could not become more autonomous, eventually. Future task specs might become more vague while AIs are likely to become more multipurpose. Given enough time, I'm sure we'll have mobile robots able to do more than sweep floors in a random pattern. But Commander Data is a long way from an iRobot Roomba or Rethink's Baxter, both of which are dumber than my phone.

In the real world, autonomous robots are not going to arise for decades. And when they do, if they drive on the same streets or share the same office spaces, they too will have to obey the same rules of conduct as the rest of us. You won't get special privileges just because your brain is made of silicon.

about a month and a half ago

Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

RandCraw Revisionism of history (193 comments)

Editing the historical record sounds awfully like hiding your past. Why isn't this like pretending the Holocaust or Stalins purges just never happened? Wouldn't IBM like to assert (without contradiction) that it never assisted the Nazis in the Death Camps?

This is an initiative only a corporate tool could love.

about 2 months ago

Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet

RandCraw The court upheld search warrants not anonymity (231 comments)

If you read the court case mentioned, the supreme court ruled that a search warrant was required before police could access the defendant's computer, which they did not do.

Anonymity was tangential to the case at best.

about 3 months ago

President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

RandCraw Re:Legacy (706 comments)

Exactly. This announcement marks the official start of the Obama presidency Reality Distortion Phase, where the lame duck madly fabricates an idyllic legacy that he gave a damn for liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Just like Nixon.

about 3 months ago

Michigan Builds Driverless Town For Testing Autonomous Cars

RandCraw Re:A little late there, American Car Industry. (86 comments)

Right. With luck this kind of exurban facility will make good use of selective dispensations from the MI DMV to extend their trials off premises and onto roads like you describe.

Dialing up the real world noise is essential to bring these cars up to speed -- missing or obstructed lane markers and signs, poorly marked or uneven road edges, and the introduction of noise like leaves, snow banks, and pools of accumulated rainwater all need to be mastered before automation has any business driving cars, buses, trucks, or passengers in the many parts of the country like the Michigan coutnryside where often "the sun don't shine".

about 4 months ago

Michigan Builds Driverless Town For Testing Autonomous Cars

RandCraw Re:A little late there, American Car Industry. (86 comments)

Exactly. Ann Arbor has persistent winter snow and occasional sleet, heavy rain, tornados, and even flooding. Its weather is often a perfect storm for drivers and a far cry from the ideal idyllic settings used so far to test automatic cars.

A2 is the real world. And its mix of academia and auto company proximity make it ideal for this role. Seems like a perfect marriage.

about 4 months ago

Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

RandCraw If WBs reveal crime, opposition to WBs promotes it (224 comments)

If we were serious about ending criminal acts in the US government, we would:

1) create a fully independent office inside the government to investigate and prosecute wrongdoers, with powers no less than congress' Special Prosecutor (i.e. equal to the presidency)

2) offer whistleblowers generous retirement benefits for life (to escape retribution)

3) give them blanket immunity from prosecution

4) prosecute the gov't wrongdoers all the way up the chain of command, *starting* at top executive levels

But the US government does the opposite. That's the very definition of racketeering and organized crime.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

RandCraw A PhD is a Research Degree (479 comments)

With a theoretical PhD, if you're applying for non-research jobs, you're probably seen as overqualified and suited to the wrong mix of skills. If the years of study toward your PhD don't translate to a capability that the employer values, then they're likely to see it as irrelevant, and see you as having "The Wrong Stuff".

Try describing your PhD research in some way that's more relevant to the company you're applying to. If it's mathematical, describe it as "analytic" or "data intensive" and not "theoretic" or "provably valid". Data mining and machine learning and AI and big data are hot right now. Make your skills sexy.

And be sure to write a cover letter that's tailored to the job, the industry, and the employer. These days, mismatched or over-general applications get tossed almost immediately.

about 4 months ago

IBM Opens Up Its Watson Supercomputer To Researchers

RandCraw Sounds intriguing to this R&Der (28 comments)

For any R&D company that has a lot of in-house raw data, the Watson Discovery Advisor is likley to generate a lot of interest.

Imagine you're an executive VP in R&D in a board meeting. You receive this challenge from the CEO who hates your guts: "Our R&D productivity continues to decline. What're you doing about this? How are you extracting every last bit of value from our data? Our major competitors are using tools like Watson. Why aren't we?" You damned well better have an answer.

I work for a Fortune 100 R&D company that is *very* interested in improving its R&D ROI. I know for a fact that any opportunity to reevaluate our data to derive additional value (e.g. new prospects) will set off bells among the C suiters. IMHO Watson, and especially Discovery Advisor, is the first system I've seen with that potential.

Of course, IBM is going to have to step up its game in loading and tagging all that data. I suspect that's where most of its new Watson staff will work. I suspect the most fruitful features in data are not readable in natural language (English). Much has been summarized in graphs, or lies in tables, or in addenda. Or it's buried deep in old screening results stored in flat files that were long ago archived to tape. And it's certainly not present in easy-to-access content like online research paper abstracts.

But all it takes is one or two significant new leads to make the millions you spent hiring Watson look like money *very* well spent. And personally, I think that scenario is entirely plausible.

about 5 months ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

RandCraw The Seventh Wave of Computing has Ebbed (171 comments)

This pattern of ebb and flow in the tech world is nothing new. Every decade brings a computing novelty which invites revolutionaries who rethink the user experience. The universe seems to expand. All the developers get excited, jump on the bandwagon, and revel in the myriad possibilities -- for as long as the high lasts. Now the latest bandwagon has slowed and the Next Next Big Thing seems far far away...

1977 brought us the personal computer. 1984 was GUIs and WYSIWYG computing. 1988 was the network (and email and AOL and Usenet). 1994 was the web. 2008 was smartphones. 2010 was social computing. 2012 was The Cloud.

But 2014 is... dullsville. Sherlock is bored. Get used to it. This is the game that never ends.

about 6 months ago

Is Time Moving Forward Or Backward? Computers Learn To Spot the Difference

RandCraw Re:Abrupt transitions in optical flow? (78 comments)

I suspect most events like you describe probably would occur too quickly for conventional cameras to capture, but I see your point. It seems to me that kind of mition would have to take the form of a percussive force that arises without visible warning -- like the launch of an explosive powered bullet, and unlike the launch of a golfball being struck by a moving golf club that rapidly approached the stationary ball before making contact. And as you suggest, I doubt the firing of a bullet is the kind of motion seen most often in videos.

I suspect the vast majority of conventional motion sequences follow a path of 1) slow accel followed by slow decel (providing little clue as to directon of time), or 2) slow accel followed by fast decel (something that occurs often in forward moving time sequences, as a moving object is stopped suddenly by an impact). Thus path #2 is probably frequent enough and visible enough to be the anomaly that lets Freeman's group recognize the backward passage of time.

about 7 months ago

Is Time Moving Forward Or Backward? Computers Learn To Spot the Difference

RandCraw Abrupt transitions in optical flow? (78 comments)

Dr Freeman spoke about this work at CVPR this week. In the videos I saw he identified small markers of temporal transition as indicative of moving forward or backward. Those they labeled as backward appeared to recognize asymmetric movement -- as in gradual acceleration followed by sudden deceleration as uniquely forward flow (as when a hand swings down and strickes a table top) -- an asymmetry that cannot occur in reverse (as in sudden acceleration followed by gradual deceleration).

Dr Freeman did not propose this as the causal phenomenon in question, but that made the most sense to me in light of the motions he identified as evidence for backward motion.

about 7 months ago



IPad and Goodreader

RandCraw RandCraw writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RandCraw (1047302) writes "I don't read PDFs extensively (when i do, it's CS and image processing), but I've enjoyed goodreader's ability to trim away the margins of a page, thereby enlarging the font and allowing the document to be read in portrait mode without scrolling."

'We Have Learned Nothing from the Genome': Venter

RandCraw RandCraw writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RandCraw (1047302) writes "Der Spiegel recently interviewed Craig Venter (founder of Celera, sequencer of most of the first human genome — his own) on his role in the Human Genome Project . Never one to mince words, Venter was quick to dismiss the project as practically useless:

Venter: ...what else have I learned from my genome? Very little. We couldn't even be certain from my genome what my eye color was. Isn't that sad?...

SPIEGEL: So the Human Genome Project has had very little medical benefits so far?

Venter: Close to zero to put it precisely."

Link to Original Source

Fighting Child Porn, ISPs Block Newsgroups

RandCraw RandCraw writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RandCraw (1047302) writes "In yet another example of a ton of censorship for an ounce of safety, four large ISPs have vowed to significantly reduce their support for Usenet newsgroups. In response to NY State Attorney Andrew Cuomo's mandate to fight child porn, the NY Times reports that Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, and Time Warner have taken steps toward closing down Usenet, ranging from blocking all alt.* groups to shutting off Usenet access altogether. What's next? Stamping out all forms of anonymity everywhere?

C/Net has more at http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9964432-7.html"

Link to Original Source


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