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Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

SoftwareArtist AMD is the only real option (106 comments)

If you want to write modern OpenCL code and run it on a GPU, AMD is your only option.

In terms of performance, NVIDIA is actually the best. But they've been stuck at OpenCL 1.1 for years, while everyone else has long since moved to newer versions. Until (if) they add OpenCL 2.0 support, they'll be a bad choice.

Intel doesn't support running OpenCL on the GPU under Linux. See the chart at the end of https://software.intel.com/en-.... You can still write OpenCL programs, but you'll just be running them on your CPU.

2 days ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

SoftwareArtist Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (893 comments)

Or perhaps you just aren't aware of how much evil is done by members of your own religion. I take it, for example, that you aren't familiar with the National Liberation Front of Tripura, a Christian terrorist organization in India notorious for murdering Hindus who refused to convert? Or the murder of 77 people (mostly children) in Oslo in 2011 by a man who wanted to preserve the "Christian culture" of Europe? Or, since I gather you're American, here's an example closer to home. Since 1977 there have been 383 death threats, 619 bomb threats, and at least 8 murders committed against abortion providers in the US, nearly all of those by Christians. Surely you're familiar with the Ku Klux Klan, America's most famous Christian terrorist organization which remains active today?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Beware of cultural biases. If you live in a Christian dominated society, you will naturally think of Christians as "normal people", but base your view of Muslims on whatever you see in the news - which is disproportionately about terrorist attacks. If you lived in a country with a different religion, you would see things very differently.

about two weeks ago
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Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

SoftwareArtist Wrong reasons (441 comments)

We understand way less about economics than about climate change. Predicting what the price of anything will do in the future is really, really hard. A few years ago it seemed like oil prices would keep going up forever. Now they're going down and someone immediately says, "They'll keep going down forever!". But really we have no idea.

But we have a very good idea about what burning oil will do to the climate. If you want to argue for phasing out fossil fuels, do it based on the good arguments: they're destroying the planet. Don't bring in bad arguments based on wild guesses about what might or might not happen to oil prices over the next few years. That just weakens your position.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

SoftwareArtist Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (893 comments)

> (Yay, and now after probably pissing off lefties, I've just pissed off righties.. such is the curse of the moderate)

It's not that you're a moderate. It's that you just presented caricatures of lots of people's beliefs, that have little to do with what they actually believe. :)

Islam does not "have a cancer" any more than Christianity does. Ok, you could argue that both of them are cancers, along with most other major religions. I won't discuss that point one way or another. But if you think Islam is somehow worse than other religions... well, no. Islam and Christianity both have fringes of violent, hateful extremists. They also both have much larger numbers of believers who are just ordinary people who are as disgusted by these attacks as anyone else. They both have holy books with many violent, hateful passage. Most of their believers reject those passages as being appropriate guides to their own behavior.

And you just equated Shariah law with... playing the morning call to prayer?

Then you totally caricatured "leftists and atheists". This may surprise you, but Duke is a private university. If they chose to play Christian songs from their bell tower, no leftist or atheist I know would have the least objection. It's their own business what they want to play. Perhaps some people would object if a public university did that, but I strongly doubt it.

And then... what was it "righties" were supposed to be upset about? Saying that universities should be totally secular? There again, we're talking about a private university. All the conservatives I know would say a private organization should be free to be as religious or as secular as it likes. (Strangely enough, all the liberals I know would say exactly the same thing.)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

SoftwareArtist Spinning wheel (790 comments)

Here's even a similar musical reference: Gretchen Am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) by Shubert, written in 1814. https://www.youtube.com/watch?.... The piano accompaniment imitates the sound of a spinning wheel, with the right hand notes rising and falling as the wheel speeds up and slows down, and the thudding pedal in the left hand. It would have been a familiar sound for centuries. But how many people recognize it anymore?

about two weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

SoftwareArtist Re:A Simple Retort (556 comments)

This is wrong on a bunch of different levels. First, God is not "outside" the universe unless you mean something completely different from me by the phrase, "the universe." When I (and most scientists) speak of "the universe," we mean, "everything that exists." If God exists, then God is part of the universe (by definition). If God is not part of the universe, then God does not exist.

Second, anything that exists is a legitimate subject for science to study. If it's part of the universe, it's fair game. Just because some people have religious beliefs about it, that doesn't mean we can't study it objectively. What you "choose to believe" has no bearing at all on what is actually true.

Third, science never "proves" anything. That's a word that has no rigorous meaning in the context of science. What science actually does is collect evidence, and compare it to the predictions of theories (where "theory" is roughly a synonym for "description"). If the evidence does a good job of matching the predictions, we conclude the theory is probably a good description of whatever it's meant to describe. If it doesn't match, we conclude it probably isn't a good description. But nothing is ever "proven". No question is so firmly settled it can never be reopened if new evidence or a new theory comes up.

Fourth, "God" is not a theory. "God" is just a poorly defined word that lots of people use to mean lots of different things. Most people use it without having any clear idea of what they mean by it. If you put together a coherent theory that happens to involve something called "God", we can test the predictions of that theory and see how they check out. But until then, it's meaningless to talk about "evidence". It's impossible (by definition) to have evidence for or against something that doesn't make predictions, because there's nothing to compare your data to.

about three weeks ago
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Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

SoftwareArtist Re:...and... (381 comments)

None of those is a liberal position. How many Democrats in congress can you name who endorse any of them? In contrast, a large number of Republicans in congress have explicitly and publicly rejected climate change and/or evolution. Those are mainstream positions within the party.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

SoftwareArtist Re:Why bother? (421 comments)

> Java's IDEs are not as good as .Net's (Visual Studio is probably the best IDE ever built)

You have got to be kidding! Visual Studio is probably the single worst designed IDE I've ever used (and I've used a lot!), and compared to just about anything in the Java world it is unbelievably primitive. Every time I have to do something in Visual Studio I quickly find myself cursing it. Between the mostly broken autocompletion, its inability to distinguish between classes and constructors, the fact that you can't do anything while a build is in progress, not even trivial things like selecting "set as startup project", the unbelievable slowness and constant hangs...

If you want to see a truly good IDE, give IDEA a try. It's like moving from the 19th century into the 21st.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

SoftwareArtist Wrong questions (421 comments)

> 2. Is there an open source choice today that's popular enough to be considered the standard that employers would like?

I think this poster is really asking the wrong questions. There are lots of different choices that are all popular, depending on what you want to do. Web development? Java, PHP, and Node are all fairly popular. Android development? That means Java. iOS? It's Objective C and/or Swift. Windows? It's C#. Cross platform game engines? C++. There are good reasons for those differences. You really don't want to try writing web applications in C++, or game engines in PHP. But in every case, there are existing options that are "up to the job" and, in most cases, open source.

Until now, C# and .NET were basically Windows-only technologies, and that held them back. (Yes there was Mono, but it was never more than the unloved step child.) With that changing, it now becomes plausible to use it for more things. Whether it's "up to the job" in those other fields has to be decided on technical grounds. Whether it will manage to take "market share" away from other technologies is partly a technical question, but more a political one.

> Choosing a standard means you can recruit young, cheap developers and actually get some output from them before they move on.

It also means you can recruit experienced developers who already know the technology. Standardization isn't just about being able to exploit people!

about a month ago
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IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

SoftwareArtist Re:Really? (196 comments)

That's right, no TV and proud of it! I only watch what I can stream over the internet. :) Which these days is almost everything.

(Actually I do own a TV, but not to watch TV programs. The only things connected to it are various game consoles.)

You know, just because someone sees no value in the particular technology you're trying to hype, it doesn't automatically follow that they're a "Luddite" who has to be "dragged into the future kicking and screaming." Sometimes it's because the hype really is just hype. The burden is on you to present reasoned arguments for why your shiny new technology really will be useful to me, and not just resort to name calling.

about 2 months ago
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IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

SoftwareArtist Re:Really? (196 comments)

But I don't have any IP cameras. I don't want anything triggering the lights except me turning on the switch. I don't have a home server, and if I did have one, I certainly wouldn't want it turning on the oven. I know whether I plan to bake something, and it doesn't. Barcode scanners on refrigerators were a silly idea in 1995, and the idea hasn't gotten any less silly just because it's now wireless.

This all sounds like a solution in search of a problem. It doesn't make my life better. The default for any product should be that it isn't networked unless there's a really good reason that it needs to be. At least that way I don't have to worry about hackers breaking into.

about 2 months ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

SoftwareArtist Re:Strong AI = child (574 comments)

We have a lot of experience creating children. We've created many billions of them so far, and none of them has yet wiped out humanity. It doesn't mean one of them won't eventually do it, but still we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from children.

We've never created a strong AI. We have very little idea what to expect from one. There's a good chance it will behave differently from any human in ways we have trouble predicting. That's a good reason to be cautious about creating one. It will not be the same as a human child.

about 2 months ago
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"Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

SoftwareArtist Re:Training? (112 comments)

I remember a doctor telling me the same thing years ago. He said that EMTs are trained to do a fixed list of things, but aren't sufficiently trained to determine which ones will be beneficial for a given patient. Therefore, they always do all of them, whether they're needed or not. This is good for the ambulance companies, since they can charge the maximum amount for every call. It's bad for patients, because it then takes much longer to get to a hospital. In a minority of patients, one of those things on that fixed list of interventions will happen to be helpful... though not necessarily helpful enough to make up for the delay in getting to the hospital. In the majority of patients, they have no benefit and just cause delay.

about 2 months ago
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Machine-Learning Algorithm Ranks the World's Most Notable Authors

SoftwareArtist Not in America! (55 comments)

Every year the works of thousands of authors enter the public domain

No copyright has expired in the US since 1998, and none will expire until at least 2019. I say "at least", because you can be sure there will be lots of lobbying to extend them even further. I hope the rest of the world is enjoying their public domain... while they still have it.

about 2 months ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

SoftwareArtist Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

No. You just said several things that are simply false. Please let me clarify them.

First, you seem to have the idea that experiments like this are expensive to perform. They aren't. I used to work in an MRI research lab. The cost of doing a scan is close to zero. Buying the machine in the first place is expensive, but since my lab was in a hospital, they already had that. The hospital used it for patients during the day, and then left it idle most of the night. That's when the graduate students ran their experiments. The cost of doing this study is whatever you have to pay some undergraduates to come in the middle of the night and get their brains scanned: not very much.

Second, this study was not a fishing expedition. It's the latest in a growing body of literature on the subject. They included various types of "disgusting" images because previous studies had shown (based on skin response and the like) that conservatives have a stronger response to them than liberals do. They included threat images for the same reason: previous studies have shown that conservatives have a stronger startle reflex than liberals. They were a bit surprised when they didn't find anything for those images, and they include commentary speculating on why they didn't. There is no previous evidence that conservatives and liberals respond differently to pleasant images, so they would have been surprised if anything had shown up there. And it would have been very surprising if they'd found any difference for neutral images, making those a good negative control.

Third, as a neuroscientist you're well aware that we know more about the brain than just the sensory and motor parts. That doesn't mean we have detailed circuits, but we do know, for example, that particular regions are involved in emotion, memory, higher cognitive tasks, etc. Maybe those parts aren't what you are personally interested in, but that doesn't make them invalid subjects to study.

about 3 months ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

SoftwareArtist Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of yo (330 comments)

How about you? What were you going to add?

I was going to add (and did add) the suggestion that you read the paper so you could post informed opinions rather than uninformed ones. (It amazes me how often my signature quote turns out to be exactly relevant.) And that led you to do it, so I totally count it as a positive contribution to the discussion!

I do, however, think you're being overly harsh toward this paper. They crossvalidated their results, and also included negative controls in the study. If their statistics were really as badly done as you claim, they would have found just as strong predictors based on the pleasant and neutral images. But they didn't.

about 3 months ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

SoftwareArtist Re:Conservatives don't accept that Humans are anim (330 comments)

My take on this as a US liberal, is that this might be indicative of a conservative having an aversion to being reminded of how humans are little more than animals.

I'm not at all surprised that, as a liberal, you would interpret it that way. Even though there's nothing in the study that actually supports that interpretation. A conservative, of course, would almost certainly not interpret it that way. The liberal and the conservative are both being equally emotional and non-rational in their reasoning.

Think carefully about what you just did. You first decided (based primarily on emotion) what conclusion you wanted to reach, then interpreted the data as supporting that conclusion. You did that (as everyone does, many times a day) despite the fact that it required wild extrapolations, and there are tons of other interpretations equally consistent with the data. This is exactly the sort of thing this article is talking about. Humans are not rational. We make decisions based on emotion, then rationalize them to convince ourselves they were actually based on logic. If you are human, then you are not rational. If you believe you are, that's just an example of one of your irrational beliefs.

about 3 months ago
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Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

SoftwareArtist Re: I'm sick of this thread and sick of all of you (330 comments)

Unfortunately this is most likely sensationalist BS, not interesting science. I haven't read the paper.

So maybe you should read the paper? Then you'll know. Instead you just posted lots of totally uninformed speculation about what they "probably did" while presenting this as some sort of authoritative view. In just a few minutes you could have skimmed the paper (it's not very long and quite clearly written), then posted a useful commentary that would actually add to the conversation.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

SoftwareArtist Apple designs for yesterday (370 comments)

Example: a few releases ago they made scrollbars thinner (making them harder to click), and also made them disappear by default. All this to "free up the space" that was being "wasted" by scrollbars. Now in Yosemite they're getting rid of window title bars in many apps, making it harder to move windows around. This is for the same reason: to free up space being used by title bars.

My computer has a 24" screen. The space taken up by scrollbars and window titles is completely insignificant. The inconvenience caused by not having them is very significant. This is a design decision that might have been justifiable 15 years ago when a 17" monitor was considered large, but today is completely absurd.

about 3 months ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

SoftwareArtist What did they actually do? (571 comments)

From the article: "In a statement, the company, the Pentagon's largest supplier, said it would build and test a compact fusion reactor in less than a year, and build a prototype in five years." So if they haven't even built a reactor yet, much less tested it to see if it really works, what exactly is the amazing breakthrough they're claiming?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Petition to Reduce the Term of Copyrights

SoftwareArtist SoftwareArtist writes  |  about 3 years ago

SoftwareArtist (1472499) writes "There's a petition up at whitehouse.gov to restore the term of copyrights back to what they were in 1976: a max of 58 years. We all love to complain about copyright law, so let's do something about it and complain to the people with power to change it. It needs 25,000 signatures by Feb. 20 to be guaranteed a response. For the Slashdot community, that should be easy! One petition won't change the law, but if we don't tell our elected representatives what we think, it will never change."

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