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Large Hadron Collider is a Time Machine?

amentajo Re:Testable! (332 comments)

I'm going back to get UID 1199437

more than 3 years ago

MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

amentajo Re:hmm (368 comments)

You were the one that made the declaration that if something better existed, then you would buy it. That, by implication, means you have no brand loyalty to Apple, therefore I asked you to prove lack of that brand loyalty by scratching off the logo.

I'll help to try and clarify BitZtream's point a little... not adding an Apple logo onto a computer that does not yet have an Apple logo is worlds different from scratching an Apple logo off of a computer that does have one. "The Apple branding on my devices isn't important" means that one does not care if it's there or not. Not caring about whether or not there is an Apple logo means that, without added incentive, one is not going to add an Apple logo if it's not there, and one is not going to scratch it off if it is. It does not necessitate scratching off an already-existing logo, because it has already been posited that one does not care.
Furthermore, if one scratches the Apple logo off of one's computer without an external incentive to do so, then it can be safely assumed that one does, indeed, care whether or not there is an Apple logo on the machine.
In fact, I believe that it would be enlightening to see how many people would pay $50 less to get an Apple computer that doesn't sport an Apple logo versus an otherwise-equivalent one that does.

Yes, you are correct. I *AM* concerned enough about logos to the point where they are not the sole criteria by which I choose to use something. Similarly, I know enough about them to realise that just sticking a logo on something means the price of it can be increased. Other than that, I can't say I even remember who made the BIOS on each one of the PCs I own - maybe when I'm bored with "fishing for fanbois and reeling them in", I'll reboot this machine, take a look and then let you know.

It sounds to me like you're making an implicit straw-man comparison here. I doubt that most people who buy Apple products do so solely because of the logo, though that may play a non-zero role in the decision-making process, and the branding likely does get reflected somewhat in the price of the product. For instance, Mac OS X does not come pre-installed (legally) on any other manufacturer's computers that I know of. Say what you will about the relative merits and demerits of that operating system versus others, Mac OS X is more valuable to some people than Microsoft Windows is, and those people will pay a higher price for a Mac than they will for a "Windows machine" of equivalent hardware specifications.

I am not automatically an Apple hater - it's just in 30+ years of using computers and gadgets, I've never worked out a good enough reason to buy anything they've made. I stand prepared to be educated by those who do - so off you go then, I'm listening...

I completely agree with your stated position, though I can only really claim a mere 15+ years of using computers and gadgets, myself.
One potentially good reason that one might buy an Apple machine, if you are genuinely looking for such a reason, is to be able to develop applications to sell on the App Store. That kind of exposure could be lucrative under the proper conditions. It's not a good reason for me to buy a Mac for myself, but I believe that it is a good enough reason for the rational consumer who does have those needs.

more than 3 years ago

61.9% of Undergraduates Cybercheat

amentajo Re:Because they see them as the same? (484 comments)

They are both thefts, stealing ideas or stealing merchandise, where is the difference? Both are the products of others. What if the online source is a paid subscription model? Would that make the two equal? Is it OK to take from an public source like Wikipedia? Does that lessen the crime or just make one victim stand out more than another?

I don't see a difference except in who is getting cheated, in the first you are depriving someone the profits of their successful livelihood, in the second your depriving yourself of becoming better, in fact your caving into the problem many see in "this generation" (which this generation is this at the time is subject to those looking down on them) which is too do as little as possible for the greatest reward. You are establishing a work method that will likely stick with you your entire career and it will hobble them in it.

Downloading a copy of a Ke$ha song and listening to it for one's own entertainment generally does not lead to passing it off as one's own song.
On the other hand, copying down what an expert says about one's topic into a paper without citing that expert is, in fact, passing it off as one's own work.
It's the difference between downloading Firefox and downloading the source code to Firefox, removing references to the people who wrote the code, compiling/packaging it, and giving it to someone, calling it "this awesome web browser I wrote".
(I know, that analogy is flawed in some ways, but it illustrates the main point...)

more than 3 years ago

Chrome Is the Third Double-Digit Browser

amentajo Re:Webkit browsers (299 comments)

And again you fail. Math is correct this time, but the statistical extrapolation is flawed.

If the math is the same as what you're doing, then the statistical extrapolation is no different from what you did; I just used more months to illustrate that, as you point out, that extrapolation is flawed, since applying it can potentially result in impossibly large numbers.

So you've hit on what I'm trying to say: you shouldn't project that a browser's market share will increase by k% each month into the future. All browsers' market share figures must add up to 100%. So, right off the bat, the projected share will be greater than 100% after some amount of months.

Unless there's some reason why using 6 months is OK but using 27 months is not? Because with k=40 (see above for what I mean by k), the number is over 100% after 6 months too.

There are other better reasons why you shouldn't use this figure for projections, but I haven't been able to both give those reasons and keep this post kinda short, so I just left it at the one.

more than 3 years ago

Chrome Is the Third Double-Digit Browser

amentajo Re:Webkit browsers (299 comments)

OK, then, I shall try again.

If I follow your math correctly, then in just 27 months, over 105% of internet users (17% * (107% ^ 27)) will be using WebKit browsers!

more than 3 years ago

Chrome Is the Third Double-Digit Browser

amentajo Re:Webkit browsers (299 comments)

If I follow your math correctly, then in just one year, 101% of internet users (17% + (7% * 12)) will be using WebKit browsers, leaving just -1% left to split between Mozilla-derived, Opera, and Internet Explorer!

more than 3 years ago

Senators Bash ISP and Push Extensive Net Neutrality

amentajo Re:QoS (427 comments)

Disregard, I didn't read the last sentence of your post.

more than 3 years ago

Senators Bash ISP and Push Extensive Net Neutrality

amentajo Re:QoS (427 comments)

So, why would Joe User use a BitTorrent client that makes downloads go slower on purpose (i.e., flags packets as "idle" instead of "normal")?

more than 3 years ago

Facebook's Revenues Leaked

amentajo Re:Good grief you have a short outlook (295 comments)

How silly! EVERY company loses favor. Styles change, customs change, companies bet on the wrong horse or stay the course and stagnate.

EVERY company loses favor sooner or later.

Some Japanese hotels like Hoshi have literally been around for ages.

Also, check out Tower Publishing, around since 1772, and JPMorgan Chase, with us since 1799.

Take a quick peek at Wikipedia sometime. Though I can't prove that all of these companies will be around forever, I think that companies that have been around through several generations come close enough for me.

Facebook is not going to be the first immortal company.

I doubt any company can truly be immortal, but the companies on that wiki page are as close at it gets.

more than 3 years ago

Groklaw — Don't Go Home, Go Big

amentajo Re:The Scorpion and the Frog (230 comments)

Sting me once, shame on...

Sting me twice... ... ...sting me once, can't get stung again!

more than 3 years ago

Playstation 3 Code Signing Cracked For Good

amentajo Re:Epic Fail? WTF? (534 comments)

OtherOS was Sony's single best security feature.

Well said.

more than 3 years ago

Playstation 3 Code Signing Cracked For Good

amentajo Re:Sigh (534 comments)

George Hotz ("geohot") tried his hand at it, given that he had been rather successful at cracking Apple's iStuff. He found an exploit that gave hypervisor access, and in response, Sony removed OtherOS in a firmware update, as geohot's hack required use of OtherOS.

So this can all be traced back to geohot getting involved... though in my opinion, Sony shouldn't have responded by removing OtherOS, causing all the collateral damage. It inevitably was going to result in a lot of really serious people getting involved and, by extension, more stories like this.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Cloud Not Big Enough For Feds and WikiLeaks

amentajo Re:Amazon Response (204 comments)

A bald-faced lie? They said Wikileaks was violating several of the terms of service. One of the terms of service is "don't use our service to break US law". It's pretty clear that Wikileaks was violating US law. Ergo, not a lie.

Nearly every legal expert who has spoken on this topic has argued that Wikileaks has not violated US law.

At any rate, you're nitpicking over the wording used by the Amazon representative. Perhaps "doesn't own or otherwise control the rights to the classified content" was not the clearest way to put it, but unless you're deliberately being dense, the meaning is clear: Wikileaks is not permitted by US law to distribute these documents. Clearly, distributing documents in violation of US law qualifies under "don't use our service to break US law".

Publishing classified documents is not illegal, unless the documents fit certain criteria that (so far) these leaks do not. The person or organization who leaks the documents does have some liability, but not Wikileaks. As has been said many times before, Wikileaks is analogous to the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers incident.

more than 3 years ago

Pay What You Want — a Sustainable Business Model?

amentajo Mod Parent Up (133 comments)

Thank you for a comprehensive, readable explanation of the supply-and-demand model as it applies to digital (and other) sales. May this post be modded up to +5 Informative.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Patents Glasses-Free 3D Projector

amentajo Re:Well I'd have to do three things first (171 comments)

1) Eliminate my moral system, since I believe parent trolling is wrong. It is more or less fraud in my book.

It makes for a pretty fun day at the museum, though.

more than 3 years ago

Google Earth Adds 3-D Trees

amentajo Re:Elsewhere in virtual globes... (95 comments)

Why did your post get rejected? I find it very informative and well supported with links. Thanks for bringing it back.

Perhaps because it was very informative and well-supported with links.

more than 3 years ago

Compiling the WikiLeaks Fallout

amentajo Re:Surprising in its unsurprisingness (833 comments)

They've been posting things that embarrass the government and affect its public image.

Specifically, I think you mean the US government. One thing (not the only thing though) that bothers me about Wikileaks is that it seems to be exclusively, or at least principally, dedicated to embarrassing the US government.

Here's one that I'm particularly OK with. If I recall correctly, this was the first time that I had heard about ACTA.

more than 3 years ago

USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer

amentajo Re:Advertising (360 comments)

Graham Syfert, the "Copyright Defense Lawyer", is an EFF-listed lawyer.

Do you think that the EFF accidentally mistook the manager of a "phoney storefront" for a lawyer credible enough to refer people to?

more than 3 years ago

Internet Explorer 9 Caught Cheating In SunSpider

amentajo Re:Order of Magnitude (360 comments)

Interesting. After installing the platform preview and confirming the results of the article (1.0 ms, +/- 0%, exactly the same as Sayre and the author, even though the other times were different), I am also getting the same results when looking at your test.

Yeah, bit twiddling makes things faster, but I can think of a logical explanation for that one.
After you run "n += i" 92682 times, n can no longer fit in 32 bits, whereas all the bitwise operations fit comfortably within that range for all values of i, so you can avoid using the "much slower" bigints.

A more far-fetched but powerful explanation is that it could be optimizing certain kinds of iterated bitwise operations on vectors. Iteratively applying |=, ^=, and &= all can be done in O(1) time. Bitwise AND: all zeroes. Bitwise OR: ceil(log-base-2 of 50000000) == 26 binary ones at the end. Bitwise XOR: complicated, but doable. (i XOR n) is the current value. If i is even, then (i XOR n) XOR (i+1) == (n-1 if n is odd, or n+1 if n is even). (i XOR (n-1 if n is odd, or n+1 if n is even)) XOR (i+1) == (n). So, you can get any value of n for any odd value of i using modulo division, as it cycles between n and n +/- 1 on every odd value of i. Do another XOR if you need to figure it out for an even value of i.

I say this is "far-fetched", because it seems like this kind of optimization would rarely be worth the cost.

Next test (also helps to explain what changes when "g = n" is commented out):
"n += 1; n -= 1;" This adds 1 to and subtracts 1 from n each loop, which could hypothetically be optimized away. Observe what it does for commented and uncommented "g = n". I'd recommend increasing the max value of i by a factor of 100 to try and reduce the noise. It should take about a minute and a half or so for each on the machine that you got ~1600 ms for your code.

Hope this helps.

more than 3 years ago

Internet Explorer 9 Caught Cheating In SunSpider

amentajo Re:Order of Magnitude (360 comments)

That's why I'm suspicious about this: dead code probably should not cause an order of magnitude increase in running time.

Actually, that's precisely what a good dead code elimination will cause. Consider this loop in C++:

You're right. I should have narrowed the scope of my claim. My apologies.

That's what I was trying to say... it is more likely a symptom of cheating (at least some level of catering to the benchmark rather than to the JS code) than it is a symptom of a botched optimizer that can consistently (95% confidence interval: +/- 0.0%) optimize some code down to exactly 1.0 ms, but "somehow" manage to perform far, far worse than other existing browsers when changing the source in a trivial way, and "all of a sudden" become way more inconsistent (95% confidence interval: +/- 1.9%).

Two things of note here.

First, this behavior only shows on one particular function in one specific test of the entire test suite. In fact this is precisely how it was found - the result is so ridiculous (IE 10x faster tan all other browsers!) on that particular test and not on any other - that it immediately stands out, and that immediately prompted an investigation. (If you RTFA, it's actually old news, it just took a while to gather all evidence and officially submit it to MS as a bug report.)

That's not how any sane person would cheat - you'd nib a few milliseconds down here and there, showing advantageous but realistic figures across all tests. Especially with closed source, that is nigh impossible to catch.

That's how I would do it, too. Microsoft has a lot of smart people -- I'm sure many of them would have thought of that too.
But that didn't happen here. For some reason, it runs too quickly, quickly enough to warrant further scrutiny.

Second, it's not "far worse than other existing browsers" when changing the source. It actually still beats FF4 in this test even with the change! Chrome and Opera are faster still, but it's not like the difference there is 2x or even 1.5x.

Actually, when you ignore the anomalous 1.0 ms, it runs around 2x longer than Chrome and between 2x-3x longer than Opera. I won't install FF4 to try it out, so I'll have to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Ultimately this needs more testing. Best of all would be to try to find some other pattern of dead code that is clearly unrelated to this test (so it couldn't be "wrongly detected" if this is a cheat), but which the optimizer handles in the same way. Finding a few such would definitely prove that this is just optimizer at work, and weird results are likely due to bugs in it (like incorrectly handling "return" as a side effect where it is not). But if no other patterns are found that exhibit this behavior, then this is strong evidence for hardcoding for the test.

Of course. This is circumstantial, so it can't, by itself, prove that they cheated. I also haven't installed the preview to run it myself, yet. But, assuming that the benchmark times are accurate, it'll be hard argue that a benign explanation is more likely than cheating. That's all I'm saying.

Particularly, the 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.0% strikes me as the most suspicious. It's way too convenient that the test ends up taking the same amount of time, to a certain resolution, at least 95% of the time it is run, whereas the alternate spellings of it are much less consistent. Also... the same 1.0ms on different hardware (Sayre's testing machine as well as the author's laptop), all while keeping a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.0%? That's... dare I say it... inconceivable!

The "roundness" of 1.0ms is convenient, too, but I'm not going to count that as a strike against them. Even though this whole thing is already circumstantial... sometimes, numbers are round.

more than 3 years ago


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