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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

crgrace Re:Nuclear doesn't work either (611 comments)

If the US government owned all our nuclear plants and subsidized them (as it is in France), we could also be paying less for nuclear-derived electricity but it would be meaningless.

Perhaps you think a planned economy is more efficient than a market-driven one?

yesterday
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It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

crgrace saying no is great, but.... (185 comments)

I'm work for an organization that provides design services (as opposed to building and selling products). If you are ever, ever , realistic about the time it will take to deliver or what features you can include in a design for a given set of resources, you won't get the job. It's as simple as that.

Why do you think most construction projects go over budget? One big reason is they had to make a crazy bid because if they didn't, someone else would.

The bottom line is: if you say no, you're out of a job.

5 days ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

crgrace Re:Funny how it's the business donations. (485 comments)

You're probably right, especially considering neither Berkeley nor San Francisco are in Silicon Valley.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon Releases (Not Many) Details On Its Workforce Demographics

crgrace Re:Diversity bullshit (123 comments)

Interment camps, not concentration camps. Also, interment wasn't done from a desire to oppress the Japanese, but out of fear of the Japanese Empire. So it's not so much that the Americans felt the Japanese inferior, but rather that they feared a full scale invasion of the west coast by the Japanese Empire.

Not defending it, but it's still important to understand these things in context.

Indeed, context is everything.

We put American citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps (a weasel word like "internment camp" doesn't change what it was).

We put American citizens of German descent in charge of our armed forces (Eisenhower, for example. He was Pennsylvania Dutch, who are of German descent).

about three weeks ago
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Integrated Circuit Amplifier Breaches Terahertz Barrier

crgrace DARPA didn't make this, Northrup Grumman did (81 comments)

DARPA is an organization that provides grants to researchers. It does not do the work.

The work was performed by engineers at Northrup Grumman. This work was funded by DARPA.

about a month ago
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AnandTech's Intro To Semiconductor Tech

crgrace wow very good article (21 comments)

I'm a professional in the business and I was really happy to see that they seem to have gotten everything right! I was prepared to roll my eyes when they showed a cross-section of a bipolar transistor (which they didn't) and their treatment of BEOL processing was outstanding.

Bravo!

about a month and a half ago
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Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

crgrace Re:Second the recommendation (267 comments)

I'd like a few examples as well so I can check them out. I'm an engineer and I found it to be one of the most plausible books I can remember in science fiction. The one mistake that got me was that the narrator grossly overestimates the number of calories a day a human needs to function, but that is hardly Phantom Menace quality.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

crgrace Re:Don't put PhD in the resume (479 comments)

I disagree. Rather than "hiding the PhD", I think the poster should be looking for jobs that "require" a PhD. There are plenty of them, they just don't have a large cross-section with standard "coder" positions.

You worked hard for the PhD, poster, use it!

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

crgrace are you sure there is no practical application (479 comments)

You assert without proof that your research has no practical application. Were your researching how to implement LOGO in VAX assembly language or something?

More to the point, if your research was on the cutting edge of Computer Science I assure you it has practical applications. Use some of the research skills that you gained obtaining your PhD and put them to use identifying companies that have business or research interests in line with your own. Then, using LinkedIn or conference proceedings, identify researchers and engineers with interests similar to your own and contact them. Ask to set up informational interviews. See if they "know anyone" looking for new researchers. Build a network tirelessly until you have a job.

You have a PhD. You're not a programmer anymore. Accept it and don't look for programming jobs. Most organizations that are pushing the state-of-the-art have need for PhD-level people. Find them and find your niche.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

crgrace ask your advisor (479 comments)

Surely your advisor has links to industry? Where does the funding come from? Industrial consortia? Federal sources (NSF / DOE / etc). Can you look at doing a postdoc at a National Lab so you can make some contacts? If you don't, ask your advisor for help. It is the least he or she can do for you.

I don't think resume sites are good places for a newly minted PhD to look for work. You surely did some networking while you were a student. Did you present your research at some conferences? Those are the people you should be talking to about work, not filling out on-line applications. At the PhD level you find work based on a personal network, not web-based applications (although you will need to fill those out for compliance).

about 2 months ago
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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

crgrace Re:Not good enough (323 comments)

This was back in the days when a significant amount of popular music was interesting and creative.

Also known as the days when you were most likely a teenager or young adult.

about 2 months ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

crgrace Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (770 comments)

Can't wait to see Mathematicians making Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in a manner consumable by the general public!

Check out Simon Singh's book on Fermat. He does a cracking job doing just that!

about 3 months ago
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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

crgrace Re:Simply ignore studies ... (588 comments)

Hah? Weight loss can certainly be attained through exercise. Basically, you need to burn more calories than you take in. You can do that by reducing calories, or by increasing the burn rate. If you keep your calorie intake constant and increase your exercise, you will lose weight, all else being equal.

While this is technically true, in practice it is very, very hard to significantly increase your exercise while keeping your caloric intake constant.

This is simply because you get much hungrier when you're exercising. If you increase your exercise volume while keeping your eating constant you'll feel miserable and hungry all the time. Just like dieting, except you'll feel worse for a given calorie deficit.

You can lose weight through diet, exercise, or a combination. For most people a combination works best but you have more leverage on the diet side than on the exercise side.

about 3 months ago
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The Oatmeal Convinces Elon Musk To Donate $1 Million To Tesla Museum

crgrace Re:conflict (78 comments)

Indeed. I also find it strange Matt is so adamant that Tesla was shafted by modern memory, when the very unit of magnetic field strength is the Tesla! How many people get units of measurement named after them? Why did Musk name his car company Tesla if nobody had ever heard of him? Why did a heavy metal band name themselves Tesla and use the electricity metaphor in their marketing? There are researchers who probably contributed even more to the development of the modern world such as Steinmetz, Heaviside, and Shannon who are more obscure to the general public than Tesla.

about 4 months ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

crgrace Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (364 comments)

You seem to misunderstand what sunk cost means. You're using the phrase as an argument to keep funding the project because "we can't reverse time and get the money back". In fact, the common definition of the sunk cost is opposite of your use. Generally only future costs should be relevant to an investment decision, otherwise you run into the danger of "throwing good money after bad". There is a lot of evidence that continued funding of the F-35 is in fact throwing good money after bad.

You also present a false dichotomy. One alternative option from spending upwards of a Trillion dollars on the F-35 is to manufacture more smaller, cheaper, proven fighters such as the F-18 or indeed the F-15. Keeping our current squadrons operable is less of an issue if we build more at lower cost.

about 5 months ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

crgrace Re:Microchip (76 comments)

pretty much no one says "monolithic" any more because hybrids have pretty much gone the way of the buffalo.

In my experience they are usually called "chips" or "ICs" by people in the industry.

about 5 months ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

crgrace Kilby & Noyce (76 comments)

While Kilby's chip with bondwire interconnect was first, it's interesting that Noyce's concept at Fairchild using Hoerni's planar technology with all interconnect fabricated using the same photolithography as the devices is pretty much how we do it today. Kilby's concept was a technological dead end.

about 5 months ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

crgrace Re:Microchip (76 comments)

What's wrong with microchip? I've always preferred it to "computer chip" because so many chips aren't entirely digital.

about 5 months ago
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The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

crgrace Re:Where's the Goblin (209 comments)

Indiana Jones piloted a parasite fighter in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I never knew those things were real!

about 6 months ago
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Why Not Every New "Like the Brain" System Will Prove Important

crgrace Re:It's the fundamentally wrong approach (47 comments)

"Like the brain" is a fundamentally wrong-headed approach in my opinion. Biological systems are notoriously inefficient in many ways. Rather than modelling AI systems after the way "the brain" works, I think they should be spending a lot more time talking to philosophers and meditation specialists about how we *think* about things.

What you're suggesting has been the dominant paradigm in AI research for most of the 60-70 odd years there has been AI research. Some people have always thought we should model "thinking" processes, and others though we should model neural networks. At various points one or the other model is dominant.

To me it makes no sense to structure a memory system as inefficiently as the brain's, for example, with all it's tendancy to forgetfulness, omission, and random irrelevant "correlations". It makes far more sense to structure purely synthetic "memories" using database technologies of various kinds.

I have to disagree on it making no sense to structure a memory system "inefficiently" as the brain's, because inefficiency can mean different things. The brain is extraordinarily power efficient and that is an important consideration.

It's most likely, in my opinion, that we will eventually find a happy medium between things that computers do well, like compute and store information exactly, and what humans do well, process efficiently and make associations and correlations quickly.

Sure, biologicial systems employ some interesting short cuts to their processing, but always at a sacrifice in their accuracy. We should be striving for systems that are *better* than the biological, not just similar, but in silicon.

While I don't doubt silicon will be important for the foreseeable future, it does have limitations you know.

about 6 months ago

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