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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

The ire is because quite a few people cannot distinguish fake TV science and engineering from the real thing anymore. This "metric" is a high-quality fake and completely useless.

1 hour ago
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

Really, you do not understand what makes swap slow or fast. Go play somewhere else.

1 hour ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

gweihir Re:Scala (173 comments)

Scala is too advanced for most of the mediocre crowd calling itself "programmers" these days.

2 hours ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

gweihir Re:Erlang is overrated crap (173 comments)

Erlang is pretty cool for the intended application scenarios. It is not really a general-purpose language. If you need, for example, excellent crash-proofness, updates to running code and massive multi-threading, Erlang is what you want to use. (Ever tried to run 1000 threads in Java? I know people who did, for this Java is a completely unusable toy...)

The second problem is that Erlang is decidedly experts-only. Real understanding of advanced programing concepts is mandatory. Don't even think about doing anything with Erlang unless you have top-notch people. (These people do not need to already know Erlang before though.) Of course, one top-notch coder is more productive than 10 of the typical mediocre ones.

2 hours ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

gweihir Re:Author thinks strong typing == static typing? (173 comments)

It is not. Strong typing can be implemented by attaching types to data. Static typing always attaches types to variables and they are fixed. But strong typing can also mean type-less variables, but no implicit conversion of values. For example, Perl is weakly typed, but that is because it will, for example, happily convert a string to a number all on its own. Python, on the other hand, is strongly typed, despite its variables not having types just like in Perl. The values assigned to the variables in Python have types and all type conversions have to be explicitly requested by the programmer.

With such a stupid article, it is really no surprise the author gets basic things wrong.

2 hours ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

gweihir Bullshit, as usual. (173 comments)

Next year, unless you are at the bottom of the skill and payment pyramid, you will need C and derivatives (C++, Objective C) and maybe Python or Perl.

2 hours ago
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

When you "calibrate" swap for specific uses, it becomes non-general. In that situation it is far better to let the application use on-disk storage, because _it_ knows the data profile. Sorry, but fail to understand swap.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

Other Slashdot poster adds meaningless posturing as that is the limit of what he can do.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

Whether measuring speed is a meaningful benchmark depends on what you measure the speed of, relatively to what and what the circumstances are. There are many situations where "speed" is not meaningful, and others that are limited enough that it is.

However, the metric under discussion will not be meaningful in any but the most bizarre and specific circumstances, hence it is generally useless. For the special situations where it could be useful, it is much saner to adapt another metric than define a specific one as this pollutes the terminology.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

The uses for that single number are as follows:

a) Some class of people like to claim "mine is bigger", which requires a single number. While that is stupid, most people "understand" this type of reasoning.
b) Anything beyond a single number is far to complicated for the average person watching TV.

In reality, things are even more complicated, as speed and compression ratio depend both on the data being compressed, and do that independently to some degree. This means, some data may compress really well and do that fast, while other data may compress exceedingly bad, but also fast, while a third data set may compress well, but slowly and a 4th may compress badly and slow. So in reality, you need to state several numbers (speed, ratio, memory consumption) for benchmark data and in addition describe the benchmark data itself to get an idea of an algorithm's performance. If it is a lossy algorithm, it gets even more murky as then you need typically several quality measures. For video, you may get things like color accuracy, sharpness of lines, accuracy of contrast, behavior for fast moving parts, etc.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

Good comparison.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

It depends far too much on your border conditions. For example, LZO does compress not very well, but it is fast and has only a 64kB footprint. Hence it gets used in space-probes where the choice is to compress with this or throw the data away. On the other hand, if you distribute pre-compressed software or data to multiple targets, even the difference between 15.0% and 15.1% can matter, if it is, day 15.0% in 20 seconds and 15.1 in 10 Minutes.

Hence a single score is completely unsuitable to address the "quality" of the algorithm, because there is no single benchmark scenario.

yesterday
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

gweihir Re:Red Bull (473 comments)

And a solvent! Probably causes cancer or something...

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Re:Bullshit.... (127 comments)

There is no possibility for a useful single metric. The question does obviously not apply to the problem. Unfortunately, most journals do not accept negative results, which is one of the reasons for the sad state of affairs in CS. For those that do, the reviewers would call this one very likely "trivially obvious", which it is.

yesterday
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

gweihir Bullshit.... (127 comments)

A "combined score" for speed and ratio is useless, as that relation is not linear.

yesterday
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

gweihir Re:Red Bull (473 comments)

Of course it is a gateway drug! And before that, obviously sugar. Which is why sugar should urgently be outlawed!

Incidentally, sugar and fat kill a lot more people than all illegal drugs combined. And seriously, the whole concept of a "gateway drug" has been discredited quite some time ago. People will escalate to a certain level, regardless of the steps before that. But the authoritarian scum that just have to force their views on people can of course not admit anything like that.

yesterday
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

gweihir Re:Inconceivable! (119 comments)

Just my point. They have an very hard selection process, but their CS education sucks. (Yes, I know several. They say the same.) Compare that to education that sucks and no selection process, and you end up at the state I described.

2 days ago
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

gweihir Re:I was so wrong... (119 comments)

It is not something everyone can do. Some companies wise up and the usual underperformers do not have any reasonable job-perspective except becoming managers. Most will not manage that either. What you need to find is an employer that understands CS worker productivity.

2 days ago
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

gweihir Re:Minimum wage (119 comments)

As a plain, fact-ignoring statistic, yes. Women and men that actively follow comparable career paths have the same salaries. Of course, if you, say, take a 2 year timeout for having kids, that negatively affects your salary and your skills. But gender gap in pay in CS is a myth, which becomes obvious as soon as you look at the actual data. The Issue is that many women chose to offer less value to employers. And that is quite fine and, I expect, what they consider is the best option. It does come with a price though.

2 days ago

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