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AMD's Open Source Linux Driver Trounces NVIDIA's

jlehtira Depends on what functionality you need.. (147 comments)

Except that Intel's GPUs just don't support some of their functionality on Linux. Like OpenCL. Or a modern OpenGL version.

Right, you might not care, if your usage pattern is mostly about websites and text files. For me, nVidia GPUs are the *only* thing that both brings the functionality I need (as a GPGPU software developer) and actually works.

AMD linux drivers are in a habit of losing functionality over time. Like all functionality (happened to me once). Others have complained that after updating the driver, some parts of the functionality that were present are no longer there. Because of the way Linux kernels work, you usually can't put an ancient driver to a new Linux distro.

about a year and a half ago
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After Aaron Swartz's Death, the Focus Now Falls On the Prosecutors

jlehtira Re:British Nurse Suicide (430 comments)

"Hey, you've done nothing wrong, but you could still end up in jail for a long time. How about only going to jail for 4 years?"

Yeah, sounds about fair.

about 2 years ago
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Change the ThinkPad and It Will Die

jlehtira Re:These CEOs need to learn about Agile... (347 comments)

Listening to the constant feedback from users was the problem.

Same thing happened with Nokia phones. After iPhone came out, most users switched over. Some still thought their Nokia phones were better suited to them, but majority liked iPhone better. So Nokia started making iPhone-like phones, losing their remaining customers.

about 2 years ago
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What Are the Unwritten Rules of Deleting Code?

jlehtira That's what I do too, (384 comments)

most of the time I want to delete old code when I've written something newer to replace it. I keep the old code there for easy reference, until I'm confident the new code works at least as reliably as the old one.

about 2 years ago
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Schmidt On Why Tax Avoidance is Good, Robot Workers, and Google Fiber

jlehtira I do. (780 comments)

I don't bother to find out about the available deductions. I don't mind paying some more taxes - that money also ends up benefiting me and others, I don't care I don't directly control how.

about 2 years ago
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I'd like us to explore with greatest emphasis ...

jlehtira Re:Achievement does not equal Intelligence. (352 comments)

If you define intelligence as the ability to function in a society, then there's no wonder (and no merit) in finding that this correlates with success in functioning in a society!

I recall intelligence being defined as the capability of functioning in a meaningful way in new situations, such that it doesn't depend on stuff you learned before. This still incorporates a wide variety of traits (and genetic effects), but at least clearly rules out "knowledge".

I like to think Intelligence is measured in IQ (certainly many people assume that in their work), and thus intelligence is what the tests measure. That's the most exact definition you can get ;-). And the tests deliberately try to not measure knowledge.

If I recall correctly, the most successful tend to have an IQ like 120. Higher than that, and the "success" starts to drop. But then, there's also problems (and very serious ones) in the ways we measure success!

about 2 years ago
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I'd like us to explore with greatest emphasis ...

jlehtira Underground temperature and shelters (352 comments)

Underground temperature mirrors with a delay that of the air above it. Somewhere where you're likely to need a snow shelter, and have enough snow to do it, the ground's probably at or below freezing (otherwise it would melt the snow away). The temperature doesn't change very much, unless you're prepared to dig many meters of dirt.

The reason it might be convenient to dig to the ground is that your body heat won't melt snow and make everything wet. That said, I've been (shortly) trained to make a snow shelter, and we did not dig to the ground but rather had a snow floor. That might be useful for its insulating properties - lying down on freezing ground makes you very, very cold indeed pretty quickly.

about 2 years ago
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I'd like us to explore with greatest emphasis ...

jlehtira Achievement does not equal Intelligence. (352 comments)

You're assuming "parental achievement" equals "intelligence". This, to my knowledge, is not true. Yes, probably some values of "intelligence" help, but intelligence brings its problems too, and it's also obvious that charisma, strength, agility etc. also help "achievement" a great deal. So yes, while "achievement" seems to be hereditary to a significant degree, that doesn't say much about intelligence.

Intelligence definitely depends on genes. A pine tree is not as intelligent as I am, and the difference can be said to be in the genes. But there's not many sane conclusions to make. Shoe size also obviously depends on genes, but I still have a different size than my parents. I'm also different height, look different etc etc.

I think that probably most of variation in intelligence, as measured by Mensa in logic tests, doesn't come from genetics, though.

about 2 years ago
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Police Using YouTube To Tell Their Own Stories

jlehtira Re:They are taping everyone now (299 comments)

The police want laws to say they can't be filmed but they want to film everyone. They want maximum transparency of the population and none for themselves.

Nope. Nothing says it was the same policemen having both ideas. Besides, someone could prefer no filming, but still resort to filming oneself while filming remains legal.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA's Hansen Calls Out Obama On Climate Change

jlehtira Re:"Level playing field" is a sham (461 comments)

You almost came to the right conclusion yourself. A drop-in replacement for oil does not exist now, although such are being developed in America and Europe. Finding such a "replacement" is very important. How could we support that kind of science and business? A carbon tax would work, wouldn't it? Energy's getting more and more expensive anyway, and if the rises in gas prices this far haven't "crippled the economy", then why would future rises do that?

No matter what we do, price of fossil fuels is going up. That is a requirement for using the tar sand reserves, as extracting oil from those is very expensive.

more than 2 years ago
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Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling

jlehtira What is the effect of humans? (963 comments)

Well, the effect of humans depends on what humans do. What many people don't seem to realize is that different IPCC scenarios postulate different anthropogenic CO2 output. If the rate of pollution is soon stabilized and then slowly decreased, we're looking at something like 2 C in the next 100 years. If greenhouse gas emission rate increases exponentially (as this far), we're looking at something like 4 C. The arctic will probably warm double as much.

more than 2 years ago
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Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling

jlehtira Re:Last bastion (963 comments)

I've seen it in conferences, that if all fossil fuel use was stopped right now, the warming impact is expected to continue for at least 1000 years.

In my understanding, this would be mostly because oceanic circulation is so slow, one cycle of the thermohaline circulation taking 1600 years at max. As such, the oceans take thousands of years to warm up all the way (and in the meanwhile, they're net heat sinks).

more than 2 years ago
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Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling

jlehtira IPCC (963 comments)

The IPCC is a panel of experts on climate change. There's a couple thousand scientists contributing to IPCC reports, and only a handful of them have been found to make a mistake. The "climategate" guys were freed from all charges, investigations found they did nothing wrong. IPCC still is the most credible - nay, near the only credible - reviewer of climate science.

more than 2 years ago
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'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Er, Your Statement and His Don't Quite Mix (744 comments)

Actually, we have computer images that show the Earth's surface temperature, show it growing over time, and most importantly we can reproduce the effect of CO2 on longwave radiation in a lab. These cases are actually remarkably similar. In both cases, computer simulation is needed to determine how much of the lab findings would be expected in reality.

The one difference is that the ozone hole images are very clear, while our temperature image is noisy. That is to be expected, as satellites only see a very thin surface, and thermometers also only measure air temperature right around the thermometer. The heat capacity of the whole atmosphere is roughly equal to a three-meter layer of ocean.

more than 2 years ago
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'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Vindication (744 comments)

I wasn't saying 2.5% was unsustainable. I bet some people are saying that, but I think they say that because they'd rather use that money for something else.

more than 2 years ago
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'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Vindication (744 comments)

"Most greenies" might be advocating such things in order to pull in some direction. It's a widely accepted idea that if you want a 2% raise, you should ask for 4% and then negotiate. There was even a name for this, but I forget.

more than 2 years ago
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'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Er, Your Statement and His Don't Quite Mix (744 comments)

So we shouldn't have saved the ozone layer from CFCs, because nobody was certain about it? Because in science, nothing is ever really certain.

more than 2 years ago
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'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Vindication (744 comments)

Sorry, you're wrong. He is saying different things.

We know some things for certain. Global average climate has changed by a measurable, albeit small, amount. We know that emitting CO2 changes the climate. It is happening alright, and unless there are huge volcanic eruptions or other catastrophic natural disasters, it will keep happening. The rate of its happening has been projected to be quite modest, by IPCC, in 2007. Even before, the best scientific scenarios have been realistic - and more and more realistic all the time. Certainly we don't know exactly what the climate is doing, but our idea is getting better and better.

It seems to me that James Lovelock has just taken 20 years to admit he was wrong in the eighties.

I agree with you that we shouldn't dismantle civilization. Let's instead make a small effort, and put 5% of GDP into minimizing our contribution to climate change. That'd be a small contribution, hardly noticable, but would already do something.

more than 2 years ago
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Scientific Cruise Meets Perfect Storm, Inspires Extreme Wave Research

jlehtira Re:2006 (107 comments)

The article was published in 2006. How is this 'new?'

Well, I agree with your point. But six years is a good time to let scientific papers simmer. Less than that is not enough time for other scientists to evaluate the correctness and value of some paper.

more than 2 years ago
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Ex-NASA Employees Accuse Agency of 'Extreme Position' On Climate Change

jlehtira Re:Here's why restricting CO2 is all wrong. (616 comments)

Transportation can be (and has historically been) powered with non-fossil-fuels. Likewise, heat can be produced without fossil fuels. But you've got a point - transportation is probably the most painful casehere. That's why I'm hoping that the usage of fossil fuels will be brought down gradually within 10 - 20 years, and not instantaneously. Most vehicles are replaced in 10 - 20 years anyway.

Btw, electric cars are almost as good as fossil-fuel-powered ones. People are not changing over very much, because they're lazy and reluctant to lose even the tiniest bit of convenience. Switching over now would definitely be felt everywhere, but I wouldn't call it suffering. Btw, I'm lazy too and no better than the next guy, and that's why I'm hoping we'll get strong governance directing more environmentally friendly solutions to become the cheapest and most convenient ones, so that people will actually switch over. As a first remedy, governments globally should put heavy taxes on all cars that pollute more than the most fuel-efficient (combustion engine) alternative.

As a final note, I don't claim to know for fact that electric cars would be less polluting overall, even though the text above assumes so.

more than 2 years ago

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Journals

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Socialism is good

jlehtira jlehtira writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Ok, just went and read COLDFusion's journal and just had to write something in response. I couldn't comment his diary, so here goes..

Capitalism has many good things, mainly motivating people and easy circulation of goods. "Socialistic" European countries (I take the example of Finland because I live there; not that it would be the EU average in any way) have a sort-of capitalism with a twist, which mostly comes from the fact that we believe everyone should have equal possibilities for life.

This means, in the first place, public welfare. Everyone gets medical care free, everyone gets money for living if they need, and most education doesn't cost much (well, I study in a university myself and pay about $80 a year, and that includes student organisations' fees). Certainly, these things aren't free as air but rather costly, and everyone pays the price. Richer people pay a bigger price.

I feel for the education. I also get money for my studies, although I could also get loan for the purpose. The money is not much, but enough for living, eating and transportation. Thus, ANYONE has the chance to become a lawyer or whatever, and nobody really needs rich parents to be successful, although that always helps. I feel this is good for everybody; not having a choice about one's own life (because of financial barriers and otherwise) sucks.

Also, even though distributing money is "ineffective" in that some people buy beer with all the money they can get, and despite all that there still are homeless in Finland (because of beer, for example), we're constantly giving everybody a chance. And, nobody has to rob anyone else for basic staying-alive. This does not eliminate crime, of course, but anyone will steal for living if they have to.

The basic idea is that a country will take care of itself, people taking care of everyone else (to the extent of paying bigger taxes, anyway). Because of science (or, economy, if you please), we can afford that. A thousand years ago pretty much everyone needed to work just to feed the population, nowadays a sorry fraction can feed everyone. And, everyone else is, in a way, doing other things to trade for food. And other things.

This leads to the defects of capitalism. Or, to be specific, the defects of currency. That is, it takes a large flyweel of dead weight just to keep the system running, and people who deal with currency to earn a living are in fact stealing from everybody else, producing nothing. And the system is very unstable. And efficiency gets much more weight than the product itself, not even thinking of the environment, for example. And then there's the problem of ownership.

I think work should be rewarded. I think ownership should not. Owners are a sort of freeriders of the society; they get food because they own things other people need.

And, why do they own things? Because their ancestors did. Or, perhaps they just found the things they now own. Or they were the first ones to claim the land. Or they bought it. Or, they made the thing themselves.

Even the last one is problematic, although it doesn't apply to good many things (that you'd make yourself AND get money from, without giving it away). Imagine someone making a song sometime in the end of 1800s, and someone else getting millions a year by owning the song in the year 2003. Certainly old songs could be free beer, and certainly it would benefit the public.

Don't get me wrong, owning things is a good way to settle "now it's my turn to play with it"-types of quarrels, but it shouldn't be a profession.

Back to the principles of equality. In capitalistic systems, one guy can make $1000 a month and another can make $500 000 in the same time, both working eight hours a day. And capitalism justifies this by "someone is willing to pay him more". Usually this is because big boys can take care of themselves, and their payment. But let me ask this - is the richer guy really so much better? More valuable to the society? Some may say so, especially those who make money. But for the big picture, I don't think such differences are justifiable or should be accepted by the public, that will pay the rich people unwillingly to get the product etc. Sports stars are also getting shitloads of money even though they probably suck at any constructive job you can name. In capitalism the value of your work has nothing to do with your payment. Or then your values are crooked.

Certainly no system is ever perfect, and the capitalistic one has performed well this far. This doesn't mean that capitalism should be the way to go. I picture Man's future with no wars and decent opportunities (and food) for everyone. And this has been possible for ages already.

I was quite shocked when I found this YOYO - You're On Your Own - notice from a home electricity site. Of course, that was an ad, but that's remarkable bullshit! Or should be. A rational society will try to benefit from everybody, and benefit everybody. The first isn't possible without the last.

Off-topic, but here goes another point. In Bowling for Columbine, I saw many people saying that they have a gun for self defence. That's all backwards. For why would anyone, anywhere, ever want to kill you? And here's the catch: they don't. Unless they're very pissed off. But this really has two views.

First, individually. If somebody points at me with a gun and wants my money, I give it to him. Nobody should be killed for money. I live from my work, not from my wallet. And, if I kill the bastard, I go to jail. In Finland, if I hit him in self defence, the burglar can sue me. And I can't prove he tried to rob me but he can prove that I broke his nose. Heck, we don't have the right to defend our property by violence. We have the right to protect ourselves physically, though, but not in a way that would permanently damage the attacker. But - again - no sensible person would want to harm me even if he wanted my money. He might harm me out of fear, or because of not being sensible - the failed-reality-check kind (this goes for jealousy, revenge etc).

And masses. Why are there so many people who'll even kill themselves to get revenge? And, why is the USA the target of the terrorism? I think this has something to do with people being pissed off by the USA, even though the USA is not an "entity" but a group of some hundreds of millions of personal beings. Now, there's Al Qaeda that's supposedly responsible of most terrorist attacks towards the usa, and usa responds by.. Attacking all the countries that might have something to do with Al Qaeda? The common European view is that such action is more likely to piss off more people, to feed terrorism on the psychological level. By trying to kill all your enemies, you make more enemies. And the enemies that will commit suicide bombings aren't necessarily afraid of death penalty. There must be another way out of this.

Make friends, not war. Because people all over the world are human beings and capable of sensible thought.

Well, what a rant. I hope I'll get my thoughts out better some later date =).

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