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Comments

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What's To Love About C?

mzs Re:One good reason... (793 comments)

I do realtime embedded. I made a kernel that had C++ support and it would crash on boot. The watchdog timer would fire before all the C++ support initialization routines would finish. I had to disable the watch dog timer temporarily. I think it was the exception and io streams initialization code that was the culprit. The whole exceptions thing can be bloated depending on implementation to varying degrees. But in the end what is more bloat (checking return values all the time or exception frames handling all the time) I do not know.

more than 2 years ago
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Intel Dismisses 'x86 Tax', Sees No Future For ARM

mzs Re:He's mostly right (406 comments)

Somebody mod this up, that's exactly what's done on ARM.

more than 2 years ago
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Intel Dismisses 'x86 Tax', Sees No Future For ARM

mzs Re:Speed versus complexity (406 comments)

True, but that's not the case with ARM though since thumb mode. Most instructions are then two bytes. ARM also has some neato features in it's instruction set, like you can shift for free almost every time you do anything else with a register like arithmetic. Also condition codes only change when you want them too. And almost every instruction can be conditional. This makes it so that the little cache there tends to be is utilized pretty well and you don't really need the branch prediction logic as much. I think unlike the other RISC chips, in the case of ARM, IA32 keeps up only since they are made in more modern efficient process to a greater extent.

more than 2 years ago
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Perl 5.16.0 Released

mzs Re:Perl's strength (192 comments)

I agree and unless there's something in CPAN pretty much already solving my problem (which happens a lot actually), I almost always choose python so I'm being honest unlike that person that somehow thinks the python makes more sense. I think that with perl, it depends how much shell scripting someone did first. Somehow a person needs to have experience with some syntax that's not like C/java/pascal and has reached the limits of shell scripts plus tools like sed and awk first before perl clicks or they can see the value in it.

more than 2 years ago
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Wozniak's Original System Description of the Apple ][

mzs Re:16 bit pointer manipulation (170 comments)

You answered the real reason why maybe, it was a couple of instructions. In SWEET-16 it was one. Storage was expensive then. I think that must have been the real reason.

more than 2 years ago
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Diesel-Like Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy By 50%

mzs Re:Not really news (721 comments)

Exactly, also BMW and FIAT have engines with throttle bodies where the butterfly valve is open under most conditions. They all have spark plugs though, which is what I think the fellow you replied to was thinking about.

more than 2 years ago
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'Inexact' Chips Save Power By Fudging the Math

mzs Re:Seems like nothing new (325 comments)

What? Like there is a carry flag, there is an adjust flag, it's set every time (unlike needing to use adc say). You just do the normal add, sub, or mul. Then daa, das, or aam respectively to adjust the values to BCD.

more than 2 years ago
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Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck

mzs Re:The eight decompiled files (478 comments)

No Bob sets AL = 0, does int 13h, and writes down the values of the registers. Then he does AL = 1 .... After that he hands that document to Fred, who writes the code that acts the same.

more than 2 years ago
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SciRuby: Science and Matrix Libraries For Ruby

mzs Re:Tell me one thing this brings to the table (138 comments)

Sorry if I caused any offense. I don't know them, I'm sure they are great. I was just replying in regards to the list of reasons, which I thought was weak in my opinion. Sometimes I get cynical and snarky, again I apologize. I should have stopped at before all that you quoted, it was a reasonable response the words I wrote before that. Basically that not much has kept-up with visualization, especially in a browser. I worked (wow now more than fifteen years ago) on that as my first job after graduation, it sort of depresses me the state of scientific visualization to this day, hence why I got so grumpy in my reply. Cheers

more than 2 years ago
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SciRuby: Science and Matrix Libraries For Ruby

mzs Re:Tell me one thing this brings to the table (138 comments)

Wow that's pretty bad, the only reason in that list that makes any sense is the rails one. But there have been lots of visualization packages for science for decades. It's just that it's a brand new group of people, not familiar with what is there, only familiar with what they know already or what there is buzz about, and they want to use that. These are ruby coders after all.

more than 2 years ago
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Why You Don't Want a $99 Xbox 360

mzs Re:Smartphones, Cars, Premium Cable, pest control (530 comments)

I've bought a new car and one for my wife, I took the cash back once and once the 0% precisely for the sort of calculation you did. There was a big trade in one case that made the financed amount small and the relative percentage of the rebate big enough (and I still had a big enough cushion of savings afterward). It's just not as simple as you initially made out as it's free money - take the 0%.

more than 2 years ago
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SciRuby: Science and Matrix Libraries For Ruby

mzs Re:I always thought (138 comments)

That principle allows you to have line noise that parses in other languages, make is harder to do that in python, so I don't know really if it should be followed to such dogmatic ends. There still is a lot of freedom in presentation in python after all. The cstyle and later astyle commands are a taste thing, some C coders liked it, others didn't. I always like to use whitespace to help me and others understand code and have it in a consistent style from the get go, not have a script or program munge it for me. I can have my editor auto indent python code too though, I use that a lot like when moving a block of code into a function, its moves over to the left on paste. Also about the new coders and pasting from examples on the web, having your editor change tabs to spaces always including (especially?) on paste seems to do the trick pretty well for those that do not want to deal with that headache.

more than 2 years ago
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SciRuby: Science and Matrix Libraries For Ruby

mzs Re:I always thought (138 comments)

1. vim s///g
2. vim folding
3. vim >, <, or =

I guess vim isn't an ide though, thankfully.

more than 2 years ago
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Why You Don't Want a $99 Xbox 360

mzs Re:Smartphones, Cars, Premium Cable, pest control (530 comments)

Really? There wasn't an option like 0% financing or $2500 cash back? If you had say $17.5k in a savings account it would not have been a $20K car.

more than 2 years ago
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Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second

mzs Re:Is it "too real"? (607 comments)

I think the one key thing that you do not expect is how aperture effects DOF and exposure. So you need a certain amount of light to enter the back of the camera. I think the way you think is very technical, think about it like you need enough to beat the S/N for a decent photo. Can you buy that? Well when you have the shutter open for a short period of time you are letting less light in. So to compensate you can use more light. Well that's hard because you already are bathing the set with a lot of light. But let's assume you could get more light. There is also the issue of darker materials reflect less light than lighter ones and you need to make sure that the white and other such light colored objects in the scene do not wash-out completely while you have still detail in the darker areas. In fact with a lot of light you can actually see the lens elements themselves in the image you capture. So it's hard, you need just the right levels. Images that are overexposed look dull and lifeless as well as washed-out. The more overexposed that they are, the harder to correct, and if over-saturated in areas, they really cannot be fixed later. Photographers call this a blown highlight. Again in your way of thinking, all those values are pegged at 16K or whatever even though there was a whole range of them beyond. Incidentally CCD response also happens to not be linear. But there are more fundamental problems.

See the another way you could let more light into the back of the camera would be to use a larger aperture. This means that the shutter opens to a larger diameter. So first the problem is one that you can throw money at to solve to a certain extent at least. For practical reasons lens that have a larger aperture have other deficiencies. One very common one is that they have a much more limited zoom. To some extent better made lens can solve that, but there are some limits. Like you want a big CCD back there right, so you can average to beat some of the noise. Oh and you say you want 3CCD (which further reduces light to each CCD BTW). Ad yes you do want to be able to pull the shot (zoom), so soon you could make an awesome camera, but it would rival the Hubble in terms of size. (I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.) Still it's hard, they tend to be less quality lens for the same price as well, like 5 elements instead of 7, more aberration, etc. But beyond those practical aspects, there is the most fundamental problem, and that is depth of field. When you have a small aperture, it's like a pin-hole camera. Things close by and those things relatively nearby will seem in focus. But use a wide aperture and only those things relatively close to the focal point of your lens will be in focus. It's actually sort of neat in say single subject portrait photography since anything makes an interesting sort of random looking background and you only need to focus on a single face, but it's not good for most films where you have many subjects you want in focus as well as having the background maybe out of focus but with enough detail to still make out more or less what is there instead of plasma looking globs of color. That's an optics things, really can't be solved computationally or anything like that. Would need radical new lens technology, one that splits light most likely, getting you back to your original problem. Yes there are high speed videos, lots of them, but next time you watch them pay attention if you can see anything other than the popping balloon or what not in focus and how saturated the or overblown just generally balanced well the images look. Usually it's some scientific context and you can make-out what process is occurring, but it does not look good in terms of cinematography, like the shadows look dead or really noisy.

more than 2 years ago
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Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second

mzs Re:Is it "too real"? (607 comments)

I've taken digital photos at 1/250, you need a lot of light for the exposure to be right if you want any depth of field. Movies used slower shutter speeds (in part to avoid judder at 24FPS) and still needed obscene amounts of hot lights.

more than 2 years ago
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Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second

mzs Re:If movies had originally filmed at 48 FPS (607 comments)

And the reason they went with 24FPS is because film was expensive and 24FPS was about as slow as they could use and it still being tolerable. With digital now, that expense of the film does not matter anymore.

more than 2 years ago
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Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second

mzs Re:Is it "too real"? (607 comments)

Do you realize how much more light you would need at 240FPS vs. 24, 25, 50, 38, or even 60FPS? Would you like any usable focal length?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Omnibus spending bill puts research in danger

mzs mzs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mzs (595629) writes "Despite promises of increased science funding the omnibus spending bill would put US science programs in jeopardy:
A Budget Too Small [Science Now]

The $515 billion spending package takes a big bite out of President George W. Bush's promise — backed up by votes earlier this year in Congress — to give a substantial boost to the research budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Instead, the agencies get meager increases — a portion of which is eaten up by projects earmarked by legislators for their constituents — or across-the-board cuts. The package also makes moot the double-digit hikes authorized for research, education and training, and investment in innovation spelled out in a 6-month-old law, the America COMPETES Act, that the community fought hard to pass
Fermilab and the International Linear Collider projects are particularly hard hit with funding down by nearly $90 million.
Black Monday [Fermilab Today]

Since a quarter of the fiscal year has already gone by, this essentially means a shutdown of the R&D on ILC and SCRF for the rest of the fiscal year. This is a body blow to the future of the ILC, the U.S. role in it and Fermilab. ... These proposed cuts, which come on top of the very limited particle physics budgets of the last few years, are destructive of our field and our laboratory. There is no way to sugar-coat this.
Not only does this hit hurt SLAC but the hit to the funding of the ILC only does more damage the role the US has in high energy pgysics.
US Budget Spells New Troubles For Next-Gen Particle Accelerator [Wired Science]

It's undeniably true that the country has suffered though years of abysmal financial management, and more bad economic news likely to be on the horizon makes cuts necessary. But this is an important issue. The U.S. is fast losing its leading role in particle physics; anyone who doesn't want to see this trend accelerate in the near future might want to shoot their local senator a very quick note of polite protest.

The problems could well run deeper than the parochial U.S. interests, too. If both the U.S. and Britain pull away from significant project funding, the entire ILC effort itself — which is predicated on strong internationally participation — will become dangerously fragile.
"
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mzs mzs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mzs (595629) writes "While reading an article about the deal Ford made to secure financing a side box mentioned that, "in a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, the company listed patents for the Ford name in script — and in the iconic Blue Oval — among the assets. The filing lists patents for the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury names in just about every conceivable use, such as on a vehicle, coffee cup or financing paperwork." I never knew you could get a patent for something that took so much research and investment and was so innovative as to place the trademark of your company on a cup. While you all comment on other crazy patents, I am off to patent the non-obvious typing of the script "ford.com" in a url bar."
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mzs mzs writes  |  about 8 years ago

mzs (595629) writes "According to a report in the Sun-Times, a security vulnerabilty in the Chicago Board of Elections web site allowed anyone to discover the name, address, and social security number of more than 1 million registered voters. The trivial SQL injection was discovered by Peter Zelchenko a candidate for Adlerman for the 43rd Ward. The bug was immediately fixed when the Board was notified, but the site was vulnerable for at least six years. Even worse, social security numbers have not been required to register for the past three years! Logs are being examined to see if there is any evidence of identity theft."

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