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How Relevant is C in 2014?

taylorius Add some non-experts to the committee. (641 comments)

I think there's a disadvantage with having languages designed solely by language design experts, and that is a tendency to over complicate things. They all understand it, and appreciate it's elegance, so it must be the best way.

To draw an analogy, consider the musical excesses of prog rock / jazz fusion. The musicians themselves may appreciate a Locrian scale played against an AbSus13th arpeggio , but the audience can easily end up excluded. Then a musically simple but catchy band like the Sex Pistols comes along and steals their audience.

I reckon languages need to be really really simple to understand, in order to become popular. For most people they're a tool, not an end in themselves.

about two weeks ago
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Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

taylorius New? (203 comments)

I'm not sure there's anything particularly new about taking a grievance to court, however I daresay its warmer than marching around waving placards in the snow.

about a month ago
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Preview Jaunt's Made-for-VR 360 Degree, 3D Short Films

taylorius Re:360 3D (26 comments)

Assume they have numerous cameras on the surface of a ball, with significantly overlapping fields of view. The reconstruction phase would be where the difficulty lies - normal image stitching wouldn't work, because it assumes one single optical centre for all shots, and treats deviations from this as an error to be smeared away. However in this case you need to use the varying optical centres of the cameras, to gain parallax / depth information. So it becomes a photogrammetry problem, recovering 3d points - with points beyond a certain distance mapped to a distant sphere. Then on playback the data could be reprojected correctly.... somehow. *waves hands* It's definitely not simple to do correctly.

about a month ago
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The Physics of Space Battles

taylorius The scientists DEFINITELY know. (470 comments)

How do these scientists know what will be realistic?

If you make the analogy with ocean going vessels, and naval warfare, humanity is at the stage of making a small raft with logs and rope, and gently pushing it out onto a lake, hoping it wont fall apart. If we can't make spaceships well enough to even vaguely contemplate a space battle, how can this lot possibly know what is realistic to expect in some far future space conflict?

This isn't science, it's futurology.

about 3 months ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

taylorius Re:Too much Blah in the world. (183 comments)

I could say the same thing to you, Mr Coward. There's the trap you see - complain about the tidal wave of no-added-value pundits, and someone hits back accusing you of hypocrisy, for making the comment. I've tried ignoring them, I'm afraid they don't seem to be going away.

about 3 months ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

taylorius Too much Blah in the world. (183 comments)

Blah blah, here are 8 reasons why Apple should do this and that, but wont, and 5 reasons why Microsoft will never beat Google at 'X'. Blah blah, read my blah blog.

The world has too many commentators. Go and do something useful. Stop talking about what other people are doing, and go and do something amazing yourself.

about 3 months ago
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Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

taylorius Re: Wow (39 comments)

Don't worry, they'll only use this to track terrorist cells.

about 5 months ago
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Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

taylorius No money and no women - what could go wrong? (530 comments)

So with the manual labour jobs being given to robots, and a distinct lack of young women, (thanks to female babies being unwanted) things are certainly looking bright for the tens of millions of young Chinese males.

I'm sure they'll take it philosophically - enormous gangs of angry, sexually frustrated young men usually do.

about 5 months ago
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The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality

taylorius Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (158 comments)

A small correction, Nvidia Quadro has not "turned into the Titan". Quadro cards are largely the same hardware as the consumer cards, but with minor changes to enable certain features. The main difference is in the drivers. Consumer drivers err on the side of speed, whereas Quadro drivers will typically have lower performance in a game type situation, but be better suited for CAD / 3D work.

about 7 months ago
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White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics

taylorius Re:Generalizing about averages is bad science (231 comments)

I agree with you, the variance of the distribution is such to make the difference in mean IQ utterly meaningless on an individual basis. It must be incredibly frustrating to an intelligent black man to have that average working unfairly against him.

If you think that's bad though, imagine a world where it is easy to determine the average IQ of a black man from Baltimore, with a dead father,and who drives a car more than 8 years old. Now imagine coming from such a background, and being a great computer programmer. Now imagine the sinking feeling as you're handed a demographic form upon arriving for an interview for a coding job you could do well.

A life under the tyranny of statistics could be a hard life indeed, if we're not careful.

about 8 months ago
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White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics

taylorius Re:dont seem to care about (231 comments)

Let me know how the million-webgamer march goes.

about 8 months ago
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White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics

taylorius Re:What's different? (231 comments)

That's the problem. Modern society has decided to act as if every race is equal, and also decided that for the sake of us all getting along, we won't look too closely at whether this is in fact the case, because history shows that going down that road doesn't tend to end well. So far so good, but what happens when the differences (and there are bound to be some) between various groups can be highlighted by a data-mining algorithm, and are in everyone's face? Answer: Trouble.

about 8 months ago
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New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

taylorius Re:In other news... (477 comments)

"France fails at having an Internationally competitive workforce."

Good for them. In the race to the bottom, France's "failure" sounds more fun than being the winner.

about 8 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

taylorius Re:And yet they supported Obama (564 comments)

I don't think opinions on this sort of subject are all that amenable to change. Obama looked at the numbers, and said what he thought would help him stay in office.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

taylorius Pitchforks + torches (1746 comments)

A lot of chest beating going on here, a lot of flexing of consumer muscles, and talk of the righteous boycotting of bigots. From the outside however, it just looks like a pitchfork wielding mob, using coercion to bend a third party to their will.
People don't like seeing coercion, especially by groups who have no accountability to anyone, and I believe that the result of these protests will be a decrease in public's sympathy for equality of rights for gay people.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

taylorius Zuckerberg diversifying (535 comments)

I think it's likely that Zuckerberg knows that Facebook is preposterously overvalued, that the market will realise this, and is diversifying into some other areas with massive future growth while the going is good. Perhaps they'll create a virtual world communication type thing. I don't think this is too bad a development.

about 9 months ago
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CES 2014: Stefan Lindsay Demonstrates the gTar (Video)

taylorius "OMG Your musical instrument Just. Got. Better!" (104 comments)

I suppose some people are so unwilling to take the time to learn, or to do something properly, that there's always a ready market for a stupid device to make it "easier". It doesn't work. What do a load of flashing LEDs, (controlled by a smartphone, what else) add beyond what printed chord charts, or guitar tab provide? It's exactly the same information.

Instead, why not spend that $400 on an acoustic guitar (you can get a really good one for that money), and practice putting your fingers on the right strings and frets, forming the chords, practice picking or strumming, and KEEP DOING IT, again and again, every day until you can form the shapes instantly. Your brain will learn, and your fingers will get sore, but that goes away. It takes time, but at the end you've learned a real skill. Imagine how proud you'll feel, you've got that skill for life - the ability to play songs, entertain friends. It's well worth the effort.

Don't piss about with some gadget that promises to let you skip all the hard work. They don't work, never have and never will.

about a year ago
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If I Had a Hammer

taylorius Re:so painful as it is... (732 comments)

That is *A* solution, but not a very good one. Why don't we reduce the human population to zero, and completely solve the problem?

about a year ago
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If I Had a Hammer

taylorius Re:Warning! - Socialism ahead. (732 comments)

No one has tried such a thing - indeed it wouldn't work today. You missed this section of my post:

"once machines obviate the need for large human organisations, with their attendant inefficiencies"

The time will come when machines can organise things better than people can. That's already the case in some situations, and it will become more and more common (as in the frequently referenced "Manna" story, by Marshall Brain). When this happens, a lot of the population will not be economically useful. As in, way more than half. At the same time, production efficiency will be high enough that they could be supported to an ever higher standard. I'm suggesting that that ought to happen.

about a year ago
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If I Had a Hammer

taylorius Warning! - Socialism ahead. (732 comments)

Historically, technological revolutions have eliminated large categories of jobs. Many manual jobs are now performed by machines, even skilled manual jobs. An economist might say that these former manual workers are now free to retrain, and do other things - (or just grow old and die, and be replaced by youngsters who have never known the old way, and have learnt the right skills to get along in this new world whilst growing up).

The question is, what happens when literally everything of economic value that a person is capable of doing, can be accomplish more efficiently by a machine? More and more resources come under the complete control of fewer and fewer people, and for the rest of the population, what is left?

I believe that once machines obviate the need for large human organisations, with their attendant inefficiencies, a form of democratic socialism will become the preferred way to run society. Resources owned collectively, with broad decisions made democratically, but organisational details left to machines to optimise and execute. People would be provided for, because it is easy to produce enough to do it.

about a year ago

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