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Processors and the Limits of Physics

ulatekh The marching morons! (168 comments)

You are clueless. You live in a bubble of technology created by people infinitely smarter than you and you are happy with comic-book levels of understanding.

So you're saying that Cyril M. Kornbluth was right? Race you to Venus!

about two weeks ago

Processors and the Limits of Physics

ulatekh The limit is human (168 comments)

Your reasoning is false. Most AI algorithms are having a high level of parallelism which make them less susceptible to the single CPU physical limit. You can achieve incredible performance improvement on GPU and other parallel architectures.

Good luck finding enough programmers that can write code with that level of parallelism.

Most of the multithreaded code I encounter in the real world simply slaps mutexes around things, whether or not they're needed, or even applied consistently. Most of the time, the mutex could be replaced with something cheaper, like atomic operations, or even unique state-transitions on a single volatile global variable.

Your experience may differ. Maybe I just have the back luck of working with morons most of the time.

about two weeks ago

Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

ulatekh Marty, you're not thinking 4th-dimensionally! (109 comments)

Perhaps the answer doesn't lie in the 3rd dimension.

One of the possible consequences of the curvature of 4th-dimensional space-time is that our universe may be a 3-dimensional surface of a 4th-dimensional hypersphere. And if the 4-dimensional universe is expanding, the 3-dimensional universe would expand too.

This model of the universe was also used in a famous sci-fi novel.

about two weeks ago

Why Hasn't This Asteroid Disintegrated?

ulatekh That's no asteroid... (74 comments)

...that's a space station!

Mystery solved.

about three weeks ago

New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

ulatekh Re:I will be impressed (161 comments)

I don't worry about AIs understanding word play...I fear when they become smart-asses.

The first time a computer says "I think, therefore I am...I think", humanity is in deep trouble.

about three weeks ago

New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

ulatekh Programming general intelligence (161 comments)

No one knows how to program general intelligence.

Well, I have an idea on how to crack that problem...but I'll never have the time and energy to pursue it. I'm also a terrible salesman, so I'll never convince anyone to fund it.

The first part involves defining the goal properly. What's the point of making a computer that's intelligent like a human being? A computer is not a human being. If one wants to make an intelligent computer, it must be done in a way that makes sense given the nature of a computer. There's a difference between artificial intelligence (e.g. what you put into video games to make NPCs interesting) and machine intelligence (e.g. what you put into a jet fighter so that it creams the enemy). Most efforts I see seem to revolve around achieving the former.

It would require a programming language that essentially allows new statements to be added to the language as easily as most OOP languages allow a subclass to be written. The general format of the language would be human-readable text, e.g. English. You don't start off by trying to get it to understand silly world problems, like the word "respectively" — that's a relatively sophisticated ability that comes much later. You just get it to understand the world it can see (i.e. the parts of a computer and its peripherals), with the definitions tracing back to the one concept it can understand — "I". After a fair bit of hand work, you'll have a system that can read normal human text and write code to consolidate its understanding of what it read. Imagine a natural-language parser on the front end and something like llvm's cross-platform assembly-language on the back end.

Once it's able to learn some basic knowledge, the first priority should be to teach it how to program a computer. When it gets to the point that it understands enough about computer programming to reflect upon its own implementation, then it can take over its own development, and then it starts growing exponentially.

There's a lot more to my plan — I've had it for "some time" — but there's no point in spilling all the beans at once.

I don't know if anyone out there has ever tried to design a machine-intelligence along these lines, but I've never heard of one. I'd be interested in hearing about any existing work in this direction.

about three weeks ago

New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

ulatekh Re:P vs. NP (161 comments)

Wouldn't you prefer a single mother to a virgin?

After all, single mothers put out...well, at least they did once.

about three weeks ago

The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

ulatekh LOL (962 comments)

Now that was funny. Thanks for sharing.

about a month ago

No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

ulatekh Linux already runs Office (282 comments)

by the end of next decade they are building a Linux distro. The trick is that it will only run a version of Microsoft Office and almost nothing else.

Linux already runs Office. I have MS Office installed under Wine and it's always run fine for me.

about a month and a half ago

Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

ulatekh Office runs fine under Linux (300 comments)

If Office were really on Linux I think you'd see Windows practically disappear.

Either you're wrong, or people don't know that Office runs just fine under Linux. I was a bit surprised too, but I have it running under Wine & haven't had any problems with it.

about a month and a half ago

Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

ulatekh COFFEE!! (121 comments)

I forsee a huge market in happy pepper-upper pills for programmers. Oh, wait. That's what coffee is for.

Exactly! I go to work with a 2-quart thermos full of stovetop-percolated coffee.

I pound coffee until I become happy. Well, happy maybe isn't the word...but enough coffee and I'm like "Wow, this badly-written code is just FASCINATING! I can't WAIT to fix this crap while my so-called co-workers are off creating even MORE piles of crap for me to clean up! WOOOOOOOOO!!!"

I have a Gladware container full of chocolate-covered coffee beans too, for when 2 quarts of coffee isn't enough.

about 2 months ago

NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"

ulatekh Mountain Dew connection (361 comments)

The problem started when the NSA realized that many programmers drink Mountain Dew, given its caffeine/sugar jolt.
Add to that all those Mountain Dew commercials featuring "extreme" personalities.
Treating programmers as extremists was simply the next logical step.

Now pardon me, I must ride my snowboard down the side of the building while screaming "WOOOOOOOO!!!!"

about 2 months ago

Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

ulatekh My company's CSN is embarrassing. (131 comments)

I work for a very large multinational company. A corporate social network makes sense for us. There is all sorts of expertise possessed by our employees that isn't normally utilized in their job. This gives us a chance to cross-pollinate, to allow our skills to be more broadly used within the company. Or so that was the intent.

Instead, it's mostly degenerated into a bunch of questions by Bangalore computer programmers that would be more appropriately asked on Stack Overflow, if the subjects they asked about weren't so simple and embarrassing. They're hardly worthy of an American middle-school child. I can't believe we actually hired these people, or that these are the sorts of programmers that take American programming jobs.

The most ridiculous question I've seen was about how to fix a computer in a remote village. Apparently it was completely broken, not coming up at all, but the questioner wanted to know if it could be fixed over the Internet. "Could I maybe use the IP address?" The amount of basic, fundamental misunderstanding that it takes to ask such a question just drives me to tears. And we employ this person. And I've probably lost several potential employment opportunities to people like this.

So after trying to use our corporate social network for its intended this point, I've just given up.

about 2 months ago

If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

ulatekh No, they're replacing. (341 comments)

H1B is merging with the us labor force, not replacing. The overwhelming H1B workers I know have either become citizens or are eager to do so.

No, immigrants are replacing native workers. The Center For Immigration Studies just released a report showing that all employment growth since 2000 has gone to immigrants, legal and illegal. There is no general labor shortage.

about 2 months ago

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

ulatekh Mod parent up! (205 comments)

...this will continue to happen as long as the software industry maintains it's age-ist view that 'younger is better'. Younger people are not going to have the experience level of older people, which means they will be much more likely to make all sorts of mistakes that older people (who had also made those mistakes when they were younger, but learned from them) won't. Between the two, there is simply no hope at all that we can have products that are anything more than mediocre quality.


about 2 months ago

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

ulatekh Re:Cash is King (205 comments)

Should your position become dominant, or even a significant minority, crime will revert from phishing scams to knocking you over the head with a pipe and taking your wallet. While I do not deny that this may work for you, it's not a scalable solution.

Depends where you live. Here in Arizona, law-abiding citizens can carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Also, such criminals would you have to be in your vicinity. They can't hit you over the head from way over in Russia, China, India, Nigeria, or wherever.

about 2 months ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

ulatekh The aliens aren't stupid. (686 comments)

Of course there's intelligent life in the universe. They don't make contact with us because we are not intelligent life.

The people on our planet seem to only be interested in killing and dominating each other, all in the name of their tribal god-image, or green pieces of paper. Why would a spacefaring civilization consider such a people worthy of contact? It'd be as dumb as taking the family for a vacation in Supermax.

There are plenty of stories about human contact with alien life, and of course none of them ever seem to be verifiable, but strangely, nearly all follow the same pattern — forcible abduction and horrifying medical-like experiments. The aliens are here...and think of us only as guinea pigs...and are superior enough to avoid our pathetic attempts at evidence-gathering.

I would like to hear a defensible reason why any spacefaring civilization would be interested in making contact with us as equals. Because, in my opinion, there is no defensible reason.

about 3 months ago

Virtual Boss Keeps Workers On a Short Leash

ulatekh Obvious solution: MOVE. (664 comments)

The state I live in has weak labor laws, and the company believes it can do as it pleases. My fellow co-workers and I have been looking for other jobs for a few years now, but the market sucks. (BTW, all of us have at least a bachelors degree, mine is in engineering). There are thousands of jobs around here that pay minimum wage, but almost nothing paying any more than that.

I have an obvious solution for you. MOVE.

That's what I've had to do for years, just to stay employed. My last move was 200 miles. The one before that was 650 miles.

I see my family a week at Thanksgiving and a week at Christmas. Sure that sucks, but it's what I had to do in order to avoid what you're going through.

about 7 months ago



North Georgia men say they've found Bigfoot

ulatekh ulatekh writes  |  about 6 years ago

ulatekh writes "A policeman and a former corrections officer say that today they will unveil evidence of what they claim is their biggest find ever: the body of Bigfoot.

The provided picture, of a Bigfoot stuffed into a freezer, is pretty impressive. Could this finally be the end of the myth and the beginning of the reality?"

ulatekh ulatekh writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ulatekh (775985) writes "In what has to be a new low, Sony recently threw a party to promote God Of War II, featuring an actual decapitated goat. Guests at the event were even invited to reach inside the goat's still-warm carcass to eat offal from its stomach.

They should have stopped at the topless girls."



Personality over brains in tech hiring

ulatekh ulatekh writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I've been programming computers for over 20 years, programming in the industry for over 12 years, have my Bachelor of Science degree, and several (everyone tells me) impressive accomplishments on my resume.

I haven't had a steady job in over 2 years. Here's my latest rejection letter. They e-mailed me this 50 minutes after I left their door.


Thank you very much for taking the time out to come and interview with us here at company! I hope you had a decent time while you were here. The programmers all got together and we discussed the interview process and had to make a difficult decision to pass on hiring you.

Technically, you have the most knowledge of anyone we've ever interviewed - you most definitely know your stuff. But personality-wise, we couldn't see you fitting with the culture that we have on our team. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but I thought you'd like to know why we reached our decision.

manager and tech lead were very impressed with your knowledge. I know that personality-wise, all development teams are very different due to the people on those teams - we've spent a very long time building our unique team and the more people we hire, the harder it is to hire the next person because we require everyone on the team to agree with the choice to hire. You had no idea when you came here what kind of culture we have and your technical skills are so impressive that it only came down to personality-fit with the team.

Sorry for the bad news, but I like to give feedback on the interview process. Good luck on any future interviews and thanks again for coming over.

- creative director

What's really weird is that I thought I got along with everyone, and flubbed far more technical questions than I was comfortable with.

So what am I to make of this? Here are my best guesses:

  • I'm a nerd, even by the standards of other nerds, and I need to go watch MTV, or play Grand Theft Auto, for 2 weeks straight or something, so I can be barely socialized.
  • I'm too smart, I'll make the other programmers feel bad about themselves, and the tech leads worry about their jobs.
  • The popular kids from high school even control the market for computer programmers, even though they're far better with people than with computers, and will shun anyone that doesn't fit their mold.
  • I'm the biggest dumbass loser asshole freak-of-nature anyone's ever met, and I'm too dumb to figure it out.

Any other theories?

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