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Comment Re:Holding Back Progress (Score 3, Informative) 76

The Vive is not "far superior". In fact most testers seem to prefer the Oculus headset. The Vive wins because of its room-scale tracking and better controllers. It means the ideal system would be a mix of the two.
The point is that they should work together. The technological challenges of VR are too great to waste resources fighting each other. If they overdo it they may kill off VR for everyone.

Comment What is the point of RCS? (Score 1) 90

In France, where SMS and MMS are usually free, SMS is the standard for phone-to-phone text communication. SMS is reliable and works on all phones.
MMS despite being more technically advanced is rarely used except to send the occasional picture. It is less reliable, and not all phones support it well. If that RCS thing is just an evolution of MMS, it will most likely suffer the same fate.
In countries where SMS/MMS is not free, will RCS be different? If it isn't, people will just keep using WhatsApp.

Comment Re: Fake News (Score 1) 270

What you are saying is true for sapphire, not diamond.
Synthetic diamond is usually yellowish because of nitrogen impurities. Better quality synthetic diamonds have fewer impurities but they are close in price to natural diamonds though the situation may change as the technology progresses.
And synthetic diamonds are not differentiated because they are "too perfect" but because they have some types of impurities (ex : silicon) that do not appear in natural diamonds as well as characteristic growth patterns.
One advantage of synthetic diamond is that impurities can be deliberately added in order to archive desirable characteristics. What I don't know is what is best for making metallic hydrogen : specially designed synthetics or carefully chosen naturals. It seems that both types can be used in diamond anvil cells.

Comment Re:reactions were mixed (Score 5, Interesting) 143

I've read a story somewhere about the manager of an engineering department dealing with critical systems at NASA during the space race.
He imposed 9 to 5 work days, as part of his plan to promote a healthy routine. He noticed that overwork leads to mistakes and that nullifies any productivity gain made during extra hours.

Comment Re:Can it explode? (Score 1) 39

The Exynos 9 now provides a software defined detonator.
The detonator pin included in the Exynos 8 SoC was a resounding success. However, it was only compatible with Note7 batteries. The new technology should be able to make any phone ready to explode with just a firmware flash.
These new chips are expected to make a killing in the middle east.

Comment Re: Fake News (Score 1) 270

I suspect the diamonds they are going for will be extremely expensive for their size. Most likely natural diamonds with exceptional qualities.
The biggest difficulty in making metallic hydrogen is achieving the enormous pressures required. And for this, you need the best diamonds you can find, or else, they will shatter.
Cheap synthetic diamonds, the kind you find in abrasives, are not pure at all. High quality synthetic diamonds are not that cheap compared to their natural counterparts, and it is not even sure that they can be made with the required characteristics.

Comment Re:Only Tech? (Score 1) 154

No one claimed the world was perfect. The claim is that it is improving.
When we make statistics about malnutrition, it includes the potential 20M you mentioned, and the average trend is down. Political unrest is not new either, it comes and goes, some countries get better and some get worse, but the big picture is that things are improving.
The first argument is typical of NGOs looking for funding. It is marketing strategy : look at all the bad things that happen, you can do something by giving us money. If they tell you that everything is fine, how will they motivate people to give them the money they need to do what they do?

Comment Re:Great but it won't put coders out of a job (Score 1) 329

It will make coders super productive and put lesser ability coders out of work. The good coders will suddenly start cranking out x10 more code as they can figure out how to get the AI system to do parts of their jobs.

Anyways, the current method of development is that the hundred page spec. is currently broken down into thousands of unit tests. So, if you can automate the creation and maintaining of half of these tests, then you've eliminated half of your devs.

It is what I think, I just have a more optimistic point of view.
Instead of eliminating half of the devs, I expect twice better code. In fact, the thing about unit tests is how it should be done. Unfortunately testing is commonly barely given a second thought and it is possible that AIs will simply add testing where there wasn't before.
At one placed I worked, we had various static analysis tools setup. It didn't put code reviewers out of a job, there weren't any reviewers in the first place. Quality improved, no one got fired, everyone happy.
As for low skilled coders losing their job, yes, it might happen. Thankfully, young coders can probably be retrained as AI assisted coders rather quickly. And older coders should have known better. Rapidly evolving fields like programming require you to do more than your assigned tasks in order to stay relevant. If you didn't, sooner or later, things will turn bad for you, AI or not.

Comment Great but it won't put coders out of a job (Score 4, Insightful) 329

What many people don't understand is that describing things to a computer, no matter how, is what coding is. The programming language is just a facade. Managing highly complex tasks accurately enough for computers to understand is where the real skills lie.

Just look at one example from the paper :

A new shop near you is selling n paintings. You have k < n friends and you would like to buy each of your friends a painting from the shop. Return the minimal amount of money you will need to spend.

And the output (modified to fit slashdot):

k=int; b=[int]; c=SORT b; d=TAKE k c; e=SUM d

What it proves is that the AI is great at answering test questions. However, in a production environment, no one is going to write and maintain a description like this.
And it is just a tiny function. To match the complexity of a real-life program, you have to imagine the same kind of description but spanning hundreds of pages...

Compilers didn't put coders out of a job, these AIs may be the next step but they still won't displace coders. Although it may require some skill adjustments, it won't fundamentally change the job.

Comment Re:Interesting, but... (Score 2) 175

There may be psychological effects here.
It is definitely unsatisfying when there is something in the bottle you cannot access.

In fact there is no doubt people want to be able to squeeze every last drop of bottles. The real question is : how much are they ready to pay for it? The answer to this question will tell if manufacturers are interested or not.

Comment The story of Geohot's autopilot (Score 5, Insightful) 132

Geohot, a renowned hacker decided to try making a self driving car. It kinda worked, but it is, well, a hack.
However, when regulators came over and asked him to prove that it was actually safe enough for public roads, he backed down and that's how we got Comma.ai free.

I've nothing against Geohot and Comma.ai, quite the opposite in fact, they are great hackers, in the positive sense. However, when lives are on the line, being clever is not enough, we also need the boring and expensive work to make sure it is safe.

Comment Re:Piracy has cost me plenty (Score 1) 36

On Steam, you can ask for refunds on games you played for less than 2 hours.

In fact I sincerely think that Steam did more against piracy than any DRM scheme. They actually responded to many arguments made by pirates :
- You can get refunds (no need to pirate to try)
- You can get games really cheap if you wait (you can still play if you are poor)
- It is convenient : you can play all games you purchased on any PC with Steam installed, and provided you have a good internet connection, once you decide to buy a game, you can typically play it within minutes (downloading from a pirate site / torrent is not faster)

There are of course things that steam don't offer that piracy do, such as being free, less risk of losing the game (account ban, shutdown, ...) and no internet requirement. However, the advantages of piracy are not worth it anymore for many players, even for single player games.

Comment Re:They'd never believe it (Score 1) 36

Oh yes, they believe it.
But they will never admit it publicly. Why should they? No matter how much piracy benefits them (if it does), they still want you to pay.

And I'd love to see all these people you mentioned work together. I am not sure that putting so many strong personalities together will go anywhere but it will be quite fun to watch.

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