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* Posts by Michael 17

14 posts • joined 12 Apr 2010

FBI on trial for warrantless Stingray mobile spying

Michael 17

Re: What a joke

There may not be a god given right, but there is a constitutional one. Given god's odd sense of humor, I'd rather rely on a constitutional right, weak as that sometimes can be.

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Revolution weaves predictive analytics into Hortonworks Hadoop

Michael 17

0xdata competition?

It'd be interesting if anyone who knows about this space can compare the product described in this article with what the 0xdata guys are doing with their H2O engine.

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Google to app devs: Use our pay system ... OR ELSE

Michael 17
Facepalm

Re: Are they merging with Apple?

Last time I looked into it, retail landlords in the USA commonly charged both rent and a percentage of your gross. Seemed pretty outrageous to me, and I decided not to open the store after all.

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ARM specs out first 64-bit RISC chips

Michael 17

Intel is no better

Last I checked, all the x86 chips from intel are implementing only 48 bits of VA in pointers. Which is actually a limitation for various kinds of server software. Specifically software that's encoding metadata into the upper bits of pointers.

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EMC boss Tucci in lucky escape from poverty

Michael 17
Facepalm

@soren

That's a rather naive view of how modern capitalism works. Joe doesn't get his options as part of an open, competitive negotiation with a board of directors that represents the interests of the stockholders. Joe gets his options via a fairly opaque non-competitive negotiation with directors who are only tangentially representative of or responsive to the stockholders.

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Michael 17

Specified behavior is better than unspecified behavior

A "sky high abstracted language" helps by actually having a defined memory model. C++ does not. Regardless of the underlying hardware provided memory model, the C++ compilers can do a variety of memory reorderings. The only control you have over that is with the volatile keyword, and the prior C++ standards committee deliberately bailed out of providing better memory semantics than volatile provides. Different C++ compilers end up using different mechanisms for saying you need a memory barrier, but there's no portable way to do that.

So if you're content to write C++ code targeted at (modern) x86 CPUs compiled with gcc, you can do it. But if you'd like to write a portable library, you're screwed.

A little searching will turn up plenty of web pages with long discussions of the issues here.

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Michael 17
Unhappy

About *&#! time!

Every time I have to listen to the annoying fanboys praise C++, I have to grit my teeth to avoid strangling them! I write low level lock-free concurrent algorithms for a living, Getting them right in C++ has always been much more of a pain in the ass than in Java, and the main reason is the lack of a clear memory model. I hope when they claim they're defining a C++ memory model that they're also including a proper suite of memory barriers and the like. I'm still bitter that the last C++ standards committee discussed the weakness of the volatile keyword, but then decided to punt the issue into the future.

Now we'll just have to wait 5+ years for the C++ compilers to actually do the right thing when you have code that really depends on the memory model.

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Dear US gov: Stay the hell out of Silicon Valley

Michael 17
FAIL

Allow me to help out your memory

Things government is good for:

1. Regulating markets so they don't spin out of control.

2. Providing infrastructure the private sector wouldn't, like highways.

3. Funding research too speculative for private industry, like the internet.

4. Industrial policy to promote economic growth: see South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China.

5. Education, both high school and university.

6. Socialism, providing various safety nets: see Social Security, Medicare, etc.

7. Labor laws, to prevent the capital owners from screwing the rest of us.

It'd be easy to go on and on. The problem with the anti-government crowd is that their members keep running for political office. If you're so sure that government doesn't work, why should we trust you to run it?

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Michael 17
FAIL

Ridiculous

I've worked in silicon valley for more than 20 years. The opinion that silicon valley doesn't benefit from government programs would be laughable if it wasn't so annoyingly persistent. Sadly it's easy to find tech people in the valley who hold this view. And yet a huge fraction of the valley's economy derives from government funded research, both corporate and spinning out of universities. Not to mention direct government contracts and mandates. And defense work. And DARPA directed development efforts. And spin offs from government labs. In my career, I've been either a early stage hire or founder of four tech startups. Not one has been impeded by federal or state government policy, and more than one has benefited from government research and export promotion policies. Even tax policy has generally been encouraging rather than detrimental, ranging from R&D credits to end user tax incentives.

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Ptable: It’s all about the interface

Michael 17
Unhappy

And not cross browser, either

In my browser, it nicely pops up detail windows, but then they can't be closed. They've committed the cardinal sin of not writing portable javascript.

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'Methanotroph' bacteria feasted on blown BP rig's methane belch

Michael 17

The Register is not a reliable climate change news reporter

I normally enjoy coming to read The Register for it's coverage of tech news. But the slant in the climate change news articles makes me wonder how much bias exists in the other reporting on the site. The article accurately reports the paper that was published. But unlike other coverage of this study, the article seems to miss all the uncertainties. For example, other scientists question whether the levels of copper found in the water could have supported the explosive growth in methane consuming bacteria the paper claims.

The Register has no obligation to report all of the uncertainties and debate around each climate change study. But it seems to only reports the debate that tries to shoot holes in the climate change theory, and never covers the uncertainties that cast doubt on the anti human caused climate change position.

An example of better coverage of this story can be found at the Christian Science Monitor:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2011/0106/Gulf-oil-spill-study-s-surprising-find-Bacteria-ate-methane-in-three-months

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'Climategate' university to open up data

Michael 17
Paris Hilton

Quick, call Andrew Orlowski!

The fact that they're spending money to figure out how to publish their datasets is clearly part of some kind of corrupt scheme to continue their climate "science" fakery while lining their pockets with public money! After all, we know climate science is just a con job, and so there's no chance they could actually be trying to open up their data and allow both legitimate researchers and anti-science corporate hatchet-men access!

Paris, because she knows how things really heat up.

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Oxburgh blesses Climategate boffins

This post has been deleted by a moderator

US Justice to ratchet tech no-poach probe

Michael 17
WTF?

Bollocks!

"Nothing works quite so well as sensible regulation, and nothing is so hard to come by."

That's a ridiculous assertion. Sensible regulations number in the many thousands in any developed country. The right has long attempted to fight regulation by pointing out the silly examples, but it's quiet easy to find any number of regulatory regimes that function perfectly well. As commenter Denarius previously pointed out, any down sides to regulation are far less than the down sides of no regulation.

Just because the right has spent the last few decades claiming government interference makes things worse doesn't make it so.

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