* Posts by software-enthusiast-USA

3 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Dec 2013

Chromebook expiration date, repair issues 'bad for people and planet'


Higher percent CO2 from Making (vs. operating) can be better!

Do these sustainability folks understand math?

When they make statements like "making an average laptop releases 580 pounds of carbon dioxide... amounting to 77 percent of the total carbon impact ... during its lifetime", do they consider how utterly meaningless that percentage is? Pounds: fine. Percentage of total: stupid.

Think about it. If a device used ZERO energy to operate, the act of making it would emit 100% of the total carbon footprint, and that would be the best possible machine if manufacturing CO2 impact is all the same. And, a truly inefficient device that used huge sums of electricity could boast that their manufacturing CO2 emissions are only 10% of the lifetime total impact, even as their device produces outrageous amounts of CO2 when operating.

Obviously extending the useful lifespan of ANY electronic device will be a good thing. But, implying that a high percentage of total CO2 impact from just device manufacture is bad is actually just bad math. Comparing such percentages is useless. Total CO2 lifetime impact in actual C02 kilograms emitted is all that matters.

D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'


D-Wave processors are like GPUs

The fact that D-Wave's processors can run a certain benchmark faster than other silicon (be it traditional CPUs or GPUs) should not be surprising. Just thing about how much faster GPUs could (and still do) run various benchmarks faster than traditional CPUs. Creating a specialized piece of silicon to accelerate certain operations is commonplace. The fact that D-Wave has essentially fit this TTT metric to their particular processor's capabilities and produced results that outpace other hardware is certainly no proof at all of quantum behaviour. Nobody thought GPUs were quantum just because they could blow away CPUs on the same task, but then again the GPU vendors were not claiming quantum behavior because unlike D-Wave, their processors' inner workings can, and are, explained in detail to us. IF D-Wave has a true quantum computer, let's see it match Shor's algorithm for high-speed integer factorization of some substantially large number (like a 232 digit number, a la RSA-768). It's not happening.

Google's Dart on target to replace JavaScript? That'll be the day


Dart: a huge improvement over JS. Browser requirement: no worries.

I have been writing some code in Dart to replace code I had previously written in JS. I am quite pleased with how much better the software-development process has been and the readability and maintainability of my Dart code (compared to JS). Simply put: JS is rubbish compared to Dart.

The class-based OOP is very nice and so easy for me to apply my Delphi, C#, and Java experience to, and the google-provided APIs for maps, lists, string manipulation, async operations, and so forth have cut my development time and lines-of-custom-code way down. The strong-typing (or pseudo-strong typing) in Dart is fantastic for preventing common errors too. Generics: wonderful to have. Inheritance in a non-prototypical manner: priceless. Resulting code is just so much easier for anyone to work with.

Sure, Google may not be able to get others to adopt the Dart VM in their browser, but I do not see that as an issue. This is not the "old days" where many of us faced rather limited hard-drive space or RAM (or even processing power). I figure if I write a web-based application in Dart, I can require my user-base to install Dartium if needed, since it it just an "app" (the browser that is... the browser IS the app that runs my app). It is not any big deal to have Chrome and/or Firefox and/or Dartium installed (dare I say, and/or IE?). Fact is, many people have multiple browsers on their machines already and are quite comfortable being forced to use one or another. So, if you need a browser with a Dart-VM installed in order to run an application/site you want to use, so be it. What's the difference between that or requiring your users to have OpenGL-capable graphics card to play a particular game, etc? For this reason, I do not see Google having a showstopper condition for Dart just because other browsers do not use their engine.