Entries:
Comments:
Posts:

Loading User Information from Channel 9

Something went wrong getting user information from Channel 9

Latest Achievement:

Loading User Information from MSDN

Something went wrong getting user information from MSDN

Visual Studio Achievements

Latest Achievement:

Loading Visual Studio Achievements

Something went wrong getting the Visual Studio Achievements

Discussions

William Kempf wkempf
  • Regions Bank is EVIL!

    Not to be rude, but:

    1.  That's accounting 101, and you should be aware of it.  This was taught to me in 9th grade math.

    2.  You should be doing your own accounting and not relying on a printed statement from your bank.  By not doing so, you're enabling them to do things that really would be evil, such as charging you for a transaction twice, or other things that could be construed as simple accounting errors.

    What Regions has done here is not "EVIL!", no matter how much it sucks for you (and I do sympathize, I've been there as well).

  • Should Microsoft develop 'full cross-​platform support' or not?

    1.  C# and the CLR are standards that anyone can implement.
       1a.  Rotor is a cross platform implementation of C# and the CLR created by Microsoft, so Wikipedia is playing with semantics here to produce FUD.(1)
       1b.  Mono is a cross platform implementation of C# and the CLR.
       1c.  DotGnu is another cross platform implementation.
       1d.  Silverlight 1.1 will contain the "Core CLR", which means that Microsoft will have another (supported) implementation that is cross platform (though the platforms supported will be Windows and Mac, with Linux support via Moonlight/Mono).
    2.  If Microsoft did create a cross platform version of the CLR that they supported, it's very uncertain that it would be accepted by the other platforms (especially Linux) for political, not technical reasons.  So why should they?

    No, I think what they did initially, by standardizing the CLR and C#, and what they did recently by contributing to and endorcing Moonlight, are better approaches than creating a Microsoft version of the CLR and C# that are cross platform.  I do think there's some things they should do to further this, though.

    1.  Standardize a GUI API.  WinForms is not appropriate for this (even though Mono is showing it's possible to implement) because the API is very Windows specific.  WPF would be a great cross platform API, though.
    2.  Standardize the other non-windows specific APIs, such as ASP.NET, WCF, WF, some of the security APIs, etc.
    3.  Produce test suites to verify an implementations conformance.  Work back and forth between these tests, the standards and issues found in various implementations to ensure compatibility.
    4.  Do more endorsing and collaboration efforts, such as what was done with Moonlight.

    Let C# and the CLR grow into a truly standardized platform/language, including contributions from other vendors back into the standard.  IOW, do what Java should have done from the very start.

    (1) The Wikipedia comments are technicaly correct, since Rotor doesn't include non-standardized libraries, some of which are basically essential stacks in order for a modern language/VM combo to be considered viable, such as a UI library.  But worded the way it is, it's FUD and not accurate.

  • Universal Translator

    evildictaitor wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    

    I now hear predictions like this, and always think to myself "divide the lowest estimate by 5", and you know what?  That often turns out to be an accurate estimate!



    Funny, I always multiply by three, but maybe that's because I listen to optimisists and you listen to pessimists?


    For me, it depends on the timeline.  Less than 15 years in the prediction, and multiply by 3, because in the near time people seem to have a habit of underestimating.  More than 15 years, divide by 5, because they're really "guessing wildly" and it's likely that the natural progression of technology will cause unforseen break throughs.

    Obviously, though, this isn't an exact science Wink.

  • Universal Translator

    No reason for it to be flawless.  Just look at the universal translator in Star Trek, for instance.  It's highly flawed.  Very bad translations have been the basis of several story lines, both on television and in the books.  Despite that, it's a heavily used technology.

    When those speach recognition programs were rolled out and replaced operators, they were hardly perfect.  Only specific responses would be recognized, and then not 100% of the time.  In fact, failure rates were frequent enough that some customers would complain loudly about it.  Despite that, AT&T still rolled them out and never abandoned them.  Today, such "operators" are common place in many businesses, and we don't think anything of them, or get more than midly annoyed when we have to repeat ourselves numerous times in order to be recognized.

    No, perfection isn't required.  Just look at how many manuals are translated the hard way, and botch something badly enough to cause laughs and other such reactions.  We understand the source of the problem, and generally ignore gaffs in translations.

  • Universal Translator

    Again, experts in the field working on the subject matter, who had the best chance of predicting the timeline, got the speach recognition one wrong.  By a lot.  Technology increases geometrically, such that things we think are "impossible" today, are mearly difficult in a year, and a reality in 5.  There are so many things that are a reality today, that when I started in this field we were skeptical could even be done, much less in our life times.

    Everything you've said is true.  This is a very non-trivial problem.  Today, we have no idea how to even go about solving the problem.  But a break through in an unrelated area could change all of that in a very short period of time.  It's happened numerous times in the past, and it will happen numerous times in the future.

    I'm not predicting that the "universal translator" will actually happen in the originally predicted time frame.  Heck, like you I've got some amount of skepticism about it being done in our life time.  But experience has taught me to not make wild predictions like that.  If you're prediction has to stretch out more than 15 or so years, you're really just guessing wildly.  You have no real idea how long it will take.  You just know that we have no idea how to do it today.

  • Universal Translator

    Sven Groot wrote:
    

    Perfect machine translation. Currently automatic translation is laughably bad even on the most ideal inputs. Spoken text is often ungrammatical and contains colloquialisms and expressions. A machine translator must have an extreme amount of real-world knowledge to recognize these and map them into another language. We're not even close on this one. Personally I believe that  unless we can create a functioning replica of the human brain the amount of data and the type or reasoning needed to really do this without lots of mistakes will make this impossible. This will take 50-100 years at least, if ever. IMO, of course.



    I'm not dismissing all of your points, but this one stand out for me for some very personal reasons.  See, when I was a Freshman in College we had one of the pioneers of Computer Science who happened to be an alumn of our school come and give a very fascinating class room lecture.  This man was smart to the point of being scary, and had vast knowledge on a lot of subjects.  One subject he was very knowledgeable in because of a handicapped sister who could benefit from the technology was speach recognition.  He was aware of all sorts of research being done on the topic, and he was convinced that we'd have functioning software but it would take 25-50 years.  In fact, one of the commercial uses for it he was convinced would be replacing telephone operators.  We all walked out of the lecture and thought he was nuts for predicting this would be within 25-50 years.

    Four years later, while I was a Senior, AT&T was replacing operators in Fla. with a new computer system that employed speach recognition.

    I now hear predictions like this, and always think to myself "divide the lowest estimate by 5", and you know what?  That often turns out to be an accurate estimate!

  • Finally taken the plunge

    jsampsonPC wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    
    Ray6 wrote:

    wkempf wrote:
    
     but concern over WGA isn't nonesense.
    This is the only operating system that can stop working properly due to problems at the owner's remote server.  Although I often bang on about the lack of real innovation on the Mac side, at least I know that I'm not going to be involved in some tech lottery when I switch it on, which is why I have started recommending them over Windows again.

    At least part of my point, exactly.


    Well then we should lump online-banking, onStar, netflix, and email in with this too, shouldn't we? I mean, they are wonderful things, but lets face it, they aren't as stable as going to your bank in person, calling a locksmith when you can't get into your car, visiting blockbuster to rent a movie, and sending your dear aunt Gertrude a post-card...

    </tongueInCheek>


    You can't seriously be comparing any of those things to software.  More importantly, you're ONLY talking about availability here, while the issues I've discussed go well beyond that.

  • Finally taken the plunge

    evildictaitor wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    I'm a firm believer that our industry needs to stop all such practices, for the good of our customers.


    The industry wouldn't use things like this (or SecureROM or DRM or WGA) if people just paid for the things they use. When people stop copyright theft, Microsoft will stop WGA.


    Every other industry takes into consideration that theft is going to occur, and builds it into the business model (including the cost of "policing").  They don't employ draconian measures that hurt their customers in the name of preventing the theft.

    I am most certainly NOT endorsing theft.  I'm endorsing a business model that cares about their customers.

  • Finally taken the plunge

    Ray6 wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    

    Chinmay007 may be a troll (he's several steps up from our traditional trolls, IMO),


    I disagree with Chimnay007 on more things than we agree on,  but he is not a troll.


    At this point in time, I'm inclined to agree, which is why I said he's several steps up.  There have been a few threads he's started that are borderline, and like you I disagree with his opinions a lot, but he seems to be informed, at least.

    Ray6 wrote:


    wkempf wrote:
    
     but concern over WGA isn't nonesense.


    This is the only operating system that can stop working properly due to problems at the owner's remote server.  Although I often bang on about the lack of real innovation on the Mac side, at least I know that I'm not going to be involved in some tech lottery when I switch it on, which is why I have started recommending them over Windows again.



    At least part of my point, exactly.

  • Finally taken the plunge

    double post