125 posts • joined Friday 28th July 2006 17:32 GMT
Re: Waste of Energy
That isn't how thermodynamics works. Modern coal plants get almost as close to the carnot efficiency as our metallurgical limits allow us to get.
"Heat" is energy, it's true, but to be useful it has to be at a temperature sufficiently above the ambient. Once the temperature of the exhaust gases are close enough to ambient, the efficiency with which work can be extracted becomes so low that the returns of adding additional steps to try to capture it become prohibitively expensive. Coal is expensive enough to make that point very late in the game, but pretty much the only thing you can do with the remaining waste heat from a coal plant is heat an apartment building... and who wants to live that close to a coal-fired power plant?
Re: My cost effective solution that costs $0.00
The SxS folder is almost entirely made up of redundant hard links. While these confuse file size counters, they don't actually take up that much space. In reality deleting the SxS folder would only free up a couple of gigs, not 20+.
Re: Oh no!
"If portable is your aim then Java is best."
Except we're talking about the mobile market, where iOS has nearly half the market and doesn't allow java to run. So that's a very strange definition of portable.
The prohibition against interpreted code on iOS limits things to platforms which can be AOT compiled, such as .NET (see http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:OSX). Ironic, that.
Re: Giant degausser
Modern drive heads don't actually read absolute magnetization. Instead, they read relative magnetization from one sector to the next. Those sectors are very, very close together so any macroscopic magnet is going to hit all of the neighboring sectors almost as hard as the target sector, meaning no change in relative magnetization. Once you hit saturation, you can start breaking data, but experiment shows that the fields needed to get to that point are sufficient to physically rip the platter apart. Your best bet by far is the sector-local fields you can generate with the write head of an operating drive, even compared to physical destruction.
This is not to say that magnets are harmless to hard drives - they can cause head crashes in a running drive. But if you're worried about NSA-level data recovery efforts, a giant degausser will do nearly nothing to corrupt the data.
Photons are spin-1 particles
Spin-1 particles have 3 spin states, only two of which are observable along the axis (right-handed or left-handed, or horizontal or vertical, depending on how you build your detector). While you can vary the mixture of photons in your signal, you don't get extra multiplexing out of that because within each channel you'll still get the same old interference. Doubling your bandwidth is nice, but I don't see how you can get more than that without violating quantum theory.
If not Google...
then who, exactly? Outside of academia, you've got IBM's WebSphere toolchain, and you've got Google's Web Toolkit and Android. I can't think of any other major players building platforms on Java, and let's be honest: a language without a platform isn't useful.
Not exactly Microsoft
The requests came from contractors working for Microsoft, not Microsoft itself. Some of the takedown requests targetted Bing.com and other Microsoft domains, even.
What I'd like to see
Re: Roll your own
I faced this problem
I faced the problem of wanting a way to store my photos, with metadata, in a form I had personal control over and wouldn't just disappear. I decided the best solution is one which stored everything on a local filesystem (but could be put on the web) with metadata in semi-human-readible format (eg some forms of XML) with a web browser front end for display, and wouldn't depend on too much infrastructure to view (eg no web server required). So I wrote a solution. And I put it on sourceforge. And I won't link it because 7 years later I look at that code and I'm just embarrassed. By now there are probably lots of other solutions out there, too.
The point is, if you want to keep that stuff, buy a NAS and manage the data yourself. It's the only way to be sure.
Re: Cold water alert
Wait, better off sending it to Mars? Mars is a complete waste of time and effort. While we could plausibly establish a long-term manned presence on the moon in the foreseeable future, a trip to Mars would be purely for show. If we want to look for life on other plants, Mars is still a waste of time compared to Europa and Ganymede (you know, places where some of the water might still be liquid?).
Re: oh if only...
The key here is that this was a ruling about copyright. Patents can protect ideas. Copyrights cannot. On the other hand, patents have a far shorter duration.
Re: James Cameron on board, hmmm?
Pretty sure Futurama already did that plot.
There are privacy settings where you can explicitly enable to disable facebook doing that with your photo. I have it disabled. She didn't. You can debate over the relative merits of opt in versus opt out, but the fact is the option is there.
"...passengers who try to sneak shooters and shanks onto planes hidden in their nuts."
Fitting a plane in there would be a trick for most of us.
What do you have against bloggers?
Or is it lawyers, or New Yorkers, who you automatically lump into the pile of people you can't have sympathy for, no matter the situation? Not all lawyers are amoral bloodsuckers. Not all New Yorkers are (also possibly bloodsucking) investment bankers. Not all bloggers are vacuous.
Please, provide an explanation of your standards for who deserves sympathy for government invasion of privacy.
I don't use IE anyway (except to access my company's Sharepoint site, which doesn't play nice with other browsers... maybe MS should fix that first?), and I don't see that changing when I make the upgrade. I'd love to see Flash die, but I'd rather it wasn't this way.
Ubisoft has been making some really interesting-looking games lately, and here I am forced to boycott them.
As a software developer myself, I certainly understand the desire to be paid for your work. I don't pirate software. But neither to I buy software with intrusive measures of the type Ubisoft pursues. They're just insulting.
That, and they never seem to patch the many, many bugs in their games.
I don't really see the contradiction
My reading of their statement is that IE was not designed as a cross-platform browser, and thus by implication is more optimized for Windows in terms of speed (even if that's not true based on benchmarks). This says nothing about the *content* being displayed as being not cross-platform. That HTML 5 is platform and browser agnostic doesn't mean that the browser needs to be platform agnostic.
IE 8 Fail
IE 8 can't even run this benchmark without stopping every 3 seconds to tell you that it's running very slowly and are you sure you want to let it run to completion?
Interesting how this benchmark shows FF4 faster than chrome 6, whereas a third-party benchmark like Peacekeeper shows the opposite.
California is broke
Thus our judicial system is broken. We couldn't raise the tax revenues to keep her locked up even if we wanted to.
Catapults are a good idea
Even if you're getting the STOVL planes, catapults mean they can, with the same short runway, take off with a heavier load, or consuming less fuel in the take-off process, thus extending their range. Arrestor cables are a tricker proposition, as you need more deck length and pilot training to make good use of them, not to mention the extra wear and tear on the landing gear. Leaving out the F35/F18 issue (the main feature difference being stealth) I'd expect catapults would be a good investment.
Not puzzling at all
As their case states, google took reasonable measures to provide a safe route. That means in legal speak that they're not liable for punitive damages. Maybe they figure that by not going "over the top" they're more likely to get something. It's an uncommon strategy for a reason, though.
.Net is one of the most popular languages in the buisness world. There were more job postings looking for c# developers than for Java developers last year. If any language should fade away into irrelevance, it should be the designed-by-committee one.
Ok on the chips, but...
Here in the states, most responsible pet owners get the chips, because collars can slip off and we don't want our escaped pets ending up euthanised in a shelter because they can't figure out who is the guardian for the dog. Insurance, however, is just asking responsible pet owners to subsidize the irresponsible ones.
Don't see the problem
Microsoft is the only maker of closed-source technology, right?
What's the problem here?
Google provides a service "free" to customers. End-users running searches and watching YouTube videos are customers. Websites wanting to be indexed by Google also count as customers. Yes, being a customer means paying for the bandwidth. This doesn't mean you're subsidizing Google. If anything, it's the other way around - they pay for their own bandwidth, which they use to serve you, the customer, free of charge (from them). Networks might complain that their customers use a lot of bandwidth because of Google, but it's not a legitimate complaint at all - if Google wasn't doing what it did, their customers wouldn't be willing to pay as much for access to a less-useful internet.
Calling those datacenters inefficient because they're located far away is also more than a little disingenuous. While there are costs to distance, they are fairly small compared to the economies of scale that large datacenters get. Otherwise google wouldn't do it. Google owns and operates a pretty significant private backbone network, after all.
If I set up a tourist attraction on an island with a toll bridge you owned, would I be asked to pay a share of the toll for every person using that bridge to come see what I'm showing? Don't be ridiculous. You should be thanking me for getting you more customers. If all that extra traffic generates more costs than it brings in with more tolls, your tolls need to be higher - simple as that.
Networks are trying to have it both ways. They want to charge their customers for the privilege of accessing google, and then they want to charge google for encouraging so many demands from their customers. If networks don't have enough bandwidth availible, we should all just go back to paying per gigabyte of bandwidth. The only reason the network cares where that bandwidth is coming from is because it's coming from someone they realize has deep pockets. Not a good excuse.
Sure, Eric. Whatever you say.
I don't believe it for a minute. Of course google wants the networks to just be infrastructure. Sure, there's plenty of room for innovation in infrastructure, but it's invisible to most people, and therefore not particularly profitable. I don't for a moment think that's an excuse for operators to artificially inflate the importance of the network so they can charge more.
It takes a much smaller investment to make a flashier innovation on the user-facing side, and that draws customers' dollars much more quickly, compared to network infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately for the operators, google is better than they are at coming up with impressive new user-facing innovations, and customers are difficult to court on the technical merits of the network's backbone infrastructure. If people suddenly started consuming and order of magnitude or two more data, then networks which had invested in more innovative infrastructure could charge a price premium. So someone will make the necessary infrastructure innovations. It just might go more slowly if it has to be driven by demand exterior, rather than internal strategy.
Not a general Windows 7 flaw, either
Lots of changes were made to the kernel and services in windows 7 which significantly improved battery life for most people. A few people might have config problems, but I'd put good money on most people who report these problems finding their battery life in windows 7 much better than in XP or Vista, if they dual-boot.
Certainly in XP at least I've found most of the batteries sold with big-name laptops die after a year or two. Certainly no more than that. Some of them (a four-letter word starting with D) even put re-certified batteries in new laptops, and then have their 3 or 4-year warranty only cover the battery for one year in the fine print.
As far as Microsoft's involvement, I'd say don't shoot the messenger, until you're sure the messenger is actually at fault.
This sounds familiar
Windows 7 has a "shim" system for preventing recurrence of certain kinds of bugs in user software. It's not a very new idea, but it needs to be handled very carefully, and as everyone has been pointing out, because of the halting problem it can only ever work on specifically limited classes of bugs.
I still have a problem with that
Crimes committed by atheists are not automatically crimes committed in the name of (or because of) atheism, any more than crimes committed by catholics can automatically be blamed on Catholicism. While some crimes certainly are committed in the name of religions (or lacks thereof) that doesn't mean all are.
Besides, soviet communism was as much of a religion as anything that called itself as such by the time Stalin got done with it.
The tech exists
Physicists have been triggering lightning strikes for years as a way to study them. They do, unfortunately, still need a thundercloud, but by firing a rocket trailing a thin wire, then can cause a lightening strike to come down at a pre-determined location, which is critical for planning useful instrumentation. Now, being able to do it without a cloud would be a neat trick. But considerably more energy-intensive.
Our team was really looking to switching over soon, to take advantage of some of the new features (parallel programming in particular). Plus, from what we've seen of beta 2, it's already way faster than 2008...
Freespace optical interconnecct
A the risk of restating what others have already stated, free-space optical interconnect has been around for a long time now (like ClearMesh). It failed commercially because about the same time it became technologically viable, 802.11b took its market away. Militarily, while less susceptible to traditional jamming technology, it's more susceptible to stuff like, say, smoke. Of which there tends to be a lot of around a war zone as soon as things get interesting. So basically, move along, nothing to see here.
This attitude upsets me.
The attitude that net neutrality means no prioritization and low-bandwidth users subsidizing high-bandwidth users is just plain wrong. Nothing in the basic tenants of net neutrality says you can't charge by the megabyte, nor does it say you can't pay more for higher priority megabytes. It just says that the carrier can't charge based on the kind of traffic. If I for some silly reason want my http traffic to be high priority, I can pay for it to be high priority. If I don't care about a bad voip connection, I can refuse to pay for higher priority for it. If I want to download huge amounts of... something, I should be willing to pay for the bandwidth, but carriers shouldn't be allowed to care about what exactly it is I'm downloading. That's my business.
My vision of net neutrality is: get rid of flat-rate plans entirely. They just result in a tragedy of the commons scenario. Pay entirely by the byte, with different rates for different priority levels. Let each carrier publish those rates and see what happens. The vast majority of customers win, honest carriers (if there is such a thing) win, and no one stops anyone from developing new and innovative web services and protocols.
I like that analogy at the end
Comparing broadband to the interstate highway system is an excellent point. Of course, people only appreciate government services which they personally use (everything else is socialism) so it will never work.
I spend so much with them
Maybe soon I can get some back as dividends...
Seriously, they've done a very good job of encouraging customer loyalty amongst knowledgeable buyers. And they have a good selection and a well-designed website. They never lost focus the way Amazon did.
In america what they did would be completely legal. That doesn't mean it wouldn't upset a lot of people. Speech which doesn't offend anyone doesn't need to be protected, but our first amendment protects all speech (though not all contexts for speech, like the classic shouting fire in a crowded theater and so on). However, it certainly doesn't mean we have to protect people who did it in a country where it isn't legal.
Now why it isn't legal in Britain is another story. Not being British I'm going to avoid conjecture.
Defined benefits plans
are unreasonable. Basically, whether it's defined benefit or defined contribution, the company has to take the salary contributions of its employees and put them in a pension fund, which is then invested in such a way as to pay out the benefits in perpetuity. The differences with defined benefits are 1.) if you die soon after retirement, your family gets shafted (your benefit/contribution ration makes assumptions about your lifetime) and 2.) if the market fails, the company gets screwed.
Sure, the company with a defined-benefits pension fund which got wiped out by a market crash could have invested in very conservative funds with low volatility, but those also get low returns, so more of the employees salary would have to be siphoned off into the pension fund. Isn't it better to give the employees a choice of what to invest in? Whether to accept low returns for low risk, or to take bigger risks for bigger returns? Basically, there are companies which are supposed to know how to turn defined contributiosn into defined benefits - we call them mutual funds. If they screw up, at least they don't take innocent employees' jobs with them when they fail. Why should a company like IBM be forced to be involved in that business?
Isn't Amazon's headquarters in California? I'm sure they also have warehouses in CA. I'm not sure how they get away with not paying sales tax here... do warehouses and office buildings somehow not count as "physical presence"?
Regardless of how you feel about taxation in general, I think it's fair to say that tax evasion is morally unjustifiable, and Amazon is definitely aiding and abetting.
That said, asking online resellers to enforce these rules is difficult, as even within the state of California there's a ridiculous patchwork of sales tax rules on the local level. Maybe states should be forced to develop a common API for a "what's my sales tax?" web service to mitigate the administrative costs. Just throwing the idea out there.
That comparison site
is full of crock. Especially their "performance" claim. When I run the benchmarks, chrome comes out 350% faster, and let me tell you, I most definitely can tell the difference without "slow motion video".
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