1480 posts • joined Friday 12th June 2009 20:02 GMT
Yeah, to me (from the video) it looked like the *game engine* was working well enough, but the game tuning and player behavior was incomplete. (I'd guess the falling over might have been due to excessively slick grass?) If it's as poopypants says, that some developers walked out, that plus not enough time for the remaining developers to "get up to speed" could really explain all these problems. edit: That said, I have not used Unity, so I can't say how easy or hard to use it actually is. From what I've heard, some game engines over the years were pretty hard to use (even if the results ended up being pretty nice.)
">But the security company warns that ARM and MIPS flavours of the Linux worm may be available,
What does that mean "may" be availabe ? There "might" also be a new supervirus capable of destroying mankind. There "may" also be no need to purchase anything from Symantec.
I took it to mean the exploits of PHP are not relying on code injection or stack smashing or the like that is platform-specific, and the x86 ELF binary it is currently pulling also is not doing anything x86-specific. So, the exploit could just as easily try MIPS and ARM binaries as well.
"My own suggestion remains integrated multi-round anti-spammer tools that would allow volunteers to disrupt every part of the spammers' infrastructure and pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices. "
You already can disrupt the spammer's infrastructure, if you have the skill to break into it, and are perfectly free to pursue their accomplices as well. I'm sure not going to stop you. Here in the US, you are even allowed to DIRECTLY take them to court and demand damages (instead of reporting them to the FTC and having the FTC do nothing with spam reports, which is what most people do.) If they are stupid enough to spam from the US (and don't pay the settlement), you can then send martials out to take their stuff until you get enough to cover the settlement; if they don't have enough stuff you can put liens on their buildings and vehicles.
Anyway *shrug*. My Gmail doesn't seem to get much spam (other than EBay's psuedo-spam... why would I want to be told "There are 179 items I may be interested in this week". Umm, no, shotgunning out hundreds of products is not a way to get anyone interested in anything.) I started running a Bayesian filter on my other E-Mail account over 10 years ago and it works great too. And I'm, you know, NOT RUNNING WINDOWS so I am not succeptable to worms and viruses.
"Re: It's really sad
Radio is electronic. Are we allowed to change stations?"
Well, if it's one of those stupid touch screen setups, you really shouldn't be. These are defective by design and really should not be permitted on the road. Mine? Buttons and knobs, I don't have to look down to change it.
Anyway, I think quite simply they should just have a blanket "distracted driving" law that is enforced rather than these specifics. They can then just make it clear that texting is covered under the definition of distracted driving, instead of making numerous specific laws. I do hope the parking lot and rest stop thing doesn't include *parked* cars. Not parked? Yeah, they should be ticketed, as they are still not paying attention to where they are going.
I almost feel that they should not bother with the unmarked vehicles -- distracted drivers are usually so distracted they would not notice a full-blown marked SUV anyway, and this in and of itself is clear evidence they were very distracted.
These are just details though, distracted drivers are highly dangerous and should have very stiff penalties.
"> In most of Europe, as far as I am aware, it is strictly "who initiates the call, pays for it."
In the UK there are "Reverse Billing" systems (generally for adult services) whereby you text a number and receive a certain number of texts back which can be charged up to £1.50 each IIRC. But it's not somethng that's forced on you, you have to opt in by texting them in the first place and you can opt out at any time."
That's how it is in the US too, people are supposed to sign up to a service first, then get billed for the texts they receive back. I think in some cases, people simply do not pay attention and sign up for something not realizing it costs. But, in other cases, the companies are simply committing fraud, and fraudulently claim you signed up for their service. Of course, the cell cos are all to happy to scoop up your info for the NSA, but will not use the exact same records to make sure you actually texted a premium rate SMS provider before they start billing you (apparently, preferring to get rid of the whole mess. Which is fine with me.)
As for being charged for sending or receiving SMS in general? Not really a problem, the cell cos here in the US have such bad pay-per-use rates (25 cents a text or more?) that people who don't text generally have texting disables, and everyone else buys a big bucket of texts or unlimited texts. Verizon for one is also quite aggressive about tracking down and suing text spammers.
You guys are lucky.
You guys are lucky. Here in the US? No rights whatsoever. You are transferred, nothing is guaranteed. The only IT union I know of here is in Las Vegas, so that doesn't apply here. If your small company is being bought out, this is probably good for you. Otherwise? Not so much.
Outsourcing? Heh, the outsourcing and temp agencies here are one and the same. The company holds on to at least 75% of what they are paid, and then provide a pittance of benefits. (When i worked a while as a temp, I had a few vacation days -- unpaid -- and an offer for me to pay for worthless health insurance* (they wouldn't chip in a penny) so they could technically say they offered insurance.)
*How worthless was the offered insurance? $1,000 deductable, then it'd only cover the NEXT $1,000. No coverage for glasses, medicine, or dental coverage. I think it even exempted hospital stays. It was so poor, when I looked at the terms it was actually PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get back more in covered medical treatment than you were paying them in insurance premiums.
Does your TV not have audio out connectors?
First... your TV probably has audio out connectors. Why don't they just make a little box that takes that and pipes it -- wirelessly -- to the speakers? I do realize it's not as cool as being 100% wireless, but it does make the wires like a foot long rather than running wherever to the speakers. Even if a TV has wifi, I do not expect it to support proprietary wifi systems... these speakers are, after all, proprietary. I do, however, expect it to have speaker out jacks.
Secondly... I don't know why you are having problems with products that send video and audio to the TV? 1) just run the audio cables somewhere else, or 2) run the audio out from the TV to wherever you want the noise to go. (See paragraph above.) Given how ugly things tend to get when wifi is kludged into an otherwise wifi-less product, I for sure would not want wifi support grafted onto most of the stuff I have that makes noise.
They specify Windows machines aboard ISS
They specify Windows machines aboard ISS, I thought the Russians had been using some Linux or BSD. Anyway, it seems the current supplier for the US side at least supplied machines with XP (for personal use.) The ones for any control use run Solaris. Since XP is going out of support, the vendor plans to replace the XP systems with Debian.
What proportion are HDMI problems?
I wonder what proportion are HDMI problems? Those, the solution can be to simply have the manufacturers finish the ports off straight away rather than leaving them all jagged, hopefully Sony starts having them do that ASAP. At least it sounds like people with port problems can clean the port up themselves. If you take out HDMI problems, are the other ones frequent? I don't know.
Apple being Apple?
Well, it's Apple being Apple (phrasing things in ways that imply things they didn't actually say.) I mean, what he said is that most people at Apple are working on the iPhone *in some capacity*. To me, the "in some capacity" makes this virtually a null statement, as someone who works on some other project, but spends like a minute a week playing^H^H^H^H^H^H working on a iPhone, is then working on it "in some capacity".
"Not your usual freedom-loving, personal responsibility arguments, are they?"
No but Singapore is not a particularly freedom-loving country. *shrug*
Just a FYI, XVideo (and the Windows equivalent depending on the video card) use a window with a chroma key color. Usually it's all seamless but I dragged some text window over a video once and the font antialiasing must have used lots of blue, it bled through like crazy.
Standards? NVidia drivers support OpenCL (which is what ATI also uses). NVidia CUDA is not standard, but makes it easy to find some C loops, wrap them a bit, and have them run on the GPU instead of CPU. This was NVidia-specific back when I played with it, I don't know if it still is or just emits some OpenCL.
". And, indeed, it is upon the carriers that the warrants are served"
But, there are not even warrants for this, data is collected in bulk then analyzed. FISA themselves found this style of program unconstitutional in 2008 (the NSA just disagreed and kept doing it.) Now in 2013 FISA claim it's fine. A recent audit (2012) the NSA did on themselves (Snowden leak) found 2,776 FISA violations in one year, just in the DC area operations alone. On the positive side this does indicate they audit use of these systems.
Plenty of standards...
There are plenty of standards, encryption for http, encryption for e-mail, and encryption at the IP level via the likes of IPSec, and probably plenty of other standards. Few are used. IETF just needs to come up with best practices for what is most practical and effective.
Re: How to succeed in business
"WTF? They only thought the transition would be 'simply mechanical'? Nobody could be arsed to try it to make sure? With an internal culture like that, its a wonder Feedly are still in business."
I assume they all already have Google+, and so saw no problem during testing. I have not enabled Google+ on my account that's for sure 8-). At least they did not do the "Well, we've decided this so suck it up" I've seen now and then. They realized they f'ed up and fixed it same day.
"However, on a number of interactive websites like Gmail, it was dog slow compared to Chrome."
Weird. I just thought GMail would not be heavy enough to slow down any browser.
Why no IE11 for Windows 8? I think it is due to lack of a proper package manager -- without a defined set of files that IE "owns" as opposed to other bits of Windows, the more Windows versions IE installs on, the more sets of updates they must produce. They would have had to produce later updates for Win8, Win 8+IE11, Win8.1 and Win8.1+IE11 otherwise, as it stands they eliminate Win8+IE11. Are they going to release more Win8 updates *at all* or insist on Win8.1? Honestly curious.
"The only part of my Orion that ever worked was the Fuel Computer. Every other piece of electronics in that mobile pile of rust didn't work properly. Fuel leaks."
Wait, did it actually account properly for the fuel leaks? 8-) Just kidding haha
Anyway, seeing the fixit page on this, well... the ipad air and air notebook both looked like the battery was kind of a bag of, I guess, lithium ions that is squished into the unit and glued in place. I would expect a higher rate of damage (either during assembly or after) compared to a more conventional rigid battery case.
"Ok, fine, you've got to call the fire department in a retail shopping area, that's fair. But people ran away from an 'exploding' iPad? Lame."
Burning electronics put out nasty fumes. Plus if the store employees are busy dealing with this burning ipad, they can't attend to the customer or sell them stuff anyway. I mean, I wouldn't go to an Apple store to begin wtih but I'd leave pretty quickly if this happened.
It seems odd to me that if this system can only have a single front end... it's doing something else (scheduling or moving jobs maybe) that is not really the job of a front end. Hopefully it's not an indicator of further architectural faults.
I was going to insert a Microsoft bash, but *shrug*. It's true, it takes time to work out the bugs on complex systems. IBM mainframes are reliable as can be *now* (and probably the last 30-40 years), but they apparently also had crashes aplenty through the 1960s and 1970s.
I'm not seeing the problem...
I mean, this is a problem that some normal PC does not have much to program with out of the box. But, I've seen people who did miss out on all the 8-bit machines that will throw linux on, start using shell script, start using python, and start using other languages. There aren't many computer clubs, but with forums, web sites, IM etc., these meetups are simply not as vital as they were back in the day. I've still seen plenty of amazing programmers that are too young to have used 8-bit PCs, or the 16-bit Amiga or Atari ST etc. either.
I didn't know Microsoft's products supported GIT
I didn't know Microsoft's products supported GIT. Anyway, Visual Studio indeed does via some plugin or other. Eclipse of course does too.
Anyway, this is fine by me. I kind of agree with Thorne actually, it might be trial by fire compared to using a nicer API (if they are using Visual C or C# in VS, which seems likely.). But, *shrug*. Once you've learned to use one language it's much easier to learn other ones later, the techniques generally apply. (Well in general... I mean, C or .NET programming will not really prepare someone for the likes of LISP, but not much will.). I do all my programming for Linux and Android myself (C,Python, shell script). I've done some on Windows programming too; I found the API to be a real unholy mess in comparison but I got it to do what I needed.
I'm assuming there may have been a little sarcasm there? I mean, the NSA has been doing whatever they want. I'd assume Google analyzes their own logs well enough they (and so Schmidt) would have known if the NSA was actively trolling through their systems. But, I would have been more surprised to find out the NSA *wasn't* tapped into Google's lines to the wider internet, given their zeal for taps.
Video over Verizon Wireless? Blah. I have grandfathered unlimited data, but I think very few will pay like $5 or $10 a month, AND effectively pay $5 or so a show for the data itself (they charge $30 for just 2GB, and $10 a GB for overage... they have some higher data plans, but none get you below $10 a GB.)
The joys of Windows
Ahh the joys of Windows. Just an FYI, if I install a printer on my Ubuntu systems, IT STAYS INSTALLED! ("Installing" a printer only really being necessary for network printers -- if I plug in a USB one, it just shows up as a printer choice without my doing anything.) The only printer-related problem I've had, HPLIP (the add-on for some HP printers), the little tray utility loads (EVEN if I set it not to), then after about a minute it falsely decided it *hasn't* loaded and pops an error message complaining about it failing to load (however everything works, it even complains when ink is low.) Scanning? Check. Printing? Check. So long as a printer, scanner, or combo device works to begin with, *it just keeps working*.
Well, the drivers keep working at any rate -- obviously this doesn't help garbage inkjets quit jamming constantly, or printers in general run out of ink or toner at the least convenient time. 8-)
I thought he was probably mistaken.
This could be possible, targetting a specific type of USB stick and BIOS. General-purpose BIOS infection? I'm not going to say "impossible!" but I'm just not seeing it.
The ultrasonic transmission could be possible using the PC speaker (which, usually routes out through soundcard speaker on systems that don't actually have a PC speaker any more). But, what about the mic? Desktops usually don't have a mic at all (and I don't THINK the hardware supports reading the PC speaker bit to do input....), and for laptops you'd need sound device support -- would they just build some "AC97/Intel HD Codec" driver in and assume it'll work for most devices maybe? This seems very difficult at best.
So, a virus that does both? It just seems highly unlikely. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks! ;-)
"Working landlines are very different from mobile Obama phones. Try news stations instead of lunatic left echo chambers."
So-called news sources are not the place to get information on programs like this. Due to the US's broken political system (with two nearly-identical parties which people swear are polar opposites), the news coverage of political programs is poor at best. That said:
1) Calling subsidized mobile phones "Obama phones" is ridiculous, the universal service fund, subsidizing phone service for the poor, as well as for people too far out in the sticks for the phone co to provide service otherwise, has been around for DECADES. Obviously they were not handing out bag phones in the 1980s, it did not make technological or economic sense. But nevertheless the cell phone program is an extension of these same programs.
2) *CELL PHONES COST LESS THAN LANDLINES*!!!! If I want a BASIC landline from the CenturyLink, it's like $20-25 a month, with no long distance. The companies providing "free" cell phones are getting about $10 a month in subsidy. So, if they buy the higher minute plan, the person getting the phone service chips in $10 and the subsidy $10.
3) Employability. The people that speak against these phones, that say a landline is good enough (ignoring point 2), are usually also the same ones that want people off subsidies as fast as possible (i.e. back to work)... which is definitely a good goal. Well who is more employable? Someone who the potential employer dials up and it rings through to their cell? Or the other person with the landline, where it just rings and rings if they happen to be out looking for work, or buying groceries, or whatever (landline service does not include voicemail, and as a broke individual they probably won't have an answering machine!)
Back on topic -- I've read about startling changes in some of these countries from technology. A few have seen great economic growth, they effectively did not have banks out in the sticks, or any way to hold onto money (they'd probably be robbed eventually if they just had all this cash around), which made any kind of normal economy impossible. Now, it's done via phone banking, they can store their wealth, business all accept phone transfer, and there are places they can locally get some of that on-phone money turned into hard currency when they'd like. In places where there's some farming, better contact between producers and sellers so they can find out which markets are providing better pricing. Rural people are getting medical information they never had access to before.
That said, I do think it's naive to assume these people will be making widespread use of PCs and using these services similarly to how they are used in the US. Even Japan uses services radically differently than here. Google's plan seems a bit naive.
I think what Gates is doing is very important too. I just won't dismiss people who think they can bring about change via better communication either.
"Why would a company which sells mostly non-tangible products need a showroom?"
Some people do like to see some of example of the tangible assets (i.e the actual racks of machines). Plus it's a party boat.
"Actually making calls on a mobile from an aircraft is still banned"
Also it won't work. Once you are high enough, a GSM device will be unable to receive an intelligible signal due being in line of site of dozens or perhaps hundreds of cell sites. For CDMA (both Qualcomm CDMA and WCDMA 3G), the network typically will determine a device is interfering with excessive numbers of cell sites and boot the device off the network.
"Of course it won't work!
The Wright brothers took to the air in 1903, achieving what most people said was impossible. 65 years later the first Jumbo Jet flew.
The simple lesson from history is that engineers regularly achieve the impossible."
I don't think it's a matter of anyone thinking this is physically impossible. It's a matter of thinking the cost estimate is WAAAAAY out of whack. (Not the $1 million for a demo... but the full tunnels.) I mean (from skyscrapercity.com -- and this thread's from 2006 so not even counting the last 7 years of inflation!):
"Seattle Central Link Univeristy Extension
$1.7 billion / 3.15 miles = $540 million/mile"
"New York 2nd Avenue Subway
$16 billion / 8.1 miles = $1.975 billion/mile "
They do comment a lot of this cost is from land acquisition and also because NYC has very hard ground to bore thorugh.
"In Minneapolis, a 1.38 mile (7,300 ft) twin-tube tunnel (bored) was built recently for the Hiawatha LRT line. Earth-pressure-balanced methods was the type of boring used (not sure what that means). The cost was $110 million. So that's about $79.7 million a mile."
"In New Delhi (India), 65 km of metro/subway has been built so far at the cost of $2 bn.. $30 mn/km.
In Mumbai, metro construction is begining for a 146 km network by 2021 at estimated cost of $5 bn.. $34 mn/km. "
(This comes to $48 million a mile for New Delhi and about $55 million a mile for Mumbai).
I just can't see these guys making a maglev, vaccum-sealed tunnel while also cutting 75% of the cost of a conventional tunnel.
So.. what actual use cases does this have? I mean, I've been in buildings with thermostats, temperature sensors, steam heat converted to be computer controlled, all fed into HVAC controller.
Why would any of that need to go outside the network running to the HVAC controller? Even if I wanted to remote control say a home version of this, I'd still want the HVAC controller to be my single point of access, not every valve and sensor. For traffic management, the sensors and street lights can be as "smart" as the local roads department can afford to make it. Some towns clearly don't even try to synchronize lights or anything. But beyond that I think there are rapidly diminishing returns on investment except in very congested areas.
Why would this any of this need massive network upgrades? How much data would a sensor produce anyway?
Why does this need new IT skills. If someone can decide what they want a so called "internet of things" to actually do (like an actual use case where something does something useful....) then I'm quite sure it can be put together right now. But vaporware alone does not make a produceable product.
btrfs has an option for that
btrfs has options where it'll have an index like this, for supporting data duplication (triplication? 8-) ) and deduplication type stuff. I wanted to use it just for deduplication, but found the index's overhead is quite high. This type of tech is quite effective though to ensure data integrity.
Nobody should be wearing google glass while driving. If it's off, it's useless to be wearing it. And if it's on it's a distraction. It'd be interesting if glass had a speaker loud enough to use it in a speakerphone mode (i.e. it's sitting on the seat or whatever and you can give it voice commands.)
"Pretty obvious from that picture that the device isn't going to do what it's claimed to do. The minimum size would be like around the mini pcie wifi cards + some extra gubbins for processing + extra for dealing with the power."
Minimum size would be a single chip -- it's easy to put wifi and ARM onto a single die. The power circuitry to supply well under 1 watt is also small too (I doubt they put it on-die).
Yeah I wouldn't do this...
Calling this a Man In The Middle *Attack* is pretty sensationalist, since a) It's not malicious and b) The user requested the mail go through the "man in the middle", rather than "the man in the middle" being there surreptitiously.
That said, I probably wouldn't go for this. But if I was into LinkedIn... *shrug*.
I do doubt this will be something where you can get a phone and just keep putting newer and newer parts on. However, I do like the idea of, if say my keyboard wore out (full keyboard please?) that I could just like unsnap it and snap in a new keyboard, versus the labor-intesive process required on a conventional phone. If I had a choice of a conventional smartphone, and one that is DYI like this, I'd get the DYI one.
Wow, this talks me into not buying products from RSA. I mean, with this view, it seems almost guaranteed they would put backdoors into it. The fact of the matter is, there ARE security researchers that disrupt meeting places for illicit activities, botnets, and so on. They can't physically arrest them unless they screw up due to anonymity, this is true. But the realistic fact is the agencies that the RSA head honcho expects people to not worry about and give up their privacy to, are running amok with no checks and balances whatsoever.
Not that bad....
The thing with the "landfill android" tablets is they are comparable in spec to a nice tablet from a year or two ago. A few of my relatives got some a year or two ago that had like a 500mhz MIPS... they were like $90, they were pretty slow but my relatives got lots of use out of them. Now? The Hudl, for instance, has 1GB of RAM and a *quad core* 1.5ghz processor. That is not shabby!
You want a single standard? OK, FM.
In all seriousness... DAB is using an even older standard than MP3, so compression ratios are relatively poor -- also, they do put too many channels on a multiplex, so you end up with all those low-bitrate streams (which will sound even worse than an equivalently low MP3 stream.) The error correction support is also poor.
It turns out (as you all know), people do not want a system with poorer than FM radio quality and poorer than FM range. Go figure.
At the very least, they should all use DAB+ (which is using a form of AAC audio called HE-AAC+), which is like triple the efficiency of MP2.
squid alone helps...
Even without any tweaks, I found squid on a Linux box does get higher speeds than an XP system will get directly. Not much to do about latency though -- the speed of light delay for a ping and reply is 500ms or so, and 1000ms or so is typical due to other delays of satellite access. And, as with any link, this latency will spike up further with channel congestion.
PFSense is a pretty nice firewall setup... you load PFSense into a PC with some network ports (whatever type; it's runs on FreeBSD, but FreeBSD supports virtually all cards just like Linux) and it's like a wireless access point style web interface but with way more options. A word of warning, I installed squid3 on this and would have squid fail to restart after power failure, UFS filesystem interacts poorly with squid in this regard. I think swap.state gets corrupted, a "rm /var/spool/squid3/swap.state" before squid starts should force a (fairly slow unfortunately...) cache rebuild.
"Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals "
But, the thing is I've seen people that seem to have no problem holding a conversation and texting at the same time (or short E-Mail or IM). So it doesn't bother me a bit if someone is on the phone a bit. I think it is likely more men come to this conclusion than women.
Where I work we're all tech geeks and would certainly check any texts that come in. However, we have a few clients that check texts any time they get them, and they clearly don't mind a bit if I check a text. But in general, I do ignore texts and E-Mails while I'm actually meeting with people.
"When Microsoft finally completes the acquisition of Nokia’s 32,000-strong mobile unit it will boast 120,000 staff in all. Surely there’s one in there who can find a way of explaining RT to the so-far uninterested masses. Thanks largely to Nokia, RT is looking less of a basket case and something with a bit of potential. "
My response to this: Maybe. Without seeing even a review or anything of this tablet, I expect Nokia will end up with a better tablet than the Surface RT... but, if the Nokia is also running RT (8.1 I suppose), will it be good enough? No matter how good the hardware is, it doesn't help if the software is dodgey. I have nothing against them so I hope it's good, but.....
Second, will this also have a locked bootloader? I don't trust Microsoft to not just try to do a combined RT/Windows Phone thing, but then not port it back to Surface and the Lumia 2520... at which point RT will be essentially a dead platform, and I'd want to put a 3rd party firmware on there.
The A15 does support LPAE (Large Physical Address Extension), which is supposed to allow 40-bit addressing (256GB maximum), as does Linux. I think this would still limit per-process memory to less than 4GB, but certainly is better than 4GB total.
I don't know if Excel even supports large enough data sets to really need MapReduce, but MapReduce allows crunching through data sets that are too large for even the index to be stored in RAM on any individual system, the "Map" phase will split up the query into smaller tasks and send it to workers. The Reduce portion will take the results from these nodes and combine it back into an answer. This is quite a bit less efficient than a conventional database search, but pretty much infinitely scalable.
In other words, I guess it's considered "cloud" now, but it's an actual solution for given problems rather than just marketing guys deciding to rename their racks of computers "cloud".
>>> Steve would not have let this happen
>>Yes he would. Wasn't slowly turning OSX into iOS one of his master plans in the first place?
>I doubt it. The thing Apple got right was that you can't stick a keyboard/mouse interface on a phone, >something MS has been trying (and failing) to do for ages. If they have forgotten that lesson, their design >prowess is shallower than I thought.
A) As bad as Microsoft's phone efforts have done in the market, I've never seen any indication of them trying to stick a keyboard and mouse interface onto one. Windows CE sure had a start menu, but that was like 10 years ago and it actually sold decently until it became technologically obsolete.
B) You got it backwards -- the plan was theoretically to further dumb down the Mac desktop and apps to match the capabilities of the tablet. (I'm sure that's not how proponents would put it...but I'm not one!) Signs of it, apps like the ones in this article, where they rip out loads of functionality to streamline the interface, and the app store.
It's by no means just Apple though -- see Microsoft trying to force a tablet interface onto people's desktops (I say "trying to" because of how low sales are of Win8... luckily for them at least, Windows 8.1 is supposed to allow booting straight to the real desktop instead of having to tab over into it or whatever.) And see Mark Shuttlesworth at Canonical, switching Ubuntu's default interface to the awful Unity interface (another tablet interface being stuck onto PCs... luckily, I can install gnome classic and pretend Unity never existed.)
Sounds good to me
This is not denigrating Apple deciding to release the OS update for free -- but, MacOS has narrowed the age of hardware each version supports for years, and is now down to supporting only 2 or 3 year old machines. So, they will not have people upgrading for free from one version to the next for 10 years or anything, the computer they get today will likely not be supported by the OSX version that comes out 2 years from now.
I'd like to debunk claims that these are like service packs. If Microsoft was still jamming all kinds of addons and "under the hood" changes into service packs like they did in the 2000 and XP era, I'd say a lot of OSX releases are comparable to service packs -- but, service packs just aren't like that any more. For example, the SPs for Vista and 7 mainly collected the bug fixes and security flaw fixes all together (and maybe updated IE). It's much closer to the updates already available for an OSX version via the update manager (except the Service Pack nicely collects it all in one big file.)
"There's a company over in Hong Kong selling quad-CPU (AMD Opteron 8356) boxes.for under $1500. 16 cores, 2.3GHz, 16GB with a 500GB drive."
The rules do require at least a 2 nodes, so you'd have to shave something off the specs there to get it down to $1250 a unit. But yes 8-)
I think there's three possible strategies...
1) Heavy reliance on GPUs. These may be slow for a few benchmarks (if money is spent on GPUs instead of CPUs) but would heavily accelerate others. Regarding the compiler, gcc does support autoparallelization (for Intel chips, using MMX/SSE/SSE2/SSE3/etc. instructions to speed up vector operations pretty much)... If any project supports turning these into GPGPU code instead (for NVidia CUDA or the like), they could find boards with maximum number of PCIe slots, shove some cards in and clean up. They will want to carefully select a card, since power use and cost both drop like a rock as you go from "top of the line" to "pretty damned fast".
2) ARMs? Someone may lay out a large number of ARM cores. ARMs plus GPUs would be particularly interesting.
3) Used hardware. They can get some rack mount Xeon systems or whatever, balancing out cost versus the power usage cap (and possibly space depending on if the systems are 1U or what..)
"The problem is that those charged with exercising those checks have failed to exercise due care, and what we see is an outcome of "regulatory capture". "
To a great extent, yes. Although, apparently the FISA court *did* stop rubber stamping, and straight-up tell the NSA they did not approve of their later plans. The NSA had one of their lawyers come up with a fairly non-sensical argument justifying their actions, and just kept doing them (they did not take up their counterarguments with FISA, just kept going). At this point, their actions were undeniably illegal, since they were collecting information without the required approval of FISA. They just assumed nobody would leak their illegal activities.
Anyway, I agree with the article -- contractors are not guaranteed steady work, so they don't have that "work for life" kind of loyalty. There's not a clear enemy like the Nazis to unify people. I think leaking info is easier now; if the main stream media is just going to sit on something, it can be released publicly online instead. And finally, the NSA has been a bad actor, not following the minimal legal restrictions placed on them and then lying about it... I think if they had been better behaved, Snowden would not have had the fit of conscience to leak this information, and there would not have been interesting information to leak anyway.
"What I got at school was some ol' Mac to "learn" using a word processor and such (that might be part of the reason why I still can't stand Apple;-)."
Same here pretty much -- we took a typing class, luckily they still had like 1 or 2 IBM Selectrics left when I took it (which have a keyboard very similar to the IBM Model M), instead of having to type on the dreadful keyboards the Macs were saddled with (not as bad as the current ones, but the bumps were still on the wrong keys.)
As for learning languages -- First, I was required to take music and art classes I had absolutely zero use for, so I don't see a problem with some introductory computing classes. It'll stop people from thinking the computer runs from magic, and give them some vague idea of what is happening in there. On the other hand, I'm not going to get all worked up if they don't have it either, I've talked to people who just cannot follow even a brief bit of logic ('if x is true then y is true'... will go right over their head), and for these people it's a waste of time, they could spend all semester trying to write up a loop to print their name 10 times and probably not succeed.
Re: for idiots
"If you're buying a mobile device, you're buying into a limited lifespan of full functionality. That's just the the way it is. Surely you're not calling everyone who buys a notebook an idiot? That's pretty idiotic."
Umm, my machine is 7 years old (bought used), and I'm not having speed problems. I replaced the keyboard (it was worn out). I've upgraded the RAM. I don't know if it's the original HD. Buying a notebook is not idiotic. Don't use fanboi-logic to claim that buying a sealed-up non-expandable unit is the same as buying a notebook in general, because those are two completely different things. I've been there -- I just wanted to add a little more RAM to the netbook I had before this -- soldered on! I've learned my mistake on that one!
Macs in the 80s
"I've loved using Macs going back to the late 80's so I suppose I qualify as a fanboi but it's sad to watch a company with such a loyal user base screw their customers so unashamedly."
Nah, you're an Apple fan. But, not a fanboi, because you are being rational. Fanbois say Apple can do no wrong, and are perfectly willing to come up with some kind of circular argument, or "fanboi-logic" as it were, to make their case. So for making a non-repairable, non-expandable system, they'd either make an argument how it doesn't matter like...ohh..." It's not a PC, this is for real humans, not hack-a-whacks" , or ignore the real issues of non-expandability, for example responding to concerns of non-expandability with "If you are worried about support, AppleCare is by far the best-rated support in the history of computing." I wouldn't of minded a Mac II 8-). Man was that thing expandable.
"Until somebody wants to compete with Apple for the the loyalty of fanboi love I'll likely continue my slow migration toward Linux/Ubuntu."
Yep. Ubuntu with "Gnome Classic" (no Unity -- ugh!) is the way to go for me so far. If I wanted to, I can even run it on a Mac 8-)
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