* Posts by Paul Shirley

2024 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Microsoft releases open source bug-bomb in the rambling house of C

Paul Shirley
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Re: Bounds checking for C and C++

I don't believe Fortran defines pointers at the low level C does so there's more freedom to modify Fortran. Ç is little more than high level assembler and deliberately so, that's why C++ exists.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: C is not an applications programming language

I'll let you in on a secret: system components, OSes and whatever you think'language environments' means also need bounds checks. They deal with unpredictable client requests like any app even if written by super coders magically able to make their own code 100% deterministic and somehow not needing checks. Even god like coders make mistakes anyway.

Thinking like that keeps security researchers employed.

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Paul Shirley
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If the thing I read yesterday is true, Norway pays 90% per person of what the UK does, making 'little' = 10%. Except we get handed back nearly half that money and I rather doubt Norway get EU subsidies or rebates.

So the Norway deal appears to give them EU regulations, they're Schengen anyway so free movement is neutral, they probably pay more than we do & have no influence from that payment. Sounds like a pretty poor deal, a high price to pay for letting local incompetent or dishonest politicians & civil servants make a few decisions some other crooked and incompetent ones makes now.

Farrage&co of course hope brexit has them supping closer to the trough and getting a good deal for the country is the last thing on their minds.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Got fishing wrong

If patent trolling is a problem then deal with it directly, rather than by keeping the currently horrendously complicated system as is.

And that's the heart of Brexit: all problems are solved by running away and sticking your head in the sand. Quite how that avoids a global issue like patent abuse is a mystery but it's just got to be easier than fixing the real problem. Hasn't it?

as long as we reduce the powers of the national governments

I see this as the biggest problem with Europe, govs that talk big about reform but sit on their hands if there's the slightest chance it might steal any of their power.

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Paul Shirley
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Interesting that one prominent bit of ongoing vaping research is comparing the lethality on cell cultures of the different flavours, in vaped mixes. A startling wide range of lethality but ALL of them kill cells. Does have the useful side effect of some flavours killing lung infections, another poison with medical uses!

So far I've been lucky, the 1 vaper I know seems to use an inoffensive flavour, sadly that's no guarantee it's a safer one though.

Vaping: almost certainly safer for smokers (but the research hasn't been done yet) but safer!=safe and the evidence is mounting it's at least an irritant, not something to do if you're not a quitting smoker.

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Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Paul Shirley
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The same SoC currently powering xb1 with twice the rendering power. Achievable by doubling the gpu core count, doubling clocks or some combination would be better because the current Jaguar cpu is utter shite and needs a clock boost.

However: yes, it will be VR capable, at some low screen resolution. 4k gaming is just fiction. The current xb1 struggles with 1080p @60Hz with few games achieving it. AMDs shiny RX 480 claims 5tflops but only aims for 1440p gaming. The scorpio numbers don't make sense unless you like juddering 30fps play.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Rift

Microsoft announced their bid to make win10 the natural home of VR about 2 weeks back (too early, to little sleep to remember what they called it) and they definitely plan on multiple device support. It wouldn't be a surprise if that extends to xbox. Does rely on capturing developer support for their VR framework though and Facebook might have something to say about that after slapping aggressive drm on Occulus.

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Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

Paul Shirley
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Re: Don't blame the OEMs

Don't forget to blame the OEM's, carriers and regulators. Google has never had enough power to force any of them to provide product support. They all learned from Apple that conceding any control at all was bad and unlike Apple, Googles Nexus line didn't grab enough market share to frighten any of them.

Endless API churn in the kernel it's built on doesn't help either, once the manufacturer stops updating their binary driver blobs you're usually locked into that release of Android. That's something Goggle should have controlled and had the power to do.

There's plenty of blame to go around.

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Brexit threatens Cornish pasty's racial purity

Paul Shirley
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Re: Now I'm hungry

No no no no

No need to drive home, pasties are perfect street food. No need to drive home.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Just when I think I've firmly decided on Remain

The designation includes quality factors, so in fact we're supposed to end up with only 1 protected. Even with the seemingly low threshold to qualify as a Cornish Pasty there doesn't seem to be a rush of meat slurry packagers moving to Cornwall to take advantage (or Bulgarians setting up factories) and case 2 isn't an issue.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Sarcasm

Yes, but the thought that some factory in Birmingham could start churning out faux Cornish Pasty's should worry you. Because I don't remember our government lifting a finger to protect any foods before joining the EU.

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Oooooklahoma! Where the cops can stop and empty your bank cards – on just a hunch

Paul Shirley
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Mushroom

It's the price of freedom!!

Yes, merkins talk good freedom but very few seem to work out what it means and how to do it.

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Startup Knupath offers world a new CPU architecture

Paul Shirley
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Coat

all we need to know

Is it faster than a D-wave?

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Paul Shirley
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Re: "Solar only works in really sunny countries"

...while not "pointing" at any actual expert reports (or that the sources for that fairy tale aren't from experts in PV either). Panels produced in 2004 were estimated to have 1.7-2.7 year energy payback in S Europe - ~5 yr in the UK. Since then efficiency has improved a lot and manufacturing efficiency has improved.

The downside is shifting production to China has pushed up CO2 production, through dirty coal generation and lax manufacturing standards. Even there the numbers don't support the 'story' and they're getting better as China imposes regulation on production. I'm aware that 'regulation' is a red mist word to Andrew ;)

It's another urban myth that won't die because some desperately need to justify their position.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "Solar only works in really sunny countries"

If you pay attention while driving through England (much easier on public transport) you'll quickly notice just how few pv and wind installations there are. Wind is strongly held back by nimbyism so even though i don't believe we're out of good sites, we're out of good sites with much chance of approval.

In one of the last Lewis rants he dismissed pv for only supplying 5% of demand. At the time I started looking for pv installs in my part of the uk and it was noticeably less than 5% of available sites.

PV works so well in Germany simply because they installed more. More efficiency would be nice but it's not needed in our conditions, more panels and infrastructure to support them are what's missing. Chinese mass use is doing more for pv by reducing prices than our government or industry ever did.

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Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Paul Shirley
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Mushroom

still 700mil short

Hence the switch to mugging your pc instead of conning it into Win10 downgrades. Won't be surprised if new ransomware strikes before the 1bil deadline and the unlock solution is Win10...

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'UnaPhone' promises Android privacy by binning Google Play

Paul Shirley
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App updates is a common vector for malware, advertising or just breaking the apps. Forced app updates is unacceptable and another money sink if they try to verify each one.

Someone didn't really think this through.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Paul Shirley
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Re: but the upgrade crapped out

What's more disturbing is the updates keep crapping out as well. Not failing but leaving parts of the system broken. My network PVR 8.1 -> 10 upgrade went pretty well, drivers were replaced with bad ones as expected, the network took a while to come back but mostly it just worked after un-updating then hiding the drivers.

Last weekend's surprise (and forced while I was out) update installed the same blocked drivers, destroyed the firewall (?because I'd blocked most MS spyware and they were 'fixing' it) and generally raped my settings. Took more than half a day getting the damn machine back on the network and nearly working. And I know it will happen again if I don't completely cut it off from Microsoft servers :(

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Paul Shirley
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...you missed the report of 4 separate processes guarding each other. Not much chance you'll taskkill them all before they relaunch each other :(

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Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Paul Shirley
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Found this 2011 survey showing <50% wearing watches and phones already taking over for time telling. https://today.yougov.com/news/2011/05/05/brother-do-you-have-time/

I stopped wearing one as a teenager, stopped carrying one when cheap pocketable alarm clocks became available, then switched to phones-as-clocks when they reached disposable prices. Didn't use my 1st mobile as a phone for over a year but it made a great (and tiny) portable clock :)

Even as timepieces watches are irrelevant for most of the population now.

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Windows 7, Server 2008 'Convenience' update is anything but – it breaks VMware networking

Paul Shirley
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Re: I am not surprised at anything MS do anymore

To be fair to MS, updates have broken hyperv networking on my Win10 box far too often. They spread the incompetence around...

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Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

Paul Shirley
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"the court argued that the producer could have reproduced the distinctive drum sample himself"

which will also get you sued in much of the world. So hardly a workround.

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Not two, not four, but 10 cores in Intel's new PC powerhouse

Paul Shirley
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Gamers will get zero benefit

That's changing. DX12 and Vulkan unlock big rendering gains from multithreading. Xb1 and PS4 are driving game programmers to try maxing out 8 cores and that spills over easily into pc work. 10 cores won't be excessive in the not so distant future even for gaming.

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Paul Shirley
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not just gaming but building games

Couple of years ago I spent a week using a dual Xeon PC, lots of cores (12?). Then I had to go home and watch my 6 core Phenom 1100T chew through massive C++ compile jobs at less than half the speed - despite clocking >1GHz higher. Very nice compile engines.

An i7 with that many cores has me eyeing the bank balance... even with Intel price gouging.

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Paul Shirley
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re:Something a couple of years old has probably had the bugs ironed out

Sadly that's not my experience of win 8 or 10. Nothing ever send to get fixed without causing as much breakage somewhere else in the os. Some of it by design, perpetually trying to update my driver's to newer versions bit me again yesterday, when i came home to a network pvr with half it's tuners non functional. Whatever forced update took the machine down yesterday replaced the functional ones with broken versions I'd hidden to stop that happening. The cnuts are now ignoring my settings whenever it takes their fancy.

Wiping all my firewall settings was pretty catastrophic on a network service. Couldn't vpn into to it to fix the mess or access any pvr functions. Microsoft damn near bricked it.

Expecting things to magically get better on windows is misguided, they just shuffle where the bugs are from time to time.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Sleep and Hibernate have always been iffy

Very iffy. After serial failure since win95, win10 finally has nearly working sleep on my current desktop. It's a bit too fond of spontaneously waking, occasionally decides not to wake, frequently forgets where the network is and OpenVPN never survives. But it sort of works. Even my old laptop was picky about restarting from sleep on xp.

The retired desktop my wife uses never had working sleep till I put kubuntu on it...

The pc running as a network pvr lost sleep mode with the Win8 to 10 upgrade. Not unexpected since every windows update breaks something.

Iffy is being generous. Fusterclucked.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Paul Shirley
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Re: " in the end they [WP] mostly competed with themselves."

Also worth remembering Android has plenty of internal competition, with every manufacturer trying to stamp their own ideas on it's UI, built in apps and hardware (something the Android haters also tend to bundle into the 'fragmentation' theme). Then throw in all the tweaks, hacks, apps and firmware hackers independent developers create.

Much of Android's evolution is driven by Google plucking out the best ideas from that sea of experiments. Most of the 'new' ideas in WP were being tried somewhere on Android before Microsoft 'inventet' them. Most failed.

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Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Paul Shirley
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Microsoft have generously provided a pop-up just before the scheduled update starts. You'll have 30min to work out which option actually cancels and this time the X will follow guidelines and cancel the cancel option. For added convenience they'll leave the scheduled time just when you expect it, while you're soundly asleep between 4 and 5 am. Don't worry, the pc will wake up for it, even if they have to hack your settings and BIOS.

Have I said ”cnuts” yet?

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90 days of Android sales almost beat 9 months' worth for all flavours of Win 10

Paul Shirley
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Re: provide Nokia with the basis for some excellent phones

Only part true. Hard to agree MS had any beneficial effect on the quality of the hardware, that's all Nokia. They did indeed provide a shippable OS where Nokia had dithered and failed to complete multiple attempts themselves. But shippable & good/desirable aren't the same and you need willing buyers as well as a shipping product.

More telling, neither iOS or Android appear to have done anything in reaction to WP. No OS features copied, no attempt to compete with the hardware (though only Nokias cameras stand out on the WP side), I'm not sure either have even run any PR against the lame duck.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: even that 300 million is forced

Going to be interesting watching them force install the missing 700mil in the next 2 months, to hit their 1billion running Win10 in a year boast ;)

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Paul Shirley
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sometimes I'm easily pleased

Not seeing Orlowski regularly pop up ludicrously claiming 10% Winphone share in Europe makes me happy. (Not so) Strangely the couple of people I know that had Winphones no longer do, back to a big round zero.

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Catz: Google's Android hurt Oracle's Java business

Paul Shirley
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Oracle excluded themselves from smartphones

Oracle flat out refused to licence full strength Java for mobile, insisting on crippled J2ME. Their own actions excluded Oracle from licensing in the smartphone market, where J2ME is totally unsuitable.

You can't lose licensing income in a market you're refusing to take part in.

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New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

Paul Shirley
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Re: Barking in the wrong forest.

Microturbines were pushed hard for a few years but failed because they don't work well enough to cover their installation and maintenance costs in domestic settings. The larger commercial ones sitting on a few larger buildings locally suffered the same fate and were all locked of almost immediately to avoid maintenance costs.

An 8% pv installation would need to cover most of the surface of my city house to generate enough electricity. Labour costs mean it would never pay for itself. Until someone thinks up a way to spray pv on its not a good enough solution for most available locations.

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Adpocalypse 'will wipe out display ad growth' by 2020

Paul Shirley
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still sucking value out of the sites

"or at least free of intrusive ads, and then split the revenue 70:30 with publishers."

So, they intend to take the lions share of the revenue and still retain the option to show me ads? Not happening. I might be interested in a non profit middleman service that passed almost all the revenue on, policed the publishers compliance and did NOTHING more.

For profit middlemen would quickly fall to the same pressures that created this cesspit while sucking value out of the system. The internet doesn't need more layers of leeches between us and content.

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Database man flown to Hong Kong to install forgotten patch spends week in pub

Paul Shirley
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my near miss

Back in the 80's I had to patch a C64 game for the US, which amounted to changing 1 byte in the file. After a week the US office couldn't get it done using faxed instructions and they hauled me down to London to talk them through patching. They still couldn't get it working. That's when they decided I was going to the US to patch that single byte...

Luckily they eventually found someone with a clue a few days later and many weeks before my passport would have arrived ;)

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Windows 10 handcuffs Cortana web search to Bing and Edge browser

Paul Shirley
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Re: So where's EU

...and still running. You need kill its process then nuke the executable in the split second before it restarts.

Then check and repeat after every update is forced on your machine

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Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Paul Shirley
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quitting just after they've won? what surprise is that

Or is it simply that they've succeeded in prodding the EU into attack mode and need to be quiet, in case the EU starts thinking too hard about their involvement.

They'll be back.

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How to overcome objections that stop your enterprise from adopting DevOps

Paul Shirley
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Re: Enough already!

I can believe Microsoft do devops. It would explain why I'm still finding things last weeks "throw it at the users and see what sticks|stinks" Win10 update broke. I think I'm spending more time testing it than they did :(

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update draws nearer with Inky preview

Paul Shirley
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Flame

Surely you noticed the similarities with the Start Screen? It's the Program Manager in an always maxed window, in auto arrange mode...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: All apps

With the classic start menu it didn't really matter if overenthusiastic installers injected extra crap, it was easy to delete them, easy to move them and a multilevel tree has vastly more space to hold them anyway. You always felt you were in control of it and you never had to search tediously through an endless flat list.

That's win8/10 for you, no control over and no help from the ui.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: No, seriously

By the time I'd bludgeoned win10 into submission after the update I didn't have the energy to complain. Before that I didn't have a net connection to complain with, the fscking update careful corrupted my network settings and I couldn't even ping the router. When Microsoft break a system they do it thoroughly.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: scary

And I think we can assume one of those tweaks will be yet another hijack of my associations/default apps, the desktop will resprout the duplicate drive folders I'm sick of hacking out of the registry and random crap will be sprayed over random settings while it replaces good drivers with bad.

Just like last weeks Windoze update did :(

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'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Paul Shirley
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Re: So what is it???

It's not a closed system. If it was it would need to either convert 100% of input energy to momentum, have perfect lossless mirrors and tiny/zero input energy or melt. None of those is happening so waste energy must be leaving the drive. The em drive may just be an extremely inefficient photon rocket and simply aiming a laser into space would do a better job.

Propellent free, maybe.. New physics, unlikely.

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Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

Paul Shirley
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amd innovation

Major innovation in Zen: backing out the disastrous module innovation in Piledriver!

Done good work lower down the stack with APUs and heterogenous computing though. Wonder what the Chinese are licencing.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I've always backed AMD

I think they probably do have the majority of that market but it's not a high margin one. That's AMDs ongoing problem, they can't put together compelling high margin products. Even in the performance market the performance deficit is so marked they're forced to compete on price. Unlike other AMD diehards I'm not expecting Zen to fix that :(

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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

Paul Shirley
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Re: @DougS

What many Reg commenters persistently forget is the general public don't have a rabid hatred of Google, they actually like the apps and plumbing so many here have problems with. Years of using AOSP ROMS made it clear very few CyanogenMod etc. users are doing it to escape Google. What they're escaping is the clutching hand of the phone OEMs and carrier customisation.

It's easy to forget the liberties carriers took with phones before Android and regaining that control would be a disaster for users. This EU complaint is misdirected if the reward is simply a choice of which blend of crapware your device ships with. If action leads to anything more than compulsory windows style ballot screens on app use (something Android has already built in BTW) power will shift firmly from users to suppliers and not in a beneficial way for users.

What the actual complainants are fighting for is the right to fsck up your phone before you even see it. Google did pretty well with nearly stock Android while they owned Motorola, it's not obvious they need the phone businesses help any longer.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Others?

If Google decided to follow Apple into large scale mobile manufacturing and refuse to licence anything to competitors, I wonder what the EU reaction would be? Massively disruptive but completely moving them outside the scope of this action. Would they like the result, a monopoly where only Apple and China get to compete at all and no EU oem receives any share of Android income?

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One million patients have opted out of Care.data

Paul Shirley
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GPs regularly prescribe inappropriate and useless treatments to pushy patients demanding treatment rather than wasting time convincing them that, for example, antibiotics won't help their cold. They frequently don't know if treatments prescribed in good faith actually work. Prescription rates are a terrible way to assess efficacy.

Such a pity we can't trust them to use this data to solve that problem.

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So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

This post has been deleted by a moderator

How much faster is a quantum computer than your laptop?

Paul Shirley
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Re: If it isn't any good

@DougS: they do it because a real quantum annealer could be a genuine improvement. Problem is D-Wave keep demonstrating significant speed improvements over classical implementations only to see the classical version improved to beat them, usually on hardware at 1% of the cost.

At some point they'll either put together enough usable qbits to beat classical hardware on speed, cost or both. OR they'll hit a noise wall and fall out of the race. We're a long way from finding out which.

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