1135 posts • joined 22 May 2007
Re: Niche Market
Database servers and large data analysis systems, too.
Oh, and I'd shove one in my desktop if I could.
Come to think of it, if I could get lower capacity (and cheaper) ones, they'd be great for embedded machines. A single DIMM instead of a HDD/SSD (with all the additional cabling etc) would be great.
The more I think of them, the more uses I can see. I'm pretty sure they will be the future (storage on DIMMS, not necessarily using flash).
Now I may be wrong here, but everything I have read on this contradicts what you have said.
They may or may not have a cache attached, like any SSD, but AFAIK the storage is flash. I do not believe it is physically possible for them to fit 200+GB of DRAM on a DIMM, or we would have seen them before. Also, the speeds quoted (for a single module) are in the region of SSDs (SATA SSDs around 550MB/s, these modules 1GB/s), which is WAY lower than RAM.
What makes them so fast is a mixture of fast flash (as is used on PCIe flash cards) and lack of interface bandwidth bottleneck. They also have a much lower latency due to inherent properties of the memory bus.
Re: Copyright and reformatting: not an easy thing to "rule" on.
Buy a 'cheap' A4 sized print of a local artist's work; then scan and up-sample to A1 rather than paying for the large print in the first place. Is this fair?
I would say yes. You do not get the same detail in the smaller piece, and no up-scaling will bring back that detail. You may get a reasonable copy by doing so, but you will never have an A1 print, you will have an A4 print enlarged to A1.
While I understand that certain measures need to be respected, personally I believe that if I own something in one format, I am morally (not legally in the UK, I believe) entitled to convert it to another format for my own use. So, if I buy a DVD, I will not think twice about ripping it, or downloading a copy "illegally". Books are no different in pure terms, although I have never sat there and scanned an entire book (as it is not worth the time and effort, to me). I have, however, downloaded electronic copies of books I already own from less reputable sites. Morally, I see nothing wrong with this: I bought it, I just want it in a different format.
I, personally, don't believe they should allow licensing terms which prohibit this, and I think it should be legal. If I bought a VHS copy of a film many years ago, why should I be forced to pay again for exactly the same content as an electronic copy? Same with eBooks: I have a large number of books, but now want to store them on my tablet or ereader. Why should I have to pay again (normally a higher price, even though there is no physical media)?
At the very least, I believe that you should be able to send a book back to the publisher and be granted an electronic copy (if not free of charge, at least for a very low fee). At least then they know you don't have a second copy, you have just format shifted the first.
The law needs to catch up with technology.
Re: 129 per cent
Pebble - technical people only.
You get the Pebble, install the app on your phone, pair them, and then use your phone to install apps on it. I really don't see how that is for "technical people only".
Re: 129 per cent
A tradesman who doesn't have to reach into his pocket to see who is calling or texting has already improved his productivity.
I actually agree with this, but have one thing to say in rebuttal: Pebble.
My brother bought a Pebble, and liked it so much he bought the Steel straight after. He likes watches, and has a large collection, but the Pebble is now his daily use watch. It does everything he needs it to, costs a lot less than most smart watches, and the battery lasts days. Alerts pop up for calls, texts, emails etc.
I borrowed his standard Pebble with a view to buying it. I had been thinking about buying one ever since it came out. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of watches. They irritate me. I thought the extra functionality of the Pebble would sway me, but it doesn't. I got fed up with it after 3 days.
I love the idea of getting my notifications through without fishing my phone out of my pocket, but a watch isn't the way to go, for me. A pocket watch, though...
To be hones, I, too, was shocked at the price, considering it includes the
Idiot Apple Tax.
That said, I would guess* you need an iPhone for it to be any use, so you are already paying over the odds for that. That makes it a marketing tool to sell more iPhones than an actual product itself.
* That is a guess, I haven't seen anything to the contrary so it's a valid assumption, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Well done that man! I'd happily buy him a pint in thanks!
I wish more of this was done. A true white vs black cyber war would be awesome!
I could see low-cost, write-rarely flash taking over from disk as an archive medium if it was developed.
Currently, flash is being developed to give high access speeds, high density etc. If a mfr decided to, I could see "slow flash" being produced at much lower costs. Possibly more bits per cell, much slower reads with error correction, and probably a full wipe to modify data. The controller wouldn't necessarily need as many channels, it could access a string of flash ICs over a single channel, addressing one at a time.
It would take a manufacturer who wanted to do this, though.
While I, personally, like the "Correct Horse Battery Staple" method from xkcd (with my own modifications), I have had my own, similar, method for a while, which works around some limitations (like stupid sites which insist your password can be no longer than 10 characters, alpha-numeric only).
Firstly, come up with a phrase with 8-10 words (easy to remember), then use the initials of those words, along with some easy-to-remember substitutions.
"The Register is good for amusing IT news" becomes (without revealing some of my unique rules): "TRig4aITn". I haven't analysed it, but I believe it makes reasonably strong passwords, which are very easy to remember.
Re: Viper-engined bike is not so strange
V12 Rolls-Royce Merlin inside a mini
Not quite as extreme, but I saw a Mini with a Landrover V8 (3.5l I think...) at a Mini Show 10-12 years ago. The guy built it for hillclimb racing, then found it to be completely unusable for that.
His words to me were "It's OK to drive, as long as the road is completely dry, and you drive it like you are on ice."
Re: A true Roomba competitior..
In terms of price I have zero doubt it will blow everything out of the water including my car.
I may just be blowing hot air (ba da boom, ching) but I think I heard that it was going to cost about £750.
If so, it doesn't quite blow my car (£700) out of the water, but it does beat it.
So it's now personal preference rather than an actual hardware issue that's stopping you going back to FF.
I do use FF and IE for testing purposes. FF is still wasteful of memory, and (in my subjective opinion) is no faster than Chrome. So, even if I have lots of RAM available for it, FF uses more memory to achieve the same result, which results in less being available for the myriad of other tasks I perform, which leads to lower overall system performance.
So maybe it is personal preference. I prefer to have a system which makes the best possible use of the resources available to it. I prefer for a machine with a set hardware specification to run as fast as possible. I prefer not to have to spend additional money just to make a system run as well as it can, when a simple software choice can do that.
Is it relevant to today?
OK, let's take today.
My own PC is just a slightly upgraded version of what I had before. I've added a bit more RAM, a new graphics card (the old one died) and an SSD. Maybe, with 6GB RAM, I could go back to FF, but why should I? Chrome does the job, I've gotten used to it, and it still uses less RAM, meaning more RAM for everything else. In addition, it "just works" when it comes to syncing data with my phone.
At work, my place has standardised on Chrome, so I stick to that. The dev tools are good, and again it does the job. We also have a lot of lower spec machines (many still running Vista) which will not be replaced until they become unreliable, and these run better with Chrome than FF.
My wife has a new laptop, now, and she uses whatever she uses. I don't get involved any more, as I get in trouble if I "mess with it" or "break it".
So, for me, yes it is still relevant. I only used FF before because that was what I had been using for many years. It took a lot to get me to switch, but now I have, it will take a lot for me to go back (and a lower memory footprint would be a very good start).
For myself, FF was regularly using between 500MB and 1GB. Even on my system (at the time) with 4GB RAM, when doing heavy multitasking, this was excessive. On my wifes laptop (again, at the time) with 2GB RAM, things slowed to a crawl.
Also, you are using the same false premise that MS use when developing Office/Windows etc. Just because the resources are there, doesn't mean you should be hogging them. If computer tech moves on, why not use those resources to make things run faster, rather than hogging them and keeping things running the same.
It amazes me how much faster computers are today than even 10 years ago, and yet how similar the performance is for every day tasks.
So, I can get very similar experience from Chrome as I can from FF, yet using half the memory. This means that memory is available to all the other things I use, and results in a much more responsive machine. It's only a web browser, for crying out loud, why does it need a gig of RAM?
That's why I made the switch, too. I've used FF for years, but tried chrome and found it used far less memory. FF is just a memory hog.
The only problem I have with chrome is the text rendering. It's pretty crap. Comparing a page of text between chrome and IE, you can see a huge difference.
Re: "hard core of folks"
But what on earth must people be on to still use bloody Vista?!!
In many ways it baffles me, too. However, from a normal user perspective which version of Windows they are on makes little difference to most users. All they want is a PC on which they can use the web, read emails, do a bit of office work etc.
Take the (baffling to techies) case of my wife's grandfather. I upgraded his machine from Vista to 7. Shortly after, he insisted I put it back, because it was too different and he preferred the way Vista works. In the end, it is these users who will stick with Vista, just because it is what came with their machine. To them, a PC is an appliance. So long as it does what they need and is easy (for them) to use, they won't upgrade the OS. When they want a new computer, they will buy one, and use whatever OS comes with that one, too.
Re: If they're really smart...
DLP chips are just too power-hungry
I'm not 100%, but I wouldn't expect a DLP solution to be any more power-hungry than an LCD-based solution.
Both designs would use an LED as the light source. As they look to be single colour (possibly configurable), this will be either a single colour LED or an RGB LED module producing the single required colour, into a monochrome display technology (so no colour wheel, as used in colour DLP video projectors)
Therefore the only ingredient to influence the power consumption would be choice of display technology. As DLP "transmits" a higher proportion of the light than LCD, I would expect it to be able to use a lower power light source. I guess that DLP chips may take a slightly larger amount of power to run, although I doubt by much. Therefore I would estimate that a DLP solution would take roughly the same amount of power to run (at the same brightness), possibly slightly less.
I'm no expert, and am only using guesstimation based on a loose understanding of the technologies involved, so am happy to be corrected if I am wrong.
Re: Another 'could be' law?
To be honest I find it more refreshing that they are saying could be rather than taking the default "I know the law" police stance. I have been in several situations where the cops were completely wrong about the law, but refused to accept the possibility that someone could know better than them about anything.
Re: HTML5 RDP ...
The metamorphosis of the PC, back into dumb terminal is almost complete.
It's actually quite amazing how close we are to this already.
As it stands, to do the vast majority of their work, all most users in our company need is a web browser. The things they do in native programmes could be done in the browser. So we could, theoretically, dump the PCs they have and run a "Chrome top" (or some other cut-down browser-dominant system).
The only thing stopping me from doing this is user resistance (including the boss, he hates anything non-Windows except his iPhone).
No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off
Re: Standards proliferation
Yes, but the host/device idea got screwed up when USB sticks came along and it made sense to put an A plug on it
That doesn't screw it up at all. An A plug goes in to an A socket on a host. If it had an A socket on it (like the touchscreen monitors we have for our tills at work), that would screw it up.
As for the whole USB-OTG issue, the devices should have a Micro-AB socket, which can take either a Micro-A plug (when acting as a host) or a Micro-B plug (when acting as a device). Most don't, but it is not the fault of the standard if people don't follow it.
Re: Standards proliferation
Which meant one "normal" and one "small" connector, reversible plugs, and no flimsy tat that breaks or wears out after a few hundred cycles. No weird and crappy A and B types, no mini and micro. What was going through the mind of the designer?
Let's separate these 2 issues.
First, having an A and B type connector. This was quite a sound design approach. The idea was that A's were hosts and B's were devices. Nothing wrong with that, and it stopped people from trying to plug, say, a USB flash drive up to a USB card reader thinking it would just copy files between them. All connections are from a host port to a device port, so all cables should have one A and one B end.
Now, the issue about standard, mini and micro ports is different. Initially, there was only the standard, full sized USB (in A and B). It was decided that these were too big for many devices, so mini USB was born. Then it was decided that even that was too big, so micro was born.
You seem to assume that the entire USB standard, as it exists today, was thought up in one fell swoop. Far from it: The USB standard has evolved over time, and this has entailed some nasty hacks to bring in new features (take USB3, especially micro USB 3). They have done this in an attempt to maintain backwards compatibility, and to keep it "universal".
Type-C is a logical consolidation step. It could probably have been done better, but it's an evolutionary step, as USB advancements have always been.
Yes, I know the E and S are the wrong way around.
"Arboreal Recognition System for Evasion" works
Oi Loikes, ARMADILLOs!
Re: Forget about the solar panels!
"when will the guyz on el reg understand, nuclear is evil, nuclear is evil, nuclear is EVIL ?????"
"The sun is EVIL! It could destroy the earth if it went super-nova!"
Seriously, take your tin foil hat off. Modern nuclear fission technology is safer than most other generation methods, and the only one which could allow a significant reduction in carbon emissions while providing current and future power requirements.
Or just send the politicians to Mars? Oh, and ensure the operating instructions are encrypted, and we have forgotten the password :)
Re: @Khaptain - Flower Power + Darwin
Re: Happy Snapper
I'm only playing devils advocate here, but what about a situation where two people meet on a drunken night out and decide filming themselves and posting it on the interwebz is a good idea. The next day, the one who did the posting is cuffed because the other one regrets (or is informed by friends because they couldn't remember doing it).
Now we may be getting into the realms of consent and alcohol here, but in this case there is no contract, they both did a stupid thing, but the one who's account was used to post the material becomes guilty of a criminal offence. There was no contract, no money changed hands, but there was consent.
All I'm saying is it could be a lot harder to decide whether a party expected it to remain private or not.
Now, in most cases, I would say that if the video was made between two consenting adults in a relationship, in a private place, and the video was then posted after the pair split up, it is likely that there was an expectation of privacy. But there will be situations where it is harder to prove.
Re: Really simple way of dealing with this....
You change the law so that Royalties paid to a company outside of the country , cost 40% of what's paid.
So what about the company B which is legitimately paying royalties to company X for use of their IP?
The problem with tax "loopholes" is that most of them aren't actually loopholes. They are legitimate financial arrangements made for a good reason, which are then exploited in unintended ways.
Re: Taxin incomes is both immoral and ineffective.
If you don't know what the phrase means, perhaps you could try a search engine to look it up? Particularly as you seem to think computer access is essential, you ought to know what the term means. In this context, it is essential.
I did have a look, the first page of Google results shows it in terms of a business (very close to, if not identical to, gross profit). This helps me not one bit in this discussion.
I like the way you assume that I consider computer access to be essential. In terms of what I was talking about (essential for survival) it is not. For me, in my line of work, it is, but that's a different kettle of fish.
You seem to be working under the false assumption that I am on benefits, or on a low wage, or generally in the bracket which benefits from progressive taxation. I would actually benefit from a flat tax rate, but I am not a selfish asshat looking only at my own bottom line. I see people working hard on low paid jobs and realise that they should not be expected to fork over as much as me, even though they use more government services than I do. They should not even be expected to pay as large a proportion of their income as I do.
Of course it irks me how much of my pay is going to the government. Someone on a higher income than me would likely be even more irritated. But that doesn't make it unfair.
Re: Taxin incomes is both immoral and ineffective.
So you deny the meaning of "marginal income"
I cannot deny the meaning of a term I have never heard before, let alone know the meaning of. I am no expert in economics.
But if a person earns just enough to afford the essentials of survival, 20% of his income will taken away will result in him not being able to survive. This is much more important to him than 20% of someone earning £1m/year loosing £200k of that. The rich man can still survive without that £200k.
Re: Taxin incomes is both immoral and ineffective.
The fairest system is everyone pays £X where X is the same number for everyone. Its simple and fair. The more you earn, the more you keep.
FYI, based on 2008/9 data, replacing govt income from income tax and national insurance with a per-person flat tax for working age people only, this figure would be around £6500/year. It would be a great system for the rich, but a minimum wage earner would come away with less than £600/month.
Re: Taxin incomes is both immoral and ineffective.
The only way to keep the politicians from doing that is to ensure that everyone is equally at risk for the politicians bad decisions. That means a flat tax on income.
A true flat rate of income tax does not equate to an equal risk. 20% of a bottom-end earner's salary is much more important to him than 20% of a high earner's salary. It is likely that 20% of someone at the bottom end of societies income would tip him over the edge into (real) poverty, forcing him to sacrifice essentials. 20% of a high earner's salary may force him to take no holiday (or a less expensive holiday) this year, buy a cheaper car, or have less meals out. This is inconvenient, but not important in the grand scheme of things.
Progressive taxation of income is the fairest means of taxation we have come up with. Flat rate hits the low earners hardest. Taxation of consumption hits the lowest earners hardest. Taxation of wealth may not, but it can unfairly hit those unable to pay (take someone on a low income who owns a house whose value has increased, they may be forced out of their home just to pay a tax bill, as that home is wealth).
Re: Salary versus Equity
His tax free allowance is £10k
Then it's not a flat rate of tax. There would be no tax free allowance on a flat rate tax syystem, which is what we are talking about.
Don't you see how unfair it is? The poor guy gets nearly 75% of his income free of tax whereas the middle income guy on £30k gets 33% of it tax free and the rich guy only gets 3% tax free.
The point of the tax free allowance is that it is supposed to be a floor level of what you need to survive. The government don't tax the bit that everybody needs, just like they don't apply corporation tax until after the businesses expenses are taken out.
So it is fair that the guy who is barely making enough to live pays tax on very little of his salary.
Re: TheOrherHobbes Rustident Spaceniak Theoretically speaking, the article....
There is plenty of social mobility in the UK, as proven by the example of Sir Alan Sugar
I believe you are falling into the gambler's fallacy here. This is like saying "Everyone can get millions without working, just look at this lottery winner as proof".
Sir Sugar is evidence that it is possible to rise from poor to rich. His rise does not mean that everyone can, nor that everyone who is capable can. I do not know his full story, but it is likely he had "lucky breaks" at one time or another. He gambled and won.
Many will not be so lucky. They have skill and ambition, but they get an unlucky hand and go bankrupt. Others will make it part way up the ladder and get stuck. We know of Alan Sugar because he is an exception.
In the same way, we know of those who fall from the "upper classes" because they are the exception. Someone born at the top doesn't have to work as hard to stay there as someone born at the bottom does to get to the top.
I am not arguing that we need to work hard to eliminate this. It is an aspect of society which has always existed. But you belittle Sir Alan's achievements and many other people's struggles in this statement. It is possible to work your way to the top, but it is also possible to win the lottery.
Re: Salary versus Equity
Progressive taxation is envy/greed dressed up in hypocritical sanctimony. Tax everybody at the same flat rate so everybody has equal marginal risk in the game when bad decisions are made.
A flat rate of tax is a ridiculous notion to anyone with any shred of compassion.
There are fixed costs associated with living. Let's make a completely out-of-thin-air made-up assumption that it costs £6,000/year (£500/month) just to survive in this country, with no leisure expenses. I can't be bothered to do the research to get the correct figure, but the principals I describe apply whether this is lower or higher.
Now let'd take three people: Poor, middle and rich (in terms of income).
The poor man earns minimum wage. This equates, on a 40hr week, to approximately £13,500 p.a. salary. As we are using a flat rate of tax, I will assume (again plucked out of my arse) it will be around the same as our basic rate is now, which is approx 30% including NI. He will, therefore, take home less than £9,500. After taking into account living costs, he takes has £3500 remaining, or less than 26% of what he was paid.
A middle income guy earns £30k/year. After tax he takes home £21,000 of which £15,000 is "disposable". So he has 50% of his income to play with.
A rich guy earns £300k. He takes home £210,000 of which £204k is disposable. 68% is left.
Can you not see that this is grossly unfair on the poor guy? Although the rich guy is paying the most tax, he can afford to. He has plenty to pay for it.
A flat rate of tax hits the lowest paid the hardest. In a society which makes any claim to fairness, this cannot be allowed. Those who can afford to pay more should pay more.
The welfare state does not take money from anybody (that's the job of the inland revenue)
The welfare state does not just create money. It must, therefore, take money from somewhere. It takes it from government finances, which are raised through taxation. Therefore the welfare state takes money from us all.
I am not saying this as an argument against the welfare state. On the contrary, I support it. It is disingenuous, however, to imply that there is no cost to it.
But the poor - which pretty much means anyone who works - have perpetual financial insecurity
I do not know how it fits with official definitions, but this is what I view as wealth: Financial security. The ability to absorb unforeseen financial circumstances. You may have a good income, but if you have no savings and, say, the car you rely on for work dies, you will be in trouble.
By this definition, the NHS should be factored in to wealth calculations, as should insurance policies and some welfare benefits. Without the NHS (or some form of health insurance) an illness or injury would impact on your wealth. Similarly, without buildings insurance, your house burning down would seriously impact your wealth, and without out-of-work benefits a period of joblessness would (even more) seriously affect your wealth.
However, I do not believe education should be included as wealth. This would be a planned-for expense, affecting your income, not your wealth. The same could be said for some other forms of benefit, particularly long-term benefits. These affect income, not wealth (although of course the two are linked).
Re: While THE PATRIOT Act is in force so what?
They can only reveal information they have access to. If the data is encrypted before if reaches Google, and decrypted only after it has left Google, they have no data to reveal.
Not that I have the largest amount of faith in Google's morals in this area. A false impression of security, or weak or compromised security, is worse than no security.
Re: As a 1TB flash drive ....
OMG, Trevor, meltdown or what?
That's one of the funniest rants I have ever read!
bigphil9009: You got pwned!
Re: There is a problem with these in the USA.
from the government's point of view, is that they lead to a reduction in tax revenue; from the wealthy and influential tobacco companies' point of view it's a reduction in profits
I agree that these are two of the three most affected industries, but you forget the third: Pharmaceutical companies. They are loosing out big-time on NRT products.
Gotta love 'em!
Oh damn! I forgot to add this. I'll have to throw it away and start aga... Hang on, how the hell is it doing that? Wow, this stuff is awesome!
de minimis non curat lex
Apparently, "The law does not concern itself with trifles".
Good. Everyone should be allowed to make trifles the way they want, and not have the plod sticking their noses in!
Re: There is always two sides
This is pretty much the same argument which was used to stop breweries in the UK from owning pubs. It was a great idea in principal. In practice...
Re: what to expect....
Rumor has it, the government has people who know how to write malware not noticed by the AV vendors.
Or intentionally ignore?
Quite a funny response
El Reg spoke to SKT... which said the best way to deal with the problems of handing over voice from LTE to 3G is to build out your LTE network to a level where you don't have to do it.
Summary: It's too difficult, so don't even bother trying.
On a more serious note, why the hell weren't details for this specified before rollout? It would seem a natural, necessary feature for a mobile network.
Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations
>I am not sure that the guts of Windows 8 are all that bad.
It's the main thing that irks me about Windows 8.
Underneath, the OS seems to be one of the best MS have built. It runs fast and behaves well, even on lower-spec hardware. Even the low-end x86 tablets we have at work run pretty damn well.
I cannot stomach the interface though. Whereas Vista was rubbish underneath and I was happy to give it a miss, I feel cheated that I can't use 8 purely because of MS's appalling UI descisions.
Re: @Dr. Mouse
'The Greek letter is "Alpha"'
Ooops. Sorry, my mistake.
Misspelling aside, my point stands.
Missing a trick
While I love these developments, from Intel, RPi, and others (just looked at the ODROID, looks fantastic), I think Intel are missing a trick here.
If they supplied this with the ability to run Windows, there would be a lot more potential buyers. I would be one: Unfortunately, my employer's EPOS software is written for Windows. If I could run it on an SBC of RPi-ish size, the computing hardware could actually be integrated into a till drawer, massively reducing the bulk of our setup.
AFAIK, the closest I can get at the moment is a VIA Pico-ITX board, which are both expensive and rare. If Intel released this with Windows, I would snap up one for testing immediately.
Just FYI, I am looking into porting our EPOS software to run on Linux, but it is most definitely non-trivial. If I got that done, there would be nothing stopping me running it on a Pi: The front end is so simple that the Pi would actually be overkill.
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