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* Posts by Reticulate

12 posts • joined 26 Jul 2010

Benchmarks are $%#&@!!

Reticulate

FOPR12.

You don't have to cheat to produce amazing benchmark results. Back in the 80s we were benchmarking a couple of systems for our university using FOPR12 from the Whetstone suite. One of them was slower than the other until it was allowed the highest level of optimisation, when it was (if I remember correctly) about twice as fast. The manufacturer was very helpful and gave me the assembly listings of the compiler output at the relevant levels of optimisation, from which it emerged that there was a subroutine whose execution formed a significant part of the computation required, but changed only variables local to itself; the compiler spotted this and simply optimised its execution out of existence. It was a tribute to the compiler, but rather unhelpful for comparison purposes.

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Blighty's bumpkins bemoan bold broadband bluster

Reticulate

Instead of pandering to those who have moved into the sticks to pursue the simple life or the fox, or to get away from the sweaty masses, why not do something about the much greater number of people living in quite ordinary towns and suburbs who can't get decent broadband service? I bet the ROI would be much higher -- and I don't see disappointed and disgruntled members of the Countryside Alliance switching to Labour so the Government has nothing to lose.

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Dennis Ritchie: The C man who booted Unix

Reticulate

Linux/GNU.

I am no expert, but surely to say "Linus Torvalds announced his project of writing an open-source clone of Unix from scratch in 1991" is a bit misleading? A kernel, yes. But a great deal of the rest was GNU -- notably the C-compiler. I can see that Stallman has not made any friends in the past week, but that doesn't justify airbrushing GNU out of Unix history like Trotsky.

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Amazon revamps E Ink Kindle line

Reticulate

Pounds for dollars.

The one you get for £89 is non-touch: you navigate an on-screen keyboard image using the 5-way controller. Pre VAT that's £74. The equivalent non-touch version is $79 in the USA. Takes me back to the good old days of Cisco pricing.

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World's first turbine powered Batmobile hits roads

Reticulate

A bit old hat.

Rover did a gas turbine car more than 60 years ago.

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Anti-PowerPoint Party vows end to death by slides

Reticulate

No escape from Power Point.

At a wedding reception a few years ago I swear that when the first speaker got up the eyes of 70% of those present flicked to the wall behind him to see the first slide.

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BT's fibre-to-the-premises trials hit duct roadblock

Reticulate

Virgin.

"Maybe if BT did something like what Virgin did all them years ago they wouldn't have half the trouble with crap speed's."

Do you mean buy up the cable TV companies, which had lost enormous amounts of money installing the cables and ducts? Which is what Virgin did.

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Amazon heralds unstoppable rise of the e-book

Reticulate
Thumb Down

How much difference between 69p and free?

They may have ignored the free Kindle books, but if you look at the top 10 paid-for ones on Amazon's UK site only four cost more than £1, and three of those are the sort of price you pay in remaindered bookshops. I bet they won't be prepared to compare the formats on the basis of gross revenue, even in percentage terms (i.e. Kindle book revenue is X% of print book revenue).

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Welshman attempts to board train with pony

Reticulate

An overlooked precedent.

Railway Porter (to Old Lady travelling with a Menagerie of Pets). "’STATION MASTER SAY, MUM, AS CATS IS ‘DOGS,’ AND RABBITS IS ‘DOGS,’ AND SO’S PARROTS; BUT THIS ’ERE ‘TORTIS’ IS A INSECT, SO THERE AIN’T NO CHARGE FOR IT!"

(Punch 1869)

I think this is a precedent to class ponies as dogs.

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Mozilla to shift 12m surfers off 2-year-old Firefox 3.5

Reticulate

Reasons for not updating.

It's not necessarily inertia and idleness that stop people updating. I am running 3.5 because its the last one that the -- now unsupported -- Google Notebook plugin will work on. And the plugin wasn't available for any other browser, to the best of my knowledge.

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UK scraps Fibre Tax review

Reticulate

Fibre rating.

Announcing this at a Vtesse launch was a bit unkind, since if I remember correctly it was Vtesse that was taking the government to court in Brussels alleging state aid -- based on the lower rates paid by BT compared with, say, Vtesse...

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Lord Peter views the logfile

Reticulate

More Work for the Debugger.

Campion, having heavily-hinted royal connections, would have nothing to do with anything less than Multics (which ran happily on multi-processor -- and extremely expensive -- hardware).

I hope the tinge of Wodehouse is a sign that the Author isn't going to become embarrassingly enamoured of her subject like her elder sisters in crime did.

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