* Posts by Def

1177 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

Def
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Re: That UI...

Nah, XP was pure Disney.

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Def
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That UI...

The default desktop bears a striking resemblance to Windows 10, replete with a familiar-looking start menu.

Err... yeah, right.

It looks pretty much how I would expect Windows to look if it had been designed by Fisherprice in the 80s.

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Visual Studio gains some go-faster stripes for Android emulation

Def
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Just export your settings somewhere and reimport them on the few occasions Visual Studio resets them. I always have a backup handy ever since I realised how terrible an idea auto-syncing from the cloud is.

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Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

Def
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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

I've dealt with my share of lazy developers, but I'll bet that most devs understand a fair bit about optimisation, and I'll bet a lot of them even care.

Perhaps lazy wasn't the right word. But in all honesty, I don't know many developers who really understand shit about optimisation these days. Certainly there isn't the same understanding about what a compiler does to your code that there used to be. And as more and more higher level languages become more and more popular, people really don't understand the implications of what happens when they write something one way instead of another.

Back when I was working at [a rather large game developer] not even 10 years ago there was a pervasive sentiment among most of the developers* that they write code, and someone else will optimise it. And to be honest, I haven't seen any differences in attitudes at other places I've worked since.

While it's nice to think people do actually care, in reality most of them don't. The tsunami of shitty Android and iOS apps eating your battery is testament to that.

* There were a couple of *really* good developers there who basically spent every stand up meeting trying to drill into everyone else: Use less memory; Profile your code. (This was for a last-gen console game.) I even ended up writing a memory profiler** to help show people what the consequences of their actions were.

** I've written another once since. If you ask nicely, I'll share a link. ;) Not going to spam it at you right away.

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Def
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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

In all fairness, a lot of resource requirements these days come from lazy developers who don't understand shit about optimisations.

I only have 16GB of RAM in this machine, and since I switched to Vivaldi (Chromium) as my primary web browser (which seems to require two to three times the amount of memory per page than an older version of Firefox), I find myself running out of memory more often. Ditto for SmartGit (hello, Java) which uses a laughably high amount of memory for what it does.

And look at how much storage space the average application needs these days. It's insane.

There are some applications that obviously need a lot of memory and storage space - databases and video editing are two that spring to mine - but there's a hell of a lot of waste these days. Won't developers think of the children/environment [delete as applicable]?

</rant>

</oldman> <-- Does this mean I'm dead now?

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Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

Def
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Headmaster

Re: WinRT?

Windows 10 will soon be able to run (32-bit) x86 applications on ARM processors.

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Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

Def
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Stop

Re: The right thing to do

If (or $Deity forbids, when) the next attack occurs...

Sadly, it will probably be a couple of days from now...

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting

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Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears

Def
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Re: "Not sure why you got downvoted for this."

Because you have no clue about the real cost for a company directly selling software as electronic downloads. You can't compare with physically packaged games sold in a store - where you have packaging cost, transport costs, store and shelf space costs, unsold items costs, etc. etc. - where the revenues are also shared across a large number of shops.

I have a very real clue about the cost of selling software both physically and electronically, which is why I wondered why the comment 30% is pretty cheap compared with a typical retail distribution channel. was down voted. Because as far as I can tell it's a pretty accurate assessment of how the real world works. (Which I then explained further with an example of how things used to be for games developers.)

The point I was originally making was that from the point of view of a game developer, a 70% cut was a huge step up from the peanuts they were being given before. The fact that Apple is still taking 30% today is because nobody can dictate any terms to them - you publish in their store, or you don't publish on iOS. At the end of the day, there's a reason Apple are making so much money from such a small market share.

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Def
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Re: No brainer

30% is pretty cheap compared with a typical retail distribution channel.

Not sure why you got downvoted for this. Presumably because people don't know how things actually work.

Back in the day, the breakdown of the costs for games was something like this:

Shop: 45% - Including VAT, etc.

Distributor: 15%.

Publisher: 30%.

Developer: Whatever scraps they could negotiate after the publisher's up front costs were recouped - typically 8-10%.

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Edge, Azure and Windows Phone receives a Telegram. Yup, it's the week at Microsoft

Def
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Re: The increasingly exclusive club of Windows Phone 8, 8.1 and 10 users can grab the update now.

Telegram seem to be fairly incompetent on all Windows platforms to be honest. They have separate apps in the Windows Store for desktop and mobile.

An alternative is Unigram which has a single Telegram compatible app available in the Windows Store for Xbox One, Desktop, Mobile, Hololens, and Hub.

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Span hits F#, LinkedIn gets mumbly, and UWP (yes, it's still clinging on) furnished with new toys

Def
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Megaphone

As long as you can delete them without being forced to listen to them first, I don't see there's much of a difference to be honest. :)

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ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

Def
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Re: Def

GUI gravitates from the good to the bad, because a LOT of it was correct first time...

You have no idea how wrong that statement is. :) I don't think I've ever seen an application that gets it right first time around. (And I'm sure you haven't either.) Even my personal software projects have undergone multiple iterations of UI design and improvements as I learn more about what does and doesn't work, and get a better understanding of how users are using my products.

Interaction design is an area that greatly interests me and I like to think I understand its principles more than the average developer. (Well, at least better than a lot of other sole developers out there. I'm no designer by any means, but I do try and put some thought into the visual designs of my applications and games.)

If you're interested, I highly recommend the book Designing Visual Interfaces by Mullet and Sano. It gives an excellent introduction to basic interaction design principles with great examples of both good and bad design from GUIs to posters and subway maps to every day objects.

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Def
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Re: "Last century called. They want their UI back, please"

And we're LUDDITES for *HATING* it.

Well that and Win-10-nic and Micro-shaft, and RANDOM caps USAGE. ;)

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Def
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Re: "Last century called. They want their UI back, please"

Because no hammer ever had a moulded grip or used different materials to improve comfort or control. And how many 'lump' shapes and materials are out there? Each change and modification designed to improve the user experience for hammer lovers everywhere.

Interaction design is a fascinating and complex subject. You should try reading about it some time. ;)

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Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage

Def
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Re: Predictive Fuckups

What the fuck is wrong with letting users control their own devices?

If you'd ever had to "fix" a regular user's PC you'd know why. The average user doesn't give a shit about how a computer works, or what a security hole is, or why it's important to install updates. Most of them just blindly click on anything that pops up and seem pleased with themselves when the horribly nasty popup thingy disappears - regardless of the consequences.

And then on the other hand you have IT "professionals" and some journalists who use every bug no matter how minor to gripe and complain about how Microsoft has the gall to release buggy software and then in the same breath complain about automatic updates is an invasion of their privacy and Microsoft should never be allowed to modify their machines.

Microsoft seemingly can't win no matter what they do. Don't update - and have armies of drone machines exploiting and DDOSing everything in sight. Do update - and have psychotic idiots ranting on forums. Automatic updates annoy the shit out of me sometimes, but at least I am intelligent enough to understand why they are needed for the vast majority of users out there.

Cue downvotes - as if I give a shit. ;)

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Get rich with Firefox or *(int *)NULL = 0 trying: Automated bug-bounty hunter build touted

Def
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Headmaster

Re: "Minimum 16GB RAM" must be true

There's a reason for the high memory requirements. Basically the only way you can catch write-after-free bugs is by doing the following:

Place every allocated memory block in its own virtual memory page. (Larger blocks require multiple pages, obviously.) This will instantly balloon your application's physical memory requirements because even a one byte memory block will now require at least one system memory page (usually at least 4096 bytes).

You can also include a guard page (protected, allocated virtual address space, but not committed to physical memory) before to catch buffer underflow errors, or you can place your memory block at the end of the page(s) and put a guard page afterwards to catch buffer overflows.

When you free that memory, you merely decommit (from physical memory) the pages, and change their access rights. Any writes to those addresses will now generate an access violation which you can catch and report. (Or your debugger, if attached, will catch for you.) This will balloon your application's virtual memory requirements, because once a page of virtual addresses has been used, it can never be reused.

As an aside, early versions (maybe all versions) of Windows 7 seemed to have a hard limit of 128GB of virtual user address space per application. Windows 10 (and probably 8) don't have such a low limitation. (I don't know what the new limit is, but I've never hit it when running my memory manager in protected mode.)

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You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Def
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Those boxes around the headlines/sub headings are unnecessary and just add noise.

The layout of each row looks disjointed and random.

The section name should be smaller, and probably in the bottom left next to the time/comment counter.

Make it so I can hide the Top Stories and Most Read sections. I don't care. I just want latest stories in chronological order from the top down.

Get rid of the pointless pictures. I want headlines, not useless tat wasting space.

Speaking of wasting space, 1000 pixel wide fixed width is a bit 2005 don't you think? If you can make the mobile site better (and it *is* better now - at least in Edge), why not make the desktop site expand to the full browser width as well?

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Def
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Re: How about...

And notifications when someone replies to your comments, or comments you've replied to.

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It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Def
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Re: Not since 1998...

To put a number on it, my workstation up-time is measured in hours!

Yep, I have to agree with other commentards here. I have four windows 10 machines (three here, one in the office) running 24/7. The only time they're restarted is when the update system unpauses itself and does its business. Which is once every five to six weeks on average.

I have seen maybe half a dozen BSODs in the last decade, and all of them were caused by faulty drivers or overheating hardware.

If you disable the auto-reboot and take note of the BSOD information it should point you in the direction as to what the problem is. If it's not the same driver causing the problems, or the crashes seem to be random then you most probably have one of the following (in no particular order): Overheating, faulty motherboard or memory, insufficient/faulty power supply. If it's one device that's always crashing it could be the driver, or perhaps that device itself is faulty or doesn't have sufficient power available.

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Farewell then, Slack: The grown-ups have arrived

Def
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I hate that we use it for customer support. I've argued until I'm blue in the face that we should consider a more professional solution, but to no avail.

I can only console myself with the fact that while we also use it for day to day communication, I can mostly ignore it. It is, afterall, merely a 21st century noise generator.

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'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Def
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Joke

Re: Insurance Black Boxes

...saying they'd caught them doing over 100mph round a roundabout.

...saying they'd caught them doing around 100mph over a roundabout.

FTFY

I think I saw that video on YouTube. ;)

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Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot

Def
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Re: Tautology?

...but is there actually a legal way to import 313kg of crystal meth anywhere?

While there might be questions asked for 313kg of crystal meth, I'm pretty sure most pharmaceutical companies can obtain permits to import/export quantities of illegal substances for research and/or other legitimate purposes.

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Google leaps on the platform formerly known as Firefox with $22m splurge for KaiOS

Def
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Re: How spoiled and lazy we've become

I was going to comment the exact same thing.

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BlackBerry KEY2: Remember buttons? Boy, does this phone sure have them

Def
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Re: Buttons

That may be down to bad design.

Or persistent amnesia.

I would recommend seeing a doctor, but they'll only forget.

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Def
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Re: Phone cameras

This might just be me being an utter misanthrope but what is the big deal about smartphone cameras?

Given that an estimated 1.2 trillion digital photos were taken in 2017, I would opine they're a very big deal.

I can't see any manufacturer putting out a smart phone without a camera. They'd sell maybe five units worldwide - if they're lucky.

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USB-C for Surface owners arrives in form of a massive dongle

Def
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Happy

Re: Batman

How about making the machine a little bit bigger...

You do know you can already get larger laptops, right?

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Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

Def
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If Stan were half the developer he claimed to be, his unit tests and manual testing before handing the code off would have caught those "edge" cases.

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A volt out of the blue: Phone batteries reveal what you typed and read

Def
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Re: If someone is able to open my phone

I guess you're probably not in the intended target demographics. ;)

I would assume this would be employed through the practice of having modified hardware ready to go. Customs official/law enforcement clown/etc, for example, asks to see your phone for a few seconds, clones your data, switches the sim, and hands it back.

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Meet TLBleed: A crypto-key-leaking CPU attack that Intel reckons we shouldn't worry about

Def
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I think they would be sued to hell pretty much instantly if they did that though. Not many people would care to suddenly lose 30% of their CPU's performance. Especially seeing as they had to pay extra for that in the first place.

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Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters

Def
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Re: "Norwegians are not good at using condoms."

Perhaps it's the cost that's the problem?

I realise you were joking, but I just thought I'd chime in and note that the Norwegian health service gives condoms away for free to anyone who wants them. You just have to order them online. (Which is why there are never many on sale in the shops.)

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Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum

Def
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Re: Design ommisions.

You can set it to lock/unlock rotation in the settings. That's what it's set to control on my iPad.

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Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

Def
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1: It's not ours

I fail to understand this point. None of the oil in the middle east is ours either. Until we buy it. Why would we expect to get electricity for free?

2: there's a lot of potential demand nearby

Not so much that demand would outstrip supply. The actual land required to provide sufficient solar energy for the entire world is actually very small.

3: The engineering of the transmission system alone would be the largest civil engineering project ever attempted by at least an order of magnitude

Most of it already exists. Read up on the Synchronous grid of Continental Europe.

And I guess what you're thinking about is the European Super Grid.

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Def
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Re: @Def: clearly you have never read...

When the UK can't generate enough of its own power, what's stopping it from importing solar energy from southern Europe/north Africa, wind energy from Denmark, nuclear energy from France, or hydro energy from Norway?

Small minded Brexiteers notwithstanding, of course. ;)

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Def
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There are plenty of other cheap sources of renewable electricity available other than just wind and solar. But even without those, when was the last time an entire day didn't have the wind blowing and didn't see any sun somewhere within 1000km from you?

Electric cars aren't a bubble, and they won't be disappearing any time soon.

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the life of Slack for Windows Phone

Def
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Yeah, really.

Their app offerings are total garbage anyway. (Which is not entirely surprising for a company that exists purely to increase the noise to signal ratio for employees and other sad, unfortunate types who have to deal with their shit.)

I use the Slack desktop app (mainly in an effort to reduce the browser tabs I have open) and if you get sent a message over a certain (pretty fucking small) size it tells you to open it in a web browser to view the whole thing.

I've lost count of the number of times I've told it to *not* start when I log in too.

In fact, fuck it... It's getting uninstalled right now. Piece of shit that it is.

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Def
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I think those are sold... almost everywhere, except maybe restaurants (screwdrivers, that is.)

Screwdriver... vodka & orange juice? I think most restaurants sell those. ;)

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Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

Def
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Re: Stupid... Just stupid...

There is also the story about the $$$ spent by NASA/Americans to design a pen that could be used in the weightlessness of space. And the Soviets just using pencils.

*sigh*

Not again...

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/the-write-stuff/

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Def
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Re: Stupid... Just stupid...

However, it was capable of autolanding...

The shuttle auto landed quite a few times. Just not in one piece.

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Geoboffins baffled as Ceres is crawling with carbon organics

Def
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Mushroom

Re: Gratuitous Aliens quote...

The only way to be really sure is to nuke the site before you take off. That's the only way to ensure we don't contaminate any other worlds in the universe.

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Def
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Re: Auto-crash-pilot

Not quickly enough as for 1/4 second or so you are thinking "is it going to brake? Am I supposed to take over? Oh shit it's not doing to stop"

If that's your line of thinking, you shouldn't be driving in the first place.

Until such a time that there's no steering wheel or pedals in the car, *you* are always in control. You may allow the car to perform certain manoeuvres on your behalf, but that should never preclude you from reacting to developing situations around you before the car does.

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Def
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Facepalm

Re: it is not the customer's job to adapt

Complains about how it's not the customer's job to adapt to the new Office Ribbon UI.

Goes on to talk about how customers were forced to switch to LibreOffice with a *completely different* UI because of it.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

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Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

Def
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Pint

Presumably then you'll be digging up your old 486 from the cupboard, throwing away your mobile phone, not ever going online, and refusing to do business with anyone who uses a computer.

Or maybe you could take off that old tin foil hat, let the wind blow through what's left of your hair, take a few deep breaths, and realise that you're probably no more at risk now than you were six months ago. :)

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Def
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Headmaster

Re: Floating point crypto operations?

The SSE instruction extensions support float, integer, and double operations. While the micro-ops for each variation will be processed through different execution ports the XMM register set is shared.

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Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

Def
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I'm not convinced the AMD route is the right way to go to be honest. I feel they're clutching at straws a bit in a way to differentiate themselves from Intel/nVidia.

While a single die makes sense for the mobile sector (including laptops), external cards for the desktop/server markets make much more sense. People (read: gamers) are much more likely to upgrade their GPUs than their CPUs (which will usually involve new motherboard and RAM too). Having add-in cards also makes it far easier to run multiple GPUs in parallel, and, again, update those cards as technology improves.

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Def
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Re: Always good to have competition to rein in that nVidia/AMD duopoly

...Intel are becoming the new IBM of the 80's. Slow moving, single minded and inflexible.

What do you mean "becoming"? Intel have always been all of those things.

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Android users: Are you ready for the great unbundling?

Def
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Re: EU not content

In another decade Windows will be a compatibility layer running on top of Linux...

No, it won't. :)

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Def
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Re: EU not content

Ken, I agree with everything you say except for this:

They are both just computers running a UNIX-like operating system.

All my computers and my phone run Windows 10. ;)

...but there's no reason why you couldn't plug a phone into a base-station and use a full-size keyboard and mouse.

Yep, I do that from time to time. If more hotels provided decent screens, I would probably start leaving my laptop at home and just take my phone, mouse, and keyboard.

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PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Def
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Pint

Re: Ironically, the name is fish friendly

And if you want to be really pedantic about it, Fiskargatan actually translates to Fish Street. (Because the plural of Fish in English is usually (but not quite always) Fish.) ;)

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Def
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Joke

Re: "vegan fish"

So, unless the vegan food contained all the nutrients that they need (unlikely, unless it's specifically formulated for cats) then they will quite quickly start to die of taurine deficiency.

So as long as you give your cats a nice bowl of Redbull along with their veggie-surprise (Surprise! There's no meat.) they should be 'fine', right?

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GNOMEs beat Microsoft: Git Virtual File System to get a new name

Def
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Re: How about

One has even modded the copyright notice on his code to add 'Not to be used on any Operating System owned or controlled by Microsoft Corp or any of its subsidiaries'.

What a sad and frankly pathetic individual he must be.

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