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Comment: Maybe they are holding it wrong? (Score 1) 262

by Ecuador (#49576539) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

In seriousness now, I won't make fun of the part where they went for the vendor with the most posh consumer tablet, instead of having something customized for this job.
But I am wondering, since it was just supposed to replace the paper manuals, why weren't those manuals the backup? Ok, don't carry them around all the time, but shouldn't they still be available as a backup to take them to the pilots if there is trouble with the ipads instead of just canceling the flight?

Comment: Re:Figures (Score 1) 368

by Ecuador (#49538443) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

the rant would not go away but simply shift to "Apple's sloppy handling of security puts your content at risk".

You mean people would be furious Apple is not making sure nobody else can listen to the songs they have bought? Whenever someone is ranting about a particularly "bad DRM" they sure as hell don't mean it is not secure enough.

Comment: Re:AMD has played losing strategy for too long (Score 1) 133

by Ecuador (#49500183) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Ultimately, the likes of Dell, although they might have, of their own volition, used AMD, were always going to be Intel shops.

So, Intel was paying Dell essentially up to $1 Billion a year to not carry AMD just for fun? They were not going to go AMD anyway, even though they were so much faster, cooler and even cheaper?
Back in 2003-2004 we wanted to buy a few dozen servers for our lab at my University. My professor who had gotten the grant had gotten offers from various companies, Dell offering Xeon-based ones and others (HP and Sun I think?) offering Opteron-based. I was given remote access to a sample Dell server and a sample Opteron server (sorry I forget exactly what it was), and was asked to benchmark them. So, I benchmarked with the actual software we were using. The fact that the Xeons back then were 32bit while the Opterons were 64bit added to the speed difference and made a devastating difference. Sure, our natural language processing suite written in Perl was not getting much of the 64bit benefit, so it was "only" about 40% faster on the AMD server, but any of the computational-biology C code was over 2x faster. I gave my report and the Professor was going to go with an AMD server, when Dell came back and gave him a quote at less than half the price. They were actually selling each server less than what just the CPU was supposed to cost. I could not understand how they could do that. Well, now we know how.
Oh, to finish the story, the Professor told me he would go with Dell and buy more since they were so cheap and we would end up with more processing power. I warned him about the fact that the Dells were producing more heat and having even more of them would be a problem. It was hard to say no to such a good deal though, so the school bought the Dells. Then they had to wait for an upgraded electrical and air-conditioning system to be installed since the head/power requirements went up. It was a State University so it took almost a year. Also, the Dell file servers had a bunch of disks too close together and a dual Xeon throwing hot air over them, so a second disk would probably fail before the RAID array could restore from the previous disk failure. But most of those 100+ Dell servers are still running. Sure they are about as fast as a P4 that your knowledge-able friends made fun of even back then, but at least there is a LOT of them...
To return from the digression, my point when I started replying was that if the market was free, Intel would not have all that money and all those years (eternity for CPU manufacturing) to surpass AMD. AMD would have been the one selling and making money in the meantime, which would have meant more R&D for themselves to maintain a lead.
Anyway, let's hope we will never return to the thousand-dollar prices for desktop CPUs we were enjoying back in the good ol' Intel-only days.

Comment: Re:have to rewrite muc federal law to not microman (Score 1) 150

by Ecuador (#49499943) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

If the SLS had only one slip-up like that there would be a bloodbath of firings, senate hearings, press conferences with the President, and maybe the entire program might be scrubbed.

I don't get your point. Isn't *THIS* a slip-up that is much worse than the SpaceX designed-to-be-expendable barges?

Comment: Re:AMD has played losing strategy for too long (Score 5, Insightful) 133

by Ecuador (#49492369) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

They were even outright leaders for a while, but failed to capitalise on that.

Wow, that is the understatement of the century. AMD at one point did decide not to be a "mini Intel" and become a technology leader. Do you realize that while AMD had a far superior product for several years, Intel threw money (and threats - as was proved) to every retailer/integrator/etc out there to not carry AMD (and did other "interesting" things such as rig their industry standard compilers etc). Intel was allowed to use strong-arm tactics that "scream" anti-trust and after many years an almost bankrupt AMD was allowed to accept a small payment and Intel went scot-free.
If you have a product that is far ahead of the competition, you should be allowed to capitalize on that. If you are illegally not allowed by thepowerful players, there should be some sort of protection for that, before it is too late. But I guess the DoJ was sleeping at the wheel...
You have to remember, the Athlon was getting a firm lead on the P3 and Intel got out the P4 as a "response". The P4, the processor now universally known as the biggest "dog" by virtually everyone (even in its final and much, much improved incarnations), eventually abandoned even by intel to go back to a saner P3-derived architecture, was actually welcomed with laurels, both by (most of) the press and the integrators. AMD put all this R&D effort and they got nothing out of it, instead the were bleeding money for years, while Intel was making money with the current situation being a very weak AMD next to a behemoth. It is too bad for us, because the sole reason Intel CPUs are affordable is AMD - I won't remind you how much Intel charged per-CPU before there was competition. The sole reason Intel CPUs are this fast (or even that their consumer products are 64bit) is AMD. I only hope in some miracle for AMD to survive and get some competition going, otherwise there will be no-one left to keep Intel in check and consumers will pay for it...
So, yeah, the greatest industrial robbery of all time has been largely forgotten. AMD just "failed to capitalize", they were "obsessed with being a mini Intel"...

Comment: But the reports say... (Score 3, Informative) 325

by Ecuador (#49488261) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Pearson was Apple's subcontractor. Apple was supposed to get $780 out of every ipad (yep, you heard right, retail+ price) and Pearson $200. I haven't seen the contract, but if the various news sources is correct, it is Apple who is basically making the offer by bundling software of their choice...

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

by Ecuador (#49478969) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

We are not giving the state authority to destroy religions it disagrees with. But to gain a tax exempt status you have to be an organization that does some sort of charity or at least some sort of public good. As far as I know other tax-exempt churches do try to make at least a show of "giving to the people" and of being inclusive. The Church of Scientology does not. Why should it be tax-exempt?

Comment: Re:Another slashvertisement (Score 1) 148

by Ecuador (#49463539) Attached to: Nearly Half of <em>Game of Thrones</em> Season 5 Leaks Online

I pride myself in the fact that I have never watched even a single episode of the show.

I can understand things like "I pride myself in the fact that I have not watched more than one episode of the show" or "more than half an episode of the show", but you are basically telling us that you are an idiot. Judging things as bad by how popular they are is not in any way better than judging things as good by how popular they are.
Are you at least consistent? I mean maybe the "idiot" comment was harsh, I could perhaps call you a person of "strange principles", if you have also never watched things like LOTR, Avengers, Toy Story and you actually liked /. beta.

Comment: Re:What the hell is going on a the USPTO? (Score 3, Insightful) 58

by Ecuador (#49453039) Attached to: After EFF Effort, Infamous "Podcasting Patent" Invalidated

I don't think the problem is software patents. The problem is stupid patents. Like, I patent exactly the same thing everyone does, *but on a bicycle!*. The examiners seem to have completely forgotten the basic premise, which is that you cannot grant a patent to something that a person with an ordinary skill in the art could come up with based on prior art.
Of course to completely solve the problems a general patent reform would be required, which could address the software issue better among others, but even within the current framework things would be so much better if the USPTO applied some sanity.

Comment: Re:What the hell is going on a the USPTO? (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by Ecuador (#49452399) Attached to: After EFF Effort, Infamous "Podcasting Patent" Invalidated

Yes, it seems to me that instead of paying for hundred of lawsuits on ridiculous patents perhaps somebody should start going after the USPTO instead? No idea if there is any legal way to do it, but since all problems start from the USPTO itself, that's where any effort should be concentrated...

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.