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Comment Just a money grab (Score 4, Insightful) 224

The only reason they are making any changes is because the FCC is considering doing something.

As a point for comparison where I live there are two cable providers, Cox and Comcast, covering different parts of the city. Cox has a data cap, but it is 2TB. Also that is a soft cap. If you hit it, nothing happens. They may call and complain at you if you do it too much, but that's all. It is there to try and keep people reasonable, and so they can cut off someone in truly egregious cases (I've never actually heard of anyone getting cut off).

Now somehow both these companies can make money, yet only Comcast charges for overages and yet has much lower caps.

It is just a money grab. While some kind of soft cap or throttling can be needed to make sure people play nice (we can only have Internet fast and cheap if people share, otherwise the backhaul is prohibitively expensive) low hard caps with overage fees are just used to try and make more cash.

Comment Here's a question for you to think about (Score 4, Interesting) 174

Do those same techniques work on frequencies through all different mediums, or do they only work in the air? (this is a rhetorical question by the way).

Whatever you can get in the air, you can get more in a cable or fibre. Sorry, that is just how it is going to be. Find the fastest wireless technology on the market, and then compare it to what you can get over a copper or fibre. Do it at any given point in history, and you see that it is always behind.

There's a reason for that, and I gave the reason.

Comment Guess what? (Score 1) 205

1) A PS3 is not a gaming PC, which is what we are talking about.

2) PCs go in to idle states BY DEFAULT, you have to work to turn them off. My PC, an exceptionally high powered one, idles at about 90 watts. A more normal PC idles at 50 or so. Not turning off, not suspending, not doing anything special. The processors normal C-states and throttling which are enabled by default.

3) You can turn your PC off. I do.

Comment It's pure fluff from an uninformed writer (Score 1) 205

Guy doesn't know anything about what he's talking about.

For one there is the newer thing as you note. Yes, newer stuff is more efficient. At a given performance target (FPS for a given scene complexity, number of MFlops, whatever) newer hardware is better than older stuff. Ok, fine but cost of always upgrading aside (something gamers do more than most people) there is the issue of energy of production. A large amount of human energy use goes in to making the stuff we use. If you want to save energy, a big part of it is buying less shit, trying to make stuff last longer. You don't see that energy cost directly, it is rolled in to the product, but it is very real.

Then there is the fact that, as you note, gamers tend to use better components anyhow. Like the PSU thing. The higher end the gamer, the better the PSU they tend to want and thus the more efficient it tends to be. I personally have an 80 Plus Platinum unit in my system because it was the highest efficiency, best built, longest lasting unit I could get my hands on. It was expensive, way more than most people are willing to pay for a PSU, but as a crazy gamer I'm ok with that.

Guy is just an idiot.

Comment Except he's full of shit (Score 2) 205

His numbers are way off. First a gaming computer is not "three refrigerators." A fridge/freezer combo uses like 400-800 watts when spun up depending on size and if it is frostless or not. Your typical reasonably high end gaming computer (high end quad core processor, single high end GPU) uses in the 300-400 watt range when fully spun up. There are, of course, higher end systems but they are not common as they cost a lot, for not a ton of gain.

Well the idea that there are tons of components or settings that'll just tank energy use is stupid. In terms of settings, ya those are default. By default a system will put its processor and GPU in to an idle state when not heavily loaded, and indeed most systems draw 90 watts or less when idle. In terms of componentry, there really isn't a ton of room for gain.

Like with PSUs. Any reasonable quality PSU that you might see in a gamer build is at least 80% efficient, and usually more like 85%. Go all the way to the high end, which many gamers already do, and you are only pushing 90-92% max. A gain, sure, but not much. If a system draws 300 watts DC going from an 85% (bronze) PSU to a 92% (platinum) PSU is the difference between 350 and 326 watts at the wall.

Then there's things like GPUs and CPUs. Well guess what? A give one is as efficient as it can be at a given performance level. There aren't the better and worse ones. You can't buy the efficient model GTX 980 and the inefficient model. They are the same. You can swap one kind of component for another and maybe gain efficiency. Like you can swap an AMD 390X for an nVidia GTX 980Ti and that'll use less power, but what if you want the AMD card?

Also there's the issue that usually the new ones are more efficient than older ones. Fair enough but in addition to the cost of upgrading that ignores the energy cost of producing the cards. Suggesting that everyone buy the newest shit all the time is not realistic, or energy efficient (a lot of our energy use goes in to making things).

This guy just doesn't know anything about computers. He's convinced that there's these vast optimizations that could happen, if only people wanted it. Not really the case.

Comment Re: Isn't this thing already deployed? (Score 1) 473

The F18 and F16 kick the F-35's ass at air-to-air fighting and to some extent bombing, but in this case the A-10 Warthog is a air-to-ground close combat support fighter. Something the F18 and F16s are not well suited for.

The F-35 has a VSTOL configuration, which might make it more maneuverable allowing for better control at low speeds.

The problem remains though, if the F-35 isn't as effective as an Apache in close combat support, and can't bring the firepower of an A-10 for heavier air-ground support, then the only argument for it would be that it could be close to as effective, but have a longer/faster range. That is what I hope we find out in this exercise.

The other thing to consider is the price tag on a new Apache and A-10 combined is ~$50 mil. The cheapest variant of the F35 is ~$100 mil.


Comment I wish they'd just fuck off with the enterprise (Score 1) 88

I would be perfectly happy if they just said "Know what? OS-X is a home user OS. We don't support the enterprise. We are going to remove support for these enterprise features with the next version. Use something else." That would be great because then I could tell all the Macheads to suck it up and use Windows or Linux.

However Apple likes to play at enterprise support, they've played at it for years. They act like they care, but as you note they half-ass it to the extreme.

Even internally. I remember not long after Apple stopped the Xserve I was talking to one of their engineers and I ask him what they were going to do. Apple had started doing the MS thing of "eating their own dogfood" and was heavily using OS-X on Xserve for their own stuff. He said "I have no idea. They didn't tell us this was coming. We'll probably start using IBM hardware again."

It drives me up the wall as we waste an inordinate amount of time dealing with Macs because people want a shiny toy and can't understand they are unsuited for enterprise use.

Comment Hey Apple if you want enterprise business (Score 4, Insightful) 88

How about, well, learning to support an enterprise? Stop treating every device like it is a consumer toy. Offer some real management tools, don't require an Apple account to do everything on your computers, etc, etc, etc.

It always amuses me when I see Apple talk about the enterprise space because they have done such a shit job supporting OS-X for the enterprise for so long. You can make it work, of course, and there are plenty of 3rd party tools, many very expensive, to help but it is all your own doing. Apple themselves seem to view each device as an island, property of a single consumer to be used as a toy and thrown away when the next shiny toy comes along.

Of course what they really mean here is "We want big businesses to buy our stuff, but we don't want to actually go through the trouble of supporting them."

Comment Re:Fat Cats in the Countryside (Score 1) 199

Actually, no, not really - people like me go out to the country to get away from it, not continue to be burdened by it.

I'm so glad that you fat cats from the city can come out and exploit my country side to "get away from it".

How about rather than screwing those of us who live in the country, you just turn off your phone, disconnect the cable, and take some personal responsibility for your own choices, rather than foisting them onto those of us who live here.


Comment Old and died I think PICK AT (Score 1) 426

I remember running into a PICK AT system for a database application server quite a few years ago. Making a back up of the OS was difficult due to the non standard format. Found very little info on it at the time which made life difficult to service the system. It ran on a PC AT in the time of DOS.

Wikipedia on PICK

Comment Re:Fat Cats in the Countryside (Score 1) 199

You pay cash for your sweaters and gyros. Farmers pay in blood and sweat.

You pay in taxes, taxes which are used to subsidize farms because when you buy a sweater or gyro, you're not paying a fair market value. Because farming is inconsistent, a bad year, or a good year of the wrong crop will get a farmer foreclosed. At the end of the day, most farmers scrap by until someone bigger makes them a retirement option.

It's also a case of opportune costs. If you chose not to subsidize rural broadband, you will in effect subsidize other industries. If I can't remote into the office, I drive in, which means that you will be subsidizing the fuel industry through higher demand. If I can't send emails of videos and high res images it means subsidizing the printing industry. And so on.

All it does is shift costs from one industry to another, typically from more efficient to less, meaning less efficient GDP and slower economic growth.

Is it really so hard for you to cough up a couple of pennies a year to promote economic growth and to increase the likelihood that country kids can have access to the same educational opportunities that your kids have access to?


Comment Re:Fat Cats in the Countryside (Score 1) 199

I live on a sheep farm. You wear anything with wool in it? Ever eat a gyro?

Well guess what, I'm paying for your chosen lifestyle. You're welcome.

Right now I have a 1.2 mbps connection, but we're in the process of building our new larger farm, where I can't even get that. My choices are literally dialup or satellite. Satellite would work acceptably for the farm's needs. As long as we can communicate with the vets and buyers, which means piping high res images and videos around, and keeping our marketing going, we can get by.

But in addition to the farm, I supervise software developers, which means working remote, off hours, and overnight support calls. And VPNs and Satellites work together like water and oil.

So yeah, this is kind of a big deal to a lot of us country folks. Just because some rich asshole wants a McMansion out in the country doesn't mean everyone who lives off the beaten path is a douche or bumpkin.


Comment Ya that part always seemed like total BS to me (Score 1) 264

His claims that if he went to Sweden they'd send him to the US. Ummmm, really? Because if there were a nation I would be worried about handing me off to the US clandestinely, it would be the UK. The UK and US cooperate to a ridiculous extent on international matters. So I have trouble believing that you could go there and feel like they'd protect you, but be worried about Sweden handing you over.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.