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Comment: It goes in waves (Score 2) 474

by Kjella (#48934839) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

For us here in Norway PSTN/ISDN was our bad time, when the one monopolist could charge pretty much everything they wanted. When we got DSL, the market was deregulated and lots of offers showed up. In the US, far more people get Internet via cable, which obviously has far more reason to protect their traditional business. As for recent fiber roll-outs it's really the power companies that got the ball rolling there, eyeing an opportunity to break into a new market by running fiber optics as well as power lines. Obviously the incumbents couldn't sit around and watch that and it became a race to lay down fiber first, since it's rarely profitable to come second. So it's a very nice three-way race to roll it out, though the prices are fairly steep.

Comment: Re:TLDR; 2D arrays wit a ton of spares are reliabl (Score 1) 255

by Kjella (#48932391) Attached to: Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

Even if the mean time between failures for consumer drives was 6 months, the odds of 'popping' two more spares in the month after the first failure would be less than 3%. If the MTBF is 1 year the probability drops to 0.7%.

Except if you got a bad batch where some kind of material or production defect will cause many disks to fail near simultaneously. The overall MTBF might be true for all the disks they produce, but unless you make a real effort to source them from different batches over time you can't assume that's going to be your MTBF.

Comment: Re:What complete and utter bullshit. (Score 1) 218

by Kjella (#48928589) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

What complete and utter bullshit.

95% of 250 coders. That means that out of a million programmers they will misidentify 200000.

You know it's not a contest to come up with the worst bullshit. If you're left with one person 95% of the time when you have 249 possible wrong answers, it's like being left with 4000 people when you have 999999 wrong answers. If all those are too close to tell apart you'll misidentify >99.9%.

Imagine for example that you wanted to find people by height and weight, as measured to nearest cm and kilo. It might work decently on a small group, but if you scale it up to a million people there'll be a lot of duplicates and then you're just guessing, double the population and you halve the chance of being right.

Comment: Re:Uh, okay? (Score 2) 374

by Kjella (#48927323) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

It doesn't bode well for Linux that it is also not the year of the Windows Desktop or Apple Desktop. It is the year of the smart phone. The year of the desktop may never return. Desktops are better suited for developers and smart phones are better suited to consumers.

Developers and a ton of other professionals. If Linux/FLOSS could replace Windows, Office, Outlook/Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL Server that's probably 15 of Microsoft's $26 billion dollar revenue. Open source has not managed to commodify basic business and collaboration tasks, despite so many years of trying. It's not all about smartphones and tablets.

Comment: Re:18B on 75B (Score 1) 525

by Kjella (#48921981) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

That is 24%. That means your device could be 20% cheaper and they would STILL make more money then anybody else in percentage per product in the electronics world. So instead of 500USD for the Ipad2, you could be paying 400USD and they would still make money. And some people don't think Apple is overpriced.

Don't worry, you can buy a $500 phone from my non-profit, $400 will be my for salary and $100 for a junk Android phone. Profit is an indication that you're delivering more value relative to cost than the competition, after all sales price is just a number you decide. They're not competing against some imaginary non-profit, the day Google, Microsoft etc. deliver a competing product forcing them to lower prices they will. Until then, keep blaming the one delivering what people want and not the ones who don't.

Comment: Re:Do you trust them? (Score 2) 147

by Kjella (#48918355) Attached to: New Google Fiber Cities Announced

Do you trust them?

...less than any other ISP? No. Just like Google funded Mozilla this is more of a long term effort to push more people and more services online, where Google can get a piece of it. The "old media" advertising budgets are still pretty huge and people willingly sign up to Google's services so there's no need to get shady. In fact their roll-out is extremely slow if they were seriously intending to become a major ISP, they're really just trying to shame the rest of the country into demanding they get the same kind of service from their incumbents. Who needs cable TV when you got gigabit service and can watch any show, any time over streaming without hitting any caps? That's what Google is selling, of course it's out of self-interest but for tech geeks I think they're on our side in this case.

Comment: Re:Just bought two of these cards (Score 1) 113

by Kjella (#48911885) Attached to: NVIDIA GTX 970 Specifications Corrected, Memory Pools Explained

Thats pretty much irrelevant. GPU ram isn't used that way at all. Its used to hold the 3D geometry, bitmaps, bump maps etc of assets and other processing data which is largely if not completely independent of screen resolution/no.of screens.

For real-time rendering of a simulated environment - that is, gaming - textures are generally stored as mipmaps so the more pixels it's going to take up on the screen, the more detailed version of the texture is used and thus the memory use rises accordingly through the entire pipeline. It's pretty easy to see if you keep resolution or texture quality constant and vary the other. If you're doing some other kind of simulation that might not hold, but for gaming what you said is pretty much false.

Comment: Re:Consumers? No just whiny fanboys (Score 1) 113

by Kjella (#48911781) Attached to: NVIDIA GTX 970 Specifications Corrected, Memory Pools Explained

Hey, I'm still happy about my purchase but when I bought it I looked at the specs and thought: Hmm, they've disabled 3/16ths of the shaders, but it has the same ROPs, same cache, same RAM... if I buy two for SLI it should perform like the GTX 980 except for having 2x13 = 26 shader blocks instead of 16/32 for a single/double 980. Now I find out that's just not true, it has 0.5 GB quasi-RAM it can't access at the listed memory bandwidth, I feel I got very legitimate reason to feel cheated.

Apparently the ROP/cache isn't a big deal at it makes sense to use 7/8th = 14/16th to serve 13/16th the shaders, if only they'd listed the specs right. But gaming at 3840x2160 with SLI there's a fair chance I could run into a game now or in the future that wants to use all 4GB where it'll either act like a 3.5GB card or drop the framerate significantly underperforming compared to the GTX 980, I don't think that's just theoretical.

I'd probably still be quite cool with a 3.5GB card with 0.5GB of "last resort" memory that's still faster/lower latency than system memory. But they were in error and have admitted they were in error, I think that goes a little beyond "We said we're sorry" Paying some kind of compensation for falsely promised functionality would not be unreasonable (or swapping my GTX 970s with a 8-channel memory version, but I guess that's overkill). I'd be very surprised if there isn't a class action lawsuit very soon.

Comment: Re:They better be damn sure we're not home... (Score 1) 392

Heads are also heavily protected. Have you never seen the gear SWAT teams, riot police, soldiers, etc. wear? You really think they walk around with their head exposed?

Since those guys are likely to be in full heavy body armor as well and humans need to see and breathe the face is still the weak spot, unless you got a high powered rifle or something. Not that you're going to win against a whole SWAT team anyway, but one lone nutcase who has you backed into a corner... I'd aim for the face.

Comment: Re:Not a problem (Score 0) 80

by Kjella (#48901289) Attached to: SpaceX, US Air Force Settle Spy Sat Dispute

SpaceX will sell the Air Farce the rockets. The AF launches their gear into orbit. SpaceX has nothing to do with it more than to get paid for the hardware and some support personnel who will have to have security clearances.

These aren't just slightly confidential, state of the art spy satellites is top secret business. They'll be worrying that a SpaceX employee can plant something to steal technology, reveal capabilities, damage or compromise the satellite once the payload is installed. I'm guessing you need just a microscopic amount of C4 if it can hook into the antenna and wait for a self-destruct signal so that when you need them the most they go boom and the screens go dark.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by Kjella (#48900015) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Put a reminder in your calendar to reply to this post in 10 years. If I was wrong I'll send you a beer.

Just a technical nitpick, old articles eventually get archived - I'm assuming to prevent spambots making replies and modding them up to get into Google results since there's no real moderators around anymore - so he won't be able to.

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 99

by Kjella (#48899949) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Depends on the nature of the relationship between the one who released it and the owner. Most likely it would go under "agency by estoppel" which means that the principal is bound by the actions of their agent as long as a reasonable person would believe it is within the agent's authority. There would be no reason for anyone to believe that the original release was unauthorized, so nobody is liable for copyright infringement even though Nullsoft lacked actual authority. Whether you can stretch this into using it as if it were properly licensed in perpetuity despite notices to the contrary is more questionable, besides not all jurisdictions may have the same estoppel laws as the US. But it wouldn't be an unreasonable claim that you found a code snippet apparently under the GPL and used it in good faith that it was authorized by Nullsoft.

This would not apply if some random employee decided to post the source code though since it's clearly outside his scope of authority, nor would it apply if hackers released the code with a fraudulent license since there's no principal-agent relationship, so in practice you might still become liable through no fault of your own. Making a process to declare something public domain won't change that, since it would be just as false as licensing it under the GPL. Or like buying stolen property, even though you had no reason to believe it was stolen it won't matter if the owner shows up and proves it's his. But not if you went to his store and bought it by a clerk who didn't have the authority to make that kind of sale.

Comment: Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 476

by Kjella (#48898523) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

ST:TNG worked better specifically because it was not serialized for the most part, and individual episodes were not building toward some specific thing that had to be modified and rewritten and adjusted every time the network messed with the show or cancelled it. It was also generally possible to enjoy episodes after having missed several, as for the most part there wasn't a lot of long-term backstory to need to be acquainted with just to follow the plot.

Yeah, Babylon 5 just didn't give a shit about casual viewers - there was only a very few episodes that had a recap of past event. The first time I was tipped about the series I saw an episode in the middle of the series and was just wondering who, what, why since there was absolutely no way to get into the series. It really wouldn't have hurt them to have a 30 second "Previously on Babylon 5" to give you the essentials.

Comment: Re:you can't boil this down to one variable (Score 1) 216

by Kjella (#48898075) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Why? There's a hundred ways I could die in the next year, but there's no problem aggregating it so I don't see why the clock can't represent total risk. Besides, it's probably going to cascade anyway. If Russia pulls the trigger in Eastern Europe then NATO will get involved, China probably don't want NATO forces on their borders and at least somewhat back Russia and might decide the time is right to take back Taiwan and those Japanese islands and it all goes down hill from there. IS has openly stated their goal is to wage war on everyone until it's one caliphate. If shit hits the fan in the Middle East you know the US will back Israel which will drag NATO into it and the oil would bring everyone else. Same with North Korea, it could easily become a proxy war between China and the US that turns into a true war. I'm not exactly sure how an India-Pakistan war would escalate but an all-out war there already has 1.5 billion people involved. And that's just where it sparks, if you could guess that the rise of Hitler would lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor your crystal ball is good.

Remember, the world is a lot more connected than it used to be, with floods in Thailand the price of hard drives worldwide doubled. No matter where war breaks out it's going to have a lot of impact on US companies and US markets and there will be a lot more incentive to protect US economic interests around the globe than there used to be in the 1940s. Even when it's not cold war power plays it's going to be a lot harder to dismiss as not our problem.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner

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