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Comment: Re:Also-ran? (Score 3, Interesting) 31

by TheRaven64 (#49820617) Attached to: Nokia Shifts To Selling Back-End Systems To Mobile Networks

Nokia has also been in the market of selling the infrastructure for mobile networks for a long time. And, unlike the handsets, this is a very profitable place to be. Both Nokia and Ericsson saw the commoditisation of the handset market and Nokia in particular watched their margins evaporate and decided it was time to get out. But because they're now no longer in the public eye, they're perceived as losing. Now their customers are people who make money from the products that they sell, so are willing to pay a reasonable premium because a few minutes of downtime costs far more.

Of course, when Apple decides to concentrate on the high-margin part of a business, no one claims that they're dying, because they concentrate on a consumer-visible part of the market.

Comment: Re:No wonder it graphene sponge will move (Score 1) 174

by Jesrad (#49820465) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

If I read this correctly, the decisive advantage this has over conventional solar sails, is that instead of turning a fraction of the (feeble) momentum of photons into useful movement (basically by bouncing photons around), this discovery turns (apparently, most of) the energy of those photons into a coherent emission of electrons, which give off orders of magnitude more useful momentum.

So, it's not quite a solar sail, but rather a very very very light and efficient solar-powered electron cannon.

Comment: Re:A victory for internet trolls (Score 1) 135

The gist of this is that now statement in and of themselves cannot be actionable until it can be proven that the mind of the person making the threat actually intends harm.

This doesn't mean what you seem you think it means. The man harmed his wife by making what a reasonable person (including his wife) saw as credible threats. If he had no intent whatsoever to assault her in any way, but had the intent to make her afraid by sending credible threats, then he did in fact intent to cause her harm.

They have to prove that he intended to make threats, not that he intended to follow up on his threats. I don't actually see this as much of a problem. I am sure he would have been convicted with the right jury instruction, but the right jury instruction was not given.

Comment: Re:Legal analysis (Score 2) 135

Basically, the long-and-short of it appears to be that SCOTUS just made this shit a hell of a lot more confusing.

Not at all.

Courts sometimes get things wrong, and then SCOTUS steps in and tells them that they got it wrong. The courts then have to look at the matter again. They are supposed to do it right the next time. SCOTUS is not supposed to tell them how to do it right. They are not little children that need hand holding. They are assumed to get it right on their own most of the time.

Comment: Re:$commentSubject (Score 1) 135

One thing that bugs me about these is that people seem to get the unconscious takeaway that the guy gets off scott free. That he walks away without consequence for his words. And they think to themselves (pretty reasonably) "that's unacceptable!" and even "we need to make the law more interpretable and arbitrary!"

Well, he is not getting away with it (not yet). It was decided that the judge gave wrong instructions to the jury. The wrong instruction was that the jury had to decide whether a reasonable person would think of his posts as threats. The correct instruction would have to be that the man himself knew that what he posted would be taken as threats.

So it's going back to court. I personally believe and hope that he will be found guilty with the correct jury instruction as well.

Comment: Re:Layoffs (Score 1) 61

by TheRaven64 (#49815263) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

There's some overlap. Altera FPGAs have lots of fixed-function blocks on them, ranging from simple block RAMs to fast floating point units. There's a good chance that Intel could reuse some of their existing designs (which, after all, are already optimised for their manufacturing process) from things like AVX units and caches on x86 chips. A lot of the FPGAs also include things like PCIe, USB, Ethernet and so on controllers. Again, Intel makes these in their chipset division and, again, they're optimised for Intel's process so being able to stick them on FPGAs instead of the Altera ones would make sense.

The main reason that you're probably right is that Intel is generally pretty bad at getting their own internal divisions to play nicely together, let alone ones that are used to being in a completely separate company.

Comment: Re:So, what's the plan? (Score 2) 61

by TheRaven64 (#49815081) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

My guess would be coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures. Altera FPGAs aren't just FPGAs, they also have a load of fixed-function blocks. The kinds of signal processing that the other poster talks about work because there are various floating point blocks on the FPGA and so you're using the programmable part to connect a sequence of these operations together without any instruction fetch/decode or register renaming overhead (you'd be surprised how much of the die area of a modern CPU is register renaming and how little is ALUs).

FPGAs are great for prototyping (we've built an experimental CPU as a softcore that runs on an Altera FPGA at 100MHz), but there are a lot of applications that could be made faster by being able to wire a set of SSE / AVX execution units together into a fixed chain and just fire data at them.

Comment: Re:Do these companies really hate people so much.. (Score 1) 199

That minimum wage guy is one of the major costs for a taxi company. The IRS rates miles driven in a car at a little under 60/mile, which should cover maintenance, depreciation, insurance and fuel. A taxi that only had these costs could be quite profitable at 70/mile. In New York, taxis cost $2/mile, which isn't that far off other places in the USA. The minimum wage guy needs to be paid even when the taxi is waiting for the next fare. With an automated car, you'd just leave them scattered around the city powered down and turn on the closest one when you got a new job.

Comment: Re:I for one.... (Score 1) 128

by gnasher719 (#49813591) Attached to: China Unveils World's First Facial Recognition ATM

No, this is big brother technology. They can now map the serial numbers of the currency from the ATM to a person. One step closer to cashless, surveillance society.

They can already map the serial numbers of the currency to the account holder and the person in possession of PIN and card. And there already are cameras, except that currently they don't protect you from misuse of your card by a thief, but can only tell that it was a thief after the fact.

Comment: Re:coercion is the flaw (Score 1) 128

by gnasher719 (#49813559) Attached to: China Unveils World's First Facial Recognition ATM

Perfect is the enemy of improvement. The crime of kidnapping/murder is far more serious than pick pocketing or card cloning. A lot fewer people will try the more serious crime.

That's always the same on Slashdot. They come up with weird fantasies of kidnapping and so on.

Stealing or duplicating a credit card is relatively easy and no big risk. If you get caught, the punishment isn't too bad even if you stole a thousand cards. Kidnapping on the other hand doesn't give you any more reward, even a single attempt is dangerous for you, unlike normal kidnapping where you hide the victim you must bring the victim to a public place which hugely increases the risk, and if you are caught they never let you out again.

Comment: Re:Epic fail: someone always matches (Score 1) 128

by gnasher719 (#49813541) Attached to: China Unveils World's First Facial Recognition ATM

This scheme will work for one branch in Lesser Nowhere, Sechwan Province, with a finite and small set of pictures, and a small number of crooks. Once the number of faces increases, the probability of a false positive explodes,

Not at all. If someone puts Joe Smith's card into the reader, and types in Joe Smith's card PIN, then they only need to compare the face of the person with a picture of Joe Smith, and nobody else. A crook can only get your money if by a huge coincidence that crooks looks the same as you. And that crook cannot get anybody else's money. There are no false positives, there is no reason to compare the face with the photo of anybody else.

Comment: Re:I'm betting that... (Score 1) 141

by v1 (#49811475) Attached to: Mystery Woman Recycles $200,000 Apple I Computer

FWIW, the law very rarely supports "finders keepers losers weepers". The short story on that is that "physical posession does not prove or establish transfer of ownership". The only time that has a chance of winning is when the loser fails to establish they ever had ownership. But in this case, she gave it to them, and that 100% transfers ownership. Legally, they owe her nothing, and would be unlikely to lose in a court case.

Someone above cited big business as above this law, such as a "bank error in your favor" getting yoinked back. No, in that case when you sign the paperwork to set up the account, there will be specific wording in there saying you agree that bank errors are NOT in your favor and you will be legally obligated to return any cash withdrawn under those circumstances. The only difference here as far as the bank is concerned is they didn't stop you before you got money from them (unlke say, a bounced check) and so now there's a bit of additional burden to having go to after you to get the money back. (it usually doesn't work that way, so that just tends to get them wound up)

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