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Comment: Physics doesn't work like that. (Score 5, Interesting) 54

The higher the frequency, the less penetration of solid objects you have.

At -that- frequency, it'll work well for extremely short range, indoor, communications. But as soon as you put something even slightly solid, or damp, in the way, the signal will get blocked.

Comment: Re:Cat and mouse... (Score 1) 437

by Phaid (#48730627) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

In a world of physical media, there was at least some plausibility to the notion of export restrictions and region coding.

I'm not sure how it ever made sense. Back in the '00s, I bought a $30 region-hackable DVD player from Sam's Club just to watch "They Live". The reason being, I could either buy the out of print Region 1 version from a third-party seller on Amazon for $150, or the in-print Region 2 version from amazon.co.uk for $5. I probably could have downloaded it from somewhere, but I was willing to throw a few dollars at it to have a legitimate copy (and I liked the idea of a region free player in any case). But hey, the studio made money, Sam's made money, and some Chinese DVD maker made money. Now, with region-locked streaming, they've managed to make it completely impossible to legitimately stream certain movies, so nobody makes money. I guess that's progress?

Comment: Re:What purpose is there for regions blocking (Score 1) 437

by awol (#48728209) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

The content providers license the program to a distributor in the region for >$. In Oz, for example, it is the paytv operator, which then uses that "desirable" program as a draw card for subscribers and hence advertising dollars and hopefully 6) $profit. If people can legitimately buy it from netflix they don't need the paytv intermediary.

So the content providers (HBO et al ) won't license, say, "Trade of Toilets" or "Zombie Apocalypse series 13" to Netflix in Australia since they are already contractually bound to FoxTel (the provider). They will probably always get a better price from the network distributor than the sum of the paid views from Netflix*.

*How soon before that changes? I expect that "unbundling" and IPTV will be the death of these deals so perhaps this is all a shortish term issue.

Comment: Re:Pullin' a Gates? (Score 1) 449

by awol (#48721743) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

More than 20 years ago I had a full and frank exchange with a macweenie friend of mine where I posited that in the vast majority of cases the core "functionality" of the work we were doing was already within the capacity of the processors available at that time and the advances in speed that will come in the future will all be about enhancing the user experience of that core.

What I meant was that the calculating of the spreadsheet cells or redrawing the document window or .... was already doable by the current processor. It was the handwriting UI, or voice recognition or eye candy (or stuff I couldn't envisage, like parsing my email history to find the right advertisement to display :-) that would consume the CPU advances that were coming. When I say "OK Google what's the weather like today" and my cell phone tells me in a moderately human voice a 2 sentence forecast and displays a detailed weather page for my freakin' suburb. I kinda feel vindicated. When the address I was searching on my desktop is the first entry in the dropdown box on the GPS on my phone when I get in the car later that day. Same. (All points about the invasive nature of that connectivity duly noted).

The parent poster is absolutely right, this trend is ongoing and the amount of "work" that I can get my compute resources to do via more and more sophisticated interactions is only going to increase and the more encompassing that work becomes the more it can be broken down into smaller discrete and hence parallelizable tasks.

Having said all that.... my professional expertise is in quite high performance transactional software and Linus statement is absolutely true. I'll take cache size/control over a proliferation of cores any day, given a certain number of cores and within that all the goodness of branch prediction and ooo execution, four sounds about right. So much so that, we find situations where adding cores actually reduces our performance we suspect due to caching issues.

So in essence there are two trends. Form Linus's perspective he is right, the time spent on parallelism is not worth it. At a more macro level it is. Perhaps that macro level is n application software level rather than a system software level and hence the difference in view point.

Comment: Re:Depends on what your goal is. (Score 1) 327

by awol (#48512491) Attached to: You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

Well, here we have time of day billing (per kW) -
Off Peak 10pm - 7am ($0.15)
Peak 2pm - 8pm ($0.58); and
Shoulder Otherwise ($0.25)
Being southern hemisphere, the cliche goes that "West is the new North". We did a 50-50 split west and north. Generally the 4kW system we have runs the house after about 8am (I'd have to check the exact time we go over the 1.5ish kW) for a good part of the year, weather permitting, excluding air conditioning. The days on which we run the AC most (and the time of day) are generally when it is really hot and hence sunny, so we get a really good part of our 4kW whilst running the AC despite the west (or north) pointing panels.

So all it takes is "reasonable" time of day billing and west facing panels save a fortune. Nice!

Of course the "scam" from our power company is that they only buy my excess at wholesale (about $0.09) regardless of the time of day and then sell that to my neighbours at retail (thieves! :-)

Comment: Re: uh, no? (Score 1) 340

by awol (#48416067) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

To be fair, having seen the video of the US Diplomat (April Glaspie) saying to the Iraqis (actual Saddam IIRC); '[W]e have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait' you can read that deliberately obtuse statement either way. The subtlety of the language may have been lost in translation, but I would certainly not argue with someone who suggested that it ment that the US would not intervene in an Iraqi prosecution of a border skirmish with Kuwait. Likewise , I'm sure the diplomats were oh the view that had told the Iraqis that the US had not yet formulated their view on the merits of the Iraqi border claims.

Comment: Re: uh, no? (Score 1) 340

by awol (#48416029) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

To be fair, having seen the video of the US Diplomat (April Glaspie) saying to the Iraqis (actual Saddam IIRC); '[W]e have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait' you can read that deliberately obtuse statement either way. The subtlety of the language may have been lost in translation, but I would certainly not argue with someone who suggested that it meant that the US would not intervene in an Iraqi prosecution of a border skirmish with Kuwait. Likewise , I'm sure the diplomats were oh the view that had told the Iraqis that the US had not yet formulated their view on the merits of the Iraqi border claims.

Comment: Re:replication = good (Score 2) 172

by awol (#47592829) Attached to: Psychology's Replication Battle

No the asshat is not saying that if you cannot get the same results it's not science (in fact the exact opposite), but rather that if you cannot demonstrate that the experiment itself is replicable then it is not science. The contention in the article that in social sciences this lack of replication of experiment may just be a reality up with which we must put IS the reason why whatever you want to call it, it is not science.

Comment: Who writes this crap (Score 5, Insightful) 172

by awol (#47592705) Attached to: Psychology's Replication Battle

"Those who oppose funding for behavioral science make a fundamental mistake: They assume that valuable science is limited to the "hard sciences." Social science can be just as valuable, but it's difficult to demonstrate that an experiment is valuable when you can't even demonstrate that it's replicable."

No, those of us that oppose the funding of this crap recognise that if you cannot replicate your "study" then it is not an experiment. If what you are doing cannot be proved (one way or the other) by experiment then IT IS NOT SCIENCE. I don't really care what it gets called and some of it may even be valuable for some values of valuable however the amount of dross that is produce by social researchers that try and call themselves scientists is truly extraordinary and a plague on our world.

Comment: Re:East - Sleep, West - Awake (Score 1) 163

by awol (#47350901) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

In addition to sleep, meals are quite important. I highly recommend taking your meals at destination times as long as possible before the flight, likewise when you land eat when the locals eat not when you are just hungry it will help to align your sleep as well. Ignore the plane food unless you can get it at a decent time (they only feed you to keep you in your seat !!!).

I have found that with this strategy (and the sleep one mentioned above). I can limit jet lag to feeling a little extra tired about late afternoon for a day or two.

Comment: Re:Forget barriers - just a punative penalty fare (Score 1) 389

by awol (#47039599) Attached to: Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

Look at the cost of collecting fares and the percentage of the cost of the service that fares actually provide. When taken in conjunction with the fact that the poorest people often have the highest cost of transport (live furthest away) there is a very strong argument that you should just forget about collecting fares at all and make the service a free for all. Just pay for it out of consolidated revenue or another "distributive" tax.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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