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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 357 357

I've never understood why it can't do this during the 10 hours a night that I am not using the laptop instead of doing it when I need to quickly shut down and leave the house or quickly shut down and leave work.

Windows is codependent, it wants your attention at all times. And this is unlikely to get any better now that that attention is worth money.

Comment Umm, I hope that translation is to blame. (Score 1) 19 19

I really hope that "proud to declare that we are at the cusp of a reclaiming our heritage of being connected to each other and connected to the world." made a lot more sense before some translator mangled it; because otherwise it seems like absurd nonsense. If people were connected long enough and far enough back in time for it to count as 'heritage', the technology behind those connections must have been comparatively primitive. Is he saying that communications have regressed since that time? What golden age of connectedness is he talking about?

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 213 213

Turning off lights in cities isn't going to help astronomers much.

Actually, no. City glow is a huge impediment to astronomy for an area hundreds of times the size of the city.

There's a middle ground here. Lighting can be designed so it primarily lights the ground, instead of going every which way. Goes a long way towards reducing problems optical telescope use faces.

Comment Re:I'm surprised they missed "Wi-Fi Sense." (Score 1) 357 357

uploads a supposedly-encrypted form of your wireless AP's password to a Microsoft server for safe-keeping

It's a bit hard to get outraged at MSFT when GOOG has been doing the exact same thing for the last three or four Android versions.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 738 738

However, smart insurance companies will see this as a dangerous erosion of their market, and will probably fight against this...

Actually, isn't this the ideal case for the insurance companies? All they need to know is the software version the car is using to know exactly how it drives.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 215 215

I didn't make it suitably clear; but the 'complexity' is really more of a historical issue. The fact that you can get power transistors, digital logic, and similar solid-state goodness for peanuts, possibly even less than the carbon brushes or other electromechanical alternatives, is a comparatively recent thing in historical terms.

Now that you can, doing so is pretty compelling for any but the highest-power tasks; but it has not always been the case that you can throw semiconductors at a problem for astonishingly tiny amounts of money. Today it is; but a lot of very clever electromechanical, inductive, and similar tricks were developed during the time that it was not.

Comment Re:Low cost chip, high cost support (Score 3, Interesting) 75 75

What I find a bit weird about SPARC's near-total obscurity is that(please correct me if I'm wrong on the details; but to the best of my understanding from what I've read) the ISA is available for use on a royalty-free basis, and there are even a few BSD or GPL verilog implementations out there. That's even less encumbered than MIPS(which has some patents that the owners like to wave around on a couple of useful instructions).

My naive expectation would have been that SPARC on such liberal terms would show up a bit more often embedded in various chips that need some sort of CPU to do housekeeping, as the ISA of security and/or nationalism driven 'indigenous technology' efforts, and potentially even as the cheaper-than-ARM option for application processors.

Clearly that hasn't actually happened, and it's mostly ARM in SoCs and application processors(with PPC holding out in certain automotive and networking niches for some reason; and MIPS in router SoCs and the occasional Chinese vanity project); so ARM's license fees must just not sting that much.

Building SPARC parts that go toe to toe with Xeons would obviously be a much more ambitious project(as well as an act of directly fucking with Intel's juciest margins, which they probably won't take very kindly); but I am surprised by the fact that SPARC is so rare among the zillions of devices that have no need for x86 compatibility and are mostly about delivering performance in the gap between beefy microcontrollers and weak desktops for as little money as possible.

Comment Re:Why Fight It? (Score 1) 125 125

Okay, so whyTF did the company decide to fire the guy without going through the agreed-on procedure?

Because Mr. Someone living Somewhere never lived anywhere, or existed for that matter. It's just an urban legend someone decided to believe because it confirms their political beliefs.

Comment Re:Why Fight It? (Score 1) 125 125

They've made it abundantly clear that's not what they are paying you for, so oblige them, even going so far as to gleefully compound their organizational problems.

Don't go that far. Intentional sabotage due to dislike might be emotionally satisfying but also both illegal and morally wrong.

Also, bad organizational cultures are so destructive because they slowly become the invisible default against which everything is judged. And they become invisible by encountering no resistance from those who can see them until they become so accustomed to them that they don't notice them anymore. Perhaps you don't have a duty to try to save the company from itself, but if you won't, you also won't get to complain about the resulting suck, since it's the result of your (in)action - in other words, your fault.

Comment Re:Poppycock! (Score 1) 68 68

Note that if NSA is doing its job properly, you'll never hear about its successes.

Don't we hear about foiled terrorist plots and infiltrated groups all the time?

Also, one might argue that as an institution in a democratic society, NSA isn't doing its job properly unless you, the citizen, hear enough about its successes and failures to form an informed opinion about it. Because that's what democracy is: subjecting the institutions - both organizations and traditions - of the society to the will of the people.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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