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Comment: Re:Interesting idea, nasty downsides (Score 1) 74

by Smauler (#49169301) Attached to: New Seagate Shingled Hard Drive Teardown

I had reason to boot up an old XP system I set up for my mum to play games recently (my graphics card died). I timed the boot : 13 seconds from bios to desktop.

I used to have 15 second boots on my system with Vista too, it's now closer to 30 with all the cruft I now have.

Does anyone need much quicker than that on a desktop system?

Comment: Re:5% Gross is a terrible deal (Score 1) 131

by Smauler (#49168585) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free

It's (relatively) easy to build a game world, but it takes time to deliver content for that world. No amount of hand waving about new technologies and the ease to produce a new game can get around the fact that just about every game needs lots of writing.

FTL is a good example... the engine is simple, the maps are procedural. That was not the difficult bit. Writing scripted events that merge with the procedural framework, and writing enough of them so that the game is not repetitive, that's the difficult bit.

Comment: Re:And still (Score 1) 188

by Smauler (#49158887) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

Really, the only categorization issue that I'm adamant about is that Pluto-Charon is called a binary. The Pluto-Charon barycentre is not inside Pluto, therefore Charon is not rotating around Pluto, the two are corotating around a common point of space between them. That's a binary.

That definition works, until you realise that Jupiter's barycentre with the Sun is outside of the Sun. Would you consider Jupiter and the Sun a binary system?

To be honest, I don't, but I don't have any real reason _why_ I don't. We could make some arbitrary percentage to define something as a binary, but that's nowhere near as neat as the barycentre not being inside the main body.

Also, if you define binaries as the barycentre being outside of the main body, you're arbitrarily discriminating against small dense suns and planets compared to large diffuse suns and planets. For example, just about any planet orbiting a white dwarf will have a barycentre outside of the white dwarf, whereas just about any planet orbiting a red giant will have a barycentre inside the red giant.

Comment: Re:There goal is at odds with yours. (Score 1) 109

by Smauler (#49141471) Attached to: Intel To Rebrand Atom Chips Along Lines of Core Processors

The point is that they deliberately obfuscate. "This generation is better than the last" can be sold to people with higher powered processors, whilst still being technically true. Like I said earlier in the discussion, I still use a core2duo E6850, and I do use it for gaming. It's nearly 10 years old.

Comment: Re:"Good", "Better", "Best"? (Score 1) 109

by Smauler (#49141271) Attached to: Intel To Rebrand Atom Chips Along Lines of Core Processors

The real problem is that i3, i5, and i7 have never been good, better, best.

My core2duo E6850 is now absolutely ancient (and feeling it's age after having been run at nearly 100 degrees Celsius for a significant portion). My dad was going to retire his old i3 to the garage as a backup, but I jumped at the chance to nick it. That was, until I looked at the benchmarks. They're about the same. New thermal paste is easier.

It's all about the benchmarks, people. There are plenty of i5's that will outperform i7's in many tasks.

Comment: Re:Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Dri (Score 1) 162

by Smauler (#49132893) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

It's very very easy to build a robot that can do this, you just tape a dictaphone on a roomba saying all these things. However, you'd be pretty stupid to believe the robot.

This is kind of the point of the Turing test. I believe, however, that AIs will achieve perfect mimicry of consciousness before they achieve actual consciousness. At that point, you're pretty much stuffed, because there's no way of differentiating the two.

Comment: Re:Electric not the answer (Score 1) 212

by Smauler (#49103303) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

I would not assume "the motor does not wear" in EVs. They certainly will wear, but it is also very possible that they may last a lot longer than ICEs. We'll see in 10 years when we have a lot of cars with a lot of miles on them under a lot of different conditions. Body resilience & condition is a large part of resale value as well.

Very few cars are scrapped because of engine failure. Engines don't generally break unless you do something stupid to them.

Comment: Re:Gullible people (Score 1) 131

I generally agree with you. However, with :

3) how many entrepreneurs have 5 of 5 companies be successes?

If we guess at 1 in 5 companies being successful, then having 5/5 is about 1/3000. There are way, way more than 3000 entrepreneurs in the world. Just by chance there will be many successful people in the world, and past performance is obviously not a good indicator of future performance, using chance.

I'm not saying Elon Musk isn't talented, just that with an entirely random distribution you will get people who go from success to success.

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan