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Comment: Re:This isn't new (Score 1) 326

by Spazmania (#48406113) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Wear leveling is only part of the picture. Whenever the SSD erases a block (for wear leveling OR because one sector in the block has been rewritten) it empties any sectors in that block which have been trimmed. The next write to an empty sector requires no erase and copy, thus it's far faster.

Without trim, a visible sector, once used, is never again empty. This means that every write requires a block copy and erase.

I haven't heard of any SSD remapping sectors as opposed to remapping full blocks. Not saying it's impossible, just that I don't think it's generally done. In principle you could journal sectors to a non-user visible area and then do your copy/erase activity when the drive is reasonably idle. But the description of the Sandforce controllers I read suggests it doesn't have the necessary hardware for that.

Comment: Re:This isn't new (Score 2) 326

by Spazmania (#48398189) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Sandforce controllers ... that don't need trim in the first place due to their intelligent way of doing garbage collection and keeping a portion of the drive reserved for this purpose.

Seriously? I'd love to hear how you imagine that works.

Without TRIM, the SSD eventually considers all user-visible sectors to be in use. As a result, a sector is never just empty ready to be written. Even with reserved space, it still has to copy the entire much larger erase block in order to insert one sector.

Comment: Problematic? (Score 1) 3

by Spazmania (#48372087) Attached to: What should I tell non-tech firms regarding their security problems?

What makes you think such a system is problematic? Does it hold any confidential information? What harm would come to either you or them if your password was breached? They did tell you not to use a password you use anywhere else, right?

Security has to be right-sized to the circumstance. In the system you describe, the point is to keep out casual intrusion, not close the vault doors. It's frankly dubious that they require any login at all.

Comment: Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Score 2) 438

by Spazmania (#48357167) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

So instead of 3,950,000 slaves gradually reducing to 0 over the course of 60ish years, actual history saw 620,000 dead, entire cities in ruins, and a century of violent hatred that has left most slaves' great great grandchildren still living in poverty as a semi-permanent underclass. All of it overseen by an out of control federal government bloated and twisted beyond recognition.

That was SO much better because, you know, freedom.

The lost opportunities were staggering. We were planning to buy Cuba from Spain for $130m around the time the war broke out. Couldn't afford it after. They eventually had an independence war instead. How different might the 20th century have been were Cuba the 51st state.

Comment: Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Score 2, Insightful) 438

by Spazmania (#48354691) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Actually, "acquiring more" slaves from Africa became illegal in the U.S. in 1808 via the "Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves." That act was passed by both northern and southern congressman, not even two full decades after ratifcation of the Constitution. We started on the gentle path to the end of slavery more than three decades before the civil war.

Suppose, just for a moment, that the abolitionist movement of the 1850's had been led by pragmatists instead of idealists. Imagine an alternate history where they demanded, not the immediate abolishment of slavery but a "born free" act where any child born in the U.S. was a free citizen regardless of parentage.

Gradual change. No immediate threat to the southern economy. No pressing need for secession. Yes, the last vestiges of slavery would have lasted into the first two decades of the 20th century but there might have been no destructive war. And no vicious hatred in the south persisting across generations and taken out on the only victims available.

Without the racism born of southern civil war hatred for the north, black participation in the world wars might have been seen as a good thing rather than a bad one, leaving large numbers of blacks college educated under the G.I. Bill afterward. Which could well have led to civil rights a decade early and both more gently and more completely.

And Abe Lincoln wouldn't have needed to reinterpret the Constitution to permit the vastly increased federal and executive power we so often decry in this very forum.

The idealists of the 1850s took a trend that was growing inevitable and instead of letting it play out backed their opponents into a corner, yielding an immediate, grisly, and needless war.

And yes, I despise H1B. As you say, it's an indentured labor program. There should be no work in the U.S. without the opportunity for citizenship and never, never a case where an employer holds the key to an individual's ability to remain in the country. I'm in favor of permitting talented technicians to immigrate. Even those with Indian degrees. ;-) But the H1B program does it in a way that's unethical.

Comment: Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Score 1, Interesting) 438

by Spazmania (#48353449) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

For a few U.S. southern slave owners, the solution was to earn enough off the slaves that they could afford to free them in their wills. Were they wrong? Would the slaves have been better off owned by someone with no intention of freeing them as the otherwise owner held up his nose and refused to participate? Would the slaves have been better off in Africa, dead of one savagery or another?

Idealism leads to conflict and eventually war and death. Productive change happens when moral pragmatists get to work.

Comment: Re:Worthless degrees (Score 1) 438

by Spazmania (#48352667) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

what passes for college education in India is nothing more than rote-memorization and regurgitation

That's about the same as a high school diploma in the U.S. K through 12 I really only encountered two teachers who both inspired me to think and rewarded me for it when I did. And I came up through school systems widely regarded as among the best in the country.

Comment: Re:Ok... just turned two score, but... (Score 2) 438

by Spazmania (#48352527) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

At two score and one, I look back at the kids I knew when I was a kid and realize that many of them were (and probably still are) idiots.

Today my only contact with kids is via the news. The news rarely reported on the smart kids back then too. It reported on the sycophants (spelling bee!) and the phenomenal idiots. As it still does.

So yeah, kids today are idiots. But when was that not the case? Your childhood?

Comment: Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Score 2, Insightful) 438

by Spazmania (#48352439) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

I keep hoping my Verizon stock will crater. They lead the oligarchy that controls the Internet. But until it does collapse, I'll continue to cash my dividends.

There's another tautology out there:

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

Comment: Re:analog computer (Score 2, Insightful) 91

by Spazmania (#48343771) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

You misunderstand the difference between a digital computer and an analog computer. Both are based on 1's and 0's, on and off.

The digital computer is driven by a clock strobe. When the clock strobes, the whole set of circuits accepts and processes the next inputs. As a result, the circuit is stable at the end of each clock cycle.

An analog computer has no clock. Inputs are processed as soon as they arrive. As a result, the circuit is never known to be in a stable state. It's continually in flux based on its inputs.

"Parallel processing" describes a digital computer in which multiple programs advance with each cycle of the clock. There is no clock in an analog computer. Every single circuit acts independently as soon as its inputs change. Groups of circuits can be heavily interconnected or lightly interconnected but that interconnectedness is very poorly described by digital computer concepts like "parallel processing."

If we ever build a true AI on a digital computer, it won't work anything like the human brain. The underlying hardware is just too different.

Comment: analog computer (Score 5, Informative) 91

by Spazmania (#48342399) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

The brain is an analog computer. The notion of parallelism is fundamentally different for an analog computer... In a sense, every single neuron is operating independently and in parallel with the rest. Describing it in terms of parallel processing with digital CPUs makes no sense.

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