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Comment: Re:Newton anyone? (Score 1) 73

by TheRaven64 (#48186769) Attached to: IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division
ARM exists largely because of Apple. They didn't want to buy mobile chips from a competitor (Acorn), so invested in a joint venture so that Acorn would spin off their chip division into a company that would sell to both. They then ignored ARM after killing the Newton though. Many of the people working on the current ARM cores at Apple formerly worked on a PowerPC processor at PA Semi. I think, if IBM and Freescale, had been serious about selling desktop chips that Apple would have been happy to avoid a load of software costs by having a single CPU family for their entire product suite. IBM didn't want to compete with Intel in mobile chips and Freescale kept promising exciting parts and never quite bringing them to market.

Comment: Re:Why fear the iMac? (Score 1) 352

by TheRaven64 (#48184647) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More
They're still not offering a retina external display, but they're about the only manufacturer that isn't. I just got a 4K 27" display at work (and I'm now back to preferring to read text on the big screen instead of on the laptop screen). The panel quality is nice, but it lacks any bells and whistles. They're only £300 now though, so we're buying them as the standard external displays.

Comment: Re:Is D3D 9 advantageous over 10? (Score 1) 50

by TheRaven64 (#48179763) Attached to: Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

Direct3D 10 is very different from DirectX 9. The latter was designed with modern GPUs in mind and so is based around an entirely programmable pipeline. DirectX 9 is predominantly a fixed-function API with various places where you can insert shader programs into the pipeline. This means that DirectX 10 is easier to support because there's less provided by the API.

Supporting D3D 9 is akin to supporting OpenGL 2. You need to expose most of the programmable interfaces but also have a load of fixed-function stuff work, typically (on modern hardware) by providing shader programs that do the same thing. Supporting D3D10 is more similar to supporting OpenGL 3, where most of the complexity is in moving data to and from the GPU and compiling shader programs.

With Gallium, there are two aspects to supporting these APIs. The first is the compiler turning programs from a source language (HLSL, GLSL) into TGIR. The second is the state tracker, which handles API-specific state. The former part is about as complex for D3D 9 and 10, as they have similar shader language support. The latter is a lot simpler for 10, as it is a much less stateful API.

Comment: Re:100 lbs fuel vs. "On-time departure" (Score 2) 72

by TheRaven64 (#48152655) Attached to: Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems
I don't care if the plane I'm on departs on time, as long as it arrives on time. I've been in a situation once where changing winds meant that delaying takeoff allowed the plane to land earlier. I don't recall anyone on the flight being upset with the decision to depart a bit later...

Comment: Re:It is serious but also concerning (Score 1) 564

by TheRaven64 (#48152485) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

A small reactor could power a U.S. Navy warship, and eliminate the need for other fuel sources that pose logistical challenges

A navy ship, what about a cruise liner? With cheap energy, you could process the deuterium from sea water for fuel, grow food in artificially lit enclosures below decks and have a self-sustaining artificial ecosystem that could spend years between trips to port.

Comment: Re:That's not the reason you're being ignored. (Score 3, Informative) 404

by TheRaven64 (#48141653) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Well, thank you for clarifying that you need to be entertained during your briefing of safety procedures that exist to save your life.

I've flown a depressing amount over the last couple of years. United actually does have pretty entertaining security briefing (although they're less funny the fifth time you've seen them in a week), but they insist on showing you a couple of minutes of adverts after telling you to pay attention for the important security briefing, but before showing the security briefing. If you want people to pay attention, then ban airlines from showing ads before the briefing, because after being advertised to for a couple of minutes, you can bet that I've unplugged my noise-cancelling headphones from the jack and am reading a book until they put the screen back under my control again...

Comment: Re:Methinks there's more (Score 1) 314

Political terminology in the US is weird. You have the liberals / progressives, who want to resurrect the worst ideas of the 20th century on one hand and the conservatives on the other who want to resurrect the worst ideas of the 19th. Judging from your post about 'leftists' (by which you seem to mean 'authoritarian state capitalists', or as the rest of the world calls them 'the right wing'), the rest of your terminology is equally confused.

Comment: Re:It's bigger than that... (Score 2) 240

by TheRaven64 (#48141419) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Look at K&R, ANSI, C90, C14, etc. Many of these standards were never fully implemented in any particular compiler. K&R was supported in early gcc releases but deprecated and then dumped in gcc-2.95->early 3.x releases. Many of the later releases break features of the earlier ones piecemeal despite the original standard never having had a 'stable' release that could properly generate code for all applications (While rare, there are still many corner cases, even in perfectly 'valid' C programs that thanks to developer error, or mistake implementation of standard features resulted in code generation bugs. Some of which weren't fixed before a standard was deprecated or altered for compatibility with C++ for instance in a manner that broke a formerly 'conforming' application.)

There is no such thing as C14. C90 isn't really a thing either (it's C89, with a few errata fixed). C89 was the first ISO standard C. K&R wasn't a standard, it was just the documentation of a specific implementation. To claim that it wasn't implemented is nonsense - it was implemented, it was never standardised.

After C89, both versions of the C standard (C99 and C11) have been backwards compatible. They are not always backwards compatible with vendor extensions. C99, for example, added an inline keyword (which was bad because inline was in the space of identifiers reserved for the user) that had different semantics to the GNU extension. Code compiled by gcc with -std=c89 would work with -std=c99, but code compiled as -std=gnu89 would break. Both gcc and clang have a -fgnu89-inline flag to work around this limitation. Every valid C99 program is also a valid C11 program.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long the NSA (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by TheRaven64 (#48139063) Attached to: Windows Flaw Allowed Hackers To Spy On NATO, Ukraine, Others
That's the real question. And again, the NSA needs to answer the following question:

Were they sufficiently technically incompetent that they didn't discover an attack that the Russians have been using, or were they sufficiently inept in a more general intelligence sense that they didn't realise that leaving US and allied machines vulnerable might be a problem?

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