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Comment: Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 1) 44

There wasn't really a legacy software advantage for x86 in the Mac arena either.

Indirectly there was and that's all that matters: The x86 legacy advantage was unassailably strong in the wintel world. And wintel had the lions's share of teh sales. As a result, Intel had more money than the competitors to invest in both processor design and process technology, the result of which is that intel eventually overran their competitors.

The processors for macs just couldn't keep up because Motorola and then IBM didn't have the volume and margins in their chip business to be able to compete with Intel.

The world is a bit different now, but is it different enough to matter?

The whole expensive x86 front end decoder cost used to matter on the desktop, but eventually the large number of parallel functional units and the OoO logic to keep them filled started to dominate massively. Then it used to matter on phones, but now it's pretty much reaching the stage where phone processors are so large and powerful that similar things are happening.

But the low end still exists (below phones), so ARM will never be squeezed out by Intel. There will always be a market for some noddy core with 2K of RAM and on that scale the decoder matters.

So, ARM is there. While nothing like as rich as Intel, they put most of their developement into the CPU tech, not process. The world has also hit diminishing returns in CPU design. Back in the past, there were "easy" developments like the caches, MHz wars, the transition to superscalar, out of order execution and vector instruction units. Once those topped off, the next bit was tweaking the cores for more IPC, e.g. the Core 2 to i7 transition, but returns have really diminished in that regard. Now it's got to the stage where it takes massive effort to get a few percent IPC better.

In recent times Intel have dominated IPC. However, while competitors may not ever catch up completely, it's easier for them to close the gap than it is for Intel to keep it open because Intel have already taken their low-hanging fruit.

Still, Intel have one of the best CPU design teams out there, which is always going to be an advantage.

Then there's the process tech. This is another area where intel lead, but the world has been losing fabs at a shocking rate. Previously, Intel was the 800lb gorilla up against a lot of other smaller chipmakers with smaller market sizes. Everyone else has been consolidating so intel now has fewer, but much larger competitors. This will make life harder for Intel relative to the past.

Intel is not a gun for hire. This has positives and negatives. On the plus side, they bend all their resources to fabbing the top end PC chips. On the minus side, the major phone manufacturers can't get custom chips like they can with ARM, which means that unless they are very lucky, they're paying for things they don't want or have lower integration if they go with intel.

It also means that the other people can test out new processes on smaller chips. Large area makes the probability of damaging defects go way up. Other fabs can do smaller chips on new processes which keeps the proportion of defective units lower.

Comment: Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 1) 210

by SEE (#49162143) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

First, under the test used in both the majority and concurring opinions in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, the enacted legislation must have specifically named municipal entities in order to affect them; general wording (such as "any entity") doesn't work, and no executive action can change that.

Second, Federal law supersedes state law precisely insofar as the Federal government is allowed to legislate in the area at all, and the majority opinion in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League says Federal law can't make states allow their own municipalities to sell Internet.

Comment: Re:One Word ... (Score 1) 210

by SEE (#49162117) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

The Federal Government can no more authorize a municipality to provide Internet service outside its "imaginary boundaries" than it may authorize a municipality to enforce its city ordinances outside its "imaginary boundaries". The geographic scope of the powers of municipalities is an internal matter of the organization of the state government for the same reasons the existence of ans such powers is an internal matter of the organization of the state government.

+ - Virgin Media censors talk of "bufferbloat" on their discussion forums->

Submitted by mtaht
mtaht (603670) writes "Given that bufferbloat is now fixed by fq_codel and the sqm-scripts for anyone that cares to install openwrt and derivatives on their home routers (or use any random linux box for the job), AND standardization efforts for the relevant algorithms near completion in the IETF, I went and posted a short, helpful message about how to fix it on a bufferbloat-related thread on Virgin Media's cable modems... And they deleted the post, and banned my IP... for "advertising". I know I could post again via another IP, and try to get them to correct their mistake, but it is WAY more fun to try to annoy them into more publically acknowledging their enormous bufferbloat problems and to release a schedule for their fixes. Naturally I figured the members of slashdot could help out Virgin and their customers understand their bufferbloat problems better. My explanations of how they can fix their bufferbloat, are now, here."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 2) 210

by SEE (#49159513) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Just like states are only part of the country?

No, not "just like" that at all. There are three basic classes of entity in US constitutional law - the Federal Government, the states, and individual people. States are not organs of the Federal Government, but legally separate entities with independent rights and powers. On the other hand, municipalities are mere organs of the state.

Comment: Re:A different take on this (Score 2) 210

That's bullshit, because the ISPs sold "all you can use" plans, then failed to deliver. The only reason the so-called "cost shifting" went on is because the ISPs outright lied about what they were selling to consumers. To imply that Netflix allowing customers to use what they've paid for is somehow wrong is just plain wrong-headded.

You're basically blaming Netflix for the ISPs mis-selling a service.

Comment: Re:Should come with its own football team (Score 1) 102

You're confusing cause with effect. Programmer wages aren't high in the Silicon Valley because of having a lot of programmers. There are a lot of programmers because the wages are so high that CS majors come here in droves after college.

The reason the wages are so high here is because of basic supply and demand at work. Silicon Valley has only about a 3.6% unemployment rate among programmers, and a lot of the unemployed either want to be unemployed or are unemployed because their specific skills aren't in high demand. Programmers may be common in the Silicon Valley, but the demand in the Silicon Valley far exceeds the number of qualified programmers who are available and looking for jobs. Thus, the entire market is a zero-sum game, and the high wages are a result of the need to buy people away from other companies.

As a result, any sudden increase in the number of programmers drives down salaries for new hires, and fairly dramatically at that. For proof, you need only look at what happened to programmer salaries outside the Bay Area during the dot-com crash, when droves of people suddenly were looking for more affordable places to live. In some areas, salaries for programmers dropped almost in half because of that exodus.

Is it realistic to believe that there will ever be enough programmers to satisfy the Silicon Valley's voracious appetite? Hard to say. But that's a separate question.

Comment: Re:One Word ... (Score 4, Informative) 210

by SEE (#49157235) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Given the 8-1 decision in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League in 2004, it's essentially certain that this FCC action will be overturned by the courts. The FCC doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law did not and could not preempt a Missouri state law that prohibited municipalities from providing Internet service. Of the eight-member majority in that case, five (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Scalia, and Thomas) are still on the court.

Comment: And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 3, Interesting) 210

by SEE (#49156927) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

As a constitutional matter, municipalities do not have any independent existence; they are organs of the state governments. Municipal governments only have whatever powers states choose to give them, and the federal government may not commandeer a state government. So if a state chooses to deny its municipalities the authority to sell Internet access (or sell it below a certain price), then no declaration from the FCC can give the municipality that power, nor require the state to give a municipality that power.

So, all this vote means is the FCC majority has decided to waste a bunch of taxpayer dollars losing a lawsuit.

Comment: Re:Can someone please answer (Score 2) 400

by serviscope_minor (#49156365) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

I said elsewhere that this is a scam for the following reasons.

Except a good chunk of slashdot, absolutewrite and a few other also completely unrelated forums and IRC channels are in on the "scam" and have a bunch of people who have joined the conspiracy to pretend it's blue and black. Or white and gold, in which case I'm in on the scam and hereby declare I got my note from a shady black vehicle with blacked out windows this morning at precisely 5:50am at the dedicated drop point.

It's not a scam, because it frankly doesn't matter what the original colour of the dress is.

The interesting thing is it's sufficiently close to some average threshold of human perception that nearly half the population perceive it as completely different from the other slightly-more-than half.

At that point it wouldn't actually matter if it was a 'shopped image of a dress covered in purple unicorns.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.