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Comment: Lithium Ion lifetime - really ? (Score 1) 131

by bheading (#46394829) Attached to: Sulfur Polymers Could Enable Long-Lasting, High-Capacity Batteries

Article says "In comparison, a lithium-ion battery typically starts out with a storage capacity of 200 mAh/g but maintains it for the life of the battery, Pyun says."

Hmm. I have lithium ion batteries that can't hold a charge at all.

And it's only partially to do with how they're used. Lithium ion batteries lose capacity while in storage. Which is why you should never buy a used, or a new-old-stock one.

Comment: Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

by bheading (#46061909) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

That's part of why LLVM is better than gcc today.

Certainly, the project has obtained its objective of being a simpler, faster compiler free of the FSF's politics.

But it isn't "better than GCC". It is targeted pretty much exclusively at x86 and looking at the project's website many features are missing from other architectures (such as the assembly parser I note). I also see no sign of advanced GCC features such as stack smashing protection, mudflap and so on.

Comment: Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

by bheading (#46061817) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

The GPL approach is "Here is something nice I made - you can use it, but if you you have to let me play with you stuff.

This is a grossly inaccurate mischaracterisation.

The GPL approach is just like the BSD "Here is something nice I made - have it and do what you like, hope you have fun!". You can do whatever you want with the code. You can modify it, add features to it etc. You don't have to share the source unless you redistribute it. You repay the community who created the original work with your own enhancements to it.

Comment: x32 is a premature optimization (Score 3, Interesting) 262

by bheading (#45779081) Attached to: Linux x32 ABI Not Catching Wind

The idea makes sense in theory. Build binaries that are going to be smaller (32-bit binaries have smaller pointers compared with 64-bit) and faster (because the code is smaller, in theory cache should be used more efficiently and accesses to external memory should be reduced).

But I suspect the problem is that the benefits simply outweigh the inconvenience of having to run with an entirely separate ABI. I doubt the average significant C program spends a lot of time doing direct addressing, and as such I suspect the size benefits of using 32-bit pointers is overstated.

Comment: Re:hrm (Score 1) 730

by bheading (#45519247) Attached to: Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

so that the upper chamber stops being a reasonably impartial bunch of old guys who do what's right because its right

Read a few history books for cryin' out loud. There was (and to some extent, still is) nothing reasonable about the House of Lords. Back in the day many of the peers were hereditary ie only there because of their bloodline. At crucial points they interfered to try to block the democratically elected government - over welfare reform (back in Lloyd George's day) over Irish independence/Home Rule, and a zillion other things. Recently they even made noises about blocking gay marriage.

This is an institution with no mandate and no accountability to the electorate. It defies belief that someone could characterize their out of touch interference as some sort of positive influence.

Comment: Re:Only four years? (Score 1) 277

by bheading (#45405465) Attached to: 25,000-Drive Study Gives Insight On How Long Hard Drives Actually Last

On the contrary.

As drives get larger (4TB is now readily available) they are not getting any faster.

Correspondingly, matters such as RAID rebuilds become a real issue. It takes about 12 hours for our NetApp 2020 unit to rebuild a 1TB drive, and that's with relatively low load; so a 2 day rebuild time is probably not far away. The probability of a further failure within that timeframe means you're taking a risk.

Comment: A very silly article (Score 1) 277

by bheading (#45405349) Attached to: 25,000-Drive Study Gives Insight On How Long Hard Drives Actually Last

The article claims that nobody has published a study of hard drive failure rates before. Wrong, of course - Google did some time ago.

The guy ends the article by talking about SSDs as if they are some sort of unknown quantity. The failure modes of SSDs are much more consistent and better understood even at this early stage. Flash blocks become unusable after a fairly fixed number of rewrites. The drives measure the total number of historic writes to the drive and failure can be predicted ahead of time.

Comment: Re:Thank goodness (Score 5, Insightful) 999

by bheading (#45150675) Attached to: US Government Shutdown Ends

First, it is opposed by more people than favor it

That's a curious notion.

The GOP (and the Dems) turned the 2012 Presidential election into a referendum on Obamacare - and they lost.

If most people oppose the legislation why did they vote for the guy who made it his singular legislative achievement; and why did the guy who vowed to repeal it lose ?

Comment: Can we have standard laptop chargers next please ? (Score 3, Insightful) 415

by bheading (#44981439) Attached to: EU Committee Votes To Make All Smartphone Vendors Utilize a Standard Charger

A fine idea.

What about laptop chargers too ? Every laptop I've owned has had a different charger plug. In some cases machines made by the same manufacturer have different plugs. Have a set of standard charger ratings and a standard way for the laptop to detect it.

Real computer scientists don't comment their code. The identifiers are so long they can't afford the disk space.