Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:16 nm vs 14 nm (Score 3, Insightful) 157

I'm not particularly familiar with either company's process, but it's been a couple of generations since you could actually make meaningful comparisons based on the quoted nm size, because everyone has different smallest features that they measure when deciding that they are Xnm. That said, we passed the end of Dennard scaling a long time ago. You'd expect the same chip to be consuming about as much power, be slightly more able to dissipate the heat. It may also have less leakage, though that depends on a number of other factors.

Comment Re:Yes and? (Score 1) 76

His point about ownership is spot on, however. Newer EFL is starting to use an IDL so that it can integrate with other languages. I talked to the designer of it at FOSDEM. The idea that your IDL couldn't just use char* for strings (without something to indicate that these ones were null-terminated strings and these other ones were data buffers whose length is represented in this other parameter) and needed to know who was responsible for freeing pointers had not occurred to him. My interest in Enlightenment ended shortly after that: it's not just FFIs that need to know these things, it's C programmers too, and if the underlying APIs are not designed with this in mind then code using them is going to be buggy.

Comment Re:I guess they realised... (Score 1) 76

It's not that supporting the old things slows things down, it's that it doesn't speed things up. It actually does cause some problems, because various things in the X11 protocol use 8-bit fields of which a significant space is used by legacy stuff that no one uses anymore, but that's largely worked around in newer extensions.

If you're in a world where most applications are sending commands like 'draw line from x,y to x1,y1' then X11 network transparency is really fast. At the protocol layer, anyway - if you use xlib then performance will suck unless network latency is very low because it adds a synchronous API on top of an asynchronous protocol (XCB fixes this). Modern applications don't do that, they typically render pixmaps and just have the X server composite them. X11 can still do a reasonable job here, with XDAMAGE, XFIXES, and XRENDER, allowing you to keep most of a pixmap (a Picture, in fact) on the server, update image data in selected parts, and do all of the compositing in the server. The problem is that none of the X11 toolkits actually do this very well. Wayland doesn't solve this at all - it simply says 'well, grab an OpenGL context and send drawing commands'. That works okay - the OpenGL protocol allows you to copy textures to the server (and the GPU) and composite them very fast. The problem is that this approach also works fine in X11, and with X11 you get network transparency when you do it (which works reasonably).

The main criticism I'd have of X11 is that it puts too much state on the server. There is no way, at the X protocol layer (or even in the low-level X libraries) of saying 'disconnect this window from this display, reconnect it here', or 'oh, my X server has crashed, recreate my state on this newly restarted version'. The latter worked fine in BeOS almost 20 years ago and works fine in Windows today. The former worked on NeWS 30 years ago. Both are use cases that I'd love to see addressed for modern devices. The Wayland solution to this is 'write a web app'.

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 1) 64

What is right wing about filing a lawsuit to unmask a doe, suing that person, then settling for a much smaller amount. It seems this is used by many different trolls, and likely doesn't have any political ideology behind it. It is sleazy though. Filing a lawsuit with the intention of settling just to get a payout is wrong. It is short circuiting the justice system for personal profit.

Yeah that's neither right nor left, it's the universal language of greedy bloodsuckers.

Comment Re:Time to drop the prices? (Score 1) 376

The number for nuclear seems right, as the UK government has agreed to guarantee a price of £89.5/MWh for new nuclear plants, but the current wholesale price for electricity in the UK is £44/MWh (from the same source). Given that that's half the cost of all of the generation mechanisms that you describe, I wonder what most of the power is coming from and noticing that oil is conveniently absent from your list. If oil prices keep going up over the next 10 years, then it looks as if nuclear will become a lot more attractive, which is why the government is guaranteeing the price (they're betting that £90/MWh is going to seem cheap by the time the new plants are online).

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 5, Insightful) 305

The problem is regarding management as a position of importance that people are promoted to. Management is a specialisation, just like accounting or programming. You wouldn't say that a good manager should be promoted to being an accountant or to being a programmer, or that people who are accountants are the most important in the organisation. Manager is an administrative position and should be regarded as such, not as a leadership role that is somehow more important (and worthy of more pay) than the people that they are responsible for. HP did this (long ago) with parallel technical and management tracks. Managers were often less senior than the people that they were managing.

Comment Re:Righthaven (Score 3, Interesting) 64

What is right wing about that process? The Democrats support the movie industry, not the Republicans.

The fact that Democrats support something doesn't negate the possibility of something being right wing. The Democrats are not ideologically pure, or ideologically homogenous, and very few of them can be considered "left".

To me, pretending that copyright is only about property rights, and ignoring the fact that copyright was also supposed to be about free speech and about making material available for free to the public after a limited time, is definitely "right wing".

Comment Re:DMCA needs to die (Score 1) 64

This has nothing to do with the DMCA, this is a straight out copyright infringement lawsuit being filed. The real problem is that the methods the copyright holders (or the copyright enforcement goons acting on their behalf) are using to identify torrent users aren't good enough and its good to see at least one judge willing to call these enforcers out on it.

Exactly. Would have been nice for judges to start doing this 11 years ago, but glad they've come around.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 3, Insightful) 255

No. RAID isn't better handled at other layers. If you don't know about the filesystem semantics then you need NVRAM or journalling at the block level to avoid the RAID-5 write hole. RAID-Z doesn't have this problem. If you're recovering a failed block-level RAID, then you need to copy all of the data, including unused space. With ZFS RAID (all levels), you only copy the used data. There are numerous other advantages to rearranging the layers, including being a lot more flexible in the provisioning.

It's also a mistake to think of ZFS as a layer. ZFS has three layers: the lowest handles physical disks and presents a linear address space, the middle presents a transactional object store, and the top presents something that looks like a filesystem (or a block device, which is useful for things like VM disk images).

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 255

2GB/TB is recommended if you're doing deduplication. That said, performance degrades quite smoothly. I've got a machine with 3x4TB drives in RAID-Z with only 8GB of RAM. Disk performance isn't great, but I mostly access it via WiFi and it's absolutely fine for that. Eventually I'll get a new motherboard for that can handle more than 8GB of RAM...

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.