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Comment: Re:What makes it so expensive? (Score 1) 56

by hattig (#49334563) Attached to: Stanford Breakthrough Could Make Better Chips Cheaper

Well, they re-use the same wafer 50-100 times, but I presume the additional processing steps add some additional per-re-use cost.

It's still $5 versus $50, but given that wafer processing itself can cost $5000 to $10000 per wafer, the wafer cost is now insignificant - especially if GaAS processing is cheaper in any way than silicon wafer processing.

Comment: Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 3, Interesting) 112

In this case there is no legacy software advantage for x86, and a lot of cost disadvantage. Intel are subsidising their products in the mobile area massively but that can't last forever.

In addition, some manufacturers are doing their own chips now, and will not see any benefit to losing control of design to Intel in this area.

The Atom core is not great either in terms of performance - an A57 core should be more powerful, and Samsung have got their 14nm process working so that advantage for Intel is not as clear-cut as it once was.

Comment: Quite a weak X3 line ... cost determines success (Score 4, Interesting) 112

The X3 line is very weak, and will be competing against $5 to $10 SoCs from MediaTek, AllWinner, etc. This market is very price sensitive, and battery life is also important.

The X5 and X7 look more capable, it will be interesting to see how they compare against the competitor SoCs using A57 cores. The 14nm process will also help with the battery life significantly.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by hattig (#49145311) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Simple guide for managers:

Double developer estimates then add some. Indeed, don't use days as a timeunit, just vague (fibonacci) numbers.
If task includes the words "timezones", "character sets" or "dependency on another team" then triple ... no quadruple the estimate.
And then consider unit tests, component tests and regression tests.

Oddly enough some things that a manager might look at and think "oh, that'll take loads of time" due to their lack of experience (for example, service should return JSON instead of XML) actually can turn out to be quite quick (as simple as configuring a different content negotiator / resolver on your project). OTOH the developer will probably have to redo all the component tests as well.

Comment: Re:Are you freaking serious? (Score 1) 83

by hattig (#49086401) Attached to: Building a Procedural Dungeon Generator In C#

I wrote one last week in a single line of BASIC running on a 4MHz Z80 system. Admittedly the level size is only 80x24, and it is more random than procedural (i.e., rooms can be left isolated), but that's the nature of trying to fit that into a single line of code (monster placement and gold placement take up another line).

It takes a few seconds to complete - mainly due to it being interpreted BASIC on a 4MHz Amstrad CPC.

I figure that most "dungeon generating algorithms" are quite unrealistic anyway. If you are going to build a dungeon, you're going to start somewhere, and excavate from there in a fairly compact manner (dwarf fortress/dungeon keeper style), not subdivide a massive open space, or make long tunnels into very isolated rooms (although in mines that could be viable). A realistic dungeon would also probably be quite boring to play.

Comment: If I wanted those apps, I'd get a MS phone (Score 1) 148

by hattig (#49065295) Attached to: Report: Samsung Replacing Its Apps With Microsoft's For Galaxy S6

As long as they can be uninstalled, great. If they're always installed then boo.

I've got a long term investment in the Google infrastructure, for better or worse. I don't want to be directed to use a different infrastructure (OneDrive, etc), and I don't want that cluttering up my phone. Luckily I expect it is easily fixed this time round via installing the correct apps from the Play store, but what about the future?

Some major money must have passed hands. Shame.

Comment: Re:Makes sense to me (Score 1) 411

by hattig (#49039491) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

Coming from a Java background, I have found it very refreshing to start coding Clojure (which is a lisp family language that runs on the JVM).

It does appear to me that it becomes possible to write extremely compact code in Clojure compared to the equivalent Java code.

Also, the language really encourages you to just deal with the built in "primitive" collections (obviously behind the scenes they aren't primitive, but at the syntax/function level they are) - sets, maps, vectors, lists, etc for your data structures and passing data around. Java, even with Apache/Google collections help, is often a load of collection herding, shuffling and copying, which comes for free with Clojure (and will become a lot more concise with Java 8's Lambdas too).

Modern programming practices (separation of concerns, patterns, etc) also means that code often has a lot of the same boilerplate structure around it, with a little functionality in the middle. The benefit is, of course, maintainability and clarity.

Comment: Re:"This is your company, this is your startup" (Score 1) 101

by hattig (#48967441) Attached to: Building a Good Engineering Team In a Competitive Market


To join a startup, you need to know several things you need to know in addition to the usual job stuff - how much finding does the company have (i.e., how long will it last, who is backing it, etc), will I get equity, and how much (usually in exchange for a lower salary because the funding isn't infinite), and how the team is structured.

Don't join a startup that wants you to earn less than elsewhere if they are looking at getting fun rooms, nice desks, top notch offices, etc. Join a startup that can offer you other benefits that other companies can't - working from home (save on commuting costs and time), better/flexible work hours, and so on.

The startup should offer a sizeable portion of the company as equity amongst the team. I don't know what the going rates are, but if n% of the company was given to the initial team then you would be wanting to look at n/10% for a senior dev, n/30% for a junior dev. This would drop as time passes (hires become less 'foundery' - so don't join a startup that's past the initial equity handouts unless they give even more away (and this is worrying in itself). If it's old enough to get more funding, it's not a startup and you should expect standard job benefits.

And, of course, the whole point of equity is to make a real gesture regarding the company being "your startup", beyond words. The vision is important and needs to be sold, but it means nothing without actions. Sadly I think this guy wants the benefits, and the long hours, and the low wages, without any such actions.

Comment: Re:Did they fix the random USB dropouts? (Score 2) 355

by hattig (#48959307) Attached to: New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2 Launches

Found this...

The new BCM2836 SoC is more or less the old BCM2835 with the ARMv6 core cut out and a v7 quad core dropped in it’s place. However there are some other minor changes can you talk about those?

There aren’t any changes to the USB subsystem, but the power system has received a tweak. 2835 has an on-board SMPS: this wasn’t large enough to supply the current needed by the quad Cortex complex, so it was removed, and Pi 2 uses an external SMPS chip. Also, as the Cortex complex has its own 512KB L2 cache, we no longer use the 128KB system L2 — ARM traffic goes directly to SDRAM instead.

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.