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Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 148

by joe_bruin (#33005744) Attached to: Microsoft Signs License With ARM

They may also want to make an ARM core that implements a graphics accelerator more friendly to the Direct3D model (and less friendly to OpenGL ES) than is currently available.

The ARM core has nothing to do with graphics. The graphics accelerator is a discrete logic unit chosen by the SOC maker to integrate into the chip. This part uses the standard AHB/AXI (ARM Host Bus) interface. A major architecture license is not required to do this.

CLR acceleration, on the other hand, seems like a possibility. They could replace the Jazelle (Java) mode. More likely, though, they will extend the ARMv7 ThumbEE mode, which is designed for this sort of thing. Here's the synopsis of ThumbEE from the Cortex reference manual:

Thumb Execution Environment (ThumbEE) is a variant of the Thumb instruction set designed as a target for dynamically generated code. This is code that is compiled on the device, from a portable bytecode or other intermediate or native representation, either shortly before or during execution. ThumbEE provides support for Just-In-Time (JIT), Dynamic Adaptive Compilation (DAC) and Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compilers, but cannot interwork freely with the ARM and Thumb instruction sets.

ThumbEE is particularly suited to languages that feature managed pointers and array types.

Comment: Re:I've never seen a problem (Score 5, Informative) 205

by joe_bruin (#32794780) Attached to: The Curious Case of SSD Performance In OS X

The impact of the TRIM command is vastly overrated. It is effective on "naive" devices that don't allocate a reserve block pool and therefore have to erase before doing every write. On a modern SSD, the disk controller reserves 5-10% of the physical blocks (beyond those that the host can see) as an extended block pool. These blocks are always known to be free (since they're out of the scope of that OS) and are therefore preemptively erased. So, when your OS overwrites a previously written data block, one of these pre-erased blocks is actually written to and the old block is put in the reserve pool for erasing later at the device's leisure.

The one case where this isn't true is if you're constantly writing gigs of data to an empty drive. With TRIM commands, most of your drive may have been pre-erased, whereas without it you may overrun the reserve pool's size and then will be waiting on block erase. For normal desktop users, this is a pathological case. In servers and people who do a lot of heavy video editing it may matter a lot more.

Comment: Re:Licensing (Score 1) 174

by joe_bruin (#32542748) Attached to: New LLVM Debugger Subproject Already Faster Than GDB

There are still problems around the "freedom" part, as LLVM is using BSD-style licensing, authorising proprietary forks. Whereas GCC uses GPL licensing.

You're right, it doesn't solve freedom the problem for all people, but for many it does. And for some that were afraid to touch GPLv3 code, LLVM offers more freedom. So, there are trade-offs.

Comment: Re:Depends... (Score 5, Interesting) 174

by joe_bruin (#32528044) Attached to: New LLVM Debugger Subproject Already Faster Than GDB

if they achieve +10% of avg. performance against gcc (not gdb!) on AMD64 and/or ARM platform, everyone will start using it pretty soon. Until then it cannot replace gcc. Unless compiler is in some way seriously broken, its only important characteristic is performance of generated code.

Intel's ICC compiler produces code that is more than 10% faster for x86/x86_64 than GCC (last I checked). ARM's RVCT compiler produces code that is 30% faster than GCC (today)! Why is anyone still using GCC then? Money, MY FREEDOM, and compatibility with gcc-only code are the leading candidates. Interestingly, LLVM solves all three of those issues for most people, plus it has the performance advantage.

Comment: Re:Yeah, but... (Score 1) 501

by joe_bruin (#31826826) Attached to: Google to Open Source the VP8 Codec

According to some things i read the other day, the hardware support for h.264 is really just a programmable DSP in most cases, so they could program support for VP8 if it were being seriously considered, and that appears to be the direction of things.

This was the case several years ago, when it was the wild west of MPEG4. Things were changing too rapidly to make concrete hardware. Today, everyone in the hardware world has pretty much settled on h.264 and the target profiles are well known. Hardware can be made to decode it at much lower power consumption than a DSP (and at much smaller die sizes, making for cheaper chips). People that need a wide variety of codecs or those that have a vested interest in DSPs (such as Texas Instruments) still use them over dedicated IP blocks.

Comment: Re:Why not make it voluntary? (Score 1) 703

by joe_bruin (#31784428) Attached to: Wisconsin DA Threatens Arrests Over Sex Ed

Exactly. Further, the U.S. has had tax payer-funded health insurance for decades, it's called Medicare (for old people), Medicaid (for the disabled), the Veterans Administration (covers veteran soldiers), the U.S. Armed Forces medical services (which covers active military personnel and their families), as well as the health insurance of government workers. You don't see old people being forced to exercise and eat right, do you? You don't see soldiers' spouses and children being rounded up and put in fat camps.

Despite what Glenn Beck tells you, you will not be marked with the sign of the beast and then put into government-run health detention facilities.

Comment: Re:Why not make it voluntary? (Score 3, Insightful) 703

by joe_bruin (#31770096) Attached to: Wisconsin DA Threatens Arrests Over Sex Ed

Especially in a public health care setting, where it is the taxpayer who is/will be footing the bill for treatment.

You were doing so well until you got to this sentence. Let's not pull this into the discussion and bring the loonies out (or give them an excuse to shout that public health care is forcing their children to watch porn in class).

How about instead you conclude with this:
Public health also means protecting the health of those children whose parents are too stupid, crazy, or superstitious to take steps to educate their kids on disease prevention. HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis can be fatal, but are all easily preventable and no person should get infected with them due to lack of knowledge.

Comment: Re:WAT is Voluntary and Doesn't Impact OS Usage (Score 1) 819

by joe_bruin (#31108206) Attached to: Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update Phones Home Quarterly

Your statement about what constitutes "genuine" is not factual. 1 in 3 pirated copies of Windows actually have malicious software, malware, spyware, trojans, or other undersirable elements.

This statement is disingenuous. That means that 2 in 3 pirated copies of windows do not have these (i.e., they are exactly as Microsoft released them) and they are still considered not "genuine". Please don't redefine genuine to mean "Microsoft got paid".

It is always easy to count the number of potential people inconvenienced by a method like this, but considering the number of people saved from buy dangerous software, the trade-off seems justified.

The purpose of this software is very clearly NOT saving people from viruses. If that were so, it would be a virus-cleaner. The purpose here is to stop piracy (most likely piracy by computer builders and fixers).

Microsoft firmly believes that those who purchase counterfeit copies of Windows are VICTIMS not criminals. If we actually thought they were criminals, we would be taking grandmas and children to court like the RIAA.

The people who paid for a computer or a repair and got a pirated version of Windows are victims. But if their computers are working properly, they are only further victimized by Microsoft invalidating their Windows license. Microsoft is not doing this for the welfare of these people. Just the opposite, they are leaning on these people to get them to turn in those that provided them with the unlicensed copy of Windows.

As a final point, if you consider how sophisticated the world's botnets, trojans, and online attack vectors are becoming, a significant delivery method for these loads are via pirated software, if you refuse to acknowledge this, you're being ignorant.

If you believe this is about Microsoft caring about the welfare of people with pirated Windows, you're being ignorant.

Comment: Re:WAT is Voluntary and Doesn't Impact OS Usage (Score 1) 819

by joe_bruin (#31103304) Attached to: Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update Phones Home Quarterly

First of all, all versions of Windows are "genuine". There isn't someone out there making a knock-off operating system and selling it as Windows, so let's stop the doublespeak.

What you're trying to stop is unlicensed installations. If I bought a machine from some vendor and he put on a copy of Windows, I honestly don't care as long as it keeps working. If this thing starts popping up, you've made your copyright enforcement problems my problems. Trust me, I have enough problems without dealing with Microsoft's.

Voluntary is another bit of nonsense. It's voluntary but you can't get updates without it. We all know how that goes, we've seen it before.

No personally identifiable information is transmitted. That is until you need to call Microsoft to get your Windows reactivated.

Pirates will work around it. Honest users will be inconvenienced. MS can keep this patch, we don't want it.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics

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