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Comment: Re:Layoffs (Score 1) 57

by TheRaven64 (#49815263) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

There's some overlap. Altera FPGAs have lots of fixed-function blocks on them, ranging from simple block RAMs to fast floating point units. There's a good chance that Intel could reuse some of their existing designs (which, after all, are already optimised for their manufacturing process) from things like AVX units and caches on x86 chips. A lot of the FPGAs also include things like PCIe, USB, Ethernet and so on controllers. Again, Intel makes these in their chipset division and, again, they're optimised for Intel's process so being able to stick them on FPGAs instead of the Altera ones would make sense.

The main reason that you're probably right is that Intel is generally pretty bad at getting their own internal divisions to play nicely together, let alone ones that are used to being in a completely separate company.

Comment: Re:So, what's the plan? (Score 2) 57

by TheRaven64 (#49815081) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

My guess would be coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures. Altera FPGAs aren't just FPGAs, they also have a load of fixed-function blocks. The kinds of signal processing that the other poster talks about work because there are various floating point blocks on the FPGA and so you're using the programmable part to connect a sequence of these operations together without any instruction fetch/decode or register renaming overhead (you'd be surprised how much of the die area of a modern CPU is register renaming and how little is ALUs).

FPGAs are great for prototyping (we've built an experimental CPU as a softcore that runs on an Altera FPGA at 100MHz), but there are a lot of applications that could be made faster by being able to wire a set of SSE / AVX execution units together into a fixed chain and just fire data at them.

Comment: Re:Do these companies really hate people so much.. (Score 1) 194

That minimum wage guy is one of the major costs for a taxi company. The IRS rates miles driven in a car at a little under 60/mile, which should cover maintenance, depreciation, insurance and fuel. A taxi that only had these costs could be quite profitable at 70/mile. In New York, taxis cost $2/mile, which isn't that far off other places in the USA. The minimum wage guy needs to be paid even when the taxi is waiting for the next fare. With an automated car, you'd just leave them scattered around the city powered down and turn on the closest one when you got a new job.

Comment: Re:No new physics == Michelson–Morley of the (Score 1) 57

by MouseR (#49811945) Attached to: LHC Season 2 Is About To Start Testing the Frontiers of Physics

Ignoring previous results on the Higgs Boson;

No new physics/results from these collisions would STILL be a welcomed puzzle. It would mean that the expectations are wrong and thus indicate something is missing in the standard model.

Science has progressed equally in the absence of proof as with validation of expectations. It's the discovery and the adaptation of knowledge that is more important.

Comment: Re:I agree and disagree (Score 2) 179

A Kickstarter-like model would work. Release a single for free, designate an amount that you think the full album is worth. If enough people are willing to pay, then you release the album for free. For the second album, hopefully enough people have copied the first that you don't need to do much to encourage them to pay for the second. As an added bonus, you can reduce your up-front costs by only renting the studio time to record the first track and only record the rest once people have paid for it.

Recording a song (at least, a song that people want to buy) requires talent, creativity, and often expensive instruments and studio time. Copying a song once it's recorded is basically free. Any business model that relies on doing the difficult thing for free and then trying to persuade people to pay for you to do the easy thing is doomed to failure. Imagine if Ford had noticed that people wanted coloured cars and decided to give away unpainted cars and charge for painting them, then bribed politicians to pass laws so that only Ford was allowed to paint cars Ford sold and driving an unpainted car on the road was illegal. It wouldn't take people long to realise that this was a stupid business model and that you could get rid of the laws and charge for the cars, but in the case of copyright people are still trying very hard to make the 'free car, expensive and exclusive paint' model work with different variations.

Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 5, Informative) 98

It's an ABI mismatch, and the summary is nonsense, saying almost the exact opposite of TFA (which I actually read, because the summary is obvious nonsense). The issue is that the Windows ABI defines long double as being a 64-bit floating point value (which is fine, because the only requirement for long double is that it have no less precision than double. If you're using it and expecting some guaranteed precision for vaguely portable code then you're an idiot). For some reason, MinGW (which aims to be ABI-compatible with MS, at least for C libraries) uses 80-bit x87 values for long double, so you get truncation. I forget the exact calling conventions for Windows i386, but I believe that in some cases this will be silently hidden, as the value will be passed in x87 register and so be transparently extended to 80 bits in the caller and truncated in the callee anyway. It's only if it's passed on the stack (or indirectly via a pointer) that it's a problem.

It's not obvious which definition of long double is better. On modern x86, you'll use SSE for 32- and 64-bit values, and may lose precision moving between x87 and SSE registers. You also get worse IEEE compliance out of the x87 unit, which may matter more than the extra 16 bits of precision. 80-bit floats are not available on any platform other than x86 (128-bit is more common, though PowerPC has its own special non-IEEE version of these and on some other platforms they're entirely done in software), so they're a bad choice if you want portable code that generates the same output on different platforms.

Comment: Re:Multiple Problems Here (Score 1) 226

The best are 'software engineers' (heh) that write in a language that does garbage collection who think they know something about operating systems.

OMFG do NOT get me started on GC or this conversation will never end. Explicit memory management for people who know what the hell they are doing for $100, Alex!

Comment: Re:Multiple Problems Here (Score 3, Informative) 226

First and foremost, how can you possibly have let yourself get into a situation where $210k/year has you three paychecks away from being out on the street? You need to make some adjustments to your living situation ASAP -- get your budget under control, eliminate outstanding debts, etc. You are near the very top of the industry for software engineering compensation -- it's not a matter of the market not being stable (there's very high demand), it's that you're quickly pricing yourself out of the market.

Actually, no. I routinely get 2X that offers.

And yes, he freaking needs to budget.

The problem is that "delayed gratification" is no longer a concept these days.

Comment: Re:Where did all the money go (Score 2) 226

You need investing advice more than career advice. After 10 years of work you should have much more than a three month cushion -
It sound like you have fallen into the trap of allowing your expenses to grow to consume all current income. That is going to be hard to reverse, and THAT is what you need some professional help with,

I totally agree.

I am more or less "retired", unless someone comes to me with exceedingly interesting work to do, I read, I paint, I draw, I write, I tinker, I vacation, I angel invest, I patent even more stuff, I spend time with smart people, I participate in interesting forums, and I learn more stuff, taking college courses if I have to, etc..

$4M in savings is more than enough to throw off the $200K+ a year (that's at only 5%) you are currently earning, and as long as you are conscious of cash flow, this just grows over time.

People who spend all they make are people who never had to eat Cream-O-Wheat with weevils in it, and live on Top Ramen, and Mac and Cheese, and Little Caesar's Pizza, when they were younger. Learn some freaking financial discipline. Come back and "Ask Slashdot" in another 10 years.

"There... I've run rings 'round you logically" -- Monty Python's Flying Circus