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Comment: Re:Zero info in article (Score 0) 198

by lenski (#46595885) Attached to: Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

Just one developer's observation... I have not yet seen Google fuck over developers and customers with the naked contempt shown by Microsoft or impenetrable garden wall of Apple.

Being operated by humans, I am sure Google will come over to the dark side and mis-use their market power eventually. Hopefully I'll be retired before then, as I am getting bloody tired of having to change infrastructure every time a formerly functional organization's mis-use of its market power becomes an unbearable burden.

Comment: Apple: a Perfect example of Network Effects (Score 1) 198

by lenski (#46595833) Attached to: Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

No, "network effects" is the right term.

Apple had a very well-designed, well-built and convenient product with iPod. They followed up with the well-designed and convenient software product, iTunes. iTunes is so profitable and flawlessly exemplifies vendor lock-in, that they followed up with the same model for the iPhone and iPad.

One ecosystem, which just happens to not work very well with other vendors' products, and essentially never with open-platform systems.

That model is even sweeter than Microsoft's lock-in model, which was an improvement over IBM's lock-in model.

The company I work for has implemented some infrastructure with iXxx and they basically regret the decision; Apple's control is *very* effective at many levels, much to our disappointment.

Comment: Re:not on die (Score 5, Informative) 110

by lenski (#45500783) Attached to: Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell and Other Future CPUs

what this means is the memory is not on the same piece of silicon as the CPU, just stuffed in the same chip package.

Which allows the designers to count on carefully controlled impedances, timings, seriously optimized bus widths and state machines, and all the other goodies that come with access to internal structures not otherwise available.

Such a resource could, if used properly, be a significant contributor to performance competitiveness.

Comment: Re:Life's tough all over (Score 1) 461

by lenski (#43447757) Attached to: How much I care about GMO food labeling:

Huge bucks spent to prevent states from requiring labeling. A great example is the coalition of the unwilling against California prop 37:

As I've written upthread, I would be fine with GMO if a) I were able to be aware of which products feature it so I can study the literature, b) Decide whether to do business with the dickheads indirectly and most importantly, c) Balance the legal power of the patent holders versus everyone else.

I don't suggest punishing Monsanto or anyone else for designing, building and selling a product. Unlike nearly every other business in the marketplace, Monsanto executives are uniquely interested in *preventing* people from knowing whether their product is part of the consumer end product. My only interest merely to be informed. The idea that fully informing purchasers of food products is "punishment" is very instructive.

I flatly disagree with the assertion that it is "punishment" to require that the marketplace be fully informed, and assert that it's a genuine privilege to block the flow of information that would otherwise be used to fully inform consumer decisionmaking.

I hear executives and PR flacks endlessly bleating about "the free market" but spend big money preventing exactly the information flow that makes the market "free". This is true for Monsanto, it's true for bankers and for many other industries that tend to externalize costs (environmental, health, systemic financial risk, etc.). My wife and I live conservatively to minimize our contribution to the power of these people.

Comment: Re:People getting their issues mixed up (Score 1) 461

by lenski (#43444361) Attached to: How much I care about GMO food labeling:

GMO is probably OK despite some unexpected ecological and personal risk. But the people who collectively "own" the "intellectual property" contained in GM organisms are far more interested in their stock value than the delivered value of their products. Executives have a nearly perfect record of hiding dangers and weaknesses of their products, until shitloads of people are hurt or killed and the effects can no longer be swept under the rug. Then when caught with their pants down, they bleat about "freedom".

I want the freedom to find out who is trying to fuck me over.

Comment: Life's tough all over (Score 1) 461

by lenski (#43444343) Attached to: How much I care about GMO food labeling:

So people think that industrial food might give them headaches? Tough shit. The fuckers with all the money and all of the control are welcome to show the safety and effectiveness of their product just like everyone else.

Monsanto gets ZERO special privileges. They have spent fuckloads of money on manipulating public discourse without showing any proper evidence of the long-term effects of the genetic manipulation and much worse, this society has allowed them near monopoly power over important parts of our food supply.

Damn hippies? Who the FUCK do you think controls the discussion? Sure as hell not the greenies or hippies or anyone else not in the club.

FYI, I would not have a problem with GMO food as long as it was not managed as some shithead's private "intellectual property" being used to push around too many farmers.

Comment: Re:Teensy 3.0 maybe? (Score 1) 273

Teensy would be tempting to anyone who has already done embedded development in the ARM microcontroller world. Insufficient memory to run any Linux, but plenty of flash and RAM to run any of many deeply embedded RTOS. Looking over the reference manual shows that the chip's peripheral blocks are powerful, including what appears at first read to be a pretty snazzy DMA controller.

I've been seriously considering it as a target for developing a communication front-end for a project at work. Previous experience is with a Cortex-M3 (Atmel AT91SAM3U) which was a great MCU to work with. GCC is available and I've been able to do all development on Linux workstations.

The price at PJRC, $19.00 can't be beat.

Comment: Requiring communication among stakeholders? (Score 1) 292

by lenski (#42366589) Attached to: Real World Code Sucks


At least from the point of view of the executive manglement team.

The last time I saw a mid level manager require written documentation from more than one stakeholder (marketing, business analysts, etc.) at a time, he was FIRED, for "being inflexible". This after he offered *many times* to help shepherd the process including discussing the effort of various options that might be chosen for implementing the ideas under discussion. Also after >3 years of trying to implement under-specified, over-promised features whose priority was always greater than refactoring and cleanup as the application experienced shifts in functional emphasis to match changing market conditions.

I've been doing this stuff since 1977 and the most consistent statement that could be made about top management people was "he or she has never felt the pain of an ink pen in hand". Fear of commitment. Frequently we who had to keep things going just did as much work as possible, hoping for the best. Unfortunately, even with the willingness to get into the work, our vision was necessarily limited, and consequently so was our success rate.

Beyond a certain point, high level managers become extremely risk-averse. It's explainable: The challenges of getting details right are many, and the likelihood of success is small due to the vicissitudes of most business marketplaces. I believe this is why there's lots of talk about "taking risks" but truth be told, risk taking is such a fear-inducing process that it's never used.

With that complaint out of the way, I agree with your premise. I merely observe that I've seen it carried through about once or twice in 35 years.

Comment: Re:ARM Servers: FP performance (Score 3, Interesting) 81

by lenski (#41788945) Attached to: AMD Rumored To Announce Layoffs, New Hardware, ARM Servers On Monday

Your comment is on target given that ARM systems have a history being both lightweight and worse yet, inconsistently equipped with floating point hardware. The consequence has been that application and package developers face a choice between being able to run on lots of hardware by avoiding dependency on FP, or to provide good performance by limiting their applicability to systems with that hardware. I do not know whether ARM can overcome that history in a bid for a place in the server marketplace.

I expect that ARM architects recognize the need for consistency, with the result that the ARMv8 64-bit spec is way more specific about what developers can count on, so they can use high performance compiler settings consistently, while still being sure their applications can run on all servers.

This is a very important place where the Intel IA32 and AMD's x86-64, won. Beginning with the i486 (not SX), developers had a consistent set of compiler optimization choices providing "really good" performance. Anyone wanting really kick-ass, custom-optimized performance is welcome to go with tightly customized, processor-specific compilation, as one might be able to justify in HPC.

So the question is whether ARM's history of support for giving silicon implementers major freedom in selecting from among many options, will leave a legacy of inconsistency or whether they can get past that to enter the marketplace where consistency is required for success.

BTW, as an embedded developer, I've found the flexibility of choosing silicon that's well-tuned to my device-specific needs to be very important.

Comment: Uh... I disagree... (Score 3, Insightful) 769

by lenski (#40808699) Attached to: Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

My 2010 TDI "Sportwagen" gets 35+ under constant in-town acceleration/deceleration during rush hour, gets 40+ in off-hour in-town driving, and 52+ on disciplined long trips.

Plenty of room for a custom bicycle (I am 6' 4", and the bike's frame is enlarged to accommodate exceptionally long legs). Or alternatively room for 4 people and all their luggage for a long weekend at a family wedding.

Being a slashdot poster, you should know about "refactoring". Doesn't happen enough in the software world, and it for sure doesn't happen often enough in the legislative world. But the answer is not "deregulating": which merely cedes the power to those who really want to socialize their responsibilities while privatizing their profits.

There has never been a free market. The only question to be answered is "who controls the market"? It could be, and usually is, the group who have the concentrated market power, or an entity that should be responsible to the society at large, whose capacity to design and implement the regulations is admittedly imperfect, but without that imperfect process, we're all fucked.

Comment: "middle class effects": A stitch in time... (Score 1) 769

by lenski (#40808603) Attached to: Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

Mitigation strategies become more expensive as "we" delay efforts to develop and apply those strategies.

There is now a huge separation of interests between those control access to concentrated capital from those whose lives are most directly affected by environmental conditions.

The "capitalists" have a strong interest in preserving their existing revenue streams. The interests of the rest of society are irrelevant. The truly poor in other countries, many of whom live in low lying areas and depend on water supplies that are already turning brackish due to the current rise of only a few inches. Such people have almost negative value to high-concentration capital operators, usually being in the way when one investment or another involves their displacement.

The Koch brothers and their friends the major fossil fuel industries have a strong interest in their current business model, and will fuck the rest of the world if necessary to prevent losses in their investments.

The delays that the Heartland Institute, and other thinktanks advocate WILL cause mitigation strategies to become prohibitively expensive and count on it coming out of our asses. The longer we wait, the more painful the movement will be.

To those who are skeptical of government intervention, I hesitantly agree, for two reasons: 1) It's been bought off by highly concentrated capitalists expressing their "free speech rights" drowning out all others in the public square, 2) Too many people have a problem with learned helplessness and are unwilling or unable to see the effects of the endless talk of "freedom", failing to see that "freedom" usually means "free to fuck over those that do not have the countervailing power to prevent it".

The place where I flat out disagree with that logic is that the people who pull the strings of highly concentrated capital are *far* worse. My preference for "government" intervention is precisely because in a society that has not entirely lost its capacity for small-D democratic action, government is weakened by the constant re-election of legislators & "leaders". Throw away that feedback loop by *endlessly* whining about "government" with the effect of ceding control to the few lever-pullers, and you will have something way more interesting.

P.S. I am a white guy in my mid-fifties who has been working in corporate environments large and small for 35+ years. I have seen the effects of narrow interests screwing over the others for most of those years. When authority is not balanced by strong accountability WITH TEETH, that authority is misused one hundred-point-zero percent of the time. Those with insufficiently accountable authority have an absolutely perfect record of misusing it.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke