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Comment Re:16 nm vs 14 nm (Score 3, Insightful) 213

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) 88

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 2) 88

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:I guess they realised... (Score 4, Informative) 88

Well, it's funny how something with "the underpinnings of how X11 does it are actually decrepit and inefficient and compare poorly to other strategies that leverage different entry points that Wayland actually preserves" still manages to solve the problem, and Wayland doesn't.

X11 isn't perfect. Nobody's ever argued that. It's just nobody's really asking for a replacement, and if they were, they wouldn't be asking for Wayland. X11 is an extraordinary piece of technology, it takes some gal to claim everyone should just throw it out and replace it with a ground up rewrite that adds no new features and doesn't support the major features X11 is famous and loved for.

It's not like init/SystemD, where init really was a bug ridden piece of garbage that's needed replacing now since before Linux itself came on the scene, and SystemD implements everything init did but does it right.

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 1) 127

The Oxford Online Dictionary is made by the same people who make the OED. The main differences are that the online version is slightly more up-to-date, and has a slightly lower bar for including neologisms. (Those may migrate to the OED if they prove to have some staying power.)

They too go in order from the top down where there is no ambiguity.

What do you mean "in order?" In order of what? The meanings have to go in some order. The OED generally lists meanings in order by age. Other dictionaries frequently list more common meanings above more rare ones, but they're not particularly consistent about it. (Especially since that's a hard thing to measure, even with the modern technology that is revolutionizing the study of language.) And in no dictionary does listing a meaning second (or fifteenth) mean it's wrong.

If the newer meaning were "wrong", it wouldn't be listed at all. If it were colloquial, it would be listed as colloquial. If it were slang, it would be listed as slang. Ditto for nonstandard, dialect, archaic, etc. It's listed as none of those things, in any dictionary. That's because it's not only not wrong, it's perfectly standard.

Heck, if you look up "bit", you'll see a bunch of meanings. A small amount. A piece of metal that goes in a horse's mouth. The business end of a drill. A binary digit. Are all-but-the-first wrong there? Sheesh!

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 1) 127

So if I can change just one person's mind, it's one more point for our team.

Yuck. Certainly not my team. I will fight you on the beaches, I will fight you on the landing grounds. I will fight you on the fields and in the streets. I will fight you on the hills. I shall never surrender.

You think my hypothetical scenario is implausible? Try imagining if Kim Kardashian looked at a pink dress and said, on TV, that it was chartreuse. If you don't find that thought as sadly believable as it is chilling, well, I'm nothing but envious.

I think if that happened, social media would instantly be full of people mocking her, just as they mocked Jessica Simpson for the Chicken-of-the-Sea incident. And if social media didn't instantly fill up with mockery, I would say that that demonstrates that the current meaning of the word is not important enough to bother preserving (much like "terrific" or "decimate"—we survived the change in meaning of those terms just fine).

Frankly, I don't see much difference between someone who insists that decimate must mean one-in-ten, and someone who insists that chartreuse is pink. They're both idiots, they're both wrong, and they both have a minor potential to influence the language in possibly-unfortunate ways. Different types of idiots, admittedly, but both still idiots whose influence is mostly bad.

So yes, if you're honestly suggesting that decimate should still only mean kill-one-in-ten, then my respect for you is equal to my respect for Kim Kardashian.

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 1) 127

The OED lists its definitions in historical order. The Oxford Online Dictionary, by comparison, lists "kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage"as the first definition, and only has "kill one in ten" as the second definition. Which is marked as "historical". It also includes a usage note that says, "This sense has been superseded by the later, more general sense."


Collins Dictionary also has the one-in-ten meaning listed second: http://www.collinsdictionary.c...

As does

Wiktionary lists the historical meaning first, but also presents evidence suggesting that this sense is basically never used any more, except when complaining about the change in meaning (at least in the British National Corpus):

Comment The money quote (Score 5, Insightful) 174

Hayden said that losing the first Crypto War on the Clipper Chip did not stop the US government from obtaining the information it needed.

âoeIn retrospect, we mastered the problem we created by the lack of the Clipper Chip,â he said. âoeWe were able to do a whole bunch of other things. Some of the other things were metadata, and bulk collection and so on.â

So... "don't ban encryption, we don't need to!"

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 1) 127

You're about 400 years too late on the "literally" thing, and much later than that on "decimate". If you're really concerned with nipping things in the bud, you might go for some more recent potential changes. Like singular "you" instead of "thou/thee", and maybe "terrific" for things that don't cause terror.

Simple fact: people don't like being misunderstood, so the circumstances under which your highly contrived chartreuse-means-pink example might arise are basically nonexistent!

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 262

Uh, that doesn't work. The problem is that doing exactly what you've written down is contriving to avoid your copyright responsibility by deliberately creating a structure in someone else's work which you believe would be a copyright insulator. If you went ahead and did this (I'm not saying that you personally would be the one at Ubuntu to do so), I'd love to be there when you are deposed. Part of my business is to feed attorneys questions when they cross-examine you. I have in a similar situation made a programmer look really bad, and the parties settled as soon as they saw the deposition and my expert report. See also my comment regarding how Oracle v. Google has changed this issue. You can't count on an API to be a copyright insulator in any context any longer.

Comment Re:Time to drop the prices? (Score 1) 387

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:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 262

I think you need to look at this in the context of the appeal of Oracle v. Google. We had a concept of an API being a boundary of copyright based on 17 CFR 102(b) and elucidated by Judge Walker's finding in CAI v. Altai. That stood for a long time. But Oracle v. Google essentially overturned it and we're still waiting to see what the lower court does in response.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 5, Insightful) 308

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.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton