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Comment: Re:It's a question that WAS relevant (Score 1) 160

by petermgreen (#47805601) Attached to: Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

A spill is a write to memory, there is nothing special about the instructions used that indicates to the processor it is only temporary. That means at the very least the processor needs to check the cache policy of the target location before it eliminates it.

AIUI much of the performance gains from going to x86-64 were attributed to the extra registers AMD added. These gains were even significant enough that someone put the effort into designing an ABI that uses 32-bit pointers but runs the CPU in 64-bit mode.

Comment: Re:AT&T Billing (Score 1) 353

by petermgreen (#47773319) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

He didn't say what those ISPs were buying from AT&T you assumed it was bandwidth to "the internet", I think it's more likely that what they were buying was bandwidth to "the end user".

Sure theres lots of competition if what you want is transit bandwidth from a major datacenter in a major city to the internet. Not so much if what you want is bandwith from that same major datacenter to your customer out in the burbs.

Comment: Re: What are you downloading? (Score 1) 353

by petermgreen (#47773021) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Finally some insight. 150GB is trivial for a "modern" family, and would easily be dwarfed if comcast billed their "cable" as "data."

Cable is for the most part a broadcast system though.

The real problem is that we need internet access provided and regulated as a utility. No, i don't much relish the thought of paying per-(prefix)byte, but I'd rather have an enforced system where everyone pays a rate that reflects what the service actually costs than the current hideously broken regime.

You'd have to be pretty careful how the system was set up through. In particular the definition of "what the service actually costs"

The real cost in providing internet access is replacing infrastructure. When you build new infrastructure you (if you have any sense) build it with ample bandwidth but gradually the bandwidth becomes less and less ample. Most people still get their internet through infrastructure that was really designed for phone calls or broadcast TV and has had patchwork upgrades.

The people at the telcos/cablecos look at the cost of the forklift upgrades to handle the growing traffic and get sticker shock. Then they look at the usage patterns and find that households like your ""modern" family" are the exception not the rule (and I fully admit that i'm probablly part of said exception). Then they put in place measures so that those households either reduce their usage or pay more.

I fear with a "cost based" model the utilities would be prone to keep running old (and expensive per-(prefix)byte) infrastructure to an even greater extent than they do today. Why install more modern (and cheaper per-(prefix)byte) infrastructure when it just means you get to charge less for the same data.

Comment: Re:Simplier solution at the carrier level (Score 1) 233

by petermgreen (#47757415) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

and everyone else

That's the hard bit. If you block the phone from all networks in your home country the theives will just export it. Theives have also found ways to change the identity of at least some models of phone.

Good luck getting the whole world to block your stolen phones.

Comment: Re:and how many devices on next door's wifi? (Score 1) 260

by petermgreen (#47750817) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Probablly a lot less than there used to be.

Afaict pracitally all new home routers are now locked down with WPA by default and have been for several years. Also providers at least round here seem to give you a new router when you take up their services or switch to a faster package that requires new equipment. There will still undoutablly be some old routers out there from people who have not changed ISP, not changed to a faster package requiring new equipment and not had their router simply die on them in years but the number will be dwindling.

Comment: Re:say it again (Score 1) 239

by petermgreen (#47729181) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

The problem is to those not skilled in the art (whatever the "art" in question is) it's very hard to tell the reputable sources from the BS. Furtheremore the sources that are most likely to be reputable are often locked up behind paywalls.

Wikipedia ends up with a set of rules that heavilly favour the mainstream media. Unfortunately the mainstream media is poor on the fact checking and heavilly biased towards certain subject areas.

Comment: Re:WikiWand (Score 1) 239

by petermgreen (#47728861) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

You also have multiple competing power structures none of which seem very democratic to me.

You have the "community driven" processes on the individual wikis which afaict are largely driven by who is prepared to put the most time into them and who is already a wiki admin or at least has friends among them.

Then you have the wikimedia foundation which is led by a board of trustees. There is some voting involved but less than half the board is directly elected. Below them you have various staff which are even further removed from community input.

Comment: Re:WTF? Can someone summarize? (Score 1) 239

by petermgreen (#47727449) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

It used to be that you clicked on an image and were taken to the image description page with lots of information about the image, access to full resoloution versions etc.

Now when you click on an image some javascript media viewer pops up with very little information on the image, if the javascript is working correctly then this adds an extra click to the route to the image description page. The first time you see this it's not entirely obvious how to get to the image description page. I'm sure i've also seen cases where the javascript didn't work properly.

The local admins on some high profile wikipedia projects tried to disable this media viewer. So the wikimedia foundation added a new feature ("superprotection") to the software to take control of whether the media viewer was enabled (and many other things) away from the local admins.

Comment: Re:Safety vs Law (Score 1) 475

by petermgreen (#47720295) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Also, you should know that a 89/90 impact is 2.01 times as hard as a 44/45 impact. Twice the speed is four times the kinetic energy.

Assuming the two cars are moving in the same direction the impact itself and the energy it dissapates is the same.

For example lets take the simple case, e.g. assume the collision is inelastic and the vehicles weigh 1 unit of mass each each.

kenetic energy before impact 89^2 +90^2 = 16021
kenetic energy after impact 89.5^2 + 89.5^2 = 16020.5
difference in kenetic energy = 0.5

kenetic energy before impact 44^2 + 45^2 = 3961
kenetic energy after impact 44.5^2 + 44.5^2 = 3960.5
difference in kenetic energy 0.5

Slight differences in direction will cause an increase in energy dissipated at higher speeds because the relative velocity will be slightly higher but it won't be "twice as hard".

Comment: Re:anti-spam sites force centralization, help SIGI (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47686497) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Now, unless you arrange for your outbound email to arrive from a server operated by a large email provider, your deliverability is probably low.

You have to make sure your mail is delivered from something that looks like a server (e.g. not on lists of known dynamic IP blocks, has proper reverse dns) but you don't have to use a "large email provider".

Been running my own email for years with few problems.

Comment: Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47686439) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

No, SMS is the common denominator. Not every phone has email, but they all have SMS. (Change of perspective, the computer is no longer the preferred medium of communication.)

In office jobs the chances are everyone will have a work computer which they spend a large portion of the time sitting in front of but only a subset will have a work mobile* and most people probablly aren't going to want to give their personal mobile number out to all their collegues

And while a phone has the advantage of portability there is no way that it's a preferable device to a computer for viewing and entering large numbers of messages

And then there are the techical limitations, a sms is only 160 characters. Yes modern phones can chain messages but that drives up the cost and can only carry plain text.

For people who don't work in an office it is of course a different matter.

* Yes I know some landline phones support SMS but afaict it's the exception not the rule.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen