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Comment: Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (Score 1) 171

by rasmusbr (#47423983) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

They want a low wattage test system for doing embedded dev. Period. Don't skirt around it, don't try to poke and make fun of anything he says in the comment, either you can't help him or you can. MOVE ON.

The person doesn't really provide a power budget. Low power compared to what?

Are we talking a device that's going to need to run off of battery power for hours or days? Are we talking about a device that's going to be silent (no cooling fan)? Are we talking about a device that can have a cooling fan as long as it delivers good performance per watt? Who knows, the question doesn't specify.

Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 1) 372

That if you REALLY want to eliminate fossil fuel usage, the big spending is going to have to be on dams and nuclear reactors.

Hydro power won't do. The world technical potential for hydro power is about 16 PWh, while the world demand for energy is something like 500 PWh, so there is no way that those 16 PWh could ever make a significant contribution.

Nuclear power's technical potential is only limited by the effectiveness of the technology, so nuclear could be a viable replacement given the right advances in nuclear technology. It is unfortunately possible to rule out current nuclear technology because it simply takes too long and costs too much to build a power plant using that technology. If the US government or state governments began funneling money into current state of the art nuclear power now then the first new nuclear energy due to that investment would come online in the 2030's and it would probably take centuries to replace fossil fuel that way.

For nuclear to be a viable replacement for fossil fuels I think we would need to imagine a nuclear reactor the size of a shipping container that could be made in a factory, or at least a reactor that could be assembled on site from a small number of components all of which are small enough to fit inside shipping containers. This could probably lead to dramatic reductions in the time it takes to build a reactor, which I think would allow nuclear power to come online rapidly enough to match the depletion rates of dwindling fossil fuel reserves.

Comment: Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (Score 2) 200

by rasmusbr (#47390837) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

The main reason why many governments have regulations for how much fireworks you can fire off in one night is that fireworks produce toxic smoke. Reykjavik is a relatively small city situated in what I believe is a windy area far away from any other major urban centers, so I would think that the potential for humans to be exposed being exposed to smoke from fireworks is unusually low there.

Or perhaps the city just wants to live up to its name...

Comment: Re:How many Panama canals? (Score 1) 501

Expensive and dumb.

If you're going to do something like this, why not build a system that harvests and concentrates the energy? Modern wind turbines are already not far from 1000 feet from the ground to the tip of the turbine blade. A little bit of R&D on stronger lightweight materials could probably lead to turbines taller than 1000 feet.

Comment: Re:just try it, it's fun (Score 2) 254

by rasmusbr (#47287765) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

Start simple - very simple. Try breakout, tetris, a board game, etc, then start adding features to learn about those features. Then make the game you really want to do in the same approach - minimum viable product, then flesh it out like stone soup. When the soup's done, ship it!


Except, start with what you know. If you're good at audio, start by writing a program that can receive and handle requests to play sounds. Now, in a complex game like an RTS the sound effects will need to overlap. So for instance in a space-based RTS the roar of a rocket launch may need to overlap with multiple bangs och zaps of plasma rifles and lasers. Once you have a sound program that works well enough you can call that your sound engine.

Comment: Re:I bet DVR boxes are even worse (Score 2, Insightful) 394

by rasmusbr (#47254871) Attached to: Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

The funny thing is that ever since Reagan and Thatcher launched a new form of right wing politics we live in an era where the "conservatives" are radicals who want to replace a working system with their utopian dream society, while the "socialists" or "liberals" are people who want to keep the tried and tested system with all or most of its government involvement in the economy.

Anyway, this particular problem could be solved in two ways:
1. Have the government determine standards and force companies to certify their products.
2. Have a private non-profit organization determine standards, encourage companies to certify their products, and name and shame the companies that don't do it. Consumer don't want to buy from brands that have a reputation for not caring about the environment.

So it's not completely impossible for the market to solve the problem. It's just unlikely to happen soon.

Comment: Re:Is unix the last operating system? (Score 1) 257

by rasmusbr (#47235601) Attached to: HP Unveils 'The Machine,' a New Computer Architecture

Previous attempts to do away with directory-based filesystems and go with a sea of tagged documents and a metadata database have crashed on the rocks of low disk performance. But those ideas are good in principle, they just weren't appropriate for actual hardware.

They were always a terrible idea because they don't scale in the human mind. For a music collection you can just about deal with artist name, album name, song name... But even when it comes to things like "genera" how many people can remember if a particular song they want to hear counts a pop, or rock, or soft rock, or maybe it was prog-rock, or is that "prog rock" or "progrock"?

It gets worse for documents. With a folder system you can drill down. It serves as a memory aid. With tags you need to search and sift through search results unless you can remember the name of that particular thing you needed, or some other fairly unique identifier. I'd contend that tagging is more effort than organizing in folders too, especially if you want to change tags in bulk without separating collections of related documents accidentally.

There are ways to reduce these problems with fuzzy search terms, hierarchical tags and the like, but they are all just lame attempts to polish a turd.

The problem of navigating a music collection is already solved at the application level by various apps. Any file system will do fine. You're not going to have more than 10-100 million music files on a system since that's about what humanity has created so far, so it's a fairly well bounded problem.

Innovation at the OS level should probably focus on problems where there is no upper limit to how many files you could realistically want to store and search.

Comment: Re:scabs suck. next you'll skip paying bribes. (Score 1) 507

by rasmusbr (#47214057) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

In Europe that isn't even usually the case. In Sweden, one of the countries where Uber is whining about "regulation", the taxi market is deregulated. Anyone can offer taxi services, at any price, providing they meet four basic consumer-protection requirements:

1. They have a commercial driver's license

2. They have commercial vehicle insurance

3. They post their rates openly and visibly

4. They have a functioning meter, which is inspected occasionally to ensure that it is billing the same amount as the posted rates

And since the Swedish authorities have not cracked down on Uber we can probably surmise that rules 3 and 4 will get rewritten or reinterpreted to allow what Uber is doing. Uber is in compliance in spirit (if not in practice) since they do advertise their prices to anyone who has the ability to buy a ride and the driver does have a meter app on his or her phone.

The real wrongdoing here by the Swedish authorities is that they're not (not yet) giving other companies the same pass that they're giving Uber.

Comment: Re:Linnaeus cheated (Score 2) 231

Not a bad list, honestly. Still not sure why Linnaeus is *that* high, but most of the rest is quite reasonable, methinks.

I would have to agree. I think that Linnaeus has gamed the system a bit. Every (or at least most) Wikipedia articles about a plant or animal species would have a link to back to Linnaeus or his nomenclature system. While he was certainly a notable scientist, he was in no way as influential as most of the others on the list. Perhaps I should change my name to "Citation Needed" so I would be the most influential person in history (according to this methodology).

He gamed the system more than that... Every Wikipedia article about a species contains a link to whoever named that species. And Linnaeus named a lot of species, something close to 10,000! He had a good head start on everyone else seeing as he came up with the naming system. He especially named pretty much all of the species that have the most "mindshare", the same ones that now have long and highly ranked Wikipedia articles.

Comment: Re:Never heard of it (Score 1) 21

by rasmusbr (#47186429) Attached to: Apple Acquires Social Search Engine Spotsetter

Is this "Spotsetter" something I'm supposed to have heard of? I feel like I got dumped into a story halfway with a bunch of characters I have no reason to care about.

Nope, thy had an app that peaked at number 50 or so in their category ranking on iTunes.

Their blog talks about them working on wearable software, so I suppose Apple was behind on some software feature for their iWatch (probably a feature that lets you know when you are near good restaurants, cafes, shops, etc) and decided to source it from the outside.

Comment: Re:Russia (Score 1) 417

by rasmusbr (#47178717) Attached to: Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

Sweden and Finland have the means to produce nuclear weapons.
Same goes for most other countries with nuclear research facilities. It's not as if it's difficult.

It is apparently fairly difficult and expensive to make small, lightweight nuclear weapons. France was still doing nuclear tests in the 1990's, presumably because they still had kinks to iron out in their design.

Comment: Re:Rule of thumb (Score 1) 97

Anyway I'm all in favor of completely free trade between the EU and the US. Why the hell do we even need an agreement?

Because under current laws in both the US and EU, there are barriers to entry of goods?

I don't know about the US, but the EU has a highly complex and detailed system of tariffs on goods entering the EU.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.