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Comment: Re:When you have a bad driver ... (Score 1) 961

by squizzar (#45585775) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

If you are a super-duper-uber driver. Otherwise it's better at keeping the wheels turning at just below the point of locking up, which is where the maximum traction is. Hence why they used to teach cadence braking. Once you've locked the wheels the coefficient of friction is lower - and therefore braking distance longer - than when the wheels are just about to lock up. The big advantage is that with ABS every driver can mash pedal and stop in very nearly the same optimal distance as the 'best' drivers, and still be able to steer as well.

Comment: Re:Happily parked? (Score 4, Informative) 293

by squizzar (#45547617) Attached to: With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes

Happened when I was at primary school. Something shorted out and started a fire and burnt several cars.

IIRC E36 BMW coupes caught fire occasionally because the cabling into the boot(trunk) lid would get brittle over time and split when it was flexed. In mine it manifested itself as the central locking failing because some wires shorted out. I'd imagine there's a sensor for the alarm, or supply for the central locking that's live even with the ignition off, so it's not a big leap of faith to see that a parked car could catch fire due to something shorting out.

Cars have quite a lot of 'live' when off electrical equipment - cooling fans for example - that can be on at any time, so faulty or ill designed wiring could cause problems in stationary cars.

Comment: Re:How about.... (Score 1) 78

by squizzar (#45023145) Attached to: Japan's Nuclear Refugees, Still Stuck In Limbo

I thought the WHO did a study that discovered the effects of mass evacuations were far more damaging than simply staying in the affected areas were - that the stress caused by panic and hysteria over doses of radiation that aren't particularly high is more damaging than the radiation could be. This is the first google result I could find but I'm sure there was a proper report from the WHO.

I also notice that the rhetoric has changed from 'all radiation is deadly evil' to 'ok it's probably not that bad... but you might eat some!!! Horrible death!!!!'. Pro-nuclear types always get moaned at for changing their story, but I notice the anti-nuclear brigade have changed their concerns as well. Is that because of the complete lack of even illness, let alone deaths, due to radiation from Fukushima, including amongst those who are cleaning up the mess? Is it because when people looked at it they realised the linear-no-threshold approach to determining the risk of radiation is pretty weak scientifically (disproven in some studies that found low levels of radiation are beneficial and even necessary)? Is it because a lot of the world is more radioactive anyway and people still live there without coming to a significantly greater level of harm? Is it because although there is a - greater than any nuclear disaster in some cases - risk of floods, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and - not wanting to be insensitive - tsunamis people still seem to live pretty happy lives in those areas?

Perhaps because a couple of years ago the world was ending, Tokyo was going to be evacuated, the US was going to be irradiated as it all drifted across the ocean, dogs and cats would be living together etc. but actually what we have is a lot of water (a lot of which could have just been dispersed in the ocean), a huge decontamination operation (which probably could have been targeted at areas with actual significant radiation rather than just removing inches of topsoil from entire prefectures), no deaths (other than those caused by the evacuation - oh and the 10's of thousands caused by the Tsunami itself). It must be a big disappointment to the serious doomsday-scenario junkies that none of their predictions have come true so far. It is a disaster, but those happen pretty regularly. More people died from car bombs in the middle east last week than due to Fukushima. 300,000 people were evacuated - Syria has over a million registered refugees already and a death toll of 115,000. The Rwandan genocide has a death toll estimated at 500,000-1,000,000. Fukushima was a big accident, will cost a fortune to clean up, but is nowhere near the scale of disaster it's made out to be.

Comment: Re:yep (Score 4, Informative) 671

by squizzar (#45000055) Attached to: Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

Oh, and they get between 5 and 9.5 weeks holiday, lot's of employment rights and protections and tasty cheese. The last time I saw an American commenting on France's productivity and employment laws it was the head of a tyre company - I think the French pointed out that Michelin is 20 times larger and 35 times more profitable than the US company. Also if you think the French are more concerned about money than quality of life then you have no idea what they are about. At least remember to thank them for scaring the British out...

Comment: Re:Why FTL? (Score 1) 139

That's not really how it works... Propagation delay is not related to clocks (at least not in the way you seem to imply). With a stable and monotonous clock then you can easily propagate the clock to every point of the chip with a controllable delay (see comments from an actual designer of this stuff above). A simple clock tree, for example, can be implemented using a fractal like structure. Basically imagine a capital H, you have an equal length to each of the 'ends' of the lines from the centre. To each end you attach another 'H', half the size, with middle of the bar on the end of the previous larger H.

Your comments are referring more to the actual time between clocks that the chip has to perform some function. This is the propagation delay of actual logic. Again, the simple way to look at it is that each logic gate between the flops takes a fixed amount of time to respond to an input change, thus there is a limit to the number of logic gates in a chain that can sit between registers. There are other factors - e.g. setup and hold times for flops, clock skew (due to the distance between the register and an end point of the clock tree), fanout - but that's the basics of it. By adding pipeline stages you reduce the amount of logic gates that need to update between clock cycles, and thus you can run them faster. The downside is using more registers, more complexity, and in the case of processors particularly, the need to stall or flush pipelines, or predict behaviour of branches etc. so that the pipeline can be kept full.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 2) 221

"All I know is that I will NEVER trust people to run fission power stations as people cut corners and lie. They do so when government owned, and they do so when owned by a company."

You'd best get back in your cave then... Seeing as your more than likely trust people every day to provide food, clean water, medicines, transport, power and many other essential necessities. In every country there are people with the power to do you huge amounts of harm in ways that are far more subtle than by running a Nuclear power plant, and yet every day they tend not to. You trust a whole chain of people, from waiters not spitting in your soup to sheikhs not shutting of your oil supplies. You trust drivers not to run you down and you trust pilots not to mistake your house for a runway. Every so often that trust is breached, I agree, and that is a bad thing, but unless you live in complete isolation (which you don't - I've seen you posting on the internet!) you are ignoring all the other ways people could harm you every day and worrying about one that, statistically at least, is very unlikely to do you any harm at all.

Comment: Re:It's not necessarily ARM's solution (Score 1) 73

by squizzar (#44236801) Attached to: big.LITTLE: ARM's Strategy For Efficient Computing

I'm glad someone else pointed this out. The OP's complaint makes it sound like we're going to run out of silicon if we use too much. Also the 'juggling between cores not being ARM's problem' bit doesn't make a lot of sense: ARM have an awful lot of interest in producing something that provides a real-world performance/power envelope that is attractive to their customers. If, due to the complexity of operating the chip or some other factors, this is not practical or possible, the chip won't sell. It's suggesting that the likes of Samsung, Apple, HTC, Nokia, LG, Sony and many others just pick the chip because it had good marketing rather than a detailed analysis of the performance against the expected uses of the device.

Comment: Re:Car analogy (Score 1) 73

by squizzar (#44236667) Attached to: big.LITTLE: ARM's Strategy For Efficient Computing

So basically a KERS type system? e.g. a small ICE for range and a much more powerful electric/flywheel motor for acceleration? Depending on usage that may make more sense than the current system. An ICE that can sustain say 90mph whilst still providing some left over energy to be stored for acceleration. Worst case is you do lots of high speed starts and stops (e.g. driving like a tool in traffic or urban areas) which leaves you with only the ICE power - which would likely still be enough for most purposes.

Comment: Re:The system wrong? Unpossible! (Score 1) 239

by squizzar (#44223619) Attached to: Sent To Jail Because of a Software Bug

Yeah, that stuck in my craw as well. Obviously everyone is supposed to be all "Wooo 6 million transactions a day... they must be teh über-programmers! That system could never go wrong".

On second thoughts I should apply for a job. On a modern CPU I'd expect to be able to do 6 million things and find time to get a few of them wrong in less than a second! Must be able to get a cushy contract with performance figures like that.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.