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Comment: Re:Except for Mozilla and Colts (Score 1) 84

Economic impact would be probably close to zero.

It depends on who blinks first. If the site that's broken is highly reliant on Chinese traffic (and it ISN'T hosted in China), then likely they'll cave and use another CDN. The economic impact to the site owners is probably greater than trying to ride it out hoping China would change its policies. (And many other countries - why is it China is singled out for its firewall, when most countries have similar setups?)

If the site has little Chinese traffic, they likely wouldn't notice.

Edgecast will probably the loser out in all this.

Comment: Re:Nope... Nailed It (Score 1) 178

by tlhIngan (#48435147) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

And let's not forget another role of manager - managing the customer.

Unless you want to dress up in a suit and tie because the customer expects it (some do) and babysit them for the week they're here and interface with them, those are tasks best left to the manager.

Dealing with customers is a huge part of being a manager because customers can become extremely demanding especially if they're doing site visits and need to be babysat. Best to have someone else being interrupted every 5 minutes than you trying to get some work done.

Comment: Re:Invite link? (Score 1) 276

by tlhIngan (#48435039) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

I would love one. I would actually pay as much as $100/month for a fully ad-free web experience (and I realize that most adds are not Google ads.) But $3/month is a no-brainer. Hope this includes YouTube.

Actually, most ads ARE Google ads. They're just done by companies and ad networks Google owns. After all, they have like 98% marketshare, while the 2% belong to those more questionable networks (the ones that advertise for sites that Google won't touch - e.g., torrent sites and the like).

Which brings up the question - does it only apply to ads served through Google Ads (which seems to be on the decline), or ads served by ALL of Google, including Google-owned ad networks like DoubleClick?

It's an important question because Google Ads makes up very little ads nowadays it seems, while Google-owned ad companies and networks still are the vast majority out there.

Ditto if it applies to AdMob for mobile apps as well.

Comment: Re:Wrong Question (Score 1) 194

by tlhIngan (#48422069) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

The question should be is a moral compass a help to society. Then the follow up is: What should we do given that we know a moral compass is a benefit to society but almost 0% of companies have one.

Actually, a lot of companies have a moral compass, even "evil" ones. I mean, do you consider Apple evil because they sue over patents? But what about their moral compass for environmental causes? Or supporting LGBTQ equality? The latter two have either caused problems with shareholders or the public.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 55

by tlhIngan (#48422013) Attached to: Nielsen Will Start Tracking Netflix and Amazon Video

What, you mean they haven't been tracking on demand and streaming video? Then, how are they at all relevant? The TV Tray Generation, who watches TV in real time and sits through the commercials, have been dying out for some time, and as a group are all but irrelevant now.

Actually, more people watch live TV than you think. DVRs are complex, and cable/satellite provided ones are generally unreliable and horrible to use, so most people actually DON'T use it. And a surprisingly large number don't bother skipping commercials because it's a PITA to do so when the box decides to add a second or two of latency to the response while you fast forward.

Plenty of people have DVRs purely because they want their HD programming, and that's what their cable company gave them. But they don't want to bother learning the DVR, they just want to turn on the TV and watch it.

For those third party DVRs like TiVo, if you're investing time and effort into it, then you're going to learn how to use it and use it to its fullest, so you're already a self-selected group that will skip ads and all that.

Thinking about it, this may help to explain why network suits regularly drop promising series that go on to become streaming favorites. It's not just that they don't understand their audience, but also that they're going by statistics from an organization that also no longer understands their audience.

Or, the streaming favorites appeal to the wrong people. Remember, the TV program ratings no one cares about When you hear the Big Bang Theory scored 5.5 last week, Neilsen gives that number away for free. That's not the product. The product stations want is the C3 or C7 numbers (minute-by-minute commercial ratings, live + 3 days or 7 days). The numbers Neilsen gives away for free are known as SD, L+3 or L+7 (Live+Same Day, Live + 3 days, Live + 7 days), which are absolutely worthless.

A show that people skip ads for should have a SD or L+3/L+7 number that's significantly higher than it's C3/C7 number, which means the free ratings of it should be high (e.g., 5.0 for BBT). The C3/C7 numbers for it would be low (which is what stations care about). So if your theory was true, then networks would drop a show with high ratings (C3/C7 numbers are secret because they're paid for by stations, so you rarely find out what they are).

No, there are plenty of reasons why a show is dropped. Firefly, for example, was only picked up by FOX because Joss Wheadon forced FOX to pick up Firefly if they wanted Buffy. (And FOX wanted Buffy). So politics ensured that Firefly intentionally wouldn't succeed so FOX could drop it the moment their contract said they could. Or the network plays Ping-Pong with the schedule so the show is at 7:30pm one night, 6:00pm the week after, completely absent the week after that, etc. Intentionally killing the ratings.

Oh, and networks love streaming services like Hulu and having the show up on their website, because they can ensure ads are unskippable.

Comment: Re:Not a jet pack (Score 1) 53

by tlhIngan (#48421891) Attached to: Martin Jetpack Closer To Takeoff In First Responder Applications

But the grandparent's point's two and three still apply - a medic sans equipment and supplies isn't much better than no medic at all, and you still need to get the patient evacuated. And all that assumes you know where the injured person is in the first place...

Well, he can carry basic supplies.

In a lot of cases, you just need a trained responder there ASAP while you dispatch a regular ambulance. Said ambulance can take easily 15-30 minutes to arrive even in an urban environment. The jetpack responder can be there within a few minutes, and being administering first aid.

I mean, what's the point of learning to do CPR if you see someone collapse? You're likely not carrying medical supplies so you can't really help the guy by doing anything other than CPR. Yet, the CPR can keep the guy alive long enough so when emergency services arrives, the guy is actually alive rather than dead.

Same goes with AEDs. Why do we wish for them everywhere?

Minutes count, and if you can get the passer by to do some basic first aid for the jetpack responder to arrive who can do more advanced first aid while waiting for the ambulance. Plus, some physically heavy activities like CPR require a crew because it's tiring. Most people probably can't continue for 15 minutes waiting for emergency services. Having a medic as a relief is invaluable.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 222

by tlhIngan (#48420935) Attached to: Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition

No it wasnt an amazing piece of hardware. The xbox360 should be looked at as a HUGE monstrous failure of design (RROD) that happened to have some really good games on it. The PS3 was FAR more elegant, complete and forward thinking compared to the 'doesnt even have HDMI' launch 360. I lost 3 xboxen, my day 1 full back compat PS3 is still going strong. Best $600 i ever spent on a device.

However, the PS3 was also slower and had less available RAM for games. Sure, you had 7 SPUs, but hardly any games used them, instead using the 2 PPUs instead (vs. the 3 PPUs in Xbox360). And the 256MB of system RAM (+256MB graphics) was a far bigger limitation than the 512MB available shared in the 360 (less wasted memory due to copied textures, etc.).

It's actually interesting when you boil it down - the Xbone is really a lot like the PS3 was - it was a not a great seller at first, and had weaker hardware. Of course, the PS3 later on became a respectfully decent machine (though the Xbox360 still routinely beat it in sales).

And given the sales numbers are far better this gen than last gen, with competition between Sony and Microsoft, things are only getting better on the console realm. Sony got arrogant after the PS2 to release the PS3 as it did, to which a humbled Microsoft (after the rather embarrassing security problems in the original Xbox) released the 360 to become the #1 console of last gen. Which got Microsoft arrogant and we have the reversed situation.

And the good thing is, the current gen of consoles seemed to have spurred on the PC gaming industry, which isn't a bad thing, either.

Comment: Re:By the same logic (Score 3, Interesting) 316

By the same logic, computers should not be allowed in any life-critical situation. That includes hospital equipment, airplanes, traffic control, etc. etc.

Fortunately, we don't judge the reliability of computers based on the ability to mathematically prove that nobody has put evil code in on purpose.

In your examples, there are humans in the loop.

In this case, you have a robot trying to autonomously decide "kill" or "don't kill" when it encounters a human.

Hospital equipment - it's generally observed by personnel who after failures can decide to not use the equipment further (see Therac 25), or that changes need to be made in order to use the equipment. The equipment never hooks itself up to a patient automatically and provides treatment without a human involved. Sure there are errors that kill people unintentionally, but then there's a human choice to simply take the equipment out of service. E.g., an AED is mostly autonomous, but if a model of AED consistently fails in its diagnosis, humans can easily replace said AED with a different model. (You can't trust said AED to take itself out of service).

Airplanes - you still have humans "in the loop" and there have been many a time when said humans have to be told that some equipment can't be used in the way it was used. Again, the airplane doesn't takeoff, fly, and land without human intervention. In bad cases, the FAA can issue a mandatory airworthiness directive that says said plane cannot leave the ground without changes being made. In which case human pilots check for those changes before they decide to fly it. The airplane won't take off on its own.

Traffic control - again, humans in the loop. You'll get accidents and gridlock when lights fail, but the traffic light doesn't force you to hit the gas - you can decide that because of the mess, to simply stay put and not get involved.

Remember, in an autonomous system, you need a mechanism to determine if the system is functioning normally. Of course, said system cannot be a part of the autonomous system, because anomalous behavior may be missed (it's anomalous, so you can't even trust the system that's supposed to detect the behavior).

In all those cases, the monitoring system is external and can be made to halt a anomalous system - equipment can be put aside and not used, avoiding hazardous situations by disobeying, etc.

Sure, humans are very prone to failure, that's why we have computers which are far less prone to failure, But the fact that a computer is far less prone to making an error doesn't mean we have to trust it implicitly because we're more prone to making a mistake. it's why we don't trust computers to do everything for us - we expect things to work but when indications are that it doesn't, we have measures to try to prevent a situation from getting worse.

Comment: Re:Yawn ... (Score 1) 163

by tlhIngan (#48418653) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Then your memory is very short lived. Amazon, Google, Apple, Dropbox, and others have all had very notable cloud outages over the past few years.

Of your list, only two are cloud providers, the others use other cloud providers. DropBox works using Amazon S3 and AWS. Apple's iCloud works over Azure.

Dropbox or iCloud dying independently of the underlying cloud provider has zero to do with the cloud as they were application level failures. And application level failures will happen regulardless of if it was done inhouse, offsite colo, or using a cloud service.

And yes, Apple doesn't want to do the cloud because well, Microsoft, Google and Amazon already are pretty big and good at it. Until those guys start abusing Apple to force it to use their own datacentres, it makes more sense to use those services than try to set up your own (usually poorly). Especially Apple - when they decide they want to do it in-house, things generally get very shaky for a while..

Comment: Re:Another annoying dependency? (Score 1) 534

by tlhIngan (#48418495) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

Still have problems with Pulse introducing latency and buffering issues in older apps. Still occasionally freaks out adding and removing USB audio devices. Occasionally have issues with Plymouth and new hardware. Why do they build up all these layers and dependencies, and make it hard to remove them?

Because it works. It lets you mix applications that play audio together. It doesn't matter if it's an ancient one looking for an OSS interface that you want to run at the same time as one using ALSA.

Yes, the new way has its issues, but it abstracts away the fact that the underlying interfaces are crude and don't often work the way people expect.

Take sound mixing - for example. Perhaps it's something as simple as wanting to listen to music or video and something happens (say, incoming message from IM or whatever). In the old days, without a mixer, it was exclusive - the second app simply didn't play a sound. Perhaps fine in the early days of computing, but multitasking environments need something better. (Classic MacOS had a mixer for a long time, prior to Windows supporting it (back in the Windows 3.1 days), then Windows 95 added support for mixing audio, and Linux was back in the dark ages).

If you were an app coder, doing sound on Linux in the early days was easy - you just used the OSS API. Then when they switched to ALSA, you could continue or add ALSA to the mix. But then if you wanted your app to work under GNOME or KDE, you needed to add support for that as well, and soon it was like writing for DOS - you having to write drivers in your code and abstraction layers in your code just to play audio universally. PulseAudio went to smooth that out so app developers can concentrate on writing their app, not supporting the dozens of audio interfaces one can have, and users weren't burdened with having to pick the right interface.

Sure, it's a bit tricky if you need a specialized configuration, but for most users, having It Just Works(tm) is far more important than trying to burden the 97% with having to deal with stuff the 3% need.

Comment: Re:Easy solution for the scientists^Polar Bears (Score 1) 48

by tlhIngan (#48418279) Attached to: Fish Tagged For Research Become Lunch For Gray Seals

Now that we've solved the problem of feeding seals, let's tag those seals so that polar bears (who are in serious decline) can get their share.

Not unless the seals get through the orcas first. (In the Pacific Northwest, there are two types of orca pods - "resident" and "transient". One of them pretty much eats just fish, the other, seals. If you go whale watching at the right time, you can see them catch seals. It's a rather organized affair - if the seal is on a floating object, the orcas bump into said object to send the seals flying (literally) through the air.

Seals also have adapted to humans - they know a fishing boat from a regular one, and will often try to steal fish from a fishing boat. There's a video where a seal swims behind a fishing boat, and the fisherman opens a hatch on the side of the boat, and you see the seal jump onto the boat.

Seals also often get close to regular boats where there are orcas around in an attempt to hide from said whales or seeking protection.

The problem isn't the impact it has on the ecosystem, it is that the test results can become skewed by the monitored fish becomes easier to catch.

A Heisenbug! The act of observation changes the result. (Often confused with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle even by Heisenberg himself, when the actual name is Observer Effect). In this case, observing the fish changes the result because those tags are now appealing to seals.

Comment: Re:How much longer will Foxconn need Apple? (Score 1) 107

by tlhIngan (#48417965) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

And you know.. the hardware. Seeing as their CPUs continually run circles around everyone and are even giving Intel a run for their money. The nvidia K1 in the Nexus9 (dual core 64bit version) looks promising but they had to clock it at 2.3Ghz and still lost to Apple at 1.5ghz.

Not really. Apple hardware isn't all that impressive - single core specs show the A8 isn't as fast as say a 2.5GHz Snapdragon (32-bit mode).

However, the secret sauce of iOS IS what is important as it's more efficient, letting a relatively puny 1.5GHz A8 run circles around Androids that run far faster 2.5GHz CPUs.

Nevermind said Androids have easily a 1.5-3x memory bump (1 or 2GB vs. 3GB in the newest Android phones).

Spec-sheet wise, the only thing Apple really has over everyone else is 64-bit (which admittedly isn't about memory, it's about speed - AArch64 runs code much faster because a lot of AArch32 features were stripped to be more compatible with a superscalar core).

Of course, a big part of it is Apple is able to tweak the software to their needs and spend time doing so. Samsung doesn't have that luxury when they release more than 1 new smartphone a week (56 so far in 2014 alone!) and 1 new tablet every two weeks. Or LG, which released 41 since the start of the year. Versus Apple's 6 or so (4 of which were just minor tweaks of the base model)..

(And given Apple actually does design and development in the US, I find it hard for them to "just be a brand". Here, Nokia basically farmed it all out to Foxconn, including support. Apple still does in-house support (not even an Indian call centre - in Texas), in-house industrial design, in-house SoC design, etc. Sure, they work with Foxconn, but that's more in talks with Foxconn on how to make the products. In Nokia's case, Foxconn is an ODM (original design manufacturer - basically they design and support the product), while Apple use Foxconn as a CM (contract manufacturer - they just take the parts given and assemble/test/ship))

Comment: Re:iOS Developer Program and XNA Creators Club (Score 2) 176

by tlhIngan (#48412227) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Security Patch For Windows

The "$99 per year recurring fee to run software you wrote on a machine you own" policy that Apple implemented in iOS was strikingly similar to the "$99 per year recurring fee to run software you wrote on a machine you own" policy that Microsoft had already implemented on Xbox 360.

Only for iOS. OS X still has free Xcode development tools available. They used to ship with the OS, but now it's in the Mac App Store as a separate download. And this started before Microsoft created the Express edition of Visual Studio.

Case in point: Unlike Apple with the iPad, Microsoft has allowed for a free-of-charge developer license on Windows RT, where you pay only once it's time to upload your app to Windows Store.

Great, so Microsoft makes it a one-time payment to code for a dead platform? And given the struggles Microsoft has with their app store(s), it's no wonder Microsoft is trying all sorts of things because developers aren't willing to code for a marginal platform like Windows RT or Windows Phone. They have to make it super cheap or free because developers wouldn't code for it otherwise.

Comment: Re:Life + 50 years almost everywhere (Score 2) 55

by tlhIngan (#48412067) Attached to: Machine-Learning Algorithm Ranks the World's Most Notable Authors

I quickly checked Wikipedia, and most countries seem to stick with at least "Life + 50yr" term. That is a great achievement of the lobbyists.

Some island nations seem to have no known copyright legislation, but they are still usually parties to some limiting international treaties, and also have similar restrictions under other names ("unauthorized copying", etc.)

Seriously, is there no place on Earth with more reasonable terms?

You have to realize that most countries are bound by the Berne Convention w.r.t. copyrighted works. This is simply where all signatories have agreed to respect each other's copyright claims. Before that, well, an author can very well find their work pirated and indeed, one of the biggest industries in the New World Colonies was... piracy. Ben Franklin and others who owned printers realized that copyright didn't apply to them, so they promptly began making copies of everything - books, sheet music, etc.

Comment: Re:Can Apple Move to ARM on the Desktop? (Score 1) 75

by tlhIngan (#48411963) Attached to: Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

Given the fairly lame update to the Mac Mini caused mainly by the lack of choices in Intel's mobile CPU offerings (and Apple's refusal to design and stock a separate motherboard just for quad core), I'm wondering just what would it take for Apple to make yet another CPU transition. They must hate being dependent on the release schedules of Intel for when it comes to putting out Macs, and the A8X is nearly the performance of a couple years ago MacBook Air.

Highly unlikely.

First of all, the Mac Mini, like the Mac Pro, isn't a strong seller. Apple pretty much updated it "because it was there" - the Mini was last updated in 2012 and it was lacking all the nice stuff like Haswell.

The only thing is, enough people buy Mac Minis and Mac Pros that they're still relevant, just not enough to put any design effort into. See the iPods - they still sell, but not in huge enough quantities to put much effort making a next-gen version. We're at the A8, and the iPod Touch is running on an A5 core.

Apple went with Intel not because of the roadmaps or delays, but because when intel says they can make a million of a part, they can actually do it. Apple dumped Motorola for IBM when the former over promised and under-delivered (Motorola didn't really care for Apple's business anyways since their embedded PowerPCs were doing quite well). But then IBM had the same problem (and IBM was getting distracted by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) making high-end G5s, so Apple looked around. They could've gone AMD, but AMD also has issues making high end parts in sufficient quantity, leaving only Intel.

Intel owns super high end fabs, and they have plenty of capacity so when Apple places the order for 1M top end parts, they can be reasonably sure they will get 1M parts within the timeframe specified.

Nothing happens.