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Comment Re:It seemed too good to be true... (Score 1) 109 109

Neither of those OS's, by default, farm you for information. Google does offer you lots of services you really want in exchange for letting them farm you... But there are alternatives and you're free to chose them.

It sounds like here, Microsoft is doing the farming at the OS level. I don't know if that's true or not, I'll wait to hear more. But if it's true, this version of Windows is DOA. It could have been the one toehold MSFT could have had to fend off Google and they're throwing it all away.

Comment Re:Jeremy clarkson does not approve (Score 1) 564 564

Most cars get "automatic updates" from the dealer whenever you bring it into service. There's usually a long list of non-critical recalls that neither the manufacturer nor he dealer is keen to tell you about, but if you get service at the dealer all the fixes will be quietly applied. More and more, these are firmware patches.

So, to answer your question "so commonly that most people never realize there was an update". Tesla is somewhat unique in adding new features this way, but fixes are quite common.

Comment What did you read? (Score 1) 109 109

It could not have been TFA because there are only 2 mentions of Google in the whole post. One of those is a disclaimer that the person has consulted for Google but is not doing so presently. The other is: Being careful with your data isn't just a Microsoft thing. My views of Microsoft and Google are pretty much diametrically opposed -- I have enormous faith in Google and Googlers doing the right thing with respect to protecting the data I share with them, but even in the case of Google -- with whom I share a great deal of data -- I'm selective about what I do share.

I put the parts you didn't read or didn't pay attention to in bold so that even a moron can find them.

You would have been okay if you had said she favored Google in the article, but to claim it's a shill is completely dishonest.

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 564 564

They can potentially be powered by unicorn giggles, but there's still a lot of coal power in the US, and coal-powered cars aren't great by any measure. Worse, the only "renewable" (what a BS buzzword) power that scales is solar, and that's a poor choice for the mostly-nighttime load of charging cars.

There's no energy shortage in the first place to be worried about: the only good reason to buy an electric car is if it's a better car for the price. The Tesla Model S still isn't really, at the price, unless you're buying for 0-60 times (which I might well do), but for the first time it's close. The real test will be the Model 3 - potentially revolutionary, but so are a lot of things you can't actually buy.

Comment Re: Bravo (Score 1) 85 85

Yeah, the outcome is great. I just wonder why they waited more than a year to look into it. Maybe this will set a good example for the industry that with a little bit of effort you can take care of your customers and sell more product.

If this were the 80's and a hard drive vendor had more than two reports of data loss under, say VMS, there would have been engineers on a plane to DEC by morning to get it solved by the coming weekend.

Now we have thousands of users with reports and millions of units sold, and a wealthy vendor, and it's all crickets, leaving some kernel hackers to half-ass a blacklist. It's not like this is BeOS - there are millions of servers running in the target market. I don't mean to absolve the bad troubleshooting by kernel devs, but want to know what drove the apathy at Samsung (and other vendors behaving poorly). It's obviously not profit motive.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 564 564

I get that. I'm having my electrical box replaced this Friday due to corrosion of the rails from a water leak, which is putting me out $600 all told because we initially thought it was the air conditioning unit that went bad. Ouch. Still, I'd rather be in control of the situation than have a landlord as a middle man. My mortgage (sans taxes) is only about $800 a month for a 2 bedroom rancher with full basement and attic, and a 180 foot long yard; I know some local places where the rent is that high for much less property/housing, yet those occupants will never see equity in their home or any kind of ROI, which is a shame.

I'm renting a 1700 sq ft house right now for $1360 a month. We are in the process (inspection is tomorrow) of buying a 2000+sq ft house with a mortgage payment of just over $1000 a month (does not include taxes and got a loan with no PMI). Both are 3 bedroom houses but the one we are buying has a completely updated kitchen with granite and new stainless steel appliances while the rental had crappy laminate countertops and cabinets and standard white appliances. Even if we average $2500 a year in repairs we are still saving money.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 479 479

No i am thinking of a warp drive. The Alcubierre drive or space time metric in particular. It the sort of metrics that lead to closed timelike space curvature or whatever (its been a while), ie time travel. In all these cases various things are not conserved that are wildly held to be conserved, requires negative energy etc.

Ah, sure, lots of things are called "warp drives" I guess. Yeah, that sort of drive seems wildly impractical for all sorts or reasons.

What I'm talking about is somewhat different: it's an asymmetric warping of spacetime in just the same (smooth and continuous) way that all mass distorts spacetime symmetrically, such that you "fall" in some chose direction. It doesn't require the same exotic material as a wormhole, but I think it requires soemthing equally exotic (it's been a while, but I vaguely remember there are 2 different kinds of negative mass).

Sure math can be predictive. But that leads you in the direction of a experiment, it is the experiment that matters.

No argument there. But if someone were really demonstrating a drive with unexpected properties, not just stage magic, that's an experiment worth repeating.

In otherwords we design the math to fit the universe we live in.

We do, but then we see what else that math predicts. Most of the really crazy-non-intuitive stuff in QM has come from very unexpected consequences of the math that later proved out in experiment.

Heck, the whole crazy idea that the universe once had an additional field that certain particles couple with, preventing change in spin polarity without energy input, but then that field "condensed:, and now those same particles can spontaneously change spin - that's all just seeing where the math led. Until the Higgs Boson was found, a big chunk of electroweak theory hadn't been directly confirmed by experiment.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 194 194

I didn't make it suitably clear; but the 'complexity' is really more of a historical issue. The fact that you can get power transistors, digital logic, and similar solid-state goodness for peanuts, possibly even less than the carbon brushes or other electromechanical alternatives, is a comparatively recent thing in historical terms.

Now that you can, doing so is pretty compelling for any but the highest-power tasks; but it has not always been the case that you can throw semiconductors at a problem for astonishingly tiny amounts of money. Today it is; but a lot of very clever electromechanical, inductive, and similar tricks were developed during the time that it was not.

Comment Re:Low cost chip, high cost support (Score 3, Interesting) 56 56

What I find a bit weird about SPARC's near-total obscurity is that(please correct me if I'm wrong on the details; but to the best of my understanding from what I've read) the ISA is available for use on a royalty-free basis, and there are even a few BSD or GPL verilog implementations out there. That's even less encumbered than MIPS(which has some patents that the owners like to wave around on a couple of useful instructions).

My naive expectation would have been that SPARC on such liberal terms would show up a bit more often embedded in various chips that need some sort of CPU to do housekeeping, as the ISA of security and/or nationalism driven 'indigenous technology' efforts, and potentially even as the cheaper-than-ARM option for application processors.

Clearly that hasn't actually happened, and it's mostly ARM in SoCs and application processors(with PPC holding out in certain automotive and networking niches for some reason; and MIPS in router SoCs and the occasional Chinese vanity project); so ARM's license fees must just not sting that much.

Building SPARC parts that go toe to toe with Xeons would obviously be a much more ambitious project(as well as an act of directly fucking with Intel's juciest margins, which they probably won't take very kindly); but I am surprised by the fact that SPARC is so rare among the zillions of devices that have no need for x86 compatibility and are mostly about delivering performance in the gap between beefy microcontrollers and weak desktops for as little money as possible.

Comment Re:Well, sure, but... (Score 1) 268 268

Consumers don't care if their bread is made from Calingiri or Ytipi.

But consumers DO care if their food is made from GMOs, so just put a label on it.

Outside of GMOs, what do you normally think of companies that make decisions for consumers? Maybe Samsung doesn't think you need to know what kind of processor is in your cell phone, because well, it's pretty much the same, and you probably won't notice the difference. How about if a company that sells socks doesn't think you need to know if the socks you buy are really 100% cotton or a 60-40 blend of cotton and polyester? What if the company doesn't think you need to know if the socks in the package or green or brown?

Remember, it's consumers who are paying the bills. They're the ones paying for the GMOs, and for all the research and for the marketing and press releases like the one in the article and for the high-paid lobbyists that are working to thwart their preferences. In most things, the person who's paying the bills gets to decide. The fact that you don't think consumers need to know something doesn't mean you get to decide whether they get to know something.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 564 564

Not worth it yet next to my $15k one year old used Ford Taurus (yeah that was bought a few years back). Getting closer though.

Nor my 2014 Focus I bought brand new with a 10K trade in, 2k down, and $125 a month payments for 3 years. With over 30mpg highway and gas prices as low as they are, the price difference in gas compared to the 2006 V8 Tundra I traded in more than makes the monthly payments, and wiht an 80 mile round trip work commute an EV is nowhere near practical for me anyway.

Comment Re:Uncontrollable? (Score 1) 57 57

What's to fix?

Too windy? A 3d printed drone won't be applicable for that mission, much the same way a Zodiac-based landing party wouldn't be suitable during a hurricane.

Need to launch? Toss in air. It's launched.

Go old school. Take what is essentially an old K-gun depth charge launcher and add a container for the drone that breaks apart at a certain height. This would allow the drone to get far enough away from the wind for controlled flight and doesn't waste power on the drone by having to take off in all the wind.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.