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Comment Re:16 nm vs 14 nm (Score 3, Insightful) 170

I'm not particularly familiar with either company's process, but it's been a couple of generations since you could actually make meaningful comparisons based on the quoted nm size, because everyone has different smallest features that they measure when deciding that they are Xnm. That said, we passed the end of Dennard scaling a long time ago. You'd expect the same chip to be consuming about as much power, be slightly more able to dissipate the heat. It may also have less leakage, though that depends on a number of other factors.

Comment Re:Yes and? (Score 1) 79

His point about ownership is spot on, however. Newer EFL is starting to use an IDL so that it can integrate with other languages. I talked to the designer of it at FOSDEM. The idea that your IDL couldn't just use char* for strings (without something to indicate that these ones were null-terminated strings and these other ones were data buffers whose length is represented in this other parameter) and needed to know who was responsible for freeing pointers had not occurred to him. My interest in Enlightenment ended shortly after that: it's not just FFIs that need to know these things, it's C programmers too, and if the underlying APIs are not designed with this in mind then code using them is going to be buggy.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 3, Interesting) 170

I don't understand why people freak out when a tech vendor releases a new model, as if they are forced to buy it or the one they have is suddenly going to explode. I do think some large vendors are guilty of abandoning support for their legacy products a bit to quickly. Nobody gets all nuts about the fact the Chrysler/Ford/GM/Honda/VW/Mercedes/etc bring out new models every year; often with slight improvements, usually with other changes you may or might not like.

Comment Re:I guess they realised... (Score 1) 79

It's not that supporting the old things slows things down, it's that it doesn't speed things up. It actually does cause some problems, because various things in the X11 protocol use 8-bit fields of which a significant space is used by legacy stuff that no one uses anymore, but that's largely worked around in newer extensions.

If you're in a world where most applications are sending commands like 'draw line from x,y to x1,y1' then X11 network transparency is really fast. At the protocol layer, anyway - if you use xlib then performance will suck unless network latency is very low because it adds a synchronous API on top of an asynchronous protocol (XCB fixes this). Modern applications don't do that, they typically render pixmaps and just have the X server composite them. X11 can still do a reasonable job here, with XDAMAGE, XFIXES, and XRENDER, allowing you to keep most of a pixmap (a Picture, in fact) on the server, update image data in selected parts, and do all of the compositing in the server. The problem is that none of the X11 toolkits actually do this very well. Wayland doesn't solve this at all - it simply says 'well, grab an OpenGL context and send drawing commands'. That works okay - the OpenGL protocol allows you to copy textures to the server (and the GPU) and composite them very fast. The problem is that this approach also works fine in X11, and with X11 you get network transparency when you do it (which works reasonably).

The main criticism I'd have of X11 is that it puts too much state on the server. There is no way, at the X protocol layer (or even in the low-level X libraries) of saying 'disconnect this window from this display, reconnect it here', or 'oh, my X server has crashed, recreate my state on this newly restarted version'. The latter worked fine in BeOS almost 20 years ago and works fine in Windows today. The former worked on NeWS 30 years ago. Both are use cases that I'd love to see addressed for modern devices. The Wayland solution to this is 'write a web app'.

Comment Re:...uhh (Score 2) 163

My thoughts would be that any intelligence we could ever recognize and have any communication with would have to work like our own at least in that it seeks out patterns in stimuli.

Even if you communicate ultrasonically, heck even if you see that way you still exist in the same N-dimensional universe we do. So if you are looking at a TV signal that you have notices does not fit the normal background pattern of EM and start trying to make sense of it. Eventually you might be able to work out hey this is a series of half resolution projections from three dimensions onto two over a range of spectrum. Would it be one hell of puzzle, you bet but I think a solvable one for the sufficiently intelligent, interested, advanced extra terrestrial species even if they are quite different from us.

4/3(pi)r^3 describes the volume of a sphere, pi is still the relevant constant. pi describes both circles and spheres nicely with multiplication. 4(pi)r^2 gives you the area of a sphere. Ah but area of a circle (pi)r^2, you think that is more natural and apparent that ((1/2)tau)r^2. Whole number multiplication is a more natural operation than division. I have studied the matter of tau greatly but the equations I can think of off the top of my head let me do more with pi being the only non integer coefficients. Which I think makes it clearer what the 'special' relation is.

Comment Re:Are the laws of physics the same everywhere? (Score 1) 163

Laws of physics allows for Randomness, or at least a complex set of cause and effects that is beyond the ability to predict, as the attempt to measure all the factors will change their outcome, or a less sciency person may say these values we cannot be controlled by us are being controlled by a greater intelligence force. Needless to say in all intensive purposes there is randomness. Random stuff tends to balance itself out on the macro scale. Planets and Stars are round, and they orbit each other in elliptical orbits, they spin in galaxies.... But as you get into the smaller we find more randomness. That sandy beach may be made from different rocks, which may have a different properties. So animals who evolved to live on these beaches had adapted to deal with these difference, embracing the environments strengths and protecting itself from its dangers. So a bug evolved on one sandy beach with sand that has smooth edges may be more prone to digging in it to hide, while sand with sharper edges may be better used to cover the animal as to protect itself.
The environment you exist on will direct how you evolve. Our brains are designed for grassy plains, where we walk upright to be taller than grass, we can use our eyes and ears to find prey and avoid predators. Our smell isn't so great, but being above the grassline the stuff we would be able to smell wouldn't be as useful information. But we had learned to communicate with sight and sound.
An alien would have evolved with a much different set of random elements. Say like a bunch of mole men. No need for eye-sight. but much more on smell and sound. An intelligent group of life forms with less or no site would be making different observations. Except for reaching to the stars, they may be wanting to dig to the planet core. And they share information over the sniffernet. Their world view would be alien to us making communication difficult. and even undetectable by other advanced races.

Comment Re:Animals (Score 2) 163

We can communicate with animals. We can learn there gestures, mannerisms, vocal noises, even analyse the smells they produce. We can often tell if they are happy, sad, angry at least for mammals and birds. However animals don't have the same level of communication that people do. Sure some animals makes complex sounds but it doesn't mean they are performing complex grammar. A Dolphin going Screech - Chirpity - click - click may just mean "Fish over here", and perhaps an identifier on who he is.
We can identify this stuff. We think we cannot communicate with animals because we don't get into these deep conversations with them but they don't think like that. They are not that deep.

Comment Re:Time to drop the prices? (Score 1) 376

The number for nuclear seems right, as the UK government has agreed to guarantee a price of £89.5/MWh for new nuclear plants, but the current wholesale price for electricity in the UK is £44/MWh (from the same source). Given that that's half the cost of all of the generation mechanisms that you describe, I wonder what most of the power is coming from and noticing that oil is conveniently absent from your list. If oil prices keep going up over the next 10 years, then it looks as if nuclear will become a lot more attractive, which is why the government is guaranteeing the price (they're betting that £90/MWh is going to seem cheap by the time the new plants are online).

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem is regarding management as a position of importance that people are promoted to. Management is a specialisation, just like accounting or programming. You wouldn't say that a good manager should be promoted to being an accountant or to being a programmer, or that people who are accountants are the most important in the organisation. Manager is an administrative position and should be regarded as such, not as a leadership role that is somehow more important (and worthy of more pay) than the people that they are responsible for. HP did this (long ago) with parallel technical and management tracks. Managers were often less senior than the people that they were managing.

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.