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Comment Re: Simple (Score 1) 112

Because the emergency dialler requirement is not intended solely for the person who owns the phone. It's expected that any telephone that you pick up (land line or mobile) will work for emergency calls. This is also why landlines can still make emergency calls even if they are nominally disconnected by the phone company.

Comment Re:16 nm vs 14 nm (Score 3, Insightful) 241

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) 110

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:I guess they realised... (Score 2) 110

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:Time to drop the prices? (Score 1) 407

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) 316

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.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 3, Insightful) 267

No. RAID isn't better handled at other layers. If you don't know about the filesystem semantics then you need NVRAM or journalling at the block level to avoid the RAID-5 write hole. RAID-Z doesn't have this problem. If you're recovering a failed block-level RAID, then you need to copy all of the data, including unused space. With ZFS RAID (all levels), you only copy the used data. There are numerous other advantages to rearranging the layers, including being a lot more flexible in the provisioning.

It's also a mistake to think of ZFS as a layer. ZFS has three layers: the lowest handles physical disks and presents a linear address space, the middle presents a transactional object store, and the top presents something that looks like a filesystem (or a block device, which is useful for things like VM disk images).

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 267

2GB/TB is recommended if you're doing deduplication. That said, performance degrades quite smoothly. I've got a machine with 3x4TB drives in RAID-Z with only 8GB of RAM. Disk performance isn't great, but I mostly access it via WiFi and it's absolutely fine for that. Eventually I'll get a new motherboard for that can handle more than 8GB of RAM...

Comment Re:If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 1) 215

Note that mincabs are less strictly regulated than black cabs, but their prices are regulated, as are various other things (insurance that they must carry, the registration of their vehicles, requirement that the vehicles carry a taxi registration license plate, and so on). Uber is ignoring all of this regulation.

Comment Re:Monopoly on what exactly (Score 4, Informative) 215

Just saying "legal monopoly" doesn't mean much without details.

Licensed black cabs are the only vehicles that are allowed to be flagged down for in London. They're governed by Hackney Carriage laws in the UK[1] and also by some London-specific laws. Getting a license is relatively cheap (no medallion system), but does require passing a test that checks that has questions like 'what is the fastest route from A to B, assuming that it is rush hour and road X has road works?' There are 'mystery shoppers' who audit the taxi system: they flag down black cabs and take rides and, if the driver does not take the most direct route then they can lose their license. The mystery shoppers have varying ethnicities and manners of dress, and refusing to carry one will also result in a loss of the license. Black Cab drivers all know that if they break the regulations requiring them to carry anyone or try to scam a customer, then there's a chance that the customer that they're scamming may have the power to take their license on the spot.

The distinction between taxi and hackney carriage is increasingly irrelevant. I can't flag down a car owned by Generic Taxi Company #47 that's waiting near where I'm standing, but I can call the telephone number printed on the side from my mobile and have the dispatcher tell me that the car next to me is now assigned to me, and then get in. Before mobile phones were widespread, it was very different - you could only call that kind of taxi if you were near a landline (or used a public call box, which added a fairly significant amount to the cost for shortish trips). Uber and other taxi apps are the next step in this. It's now more convenient to press a couple of buttons on the phone than to flag down a passing cab, but the taxi that you get is not regulated in the same way. Uber attempts to claim that their reputation system and pricing model means that they don't need government regulation.

[1] This has caused some confusion in previous discussions: In the UK, legally speaking, a vehicle that can pick up people who flag them down on the street is called a hackney carriage, any vehicle that carries people for money is a taxi. In common usage, taxi is used for all categories.

Comment Re:None of the people I know that Like this Show.. (Score 4, Insightful) 391

I don't see that. Black face is intensely offensive. Big Bang Theory only insults people without a sense of humor who can't laugh at themselves

Blackface is offensive because it insults black people be reinforcing stereotypes that are not really true outside of prejudiced perception. The big bang theory, in contrast, insults geeks by reinforcing stereotypes that are not really true outside of a prejudiced perception. It's therefore completely different and not offensive.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau