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Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 1) 136

They didn't, the fastest P4 Xeon outperformed the fastest Athlons, but for any given Athlon the equivalent speed P4 was a lot more expensive. Once the Opterons came out, that changed: if you wanted the fastest x86 chip you could buy, you bought from AMD, especially in multi-socket configurations (quad-processor Opterons wiped the floor with memory-starved quad Xeons until Intel integrated the memory controller on die). Worse (for Intel), if you were willing to recompile your code you could get another 20+% out of the Opterons using the x86-64 ISA (more GPRs and cheaper PIC made a big difference, and a floating point ABI that used SSE exclusively and not x87 could give you a 100% speedup in float-heavy code, where even if the x86-32 compiler was using SSE registers for compute it was still losing performance moving them to and from the x87 register stack for function calls / returns).

Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 3, Informative) 136

The Thunderbird was nice, but it was more of a price/performance winner than overall performance. A 1GHz Thunderbird ran stable at 1.3GHz and was similar performance to a 2GHz Pentium 4 at a fraction of the cost (particularly as the P4 required RAMBUS DRAM, so you could stick twice as much DDR in Athlon for the same money). It wasn't until the Opteron that AMD really started winning on performance. The integrated DRAM controller was a big win and being first to 64 bits (which, on x86, means more GPRs, sane floating point ISA, and PC-relative addressing) gave them a huge advantage. Unfortunately, they haven't really been competitive since the Core 2, except in market segments where Intel intentionally cripples their offerings (e.g. no more than 2 SATA ports on the Atom Mini-ITX boards to avoid competition with the i3 boards, making AMD the only viable option).

Comment stars (Score 1) 89

Probably massively distorted by stars who accept all friend requests and serve as hubs.

Basically, when you make such a rule, you should have some kind of minimum standard for what qualifies as a "connection". If you bring it down to FB standards, which basically is "I once saw you from afar on the street", the distance is minimal. In real-world terms, if you actually would use "once saw you on the street", I'm fairly sure even for large cities the average would be something like 1.8

Comment Re: All I know is that this: (Score 2) 273

It's about both cost and risk analysis. If you've got a lot of infrastructure, then you've probably already got a team of decent admins. Adding another server has a very small marginal cost. If you haven't, then the cost is basically the cost of hiring a sysadmin. Even the cheapest full-time sysadmin costs a lot more than you can easily spend with GitHub. Alternatively, you get one of your devs to run it. Now you have a service that is only understood well by one person, where installing security updates (let alone testing them first) is nowhere near that top priority in that person's professional life, and where at even one hour a week spent on sysadmin tasks you're still spending a lot more than an equivalent service from GitHub would cost.

In both of the latter cases, the competition for GitHub isn't a competent and motivated in-house team. It is almost certainly better to run your own infrastructure well, but the competition for GitHub is running your own infrastructure badly and they're a very attractive proposition in that comparison.

Outsourcing things that are not your core competency is not intrinsically bad, the problem is when people outsource things that are their core competency (e.g. software companies deciding to outsource all of the development - it's not a huge step from there to the people working for the outsourcing company to decide to also handle outsourcing management and start up a competitor, with all of the expertise that should be yours), or outsourcing without doing a proper cost-benefit analysis (other than 'oh, look, it's cheaper this quarter!').

If you think outsourcing storage of documents is bad remember that, legal companies, hospitals and so on have been doing this for decades without issues - storing large quantities of paper / microfiche is not their core competency and there are companies that can, due to economies of scale, do it much cheaper. Oh, and if that still scares you, remember that most companies outsource storing all of their money as well...

Comment Re:The gun is pointing at the foot (Score 1) 421

Something of a biased set. I've been using Firefox on Android for over a year, and I am very happy with it. I wasn't aware until your post that Mozilla was collecting satisfaction stats, and even now I can't really be bothered to post there - but I probably would if I were unhappy with it. Firefox with the self-destructing cookies add-on is the only mobile browser that I've found that gives me the cookie management policy that I want.

Comment Re:Firefox 44 (Score 1) 421

Perhaps they're expecting people to install add-ons? Fine-grained cookie management was why I switched to Firefox on Android, but I actually ended up using the self-destructing cookies add-on, which has exactly the policy that I want: any site can set a cookie, but unless I explicitly opt in (which I can do retroactively with the undelete button) to keeping it, then it's deleted when I navigate away from the site. Everything works as if I had cookies set to automatically accept, but doesn't get to persist any state for me across visits unless I permit it to.

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

Similar solution, yes. See my comment above - a working model should be included in any patent application. And I can take your model and use it if I pay you, or I can invent my own without paying you. That was the whole idea of the patent system, wasn't it?

Software patents make the "I can invent my own" impossible. And that is where they went wrong.

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

The problem (or, if you prefer, great part) with this line of reasoning is that if you follow it to its logical conclusion, it strongly suggests that what you would need to submit as a "software patent" is, in fact, the source code, at least for the portion of the program that you wish to patent.

Correct.

Wasn't it that to get a patent you had to submit a working prototype or model? The same should be required for software.

Of course, we already have intellectual property protection for source code: copyright. So should there be software patents at all? Or should software patents replace copyrightable source code? Or should there be some kind of hybrid system, where you can have your source code patented, or copyrighted, but not both...?

I don't care, really. But if you claim the protection of two completely different laws with different time periods, intentions and consequences for the same thing, then there's something wrong.

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 293

history tells us that bombing and shelling cities full of your own civilians doesn't exactly instill a sense of gratitude and acceptance toward the government.

Even the most oppressive and tyrannical governments on the planet very, very rarely need to do that.

Look at tyrannies around the globe. You don't see tanks on every corner. You just need to have them, and bring them in once a decade to remind people.

Rebellions rarely have a whole city rising up in unison. They usually start small and if the government can ROFLstomp the whole thing before it has more than a hundred or so people in it - remember Waco? They probably thought the rest of the US would rally in their support, defend their freedoms and get out the guns. What makes you think your "freedom fighters" group will be different?

Comment Re: Militant Slashdot (Score 1) 293

All the high tech tanks and planes of the USA military proved useless against a determined insurgency in Vietnam. The Russians encountered the same thing in Afghanistan, as did the Israelis in their occupation of Lebanon.

I don't need a book to know that.

Now look at Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Would you like to live there? The Vietnam war ended around the time I was born, and they still are suffering through its aftermath. Afghanistan and Lebanon will not be rebuilt for at least two generations.

If the USA government can't defeat a few thousand lightly armed insurgents in a country the size of Afghanistan, how are they going to fight a few million similarly armed U.S. citizens in a country 12x (lower 48 states) the size?

If you seriously think that lazy americans who freak out completely when 3000 people die in a terror attack would stand 10% of an Afghan war equivalent, you are seriously deluded.

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