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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re: What's wrong with a scroll wheel? (Score 3, Interesting) 431

by willy_me (#48895711) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Usability of the scroll wheel as a center button varies greatly from mouse to mouse. With some mice it is impossible to use without scrolling and with others it is ok. My current mouse, the M525, is poor - but tolerable once you get used to it. My previous mouse, some generic Dell mouse, was much better.

One should go to a computer shop and try them out. Do not assume they are all horrible just because some are.

Comment: Re:Infrastructure (Score 5, Interesting) 206

by willy_me (#48808919) Attached to: China's Engineering Mega-Projects Dwarf the Great Wall

Had a Chinese friend that said the exact same thing. On that note, another friend explained to me why civil unrest in China is not going to happen any time soon.

The people love their government. Every year the quality of life for the average Chinese increases significantly. As long as this continues there will be no unrest. Say something bad about the Chinese government and the older generation will actually get mad.

The newest generation is different. They have not been without and have much higher expectations of their government. When this generation constitutes the majority and the older generation has died out you will have the potential for civil unrest.

In time China will become more like the Western world. And there is nothing wrong with taking some time. Force Democracy on a populous that is not ready for it and the results are not pretty.

Comment: Re:How is it misleading? (Score 4, Interesting) 103

by willy_me (#48783433) Attached to: Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

Canada extradites Canadians to the US on a regular basis. Typically, these people have committed a crime in the US and are being sent back to receive their punishment - also in the US. Only stipulation is that they can not receive the death penalty because Canadians do not consider it humane. The same thing applies to Americans who commit crimes in Canada.

The American and Canadian governments have an agreement in place to prevent criminals from jumping the boarder with hopes of avoiding punishment. This has not been used for cases of infringement. If they tried, it probably would not work.

Comment: Re:Getting ready to buy again here... apk (Score 1) 100

If you are not doing any data processing then simply increasing the RAM and using an SSD has a huge impact. I have a 2.9 GHz i7-920 and I can not see the difference between it and a more modern system. It was an excellent buy - 5 years and it is still great. The addition of an SSD was key to keeping it fast.

Sounds like you know what you're doing with respect to storage but using a modern SSD and maxing out the RAM will likely help. Video cards have also improved significantly in the past 5 years and might warrant an upgrade. Doubt you would notice much of a speed difference between it and a new computer.

Comment: Re:Poor AMD (Score 1) 78

These latest CPUs do not appear to improve CPU performance at all. They talk about GPU improvements, reduced energy consumption, and improved video encoding. If they did not bother mentioning CPU performance then you can be assured that it is minimal if any.

What they do talk about is price - $426 for 1000 units of the i7-5557U. With prices like that there will be a market for AMD CPUs. But it is a shame that AMD is not faster. With Intel the only game in town CPU prices will skyrocket. Even now, Intel appears to be competing more with themselves then AMD. Hard to warrant a computer upgrade these days.

Comment: Re:suggested by Netflix (Score 1) 437

by willy_me (#48730117) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"
Netflix is in the business of providing content and they want to sell it to you - but they are not allowed. So blame the content owners who want you to watch it on TV so that they get the higher ad revenue. Blocking VPN users will be part of the contract Netflix has with content owners and not something they do on their own accord.

Comment: Re: FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 1) 279

You have to use fuel consumption and required thrust "at loiter speeds" for your comparison to be accurate. Not saying you are wrong, but numbers can lie when provided without sufficient context. Different airframes, air resistance, loiter elevation. In this case the planes are so different I would want to hear it from pilots with experience flying them to know for sure.

Comment: Re:Sounds great! (Score 1) 552

by willy_me (#48677031) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Yes, a high minimum wage is required to prevent such a system from being abused. Either that or the employer should pay a set amount to the government in addition to whatever is paid to the employee. If a foreign programmer can remain hired for several years, despite an artificially high cost being applied to the employer, then give them a path to citizenship - the US well benefit from them.

US programmers are at a disadvantage due to the hight cost of education. Foreign educated programmers can afford to work for less due to state sponsored education. This fact breaks the market for labor which makes no allowances for these conditions. It is not fair and laws should exist to protect domestic workers.

Comment: Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by willy_me (#48601741) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

But Google makes money from targeted advertising - and they need to see your data for that. Google will always have the ability to view data stored on their servers because that is their basic business model. One has to pay for what you described. Apple claims to provide such a service. You pay for this indirectly by purchasing an Apple device.

So unless you shell out some cash there is no way to get free stable encrypted storage. The idea is nice, but economically unfeasible.

Comment: Re:The problem is cost per mm of silicon (Score 1) 75

by willy_me (#48413775) Attached to: Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

Remember that Intel has a massive war chest from $1000+ server CPU sales and $300+ desktop CPU sales,

This is true, but if Intel does not design better CPUs in a timely manner then those sales are going to drop dramatically. This is precisely the problem they are now facing. People are not buying new computers because those new computers are no faster then their old computers. But they are buying new mobiles.

Intel is competing against themselves. Unless they expand into a new market, as they are attempting to do with the mobile market, then the limited PC market will result in their demise. They can no longer rely on improved manufacturing to grow their market because we are reaching the limit of what is practical to manufacturer. Intel needs to produce a product people will want in the future or they will die. Everything Intel is currently doing demonstrates that they understand this and are acting accordingly.

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

by willy_me (#48413669) Attached to: Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions
Multiple CPUs require the ability to synchronize cache. This requires more pins - a lot more pins. The A8x is already saturated with pins so adding this feature is not simple. A much better solution would be to remove the GPU and replace with additional CPU cores. Such a CPU could have 8 real cores and would post some impressive benchmarks.

Comment: Re:Misleading Title (Score 1) 249

by willy_me (#48307451) Attached to: New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping
Space is about the only place such clocks would be of any use. I could see them being used to provide GPS like localization services for any craft designed to leave earth's orbit. For it to work you require synchronized clocks. But, unlike GPS, there is no way to perform such a synchronization. You end up having to rely on the accuracy of the two clocks.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 558

by willy_me (#48237115) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

With the system in Canada there is always the possibility that someone bugs the Interac reader. Everyone using the machine will have their card number and pin stolen. The perpetrators then usually wait for some time, often years, then make purchases using your account. Waiting makes it more difficult for the police to track down the retailer that had their hardware bugged. Once identified the banks have everyone who used that machine change their pin code to prevent further theft.

This has happened several times in Canada. People have even installed fake bank machines designed for the sole purpose of stealing this information. Interac is great but still a big target for theft.

Apple Pay, and probably Google wallet, prevent this type of attack. Theft becomes a non-issue. So long as you do not have your phone stolen and fingers removed, your money is safe. This is a big improvement over Interac and will save a significant amount of money currently being spent on fraud prevention / compensation.

What we need is competition in this field. Let Apple have their system and let Google do whatever they want. Keep the hardware interface (NFC) standardized so that newer, better systems can be designed. Keep away from proprietary pay terminals. Multiple solutions should work with the available infrastructure thereby limiting the entry barriers when competing in this market. It will be interesting to see what gets developed.

Comment: Re:Let's shit all over the customers (Score 5, Informative) 130

An informed individual posted an explanation for this. Apparently, the new Intel chips have different pinout requirements between the dual core and quad core variants - this is assuming you are soldering the CPU directly to the motherboard. Because of this difference Apple can not sell a quad core CPU without designing a new motherboard. So they sell it with the fastest CPUs that operate within the given power constraints and supports the required physical pinout.

In all likelihood, Apple will release a quad core update sooner rather then later. Holding off for 6 months gives them plenty of time to design the new hardware while also giving them the opportunity to make headlines once again in 6 months time.

The Mac Mini is a great little design. If one is in the market and wants to get the fastest one possible, it is probably best to either wait or purchase a quad of the previous model.

Oh, so there you are!