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Comment: Re: customer-centric (Score 1) 254

To answer your questions about Ukraine:

Supply Ukraine with weapons and training on them immediately . Anti armour weapons, man packable anti aircraft missiles, personal weapons, tanks (leopards would be nice), APCs, etc etc. Yes I know significant training is needed on some but it can be expedited/sped up (I have military experience from when I was younger so I'm not naive). The concept of running a tank should be the same to any tank crew for example... it is just the specifics of each model. Worrying about Russia learning about them is silly. They likely know a whole lot about our stuff already.

Fire Germany's reactors back up so they can reduce or eliminate Russian natural gas. Heavy meaningful sanctions that will actually hurt Russians at home. You do understand qthat Russia wants Ukraine under its thumb after this don't you? What Putin wants will essentially be Russia on the Polish border. He was an agent in Germany. He dreams of owning the Baltic states, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, etc. again. And when he has them, the rest of Europe will be scratching their collective arses and saying, "Gee, how'd that happen?"

And quite frankly I'd love to see my government force natural gas pipelines to our coasts (and fast) so we can be an alternate supplier of natural gas to Europe. Fuck Putin and anyone in Russia who supports him.

Comment: Good (Score 2) 7

by TheRaven64 (#47794547) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

I use OSMAnd on my phone[1], but my girlfriend recently bought a Windows Phone and I've been very impressed with Nokia's mapping app (I actually like a lot of what Microsoft's done with Windows Phone 8, but it's a strange mix of very polished and well-designed UI parts and completely unfinished parts with missing features). It's good to see more competition with Google maps, which is becoming increasingly entrenched in spite of the fact that the UI is pretty poor in many regards and the mapping data is terrible. For example, here they're missing (or have in the wrong places) most of the cycle paths, which ends up with people regularly getting lost if they rely on Google, in spite of the fact that all of this data is in OpenStreetMap.

[1] For me, it's the killer app for Android. Offline maps, offline routing, and open source backed by high-quality mapping data from OpenStreetMap. I use the version from the F-Droid store, which doesn't have the limitations of the free version from Google Play and it's one of the few open source apps that I've donated money to.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 33

by TheRaven64 (#47794461) Attached to: RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake
Remember when the SoundBlaster Live! came out and Creative Labs were telling you that it had as much processing power as a Pentium 166MHz MMX, dedicated entirely to sound processing? Well, it turns out that now you can have far more CPU power than that dedicated entirely to sound processing without custom hardware...

Comment: Re:no price? (Score 1) 66

by TheRaven64 (#47794381) Attached to: MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

Just curious, what's so wrong with branch with delay slot and isn't that more native way to look at branch ?

They're a pain for people on both sides of the ISA.

The compiler has to find an instruction that can run after the branch. This is normally trivial for calls, but for conditional branches within a function it's often difficult to find an instruction that you can put there. It has to be one that is either from before the jump (or in both basic blocks after the jump), but that the branch doesn't depend on (because it's executed after the branch instruction). This means that you quite often end up padding the delay slots with nops, which bloats your instruction cache usage. On a superscalar implementation this is the only cost, but on a simple in-order pipeline it's also a completely wasted cycle.

On the other side, it's a pain to implement. It made sense for a three-stage pipeline in the original MIPS, because you always knew the next instruction to fetch. A modern simple pipeline is 5-7 stages though, so your branch is still in register fetch (if there) by the time the delay slot is needed. It doesn't buy anything and it means that, if you're doing any kind of speculative execution (even simple branch prediction, which you really need to do to get moderately good performance) then you have an extra dependency to track - you can't just use the branch as the marker and flush everything after it, you need to do some reordering. In a superscalar implementation, you need to do even more complex things in register renaming to make it work.

Comment: Re:can it get me home from the bar? (Score 1) 229

by theshowmecanuck (#47793855) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars
Which is why the previous UK government was looking at road pricing, even going so far as a pilot study with four companies (I worked directly on this for one of them). And as cars move to alternative fuels/power many places that use tax revenue generated gasoline and diesel will be looking very seriously at doing this for real.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1, Funny) 254

Europeans, when push comes to shove, are generally useless when it comes to standing up for what is right. So even though these are foreign, presumably European emails, residing on European servers, once the appeal process finishes Microsoft will start downloading the data to US servers. And then the EU nations will promptly call a summit, bicker amongst themselves till the download is complete, whine a lot, but ultimately do nothing. Just like they are doing with Ukraine. Given a choice of doing something meaningful that needs doing but might cause some discomfort and conflict, they would rather rationalize why they don't do anything. Kind of like Obama too (and I am not a Republican/conservative or libertarian... I'm independent).

Comment: Re:What a stupid question (Score 1) 122

by khasim (#47791893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Asking nerds what apps are good is like strolling into a literature forum and asking "I haven't read a book in 15 years - anything new out that you think is good?"

Well this "Twilight" series is a best seller. As is this "50 Shades of Grey".

I really with the old Twilight Zone was still running. I think that that premise would make a great episode.

Comment: Mod parent up. (Score 1) 229

by khasim (#47791829) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

I'm going to map my drive to work, by driving it a few dozen times.

And that is if you are the ONLY person with a robot car on that road. Which may be correct for the initial roll-out. But this is a great example of the "network effect". If 100 people in your state own robot cars then a LOT of your state will be continuously mapped / re-mapped / re-re-mapped / etc.

Are we really whining because a brand new technology can't do EVERYTHING for us? Because it only takes care of MOST of the drudgery?

There is space to be filled and page hits to be collected. Demanding instant perfection for every edge-case is a good way of doing both.

Google has logged over 700,000 miles in those vehicles. Without a single robot-controlled accident.

There might be problems in certain weather conditions. Or in certain other conditions. Or whatever. In which case the driver should take over.

And since it is software, eventually those problems should be solved.

Comment: Usual despicable fear-mongering (Score 1) 338

by gweihir (#47791741) Attached to: Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

Some cretins dreaming about bio-weapons does not give them any real capability. And no, they are neither easy to make nor cheap nor easy to use. This is just the usual exceedingly unethical fear mongering used to sell more copy and to keep the population docile.

It is also not a new tactics, but most people are still cretins that fall for it every time:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -- H.L. Mencken


Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps? 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-an-app-for-picking-apps-that-pick-apps dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The phone app ecosystem has matured nicely over the past several years. There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not. Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new(ish) apps are you aware of? This can be anything from incredibly slick, well-designed single purpose apps to powerful multi-function apps to entertainment-oriented apps.

Comment: It probably can. (Score 4, Insightful) 229

by khasim (#47791473) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Judging by how badly TFA was written.

If a new stop light appeared overnight, for example, the car wouldn't know to obey it.

Got it. So the cars cannot handle changes in traffic markers.

Google's cars can detect and respond to stop signs that aren't on its map, a feature that was introduced to deal with temporary signs used at construction sites.

So they cannot deal with new stop LIGHTS but they can deal with new stop SIGNS. WTF?

But in a complex situation like at an unmapped four-way stop the car might fall back to slow, extra cautious driving to avoid making a mistake.

And it would be "unmapped" for the first attempt. Right? Because the cars should be sending back data on road conditions and such to HQ. Right?

Maps have so far been prepared for only a few thousand miles of roadway, but achieving Google's vision will require maintaining a constantly updating map of the nation's millions of miles of roads and driveways.

And the car needs the map to drive, right?

Google's cars have safely driven more than 700,000 miles.

So they just drove over the same "few thousand miles of roadway" again and again and again and again? Until they got to 700,000 miles?

The car's sensors can't tell if a road obstacle is a rock or a crumpled piece of paper, so the car will try to drive around either.

As it should. Because you don't know if that piece of paper is covering a rock or a pothole or whatever.

For example, John Leonard, an MIT expert on autonomous driving, says he wonders about scenarios that may be beyond the capabilities of current sensors, such as making a left turn into a high-speed stream of oncoming traffic.

Isn't that one of the easier problems? The car waits until it detects a gap of X size where X is dependent upon the speed of oncoming vehicles and the distance it needs to cross PLUS a pre-set "safety margin".

Comment: Re:Patent on this new feature (Score 2) 66

by TheRaven64 (#47791453) Attached to: MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board
No idea. I don't know if the instructions for computing PC-relative addresses in an ISA without an architectural PC are patentable. They also exist in RISC V (not sure which came first), so if they do then it's going to be a problem for Kriste et al. Nothing else in there is especially novel: like ARMv8, it's a nicely designed compilation target, but it doesn't do anything that's especially exciting.

I didn't look at the floating point stuff in much detail, so there may be something there, although the biggest changes in recent versions of the MIPS specs have been that they're more closely aligned with the IEEE floating point standards, so it's hard to imagine anything there.

The biggest difference between MIPS64r6 and ARMv8 is that the MIPS spec explicitly reserves some of the opcode space for vendor-specific extensions (we use this space, although our core predates the current spec - it's largely codifying existing opcode use). This allows, for example, Cavium to add custom instructions that are useful for network switches but not very useful for other things. ARMv8, in contrast, expects that any non-standard extensions are in the form of accelerator cores with a completely different ISA. This means that any code compiled for one ARMv8 core should run on any ARMv8 implementation, which is a big advantage. With MIPS, anything compiled for the core ISA should run everywhere, but people using custom variants (e.g. Cisco and Juniper, who use the Cavium parts in some of their products) will ship code that won't run on another vendors' chips.

Historically, this has been a problem for the MIPS ecosystem because each MIPS vendor has forked GCC and GNU binutils, hacked it up to support their extensions, but done so in a way that makes it impossible to merge the code upstream (because they've broken every other MIPS chip in the process) and left their customers with an ageing toolchain to deal with. I've been working with the Imagination guys to try to make sure that the code in LLVM is arranged in such a way that it's relatively easy to add vendor-specific extensions without breaking everything else.

Imagination doesn't currently have any 64-bit cores to license, but I expect that they will quite soon...

Comment: Mod parent up. (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by khasim (#47791297) Attached to: Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

This is the primary problem with "sweep" methods of collecting data.

There MIGHT be something in the "sweep" that MAY impact a current investigation. Therefore, ALL of the "sweep" must be hidden from the public.

Bullshit. There shouldn't be any difficulty in removing the items relevant to a current investigation. The should already be tagged as such. Then release the rest.

This is a case of "collect EVERYTHING and keep it FOREVER" so that anyone can be backtracked if the cops or politicians decide to do so. Where do you go? When? Why? What do you do there?

Now imagine a cop tracking your daughter to find out where she lives and where she works and which college she goes to and when she leaves for classes.

I wish you humans would leave me alone.