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Comment: Too Broad (Score 1) 587

by zach297 (#29042563) Attached to: Illinois Bans Social Network Use By Sex Offenders
The only problem with this law is the definition of sex offender. As many others have said, you can become a sex offender by public urination, or sexting, or having sex when you are 18 and you partner is 16. For them, being banned from social networks is not a just punishment. It has absolutely nothing to do with the crime. Banning social networks makes more sense for sex offenders with a history preying on others, especially through the internet. This law seems overly broad and they should make it apply to only a subset of sex offenders.

Comment: Re:The logical next step... (Score 4, Informative) 156

by zach297 (#28993825) Attached to: Garbage Collection Algorithms Coming For SSDs
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Programming . Clearing out an entire block is different than a write. Writing to an SSD is only possible by setting the value to 0. So when I save something to the SSD it is really only writing down the 0's of my file and just leaving the 1's alone. This is not the destructive part of using flash. The part that uses up actual write cycles is clearing a block back to 1's. This is explained in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Erasing .

Taking from your list of actions: Pick a random block:
1. GC comes along, swoops up block, eliminates junk by flashing entire block into 1's (awhile later)
2. OS requires write, swoops up block, writes only the 0's from the file leaving everything else untouched.

In this manner each step does half of the writing amounting to one write when combined. This is exactly how all SSDs work. The major difference announced in the article is that they are separating the two steps.

Normally this is impossible because the SSD doesn't know if something can be cleared until the OS is trying to overwrite it. This makes writes take longer. The new firmware hopes to make writes faster by moving the first step into the idle time of the drive (by figuring out when a overwritten block is unused) sort of like how you can set up a download to only run when your not using the internet connection. It allows for more efficient use of time that the drive would otherwise be doing nothing with.

Comment: Re:The logical next step... (Score 5, Informative) 156

by zach297 (#28993301) Attached to: Garbage Collection Algorithms Coming For SSDs
From the summary: "This isn't a concern on fresh, new SSDs, but over time, as files are written, moved, deleted, or replaced, many blocks are a left holding what is essentially orphaned or garbage data, and their long-term performance degrades because of it." The are talking about clearing sectors of garbage data that is no longer in use. It would have to be done anyways before the sector can be reused. The new firmware is simply doing that time consuming step early while it is in idle. The actual number of write cycles is not changing.

Comment: Re:"Ideas" should not be patentable (Score 1) 226

by zach297 (#28322221) Attached to: Apple Patent To Safeguard 911 Cellphone Calls
Theo what is a way for iPhone owners to use their phones in emergency situations on a low battery. The how is

to disable "'non-essential hardware components' and applications on the phone, reduce power to the screen and potentially reduce the phone's processor speed. It also would make it harder to disconnect the call and enable 'emergency phrase buttons' on the phone."

Sounds non obvious enough to me.

Comment: Re:I'm disappointed (Score 1) 130

by zach297 (#28221075) Attached to: Valve Explains Quick <em>Left 4 Dead</em> Sequel
The do this so used gamers have to pay for the full game. Because you cannot buy used DLCs the used gamers have to pay the publisher to get them. Now the publisher gets money from used games. They only release them on the Xbox because it has a much larger used game market than the PC. I agree that it sucks, but it works.

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