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Comment Re:Value of crypto currency (Score 1) 67

Crypto-currencies are based on the implementing code, and the only "rules" are in the code.

A criteria which classifies 99.99% of the people presently involved with crytocurrency as amateur speculators.

Because in code—which resembles logic, which resembles a peanut brittle bar left outside overnight halfway up Vinson Massif (well, your father's Vinson Massif)—a single thing you don't fully understand can drain your entire wallet.

Comment Canada is a different fish (Score 1) 303

Canadians use cash for only 10% of consumer payments and that figure is falling — August 2014

A recent MasterCard Advisors white paper suggests that non-cash instruments account for 90% of payments in this country, among the highest rates in the world.

Yeah, and 45% of all purchases were made using debit cards, for which the consumer receives no spiff (other than stiffing those shits over at VISA et al.). Only 25% by dollar value for the rapacious credit card industry at this happy moment in time.

More Canadians choosing credit cards, mobile payments over cash, study says — 3 February 2016

Now there's an article bought and paid for. Once upon a time, the Globe and Mail was a respectable rag. Et tu, Grey Lady?

As far as I can tell, the entire article avoids discussing dollar share (in favour of transaction share). What matters for assessing the 2% fee grab is dollar share.

Probably the credit card industry considers Canada's 65% share of plastic transactions conducted on debit (per 2014 data above) to be an unmitigated international catastrophe. They're certainly not going to curate press coverage to brag about this.

I mean, why shiv your neighbourhood grocer with the credit fee? Surely he'll just end up passing the overhead back to the customer. Your average meek Canadian would think the first thought for sure, and possibly continue on with the second thought (but not always).

Turns out, leaving a nickle for the other guy is not such a bad life philosophy after all.

Sadly, there will be a war in Canada against the use of debit cards by the assholes at VISA, but it will a far different war here than elsewhere. (VISA could start by awarding air miles that didn't constantly degenerate into a colossal screw-around. They sometimes even brazenly advertise their "new, improved, less screw-around air miles". But the cat comes back, and the slogan never gets old.)

In Miller's original, the cat finally died when an organ grinder came around one day and:

De cat look'd around awhile an' kinder raised her head
When he played Ta-rah-dah-boom-da-rah, an' de cat dropped dead.

Even then the cat's ghost came back.

Comment Re:The government let them do this in the first pl (Score 1) 303

There would've been a lot more downward pressure on the 2% processing fee if merchants had been allowed to directly pass the fee on to customers. People would've preferred to pay with cash until credit card companies were able to lower the cost to something more reasonable, like a half or quarter percent. Card networks which had higher fees (e.g. Amex) would've had a tougher time than card networks with lower fees (e.g. Discover). But thanks to (corrupt) government regulation, competition to lower processing prices was eliminated, and we're all saddled with what's effectively a 2% sales tax to a private company. Even if you're paying with cash, you're paying the tax as the cash purchases basically subsidize the merchants fees for credit card purchases.

Hear, hear. Well said.

It's unbelievable that large-L libertarians everywhere don't froth at the mouth incessantly over this ultra-flagrant abomination. Like, we could fix this now, without sitting on our Libertarian thumbs awaiting The Great Regime Change.

Here's another thing. Corporations are people. People have assholes. Q.E.D.

Comment Re:Enough Denials, Truth Time! (Score 2) 179

You'd think she could have talked to her husband about connecting with voters, but - nope!

If I try to behave like the Fonz, it only makes me extra dorkier.

Hillary never had the televangelism gene. She couldn't channel Bill if she tried. You'd get about as far suggesting the average televangelist channel Richard Dawkins.

Most of her debate prep was spent mastering that ghastly almost amused-looking smile when Donald went off on one of his many ridiculous riffs. Unfortunately, her best shot at running America was being born long before the invention of television.

With the same intensity of prep as The King's English she might have managed to sound charismatic over the radio.

But really, I'd have advised she broadcast a series of fireside radio chats with Bertrand Russell.

Comment eggs and oranges (Score 1) 660

I've noticed this, too, about the millennials.

With my N24 sleep disorder (three decades before I found the cure), I spent many long hours of my young adult life walking around on the streets at night (sure, Toronto sounds safe, but it had then one of the largest Italian populations in the world, as was certainly evident from the not-infrequent black limousine Sundays in my part of town; there was one "corner store" I stepped into, and out of again, after a single-pass 1978-vintage Cylon double take).

During those years I acquired a certain instinctive awareness of my surroundings that's impossible to attain doing the cellphone shuffle.

These days, I take an especially good look at anyone who witnesses my $300 monthly cash withdrawal from the ATM (which I use to buy eggs and oranges). But that's about it.

Late at night, I also tended to cross long streets diagonally, at random, somewhere in the middle, during a lull in traffic.

Tits of trouble: See that guy over there? He's following you ...

Street-wise muscle [stares at "that guy" as if he's just received new information]: I know he's been tailin' my ass ... and now he knows I know it.

Quietly alert, with a mildly distracted demeanor, a brisk, fluid gate, and navigationally unpredictable.

That's the formula.

Comment the confusing sound of wet rubber boots (Score 2) 85

Intel is fucked on all levels ...

You really need to recalibrate your "is fucked" dowsing rod.

After a decade of living on cream and sunshine, summer vacation is over, and Intel will soon have to buckle down and earn good grades, obtained through long hours of hard study.

Heard on beaches the world over when governments shorten their unemployment insurance entitlement periods: "Shit! We're fucked! Now we'll all have to get real jobs."

Welcome back to how everyone else lives.

On the one hand, it will take a while for Intel to recover its former work ethic. On the other hand, they're well rested—and surrounded by three decades worth of motivational trophy cases (lately somewhat dusty) for Best of Breed in the 800-lb gorilla division.

Yeah, that sure sounds fucked, doesn't it?

Comment doh! at first, it worked out like always (Score 1) 465

Extrapolation from the status quo is the reason why futurology remains a fringe profession.

There's nothing theoretical to prevent AI from being trained on data sets ranging from the 1600s to the present day, after which is could accurately model Progress as Usual.

But presently, our AI has only just managed (since about 2012) to find a big, juicy signal in the massive datasets accrued during the last twenty years.

First you have to walk before you can run.

And it's presently unclear how much progress we'll make on graduated induction: basically bootstrapping machine learning on ever smaller datasets from insights gained over large pump-priming datasets.

Certainly, as a neophyte industry, successfully extrapolating from the status quo is the best we can hope for.

There's also a circular component: in a racist society it turns out that the race signal is highly predictive of social outcomes (aka exactly the kinds of things credit agencies most wish to model).

The silver lining here is that the degree to which progressive western societies remain racist to their very cores is about to become a lot more explicit. Seriously, we're about to discover that Canada is mediocre (say it isn't so, Orange Order of Canada), and that Alabama requires double precision to merely calculate its operational parameters.

Comment king Midas's plantinum tip (Score 1) 54

Xeon Scalable processor family is now designated by Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories, with a single model number.

This naming shift gives me the major heebs. It can't possibly be designed to aid comprehension. It's the end of an era, for sure.

I'd buy AMD almost for that reason alone, once I'm sure AMD is solid in the ZFS camp (the story there has been spotty for some while).

But more likely, I'll run my current dual E5-2620 NAS convergence box into the dirt (I figure on another five to seven years) and by then I'll get a turnkey NAS appliance for local bulk storage and everything else I've got will migrate into the cloud, where no-one cares what is under the hood, so long as $/mile is priced competitively.

1959 planar process
1963 complementary MOS
2017 bronze, silver, gold, and platinum

58 good years, RIP. Apparently, the generation who grew up on cherry iMacs are procuring cloud servers these days.

Turns out, the King Midas story is a bit oversimplified for young audiences. While he didn't grow hair on his palms, he did wind up with a mixed bag and the ultimate shiner (as you'd pretty much expect when a royal figure is granted his wish by an androgynous saint to the oppressed who wanders about waving a thyrsus).

Comment Re:Databases (Score 2) 54

Databases are what the Big Iron servers live to support so AMD losing badly against Skylake on that front means they've lost the sales war.

Big language. Been watching too much Bruno Ganz lately?

I appears Ars tested MySQL Percona Server 5.7.0 as their chosen representative for the entire category. I wouldn't recall Rommel's tanks just yet.

Typically when high response times were reported, this indicated low single threaded performance. However for EPYC this is not the case. We tested with a database that is quite a bit larger than the 8 MB L3-cache, and the high response time is probably a result of the L3-cache latency.

I have about 30 different database products listed in my notes (many oriented at graphs or machine learning, along the entire sharing spectrum). Would they all suffer this much?

What does this mean to the end user? The 64 MB L3 on the spec sheet does not really exist. In fact even the 16 MB L3 on a single Zeppelin die consists of two 8 MB L3-caches. There is no cache that truly functions as single, unified L3-cache on the MCM; instead there are eight separate 8 MB L3-caches.

Well, that does make the present EPYC implementation suck for a popular worker-thread model used to concurrently access a single, large datastore.

I suspect, however, that a database server server hundreds of small databases as part of a WordPress server farm would hardly suffer at all (so long as CPU locality is stable at the OS level).

Web servers are databases, order processing systems are databases, pretty much everything that's computationally intensive has a database or six on the backend.

Or six. You even said it yourself.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1, Insightful) 352

Combine that with the 200 second delay to get through the lock, and the responsiveness is easily explained.

I didn't believe that number for the first microsecond. Where was your brain? Stuck on "easily explained"?

From the original:

And, if each of these readying events happened after the thread had held the lock for just 200 microseconds then the 5,768 readying events would be enough to account for the 1.125 second hang.

Even Microsoft would notice 24 cores sharing a 200 s group hug.

If the question had been "total number of photons emitted from the sun over the last 4.3 billion years", I would accept +/- six orders of decimal magnitude as constituting a reasonable effort. In this case, not so much.

Comment Re:The Basic Test (Score 2) 166

After you fold a business which ONE item of the following do you have left?

        a: Smoke

        b: Established business relationships

        c: Acquired market expertise

        d: Developed technology

        e: Amazingly comfortable office chairs

There's a reason why the VC community is build to lather, rinse, repeat. What motivates you to get one of these right, but not the other?

Some startup ventures pretty much leave behind a smoking crater, but that certainly isn't the only story here.

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