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Comment Re:Racism is a cause, (Score 1) 474

The most elite, wealthy, privileged blacks are still far more likely to commit crimes than the most disadvantaged non-blacks (including downtrodden whites in Appalachia, incredibly poor Asian immigrants with no English skills, etc).

How does their likelihood of committing a crime compare against other elite, wealthy, privileged individuals?

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 798

What service do you actually *get* for $8/mo? Does that cover the several hundred international SMS messages I send each month, or the hours I spend watching Netflix during my very long daily commute? Can you connect your laptop to it and have Internet access while sitting in the park watching the ducks in a lake? I have a very difficult time believing that you get the same level of service for $8/mo that I get for $60/mo. (and the plan I have for $60/mo in Canada would cost about $120/mo in the US)

Different market segments have different needs. I don't agree with signing a contract or letting them subsidize a phone either, but if you actually need/want a smartphone plan you don't actually save that much by buying the phone outright. The real advantage comes because you can walk at any time when a better deal comes along, not because you can save a ton of cash amortized over a few years.

Comment Re:Over a year ago, I complained to the FCC (Score 5, Informative) 798

Your phone's IMEI identifies the make/model of the phone.

You can't use a cellular network without transmitting your IMEI to the network. It's one half of the authentication circle required to actually make a cellular phone call.

Comment Re:T Mobile (Score 3, Informative) 798

This. They'll mail them internationally, as well... my parents bought one for an upcoming road trip through the US (well, driving from Ontario to Florida where they're going to catch a cruise around the carribbean, then driving back a week later), and for $10 they got a prepaid SIM with unlimited incoming texts, low rate for outgoing texts (even international), and a reasonably low per-minute data rate. They can top-off online, or by phone with a credit card, and probably at a retail POS as well.

Plans *do* exist in the states, but they don't usually advertise the good ones on their website because they'd rather you take the $2/day plan.

Comment Re:Mind boggling (Score 4, Informative) 798

It's in the service agreement, I think... smartphone = required data plan. Don't like it, don't buy a smartphone. If you want an idevice, then get an iPod. There are carriers in the US who don't act like this, or at least who won't charge that much for adding data, and it's his own damned fault for using ATT when he already had an unlocked phone he could use elsewhere. (and if it's about coverage on the ATT network, use one of the many MVNO's who use their network).

Here in Canada that wouldn't happen either... carriers will quite happily let you have a smartphone on a non-data plan, because if your device leaks and accidentally uses data they can charge you at $50/GB. ($0.05/MB is not uncommon for per-use data, and some carriers charge $1/MB for per-use data for the first few MB). But a few years ago, the big 3 did act exactly as described in TFS, before they realized that they could extract more money by not forcing you onto a data plan. (I think it says something that even though I work for one of the big 3 and get an employee discount, it's still cheaper for me to have a plan on a fight brand for one of the competitors).

Comment Re: 1.6 ghz? (Score 3, Insightful) 284

No but at the same time, A given chip with a higher clock speed WILL out perform the same chipset at a lower clockspeed.

Depends on the kinds of operations you're throwing at it. If it's simple integer math, then yes, every single time. If it's more complicated floating point math, then it'll depend on how efficiently it's implemented in the instruction set (which is why a 2.8GHz i3 will smoke a 5GHz P4 on almost every benchmark). If it's very large array math (such as most graphics computations and AI), then it'll depend on how parallel your code is and how many threads you can execute simultaneously. You can take a modern Intel chipset, and clock an i7 at the same speed as an i3: for some types of operations they'll score exactly the same on benchmarks, and for others the i7 will score about 4x better (twice the cores, and hyperthreading enabled = 4x the threads).

There's a reason that NVidia and AMD are competing on stream processors more than they are clock speed: modern graphics processing is embarrassingly parallel, and performance scales linearly with number of processors, while you see diminishing returns with clock speed.

As for gaming, and why they will have gone with a lower clock speed... very little in modern games is actually dependent on having a high clock speed. Almost everything that games do is dependent on graphics, which is a completely different problem, which leaves things like AI and object tracking, both of which benefit more from parallelization than they do an increased clock speed. They also need to worry about EnergyStar certification, and a consumer base that is increasingly aware of the power consumption of their electronic devices. Money is not infinite for their consumers, and they get better economy throwing a manycore low speed processor at it than they would throwing a high speed processor with a low core count.

Comment Re:Well, it was nice while it lasted (Score 1) 284

Nobody's manufacturing the lasers any more. The generation of HD players that supported both HD-DVD and BluRay had two lasers in them, one for each disc.

It's a great format to use for game discs (or movies for that matter), but it's probably more expensive to implement HD-DVD than BluRay because supply costs will likely outweigh patent licensing costs.

Comment Re:American sweatshop (Score 3, Informative) 210

Don't have to go that far... Canada has on average one statutory holiday (federally mandated day off) per month, and many employers give people fresh off the street at least 2 weeks' paid vacation, with the trend being towards more vacation: many larger companies will give you 3 or even 4 weeks at the start, and will give you the option to buy an extra week as part of your benefits package. Some provinces have provincial statutory holidays in addition to the federal ones. They're slowly coming to the realization that a well rested and happy worker is more productive, and allowing this much vacation actually costs less than not allowing it.

35 days is a bit much for most companies yet, but I've been able to book 5 full weeks of vacation this year (1 week of carryover from last year), and because I picked weeks where the statutory holidays come, I've managed to parlay that into an extra week of vacation in the form of days-in-lieu for statutory holidays. That's 30 working days of vacation, or 42 calendar days this year, and I still have 2 floater days and 2 personal emergency days, in addition to paid sick leave.

And most of Europe has even more vacation as standard than we do.

Comment Re:This story is still boring. (Score 1) 157

nobody would actually give a rats ass about the song if it wasn't baby got back

That was kind of the point of the song... I guess you could call it a form of musical irony: lyrics like that do not normally belong in a folk song. I could see my roommate playing it for her (slightly out of it) mother, and the mother thoroughly enjoying the song without actually listening to the lyrics. And I can further imagine the look of horror on her face as she realizes what the song is actually about.

The song is a joke. Its purpose is to make you laugh. And while it could be done with other similarly disparate songs (say Copkilla set to a Simon & Garfunkel style melody), the effect would be essentially the same, and Coulton chose to use Baby Got Back. I've no idea why JC chose that song, but it could have something to do with the fact that Baby Got Back was, itself, a big joke, albeit an unfortunate one that ended a promising performing career. In the end, does it really matter?

Comment Re:Older = how old? (Score 2) 264

Maybe they do, maybe they don't. 1000W power supplies have been available for a very long time.

My desktop system has a 750W Cooler Master power supply at the moment, and I'm using maybe half of its capacity under load. That's for an i5 2500k overclocked @ 4.8GHz, a Hyper 212+ heatsink*, 16GB of RAM (4x4GB), a Radeon 6970 graphics card, a DVD burner, a 60GB Intel 520 SSD as cache, and a 3TB mechanical drive, on a Z68 motherboard. I could buy a video card with a 500W draw and still have some juice left over.

It's quite possible that the system built 5 years ago has a power supply that's more than capable of powering a modern video card.

* - Since somebody's going to cry foul at using air cooling on a system clocked @ 4.8GHz, I'll point out that I'm using an Antec Eleven Hundred case, with two 120mm vents over the CPU, a 120mm vent under the CPU, and a 200mm fan in the top of the case, which provides more than enough air circulation to keep it cool with that processor/heatsink configuration. Even after 4 days of transcoding @ 100% CPU usage with Handbrake (queued up 60 DVD's to transcode after ripping), the CPU had not exceeded 65'C and was averaging about 60'C.

Comment Re:no surprise there (Score 2) 264

That's true, especially of games that are not properly threaded to take advantage of multicore and manycore configurations. But there's diminishing returns... most games that are CPU bound don't really benefit from more than about 3GHz. Games that are properly threaded will benefit more from an extra execution thread (hyperthreading or an extra core) than they will from a faster clock speed.

Case in point, my gaming machine is a Core i5 2500k, with 16GB of RAM, and a Radeon 6970 graphics card. When I overclocked the processor to 4.8GHz I did not notice a significant improvement in the performance of games. In fact, about the only place where I saw a measurable improvement was in transcoding execution time in Handbrake, which dropped by almost 50%. While there was some improvement in frame rates in games, I use vsync to lock them to 60Hz (what my monitor displays), and there was literally no improvement in gameplay for any of the games I play.

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