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Comment Re:Throw the book... maybe literally at him. (Score 2) 220

The thing is that mining bitcoins is not really a supercomputer task. It is an "embarassingly parallel" problem - you could get some PCs and connect them over 9600bps serial ports, and it would hardly be any different to using the fastest network to connect them together. There is not that much communication needed between the parts of the cluster. A true supercomputer usually has fast, specialized interlink hardware between the compute nodes so it can work on problems which are somewhat less parallelizable, requiring more communication between the nodes. That is why it is expensive, and expensive to hire computing time on it, and yet it doesn't perform any better at bitcoin mining than a simple-minded farm of commodity hardware. (And for bitcoin mining, either of those will be blown out of the water by specialized ASICs.)

Comment Re:"provides marketplace platforms" (Score 2) 93

I don't think market cap is a good measure of size. If it were, then during the dotcom boom various online pet food suppliers, etc, which had barely any assets, employees or customers, would have counted as 'bigger' than more boring companies with a much greater footprint in the real world. Similarly, a large company may head towards bankruptcy and as it does so its market cap heads towards zero. But even if it is sold for a nominal price of one dollar, it is still a big company by any reasonable measure.

Comment Re:where do I sign? (Score 1) 520

There's no issue getting 3840x2160 resolution with any even half-recent video card. I drive a T221 (3840x2400) from a five year old Dell laptop; these displays first appeared a decade and a half ago when PCs were much slower than today. Admittedly, if your new monitor takes Displayport you will need a video card capable of outputting that. Now, if you want to play games at 3840x2160 at 60Hz refresh, you're going to need some pretty serious hardware. But that has nothing to do with using the display for programming or office tasks. 30Hz refresh is quite comfortable for that.

Comment Re:No Sympathy (Score 1) 413

Why on earth would you choose to base your product (something that presumably companies will use for many, many years) on something that will have no security support in just 4 months?

You wouldn't. You based it on something that would be supported for several years when you made the decision back in 2006. It's just that schedules being as they are, it has taken that long to develop the product and get it to market.

In the land of dinosaurs, where Big Companies do Stupid Things, it is fairly common for new products to be launched and then the whole platform end-of-lifed soon after. It's nobody's fault in particular, just how decisions get made.

Comment Re:Yawn ... (Score 2) 205

There should be some way to sell computing power to cloud customers. Like a live-CD Linux distribution you boot, and it connects to some online exchange to see if anyone wants to rent virtual machines. If nobody is offering enough cash to cover your power costs then it sends the machine to sleep. However, CPU power efficiency improves fast enough that even if the hardware is free and sitting idle in your garage, you still might not be competitive with specialist cloud providers. (Then there are the inevitable issues about data privacy, reliability etc.)

Comment Re:Matte screen (Score 1) 155

Panasonic's Toughbook rugged laptops have colour transflective displays. But the colours start looking washed out in bright sunlight, so perhaps the transflective part is black and white only somehow. And the readability in direct sunlight is not quite what the marketing wants you to believe - you're still better off finding some shade.

Comment Re:Unusable aspect ratio (Score 1) 94

Yeah I'm just talking about the aspect ratio and resolution. Another good example would be the 'retina' Macbook Pros - they are also 16:10 though not quite such a high number of pixels (the 15" has 3/4 as many pixels on both axes as the T221). But since you mention it, I wouldn't agree that a slow refresh rate or poor colour gamut rules out 99% of uses. Probably only about 5% of users require colour accuracy; the T221 is no worse than most monitors, photos look pretty good on it. (I use a wide-gamut monitor too but for day-to-day use it makes no difference.) Even a 24Hz refresh rate is enough for text-based work such as programming, office apps or web browsing. So don't knock it till you have tried it!

Comment Re:Resolution (Score 1) 397

Vista reverts to "fractional scaling", where it simply does a bilinear upscale of the application window, resulting in a blurry, god-awful mess where nothing was rendered natively.

I have to say I've never seen this on either XP or Win7. Perhaps it helps to have exactly 200% scaling so everything can be enlarged exactly. But as far as I can see, programs that aren't scaling aware (such as the command prompt window) are just rendered unscaled. Maybe it is because I have Aero turned off.

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