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Comment Re:Bill Maher is funny, but an idiot in this matte (Score 3, Insightful) 541

I guess all I'm really saying is that in the debate about vaccination -- and I don't even think there's enough evidence to support a reasonable anti-vaccination position -- a discussion between Bill Maher and Bill Frist adds nothing. You might as well have Cheech and Chong talking about it.

Comment Re:Bill Maher is funny, but an idiot in this matte (Score 1, Flamebait) 541

But you think people should pay attention to Bill Frist, noted video diagnostic specialist and cat torturer, the guy who thought it would be OK to interfere with the Terry Shiavo case without 1) examining the patient or 2) even being a neurologist? In my view anybody who listens to either of these idiots on matters of medicine is a fool.

Comment Re:Bad UI library (Score 1) 207

Yes, it certainly would be a nice opportunity for someone to provide a framework or library for nice looking UI elements. There is also a business opportunity to make a library or possibly a service that takes the pain -- and it is a great deal of pain -- out of implementing BlackBerry's highly touted "push" network feature.

It seems more likely to me in the long run that RIM will simply buy Palm. One of them has good hardware and a solid operating system foundation, and the other has a spiffy user interface and a consumer market strategy that passes the laugh test.

Comment Bad UI library (Score 4, Interesting) 207

He's certainly right about one thing: his app has an ass UI. It's RIM's fault, of course. On the Palm, Android, or iPhone platforms even "hello, world!" looks great. On BlackBerry it's impossible to get even a simple app to look good. All apps on BlackBerry that do, in fact, look good are using full-custom drawing engines. See Bloomberg, Facebook, etc. For the small developer, doing your own custom drawing is a huge undertaking assuming you have any visual design talent to speak of.

Comment Re:Umm... (Score 1) 480

No, it's just because Linux sucks at scheduling i/o during a heavy writeout load. It always prefers to starve readers while serving writers, so if you need to save your file, and therefore you need to read a temporary file or directory, you're waiting. The SSD mitigates this problem by being 1000x faster at random i/o.

Comment Re:Umm... (Score 4, Informative) 480

If you build is really IOPS-bound, then an SSD will utterly smoke a single disk. Even a whopping great expensive disk can only muster 300 iops under the best possible circumstances, and typically 100 iops under real conditions. A cheapo SSD can deliver 1000 mixed iops, and a good SSD can deliver 100,000 mixed iops. Ever since switching to an SSD on my dev machine I no longer have to suffer through things like a :wq in vim taking 5-10 seconds, or loading a file taking several seconds, etc. One of the benchmarks I did was starting Firefox during a build. On the machine with a disk, it actually took more than ONE MINUTE to start Firefox under a build load. With the SSD, there is no measurable difference between the Firefox startup on an idle machine and a machine with a build happening. The difference is massive.

Comment Re:Wear leveling question (Score 1) 480

The SSD doesn't know about the free space. There is an proposed specification in one of the committees (SCSI or ATA or somebody) to inform a storage device that blocks have been freed, thereby giving them back to the wear leveling pool. SSDs today do not care about used vs. free space. If the operating system calls for write to offset 123, the disk writes to logical offset 123, and rearranges the underlying translation layer so it knows the physical location of logical offset 123. SSDs typically have 10-20% extra physical space above and beyond their advertised logical capacity, so they never truly "run out of space".

Comment Re:should be fine (Score 1) 480

Yes, you're right, but only because the article submitter is ignorant of how SSDs work. Writes to the same offset (from the operating system's perspective) never or rarely go to the same erase block on the flash device itself. Even static data is moved around to prevent hot spots. For MLC you can write 10,000 times the capacity of the disk before you would expect the disk to fail. With SLC you can write the capacity times 100,000. That's 12PB of writing for a 120GB SLC.

More to the point, when an SSD fails it becomes read-only, which is a VERY desirable failure mode. When a disk fails it's just trash. SSDs are clearly superior to disks for anyone who cares about keeping their data.

Media

Submission + - Popular HD DVD Disc Hits a Snag

An anonymous reader writes: Following weeks of headlines touting strong sales for Blu-ray discs, rival next-gen format HD DVD looked like it had its own success story in the making with this week's HD DVD release of the cult hit 'Children of Men.' The disc recieved a stellar review at High-Def Digest, and went on to out-sell the most popular Blu-ray discs on Amazon. But now comes word of apparent incompatibility issues with the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, with some (but not all) consumers reporting that even multiple returns of the disc are unplayable on the format's leading playback device.

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