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Comment Re:MIT sure has fallen far (Score 1) 135

The idea behind lobbying is that politicians are not experts in everything and so it makes sense for them to listen to domain experts before making their decision. The first problem is that it's hard for someone who isn't an expert to differentiate between an expert and a vested interested (or an expert providing impartial advice and one providing advice promoting self interest). The second problem is that money found its way into the system and so now it's just about vested interests, experts need not apply...

Comment Re:Intel once made ARM processors... (Score 2) 230

With ARMv8, a lot of companies have this kind of license. I think there are six independent ARMv8 implementations that I'm aware of, but there may be more. Well, I say independent - they all had engineers from ARM consult on the design, but they're quite different in pipeline structure. This is the problem Intel is going to face over the next few years. They could compete with AMD by outspending them on R&D: Intel could afford to design 10 processors and only bring 3 to market depending on what customers wanted, AMD couldn't afford to throw away that much investment. This is how the Pentium M happened: they rushed to market one of their back-burner designs. Now, however, they're competing with half a dozen companies all of whom have ISA-compatible chips and all of whom are content to heavily optimise their designs for a particular market segment.

Comment Re:They all do this (Score 1) 142

Here's one that's easy: outright lying. Unless you're arguing that fraud shouldn't be illegal, because it's just an expression of free speech. Astroturfing is a form of fraud: you're trying to present views as coming from someone else. If the cable companies want to say 'net neutrality is bad because it will cost us money', then that's fine. If they lie and pretend to be a consumer group, then that's not.

Comment Re:Mmhmm (Score 1) 382

So when the 'gambling addicted nutjobs' take their commission on every trade, that doesn't harm anyone by increasing costs for investors? When they cause a flash crash, that doesn't harm anyone by making it harder for companies to raise capital? When they lose all of their money, cry that it was an algorithmic error, and get the exchange to reverse the transactions so that they can keep gambling but other people take the risks, they don't harm anyone? Good to know, thanks for clearing that up.

Comment Re:3000km is not a lot in the U.S. . . . . (Score 1) 363

This isn't meant to replace that, it's meant to augment it. Most of the time, the 260 mile range is fine. Sometimes, it isn't, and this gives you an emergency reserve. In normal use, you'll never use it, but if you're planning a long trip and don't manage to get to a charging station anywhere in the middle then you're not going to be stuck miles from civilisation with an empty battery.

Comment Re:Phoronix Rocks (Score 1) 134

I don't think I've ever seen a Phoronix report that showed error bars in their graphs and I've never done performance tests of the ones that they run without any jitter. They also have a history of making spectacularly bad decisions about what to benchmark. For example, they did benchmarks of FreeBSD against Ubuntu, but used a FreeBSD beta that had WITNESS and INVARIANTS options compiled into the kernel, both of which impose a fairly significant performance cost (but give better error reporting). Yesterday, they benchmarked GCC's OpenMP support against Intel's Clang-omp branch. Sounds easy, except that they didn't specify optimisation flags and GCC defaults to -O2, whereas Clang defaults to -O0. A sane evaluation would have shown the results for -O0 to -O3 for both compilers, along with error bars showing the standard deviation over ten or more runs.

Comment Re:Dear Slashdot (Score 1) 269

If you are a subscriber, then you can use HTTPS, however your traffic then stands out to traffic analysis (it's not hard to tie the encrypted connection which sends more information than an HTTP GET with the sudden appearance of a new post in the next user's unencrypted request for the page). They're also, I believe, still using a certificate that was issued before Heartbleed was disclosed and so is almost certainly compromised.

Comment Re:If people would fight their tickets... (Score 1) 286

I can't speak for Finnland, but in the UK traffic offences are handled a bit differently. You typically receive a letter in the post telling you to pay a fine or appear in court. If you pay the fine, it's cheaper (the same number of points are still added to your license in either case). If you're definitely guilty then it's the obvious thing to do. Before you get to court, there are several things you can do, including requesting the camera photos. These are typically the only evidence that they have and requesting them means that a human will look at them carefully. If there's obviously been an error, then they will usually drop the case then. Because most of the obviously guilty cases never make it to court, the magistrates expect that a significant number of people who actually make it that far will be not guilty, so there isn't quite the prejudice that the US system has.

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