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Comment Re:Umm safety? (Score 1) 305

Did the OTA process itself cause the instability, or would your device been just as unstable had you updated it over a cable? My comments regarding OTA updates are meant to apply to the OTA aspect only, not whether the update itself is good. That is, for a given update X, do you deliver that update via a programming cable plugged into the ECU at the dealership, or do you deliver that exact same update OTA. That was the point in debate.

Or is your (unstated) argument that by lowering the barrier for making updates (ie. OTA is easier and cheaper than calling everyone into the shop), that would tempt auto manufacturers to take shortcuts in their QA process in the name of getting updates out there more quickly?

Comment Re:One of these things is not like the others... (Score 1) 184

Johnny Carson? Every one of his jokes was original? He mined Vaudeville humor and brought it to TV. He didn't even start the Tonight Show.

Elvis Presley? All of his hits were written by others. Let's face it: He made his money and fame bringing black music to white people.

James Brown? Definitely an original, whose life unfortunately went off the rails at some point.

Ok, that's enough rant. Every one of those folks earned their place on a stamp. I just wanted to point out your double standard. It's easy to dismiss one person or another with cherry picked criteria.

If you walked up to a random 20 or 30 something on the street today and asked them if they knew who Carson, Bergman, Presley, Brown or Jobs was, I imagine Steve would beat out most of them.

I'm no Steve Jobs fanboy. (I've never owned an iPhone or iPod, and I'm posting this from a Linux box.) But even I can recognize the reality of the situation.

Comment Re:Umm safety? (Score 1) 305

I know you're just trying to be snarky.

Actually, proper OTA updates have a number of safeguards built into them to ensure the process has clean "before" and "after" states for each step of the update process, with no crash-inducing intermediate state. I can think of at least one vendor that has a product in this space. (Note: The link is not meant as an endorsement; it's merely an example.)

The only real thing I imagine you need to worry about is if the car has had damage or after-market "upgrades" that might interfere with the validity of the update, leading to safety issues with the combination. A trip to the dealer would at least give the dealer a chance to notice such things. I find it hard to imagine that in practice, though, that it would uncover many negative interactions at the dealer.

Comment Re:People round down (Score 2) 166

The way I like to summarize it when talking to non-technical types is this: The odds of any one ticket winning the lottery jackpot are astronomically small. Regardless, people win the jackpot quite regularly.

Low probability per trial × many trials = reasonable probability of occurrence overall.

Rounding small probabilities down doesn't fully explain all the ways folks get tripped up thinking about probabilities. For example, the Birthday Paradox doesn't fit that model directly, because it's counter-intuitive what constitutes a "trial". As the number of people involved grows linearly, the number of potential pairings grows quadradically, and most folks don't really take that into account.

Extending that to the lottery example: It's far, far more likely that two people bought the same numbers than it is that anyone matched the jackpot numbers. (And that's before taking into account the fact that folks that pick their own numbers rarely pick very random numbers.) But nobody's interested in that coincidence until the folks with the same number also match the jackpot number.

Comment Re:No notification yet. (Score 5, Interesting) 63

The notifications seem to be going out in waves, slowly. I'm not sure why. Across three folks I know (including myself) with Kickstarter accounts, the emails themselves all seem to have gone out within minutes of each other, but one of them arrived just minutes ago.

I'm guessing with the volume of emails, it got throttled along the way. You can see this in the Received: headers:

Received: from ( [])
by with SMTP id xxxxxxxxxx
for < >;
Sat, 15 Feb 2014 21:49:50 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id
Sat, 15 Feb 2014 21:18:46 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from MTEzNDg (unknown [])
by localhost.localdomain (SG) with HTTP id
for <>; Sat, 15 Feb 2014 21:18:46 +0000 (GMT)

Notice that the earlier time stamps (corresponding to when the emails were generated) are around 21:18 GMT, but the arrival timestamps are around 21:49 PST, about 8 and a half hours later. And that's about how far apart our emails arrived. I imagine more are in the queue.

(And yay crapflooders for making it impossible to format things usefully in Slashdot comments.)

As far as passwords go, I'm not worried about anyone actually hacking my Kickstarter password. It's a password unique to Kickstarter, and it was generated at as a 13 character mixed-case alphanumeric password. Good luck reverse-hashing that. Even if you do, it won't get you much.

Comment Re:Pre-Teen cruiser.. (Score 1) 94

No, it was indeed the Slashdot Pre-Teen Cruiser. Naked petrified Natalie Portman approved. Comes a lifetime of hot grits down your pants.

Oh, and I love this item from the old Slashdot FAQ:

If you're not corporate drones, whose idea was the Slashdot PT Cruiser?

Marketing. Personally, we (Rob and Jeff) think the Slashdot Cruiser was a really stupid idea, and if they'd asked us about it, we'd have told them so. Usually the marketing department consults with us about promotional ideas, but they're not required to, and in this case they didn't. Given that the reaction to it has been largely negative, we expect they've learned their lesson.

Comment Re:Easy (Score 1) 533

What piece of code, in a non-assembler format, has been run the most often, ever, on this planet? By 'most often,' I mean the highest number of executions, regardless of CPU type. For the code in question, let's set a lower limit of 3 consecutive lines.

Somehow I don't think your entry is in the spirit of the question.

As far as the original question is concerned: If you don't tie to any particular program, but just a subroutine used everywhere, heavily, I think memcpy() is a contender. (Pick a memcpy() implementation to put here to reach the 3 line minimum.) You'd be surprised how many programs' run times are dominated by memory copies.

Comment Probably something in TRON (not the movie!) (Score 1) 533

Apparently, the TRON family of operating systems one of the most popular operating system families in the world, embedded in literally billions of devices. Sure, all those devices are probably quite slow, but they're also probably running around the clock, mostly looping in some idle loop. So I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it has the most-executed sequential code.

If you consider RTL (register transfer language) to be code, then I'm sure one of the state machines at the heart of the fastest, most prevalent CPU family is well in the lead. It could be the state machine that selects instructions to dispatch, the state machine that retires results, the state machine that fetches instructions, the branch predictor state machine... If a given state machine gets reused over many products in a family, that acts as a multiplier. If it's part of a core that gets replicated many, many times (such as a GPU core), that also acts as a multiplier. Of course, GPUs will clock down and power down cores aggressively when not needed.

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