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Comment Re:128 Bit Architecture = cloud computing (Score 1) 581

Ideally an OS should be able to mediate access to resources and provide sufficient isolation on its lonesome rather than needing to add more layers in the form of virtual machines to do its job. In the same vein, an OS should be able to provide a uniform interface for accessing the resources available even if they're physically not on the same box. Distributed single level storage would be the logical conclusion, and in a couple of decades a large server farm might start getting uncomfortably close to the 64-bit limit if everything on it shared a single physical address space.

Comment Re:Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM (Score 3, Informative) 756

That's what PAE is. To the process, the address space is just one huge flat expanse from 00000000 to 7FFFFFFF. (or BFFFFFFF if the OS is configured that way and the software understands it) To the OS, the processes are allocated RAM in 4 kB pages which are mapped to their corresponding hardware frames in RAM via the page table. When the process accesses an address, the low 12 bits determine where within the page it should read, while the high 20 bits determine the entry in the page table. That entry has the hardware address which it then accesses. PAE allows the hardware address to be larger than 20 bits so that the OS can address more than 32 bits of physical memory transparently to the individual processes.

The Internet

The Perils of Pop Philosophy 484

ThousandStars tips a new piece by Julian Sanchez, the guy who, in case you missed it, brought us a succinct definition of the one-way hash argument (of the type often employed in the US culture wars). This one is about the dangers of a certain kind of oversimplifying, as practiced routinely by journalists and bloggers. "This brings us around to some of my longstanding ambivalence about blogging and journalism more generally. On the one hand, while it's probably not enormously important whether most people have a handle on the mind-body problem, a democracy can't make ethics and political philosophy the exclusive province of cloistered academics. On the other hand, I look at the online public sphere and too often tend to find myself thinking: 'Discourse at this level can't possibly accomplish anything beyond giving people some simulation of justification for what they wanted to believe in the first place.' This is, needless to say, not a problem limited to philosophy."

Comment Re:Don't jump the gun yet... (Score 1) 272

It doesn't get proven. That's the whole point of that objection. It allows the person making it to sound intellectual while tossing up a smokescreen where there's always some unspecified alternative explanation but there's never a specific one that the researchers can disprove or any point where the person chanting "correlation != causation" will ever concede anything. It's religious fundamentalism wrapped up in a pseudoscientific veneer where gosh they'd really like to believe this but their strong dedication to the skepticism prevents them from doing so.

Comment Re:Mind Boggling Legacy Junk Still In Win 7 (Score 1) 483

Stupid fun Windows fact: In the event that Windows has 26 partitions, the next partition created is AA. In the somewhat less likely event that you're up to ZZ, it goes back to AAA-ZZZ then AAAA-ZZZZ. I think that the highest anyone's gone was 5 characters although there weren't anywhere near that number of real partitions; they just wanted an amusing drive name and decided that creating tens of thousands of partitions was just the way to do it.

Comment Re:How else would you terminate them? (Score 1) 612

Unless you're manually packing string constants into memory, the space used by a string is the size of the buffer. Even packed, alignment issues mean the 3 bytes aren't usable without extra effort and performance costs for misaligned memory accesses. On a microcomputer which is extremely space-constrained but can access any spot in memory without consideration of alignment it makes sense. On a modern PC or even many embedded systems these days, not so much.

Comment Re:Frost piss (Score 2, Interesting) 348

Escaping notice is the most important part of keeping malware on system. After it's found, the question is more about how painful it is to get off the system than whether it's going to get removed. Since modern malware authors want their software to stick around in the background for as long as possible, they just avoid doing anything outrageous and let the zombie send out a trickle of emails.

Experience with Windows users shows that the average end user who's willing to click on something like the author was talking about isn't going to get suspicious and won't suspect something two levels deep in a dot folder with an official/cryptic sounding name. They can be brazen and call it 'smtpmmd' for SMTP mass mailer daemon and it'll still probably slip under the radars of at least a few people who know how to look at their active processes. The only real solution is an automated searching tool and at that point you're doing the same thing as all the Windows AV programs, just with a somewhat easier time of it.

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