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Comment PCs are becoming like heavy trucks (Score 1) 385

Think of the desktop PC industry as being akin to the heavy truck industry. (A "heavy truck" means anything bigger than a pickup or van.) Heavy trucks move around most of the stuff in the world. Most larger businesses of own or lease some heavy trucks. Almost all businesses use shipping services that operate heavy trucks. They're an essential component of doing business, and they're not going away.

Heavy trucks work well, are used until they wear out, and are then replaced. About 2 million heavy trucks are produced per year worldwide. Nobody gets a new heavy truck because a new model just came out. New heavy trucks are better than older models, but not by much.

That's the role of the desktop PC today. Businesses need them and will buy them, use them until they wear out, then buy new ones. Some people will have them at home, and those are the people who had a typewriter at home before computers.

Comment Bloat (Score 1) 407

Software bloat is a consequence of stressing time-to-market over cost. Nothing gets rewritten to throw out old stuff. Look how bloated the Linux kernel has become.

It seems to take half a gigabyte to load a web browser today. New languages don't help; "Hello world" in Go is over a megabyte.

There are reasons for needing a lot of memory. Like loading the model for a jet engine into Autodesk Inventor, which requires many gigabytes and many processors. Or loading a game like GTA V, which has a big chunk of Southern California in there. But big phone apps that don't do much? Bad programming.

One win in the phone world is the lack of virtual memory. Virtual memory has become a crutch - just bring in everything including the kitchen sink, and let the pager throw out the useless stuff. This results in slow program loads and random delays during operation. Worse, there are programs that think they're so important that they load something that sits in memory just to keep their stuff active. (I'm looking at you, "jusched.exe". If that's running on your machine, delete it. Its sole purpose in life is to keep the Java system paged into memory, needed or not. Without it, Java programs (if you run any) will load slightly more slowly when no Java program has executed recently. There are similar memory drains for OpenOffice and Windows Office.)

All virtual memory can do, at best, is create the illusion you have about twice as much RAM. This is achieved at a cost of going out to disk that's 10,000 times slower than RAM. It was a win 40 years ago when memory cost a million dollars a megabyte. Not so much now.

Comment Re:Real War (Score 2) 253

You are confusing current drones with completely autonomous drones - which don't yet exist.

Yes, you have to train the drone pilots. Just because they can play an FPS in their sleep doesn't get them away from practicing.

One day we MIGHT have autonomous air superiority drones - right now we don't have them. Ergo, we can't replace the manned air superiority fighters just yet.

Can we do that eventually and cheaper than the F-35? More than likely. Can we create air superiority fighters that are 90% as effective as the F-35 and 30% of the price tomorrow? Sure we can.

Comment Re:Ah yes, government control of health care (Score 2) 490

Not exactly. It's not like people with heart and lung disease just keel over at age 55. They usually have a long, slow decline in health that is punctuated by expensive visits to some aspect of the healthcare system or other. And why pick on heart and lung disease? That's what MOST smokers die from. Lung cancer, although way more common in smokers than non smokers isn't what gets most puffers. And even lung cancer isn't a rapid roll off the carpet. Chemotherapy, surgery and supportive care still is pretty expensive.

So, no, sorry. Giving everyone a couple of packs of cigs per day isn't going to decrease health care expenses.

Please try again.

Comment Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (Score 1) 976

Given how many rounds are expended and how many people are involved, you could probably make a point that a rifle range is one of the safest places to be. No human endeavor is entirely safe. Hell, I spent this weekend pulling fish hooks out of various aspects of peoples anatomy and I've flown people to Seattle with fish hooks embedded in the eye.

Careful out there, something is liable to get you.

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