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Comment Re:This isn't a big deal, it's fucking huge. (Score 3, Interesting) 86

Have you seen what AMD is putting into its next server processors? http://amd-dev.wpengine.netdna... Tldr: It encrypts a guest's memory with a key that the hypervisor does not have. In theory, it should make a guest VM inaccessible to the hypervisor.

Comment Re:Fuck him (Score 1, Interesting) 182

I hate this argument. When terrorism happens, why is the Slashdot response to *immediately* declare that this is simply the brakes and we have to live with it?

There are obviously costs for any kind of safety. For example, products with more safety regulations cost more. But someone decided it was worth it for that product.

Of *course* you can't regulate things to be a "bubble wrap society" and you just have to live with a low percentage of problems. But many people on Slashdot see literally any story about terrorism and immediately throw up their hands and say "There's nothing that can be done, it's a low percentage, we have to just live with it.". I completely disagree. I think heinous, deliberate acts of evil are much worse than accidental deaths caused by cars for example, precisely because they are deliberately committed by a human. They are in a different category, and they *should* be fixable. I agree that trying to police bad actors pre-emptively is probably impossible and will lead to all sorts of surveillance, which is bad. But let's talk about fixing the bad ideology that leads people to commit terrorist acts. It's probably a more difficult problem, but I hate people throwing up their arms. It's bullshit.

Comment 16GB storage (Score 2, Interesting) 158

32GB is the sweet spot for phones right now, and because they can, Apple refuses to produce a 32GB model to force you to pay an extra $100 to get a reasonable amount of internal storage. $499 for the 64GB model is certainly cheaper than the current top-of-the-line iPhones, but a cheap Android with 32GB of storage can be had for well under $399 for truly budget-conscious buyers. If you're locked into Apple's ecosystem and are truly budget-conscious...well, tough luck.

Comment PS4/XB1 are mid-range 2013 devices (Score 2) 90

PS4/XB1's GPUs were already were considered fairly mid-range when they were released in 2013. With a few process node shrinks and 4 years of development, and given the increasing power budgets (and turbo/throttling that comes with that) afforded to mobile devices, I'm not surprised a mobile GPU from 2017 can match or exceed a mid-range GPU from 2013. So what's the point of announcing this? That consoles are going to die and be replaced by VR headsets running Android?

Comment SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading, not Symmetrical (Score 4) 135

SMP = Symmetric Multi Processing. "Symmetric" refers to the fact that all of the CPUs are considered "equal" by the OS and each has full access to DRAM, IO devices, etc.

SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading. "Simultaneous" refers to the fact that a single CPU core can process multiple execution threads at the same time.

Someone from AMD's marketing department needs to take CPU architecture 201.

Submission + - City of Austin Locked in Regulations Battle With Uber, Lyft

AcidPenguin9873 writes: This past fall, the Austin City Council drafted regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft requiring drivers to submit to fingerprint-based background checks, similar to other taxi services in Austin. Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin market if the fingerprint-based background checks were passed. After lots of heated public comments and debate from both sides, the fingerprint requirements were passed by the council in December. Shortly thereafter, a PAC called Ridesharing Works for Austin was formed, and, with financial backing from Uber and Lyft, delivered a petition with over 25,000 valid signatures to the City that seeks to remove the fingerprint requirement. According to Austin city code, since the petition had enough valid signatures, the City Council was required to either adopt the language in the petition and remove the fingerprint requirement, or hold a referendum election on the issue. This past Thursday, the council declined to adopt the petition, so Austin voters will go to the polls in May to decide how Uber and Lyft should be regulated.

This case is quite interesting and has a lot of questions. Uber and Lyft have said that their electronic tracking makes them safer than traditional taxi services, and so they shouldn't be subject to the same regulations. However, some citizens and council members don't like corporations strong-arming local government and effectively writing their own regulations. On the other, one of the council members who introduced the fingerprinting requirement had received campaign donations from at least one local taxi company, leading some to question her motives for introducing the stricter regulations for Uber and Lyft, and even going so far as to start a separate petition campaign to recall that council member. What does Slashdot think Austin should do?

Comment Re:Specialization (Score 1) 237

I agree with your general sentiment, but I would say that some amount of knowledge of levels just above and just below your own level is helpful or often necessary to do a job at a particular level.

Using my own example of a computer system:

  • App developers generally need to know something about how the app framework or OS works.
  • Framework developers generally need to know how apps interact with their framework/services, and how to interact with the OS.
  • OS developers have to be very aware of the API and ABI they expose to frameworks/apps, and often many details about the hardware (CPU, GPU, whatever random network card or other device they are working with).
  • Hardware designers generally need to know how low-level software will interact with them, as well as about the physical design features and limitations (how fast do the transistors and wires run, rules about area and congestion in the integrated circuits, etc.) that the hardware is being built upon.
  • Physical designers need to know about the general organization of the logic they are implementing (how many ports on this structure, what other blocks of logic does this piece of logic talk to), as well as some about the transistors, wires, capacitance, EM noise, etc. that make up the design.
  • Process engineers need to know how physical designers are using their transistors and wires, as well as a bunch of stuff about basic physics, chemistry, etc.

So yes, specialization, but some cross-discipline knowledge too.

Comment Re:Pinocchio as example of Disney's hypocrisy (Score 1) 207

You picked Pinocchio on purpose because it's probably the closest one you can find. Many other Disney movies are based on material whose copyrights either never existed, or have definitely expired even under current law. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Hercules, Rapunzel, Frozen - all either multi-generational folklore with no actual copyright on the characters or story, or fairy tales published in the 18th and 19th centuries whose copyrights have long since expired.

I'm not disagreeing with your point that their copyright lobbying is hypocritical, but it's pretty much a separate point from the discussion about how much Disney "steals" when they make a derivative work. If it were so easy to take 19th century folk tales and turn them into billion dollar franchises (I mean, you're starting from an existing, known character and story, right? According to Slashdot, that's pretty much the whole thing), I would expect Slashdot to be teeming with billionaire producers and directors fresh off their latest hit.

Comment Re:This is nothing new (Score 1) 207

This is what Disney has been doing all along... from Snow White to The LIttle Mermaid, pretty much everything Disney has ever had success with has been bought, borrowed or stolen. The last original character that Disney created was Mickey Mouse.

I'm really, really sick of hearing this ridiculous argument about Disney films. Did Disney steal all those Little Mermaid songs from the original fairy tale from 150 years ago? Or the animations? Or the voice actors?

No, none of that existed before Disney. The only thing that existed was the short story by Hans Christian Anderson, published in 1837. Guess what? Many films are made based on previously-published stores. 150 years later, Disney comes along and turns it into an animated musical feature film.

If you think the value in The Little Mermaid film was completely from the Hans Christian Anderson short story, by all means, set up shop as a traveling bard retelling HCA fairy tales and see if you can get people to give as much money as they've given Disney for Little Mermaid stuff. If you're right, you can laugh in my face all the way to the bank. But I wouldn't quit my day job if I were you.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 197

That's because with weeklong rentals, the lessor has to go through the trouble of finding a new tenant every week instead of being guaranteed the rent for the year.

And probably more importantly, with shorter-term commitments, the lessor takes on the risk that no one will rent the place the next week and there will be no rental income. So the shorter-term commitments price this risk in via higher rent per day for a shorter commitment.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 197

It's not just rent control. Short-term rentals, such as weekends and week-long rentals that Airbnb deals in, necessarily command a higher price than yearlong or longer commitments. That's because with weeklong rentals, the lessor has to go through the trouble of finding a new tenant every week instead of being guaranteed the rent for the year.

Of course, you can make the argument that the yearlong lessee who then rents his unit to a different occupant every week is putting in the extra effort every week to find a new tenant to realize those profits, and the landlord himself could do the same but chooses not to (he chooses to get the guaranteed yearlong rent instead). But, as was stated above, it's not the lessee's property to decide how it should be rented, so I don't know that this argument holds up.

Comment Re:Caveot Emptor (Score 2) 99

The reason that people who lost money in Mt Gox can't get their money back isn't because it was in Bitcoin. ... The reason people won't get their money back from Mt Gox is because Mt Gox isn't an FDIC insured bank.

Your point is sound (deposit insurance is different from who or what issues a currency), but in practice that distinction doesn't help anyone looking to replace their wealth storage in dollars with something else. The reason Mt Gox isn't an FDIC insured bank is because their deposits are in bitcoin, and FDIC doesn't insure anything that isn't in dollars.

I seriously doubt the US government will start insuring bitcoin deposits because 1) it doesn't control the currency, and 2) because it wants to encourage people to use dollars, not bitcoin. Lack of FDIC insurance on bitcoin is a (major) downside to using bitcoin as a wealth storage replacement.

Note that I'm talking about wealth storage, not short-term transactions. Transactions can be done in whatever currency the two parties agree upon (dollars, bitcoin, Ferraris, head of cattle, whatever). That's been possible since the dawn of trading between two parties and bitcoin is perhaps useful there.

Comment Re:Caveot Emptor (Score 2) 99

The difference is that deposits in a US bank are insured by the federal government up to some amount. (I'm not sure how it works in other countries but I would be surprised if they didn't have similar arrangements.) Bitcoins are not insured by a government. Yes, the government is going after the individual responsible for committing the theft, but there's no guarantee that those people will get their money back - unlike with a government-issued, government-insured currency.

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