Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:What Authority ... (Score 1) 352

Yeah, they're doing that too. That's the "shell company" issue I mentioned in the first paragraph, but it's not something that was addressed by the current EU finding - they've just been driving all those other iThings from across the whole of the EU (and maybe elsewhere too?) as sales that appear to be from Ireland so they can "legally" pay their taxes in Dublin at sub-1% rates instead of the normal corporate tax rates in the countries in question. Basically, the amount covers tax owed on *all* those iThings that have been processed through Ireland, so in other words Dublin gets to claim the tax on *all* the goods Apple has sold across the EU, not just in Ireland.

The only reason I can see that a country in such marginal financial straits as Ireland would not be all over that deal and sending the bailiffs around to Apple's offices first thing the following day is that some senior figures were fully complicit in the deal, including knowing that it was in blatent breach of EU legislation, and are now terrified that it's going to come out and they are going to end up going to jail.

Comment Re:Rust is going to eat C's lunch (Score 1) 200

Depends on the platform, but regardless, that's kind of the point of Rust, to have the best of both worlds. Same machine model of C, whole classes of errors are impossible in non unsafe blocks. You never have to worry about use-after-free since the type checker proves you didn't do it for example.

In terms of correctness proofs vs performance, it's a tradeoff as always.

Comment Re:What's the complaint? (Score 2) 41

"Are you OK with him setting his torrent traffic priority to 1? Even if it interferes with your VOIP and gaming? "

There is no reason everyone on the connection can't be given an equal share bucket regardless of the type of traffic. When there is no contention, by all means use all the slots but when the three of us are all pushing packets at the same time we should get an equal number of slots. If I want to priortize one of my traffic types over another within my slots that is my call but in no case should I get more contested slots than my neighbor just because I, you, or the ISP thinks one type of traffic is more important and worthy of service than another. It's important to you to have stutter free voip but no more so than my download finishing faster is to me.

Comment Re:What's the complaint? (Score 2) 41

"Do you even think it's reasonable to prioritize your torrent packets the same as your neighbors VOIP traffic?"

Absolutely. I think it's reasonable to prioritize MY voip traffic over my torrent traffic but I don't think it's reasonable to prioritize any of my neighbors traffic over any of my own. Some sort of equal token bucket system is most reasonable.

Comment Re:What's the complaint? (Score 0) 41

"Net Neutrality has nothing to do with it. No one's treating the packets differently based on address."

That would make sense if net neutrality were limited in some way to treating packets differently based on address. Net neutrality applies to all throttling of all kinds for all reasons. It is none of my ISP's business what kind of packets I'm sending to who and not their perogative to decide which bits of my traffic are more important than other bits or even to inspect my traffic so they could do such a thing.

Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 119

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Comment Re:Proves that Brexit was the right call (Score 1) 352

Proves that the UK was right in deciding to go the Brexit route, and that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - despite their reservations - would be better off.

No, not really.

Now the EU comes in and rules that the tax exemptions that Ireland gave Apple are illegal?

Yes, because Ireland agreed with the other EU states that they wouldn't do that as part of a trade agreement.

his is precisely why there are so many who think that leaving the EU is the right choice.

Yes and those people are stupid because leaving the EU doesn't give you the magic ability to violate trade agreements with no consequences.

no capability of addressing the real needs of the citizens of Europe - namely being safe from 'terrorists'

I am safe from terrorists. We have an amortized annual death rate sue to terrorism of about 6 people per year in the UK which is about double the rate of people killed by lightning strikes, and an order of magnitude less likely than being killed by a falling object and two orders of magnitude less likely than dying as a result of falling down the stairs. You're 3 times as likely to drown in the bath as you are being killed by a terrorist. On the other hand, you're more likely being killed by a terrorist than you are to be stung to death by bees, wasps or hornets (aggregated), by about a factor of two.

The numbers simply do not support a fear of terrorism.

Comment This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 3, Interesting) 119

I once bummed a ride from Tallahassee to Tampa with a client, and he asked me if I minded if he took a detour to see the "Fish Man". I thought he meant a fish-monger, but then he turned his car off the highway an drove it through a gap in the chainlink fence. We went up a dirt track through the scrub pines to a glade with couple of trailers -- one of which had no sides and was outfitted as a living room. There were chicken wire pens scattered around the compound full of empty beer and paint cans.

The "Fish Man" turned out to be fat, shambling, hairy mountain of a man. He was almost naked, and monochromatically red-brown: shoulder-length frizzy red-brown hair, sunburned skin with strawberry-blond fur, and red-brown denim cargo shorts. You almost couldn't tell where the shorts ended and his body began, except that there was no fur on the shorts and when he turned around he showed about ten inches of ass crack. It was about 10:30 in the morning and he was drinking his breakfast from a gallon screw-top bottle. From out in the forest came the sound of trees being cut down.

We were here because the Fish Man was an artist my friend collected. The people cutting down trees were his apprentices. They'd moved thousands of miles from their city homes to live in a squatter's camp and study under him. My friend handed the Fish Man $250 and got a fish sculpture in return, which he later explained to me was a terrrific deal because that sculpture would have fetched $1000 in a gallery, easily.

I'm not an art person, but even I could see the thing was a masterpiece; it was breathtaking. It wasn't exactly representational, you might even have called it a little cartoonish, but somehow he'd captured a sense of movement; it looked alive.

The Fish Man invited watch him turn a curved blank from a hollow cypress into another one, a process that took only about ten minutes because he did it with a goddamn chainsaw.

There's a lesson in this about powerful tools. They can't make you into anything you aren't already. If you're a genius, they allow you to express your genius faster. If you're undisciplined and lazy, they make you unproductive on a grander scale.

Comment Re:What Authority ... (Score 2) 352

None, but that's the wrong end of the stick many seem to be grasping. The EU laws are pretty clear; a member state can set its own taxes (with some constraints on levels), but they have to set them equally with no specific tax breaks for specific companies - that would be considered State Aid. Dublin basically decided to give Apple (and probably all of the others under investigation) a tax break in return for them setting up shop in Ireland instead of elsewhere in the EU, but didn't extend the tax rate to every other corporation in Ireland. (They also turned a blind eye to the huge scam of what is essentially a shell company operating on that discount tax rate and avoiding higher rate taxes elsewhere, but that's a totally separate issue for another court.) Hence they contravened EU law and the reason they are running scared and siding with Apple as the chances are pretty good that "tax break" could well turn into "bribe" as far as the Irish tax office is concerned, which could in turn potentially mean criminal prosecutions.

And no, Apple et al don't get off the hook. That the default tax rate a lot more than what they were paying can't have failed to escape their notice (they were probably getting bonuses based on it after all), and ignorance of the law, in this case the "no company specific tax breaks" bit, is never an acceptable defence. Of course, with so much money at stake spending a few million more - chump change by comparison - on lawyers in the hope that you can get it negated, or at least reduced, on appeal is pretty much a no-brainer so Apple's position is hardly surprising.

Submission + - Intel Unveils Full Details Of Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Series Processors (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel is readying a new family of processors, based on its next-gen Kaby Lake microarchitecture, that will be the foundation of the company's upcoming 7th Generation Core processors. Although Kaby Lake marks a departure from Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence, there have been some tweaks made to its 14nm manufacturing process (called 14nm+) that have resulted in significant gains in performance, based on clock speed boosts and other optimizations. In addition, Intel has incorporated a new multimedia engine into Kaby Lake that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding. Skylake could handle 1080p HEVC transcoding, but it didn't accelerate 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding or VP9 decode and had to assist with CPU resources. The new multimedia engine gives Kaby Lake the ability to handle up to eight 4Kp30 streams and it can decode HEVC 4Kp60 real-time content at up to 120Mbps. The engine can also now offload 4Kp30 real-time encoding in a dedicated fixed-function engine. Finally, Intel has made some improvements to their Speed Shift technology, which now takes the processor out of low power states to maximum frequency in 15 milliseconds. Clock speed boosts across Core i and Core m 7th gen series processors of 400 — 500 MHz, in combination with Speed Shift optimizations, result in what Intel claims are 12 — 19 percent performance gains in the same power envelope as its previous generation Skylake series, and even more power efficient video processing performance.

Submission + - EU orders Ireland to recoup up to €13bn in unpaid taxes from Apple

Bryan O'Donoghue writes: Ireland has been ordered to recoup up to €13 billion from US tech company Apple in unpaid taxes in a landmark ruling by the European Commission.
The EU’s powerful competition arm said on Tuesday that Apple had been given selective treatment by Ireland through two tax rulings granted to the company in 1991 and 2007.


Comment Re:Rust is going to eat C's lunch (Score 1) 200

I don't know if rust will succeed. It's the only one capable, really.

Rust basically has the same machine model as C and C++, but with a different syntax. There's nothing you can do in a more efficient and economical (e.g. memory, cycles) way in C compared to Rust.

The rest have garbage collection which basically rules them out and in addition do not have proper zero cost abstractions. They're prepared to burn cycles to make the programmer's life easier.

The exception to that is D. D can sort of run perfectly fine without the garbage collector and basically has the same machine model as C too. D's biggest win is it's unparalleled metaprogramming ability in this space. The problem with D is how the whole thing is run. There are two incompatible language versions (D1 and D2), which is something which will never happen with C++ or C, and I strongly suspect not Rust either. Also, they built the standard library to rely on garbage collection, so you can't escape the collector without doing a lot of work. Do you need to? Maybe, maybe not, but it means you won't get the standard library printf on a tiny MCU. Also stack allocation in D is a bit discouraged because it's unsafe (like C and C++), but it's really important for efficient or embedded code. That makes D less nice to use there. Also it's garbage collector is not that great speed wise.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 4, Informative) 200

Probably not even that. In the tiny number of cases where strict aliasing buys you anything at all (which on modern out-of-order hardware it almost never does), it's around the same order of magnitude as the performance that you lose in C++ due to maintaining exception handling information. There's really nothing between C and C++ given the same code these days. In practice, most of the performance gains in C++ come from metaprogramming.


Aliasing information does help. Modern compilers do auto parallelization at both the fine level (SIMD) and the coarser thread level in some cases. Take, for example the following code:

void foo(A* a, B* b)

A and B are the same types, there is nothing that stops the base where a=b+1. If A and B are different types, strict aliasing tells us those arrays never overlap, and so the compiler can use wide SIMD instructions in that loop.

If A and B are the same type, in C (and in practice C++ compilers with a nonstandard extension), you can specify "restrict", which informs the compilers that the arrays don't alias and so it can use the wide SIMD instructions. In that case C is a bit better than standard C++, since C++ has no restrict keyword.

Also, when it comes to exceptions, these days it's basically zero cost (I think it is actually zero cost), provided you don't throw. The compilers make throwing expensive to do that. I believe there's some sort of big look up table plus bisection somewhere so it can figure out the throw-position from the program counter, which is quite expensive. Then it jumps from there to the correct bit of unwind code. The practical effect is that there's nothing exception related in the main code except for a throw.

Slashdot Top Deals

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him." -Arthur C. Clarke