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Comment Yup, GNU/NT-Kernel (Score 1) 152

If I understand it right, it's a GNU/Linux distro without a Linux kernel on top of a compatibility layer on Windows, right?

Yup, mostly(*).

So "GNU/Windows NT Kernel" is better than "Linux" - That actually one of the rare few occastion a typical "GNU/Linux" distro gets used without the Linux kernel part.

But because "Linux" has brand recognition, it's still used.

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(*): there's no separate compatibility layer (unlike things like Cygwin which are a user-mode compatibility layer that translates POSIX API-calls into Win32 calls - and thus enables soure compatibility).
The NT-Kernel has a bizare peculiarity : it can export several different ABI's to usermode software - it has different "personnalities".
- Win32 is just *one* of the set of ABI available.
- A long time ago, that made it possible to run OS/2 software on Windows NT.
- A little bit less longer time ago, Windows NT also had a "Unix" personality.
- Now WSL is actually the NT kernel exhibiting a small subset of the ABI featured by the linux kernel - about the bare minimum to get a few basic user-mode software (e,.g.: the "GNU" part of "GNU/Linux") run unmodified.

These are straight ABI available from the NT-Kernel, not a mere Linux-to-Win32 API conversion like Cygwin.

e.g.:
- Among other defaults Win32 has a poor multi-processing (forking is expensive). Cygwin application have to rely on that poorer cousin in order to provide multi-processing to POSIX.
- The recent kernels of Windows NT intoduced pico-thread which are very cheap, weren't available in the Win32 API back when introduced, but where exposed through the "Linux-lite" API that is WSL in order to make a usefull multiprocessing.

On the other hand WSL is far from complete. There is tons of stuff that you can do on your GNU/Linux that you can't do with WSL (e.g.: filesystem drivers)

Comment WINE ; ReactOS (Score 1) 152

Then you could use either ReactOS in your VM, or run Wine straight in your userspace.

And again there are also companies supporting *that*.
(e.g.: CrossOver pays developers)

So *there is* company-sponsored efforts to be able to run windows programs in a GNU/LInux or Android/Linux environment.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 85

Helicopters? Expensive to run and they certainly cannot land everywhere. This vehicle looks like it can land in most places where there are no overhead obstructions, and if the cost can drop to where it becomes a viable mode of public transport, hospitals could replace their one helicopter with a whole fleet of these.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 85

Self driving cars will also help alleviate congestion, when there are enough of them. They can drive bumper to bumper. At intersections they can just keep going at speed, passing each other after a short negotiation and small speed adjustment to create and time the right gaps in the flow of traffic, with the traffic lights turned off. (The traffic light would need to be smart as well; it would turn on again when a manually driven vehicle approaches)

Comment Re:Should have gone with blackberry... (Score 1) 56

BYOD isn't a cost-saver, it's a matter of convenience. And playing on private phones has nothing to do with it (so sick and tired of that old "Blackberry is a business tool; iPhone / Android is a toy"-line).

Most employees prefer using their private phones for work stuff over having to carry a second phone, and BYOD can also be offered to employees who formerly did not qualify for a company phone. For a while, having a BB was something of a status symbol, but as soon as companies figured out how to make BYOD secure enough, most people got rid of them even if they didn't have to. The hold-outs who kept their BBs were seen as dinosaurs. The "current state of affairs" at places that did BYOD the right way is just fine and dandy.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 56

Most of my clients that implemented this saw BYOD as a win-win: they no longer have to provide company phones, and most employees seem to prefer using their private phone for business stuff (and bearing the costs as well) over having to carry 2 phones. In case where the employee had a choice between a company phone or BYOD, almost everyone ditched their Blackberry and used their personal device instead. And it certainly was seen as a win by employees who did not qualify for a company phone, but now have access to their work email, agenda, directory and IM service.

Comment Re:This is starting to happen in a lot of places.. (Score 1) 56

Nope, this have nothing to do with private chats or calls during work hours. They cannot ban Whatsapp from private phones, only require that they are removed from private phones that are enrolled in their BYOD infrastructure (on Android and iOS, you can enforce this too). Instead of having a policy that requires employees to only use business-approved channels for business-related communications (and perhaps reinforce that policy with a short mandatory CYA* E-learning course), they opt for the easiest way to comply. As always.

*) CYA = Cover Your Arse.

Comment Re:Triphenyl phosphate (Score 2) 57

Free market economies give us a choice... of course "us" means that sometimes others will do the choosing for you. Phone manufacturers prefer batteries with higher energy densities that are (usually) safe enough, over more expensive batteries that might let the owners of those phones keep theirs a little but longer. And if this flame retardant makes the battery (and the phone) a little bit bulkier, then manufacturers will not use it either. Especially Apple, since they need to placate the growing mob of belligerent protesters outside their HQ screaming for even thinner phones. Because above all we want thinner phones. Right?

Comment CH (Score 1) 154

Trolley buses are - unfortunately - only widespread in the former soviet union and its client states

CH, here. The country has mostly been neutral during cold war and is far from being a client state.
But bigger cities here love trolley and trams too.

Electricity is easily available (thanks to alpine dams)

And city centers are rather densely populated - and thus the network of bus stops is also dense (you don't need hundreds of km of wire just to link 2 bus stops)

(for some reason soviet government seriously loved trolley buses, they have even built a trolley bus line in Afghanistan, back then they were there)

I would say that electric motors are simpler, smaller, easier to install into a vehicle. And are easy to ship around.
Whereas ICE are more a custom job that is vehicle specific.

Thus it's much easier for a Sovietic planned economy to make a 5-years plan to build a huge mega factory in one client state (e.g.: Bulgaria) and ship motors and install them into bus through the whole communist world.

Comment Truck (Score 1) 154

I'm curious:
Unload truck onto train, ship, unload train onto truck, deliver?
or
Drive truck onto flatbed railcar, ship, drive truck off railcar, deliver?
For trucks that are separate tractor trailer, just the trailer on the flatbed.

The law doesn't specify anything.
But it seems to me that for logistic reasons, the 3rd option you mention is the most popular :
the trailer is a standardized contrainer that can be moved from the truck to the train without needing to lose time for unloading/reloading the merchandise.

Comment Cost reasons (Score 1) 303

For cost reasons, any consumer electronic device will usually be implemented on the cheapest possible SoC with the bare minimum of unused resources (eMMC, RAM, MIPS etc.)

Nowadays ROM chips with a custom firmware burned in cost too much (add maybe a 0.5$ per unit), firmware is flashed on built-in EEPROM inside the SoC.

In theory, most of modern-day widgets have field-upgradeable firmware.

In practice, no company bothers to do the necessary work, specially since by the time the firmware upgrade is necessary, the device has already been sold and the money has been earned. There is no big immediate advantage in providing upgrade. It's an eventual long term advantage for the end-user, but by then the end-user can only regret having spent the money on the gadget.
(e.g.: Not exactly wireless DAB radio, but out of all the wireless bluetooth speakers I've seen, only Logitech/Ultimate Ears bothers to make regular updates that actually add new features. None of the DAB radio I've owned has ever bothered releasing a firmware upgrade, even if some did advertise the possibility)

For lots of music usage (again, anything beyond the handheld DAB/FM receiver*) the "bare minimum SoC" is already quite powerful.
e.g.: bigger multi-media device need AAC decoding capabilities (to play music from USB sticks / MP3 players in USB-Storage mode, etc.) - That's about what is needed to move a DAB-enabled device to DAB+.
e.g.: In Vehicle Infotainment have a fuckton more processing power (Some high end device are the equivalent of a big over-powered tablet / a small netbook), that's way more than enough for playing DAB+ (or even support OPUS).

-----

*: the handhelds tend to be a single chip with a hardware DAB receiver piping its data straigh into a MP2/MP3 hardware core. There's no real CPU.
This kind chip is designed to be used as a DAB solution for media devices.
(e.g.: combine it with a CD player and a few such other parts, and you can make a cheap all-in-one audio device)

But the micro-controller on this SoC can run a firmware that gives it limited stand-alone properties: it can handle a few bare simple menus and can be wired straight to an LCD with a couple of buttons.

Thus, this kind of chip can be also useful to make dead-cheap handheld radios.
(example of such radio: Revo Pico+ - though it wasn't sold at a cheap price back then)

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 1) 452

this right here is why a lot of iphone users that switch to Android switch right back. Google allows shitware to be baked in by carriers and phone makers (HTC SENSE is an abomination)

Until google tells carriers and phone makers that they can not use the words android or google in any way or have access to the app market if they do not make the phone as a PURE phone with all their add on crap as removeable, conversion rate from ios to android will stay low.

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