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Comment Re:Windows 10, Windows 10, Windows 10! (Score 1) 463

That doesn't seem like a particularly believable reason. ARM SoCs that might end up in tablets and phones all have at least moderately competent GPUs and the requirements of Aero Glass are pretty trivial even by modern mobile GPU standards (compositing, a token amount of pixel shader). More importantly, offloading rendering to the GPU is more power efficient (which is why Apple pushed as much as possible there starting when laptop sales began to outnumber desktops and continued when iDevices started to become popular).

Comment Re: So in other words... (Score 1) 304

With vehicles, most of the damage is now well understood. There is an accident, people die. Some issues took longer before we understood that they were a big problem (car emissions causing smog, greenhouse gasses, and other airborn pollutants; drunk driving claiming lots of lives) but now, after a hundred years of almost every american being in or near vehicles daily, we have a pretty good handle on it.

Consider tobacco. For a very long time, smoking tobacco was considered healthy. Even when studies started to show the terrible effects, corporations and deniers tried to deny the studies. I remember my best friend's dad saying "I'm not a lab rat, how they do testing is totally different than how people smoke, so obviously those studies are wrong." Now we know better.

And now we have e-cigs. We have studies which show, not proof yet, but strong cause for concern. We have a market full off cheap products which you say are dangerous, and expensive products which you say are not dangerous, and no labelling or education to teach consumers to avoid the cheap shit. And we have people saying "how they do testing is totally different than how people vape, so obviously those studies are wrong."

The harm from e-cigs isn't "you use a cheap one and you die". It's "some products, or maybe all products, emit toxins which are then inhaled". With cigarettes, we know that inhaling certain toxins has little immediate effect but extremely large effects over many years. Do the e-cigs cause the same issues? We're not sure, but it's not exactly rocket science to say "maybe we should study this and put some regulations in sooner rather than waiting until a few generations have damaged their lungs."

I do like your "Reputable studies that actualy say how they tested the e juice come back with no harmful toxins." Do you remember the reputable studies that tobacco companies did which showed no harmful effects? I don't know if the e-cig companies are lying or not; I don't know if they are fooling themselves or not. But I do know that I don't trust companies to regulate themselves; I've seen how that works out.

Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 1) 125

Is it any wonder that UX designers are getting a horrible reputation among some segments of the tech-savvy crowd?

The main reason for this is that people who self-describe as UX experts, as opposed to HCI experts, tend to be the ones that favour form over function and ignore the last 40 or so years of research into how to design useable interfaces. Most of them wouldn't know Fitts' Law if it dragged them to the corner of the screen and made them infinitely long.

Comment Re:How do you regression test that stuff? (Score 1) 308

There isn't much testing of the C bindings. They're also in the process of being deprecated in favour of machine-generated ones that are less API stable and have no ABI stability guarantees (precisely because most people don't actually use them from C, they use them from some other language with C bindings). For everything else, there's a bit regression test suite that works by feeding some code (source code when testing clang, IR or assembly when testing bits of LLVM) into one of the tools and then checking that the output matches. Bugs still slip in quite easily, unfortunately. The second tier of tests involves compiling and running a bunch of benchmarks and similar sample code and checking that they haven't got slower (by a statistically significant margin) and that they still produce the right answers. There's a network of buildbots that runs on a variety of operating systems and architectures that first builds and runs the regression test suite on every commit and then (less frequently) runs the executable tests. These catch most regressions, but not all - the rest are caught by users testing betas and filing bug reports.

There's been a lot of research work on improving this. The LLVM Miscompilation Detector, for example, had a semantic model of LLVM IR and would feed real and randomly-generated IR through the optimisation pipeline and then use a theorem prover to attempt to prove that the semantics of the before and after versions were the same. This could then be combined with the LLVM bugpoint tool to find the optimisation pass that performed an invalid transform.

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 308

It's a tradeoff. Blowing away the i-cache is a good way of killing performance, but so is having a load of function calls that do almost no work. If you had to do a virtual method call for comparing two unsigned integers and a different virtual function call for comparing two signed integers when inserting them into a set then you'd have a lot more overhead. In a typical std::set implementation, the compare operations are inlined and so the costs are very low.

The real problem with C++ is that the programmer has to make the decision about whether to use static or dynamic dispatch up front and the syntax for both is very different, so you can't trivially switch between them when it makes sense to do so.

Comment Re: So in other words... (Score 1) 304

Do you drive ? Better not as more people are hurt and killed in cars than any e cig has hurt someone.

You are completely correct! Road vehicles are terribly dangerous, and most of us spend hours per week in them. They used to be much more dangerous per road-hour. But then we got:
    * Regulations for safety features in vehicles (seat belts, airbags, crumple zones)
    * Regulations for road design (traffic control, traffic calming, speed control)
    * Regulations for vehicle emissions (many and varied)
    * Regulations for driving under the influence of various chemicals
    * Regulations for amount of time you can drive per day (for commercial drivers only)
    * Regulations for licensing

Plus many more. And now vehicles are much less dangerous than before. The injuries and deaths per road-hour, or road-mile, or any other measure you'd like, are way down. So vehicles prove that regulation can be an effective way of taking a hazardous activity and making it much safer. Thanks for proving my point.

Maybe before shooting your pie hole off you should go and see what the regulators do for the ecig industry

If the choice is between letting an industry make lots of money or keeping people from suffering harm, well, I'm not sure I care about what happens to the industry. Fortunately, that's not the choice. We have many industries which are heavily regulated but make lots of money.

Regulations can be bad, and humans often choose dangerous activities. But bringing up driving means that you have no idea how we make tradeoffs and how regulations work. There is no perfect solution, but there are a lot of terrible solutions.

Comment Re:If a cigarette doesn't "smoke", is it harmful? (Score 3, Informative) 304

Second-hand cigarette smoke has not reliably been shown to increase cancer risk or cause respiratory damage to healthy individuals even when those individuals are children raised in smoker households.

I'm no scientist, but whenlots of scientists say something sciencey, and statisticians back them up, I tend to believe it, even if it's something I wish were untrue. You may make different choices. (I picked that link because I've been using Politifact a lot the last few months and while I sometimes disagree with their results I like that they explain their process and carefully list their sources.)

The secondhand smoke numbers are not as solid as, say, measurements of gravity; it's a very hard thing to measure directly, so the studies are mostly doing indirect statistical analyses. So it's always possible that there is another factor there that we are overlooking. But the vast preponderance of evidence points one way, and it's not the way you say it does.

Comment Re:Always question a study... (Score 1) 304

Thus it is wholly-possible to engineer a substantially-safe e-cigarette, if examining specific concerns of e-cigarettes (conversion of chemicals to dangerous chemicals; high-temperature vapor irritating the throat and lungs; basic chemical content). This requires engineering of the compound itself and the delivery device.

Are all (or even most) compounds and delivery devices made this way? If not, then it sounds like the solution is to regulate the industry to only permit safe(r) products, along with studies so that safe(r) is based on the best known facts at any given time.

Will the free market solve this without regulation? Without labels and education, consumers don't even have the option of making an informed choice. Without something compelling accuracy in the labels, producers will put inaccurate labels on their products. Without a penalty for producing unhealthy products, producers will design products based on "cost" and "attractiveness", with health a non-consideration. So I'm happy to listen to arguments about solving this without regulation, but I'm not sure how it can be done.

Regulation isn't good, it's just better than anything else we've tried.

Comment Re: So in other words... (Score 1) 304

So you are saying that "cheap shit" is for sale. And presumably the "cheap shit" doesn't have labels saying "this will cause long-term damage, buy our competiter's shit instead".

You are saying that self regulation is not working. In that case, the options seem to be "add non-self regulation" or "force people to make health decisions without giving them useful information about health outcomes". I'm voting for regulation myself, but that's because I'll be paying for these idiots with my health-insurance dollars so I think I have a say.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Exactly. I bought a fairly decent set of speakers, a projector, and a DVD player for a total of around £450 in 2003. Back then, a ticket at my local cinema cost £4.50 (it's gone up), so roughly the same as going to the cinema 100 times. Popcorn was another £4 or so (drinks another £2-3), so that brought it down to about 50 trips - one a week for a year. I split the cost of the projector with my housemates back then and we'd have friends bring a DVD and food / beer around. By the end of the year, it had more or less paid for itself. One of my housemates bought the other shares in the projector when he moved and I bought a new one and have replaced the bulb once, so I've spent a total of about £500 (plus electricity) over a period of 13 years. The up-front cost was a lot higher, but over 13 years it's been cheaper than going to the cinema once a month and not having anything to eat / drink there. And that's just the cost for me: for the first few years when living with housemates and for the last few living with my partner the benefits have been shared by multiple people. Oh, and we get to watch TV shows in the same environment.

I stopped buying DVDs for a while because renting was a lot cheaper, but as BluRay and streaming start to see adoption the second-hand market is flooded with DVDs so it's easy to pick up a film for £1 or a season of a TV show for £3-5.

The real answer to piracy? Give people the product that they want for a reasonable price. Give me a service that let's me download DRM-free movies in a standard format that will work on the FreeBSD media centre box connected to my projector, my Mac laptop, my old WebOS tablet and my new iPad and I'll happily hand over money. Until then, I'll stick to DVDs.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Right, because old people are the ones that have good hearing. I had a similar experience the last time I went to a cinema. Sound settings so ludicrous that any base drowned out people talking and caused distortion in the speakers. I've not been to the cinema near where I live now, but they've just done a big refurbishment that ended up with a quarter the seating space that they had before. Apparently it's doing pretty well (people like the big comfy seats), but a apparently decade ago it was able to sell out most of the screens on a regular basis. Now they always have empty seats, even with a quarter the capacity.

Comment Re:Hatchet jobs aside (Score 1) 399

I look into the witness guy's background, he has UK security clearance FFS!

Having UK security clearance is not that hard. I did for a while (though it's long-since lapsed). Anyone who works on any defence-related project is likely to have security clearance. Remember when Snowden released all of the things he could access and it turned out that over a million people in the USA had security clearance? The UK isn't that much more restrictive in who it hands our clearance to.

Comment Re:Which version of C would you use? (Score 1) 308

C11 threads are also a horrible API full of mistakes that other threading libraries learned from and fixed two decades ago. It exists solely because someone thought that you can't have atomics in a language without a mechanism in the standard library for creating threads. C++11 threads are actually quite sensible. The only significant addition in C11 is the addition of a half-arsed port of C++11 atomics (right down to accidentally including a joke footnote from the C++11 draft spec that was removed before the C++11 spec was finalised). _Generic is vaguely useful.

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