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Comment Re:Sounds a lot like USB-Câ power delivery (Score 1) 66

I haven't been keeping up with the latest USB spec but this direction of power flow sounds like it would have been in breach of earlier USB specs for everything except USB-OTG which turning a device into a host necessitates the reverse of the normal power flow.

I believe USB-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specs had this specifically in mind. They changed the fixed concept of one device being the host/master and one being the guest/slave in lieu of the devices being able to negotiate roles as needed.

In "classic' USB, you had two roles - a host, and a slave (or device). Power flows from the host to the slave, regulated and monitored so the slave does not draw too much power. The host also interrogates the slave to figure out what kind of device it is and all that other good stuff.

With USB-C and USB-PD, the roles are more flexible. First, the direction of power flow is no longer obvious. Something like a monitor may dock a laptop over USB-C, so the monitor is the device (and thunderbolt target too) but power is flowing from the monitor to the laptop to charge it. In classic USB, this can't happen - the laptop is forced to power the screen instead.

In USB-OTG, no power flows at all, though the present host will supply up to 100mA at 5V in case there's any circuits needing powering. If the roles switch, then the old host switches off its power and the new host turns on its power.lh

Comment Re:Wrong hole (Score 1) 136

No, the fact that you can unlock a phone with the finger of someone unconscious...

The phone only checks for liveness. If you're unconscious, then you're alive, and thus the fingerprint sensor sees it has a real living finger.

If you're dead, then it probably wouldn't unlock.

Comment Re:What the fuck is FMA? (Score 3, Informative) 112

FMA are most commonly used to compute dot product, and are therefore very helpful in linear algebra. (And so they are useful in a ton of data mining algorithms.)

Also known as the Multiply-Accumulate (MAC) instruction in DSPs. MAC is an extremely common instruction in signal processing kernels (the inner loop that does the calculations). It is vital to be able to do a lot of them per clock cycle. In fact, it's often why DSPs have special looping registers so you can do zero-overhead loops and thus doing a sequence of MACs without incurring branch (and branch prediction) times thus being able to do nothing but this instruction for very little overhead

Comment Re:Salesforce isn't just sales (Score 1) 73

it's a complete WYSIWYG application platform that can build complex business apps without code ("Clicks not Code" in SF parlance). It's basically Visual Basic 6 for the web.

Thank you. I've been trying to figure out what SalesForce actually is for months. This is the most complete, intelligible description I've seen anywhere.

Comment Its rather exaggerated (Score 5, Interesting) 63

Intels claims are rather exaggerated. Their claims have already been torn apart on numerous tech forums. At best we're talking only a ~3-5x reduction in QD1 latency and the intentionally omit vital information in the specs to force everyone to guess what the actual durability of the XPoint devices is. They say '12PB' of durability for the 375GB part but refuse to tell us how much overprovisioning they do. They say '30 drive writes per day' without tellling us what the warrenty will be.

In fact, over the last 6 months Intel has walked back their claims by orders of magnitude, to the point now where they don't even claim to be bandwidth competitive. They focus on low queue depths and and play fast and loose with the stats they supply.

For example, their QOS guarantee is only 60uS 4KB (99.999%) random access latency and in the same breath they talk about being orders of magnitude faster than NAND NVMe devices. They fail to mention that, for example, the Samsung NVMe devices also typically run around ~60-70uS QD1 latencies. Then Intel mumbles about 10uS latencies but bandies about large factors of improvement over NAND NVMe devices, far larger than the 6:1 one gets simply assuming 10uS vs 60uS.

Then they go on to say that they will have a NVDIMM form for the device later this year, with much faster access times (since in the NVMe form factor access times are constricted by the PCIe bus and block I/O protocol). But with potentially only 33,000 rewrite cycles per cell to failure that's seriously problematic. (And that's the best guess, since Intel won't actually tell us what the cell durability is).


The price point is way too high for what XPoint in the NVMe format appears to actually be capable of doing. The metrics look impossible for a NVDIMM form later this year. Literally we are supposed to actually buy the thing to get actual performance metrics for it? I don't think so.

Its insane. This is probably the biggest marketing failure Intel has ever had. Don't they realize that nobody is being fooled by their crap specs?


Comment Re:Destroy all competition! (Score 4, Insightful) 74

Destroy all competition, or DAC is the precarious stage of a product life cycle in which the company has already recognized its products as stagnated and turns into destroying all competition instead of inventing marketable novelty. DAC stages are more typical for products of big companies with established ecosystems and revenue streams. -- Fake Marketing 101, Chapter 13

I think this is more alternate facts than anything, because the business case makes zero sense.

Apple invested a billion dollars into softbank. I don't know about you, but a billion dollars is a YUGGGGGGGGGEEEEEE amount. All for what? To kill a smartphone company who hasn't even released a phone yet? That makes zero business sense - they don't have a phone, they don't have a prototype, they don't have anything. And you don't know how much it costs, or what market they're targeting.

I'm sure the Pixel and Pixel XL phones have Apple worried that Google is stomping around their price points.Enough that some no-name (yeah he created Android, and no one cared) who promises a phone with everything and the kitchen sink which hasn't been released yet or even a business plan produced is even more scary.

No, what likely happened is Apple was making an investment in a carrier that believed in them (SoftBank was one of the first carriers outside the US to carry the iPhone, and in Japan, where their phones are light years ahead of what North America has) for $1B.

And it's likely because of this, SoftBank wanted them to switch from a direct investment to using this new fund with its big pot of money in it ($1B!) which would be used to encourage innovation, and either it failed because the phone wasn't practical, or other business reason. If it was a "nothing but iPhone" fund, then would be rather useless.

He likely got caught up in his own hype about the phone that it was supposed to be the next JesusPhone. Especially if he wanted to release it before the iPhone - that would mean he'd be in production right now, and thus all the hardware has been designed and debugged. Seeking funding now to go to mass production would put them even further behind thanks to how long it'll take

Comment Re:$1000 for a parka?! (Score 1) 52

Actually, Canada Goose make gear for arctic (and antarctic, the ones I have seen) use, and they ARE the real deal.
However, yes, many of their items look like fashion accessories for people with more money than sense.

Yes, they are pretty much the #1 brand of gear if you want to stay warm while in the arctic or antarctic (the "Canada" part should give it away as to where they're located AND why they're popular).

In fact, once you head into the arctic region of Canada, pretty much everyone is either wearing native parkas or Canada Goose, and anyone who isn't is freezing. It's so popular it's a VERY counterfeited brand especially in less-cold areas like the United States where you don't need such a warm parka (so they do make a lighter line of clothes). Counterfeiting is not such a big problem in North America, but it is in China where Canada Goose has become somewhat fashionable because it's high end (and local distrust of Chinese brands have made North American brands more popular due to better perceived quality control).

They used to only make parkas for the region (and any Canadian who traveled to the region had one) but they've long diversified. Being where I am, I started hearing a lot more about Canada Goose maybe 10 years ago. Before that, everyone sorta knew, but unless you traveled there, you didn't really need one (though enough people have for work that there's one in the closet gathering moths).

Comment Re:A strobe gif in an email is illegal? (Score 1) 151

But if you are bragging in writing about how you are going to cause someone to have a seizure by sending them a strobe gif, then it probably isn't hard to convince a jury that you intended to cause inujury, and it shouldn't be hard to find an expert witness to testify that it is quite possble to die from an epileptic seizure.

The twitter account also had DMs where he'd bragged about how he hoped he'd die, and there was a Wikipedia page with an edit showing the victim's death the next day.

It's stupidly obvious he was hoping he'd kill the guy.

Comment Re:Innovation in theaters? (Score 2) 213

Binge watching wasn't a thing before they were around

Actually, it was. We didn't call it binge watching though. We called them "marathons". During holidays, TV stations would do lots of marathons (especially cable channels) where they'd air the entire season at once (they still do). Theatres had movie marathons where just before a new sequel came out, they'd show the predecessors. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings were popular movie marathon showings, as were Star Trek.

Heck, people sat down with entire DVD box sets of TV series and watched them one after another.

And until the invention of the DVR, it was always a challenge recording a marathon since your standard VHS tape only recorded up to 6-8 hours a tape.

All Netflix did was make it so you could hit a few buttons and conjure up your own marathon on demand, in other words, made it for the ultra-lazy to spend an entire weekend on the couch. (At least even the DVD guys had to go up every few hours to change the disc).

Comment Re:A strobe gif in an email is illegal? (Score 2) 151

We're treading dangerously into territory where you're trying to read minds. You would have to prove intent ..... you would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intended to and actually believed that your actions would harm someone. The burden of proof would be very particular because sending that same email to 99% of the population, even including many epileptics, would do no harm.

Well, that tweet was sent with a note of "you deserve a seizure" alongside it, which pretty much confirms intent to harm

Sometimes it can be hard to confirm intent. This time, it was pretty obvious the sender intentionally sent that eeizure-inducing image hoping it would cause a seizure.

No mind reading tricks needed here - the sender made it plainly obvious they were intentionally sending it to harm the guy. Maybe in other cases, but not this one.

Comment Another nail in the coffin for Firefox (Score 1) 322

Pulseaudio is nortiously linux-specific. We've had nothing but trouble trying to use it on BSD and switched to ALSA (which is a lot more reliable on BSDs) a year or two ago for that reason.

I guess that's the end of Firefox's portability. Most of our users use Chromium anyway because Firefox has been so unstable and crash-prone. Long live Chromium?


Comment Re:Sharing Paper (Score 1, Insightful) 153

Older people like me are also accustomed to being able to buy books, and not be hit with arbitrary regional restrictions. Imagine the lady at the checkout of your favourite book store or library putting aside a couple of books from your selection: "I am sorry sir, but you can't have those". That has been my main reason to pirate ebooks: region locks and availability. Thankfully the situation is improving, and publishers are learning not to piss off their customer this way.

Incorrect analogy.

Because for starters, if the store couldn't sell it to you, they wouldn't have it. If there is a geographical restriction on the sale of a book (e.g., perhaps people of Town X can't buy it), then all the book stores of Town X won't carry it. Town Y, just a town over can read the book, and its bookstores carry it. There is nothing stopping a person from Town X shopping in Town Y and bringing it back. (This happens a lot, actually - people did travel just to get stuff they couldn't get locally.

Comment Re:Morons are running the USA (Score 2) 648

Not saying Islamic terror isn't a threat, but to put it in perspective, it seems we have just as much to fear from substance abusing or mentally ill drivers mowing people down in a crowd as we do from Jihadis executing carefully planned attacks. Both in terms of the numbers of victims and the frequency of incidents.

Plus Trump oddly keeps forgetting to put the countries that we know harbor terrorists off his executive orders. (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt). The 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. The French bomber was a triple crown - Egyptian citizen touring through Saudi Arabia and getting a French Visa through Dubai.

The other 6 (or 7, in the original order) do not have a record of producing terrorists. (Ignoring the fact that Daneesh routinely recruits American teenagers...)

Comment Re:Armstrong didn't say "one small step for man" (Score 1) 52

However, NASA has studied the audio recording over and over, and found no evidence that there's an 'a' ever uttered, and plenty of evidence that there simply isn't the time for him to have said what he claims he said.

Humans have notoriously terrible memories, we remember more of what we want to, not what actually happened.

Say it yourself. It's easy to get sloppy and think you are saying "for a man", yet it comes out sound like "for man". He probably spoke it in exactly that manner.


You also have to remember that Neil did NOT say this off the cuff. He did NOT make it up. It was actually decided on the ground what would be said when he first set foot on the moon. It's entirely possible that the card said "for a man" and everyone believes he said it and he flubbed it.

The only thing was spontaneous was "The Eagle has landed" because the lander was NOT called Eagle.

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