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Comment Single people hook up anywhere, news at 11 (Score 2) 51

They can make up any rules they want, if people take an interest they'll try flirting regardless. Compliments and open ended questions will for the most part get you clear feedback if your interest is wanted or unwanted. The rule is just there to punish those who think they're at a meat market or don't take a hint or outright rejection and starts being a dick to the point where they get a complaint filed against them. It's basically like hooking up anywhere except Tinder, it's not like that's the only place it happens...

Comment Re:Reads Like An Ad (Score 1) 248

It's because they can't and they never will - fusion is not useful energy for power generation unless it's the size of a star and you're collecting photons on a PV panel.

Why? Even a 130 kg warhead can create lots of surplus energy. The problem is rather the exact opposite that even the smallest fusion reaction is already too powerful to handle and rips everything apart. If you look at Hiroshima that looks pretty "unmanageable" too but we managed to go from a bomb to a controlled power positive nuclear reactor in ~6 years from 1945 to EBR-I in 1951. So far it's been 64 years and counting since Ivy Mike in 1952 and we still can't do controlled, sustained fusion of any form. That's the core problem, once you have a working fusion reaction it'd take almost nothing to make it net positive in power.

Comment By any other name (Score 1) 249

If there's a difference between "Star in a jar" and "Cold Fusion", then I cannot for the life of me tell what it would be. The summary very strangely doesn't clarify at all, instead simply to contrast SIAJ to Fission. If they're hoping we won't notice that this sounds exactly like cold fusion, they're going to be disappointed. The whole approach makes me think this is marketing-heavy rather than science-heavy, which bodes very poorly for their actual progress.

Comment Re: Not gonna happen (Score 1) 249

His point is that there aren't really any oil companies left anymore. Most of the 'big oil' companies are now fairly diversified energy companies. Fusion would be great for them, because it has very large capital costs, but huge return on investment, meaning that only companies with experience in power systems and a lot of spare capital will be in a good place to be first movers. They wouldn't want to kill this, they'd want to own it and be the first to provide electricity in the kinds of quantities promised by fusion.

Comment Re:Reads Like An Ad (Score 4, Insightful) 248

I'm in my 50s, and I've been hearing that practical fusion generators were only 10-15 years off since I was a little nerdling

There was an article a few years back that put these in perspective. They pointed out that N years in the future really means $M dollars more spending in the future and that these predictions have been quite consistent: if we'd kept funding at the anticipated rate in the '60s, we might have working fusion already.

Comment Re:Not the point (Score 1) 43

So, having access to the physical hardware means game over? Gee, what a surprise. Preventing one VM from accessing or affecting another is useful. Offhand, I can't imagine much of a need to preventing a hypervisor from accessing the VMs that it controls...

Isn't that quite obvious? It's like renting a security deposit box but you don't want a glass box the bank can look inside. If it was just static data you'd encrypt it then send it over. It's lot harder for a running program, but I guess they're trying anyway that they just run it, but you sit on the keys to decrypt what it's really doing.

Comment Re:Don't evolve too much for all us old hats! (Score 1) 85

To me it's more that everyone is running to low-input stuff. Puzzles? Complex control sequences on simple control schemes? No, running and jumping and controlling your movement is too much for today's tiny brains; learn from the Wistar rat: put one button in front of a signalling stimulus, and train them to press it at the appropriate moment to receive a reward.

Comment Re:Great that they can control your property (Score 4, Insightful) 180

I'm fairly certain it is impossible to have a self-updating OS on a device and also prevent the controller of the self-update process from installing malware. So, I'd say there is nothing wrong with the system at the moment and our rage is best withheld until such time that they actually abuse their power.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse here, the question is whether it's okay to have automatically self-updating systems where the company that manufactured it by default has full control over it, regardless of whether the owner actually wants the updates or want to apply them now or if critical security updates are baked into huge system upgrades. It's a big trend but I don't think it's a good trend, tomorrow Microsoft can shut down your computer, Samsung your smart-TV, Google your cell phone, Tesla your car, Kindle your eBook-reader and so on. If you go all IoT or "smart house" pretty much anything you own can shut down because somebody out there wants it to. Granted, we're also quite fucked if the bank freezes our bank accounts and all the utilities shut you off, but we're expanding it to everything. It's another way to hollow out what ownership is and means.

Comment Re: Ahh (Score 1) 67

From one device, you're right. From a few tens of thousands or more, it does, and the costs of storing it all on the server add up very quickly. Even if it's only 9.6Kb/s (enough for telephony), ten thousand users adds up to around 100MB/s, or about 7.7 TB/day. With a million users, that's a pretty difficult cost to justify.

Comment Re: Ahh (Score 1) 67

Typically, these things use a very low-power DSP to recognise the pattern of plosives and sonorants that match the trigger word. They keep a very small ring buffer of audio and wake up a more power-hungry chip if there's a possible match. They won't record all of the audio, because it would be too power hungry and they won't stream it all to a remote server because the bandwidth costs would be too high.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 263

And California would be sucking pretty badly without Silicon Valley too.

Without Silicon Valley, California would still have Hollywood, which adds a lot to the state's economy. California would look pretty bad if you took out San Francisco, Los Angeles, and their surrounding areas, but most states would look pretty bad if you took away 75% of their population.

Comment Re:defense versus health and human services. (Score 1) 468

The only problem (compared to other countries) with US healthcare is its outrageous cost. There is zero evidence that healthcare quality is to blame for the slightly lower life expectancy.

I only have a few anecdotal stories to go by, but I know at least one with back problems and one with heart problems stuck where they got on-and-off health problems that lead to problems paying insurance that lead to the being effectively outside the system and any insurance that will take them on now excludes everything related to the their pre-existing condition. All they get is emergency care, when they should have had surgery. So I definitively think distribution of care is still some part of the lower life expectancy, those with lots of money get overtreated leading to good quality at excessive cost but those with no money get undertreated too.

Comment Re:For the love of God no (Score 2) 101

Let's be honest, what's really killing you is the lack of social antennas. I've been next to a baby that was on full wailing for quite some time, despite the mother's best efforts and that was considerably worse than any idiot yapping on the phone. Didn't really want to make me throw myself or the baby off the plane, but I was quite happy I didn't have to deal with that every other hour of the day. Most people keep it short, most people keep a normal conversation volume and most of those who don't will take a hint.

And a few are the kind you want to strangle. But long before the flight was up I'd make a really loud "call" like "YES HELLO... OVER THE ATLANTIC NOW, DOING FINE. EXCEPT THERE'S THIS GUY WHO KEEPS TALKING REALLY, REALLY LOUND ON HIS CELL PHONE FOR AGES NOW, DOESN'T HAVE ANY SOCIAL ANTENNAS AT ALL. I HOPE HE HANGS UP SOON. SEE YOU SOON, LOVE YA" Fighting fire with fire usually works, if he goes psycho with luck they'll cuff him and throw him off the plane. Win-win either way.

Comment Re:Performance? (Score 1) 85

It depends on if they emulate it by translation and shadowing, or by interpretation. Software translation is rather fast, but not native-fast. To get native-fast, you have to go native.

I've been suggesting an accelerator chip (maybe even off-die) that decodes x86 instructions into the internal RISC instructions stored in the ICache, but people keep telling me it's impossible because... they're stupid. Modern x86, x86-64, and ARM chips all read instructions in their ISA and translate to an internal CPU RISC ISA, to the point that x86-64 chips actually translate x86 instructions to take advantage of around 60 hardware registers thanks to having not just twice as many GPRs (16!), but those GPRs being 64-bits wide (32 GPRs), plus the EBP, ESP, and EIC registers being 64 bits wide and only validly addressing a 32-bit address space (3 more registers). Multiple instructions hitting the same memory won't just work on cache (fast), but will actually load that cache line to register (extremely fast) and operate a series of instructions there--even out-of-order instructions.

No doubt the instruction decoder would be large-ish, and access to its own (I4) cache would prove a performance boon if that cache is kept consistent with actual RAM. Nevertheless, it should be roughly-trivial to produce a CPU chipset that can execute both x86-64 and ARM64 code, in the same way it's roughly-trivial to produce a CPU chipset that executes both x86 and x86-64 or ARM and THUMB. These aren't simple tasks by any means; but the fact is we routinely create chipsets which execute an ISA, and chipsets which execute multiple ISAs, and even chipsets which execute old ISAs while automatically leveraging internal facilities such as registers available to new ISAs (which isn't impressive when you think about OOE, parallel execution, and branch prediction). x86-64 is related to x86, but only at face value; they're different instruction sets, just like ARM and MIPS are different, and it should be fairly easy--not cheap, mind you--to wedge x86-64 in with ARM.

Comment Re:Qualcomm doesn't make chips (Score 1) 107

My understanding is most server farms are connected to dedicated nuclear power plants anyway, so power consumption isn't an issue. Heat dissipation? Yeah, that might be an issue.

Heat and power are the same issue. The conservation of energy means that power in is power out, and the power out is heat that needs to be dissipated. A rule of thumb for data centres is that every dollar you pay in electricity for the computers, you need to pay another dollar in electricity for cooling. If you want high density, then you hit hard limits in the amount of heat that you can physically extract (faster fans hit diminishing returns quickly). This is why AMD's presence in the server room went from close to 100% to close to 0%: Intel was much better at low power.

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