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Comment The Impact of Tablets (Score 1) 164

I suspect that is going on here is that with the advent of Netflix and tablets we now have most people using tablets as nothing more than a small portable TV that will also show them their Facebook feed. For the average suburbanite slob it has it all, your trashy, fake TV and your trashy, fake friends!

Comment goto is useful in some situations (Score 2) 600

When writing C code where exceptions are not available, I'll often use goto statements to perform error handling. Its useful because you only have to write any necessary memory de-allocation code once. Its pretty easy to simulate a try/finally block using them and its a way better and more readable way to write that sort of code then the other alternatives you have in C. All that said, I prefer exceptions, they more or less get the same job done, its easier to nest them, and IMHO are a bit more readable than the goto method. Only downside of exceptions is the execution overhead is often very bad compared to a goto.

Comment Its about getting money for "Windows as a Service" (Score 1) 115

Sounds like MSFT has realized that only putting the DRM/lockdown features on the ARM Windows RT tablets only had the effect of making those tablets not sell. By making it universal, now it doesn't matter if you have X86 or ARM, everyone gets locked down the same way. My guess is the primary reason for this move is so Microsoft can charge manufactures $10 per Windows license instead of $60, and then if you want to unlock your device and actually make it useful you have to go login to the Windows store and shell out the $50 to make all the software you actually care about work. Now that they have the X86->ARM emulator, they can treat all devices the same way from a licensing standpoint and turn this is to a pure profit generator.

I also suspect that we will now see the subscription charges for Windows 10 materialize. Everyone who upgraded from Windows 7 has either the Home or Pro edition right now. But once Jan. 14, 2020 comes (end of Win7 support) anyone who upgraded to Win10 gets downgraded to Cloud edition. On Jan. 10, 2023 everyone who upgraded from Windows 8 (end of Win8 support) will have the same thing happen. At that point, you can expect to pay $50 to the Windows store get another 10 years on the Home edition or $100 for the Pro edition. Or you can just go buy a new computer which comes with 10 years of either Home or Pro from the time of initial activation.

Also, you can expect on Jan. 10, 2023 (end of Win8 support) that MSFT will completely drop support for booting on non-UEFI computers.

Comment Re:But the Qualcomm product is worth it (Score 2) 71

The thing is, the Qualcomm product is demonstrably better than the competing options...We can see that right now with the intel chipset iPhones falling flat on their faces compared to the superior Qualcomm iPhones.

The Intel modems are inferior, but saying they fall flat on their face is a vast over exaggeration. I have a Zenfone 2 and my wife has a HTC 10. Her Snapdragon 820 is 2 years newer than the XMM 7262 in my phone. The 820 is LTE Cat 12, the 7262 Cat 6, we are both on T-Mobile LTE. I just did a speed test on each phone same place and time, mine got 52 Mb/s down, 27 Mb/s up. Hers gets 89 Mb/s down, 15 Mb/s up. Yeah the 2 years newer Qualcomm chip is better, but if you compare it with the XMM 7480 (same year as the 820) its Cat 9 downlink, Cat 13 uplink. I don't have a XMM 7480, but chances are its pretty close to the 820 and might even be better upload speed. Regardless, a 52 Mb/s connection to my cell phone is pretty damn good, I'm not going to use that bandwidth reading email on my phone.

More importantly, it is imperative that Intel, Mediatek, etc. continue to invest in modems and challenge Qualcomm. Most of us remember the consequences of a tech monopoly and don't want it to happen again. I know its almost a sin on /. but I'm rooting for Intel to keep getting big design wins like the iPhone. There used to be a lot more players in the modem market... most of them have dropped out now. We need the retain the few that are left.

Comment Re:Options (Score 5, Informative) 503

I think it goes further in that Microsoft is most likely intentionally sabotaging Windows 7. It seems that almost every Windows 7 computer I encounter has svchost.exe fully consuming a CPU core and consuming massive amounts of memory for no reason other than a failed update.

This issue is because the dependency resolution algorithm in Windows Update is NP-hard. Its not a big deal until the number of updates gets large, and the dependency graph gets reset every time MSFT releases a service pack. Recently those resets have been done by the Win8-->Win8.1 upgrade and on Win10 every ~6 months they release a new OS image (at time of writing, Win10 TH1-->Win10 TH2-->Win10 RS1, pretty soon we will have RS2, and so on.) So the new Win10 model effectively masks the problem since they will have very frequent resets of the dependency graph now. Also, the cumulative updates further help reduce the growth of that graph. That doesn't help Win7 of course. What they really should do is release a Win7 SP2, reset the dependency graph, and make everyone's life easier, but with how aggressively they are pushing the Win10 upgrade you can bet they won't do anything to make life on Win7 easier.

Comment Re:It's the content providers (Score 4, Informative) 209

The reason why is because The Walt Disney Company owns both ABC and ESPN. So they force you to buy all the channels they own, or none. Nothing in between. Disney isn't the only one that does that of course, every company that owns multiple networks does. The only way that will change is if the US Government forces them to offer a la carte. The government would also have to force them to not set pricing such that the a la carte cost for 1 channel is the same as the cost of the bundle (maybe a legally mandated 10% max bundle discount or something.)

Comment Was Only a Matter of Time (Score 1) 88

As the CEO of T-Mobile Germany stated, the "uncarrier" model that T-Mobile USA has been selling for the last couple years is unsustainable. To be fair, they were selling service so low it really was cheaper than it should have been. It was only a matter of time before a rate hike of some sort would happen. They are trying really really hard to spin the rate hike with marketing to make it sounds like a bigger deal than before with the whole "unlimited" wording, but truth is its no different than their previous plans, except for the extra cost. Don't let them convince you that the rate hike would not have happened had they been allowed to merge with Sprint by the way. I'm just glad I got in while they were still selling the ridiculously low price plans.

Comment Re:A10 and Snapdragon 821 already faster than MacB (Score 1) 80

The article you link is misleading... The Intel chips being compared with the A9X in that article are Broadwell... 2 generations behind compared to the A9X which is the current chip. The A10X will have to be compete with Cannonlake, not the Skylake chips you see in the current Mac lineup. Assuming the A10X scales from the A10 about the same as the A9X scales from the A9, and Intel IPC generational improvements are about the same as past ones... single core ~6W TDP 2.2 GHz A10X is going to be close to raw single core performance of the ~4.5W TDP ~1.2 GHz Cannonlake, but the even the low power Cannonlake CPU will retain a commanding lead on multi core performance.

The one place where Apple ARM does actually dominate Intel is integrated graphics performance. It's incredible to me how Intel graphics are still so far behind everyone else. At least the recent Intel GPUs render mostly correct now and the graphics drivers are pretty stable at this point. The one advantage that Apple (and other ARM vendors) have on the GPU front that they don't need to implement DirectX + OpenGL in their silicon, a luxury that nVidia/AMD/Intel don't get.

Comment It won't run Android & Windows at once (Score 1) 127

Intel tried to do that a few years ago through the OEM channel when they were pushing aggressively in to the tablet market. Being able to run Windows and Android is a natural advantage for x86. Both Google AND Microsoft killed it by refusal to certify the resulting device. Even if Microsoft is cool with it now it is highly unlikely Google's stance has changed.

Comment Re: Apple wouldn't give us money (Score 2) 268

but once it works on full steam it munches close to ~90% of its TDP.

Are you seriously saying that if a workload start using 100% CPU would would rather Intel make its CPUs throttle instead of actually running at the frequency that you paid for?

I'm sorry but Intel is the LAST thing you can blame for the MBP battery life sucking. If it was Intel's fault then we would see it in all the Skylake Windows laptops, which we definitely do not (most Skylake laptops have 10+ hour battery life.)

Blame for this issue falls squarely on Apple. My best guess is its a combination of small battery capacity along with issues with their power management software. One area that would be particularly suspect is some problem with the switchable graphics control software being too aggressive with powering up the dGPU when its not actually needed. Or maybe there is a bug where they power it up but then in some cases forget to shut it down after it is no longer being used.

Comment This is Just Temporary (Score 1) 85

Taking the Lumia off the market is a very intentional maneuver on Microsoft's part. They are hoping that by the time they launch the Surface Phone in Q4 next year with full support for X86 Win32 apps on ARM that we will have largely forgetten about how much the previous Windows Phone underwhelmed us. Also making a short but clean break gives them an excuse not to upgrade all the phones on the market right now to the new OS that supports X86 Win32 apps.

Comment Re:Big-O is only a small part of performance (Score 1) 218

I know from experience Big-O and company are only part of the picture.

Completely agreed. For the software that I write, disk I/O is a much bigger bottleneck than algorithmic complexity, even with fast SSDs. Often times performance optimization for me is all about intelligently deciding what to keep in RAM, the actual algorithms themselves are not a very big deal.

Comment Extremely Unlikely (Score 1) 232

I'm not quite sure what the guy that wrote this article is smoking, but there is pretty much no way LinkedIn is going to push MSFT above the $1 trillion mark. Sure the only thing he claims at that MSFT will make $1 trillion before Apple or Alphabet, but at current growth rates none of those companies are going to be in the ball park of $1 trillion valuation for 5-10 years at least, probably longer. It seems unlikely that LinkedIn is the killer acquisition that is going to drive their growth for the next decade (as opposed to all the license revenue they make from existing established business.)

MSFT's current market value is $491.71 billion. Hypothetically, lets say that being acquired by MSFT does not change the value of LinkedIn at all, if that casepost-merger MSFT would be worth... $491.71 billion, they paid $26 billion in stock + cash for LinkedIn reducing the value of MSFT by $26 billion, then the value of LinkedIn ($26 billion) gets added to their market cap, cancelling out the two effects. Now lets say they double the value of LinkedIn by giving it access to their network of enterprise customers, they MSFT's value becomes $491.71 + $26 = $517.71 billion... a 5% increase in the value of MSFT.

I'm sorry, there is just no plausible scenario where LinkedIn suddenly becomes worth more than the entire rest of MSFT is worth. There is no way LinkedIn is going to double the amount of license revenue they generate. That's the problem that enormous businesses like MSFT have... for almost any other business an extra $500 million of quarterly revenue would be an enormous new windfall that would double their stock's value. For MSFT... it would be an extra 2% growth of quarter revenue, to which Wall Street would yawn and say "Here's your gold star MSFT, stock is up 2% after quarterly earnings." Its hard to create big new percentage growth when all the new technologies are not worth anywhere close to your existing massive business. MSFT's partner Intel has also been facing this problem for over a decade. Just like any other company, Apple and Google are not immune to this and are starting to hit the wall that the burden of massive valuation begets. Any company in this position more or less is forced in to paying dividends and becoming a boring "blue chip" stock. Nothing wrong with it really, take the example of 3M, a diversified technology company that has been a stable steady company. They have increased dividend rates every year for over a century now, and their stock holds strong value long term. I think the tech industry as a whole needs to wake up to the fact that we are rapidly turning in to that type of old but strong and steady business.

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