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Comment Re:Options (Score 4, Informative) 425

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) 208

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.

Comment Flash (Score 1) 766

I'm pretty sure most of the problem is Adobe somehow managed to make the newest version of Flash even slower and more resource consuming than Flash from a year ago. But you absolutely have to make sure you have the newest version installed at all times, since Flash is also a security mess, despite the fact that Adobe has also made keeping Flash up to date a huge PITA (to the point that MSFT and Google handle the updates for them on their respective browsers.) The performance and security of Flash has been a continuing problem for decades now.

Why they bother to continue to develop and release new features for it puzzles me, plugin based content is very clearly a dying platform at this point and its partially Adobe's fault (we wouldn't want to get rid of Flash if it didn't suck so hard.)

Comment So sick of the Fusion Scams (Score 2, Insightful) 431

I'm sick of these articles that sound like they are mansplaining the basics of tomahawk fusion that we have known since the 1970s and then claims its a new thing. Moreover, they supposedly have a working commercial reactor when we know that a commercial reactor would need to be ITER sized for positive energy generation. Can we keep this crap off slashdot?

Comment Totally the right call (Score 4, Informative) 90

The USB power delivery spec standardizes how to increase Vbus voltage and max current. Power profile 5 increases the voltage to 20V with 5A current for 100W of power. It can be implemented on either type A, micro USB, or type C. It used to be that the USB spec only standardized up to 7.5W power draw, which became a limiter on charging time. Now that we have the new power delivery spec extension, there are zero good reasons to implement proprietary charging standards to move beyond 7.5W.

Despite this, Qualcomm is still heavily marketing its proprietary quickcharge 3.0 system to smartphone manufacturers, purely for the incremental profits on licensed wall chargers. I'm glad to see Google throwing their weight around a little in an effort to shut down what is purely a money grab.

Comment Still Catching Up (Score 4, Interesting) 44

It looks like Intel is still playing catch up in the modem space. Interestingly, it looks like for the 2016 iPhone, Apple is using either the Intel XMM 7360 or the Qualcomm X12. Both of these modems were released in 2015. Qualcomm hasn't shipped a new generation since then, but Intel did release the XMM 7480 in February. It would be interesting to see how much progress Intel has made in a year.

Either way, the fact that Intel's modem exists is good for everyone... except Qualcomm. Without it, Qualcomm would be the only LTE modem supplier. There is no doubt Apple is aware of the Intel modem's shortcomings. My guess is Apple is willing to turn a blind eye to that for the "1st gen" product and use the new revenue as a carrot to get Intel to direct its engineering efforts to the features that Apple wants, probably stuff like CDMA for example.

Comment Re:non-news is non-news (Score 5, Informative) 159

Unless Apple is doing some sort of quasi RAID like read/write access against all available memory chips

"Quasi RAID" is actually how all SSDs work. The controller spreads the writes across multiple flash chips. This is why NVMe is so much faster, the OS can give the SSD controller thousands of outstanding IO requests instead of the max of 32 with SATA. The iPhone uses a single eMMC flash chip which integrates the controller and the NAND on one die. The eMMC chip will do the same thing, only across flash cells instead of entire chips.

In the end, all this comes down to is the fancy 128/256GB eMMC flash comes with a nicer onboard controller than the 32GB one, hence higher bandwidth. That said, with such a huge difference there is no doubt Apple ordered the cheapest 32GB flash they could find. You probably can find the same eMMC chips in a $50 cheap Chinese Android phone. For a $500+ phone they should be paying the extra $2 for higher bandwidth 32GB eMMC chips.

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