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Comment Re:Lesson from this story...don't be a glass hole! (Score 1) 1034

If there was no crime then the movie theatre should be heavily fined for abusing the time and resources of the FBI. Also the man should receive an apology and compensation for his wasted time.

Really it should be the police who are called for this matter, and if they determine that it was likely an actual crime being committed then they could call the FBI. Hell, I'm sure the local mall-cop or security guard should have been enough to resolve this matter.

Comment Re:Hear that, Microsoft? (Score 1) 564

Didnt they do that already with 8.1? You can now boot directly to the desktop and they even put back the start menu.

I'm likely getting a new machine for work and am very much considering Windows 8.1 with the direct to desktop mod.

Comment Re:Meaningless (Score 1) 184

Also, as mentioned in the original post, companies like Cisco are considering moving their R&D to Canada where they will not be forced to include backdoors for the NSA. As someone whose main business is networking gear, I can see this as being a big selling feature to Cisco.

Whether the actual data that is routed through the US is safe or not doesnt matter as much as being able to assure your customers that your devices dont contain NSA backdoors.

Comment Re:Interesting economics (Score 1) 265

It's interesting enough that I might read it without a plot. I think if you just were to start writing about the possible future world stuff and the progression from now to then, you would have a plot. Think about the likely conflicts that might arise, the corporations that would take advantage of new technologies, and the likely response of governments and society to these changes and it could write itself.

I find this far more interesting Sci-fi than some of the crap you see on TV now a days with aliens, magic hammers, time travel, etc... For once I would appreciate a future sci-fi based on our own likely progression assuming we dont meet crazy high tech aliens and have to pave the way for everything ourselves. No easy breaks or glossing over the details that take us from where we are now to giant multi-system race. Even just the politics of multiple human colonies amongst the stars would be amazing to think about.

Comment Re:get real, people (Score 1) 487

Yeah, I'd be more concerned about the "over the air" updates.

If he wanted you dead, all he has to do is push an update that tells the car to not brake or tell the suspension to slam you into the ground.. or to overdraw the batteries causing a fire.. or take over the steering and slam you into a wall. Or discharge all the airbags while you're traveling highway speeds... you get the idea.

I wonder what kind of security that communication system has.

Comment Re:multithreaded sorts (Score 2) 526

I never meant to imply that sorting a list is a hard problem to parallelize. I was just demonstrating that some problems will introduce overhead for interprocess/inter-thread communication.

A better example might be simulating heat transfer inside of an oven with some stuff inside. You can divide up the volume of space into N equal chunks, but at each iteration the processes must communicate their boundaries to neighbouring chunks. The smaller you make the chunks (ie the more processes) then the more of this boundary condition communications that are necessary and it eats into your speed up.

Comment Re:qualcomm is right (Score 5, Interesting) 526

Parallelization does introduce it's own overhead. Some problems can be made to run parallel very easily without much effort. For example, lets say you have an unordered database of names and you want to count how many letter "A"s are in each name. You can very easily divide the database into eight equal parts and send it off to eight cores for processing and they will happily churn away until you have your answer with almost no additional overhead.

However, different problems cant be as easily parallelized. For example, lets say you take the same database of names and you want to sort it alphabetically. You can send each chunk of the database off to be sorted on each core, but now you have 8 pieces of the database that are all sorted and need to be merged back into the original list. This extra work of merging and communicating becomes the overhead.

This is a very simple example, but for many problems the speed gained by parallelization is reduced for every new thread. So you might get an almost 50% speedup by adding a second core, but the third core will give you maybe only 20% speedup, and the fourth 15%, etc...

And as mentioned by others, parallelization is almost always done to improve performance, not efficiency. It would be more power efficient for the one core to do the job if you are measuring efficiency by something like cycles per watt. This doesnt make much sense in a mobile device whose paramount concern is to run a long time on a battery.

Comment Pays for itself, but not with shower curtain ring (Score 1) 322

I've just got my 3D printer working quite well. I bought a kit second hand from someone who didn't have time to finish it and after building my own electronics and writing my own firmware for it, I'm probably in to it about $300.

I never really had the intention of printing enough stuff to pay for the printer, but it may still do that. One of the things I'm currently working on printing (printing out a piece a night) is a solder fume extractor. This is a relatively simple tool that sucks solder fumes through a carbon filter and normally costs ~$150 - $300. The one I'm printing should be just as good and will cost maybe $20 including plastic, fan, and filters.

Also, if you want to try and pay off your printer, you could print new printer kits and sell them online or to friends. But, it is ONLY going to "pay" for itself if you don't value your own time, since you will spend a lot of time nitpicking, calibrating, babysitting. Although babysitting isnt as big of a deal, I just try and check on it every half hour to an hour. Many people will even just let stuff print out over night, but I'm not quite at that level of trust just yet. It's not that I care about wasting plastic, but that I don't want to die in a fire while I sleep.

The real advantage to a 3D printer is that you can design and build your own stuff very quickly. If I want to design and build a small robot, I can draw up some wheels, a frame, some servo mounts, etc.. and have a very nice professional looking toy robot in a couple of days. Or if I want to make a simple enclosure for an electronics project I can import a 3D representation of the circuit board, draw a box around it, cut out holes for switches, connectors, LEDs, and print.

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