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Comment Revision to way searches are done (Score 5, Insightful) 88

I think police should need a warrant to use facial recognition in many cases. I also feel that perhaps searches of electronic devices and online accounts need to strictly limit exactly what is searched for and disallow any evidence of any crimes not listed in the warrant from being used.

The 4th amendment is supposed to make it hard to prosecute certain kinds of crime. In my opinion, the police really have no business going after crime that isn't reported to them anyway, except for a few exceptions like murder.

Comment Yet another case of Moore's law abuse. (Score 1) 269

Do you want to lower CO2 emissions? The answer is simple.
1. Ban coal.
2. Replace coal with natural gas, nuclear, and wind.
3. Stop worrying about cars, trains, and planes. Power plants are the biggest producers of CO2 and are centralized.
4. Understand Solar is not the answer. The demand vs production curve does not work out. It is a good supplement in hot areas with a lot of sun in the summer but unless we go with orbital solar power stations it is not a good baseload solution. It just looks good and seems easy.

Why natural gas since it does produce CO2? Simple it produces about half the CO2 per BTU as coal does and is cheap. If you replaced every coal plant with natural gas you would have a massive savings in CO2 for a low cost. The next step would be to move large trucks, trains, and ships to natural gas. That would save about 20% on the CO2 they produce but since large trucks and trains have centralized fueling locations it would again be pretty simple to do.

You need to also think about the social cost of ending coal production You will be converting towns into ghost towns, Mining coal does pay pretty well and is pretty labor intensive. Sure you can retrain the miners for new jobs but those jobs will not be in the same location as the mine. You will not pay to relocate all the people in the town that depend on the mine. Think of the people that run the shops, restaurants, car lots, teach in the schools and so on. You can not get around the fact that you are going to cause a huge amount or problems and the idea of "job retraining " will not prevent it.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 193

Investment in a platform makes all the difference. x86 was selling like hot cakes and Intel pushed hard (as well as being pushed by competitors like AMD, Cyrix etc) to keep getting faster. But physics finally kicked in and they couldn't keep making their chips faster but the costs over the huge volumes made their chips fast enough and cheap enough to compete against RISC chips which were much lower volume and more expensive as a result. Companies can only improve their products on the back of investment which comes from sales. ARM found a niche in low power portable products and so focussed on this because it was earning them money and they didn't need to compete with x86. Other chips died as a result of purchases. Alpha went to Compaq which had bought DEC and then it went to HP who bought Compaq, and they killed it because of the deal they had with Intel to develop Itanium. The Alpha devs went to AMD and producer the Opteron which killed Itanium in the market. The market determines where investment goes as well as the history. The x86 (once it got 64 bit support via AMD64 extensions, a direct result of the Alpha) it became suitable for big servers as it could now address more than 4GB of RAM. ARM continued in its niche but as smart phones came along, the need for more RAM and better performance started pushing the architecture towards the same sort of improvements that the x86 had gone through so it got 64 bit support, and multiple cores too and now the performance of ARM is such that a desktop or server could run on ARM, and ARM hasn't remotely hit the buffers that x86 is hitting.

I'm guessing you've not been around long enough to know this because you sound really inexperienced. I suggest you accept that you're wrong and give it up. ARM will keep getting faster and history got us to where we are. Do some reading, it is fascinating.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 193

It clearly can't or phones would be full of Intel x86 chips. The x86 underwent a large amount of development during the 90's where it doubled in speed pretty much every year until it peaked in the mid 2000's at which point they switched to multiple cores to keep ramping speed up. ARM took a different approach but the architecture has a lot more room to grow. Back in the 90's all the fastest chips were RISC like the ARM (eg Alpha AXP, SPARC, PA RISC) and x86 wasn't used at all on servers apart from small office servers but as it got faster and LINUX got better it displaced the RISC platforms. ARM will keep getting faster and x86 won't be the only game in town anymore. The last 15 years Intel has had it all its own way although they did get a bloody nose from AMD who produced a heck of a chip in Opteron also introducing us to 64 bit x86 while Intel tried to force the market onto Itanium and failed. Intel isn't the be all and end all of chip designers and it is good that they and Microsoft no longer control the market.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 193

ARM are low performance today because they haven't had the investment x86 got. Back in the 80's when Acorn first released their Archimedes running on ARM it was 10x quicker than an equivalent Intel x86 machine. There's nothing specific to ARM that makes it low performance, just that they have been focussed on the low energy market but with a significant push the ARM architecture can easily make massive performance gains. These things look pretty neat: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2...

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 4, Informative) 193

ARM doesn't make chips, it licenses designs to FABs who actually make them. Even Intel is making ARM chips again. Intel hasn't been able to get down to the very low power levels that an ARM CPU can run at without serious compromises on performance. ARM chips still have a lot of performance to give which is why we see them increasing rapidly each year like we did with the x86 back in the 90's and early 2000's. There's only so much that can be got out of a design and Intel has been flatlining for years since they debuted the i3/i5/i7 line and in that period ARM chips have got multiple times faster per core, and added more cores, not to mention tricks like having low and high power cores on the same die. All of this makes them attractive for servers, especially now that 64 bit ARM is out there. I've got a RP3 which is 64 bit and it zips along nicely with Linux and there's a whole bunch of useful things it can do in a machine which runs of a small USB power supply.

Comment Have TiVo but not for much longer (Score 1) 70

Here in NZ we've had TiVo for the last 9 years but we just had an announcement that the company managing the service will cease operations in October. No replacement EPG so both my TiVo boxes will become useless bricks at that time. There are some people looking at getting the S3 box working with locally produced EPG like they did with the S1 boxes personally imported, but it is unlikely that it will work out so I'm here with a couple of DVRs and in 6 months they will stop working. Since I've got Netflix everywhere and I rarely watch FTA TV any more anyway as even with TiVo the adverts are a pain, and all the DVRs I've looked at that aren't TiVo are horrible, I guess I'll not have a DVR from October and I'll watch far less TV as a result.

Comment Re:It's not the highway infrastructure (Score 1) 469

Alternatives to cars is what is needed. I agree with you that public transport is pretty hopeless. I used to work in the CBD and live in the suburbs so the commute by bus was 1.5 hours, but then again it was 1.5 hours by car too and it would cost $14 a day to park so adding in fuel I was looking at $20 a day. $400 buys a lot of bus trips and there's the benefit of being able to zone out. However, spending three hours a day commuting wasn't going to work for me so I bought a motorcycle and cut my travel time down to 35 mins each way because I could filter through the traffic to the front at traffic lights, and also parking in the CBD is free for motorcycles, plus I used around 1/3rd of the fuel that the car would so my weekly commuting bill dropped from $400 a month to $100. I was very surprised how few of us were on bikes because the traffic here is so awful but everyone likes their tin umbrella I guess. Personally, I was happy to gain another couple of hours a day, and I enjoyed riding my bike come rain or shine because I would take the out of the way route and have fun. The only downside was that car drivers tend to be ignorant of the existence of bikes so don't look, or don't see them so you need to keep your wits about you. Now though, I work from home so no longer need to commute through the city and I couldn't be happier.

Comment Re:More political FUD from the new world order (Score 1) 87

"I heard from a cop that a big problem with driving down there is tourists."

There's a degree of that to be certain, but also local driving standards are pitiful as well. The tourist crashes get noticed but there's a pretty constant rate of locals losing control on corners, or running into the back of other cars due to insufficient following distances. This has nothing to do with driving on the wrong side of the road, and everything to do with people being too bunched up and speeding. Local drivers frequently blame tourists but they're no angels on the road either and tourists don't actually make up a massive proportion of accidents.

Comment Re:More political FUD from the new world order (Score 4, Informative) 87

"A recent New Zealand study found that the risks of death from second hand smoke is between the risk of getting melanoma and dying in a car crash.

Interesting that you picked the NZ study and not one from somewhere else because here Melanoma and car accidents are both big killers due to us having far stronger sun, very low levels of ozone meaning we have the highest incidence of melanoma in the world: http://www.stuff.co.nz/nationa...

Also, the driving standards here are terrible as are the roads, and there's a lot of old cars still in use with the average age of cars being 14+ years meaning they lack a lot of the modern safety features and given that's an average, there are plenty of cars that are 30+ years old still running around. We have a very high accident rate and many deaths on the roads as a result of poor driving and old vehicles.

Put those together and then consider that smoking sits in between them and then think, how safe is smoking? It is already illegal to smoke in a car with children and there's a push for the country to be completely smoke free by 2025 because that's at least something that can be done to improve health as we can't fix the ozone layer, turn off the sun, or train drivers to not be crap behind the wheel apparently.

As for pollution, NZ is 85% renewable energy so that's nice, but transport makes up a lot of our pollution and the air in cities like Auckland is very poor at some times of the year due to traffic fumes along with a large amount of wood burners. There's very little support to move to EVs (I have one) or to encourage no-polluting heating (I have heatpumps) and there are even efforts to penalise those who generate their own electricity (I have solar) so it is pretty poor in the face of the whole clean green New Zealand image.

Comment Re: One word (Score 1) 474

"but few apps besides raytracing can genuinely put it to good use."
Well yes and no. Most apps can use a few threads, one of the ones I am working on used 40 but that is not super common. I have not worked on any program that does not use a least three in a long time.
On most, workstations you have more than one program and or service running at a time so you can use a good number of cores on most PCs. Thanks to VMWare and Xen once you get to servers I doubt that you could even have too many cores at least where I work.

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