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Comment 'Pro' laptops.. (Score 2) 315

Only one really springs to mind right now: Dell Precision 17 7000 Series.

For the same money as a tricked-out MacBook 'Pro' you get a Xeon CPU with 64GB of ECC RAM, and plenty of useful configuration and IO options.

Also: next-day on-site service for 3 years, extendable to 5 for a bit more money.

Having used a laptop for paid work in the field I can tell you for sure that not having undiagnosable OS crashes or silent data corruption is, y'know, professional.

Having the ability to call out an engineer with parts to fix the damn thing if it breaks while you're on-site at a client location and thus get working again quickly? That's also professional.

Having a sleek Apple MacBook. Sure, that conveys the impression of professionalism, but right now, that's all it is.. superficial. It's finely crafted consumer-grade appliance tech undeserving of the 'Pro' moniker right now.

Comment Re:TRIM -- command of mass destruction (Score 2) 182

*So* not a kludge. o.O

Historically TRIM was a smart addition to block-storage commands in the enterprise SAN space, to better enable things like thin-provisioning, which at least at the time went with server virtualisation like eggs go with bacon.

It just-so-happened that TRIM also fulfilled a very similar, and similarly smart, use-case on flash-based SSDs of all levels soon after/at the same time.

Given the characteristics of the current flash devices in SSDs, it's a perfectly reasonable thing to add to filesystems, SANs and drives. It's vitally important that it be correctly implemented, but frankly, that's true for everything in IT.

Comment Re:Here's a short summary of TFA. (Score 1) 661

Way more than 3 - 'architecture' surely is a composite of many separable things including: supported instructions, no.&size of registers, no and types of functional units, width and speed, and latency of internal interconnects, pipelining and speculation capacity, HT/SMT functionality (or not), no of caches, cache styles, sizes, speeds, etc., no and sophistication of memory controllers, memory type, , the number, speed and widths of other off-chip interconnects (parallel multi-resident busses or serial links), etc., etc.

It's a bit like the toothpaste market.. throw enough brands and variants out there to ensure that you have something to appeal to everyone so that someone picks one of your products instead of the other guy's. There aren't really that many companies making toothpaste, but they all have several brands and a bunch of options.

Comment UK Governmint did the converse for the fuel tax.. (Score 1) 328

Seriously, with the combination of North Sea oil and high fuel taxes, making the motorists stop and go at every set of lights by making sure they were deliberately out of sync seemed like an easy and inoffensive way to bring in tax revenue without hurting anyone.

Only recently have they permitted traffic regulators to synchronize the lights for the benefit of motorists, society, the environment, and utlimately the tax coffers too.

Systems thinking.. meh, they haven't even heard of it.

Comment Re:Cure? (Score 1) 363

If we presume that this position were true, how would you explain the fact that commercial pharma companies have invented, and continue to invent new antibiotics, antifungals and particularly new vaccines which are intended to actively *prevent* illness and death, including some common causes of cancer like HPV?

Frankly there's a shitload of money in cures. And keeping patients alive by prevention, cure or treatment means you can sell them other stuff later - so they're all good.

But more than that - it's the right thing to do and it's often personal.. mostly the individuals doing the research really want to help people. You don't become a medical/pharma scientist for the flashy lifestyle (hah) or the opportunities to be evil. You may doubt it but the regulators (science, medical, fianncial, etc.) are actually all pretty much down on evil. And let's face it there are lots of opportunities to be evil without getting an extensive, expensive, education, and working in a field that's subject to public opporbrium at every turn even while you daily work for the public's health and welfare. Quite a lot, probably most of the researchers go into the field because it's a rare chance to make a positive difference to large chunks of humanity.

Remember the people who work in pharma are just that - people. They are also patients themselves or relatives/friends of patients, they're users of their own products, as well as being employees, shareholders, perhaps managers and members of broader society.

They also, somehow, have to find ways to do all that good while running a financial machine called a company - so they have to pick and choose where they put their effort to both do good and self-sustain that operation.

That's why government funding and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation are so important - where some disease area couldn't become a sustainable financial prospect for a pharma company, those funders can help to get the science done by drawing on money generated elsewhere.

Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."

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