Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re: Simple reason... (Score 2) 234

No, that's you. The point he's making is that it's not unnecessary to miss out these initialisations in *any* compiler, even (and I'm not sure these actually exist), ones that initialise every variable to 0. You're writing C, not "C for this specific compiler", and that means that no matter the compiler implementation, the value stored in an uninitialised variable is undefined, and as soon as you read an uninitialised value, your whole program has an undefined behaviour.

Comment Re:intent or consequence? (Score 1) 85

...And is that a problem? Does the thickness of the monitor really impact how legibly they can print your drivers' license?

Yes, it is. It indicates that their systems are so old as to require special purpose hardware. The only reason that places use this kind of monitor and computer any more is because they don't have enough money to replace everything outright. In the long run, this causes higher costs, not lower, because they end up needing to seek out compatible hardware to keep things running, rather than being able to wholesale upgrade. If you go and look at companies, you'll find that almost every company has a 3 year rolling refresh of hardware, not because they think it's fun to upgrade hardware, but because it's cheaper to keep rolling it along than it is to end up with the costs of maintaining outdated systems, and then a giant all-around upgrade.

As one example, in the mid-2000s, I worked at a company whose main computer was built in 1988, with only minor upgrades (disk capacity, and a modem that was occasionally plugged in so it could be maintained remotely) since its construction. It had survived the obsolescence of its product line, the rise of DOS and Windows, and had only a minor stumble for Y2K. For a system whose primary purpose was tracking orders moving through departments, and tracking employees' time cards, it did the job perfectly well. That particular company was in the top 10% of the industry by order volume and profits, so it seems to have done just fine by most standards of "reasonable".

Sure, one single system in the back of one company did not get upgraded. I'd be willing to bet that the reason it didn't get upgraded was simple - it had got so old that it was at this point a major pain, and a major cost to upgrade. Furthermore, how many of the systems sat on the desks of average employees were that old? Care to take a guess at the reason?

When I look at the DMV, and I look at the DVLA in the UK (where I'm from originally), I see this...
    The act of applying for a provisional driving license takes about 3 hours for the customer, and about 20 minutes of the time of various employees in a DMV building. It takes a bunch of literal paper pushing, and probably a bunch more employee time in the back office. In the UK, this is 5 minutes of the customer's time to fill on a form on the internet, and no time spent by employees at all (bar the amortised cost of the guys running the IT system and database).
  The act of booking a test - again, a bunch of time for the customer, a bunch of time for the DMV.
    The act of carrying out a theory test - more time for the customer hanging about in queues at the DMV building, a paper test, which is handed out by employees, and marked buy an employees. More time wasted! In the UK, the theory test is taken on a computer system, and marked automatically. No need for anyone there other than one single receptionist. All booked online, no queueing.
  The act of ...

The list continues. Every single interaction with the DMV involves 3 hours of the customers time, 20-30 minutes of the time of various employees filling out and stamping forms, and all of this has to happen in a pretty large building which has to be maintained. Those buildings have to be regularly spread out all over the place, because the amount of time taken is huge.

Meanwhile, the DVLA manages to process all this, with far far fewer employees, because they actually had some investment in setting up database systems and web pages so that most of the job can be automated. Basically, the whole DMV is hugely inefficient because no one has ever invested in the system. All because the republicans busy trying to find cost savings that will look good on paper in the next 4 years.

I'm not promoting any particular political party here. Rather, my point is to illustrate that every partisan criticism in this thread has an equally-valid counterpoint that is too-often glossed over.

Right, and my point is that it's not equally valid. The US's government systems are *hugely* inefficient and bureaucratic, not because they're doing things that they don't need to be doing, but instead because no one has spent any money on doing those things in an efficient way. They've just sat back and gone "yes, but this thing is cheaper *today* and therefore it's cheaper."

Comment Re:intent or consequence? (Score 4, Informative) 85

Political flamebait works both ways. The other side of the coin is that Democrats set up overly complicated systems that can't work without an ever-increasing price tag, then complain (loudly) that they just aren't getting the support they need.

The problem is that that assertion doesn't line up with reality. Go down to your DMV some time, and observe the kinds of systems that they're using. They're using databases built in the 80s and 90s on top of DOS, running on ancient computers with CRT monitors (at least around here).

What reasonable business do you know of that hasn't upgraded their systems since that time to allow for more efficiency savings, faster processing, reduced staff costs etc?

There's a lack of investment in this kind of system, plain and simple, being disguised as "government efficiency" by the republicans.

Comment Re:I don't think that's enough (Score 1) 99

It's on the limit, but it actually should be okay. Why? Because fragment shading (the act of determining the colour of a pixel on the screen) is not the only operation that a GPU does. Lots of time is also spent in compute shaders, vertex shaders and tesselation shaders. Directing all this extra horsepower to the need to deal with 4 times more fragments should be fine.

Comment Re:As it's been said... (Score 1) 621

When the vote went to 48.1% to 51.9%, with large areas of the country voting strongly to remain, yes, I expect the government to use a bit more nuance than simply "right, that's it, out we go". Believe it or not, a 2.8% majority in a less than 70% turnout vote does not really represent a mandate from the people to just get on with it.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 157

The point is that by making it draw the correct amount from the motherboard, and not changing its power draw at all, they will cause it to draw too much from the 6 pin PCIe power connector. Those connectors are *also* only specced to deliver 75W. This software update is just shifting the problem to a different connector.

As you rightly observe, the correct solution is to include an 8 pin connector on the card, but it's too late to do that on all the shipped cards now.

Slashdot Top Deals

"What if" is a trademark of Hewlett Packard, so stop using it in your sentences without permission, or risk being sued.