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Comment Who cares about EOL... (Score 2) 101

Who cares about EOL, when the firmware of your device includes a fixed kernel image which won't be updated, ever?

I mean, my current Android phone (using Marshmallow) employs a kernel 3.4.42, released on April 2013. The current version of the 3.4 branch is 3.4.113 (source), released on October 2016. I don't know if there are any critical (security, performance) improvements from 3.4.42 to 3.4.113, but I simply don't care becase I know the manufacturer won't publish an updated version of the firmware with a recent kernel. If a serious kernel security bug appears and it is solved in a new kernel version, it won't be solved in my device. The situation is way better when you consider Linux desktop distributions, but still...

What I mean is that for at least 99% of the people, the kernel is an atomic part of the firmware of their device (phone) and they won't bother about updating it. With this in mind, there should be no recommendations to the final users ("yelling very loudly" because your Android phone employs a given kernel version, haha), EOL is only significant for upgradeable systems. Not even phone designers need to worry about using LTS: they know they will never update their kernel.

Comment Re:In other news - in 2062 they will have time tra (Score 1) 114

Yes, aggregate usage is a meaningful metric, if you know what it defines. MTBF can be tricky, in many cases it is converted to Annualized failure rate (AFR) to obtain a meaningful metric.

However, it makes no sense to employ metrics based on an exponential distribution model (which does not have memory) to compare different sets of disks. In particular, the summary says 13.6 percent of one older model of Seagate 4TB disk failed in 2016... If such drives are older (and thus present a longer uptime) their age induces a higher failure rate, which is not observed in the model since it only considers the uptime hours in the given year but not the previous ones.

Comment Re:CIA inside job (Score 5, Interesting) 195

I do not work for Galileo, but I know some people involved in the Project.

Interestingly (and unfortunately) the entities most interested in a failure and subsequent delay are neither millitary enemies nor allies (for whatever "ally" means, when you consider hacking your allies). The largest interest in a project delay comes from the many corporations directly involved in its development. This project has been feeding many millios of taxpayer euros during many years to a lot of European tech companies, and the cost uprising has been actually benefitial for them because there were no substantial economic sanctions from these delays (probably an example of a wrongly managed project). Successfully completing the project would kill this guaranteed job & income. I do not claim that delays and increased costs have been intentional, but they have been definitely benefitial for them.

Comment Re:No Moore's Law (Score 1) 182

I attended a course by Yale Patt from U. Austin, who is one of the "popes" of Computer Architecture research (see this ranking, for example), where he discussed Moore's Law.

He argued how Moore's Law was not a physical law, nor a technological or market-driven law. But it was a real law and had a very large impact.

Instead, he argued very accurately that Moore's Law was actually a psychological Law: given that it provided the baseline for the expected performance (or transistor count) increase, every company would struggle to get to that point, knowing that otherwise the others would get it and make a much better product. Therefore, Moore's Law became somehow a self-fulfilled prophecy. Note how the ITRS still provides yearly predictions for the (still exponential, in some cases) improvements in semiconductor technology fabrication.

So definitely you are right in that it was a mere observation -- but this observation drove the evolution of electronics for more than 50 years (enough to be labelled as "Law", isn't it?)

Comment Most of us know THX as the logo... (Score 1, Offtopic) 44

Most of us know THX as the logo that comes up when we hear that zooming sound at the start of a film...

Don't you see the problem with the current Slashdot? Summaries do not target nerds, or anyone minimally interested in technology. Some years ago, most of us would have known THX, many of us would have known the intricacies of multichannel digital sound encoding, and some of us would have indeed worked in the field, possibly in THX itself. Comments on the news would come in first person. But right know, news target a general audience, so there is not enough detail for people interested in the very details of the topics.

Any advice on alternatives to find news for nerds, with a good commenting and moderation system?

Comment Cat 6 cable finally has a use (Score 5, Informative) 157

This new standard is very interesting: it employs the same coding and spectral density as 10GBase-T (6.25 bps/Hz), but it employs the available bandwidth (Hz) depending on the cable category: Cat.5e (100 MHz) can provide 2.5Gbps and Cat.6 (250 MHz) can provide 5 Gbps.

Interestingly, before this standard there was no practical use for Cat.6 cabling: any speed you could obtain using Cat.6 cable (1Gbps) could be also obtained using cat.5e, and if you wanted something faster (10Gbps) you needed Cat. 6A (500 MHz BW). This newly ratified standard finally gets some use from those extra MHz you have in Cat. 6, if you have installed it. It will be interesting to know if 802.3bz ports will be able to measure link bandwidth to adapt speed accordingly to 2.5/5Gbps.

Comment Countdown traffic lights (Score 2) 203

Rather than implementing a complex technology in every single car, there exist countries that have started to implement countdown traffic lights. I have found them while driving and understood it immediately without any explanation. Much simpler, really easy and intuitive, much cheaper globally. I do not understand the approach from Audi.

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