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Comment Re:Perhaps the constant overhype is the problem (Score 1) 707

Ms Fowler's description of her experience at Uber sounds terrible, but I don't think Uber is typical of tech companies or representative of "nerd culture".

If you read her article, it's clear that things got worse during her time there. Reading between the lines, it sounds an awful lot like the story of the missing stair.

In one sense, it's not Uber, it's just that one guy. But when people discuss what is "typical" or "representative", many miss the problem that it only takes that one guy. That guy may not be typical or representative, but if the organisation decides (whether deliberately or not) to ignore or enable that one guy, that one guy becomes the typical or representative experience for anyone that one guy targets.

Comment Re:what a coincidence! (Score 1) 121

Walmart recently ditched its Prime competitor, shipping pass, that offered free two day shipping for $49... half the cost of a Prime membership.

But Amazon Prime gives you a lot more than just free shipping. You also get free movies, ebooks, etc. Even if you just get Prime for the movies, it is cheaper than Netflix.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 1) 121

Supply & demand might be the cause.

More likely it is lack of competition. I used to buy used books and DVDs on eBay, but now Amazon has a way better selection, a better search interface, and better seller feedback. Many big e-sellers, like Goodwill, aren't even on eBay anymore. Most brick-and-mortar used bookstores and music stores are gone. So Amazon can jack up the price with few repercussions.

Comment Re:Perhaps the constant overhype is the problem (Score 3, Insightful) 707

Why exactly would you expect to see sexism or racism that is not directed at you?

Because complaints would be directed through me. I work in a tech company, and over the years, I have dealt with about a dozen complaints. The thing is, they were never about the engineers, programmers, or other nerds. They were always about the salesmen, the marketing dept, or the warehouse crew. I am sure some nerds are misogynistic jerks, but I don't think that is common, and I believe it is actually less prevalent than in most other professions. My experience is that most nerds are welcoming to female co-workers, and judge them by their ability, not their gender. Ms Fowler's description of her experience at Uber sounds terrible, but I don't think Uber is typical of tech companies or representative of "nerd culture". She also describes a lot of backstabbing and chaos at Uber that have nothing to do with sexism, so it sounds like a very dysfunctional company on many levels.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised. (Score 4, Interesting) 707

We're supposed to believe that because this is Uber, and because everything about Uber is evil, this is News For Nerds.

This is news for nerds. Uber is a tech company, and the people that work there are nerds. I don't like vague accusations that tech companies are "sexist" because, while they are, I don't believe they are any more sexist than non-tech companies. But in this case, the accusations are not vague. Ms Fowler has made very specific accusations against specific people, and has hard evidence to back up what she is saying. Uber's behavior in dismissing her complaints was appalling.

Comment Re:vGPU seems cool (Score 5, Informative) 87

My understanding is that it is more extensive: PCI(mostly 'e' these days) passthrough allows you to assign a physical device to a VM; but the device can't be shared: if a given piece of hardware is being passed through to one of the guests, none of the other guests or the host OS can use it.

This 'virtual GPU' stuff is supposed to make allocating GPU resources between VMs closer to how it is with CPU time or memory, where all the guests and the host can't exceed the capabilities of the machine they are running on; but they can all have access, with relatively modest overhead, to the same device.

I don't know if things work as pleasantly as desired yet; but in principle it should be a lot more convenient than full device passthrough. Especially in cases where you might be interested in the GPU for its computational capabilities, video transcoder, etc.

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 2) 250

If you think that finding a vendor that doesn't keep cutting battery life/SD card slots/headphone jacks/basic safeguards against electrical fire in order to make it thinner, cheaper, or both is hard; just try to find one that ensures sufficient borated polyethylene(with something else to sop up the resulting gamma rays) or other neutron shielding into their products.

There probably are some, making bits for nuclear reactors and industrial, scientific, and medical users of neutron sources; but it's a niche.

Comment Re:LibreOffice? (Score 5, Informative) 114

You can definitely embed Windows Metafile images in LibreOffice on Windows; but I'm not entirely sure if that is enough to make it vulnerable. WMF is dangerous because it is basically a package of GDI function calls, which might be good for efficiency or compactness; but has led to a number of creative and executable things being shoehorned in(as in this case; and repeatedly over the years).

However, there are several image handling libraries that can render or convert WMF images without access to GDI; so in those cases GDI bugs wouldn't be a problem(though you probably have other things to worry about).

This Libreoffice VCL documentation suggests that LibreOffice uses its own VCL WMF filters; but I sure wouldn't bet anything remotely important on that without testing it first; or knowing rather more about how LibreOffice is put together.

Comment The Question Answers Itself (Score 1) 84

But the real question is how the fans are going to feel about watching a speed race between cars with no drivers?

This question answers itself if framed within the context of the racing genre:

"But the real question is how the fans are going to feel about watching paint dry, knowing that the paint wasn't applied by a real person?"

Having the cars operated by software rather than by human drivers doesn't change anything.

Comment Re: Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 4, Informative) 250

ECC memory doesn't do anything to help when the bits that get flipped are in the CPU. Or anywhere else that isn't a RAM chip.

Except that the RAM has hundreds or thousands of times as many bits as a CPU, and Flash may have millions of times as many, and dynamic ram has smaller feature size, and is more susceptible to SEUs. So correcting RAM and Flash helps because that is where 99.9% of the problem is.

Even within the CPU, most transistors are used to implement cache, and cache can also be scrubbed (although not with just software).

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 4, Informative) 250

Probably b'cos there is nothing that manufacturers can do about cosmic rays

Except that is not true. Electronic devices can be made more resistant to cosmic rays and other radiation. The easiest way to do so is to use depleted boron instead of "normal" boron as a semiconductor dopant. Boron-10 has a very high neutron absorption cross section while Boron-11 has a very small cross section. Use boron that has been "depleted" of the B10 isotope, and you cut way down on your neutron induced SEUs.

Another obvious countermeasure is to use ECC memory, and memory scrubbing.

The problem is not that there is nothing that manufacturers can do, but that consumers aren't willing to pay the extra cost. Would you be willing to pay an extra $100 for your phone if it meant one fewer reboot every decade or so?

Comment Re:That's why I pay to recycle monitors (Score 5, Insightful) 266

I pay a somewhat hefty fee to recycle (I think around $20-$40). That's the best I can do to ensure they actually will be recycled

Why does you paying them make them more honest?
How much fuel do you burn driving there and back?
Like most recycling, this seems to be more about "feeling good" rather than actually helping the environment.

Besides, even a warehouse full of dead monitors that will basically just sit forever is still a way better scenario than having them polluting a landfill.

Except for all the resources that went into building the warehouse. Do you know how much CO2 is generated to make concrete?

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