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Comment My kingdom for a competent editor! (Score 1) 153

So apple is charting a new path with their headphones... but what happens when a user loses a headphone or the battery dies? Perhaps they should have talked with someone familiar with their development.

Seriously... that summary is crap and made head spin trying to make sense of it.

Comment powered wagons (Score 2) 102

Interestingly, not on TGVs which are among the most common high speed trains in Europe (470 trains). These trains have power cars at both ends.

On the other hand, German ICE (InterCity Express) and Swiss ICN (InterCity Neigezug) both use the "no power cars / each wagon with an electric motor" configuration (though not on 1st class wagons in the swiss case to diminish noise).
- This gives them tremendous power enabling them to climb steeper slopes than normal powercars (which is useful in hilly pre-Alpine regions)
- This gives them very efficient regenerative braking (In switzerland, two train coming down from the Lötschberg tunnel can entirely power one train climbing up to it).

I've also seen it on Czech Pendolinos.
I seem to remember that Austria's ÖSB has also such configuration, but I'm not 100% sure.

But funny that you mention: seems indeed that the French TGV are almost the only high speed trains not doing it.

Comment Re:Note will have a pen holder (Score 2) 104

The headphone jack isn't just a hole though, it has electronics that take up space in the internals which manufacturers want to use now for other things.

Common !
- Other manufacturer are managing to still cram an audio jack into their competing smartphones
- Smartphone are getting *wider* with *larger screen* each generation. In theory they should have *more room* for electronics.
- The "other things" might not be as useful as marketing would like you to think (Apple's taptic engine was the excuse for removing their jack).
- The only reason that manufacturer are lacking space is because they have launched themself in a competition for the thinest device possible. By trying to shave a few mm of thickness, they are losing critical space. This has already cost Apple their bendgate (less thickness = less mechanical resistance) and caused Samsung a few exploding batteries (not enough space for battery expansion).

In other words: I manufacturer weren't competing for the first company to release a phone thin enough so you can cut cheese with it, they would have plenty of space to keep a phone jack, add their useless new features AND have bigger batteries with better life.

I get why people want to hold onto this legacy port, it's a well established piece of tech that has been tired and true and remained unchanged for decades but to say that there's a pen hole so a headphone hole is the same thing isn't really accurate

The total volume of a pen, is still bigger than the volume of small compact jack connector and the tiny DAC feeding it.

No the real excuse is getting a way to sell either extra dongles (audio-out to USB-Otg or Apple Lightning)
or expensive accessories (force you to buy Bluetooth Wireless earphones. Or wired phones with custom plugs).

Comment Not the timer (Score 1) 102

so the traffic light will cater to whats best for the person in the $100k luxury car but the kid in the beater has to be at a disadvantage on teh public right of way?

Nope. The traffic light still waits all the same for every one.
The only difference is that the driver of the luxury car gets the privilege of having the wating counter of the traffic light directly displayed on their dashboard.
(And the car will be able to shut down and restart the engine during the wait on its own if it is economic to do so).

Comment Buy a Zoe instead - affordable electric (Score 1) 102

Go buy a Renault Zoé instead.

- it's done by one of your French companies.
- the newer Zoe platform features a 44kWh battery that should be okay for 200+ km between charges (rated for 125km/h).
(the previous one had a 22kWh battery, rated for 125 km. I still manage to get ~100 km out of the Zoé of the local Car Sharing copmany even when I'm driving like an idiot).
- you can either buy just the car and rent the battery (and the car comes rather cheap between 15'000 and 25'000+ EUR depending on the options), or you can add ~8'000 EUR and buy your own battery.

Hybrids motors are extremely complex and that comes at a a cost.
(you basically got both disadvantages of an ICE engine - complex delicate mechanical device
combined with the disadvantage of an electric drive - big expensive complex battery and ancillary electronics ; also an electric motor which, although cheap, is much bigger than the standard alternator of an ICE.
And on top of that, a slightly more complex transmission - specially on hybrid that can do both serial and parallel hybrids).
Because of this complexity, cost is never going to go down that much.
It's a nice stop-gag technology to diminish smog problems, but electric drive is the long term solution.
(Specially in a country like France that doesn't rely much on fossil energy to produce its electricity).

Electric cars - outside of the expensive battery and its electronics - can be even a bit cheaper :
- the car tends to be much lighter for better efficiency. Depending how it's done it might drive the price slightly up (Tesla and their space alloys) or down (the newer 44kWh Zo is lighter than the older one, without being more expensive).
- an electric motor is dead simple and much cheaper than the mechanical complexity of an ICE (it's just a glorified spool of wire, attached to a fixed ratio gear. That's why Tesla can afford to slap a 2nd one on their 4-wheel drive vehicle (the xx"D" series), and that's why most european high speed train can afford electric motors on each of their wagon.)
(This is opposed to energy storage. On a gaz powered car, energy ist stored in a glorified jug with a cap and a tap. Whereas an electic car require a complex chemistry in the battery and complex electronic to control both the charging of the car, and the power delivery to the motor).

Cost of batteries is going down, as car companies invest in mega-factories - Tesla is building one in Texas, Renault is building one in France - and as the demand for lithium batteries increases in modern technology (laptops, lithium-powered power tools, etc.).
Network of charger is increasing.
Mennekes connector is becoming standard accross Europe.
Tesla is building their own network of superchargers.
In France I've seen chargers in Highway rest areas.
In Switzerland, nearly all parkings in big cities have charging spot.
European countries burn a lot less fossils to produce electricity. (France relies on its nuclear power, Switzerland has endless supply of hydro-electric. Northern Europe is developping green sourse like solar, etc.)

Future is in electric cars.

Comment Yah but (Score 0) 97

They turned all this crap on by default along with annoying auto-run apps. To say that I am unamused would be an understatement. However, I was able to fix the issue trivially by blowing away ALL of AMD's radeon junk, ripping out the radeon card, and buying a nice cheap little Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.

Problem solved.


Comment Re:Performance? (Score 1) 85

Having an intermediate format that you statically translate into the target architecture is definitely useful (like Android is now doing with ART), but keep in mind that LLVM IR is not architecture-independent most of the time. E.g., when LLVM IR is generated from C, then this C code will at least have been compiled based on a certain pointer size, size of long, size of long long, alignments for struct fields, etc. CIL is better in this regard.

However, you should see this as a solution that will be used in an addition to running native apps, not as something you promote to do instead. It probably mainly because it seems unlikely that all, or even many, developers will start shipping tons of Windows 10 AArch64 applications right away. It's a bit like how Apple shipped Rosetta with the first Mac OS X versions for Intel Macs so they could emulate PowerPC apps (and an m68k emulator with the PowerPC versions of classic MacOS), while at the same time encouraging developers to start creating native Intel apps.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 237

The figures were for the Netherlands. By the way, the use of diesel is being discouraged here for a while now;l the tax on the fuel is low so as not to ruin farmers and truckers who depend on it, but the high road tax on non-business diesel vehicles makes them an unattractive choice for anyone not driving a ridiculous amount of kilometers every year.

Fireplaces are mostly being used as "decorative heating", not to actually heat the house all day, so the cost of the wood isn't a big factor. I pay €9 for a a bag of wood that lasts 2 evenings. The fact that fireplaces are only used to bring some cheer in winter, I sooner expect the government to ban their use than to subsidise better ones.

Comment Re: Performance? (Score 1) 85

Back then it was still Dynamo. And they only managed to do that on a particular HP PA-RISC architecture, because it was very sensitive to instruction cache missers (or had a bad branch predictor?) so that creating linear traces of code was very performant. They later tried to reproduce it on x86 and failed horribly (just like I did during my master's thesis; the best I got was a 20% slowdown for gzip, I think the best they got was no performance loss with some benchmarks).

Comment Re:Performance? (Score 4, Interesting) 85

The takeaway is that simply emulating the x86 instruction set results in about a 100x slowdown for an equivalent clock rate.

Emulation definitely results in slowdowns, but it's generally much less than 100x. In particular since any emulator that focuses even slightly on performance uses dynamic compilation: it translates the code once from x86 to the host architecture and from then on runs this translation. The translated version will probably be less efficient than the original code, but by no means 100x slower. 2x to 5x seems more realistic on average, although there are certainly outliers (e.g. code that intensively mucks with system registers or that triggers context switches will be slower, while some straightforward calculation loops may actually become just as fast as or even faster than the original code depending on the target architecture's nature).

Comment Re:What do UK, USA, Aus, NZ, Can have in common? (Score 0) 99

Clearly she wants Brexit to happen. If democracy has anything to say about it, it won't. The uninformed/misinformed and much regretted referendum is the closest thing to democratic consent to Brexit that will ever exist, so she has to take that and run with it, and not let the people have any more say in the matter.

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