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Comment Re:No keyboard? That's nothing! (Score 1) 111

Last year, I wanted to update ClearCase, because my version caused a blue-screen every few days and made Visual Studio hang for a few minutes several times per hour. As the update failed to install, I called the IT guy, who tried a lot of things. In the end, he gave up. I had no IBM Rational software installed anymore and could not install any IBM Rational software anymore. Instead of taking this as a sign, he re-imaged my PC.

Comment Re:not quite correct (Score 4, Informative) 257

The reality is that javascript is the universal language at the moment of 'get stuff done'.

Only if your platform is a browser. These are the things i lately worked on, and Javascript would be of no use in any of them:
- Embedded board doing hard realtime IO signals (100us response time) and Ethernet/IP communication on a 8bit CPU with 4KB RAM
- Windows device driver for a special PCIe card receiving continuous 80MB/s data from an image sensor into system RAM.
- soft real-time image sensor processing the stream data with latency below 3ms: interpolate dead pixels, normalize gain, apply 2d band stop filter
- soft real-time image post-processing on 60MB/s stream, with latency below 20ms: illuminated area & motion detection, spatial and temporal noise reduction, multi-resolution non-linear detail enhancement processing, adjust contrast & brightness

Above processing must run on a desktop quad-core with max 40% CPU load.
It required manual threading and hand-written vector code (SSE intrinsics) to reach the performance.

Comment Re:Back to the Future! (Score 1) 110

An update mostly consists of a set of binaries (EXE and DLL), where the source code is only slightly changed compared to the previously shipped version.
With the process they did up to now, they shipped all altered files as a whole in an update, likely zipped, but not being based on the previous binaries.

When changing the source a little (fixing a bug, adding some functionality), the binary (DLL, EXE) changes a lot, because if one function gets slightly longer due to an added check, all following functions are moved a little to make room. As any caller references the function by address, many code places change for each moved method.
Tools like bsdiff and courgette anaylze the old and the new binary, and can encode very efficiently what has moved and where references have to be updated.
A Chromium update, where a 10MB DLL has changed (and MS would have shipped the whole file, maybe compressed to 6MB), can be encoded using courgette into a 0.08MB differential update.

Comment Re:There is something to that... (Score 1) 524

If you ever get to price out a Dell or HP machine with the same features as a Mac, you're ending up paying more than a Mac.

That's partly because Dell does't let you select consumer GPUs for workstations*, and partly obscene pricing for extra RAM, disk and CPU. The last workstation I needed, I was required to buy from Dell (company-forced), and when giving my build order to the IT guy, I complained how expensive Dell is. He replied, don't care, when ordering by phone and mentioning you buy lots from Dell, the price goes down to a rerasonable level.
He was right, the 2500€ shown in Dell's web shop was reduced to 1600€..

* For a development project a few years ago, I needed the GPU to support a specific pixel shader version, and DL-DVI for the 2560x1600 screen. but not much graphics power, and no CAD support. A 100€ entry-level passive-cooling gaming card would have been a good choice, but was not configurable. One only had the choice between close-to-obsolete underpowered CAD cards (150€, not supporting the pixel shader level), and power-hungry CAD cards with noisy fans (800€+).

Comment Re:Why isn't it the trucks fault (Score 4, Informative) 379

I wonder how the car got under the trailer. Is there no regulation for trailer impact protection?
In Europe, trailers are required have strong bars on sides and back of the trailer to prevent cars getting under. The sides also must have flat covers, which improve visiblity.
Here's an example:

Comment Re:When can we disable 2G everywhere? (Score 1) 42

Technically, LTE goes a different rout than (W)CDMA.
(W)CDMA means several transmitters sending on the same frequency at the same time, using different modulation codes. From the sum signal, a receiver can pick out each transmitter's signal by correlating with the transmitter's code.
On LTE, transmitters never send on the same frequency at the same time. They always use separate frequencies and/or different time slots.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 166

In Germany, I'd say at least 80% of all private smartphones have Whatsapp installed. SMS is limited to short text. Whatsapp has emoticons (some people cannot communicate without 'em), sending pictures, video, and you current location, if you want to meet e.g. in a big park.
Phone number change afaik works, you just have to link old and new number somewhere in the options. With SMS, this doesn't work.

Comment Re:Renewable energy can work. (Score 4, Informative) 298

You cannot get a $0.15/kWh power plan in Germany for private homes, only for large industrial plants.
The cheapest price (by kWh) I can get for my German home is 0.23€ ($0.26) / kWh plus 60€ ($69) per year, so it's 0.25€ ($0.28) / kWh in total.

Latest statistics say the average price for private customers is 0.28€ / kWh:

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