Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Yup, GNU/NT-Kernel (Score 2) 163

If I understand it right, it's a GNU/Linux distro without a Linux kernel on top of a compatibility layer on Windows, right?

Yup, mostly(*).

So "GNU/Windows NT Kernel" is better than "Linux" - That actually one of the rare few occastion a typical "GNU/Linux" distro gets used without the Linux kernel part.

But because "Linux" has brand recognition, it's still used.


(*): there's no separate compatibility layer (unlike things like Cygwin which are a user-mode compatibility layer that translates POSIX API-calls into Win32 calls - and thus enables soure compatibility).
The NT-Kernel has a bizare peculiarity : it can export several different ABI's to usermode software - it has different "personnalities".
- Win32 is just *one* of the set of ABI available.
- A long time ago, that made it possible to run OS/2 software on Windows NT.
- A little bit less longer time ago, Windows NT also had a "Unix" personality.
- Now WSL is actually the NT kernel exhibiting a small subset of the ABI featured by the linux kernel - about the bare minimum to get a few basic user-mode software (e,.g.: the "GNU" part of "GNU/Linux") run unmodified.

These are straight ABI available from the NT-Kernel, not a mere Linux-to-Win32 API conversion like Cygwin.

- Among other defaults Win32 has a poor multi-processing (forking is expensive). Cygwin application have to rely on that poorer cousin in order to provide multi-processing to POSIX.
- The recent kernels of Windows NT intoduced pico-thread which are very cheap, weren't available in the Win32 API back when introduced, but where exposed through the "Linux-lite" API that is WSL in order to make a usefull multiprocessing.

On the other hand WSL is far from complete. There is tons of stuff that you can do on your GNU/Linux that you can't do with WSL (e.g.: filesystem drivers)

Comment WINE ; ReactOS (Score 1) 163

Then you could use either ReactOS in your VM, or run Wine straight in your userspace.

And again there are also companies supporting *that*.
(e.g.: CrossOver pays developers)

So *there is* company-sponsored efforts to be able to run windows programs in a GNU/LInux or Android/Linux environment.

Comment CH (Score 1) 154

Trolley buses are - unfortunately - only widespread in the former soviet union and its client states

CH, here. The country has mostly been neutral during cold war and is far from being a client state.
But bigger cities here love trolley and trams too.

Electricity is easily available (thanks to alpine dams)

And city centers are rather densely populated - and thus the network of bus stops is also dense (you don't need hundreds of km of wire just to link 2 bus stops)

(for some reason soviet government seriously loved trolley buses, they have even built a trolley bus line in Afghanistan, back then they were there)

I would say that electric motors are simpler, smaller, easier to install into a vehicle. And are easy to ship around.
Whereas ICE are more a custom job that is vehicle specific.

Thus it's much easier for a Sovietic planned economy to make a 5-years plan to build a huge mega factory in one client state (e.g.: Bulgaria) and ship motors and install them into bus through the whole communist world.

Comment Truck (Score 1) 154

I'm curious:
Unload truck onto train, ship, unload train onto truck, deliver?
Drive truck onto flatbed railcar, ship, drive truck off railcar, deliver?
For trucks that are separate tractor trailer, just the trailer on the flatbed.

The law doesn't specify anything.
But it seems to me that for logistic reasons, the 3rd option you mention is the most popular :
the trailer is a standardized contrainer that can be moved from the truck to the train without needing to lose time for unloading/reloading the merchandise.

Comment Cost reasons (Score 1) 303

For cost reasons, any consumer electronic device will usually be implemented on the cheapest possible SoC with the bare minimum of unused resources (eMMC, RAM, MIPS etc.)

Nowadays ROM chips with a custom firmware burned in cost too much (add maybe a 0.5$ per unit), firmware is flashed on built-in EEPROM inside the SoC.

In theory, most of modern-day widgets have field-upgradeable firmware.

In practice, no company bothers to do the necessary work, specially since by the time the firmware upgrade is necessary, the device has already been sold and the money has been earned. There is no big immediate advantage in providing upgrade. It's an eventual long term advantage for the end-user, but by then the end-user can only regret having spent the money on the gadget.
(e.g.: Not exactly wireless DAB radio, but out of all the wireless bluetooth speakers I've seen, only Logitech/Ultimate Ears bothers to make regular updates that actually add new features. None of the DAB radio I've owned has ever bothered releasing a firmware upgrade, even if some did advertise the possibility)

For lots of music usage (again, anything beyond the handheld DAB/FM receiver*) the "bare minimum SoC" is already quite powerful.
e.g.: bigger multi-media device need AAC decoding capabilities (to play music from USB sticks / MP3 players in USB-Storage mode, etc.) - That's about what is needed to move a DAB-enabled device to DAB+.
e.g.: In Vehicle Infotainment have a fuckton more processing power (Some high end device are the equivalent of a big over-powered tablet / a small netbook), that's way more than enough for playing DAB+ (or even support OPUS).


*: the handhelds tend to be a single chip with a hardware DAB receiver piping its data straigh into a MP2/MP3 hardware core. There's no real CPU.
This kind chip is designed to be used as a DAB solution for media devices.
(e.g.: combine it with a CD player and a few such other parts, and you can make a cheap all-in-one audio device)

But the micro-controller on this SoC can run a firmware that gives it limited stand-alone properties: it can handle a few bare simple menus and can be wired straight to an LCD with a couple of buttons.

Thus, this kind of chip can be also useful to make dead-cheap handheld radios.
(example of such radio: Revo Pico+ - though it wasn't sold at a cheap price back then)

Comment Re:Look to history (Score 5, Informative) 280

You, sir or madam, are a lying sack of dangerous shit.

Quote WebMD:

"Home Remedy No-No Number 4: Colloidal Silver

With hype and hope spread by word of mouth and the Internet, colloidal silver is believed by some to help treat a range of infections and diseases.

"People believe that colloidal silver can treat fungal infections, TB, HIV, herpes, and even cancer by boosting the immune system," says Ted Epperly, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Unfortunately for colloidal sliver supporters, they're wrong, and the consequences of their mistake could be costly.

"One of the most well-known side effects of colloidal silver is that it turns a person's skin a greyish shade of blue," says Epperly.

The skin isn't the only organ affected by colloidal silver; so are the kidneys, stomach, and brain, as well as the nervous system. Silver is actually deposited into the cells of these organs, possibly causing cell damage and death, leading to organ failure.

"The effects of colloidal silver are toxic and cumulative," says Epperly. "Worse, they're irreversible."

Epperly urges people to ignore the hype and instead, talk to a health care provider about the proper way to treat infections and diseases.

Comment Re:Close (Score 4, Informative) 127

Lots of people ask about this. If we did pure speech-to-text and text-to-speech, it would take about half the bandwidth but everybody would have the same synthesized voice. Once you start trying to add parameters to the synthesized voice such as pitch, speed, and tonality, those take as much bandwidth as we are using for the entire codec, because they are essentially the same parameters.

Slashdot Top Deals

When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson