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Comment Re: Simple Answer (Score 2) 86

"tweak" is a bit of an understatement. They are on their 5th shipping version of modified ISAs (Swift, Cyclone, Typhoon, Twister, and now Hurricane), and the included PowerVR GPU has been increasingly modified from the base technology from Imagination Technology. Where most "tweaking" is in how many cores or what fixed-function units are included, Apple has been playing with the core instruction set to make them more performant (both from power and speed perspectives). This has been how Apple has been at least a year ahead in meaningful performance for at least 4 years now (multi-thread performance is not usually meaningful on a phone), despite having a lower base clock speed than their competitors (thus getting very nice battery savings out of it).

What this article is talking about is that Apple is spending increasing amounts of money directly in R&D, rather than farming it out to their suppliers (which does not count in R&D).

Comment Re:What is the R&D Actually For? (Score 1) 86

The memory limitations that you cite, as well as the driving problem behind slow updates, can be squarely put at the feet of Intel. They have pushed back meaningful updates for a couple of years now. I am not implying that they are doing so deliberately, but rather have been unable to make meaningful upgrades.

To take the memory size limitation, that is because Kaby Lake processors are the only ones to support 64GiB, and the models that Apple would have used were not available (let alone in Apple quantities) until long after the current MacBook Pros shipped. And I think you are a bit mislead about "battery issues". For most workloads Apple's newest MacBook Pro's have 10+ hour battery life. The only place where it is not better than the previous generation is on the 15 inch models on workloads that cause the GPU to kick in. There the battery simply is not enough to really feed that power-hungry GPU. This was an engineering decision (tradeoffs between a better GPU, thinness, and battery life for certain workloads), and real deserves a more thorough understanding than your summary indicates.

A similar conversation applies on the MacPro front. Again, the Xeon processors that Apple used have not been upgraded in a way that justified updates. I wish that Apple had released speed-bumps along the way (and adjusted the bottom-end price along the way), but there was really not enough change since their release to justify a re-work since then. A GPU update might have been nice, but (full disclosure: I worked at Apple, and helped test one aspect of the GPUs) Apple spent a lot of engineer time making those custom GPUs sing on the workloads they were for: FinalCut Pro (not gaming). Likely someone crunched the numbers on sales and determined that it was not worth the expenditure to do that again for a mid-term product. Whenever it is updated again we will see if Apple goes the custom route again.

I also don't think you are evaluating Apple chip work nearly well enough. I you look at the CPU/GPU work they have done on the iOS devices; for the last 4 or so years competitors have been at least a year behind on most real-work testing metrics. Only in multi-threaded tests does anyone else remain competitive within a year timeframe. That is despite Apple being lower-power and lower clock-speed in almost all cases. And the delta has been widening as Apple ramps up on this. They started with nearly off-the-shelf processors, but are now on their fifth version of increasingly modified ARM ISA (Swift, Cyclone, Typhoon, Twister, and now Hurricane), each of which had increasingly custom versions of the paired PowerVR GPUs.

None of that work is about lowering costs, all of it is about improving performance. If Apple only wanted to lower costs they would be using Samsung or Qualcomm licensed CPU designs.

Comment Re: This is not surprising (Score 1) 245

And yet you don't seem to be able to point to a single lie. All of this innuendo, and no facts. If she really did "lie continuously for months", then there would be a clear record of it. At this point it is clear that your position is not about the truth; you have an enemy and you are going to do everything to damage that enemy, even if you have nothing to go on. That is simply prejudice.

Comment Re:Slower than MongoDB, has joins (Score 5, Informative) 21

As a former RethinkDB employee I am more than a little biased, but I don't think that you understand the competitive space around MongoDB. Everything you have sited as an advantage for MongoDB is done better by just about every one of their competitors (RethinkDB included). MongoDB's main advantage is that they were the first big on in the field, and no-one has been able to make something better enough to de-seat them. It is not enough to be better, you have to be noticeably better in order to de-seat a reigning competitor. Think of the phrase "no one gets fired for buying IBM".

And I also don't think you understand the cost of polling, especially for non-trivial (e.g.: not key-lookup) queries. While RethinkDB's `join` queries are not included in `changefeeds`, just about everything else is. So for example if you wanted to keep a leaderboard, say the top 10 scores in a game, you would have to re-compute that every time in most databases (at a minimum scan the index). With RethinkDB it automatically gets modified based on writes in the database, and sent to you. The efficiency improvement is truly huge. And since those queries can be fairly complicated (say: top 10 scores within the week), that gets very expensive with polling.

An example that is in usage right now from a major stock trader: their iOS app uses RethinkDB to get streaming stock-price updates. The app (indirectly through a server) just opens a changefeed on the list of stocks that you follow, and RethinkDB coordinates who needs to get what updates when they feed in the stream of changes of market prices. They don't have a ton of clients constantly polling in order to show them constantly changing feeds of numbers (some change every second, others not in hours), and they can push out changes as fast as they get them.

Comment Re:What that tells me (Score 2, Insightful) 268

What about the response makes you think that? The only relevant piece of information I actually can see in the response is the inference that Apple is asking them to re-run the tests (presumably with Apple engineers in attendance). The implication is that Apple is trying to reproduce what Consumer Reports saw, and is unable to, so is asking them to do it again. This sounds exactly like what everyone involved should want to happen: make sure that the tests are reproducible, and thus representative of what users would see. So to me the Consumer Reports response seems unjustified, and very defensive.

Comment Re:Flip flop .... (Score 4, Informative) 559

Actually, in the case of Germany the U.S. is older as a country by something like a hundred years. The unification of something like what we now call Germany did not begin until the German Empire began in 1871. The Confederation of States was formed in 1781, and the Constitution (so U.S.) was seven years later in 1788. So depending on when you were talking about, either 100 years, or 93 years. Prior to that you don't really have anything that could be called Germany, rather you have separate German-speking states. It does not look like you understand history enough to be using it to make broad sweeping statements like you are doing.

Another major problem in your argument is that the U.S. is much bigger, population wise, that most countries it is going to be compared to. So when you say things like "richest", that is true for aggregate wealth. But it is not true for per-capita income (U.S. is #11).

And the statement "Capitalism and free markets have lifted more people out of poverty and lifted the standards of living of more people than any other system yet tried, combined" ignores that China has lifted billions of people out of poverty. You can make lots of truthful bad statements about China, and I certainly would not want to live there. But it does prove that statement wrong.

But even more to the point: Germany has a much more social-based system than ours. Clearly in areas of heath-care, education, workers rights, and welfare systems. But they are doing better than the U.S. in terms of growth, average wage, and unemployment. How does your argument survive that?

Comment Re:It gets worse (Score 1) 1066

I advise you to read more about Ben Carson before you defend him as a good person to be a Cabinet Secretary. He does not seem to be very able to reason out issues. Having seen a number of his interviews and lines of logic I really do wonder how he made it though medical school, let alone planned out complicated procedures (which he does seem to have done). Maybe I should believe him that he passed because God gave him the answers in a dream:


Skip the obvious bias in the source, just watch the video of him saying this himself. Or go look up his (still maintained) views on the Pyramids. This is not a rational thinker.

Comment Re:Uranium One and Clinton McCarthyism. (Score 3, Informative) 469

Clinton did not sign off, the State Department did, as did 8 other Federal departments. The person at the State Department who was in charge of it has expressly said that Clinton was never involved in that discussion, and never expressed any opinions on it, as the process was not important or controversial enough to warrant it. And while it did wind up with a Russian company owning a good chunk of the Uranium mines in North America (primarily in Canada), there are export restrictions that prevent any of the product mined there from going to Russia (among most every place).

And she and her close friends did not benefit financially, the accusation is that it was the Clinton Foundation (a charitable organization) that got the money. So far there have been some vague accusations that "the Clintons used the Foundation as their personal piggy bank", but no case of that ever happening has come to light. The Foundation is regularly audited, and that would have shown up by now. The Foundation is generally accepted as being a very good user of its money in doing good around the world.

So explain to me how something she was not involved in, and did not benefit financially from personally was somehow a strike against her.

Comment Re:there's always greed and the clintons (Score 1) 387

Do you have any evidence that President Clinton sold any pardons? That he benefited personally from any of them? And your sentence has to be very carefully parsed to be true: President Clinton did pardon more people ON HIS LAST day (140) than any other president has done ON THIER LAST DAY, but overall during his terms he was in-line with other presidents (450 vs Presidents Carter with 566 and Regan with 406). President Ford issued almost as many (409) in two years as Clinton did in his eight year term.

Since there seems to be no personal benefit involved in the pardons, it is hard to argue that there was any corruption here. Shame on you for making false accusations.

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

The important difference is not in the technical sphere, but in the legal one. With at chip-and-PIN card that legal assumption is that any transaction that had the right PIN was a valid one, and the user has to prove otherwise. With anything involving a signature the legal system puts the burden of proof on the merchant to prove that it was you making the purchase. Additionally the U.S. legal limitation of $50 of responsibility (commonly waved to $0 by most credit cards) applies only to signature transactions.

So from a legal standpoint having a signature involved is very advantageous for the consumer in the U.S., and in this one case the credit card companies have gone with the more consumer-friendly option.

Comment Re:It's Heartbreaking you're not in Jail (Score 3, Informative) 482

General Patreus gave his mistress 8 highly classified books with the full intention that she read them, and use them as a basis for writing a book (about him). The Justice Department called the information in those "exceptionally grave damage", and was looking at charging him under the Espionage Act. Additionally he lied to the FBI during the investigation (a grave offense in and of itself). Instead of going after him they negotiated that down to $100,000 fine and two years probation, and separately he was drummed out of the military. The final charge was "mishandling classified material"...

So not only was his offense of far larger scale, but it was deliberately giving someone classified material for personal gain, a deliberate offense rather than one of lack of care. Even the most hyperbolic accusations of Hillary Clinton come nowhere near that.

You can argue that someone with a lesser position than Secretary Clinton might have been disciplined for this, but both the FBI and Justice Department have said that there is not enough evidence for charging under one statue that requires malice, or another that has only ever been used in treason cases.

What does smack of a two-tiered system is that both her predecessors in that office, and other contemporary cabinet members, had similar email setups and no-one is talking about trying to prosecute them. Nor are we talking about bringing charges in the Bush email scandal, where the law was clearly violated and 22 million governmental records were lost... including a number that were subpoenaed in investigations of the Bush White House. If we are going to hold people to this standard, why are we not spending $20 million dollars (estimated FBI costs of Clinton probe) investigating those?

Comment Re:The journalism.. (Score 1) 100

You have sited nearly all the examples that would tend to make this argument stronger, but just missed in tying them together:

1. There are enormous numbers of people who have essentially been participating in a study on radiation exposure. And rough numbers of people with cellphones of varying types are commercially available for pretty much any market you want them for.

2. There is a pretty good body of information on the number of people who develop cancer, with much the same availability over time and geography.

3. If cell-phone radiation posed a significant risk of causing cancer you should be able to tie changes in the rates of some form of cancer to the incidents recorded.

4. Your observations about cell phone mounting means that we have some reasonable expectation that we are going to have beginning and ending points for the curves we want inside the data. This should make finding patterns easier, since we have observable motion.

Of course this would be an indicator, rather than proof, but the total lack of these indicators (the incidence rate for cancers not budging during this time) is a pretty big indicator (again not proof) that cell phone radiation is not a significant cause of cancer.

Comment Re:Best Care in the World! (Score 1) 247

No, he wants to bring the best part of Medicaid to the rest of healthcare. You know, the most efficiently run insurance system in the country (seriously, they are head-and-shoulders above any private organization by any metric). This is not about replacing who controls hospitals, or makes the drugs. It is about who pays, and thus negotiates, for these things. If you look just at drug pricing, comparing the U.S. prices to anywhere else in the world (Canada is an easy example, and hard to argue that it is a meaningfully different environment) you will see how much that lack of negotiating power hurts us. Imagine how much more efficient Medicaid could be if they were not legally prevented from negotiating! Then remember that the insurance companies are not prevented from negotiating, and wonder why they are still less efficient.

Comment Re:So is he wrong? (Score 1) 866

Unemployment + Employed Income can be seen together as an equivalent of Universal Basic Income... just one divided into two segments. This of course assumes that you don't have time limits on Unemployment (as we do in the U.S.), and it assumes that the UBI income is always less than an Employed Income (again not always true, especially in the U.S.). Seen this way, it makes a lot more sense from a organizational principle to go with UBI, since it is a lot easier to manage. After all you don' have to track who is in what category (when).

Comment Re:Those countries... (Score 1) 1116

You are mistaking Communism for socialism. This has become a common mistake, mostly because spreading this concept has been a libertarian tactic for along time now. There is also the fact that especially around World War II a number of authoritarian governments (the Nazis are a great example) called themselves "Socialist". However, the actual socialists in their ranks were killed off in purges immediately. A few socialist programs were implemented (for example the building of national highways), but those sorts of things are not generally considered very socialist (remember: the US has them too). But those states were not any more "Socialist" than Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea) is Democratic.

You can tell that the Netherlands is socialist because they have a very well established welfare system, as well as state-funded healthcare. You can also look at their labor laws to see that as well.

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