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Comment Re:Qualcomm doesn't make chips (Score 1) 77

My understanding is most server farms are connected to dedicated nuclear power plants anyway, so power consumption isn't an issue. Heat dissipation? Yeah, that might be an issue.

Heat and power are the same issue. The conservation of energy means that power in is power out, and the power out is heat that needs to be dissipated. A rule of thumb for data centres is that every dollar you pay in electricity for the computers, you need to pay another dollar in electricity for cooling. If you want high density, then you hit hard limits in the amount of heat that you can physically extract (faster fans hit diminishing returns quickly). This is why AMD's presence in the server room went from close to 100% to close to 0%: Intel was much better at low power.

Comment Re:Intel 10nm != Other Foundry 10nm (Score 1) 77

Intels problem is that it cannot sell FAB time because they are vertically integrated

This is true. Intel will fab chips for other people, but they've had very few customers because everyone knows that the priority customer at Intel fabs is Intel and if yields are lower than expected it won't be Intel chips that get delayed.

Intel builds a FAB and runs its next gen chips off of it for a few years, then they are stuck looking for something to do with the FAB when it is no longer current-gen

This is simply not true. Slashdot likes to think of Intel as a a CPU vendor, but that's actually quite a small part of their business. They make a lot of other kinds of chip and a great many of these don't require the latest and greatest fab technology. This has always been a big part of their advantage over AMD: they have products that will use the fab for 10+ years, so they can amortise the construction costs over that long a period.

TSMC's revenue is now approaching Intel's, and unlike Intel they can keep all their FABs busy making money, so the outlook for Intel is grim without a serious restructuring, which they are doing (see recent massive layoffs, and bullshit marketing about their new "cloud strategy")

This is the important part and is where the ARM ecosystem has an advantage over Intel. No single processor vendor has to compete head-to-head with Intel. As long as the total size of the ecosystem is large enough, the foundries can invest in process improvements.

Comment Re:ARMing servers. (Score 1) 77

AMD had a unique market opportunity to build up a good manufacturing base w/ quality fabs for their CPUs, but didn't. Intel gave top priority to their fabs, and are the standard

AMD spun off their fabs for precisely this reason. Building fabs is insanely expensive and the only way to do is to amortise the cost over a lot of chips. Even at its peak, Intel was producing 4-5 times as many CPUs as AMD and had a load of lower-end products (e.g. network interfaces) that they'd start using the fabs for once they were a generation old. There was absolutely no way for AMD to compete head to head with Intel in fab technology, because they couldn't get the economies of scale.

This does; however, highlight just how bad Intel is at CPU design. AMD has been able to achieve rough parity for decades (and been ahead a couple of times, with the original Athlons and Opterons) in spite of always being at least one process generation behind in fabrication technology.

Comment Re: It takes a LOT of cache and very clever data p (Score 1) 77

Linked lists are just traditionally implemented linked lists. Hash tables are just traditionally implemented hash tables

Linked lists suck for caches, but hash tables don't have to. There's a trend for libraries to provide things like hopscotch hash tables as the default hash table implementation and these are very much cache aware. The real problem is the trend towards languages that favour composition by reference rather than by inclusion, which means that you do a lot of pointer chasing, which is very bad for both caches and modern pipelines.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 104

I think that this is less of a problem in Paris, but it's crazy in some other places. I used to live in Swansea, and for the last few years I lived there the cost of a day ticket was less than most fares (which the drivers knew, so they'd give you the day pass if you asked for most things). At £2.30/day, it wasn't too bad, but for 3-4 of you it was often cheaper to get a taxi. We went back a few months ago and it was cheaper for one person to get a taxi for shortish hops than to take the bus and the cost of the day tickets had gone up enough that it wasn't worth it.

The city council had spent millions remodelling the city centre to allow larger bendy busses when I was there. I never saw one more than 50% full and apparently a year or two ago they discontinued them. If they'd spent the same amount of money on more frequent, subsidised, minibuses, treating it as infrastructure that encourages people to do things that raise tax revenue rather than as a profit centre, then they'd have had far more people using public transport. Instead, privately owned bus companies have made a lot of money and it's now at a point where it's cheaper to drive than to take the bus.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 104

Every week I drive to the supermarket and pick up 20-30 kg of stuff[*].

Why do you do this? I haven't done a big supermarket shop in person for over 10 years. It takes 10-20 minutes to drive each way, an hour wandering around the shop, I have to queue for the checkouts, and it's just a horrible experience. All of the major supermarket chains deliver and it takes about 10-20 minutes to do the shop online (5 minutes for a routine shop where I'm just adding stuff from my favourites) and then it's delivered to my door, by a van that's delivering to a dozen other people on the way.

I'm doing pretty well just to walk through the store and COLLECT the stuff. And no, nobody will deliver it, even if I had two pennies to rub together to pay them with.

Delivery from most supermarkets here is free and even from the rest it's far cheaper than the cost of driving there, even if you don't factor in the cost of your time.

Comment Re:Audio (Score 2) 95

Interference seems to be a big problem with Bluetooth. There are certain intersections in my city where the signal craps out while crossing the street; certain sections of the train and bus routes, and other places where music simply stutters or dies. I assume there's a local point source of interference to blame in each of those areas. I ended up fixing the problem by shelving my collection of Bluetooth headphones and going back to using wired headphones. The sound quality and reliability are far superior, and the wire just isn't a problem. I'm also not careless enough to ever have dropped my phone in water, so that's never been a real issue for me, either.

So while Apple said "everybody just use Bluetooth", it was obvious they never have. I'll be hanging on to my older iPhone for quite a while yet.

Comment Not cracked (Score 3, Interesting) 50

So they have an MD5 hash, but don't know what value hashes to it. They have no idea if it's a 10 character '1234567890' password or a 64 character string of random bytes. They also know that it's not a string that Google has already found and cached. The only clue they have to go on is the existing backdoor they found that turns telnet on, which uses 11 random ASCII characters as the secret. But 11 characters are almost out of reach for brute force password testing. If the person who put the backdoor in applied only the same amount of thought to the secret password, that would still be a monster to attack with brute force.

So I disagree that it's a matter of time. I think it's a matter of defeating it in another way, such as having Wireshark running when someone who actually knows the password types it in; or uncovering a wikileaked document that contains the secret backdoor password.

Comment Re:Yey! (Score 0) 130

I thought the game looked okay (especially for a one-hour thing), but then I saw what he'd actually had to do. The things that were done for him:
  • Drawing the game board.
  • Collision detection between ball and player, goal, and walls
  • The bounce logic.
  • Events delivered for the buttons.
  • The mechanic for introducing a new ball into the game.
  • The score management. This is like those lego sets that have about half a dozen pieces and can be quickly assembled into a single design of spaceship. Yes, sure, you've built something, but there was little creativity or effort involved. It's not a bad learning tool (and for something that expects people with no programming experience to get something done in an hour, it's fine) but if he doesn't realise how much harder all of the pre-defined bits were to write than the simple logic for gluing them all together then he's now dangerously ignorant.

Comment Re:cheap chinese crap (Score 1) 75

There was a lawsuit against Apple for the original iPod for a similar reason. Steve Jobs was mostly deaf, so insisted that he be able to hear the sound, so the maximum volume was loud enough to be dangerous. Airline in-flight entertainment systems are the worst: they give you crappy headphones so that you have to turn the volume to max to hear anything if you use them, but if you buy a decent set of noise-cancelling ones then you want the volume down at around 20-40%. This is all fine, until they do an announcement, when they pause the movie and slam the volume up to 100% with no warning.

Comment Re:Pain: 120db. Damage: 85db (Score 1) 75

I remember someone in my class getting a Walkman (back when they were still expensive and exciting). After six months, he admitted that he'd gradually been having to turn up the volume to be able to hear the music clearly. I've been hesitant around headphones since then and as a result I can still hear the bats when they fly along with me when I cycle home.

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