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 Re:No you don't (Score 1) 208

All of those are bad examples, because the latter form factor is better in every way except its ability to fit hardware inside. If you could make a laptop that contained the same hardware as a desktop, for the same price, then it would obviously be better. A decade ago, laptop sales outpaced desktop sales and so the economies of scale started to tilt things in favour of the laptop. As desktops become increasingly niche, the prices will keep going up and a lot of desktops now are just laptops without the built-in screen, keyboard, or battery.

If you take a desktop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a laptop form factor, for the same price, then obviously the laptop is better for most people (people who need PCIe slots being the exceptions).

If you took a laptop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a phone form factor, then you'll have a very powerful phone, but it won't replace a laptop. There are a lot of things where you can open up the laptop and start working immediately, but the phone will need connecting to an external monitor and keyboard before it's equally useful. Even putting a picoprojector in the phone won't entirely solve that, as you often don't have a useable projection space.

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 73

That may be less of an advantage than you'd think, because you need to know by about half way through the first season whether it's worth commissioning a second. It's definitely an advantage for longer-running things (if people are still discovering it when you're in the fifth season and starting from the beginning, then it's probably worth a sixth, for example), but it might be a disadvantage at the start of the process.

Comment Re:Bug of feature? (Score 2) 95

Uh, no. All RowHammer attacks use a hardware vulnerability. That's the definition. The JavaScript attack allows you to exploit this vulnerability from a bug-free JavaScript VM, with the only requirement being that it implements TypedArray objects as contiguous (virtual) memory arrays (which is the obvious way of implementing them, and it would be difficult to implement them usefully any other way if you want to use them with WebGL). The only variation is which bits you choose to try to flip with the RowHammer attack. This is the equivalent of running a different program with a known attack, not a new attack.

Comment Re:Bug of feature? (Score 5, Informative) 95

Rowhammer has been usable from JavaScript for ages. As I said above (in the post currently at 0 overrated), one of the published ways of exploiting it is to use TypedArray objects to get a large chunk of contiguous memory, which then gives you a load of addresses in the same cache associativity set. You then hammer those addresses, which forces repeated cache evictions and eventually flips some adjacent bits. You can then use this to escape from the JavaScript sandbox. I don't know why this attack wouldn't work on mobile devices, so I don't really see what's new here.

Comment I don't understand (Score 5, Interesting) 95

One of the simplest existing known attacks involves creating an 8MB TypedArray object in JavaScript. This gives you a contiguous virtual address range, which allows you to generate 9 addresses that will be aliased to the same cache line and therefore where 9 sequential writes will trigger an eviction and a write back to RAM. What made this attack now work on mobile devices?

Comment Re:People probably realized.. (Score 1) 319

I can see a lot of uses for a smartwatch:
  • The Apple watch can unlock my computer when I'm next to it and lock it again when I move away.
  • Apple Pay on the watch looks like it might actually be more convenient than getting the card out of my wallet - on a phone it doesn't.
  • A two-factor auth device that I carry around with me on my wrist sounds useful.
  • Calendar appointment reminders without having to get something out of my pocket.
  • More convenient map / direction display to glance at while cycling.
    • There are probably a lot more. The problem is that current smartwatches are like early-90s Nokia smartphones. All of the basic ingredients are there, but the technology isn't up to the vision. A decent smartwatch would be about 5mm thick, have a battery that lasts a few days, charge via induction from a thing I can leave on my bedside table, have always-available network connection without a smartphone, and be waterproof and rugged enough to survive frequent knocks. Give it another 5-10 years and we might get there...

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 2) 73

I wouldn't be surprised if there's also a much more direct feedback loop for Netflix-produced content (though HBO is probably similar). Think about how a normal TV show is created:
  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. The studio takes a loss on the pilot and shops it around to TV channels.
  3. The TV channels evaluate it and decide the demographics that will watch it and if a large enough segment of a profitable (i.e. high income, low impulse control) of the population might like it, they commission the series.
  4. The studio produces the series.
  5. The channel sells ads.
  6. If the ad purchasers think that the ads are worthwhile (via a complex indirect feedback mechanism involving tracking sales against projections) then they'll be happy and the studio will renew the show (unless a new show that could possibly make more money in the same slot comes along).

Now compare that to Netflix.

  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. Netflix decides that people might like it and funds the full series.
  3. As soon as the show is available, Netflix records how many people watch it, how many didn't finish an episode, and what the review score distribution is from the subset of people that bother to write reviews.
  4. If it's popular, Netflix funds another season.

Which of these is more likely to produce shows that lots of people want to watch?

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 4, Insightful) 527

So if there were outside factors that biologically predisposed men and women towards different career paths or interests would you accept that those might result in something other than an even distribution of employment in certain vocations?

This doesn't make sense. The differences are either innate (biological) or the result of external factors. If they're the result of external factors (i.e. not biological) then they're likely to be amenable to change. The fact that the participation of women varies hugely between cultures (for example, in India, Korea, Israel, Iran, and Lithuania, Romania, it's a lot higher) implies strongly that external factors are far more of a reason why we have so few women than anything biological.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 4, Insightful) 527

Outside factors are not an issue.

If every role model of a programmer you see until you're a teenager is male.

If computer programmer Barbie involves the girl doing some design, but the actual coding being done by boys.

If every children's TV show that includes both women and computers has the woman saying computers are hard and the man solving the problems.

If all of the clever boys at your school are encouraged into extracurricular activities involving computers, but the girls aren't.

I'm sure it would have no impact at all on you.

If you don't think that this is real, then sit down for a couple of hours this evening and watch two hours of children's TV. Count the number of male vs female lead roles. Count the number of times anyone builds anything and whether it's done by a male or female character.

Slashdot Top Deals

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.