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Comment The issue isn't (just) speed - it's (also) range. (Score 1) 43

LTE is already pretty darn fast, so losing a little performance isn't going to make that big of a deal. It's not as if you can torrent to your hearts content without killing your cell phone bill.

The issue isn't just speed. It's also range.

At any given speed, the Qualcom can support it at substantially lower signal levels. 6ish dB in a lot of cases, a bit less in some, enormously more in others.

Look at the graphs in TFA. In addition to some specific pathologies that penalize the Intel chip farther, the bulk of the graph has the drop off looking similar but with the Qualcom shfited 5 or 6 dB to the right. (Those squares are 5 dB wide.)

6 dB is four times the effective signal strength, which corresponds to twice the range. That maps into four times the area served at that speed from a single cell tower (important in sparsely-served areas), deeper penetration into buildings and the like (in more heavily-covered areas). It can also map into more data pushed before a given area and channel allocation's bandwidth is saturated. 3 dB corresponds to twice the effective signal strength, 1.4ish times the radius, twice the area served.

If the modems were equivalent and the problem just the layout of the board and antenna, you'd expect the two curves to be the same shape but just offset. The shape is substantially different, so (board issues or not) something else is going on.

Comment Re:Extradition? (Score 1) 75

Bush's "the constitution is just a damn piece of paper" playbook

Sidenote: I was trying to explain my beliefs on politics to my son earlier this week, and decided to look up this quote on the fly while I was telling him about it. I learned that there's no evidence Bush ever actually said this. Although he did certainly act like he felt that way.

I realize you're not necessarily asserting that Bush actually said it - but I thought you might be interested. It was interesting to me.


First New US Nuclear Reactor In 20 Years Goes Live ( 311

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The Tennessee Valley Authority is celebrating an event 43 years in the making: the completion of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. In 1973, the TVA, one of the nation's largest public power providers, began building two reactors that combined promised to generate enough power to light up 1.3 million homes. The first reactor, delayed by design flaws, eventually went live in 1996. Now, after billions of dollars in budget overruns, the second reactor has finally started sending power to homes and businesses. Standing in front of both reactors Wednesday, TVA President Bill Johnson said Watts Bar 2, the first U.S. reactor to enter commercial operation in 20 years, would offer clean, cheap and reliable energy to residents of several southern states for at least another generation. Before Watts Bar 2, the last time an American reactor had fired up was in 1996. It was Watts Bar 1 -- and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it cost $6.8 billion, far greater than the original price tag at $370 million. In the 2000s, some American power companies, faced with growing environmental regulations, eyed nuclear power again as a top alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil. A handful of companies, taking advantage of federal loan guarantees from the Bush administration, revived nuclear reactor proposals in a period now known as the so-called "nuclear renaissance." Eventually, nuclear regulators started to green light new reactors, including ones in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2007, the TVA resumed construction on Watts Bar 2, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The TVA originally said it would take five years to complete. The TVA, which today serves seven different southern states, relies on nuclear power to light up approximately 4.5 million homes. Watts Bar 2, the company's seventh operating reactor, reaffirms its commitment to nukes for at least four more decades, Johnson said Wednesday. In the end, TVA required more than five years to build the project. The final cost, far exceeding its initial budget, stood at $4.7 billion.

Comment Re:Assange running out of time (Score 3, Insightful) 234

Perhaps you could explain why the high-ranking Democrat operatives have been fired/"resigned" rather than saying they've been misquoted. Or why Hillary answered the Moderator asking "and we learned this from the Wikileaks..." with "Well if you read the rest of the sentence..." rather than "Those e-mails are all fabricated!" But certainly, if you have no factual counter-arguments, then you're forced to go into ad-hominem attacks against O'Keefe.

Comment Re:This is dumb (Score 4, Interesting) 194

The recording industry has had a broad royalty scheme for a long time where any radio station can pay fees into the system and then play pretty much any recording ever made. The TV and Movie industries need to adopt a similar scheme to enable the next giant leap in home entertainment. You pay a fee to an aggregator and then freely choose from any entertainment product ever recorded.

Comment Skyrim is a 2011 game though (Score 1) 256

I mean nothing wrong with having it on the platform, but it isn't exactly the pinnacle of modern tech. It was released in 2011, and the console versions were designed to target systems with 512MB of RAM (unified for the 360, 256/256 system/GPU for the PS3) at 1280x720@30fps. That was fairly low spec then, since the consoles were old (remember Oblivion released in 2006 as one of the first flight titles on the Xbox 360) and is really low spec now. It wouldn't at all surprise me if my Shield Tablet could handle it easily. It has more RAM, and its GPU seems to be at least as powerful as the 360/PS3 era stuff.

So while there's nothing wrong with Nintendo getting games like this, it isn't really some major win, or proof of a high spec system. We saw the same kind of thing happen with the Wii U where it got games that previously the Wii hadn't because of a lack of power.

The issue in the long run is that being too low spec can exclude games from being released on your platform. While people like to claim "graphics don't matter" they do and they sell games. That aside, there are a lot of things you could want to put in a game that will require more memory, more CPU, more GPU and so on. Developers aren't always going to be interested in either compromising on what they want to make, or producing a cut-down version to target the lower spec hardware.

Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 284

Anyone can develop hardware for Windows (and until recently publish drivers with no interference from MS, that has changed and going forward Windows as a platform has and will become less open)

I think that's the kind of issue that some developers are concerned about.

Windows 10, with its automatic updates and push towards everything-as-a-service, gives Microsoft as much control of the distribution chain as it choses to claim, including retrospectively. Developing for Windows 10 is therefore no more future-proof than playing the Apple App Store approval lottery.

The development tools for Windows are increasingly falling behind other platforms as well now. You can't even run the free version of Visual Studio without logging in (seriously, WTF?) and accepting creepy phone-home possibilities in the terms of use any more.

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