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Comment Re:Yes.... (Score 0) 190

Folks, we live in an age where programmers declare integers that are going to count from 1...10 as LONG INTEGERS, eating 8 bytes of RAM, where only 1 byte is needed.

Well, does it matter? On a modern system, RAM is allocated in chunks of 4kiB in most architectures. Your variable is going to be either on the stack or BSS section, and really, unless you're really using that page up, using 1 byte or 8 bytes is going to matter not at all because you're really using 4096 bytes and if you're not using it all, it makes zilch of a difference. Loading 1 byte of 8 bytes from RAM to registers still causes a cache line of bytes to be read (16 bytes on a lot of architectures) and fitted into a while 8-byte wide register in the end.

Depending on your needs, using a 64-bit variable to hold 4 bits of data may be more efficient if using 1 byte access causes significant slowdowns because of misalignment.

Hell, the most constrained I've been was using an ARM microcnotroller. It's quite a strange feeling working with 8K of RAM and 16k of flash and yet having full 32-bit pointers and integers

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 104

(1) You're getting on a 6am flight, so you're going through security at 5am and haven't had a cup of coffee yet because the TSA won't allow you to carry one. So you're just in a "haze."

(2) You have small children or are accompanying a person who can't take care of their own stuff for some reason, so you're juggling a huge number of bins and bags and trying not to forget anything, while also trying not to hold up the line.

For (1), you realize you should be at the airport around 2 hours ahead of the flight (domestic) or 3 hours ahead (international) to make time. If you need a coffee to be awake, you make sure you get one before reaching the airport. Yes, it this means a 6AM flight has you waking up at 2AM or so so you can get your coffee, shower, check out, taxi, etc and make it to the airport at 4AM. If you can't do it, book a later flight. International flights would basically mean midnight wakeup.

For (2), you hold up the line. No matter what they say, you take your time getting y ourself sorted. Now, you move to the end of the ramp and onto the tables if you can, but you sort yourself out and make sure all those bins are empty before putting them back.

Which brings me to my #1 pet peeve. Why don't they have longer ramps both before and after security? A lot of the places, you have to be the next in line for the scanner before you can pick up a tote and start unpacking your laptop and tablet and all the other stuff, which holds up the line. Let 4-5 people in line get their totes and start getting themselves sorted out so by the time they reach the head of the line they're all ready.

Likewise, have long ramps so lots of people can pack themselves up after scanning. What holds up the security line is not the scanning, it's all the preparation you have to do. So let people do it while they wait in line rather than force a mad scramble. Hell, the line would probably move faster too.

Comment Re:Confused (Score 1) 203

Question 1: Why would anyone who thought that they might not be paying all their US taxes use an exchange based in the USA? Is it something to do with needing to convert the Bitcoins to Dollars so that you can actually spend them?

Question 2: Given that one of the main selling points of Bitcoin is anonymity, why would someone operating an exchange keep any but the barest records? I appreciate that they can't destroy the information now they have been asked for it, but I am trying to grasp why they would put themselves at risk of being in that position by retaining it in the first place?
Flag as Inappropriate

Easy, Coinbase is one of the least sketchiest exchanges around. Given the amount of personal information required (see below) you generally want one that won't go bankrupt overnight (like a certain Magic the Gathering Online Exchange).

Also, they are one of the easier ones to use.

As for your second question - well, you need quite a bit of personal information - at least a name and address if you want to be able to pay someone, banking information if you want to electronically transfer funds. And I believe you can even use debit to buy bitcoins, which requires a bit more information to ensure it isn't fraudulent.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 76

A company produced and sold a product that a considerable number of those who purchased it found to be substantially different to what they thought they were buying. Maybe some jumped on the bandwagon. Maybe some fooled themselves. That happens with a lot of games. This was on a different scale.

The problem is, the only thing they can go after is what is represented and what is actually available.

They were told the Steam Store Page of the game was misleading.

Chance are, it wasn't - it represents the game as it exists now, give that's what was sold.

But everyone is butthurt over the fact that the game wasn't as it was hyped to be over the past 3 years. But guess what? None of that counts because the game wasn't for sale then.

And that's the real thing - what was hyped and what is actually offered for sale can differ. If your must-have feature was hyped 2 years ago and isn't listed on the steam page, guess what? It means the game doesn't have your feature, and there's no fault in its omission because its sales page lacks any representation of it.

At best maybe you can go after the bullshots, but even then that can be a stretch unless it's obvious you're using pre-rendered FMVs for your screenshots instead of actual gameplay.

Comment Re:Will EV work outside cities and suburbs? (Score 1) 72

I really can't see EVs catching on. Early car pioneers carried cans of spare fuel but you can't do that with a pure EV. And 30 mins to charge? And how long is the queue for the charge point even if you manage to find one? I've read reports of UK public chargers being unreliable.

EVs are probably a good thing but range anxiety will take a lot of overcoming.

Tesla owners seem pretty happy going cross country. 20 minutes to 80% isn't that bad when you realize two things - a rest stop takes around 20 minutes anyways (more if you have kids/pets). And Tesla often situates the charging stations around locations where people spend a little time anyways so often park for much longer than 20 minutes.

Long range EVs suit a lot of typical use cases. The only ones they don't are those marathoners who will do a 20+ hour car trip driving straight through only stopping for gas. Most other people typically run into bladder limits or muscle fatigue that require them to stop and stretch out. 200 miles is generally a good interval - around 3 hours or so.

Comment Re:Not Russia again (Score 3, Interesting) 30

what's more perplexing is the spokesperson.

if it didn't affect any servers or payment systems - and how would they know - why shutdown the payments systems?

sounds like they don't even know what was compromised, really, or what the workstations were for either.

Well, if you're under attack, you shut down everything to try to halt the attack. If the system is clean and shut down, it won't get infected. If it's infected, it won't spread.

So you shut it all down just as a precaution. Even if it compromised user data, if the system is off, that user data is staying on the system. Given it looks like it might have gotten into critical systems, this was probably the best course of action to prevent the spread.

Now, the interesting thing is - they had backups and have actually restored the critical systems from backups, which apparently pissed off the group to no end - they expected them to pay the $70K and apparently the messaging is getting more and more threatening as they bring up systems from backup. They actually are threatening to release the data, but no idea if it's a bluff or not.

I'm guessing the user workstations will just be reimaged and everything else restored, with a mandatory change in system passwords.

The hackers might have simply gotten too greedy - and attacked a target who not only not had the money to pay, but probably had enough skill and resources to do proper backups and thus it was cheaper to not pay and do the disaster plan than to pay. Even the worst attacks were only asking $20K or so which would shift the balance to "just pay it as it's going to cost more to recover it" to asking $70k which shifts the equation to "screw it, we're starting over as it's cheaper even if we have to give people free rides"

Comment Re:Sigh. How many major standards wars is this? (Score 2) 72

Tech companies do this because standards organizations move too slow. Manufacturers want to ship something this (week, month, quarter, year...) and the standards people will still be arguing over the name of the new group. I work in 802.11 and we see this happen way too often.

The other reason is no one is an expert until it's actually tried. Each "standard" has their own pluses and minuses, each of which wasn't readily apparent when it was created.

That, and most standards organizations are all about patent swapping - I'll get your patent into the standard, if you'll get my patent in the standard. They're less about pushing technology forward and more about how diplomatic you can be during negotiations.

Indeed, when a new standard is called for, usually there's a call to industry to propose their ideas and implementations and if there's only one working one out there, it will likely be the standard regardless if there's a better version in R&D right now.

Comment Re:Well then... (Score 3, Informative) 586

It is simply a marketing tactic. Canada is not exactly an ideal spot to locate such a backup in any case given their hate speech legislation and tactic of slapping very heavy fines on people who might have offended one of an infinite number of gender pronoun protected groups.

Actually, it's not hate speech legislation. It's inciting hatred legislation. Our hate speech laws target recruitment of other people to incite harm to a group.You can threaten to harm someone, and that's a law unto itself (assault), but no matter how disgusting it is, unless you're trying to get others to join you, it's not hate speech.

You are free to be as racist as you want, and to shout it to the world. One person did, and while hate charges were considered, they did not apply. He was just charged with simple assault.

Likewise, you can discriminate against gays but as long as you're not telling others to harm them, you're fine.

That's the two key elements to the law - first, you have to incite others to join you, and second, you have to be threatening to harm. Just saying "I hate (gays|Jews|Chinese)" isn't hate speech, and even saying "I hate (gays|Jews|Chinese) and think they should be killed" isn't hate. But saying "I hate (gays|Jews|Chinese), and we should form a group to kill all of them" is hate speech because you're inviting others to harm.

Comment Re:iPhone (Score 1) 66

I just can't believe that people are paying these prices for phones. The Pixel XL is $870! Probably the iPhone 7 is similar. Seriously? For a phone?

Especially because of the limited support - Google's support for the Pixel phones is 2 years of updates, and after that it's a year of security updates. (Nexus phones had 18 months from the last available sale on the Play store - which is why they had the 5P and 6X phones - they were released pretty much by month 18 when the Nexus 5 and 6 disappeared).

Of course, then there's Apple's rather legendary software update schedule which at least makes the iPhone 7 supported for many years...

Comment Re:And in other news (Score 1) 72

And basic business logic is you need to ensure that you have multiple ways to accept payment (also IT logic, single point of failure and all that).

Unless you want credit cards, which make it quite hard.

Paypal is probably the ONLY provider that makes it too easy to accept a credit card on practically no requirements - most other merchant accounts have transaction and amount quotas you meet in order to get your negotiated rates - miss your quota and you'll get slapped with extra fees and increased rates.

And at the same time put up with the same crap that you get from Paypal.

Yes, you can take money orders, bank transfers and bitcoins too, but those will be but a tiny fraction of credit card sales.

Comment Re:iPhone (Score 1) 66

Sigh. Google does not sell data to advertisers. Google sells targeted eyeballs to advertisers. The user data is both safer and more valuable if Google keeps it.

No, Google does not sell to advertisers. Because Google IS the advertiser. They own practically all the advertising networks, have re-jigged their privacy policies to ensure data sharing takes place between all of them (Google Text Ads, YouTube, etc will share data with Alphabet companies like DoubleClick, so everything you do online will affect the ads you see).

Google sells access to eyeballs.

Comment Re:If this is the case, beward companies. (Score 4, Informative) 106

Ebay will be called an auction place and have to abide by rules in every town.
Paypal will be called a bank and have to obey laws.
Every tech company figures they're semi avoiding laws at least cuz it is new. The motto in tech ask for forgiveness, not ask for permission. If you limit yourself, you might not ever have a good idea to make billions. I've had many ideas that turned into multimillion or multibillion dollar companies, but I didn't do them myself because I didn't have a crew to do them with. It doesn't bother me, but just reassuring that my ideas are good.

eBay is an auction site and the sellers and buyers do have to abide by local laws. Like in Germany, eBay has had to remove Nazi stuff listed for sale, because it is illegal to sell those in Germany. eBay has also had to remove listings because they've violated laws.

Paypal IS actually a bank in the EU.

Anyhow, if the EU wants more e-commerce, why not start with something straightforward like selling of merchandise? Or even working on copyright and IP laws which would allow the sale of music, tv shows and movies throughout the EU without being country specific? That would seem to be the low-hanging fruit blocking EU-wide e-commerce.

Going after someone like Uber is going to be hard. Because there are some laws you want them to follow (e.g., non-discrimination). And depending on the country, if a taxi driver doesn't want to carry a fare that's hired them, they're forced to call another taxi AND THEN wait with the fare until the replacement taxi arrives. (This is so the refusing taxi can't go and get someone more lucrative in the meantime, as well as if it's bad weather, the fare doesn't have to wait in the weather).

Comment Re:Here's something "editors" could "edit"... (Score 1) 106

If I just slap together a webpage, UTF-8 will "just work" by default. So Slashdot must be going through some extra effort to make sure it does NOT work. Is there a reason for this? Maybe the backend database is MySQL 1.0 from 1995.

It's because there's a UTF-8 whitelist. Unicode support was added when the Japanese site was launched, but what happened is commenters rapidly posted garbage that abused all the Unicode control codes and character decorations that seriously screwed up the page. If you want to see what can happen, look for "blakeyrat" on thedailywtf.com comments - basically by manipulating some Unicode you can make really tall characters that cause a huge amount of scrolling.

Or you can mis-use the LTR and RTL characters to screw up the webpage (search slashdot for ":erocS" case sensitive, and yes, there's a colon in front).

So instead of allowing ALL unicode codepoints, /. decided it would be best to allow only a whitelist of codepoints since Unicode is an evolving standard. A lot of websites don't use a filter and get a bunch of comment spam/comment garbage because of it. Just wait until they add a TTB (top to bottom) control code.

Comment Re:If it's a memory leak.... (Score 1) 53

Why doesn't this affect all types of computers? Why doesn't it affect Android, Mac OS, Windows, and Linux? Why *just* IOS? That doesn't make sense, there must be something unique about IOS where it doesn't handle video as well as other OS's....

Easy, it's a standard, so there are many implementations of it. It's why the Stagefright bugs don't affect iOS - you're trying to test against a different implementation that has a different way of doing things.

And maybe it does affect Android, but the way Stagefright (or the other media architectures since they did change a couple of times) simply fail in another way that's recoverable.

There's no one master implementation of MPEG4 video - it's a fairly extensive standard with full specifications so anyone who has a copy of the standard can implement their own version of it. And everyone has - Google, Microsoft, Apple have their own independent implementations, as does VLC, gstreamer, etc.

In fact, perhaps it affects macOS as well since the code would be most similar between the two.

Comment Re:Coal in Canada? (Score 1) 147

So shutting down the coal plants mostly impacts Alberta, and the fun fact is that Alberta can pretty much "mooch" off BC while it transitions to something else.

And Alberta is ALREADY transitioning away from coal. In fact, earlier this year BC and Alberta (they're neighbouring provinces) signed an agreement where Alberta will start getting electricity from BC in the meantime.

So the impact to Alberta will be far lower in the end because Alberta is already trying to move away from coal.

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