* Posts by P. Lee

5215 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

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Six letters, starts with "c" and ends with "e". I've no idea.

More importantly, am I the only one who thinks that those committing the high crime of narcissism might just get the retribution they most deserve?

I mean, its all scientific, right?

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

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What’s the consumer benefit?

I’m not convinced more battery life is enough motivation to break compatibility.

Has Apple run out of ideas? $3b Is not a big saving for them. As people say, no one cares about the cpu.

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Re: Really?

Different times.

Also the cpu changes in the past were upgrades.

I do notice security has been tightened in OS X so command line commands are blocked.

Are we looking at an iPad Pro and keyboard?

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Re: Rosetta

MacBook Pro?

Surely a low power MacBook would be the best choice given the need to Rosetta most apps to start with?

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t do an arm coprocessor, for a transition.

Release the pressure: Win16 support arrives for version 3.2 of Free Pascal

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Re: And in the next release ...

Pascal on the 6502 Apple ][e with dual drives was bad enough.

Been there, done that, still bleeding... but with a strange masochistic nostalgia.

I guess it might be doable with an emulator and fast disk.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

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Re: "Now is the time to confess all with an email to Who, Me"

Mine doesn't print black, or any other colour, if there is no red ink.

Hey NYPD, when you're done tear-gassing and running over protesters, can you tell us about your spy gear?

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Re: Protests

Wow. 80% of those in your list were men.

The police must really hate men.

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

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Re: New Normal?

Being able to overhear what other people are working on can be very productive and beneficial.

WFH can work well even "lower down" the ladder if people are fed work and performance metrics are measurable and appropriate - helpdesk for example. Cutting office-space costs might be a way to onshore some of these jobs. You do need to still buy your staff proper office chairs unless you want workplace H&S claims.

Managing remote teams well is difficult due to the lack of nonverbal clues.

Biden inauguration massacre. By those who would never accept the election results #notmypresident

A3 printing? How many people do that? Also, for what you save on commute costs, printing costs are negligible.

Cheers for the tax breaks... we're going to close 25% of our offices... which of you local governments want to be the ones who lose our business?

Big Tech behaving badly is not a WFH result. "Cloud" allows us to bundle licenses in order to wipe out any competition which may nibble at one of our products.

Pension funds - also they are massive share holders. Lower rent = more profit = more dividends.

High land prices benefit bankers as it pushes up mortgages, but that's about all.

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

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Re: Stores might suck, proprietary protocols are the real killer


Part of the problem is that Big Tech has an iron grip on the application space. There was a time when any number of mail and music applications were in common use for example. Now its outlook and spotify.

Without heterogeneous applications to talk to, non-proprietary standards are moot. Everything now runs on webmail, because there's one less application to install and its a consistent interface. It is difficult to argue against that tactically, though strategically, I think its dangerous play not to maintain competition in any space.

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Re: A false equivalence

>We don't see Google embedding functionality into their store that's designed to drive the use of only their technologies, at the expense of competitors.

How about when you use a browser in incognito mode and then try to access gmail. You get security alerts. Likewise if you log into gmail via IMAPS rather than HTTPS. Wouldn't you far rather have a long-life cookie and only use a browser, hmmm?

I think we should ask if having a natural monopoly, "helped" or otherwise, should place higher obligations on the monopoly holder than they would have in a competitive marketplace.

My opinion is "yes." Perhaps, for example, Google shouldn't be allowed to cross-subsidise Youtube and run it at a loss for years and years. Maybe if they act unison with Apple (banning Alex Jones for example) they should be treated as a cartel.

I can't see a good way to force Big Tech to help their competitors, but perhaps breaking some of the companies to force them to act independently might be reasonable, or maybe forcing them to publish and stick to their pricing plans.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

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Re: reply later

While I suspect they should have known (and probably did know) the situation before they started, it is a timely lesson on the problems of monopolies.

User A purchases a phone from Apple. User A can't install an application from Vendor B unless Vendor B gives Apple a 30% cut?

I know Apple is providing the installation repository for Vendor B to use - but they specifically prevent Vendor B from using any other repository.

I think this is a bit immoral. This is no longer, "pay for a service you want and we provide" its more of a shake-down.

Tens of millions of Internet-of-Things, network-connected gizmos at risk of remote hijacking? Computer, engage shocked mode

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Re: "Some of the programming blunders..."

>Every other branch of engineering demands this - even plumbing.

I suspect plumbers make more money than programmers.

The attack surface is always going to be a problem. It is why you want a tunnel vpn rather than expose every service. A vpn stack has one function which all users have an interest in, not just IoT makers. Hence, it is likely to be better quality and have fewer bugs.

We also need better firewall mechanisms. Something like a JSON description of requirements a phone can take a picture of and use to program even rubbish little home routers.

Qualcomm looks to hook the masses to 5G... if it arrives: Snapdragon 690, X51 modem to power mid-range gear

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Re: Build and they will come...

This is a little different from the 747 case. Once you've filled a 747 you can fill another one. What happens when you've saturated the bandwidth on 5G?

Don't get me wrong - I have it and it is impressive, but cables will always give you more capacity than you can get from wireless. 5G is cheap because you don't need the last mile cable, but I'd like to think there is also an investment in fibre going on.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers

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Two things:

1. Even if the printer is next to your screen, plug it into the network.

2. How did they foul this up?

The whole point of software layers is that you insulate the layers above from the layers below. If this just borked printers, there must be something printer-specific and USB specific, which means you've broken the layering.

More and more I'm of the opinion that office users should run their OS in a VM which is backed up locally before every patch run.

Microsoft 365 and Azure outage struck Australia and New Zealand just as business rocked up for a new week

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Fortunately, because it's "the cloud" and we don't have to care where it is located, they just load-balanced ANZ users to Singapore and California and everyone carried on without noticing the problem, right? right?

Yeah... thought so.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

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In my day me an' my brother 'ad to work together, one reading out 'ex digits while t'uther typed.

And we 'ad none yer fancy routable SPX. LAT was all we 'ad or we could carry the bits ourselves! As fer yer HP Laserjets... we 'ad Epson FX-80's and 'ad to feed the paper manually. All we 'ad t' eat were the holes that fell on t'floor!

Microsoft tweaks its 'New Outlook' for Mac – but no support for Exchange on-premises yet

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Re: Outlook has always been the ugly duckling

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

If they kill off protocol in their client what's the chance you'll use a non-exchange server? What's the chance you would migrate to another system?

This is why I don't do MS. They have so much monopoly power that serving the customer is not really a requirement.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

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An argument ripped from context.

I have a great deal of respect for openzfs, but a slave is likely to be an accurate descriptor for how the code behaves. It conveys understanding. "Primary" conveys less meaning. Who looks at the gitub Master and thinks, "that code is oppressing the subroutines!"

The idiocy is in the idea that we have coders for whom experiencing the word is "painful." Worse, that the project organisers, knowing this, are pandering to to a non-existent problem raised by people who really seem to enjoy telling people what they can and can't do.

I don't care if the project renames things, but I worry for a society where so many groups of people allow themselves to be manipulated by other people's purported feelings. It doesn't bode well for good judgement. No-one has slapped my around the face with the zfs codebase. No-one is standing on street corners yelling API calls at passers-by, "Oi, base.lib.openzfs.container.rename.slave(int shoes, varchar(clean)!" Perhaps this would end up with us losing out because people who have been through the slave markets of Islamic north Africa are not submitting patches, but I doubt it.

Video? That's so not what we care about, says Slack, as it signs video deal with AWS

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Re: FY2021, really?

Forget the murder hornets, accountants are now pretending 2020 never happened.

If I were a Slack shareholder, I'd be prepping my shrink/exit strategy. It is quite difficult to compete with even a mediocre product when it comes bundled from the OS provider. (ooh, hello ie6!)

This is a problem when trying to compete in an environment with cloud. Anyone can scale to eat your lunch and if that someone can cross-subsidise from massive profits elsewhere and is the incumbent in every customer, it is very difficult to win. I think the best hope is for an AWS buyout for their desktop service.

Amazon declined to sell a book so Elon Musk called for it to be broken up

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Re: Amazon is a shady bookstore

Amazon claims that it doesn't sell anything - it is a "marketplace facilitator" - a conduit, not a vendor. Yes, you can stop chuckling now.

The question is about competition and information. If (company x) becomes a monopoly, does it then acquire greater obligations than it would have in a more competitive marketplace?

I would suggest that it probably does. Given all the gunk that is available on Amazon, I do not believe they decline books based on the truthfulness of the content. Regardless, do you want Amazon to start making those determinations?

If Amazon is serious about being a "platform" it shouldn't act as a publisher. While I am supportive of freedom of association, if you gain monopoly power, but decline to participate in a transaction, perhaps at least you should be obliged to carry an "Amazon has chosen not to stock this product because ...." message at a minimum.

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

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Re: Not be simple

The hex is just there to shrink the length of the addresses - there are plenty of times we see v4 addresses in hex.

I think the real problem is that they broke the rule that incremental change is easier to achieve, even if it is less efficient.

They could have added some sort of multicast router solicitation / NDP / SLAAC to "ipv4.2"

Maybe they should have made host/ip mapping collection and forwarding mandatory for all routers, so DNS is always there, even for poxy little home networks.

Get people used to the concepts and benefits before hitting them with an incompatible address space and the logic problem of picking which network you're going to favour.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: That's pretty much all it does

>NAT: it ain't a kludge, it's a vital security tool.

NO! NAT is an abomination. The very concept of NAT breaks so many protocols in unnecessary ways.

Duplicate addressing is a stupid thing to implement. Ignoring internet access, merging two medium-sized companies' private address space is a massively expensive project which can take years to complete.

For the classic usage of NAT, the logic of not having inbound sessions is just as easy to implement with IPv6 as it is with IPv4 NAT. You have a session state table and you block everything not initiated from one particular interface / IP range. Changing the IP address and port numbers are just an additional steps.

There is no belief that every endpoint _should_ be visible but there is a belief that making any endpoint visible when required should not be difficult.

I have a "fixed" wireless broadband connection on 5g with 70mb/s+ throughput. Before I had this "internet connection" I used to run a mail server for my company's domain. This is no longer possible because of CGNAT. I can't have an inbound mail connection and without an inbound connection for domain verification I can't get TLS certificates. There are no cables to my location and not a single ISP provides non-NAT'd wireless links because of the horribly mistaken belief that no endpoint needs to be publicly visible on the internet. The amount of spam coming through my new hosted provider is many times what I had before.

There are some "huh?" things in IPv6 which make packet tracing difficult. That was a mistake. However, the NDP multicast thing is basically what evpns pretty much have to retrofit to ipv4. It allows larger, flatter networks. I suspect with automation and SDN we'll end up pushing security policy to the endpoints in corporate networks and use ip networks to locate hosts geographically rather than as logical subdivisions.

The main issue is the additional cost of maintaining ipv6 and ipv4 requires vision. I think I'd be looking at moving things to IPv6 only where possible and keeping ipv4 at the edge. It may need a bit of effort to link up things which can't use ipv6, but its probably better to do that than trying to maintain two schemas throughout.

BBC voice assistant promises to summon streams even if you're just a little bit Brahms and Liszt

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While I love cool tech...

and I do believe we should not abandon all voice recognition to the yanks:

1. Its cool, but creepy too

2. I'm going to hazard a guess that this is not a service covered by the BBC's charter.

3. I'd like to know what their policy is regarding covering regional English accents and non-British languages supported by the BBC.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

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Re: not the terminal, the punch card

Would this be a bad time to note Python's obsession with warning about long lines?

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: not the terminal, the punch card

Indeed - 80 characters? Luxury!

When I was a lad, we 'ad 40 characters across, 24 lines down an' none of this fancy lower case malarky on our new Apple ][+

We dreamed of avin 80 characters. Nightmares they were, cos the Apple ][e lower case were an 'idious thing!

An' we were glad of it!

Privacy activists prep legal challenge against UK plan to keep coronavirus contact-tracing data for two decades

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Re: CovidSafe: the Australian Contact tracing app

So... You're not "doing the three" for the greater good? :D

Whenever someone tells me to download some app, my automatic reply is "no" - give me a website or nothing.

It is an interesting exercise to plot the number of covid fines and dollar value of each fine against the percentage of left wing party seats in each Australian state parliament.

From a philosophical point of view, it is also interesting how the "public good" over-rides the good of the individual. The problem with this approach is that it automatically discards all data-points regarding the good of the individual and only measuring the one data point you want for "the public good." I think this is dangerous as it disconnects policy from criticism and thus insulates the policy-makers being answerable to the public, because the state machinery is employed only to collect the data the policy-makers want. We saw this in the changes in ways covid deaths were recorded.

As anti-brutality protests fill streets of American cities, netizens cram police app with K-Pop, airwaves with NWA

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Re: "Yes, Anon activists are back."

There are good reasons to protest Floyd's death. I think the policeman did something wrong and needs to be held to account, but probably not strangling Floyd with his knee. My understanding (caveat - from a web site) is that the medical report said there was no physical trauma to the neck which would have resulted in strangulation. Whatever "kneeling on Floyd's neck" entailed, it was not lethal physical trauma.

There also do seem to be groups out there stoking violence for their own ends, either political or financial. I'm disappointed in the article headline. Protesters march through the streets with banners and chants. I'm all in favour of that, but that is not what is happening. These "Anti-brutality protesters" are brutally beating people up.

Which group kills more, the police or criminals? Who is being attacked? Whose property is being destroyed? Who is hurting who? I'm not a fan of racist analysis, but if you want to think and act in racial terms, at least attack the correct targets.

There are groups involved who have political goals including the tearing down the system. There are useful idiots acting on opportunistic greed who are being provided with philosophical cover by political factions. Being truthful rather than tribal helps clarify the situation and bring calm.

As for Floyd's "good name" I think we need to be truthful about that too. He had a history of theft, criminal trespass, drug possession, and aggravated robbery with a gun. It has no bearing on what happened to him, but it helps break down the tribalism when we can speak the truth about both sides.

Another attempt at a Big Brand Killer: Oppo daddy BBK hits global smartphone market with Vivo X50 series

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Re: Another well-specced Android flagship

It would be nice if we could get a proper Linux userland & gui running on these phones as well as Android.

AppGet 'really helped us,' Microsoft says, but offers no apology to dev for killing open-source package manager

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As much as it pains me to say it

I think package manager principles are probably not too unique.

A huge software development company wants to talk to a tiny software development company. What did he expect? That MS wouldn't develop software?

That said, its a pretty scummy move from MS. For something this fundamental, either just google and anonymously analyse package manager ideas or chuck the guy some cash. This has probably done more reputational damage than it needed to.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

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Re: PT Barnum

>He was actually just a showman who honestly sold entertainment, and not snake oil.

Its a shame the "entertainment" included real-life physically deformed humans.

His was a different time, but if someone sold that to me today as entertainment, I'd consider it snake-oil.

P. Lee Silver badge

>Somebody employs this person - hopefully for nothing critical

I think the provision of reviews is a critical service. Daniela (AKA Tala) is providing a valuable paid-for service.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

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Re: in Sinofsky's defence - is iPad Pro + iPadOS heading towards achieving the Windows 8 vision...?

>Apple are proclaiming your next computer is not a computer

Of course not, "The Network is the Computer" hmmm.

The desire to move everything to a data centre does mean the desktop becomes less important and therefore we are able to partition apps off from each other - effectively that's what webapps do - its a fancy graphical vt220 with local display handling logic capabilities. You can cut and paste data you can see, but that's about all and it is often annoyingly paginated.

I suppose it is sort of inevitable as we consolidate more and more mega-corp data that we have to make it more hands-off. What will be interesting is to see if consolidation does what I expect - it will fossilize organisations' methods of operation. So much will be at stake that changing anything will be a seven year project. Of course you'll be able to add functionality... and the database will sprawl across clouds until no-one has any clue as to how the thing works. This will be worse than the mainframe. At least all that data was all in one place and a relatively small data set.

I've already seen organisations with multiple salesforce clouds shrink from the cost of consolidating them for no revenue gain. So another "universal key" is added to try to coordinate data and a new cloud service to do the coordination is spun up. There is your xkcd "Standards" cartoon in real-life.

I think this will leave the gate open for smaller local competition. Someone who can process the data more efficiently. If you want to survive long-term, you have to be able to wrangle your data to serve the customer. It will be interesting to see how "more comprehensive service" fares against, "basic low cost service."

China's Tencent to order ONE MILLION SERVERS as part of $70bn digital infrastructure splurge

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Re: What could possibly go wrong....

All that facial recognition work for social scoring also requires a ton of cpu...

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Re: How many orders for US chips?

or MIPS?

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

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Re: Lying Liberace

>He murders the truth as much as he murders Americans.

There's more than one way to murder the truth.

I know the original article is an opinion piece but it does contain epic levels straw-manning.

For example: "The president currently has no power to shut down law-abiding websites in the US just because he disagrees with their speech."

Was this ever suggested by Trump? I think you'll find it is a figment of the writer's fevered imagination - perhaps projection?

What is at stake is Big Tech's platform vs publisher status, not whether its websites are up. If you offer a neutral platform, you aren't responsible for the content. If you edit the published content, you are responsible for it.

Big Tech likes to edit the content and claim it is a neutral platform - that isn't a truthful (or legal) position. It needs to decide which category it wants to fall into - either stop censoring or lose the platform privileges. They are free to do either, but the law does not allow both.

The size and power of Big Tech has protected it for so long that it feels entitled and above the law. I like tech so I'm hoping they opt for "platform" but these companies are so politically slanted, I'm not sure they would be willing to save themselves. They haven't complied with the law, and if it goes to the supreme court...

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Re: You supported a system...

Because it isn't a "national" government, more of a coordinator for the States?

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Re: You supported a system...

>Civil War 2.0 east vs west trampling on the middle

Yep, the East and West will be armed with their feet.

The middle, on the other hand, will have AR15's. Maybe some 50cal's.

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Re: You supported a system...

And more recent developments in voter fraud where even the NAACP says there are problems:


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Re: You supported a system...

The presidency has taken over more and more powers.

That isn't quite the same as the presidency taking more and more powers from Congress - its basically Congress giving the presidency those powers.

Foolish in my opinion.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: You supported a system...

That "retarded voting system" is why you have a country. How many States would have joined a union if they knew they would always be outvoted by a couple of large cities?

That "retarded voting system" is why you should be pushing to remove as much power as possible from the federal government and give it to the States, rather than centralising power at every opportunity in an effort to force the entire country to follow one path, for example, on the issue of gay marriage.

I'm sure the delegation of power away from the federal government was at the top of the agenda for Clinton and Obama, right?

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Re: You supported a system...

> the orange headed shit gibbon

Haha! And they say orange is the new, er...

Seriously, can you imagine the tw*t-storm if someone used that description for the previous president?

Then there is impeachment... but oh dear, the voters are getting in the way! We'd better shoot them! Oh wait, we can't, because all our supporters voted for gun-control, on the basis that the government will keep you safe.

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager

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Re: Embrace...

but without the "extend" work.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

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Re: So...

>The sun is not "generally recognised as dangerous"

You don't live in Australia.

Sunlight is very much recognised as dangerous. Children are not allowed onto the playgrounds at school without large brimmed hats. For outside swimming and the like, the general practise is sunscreen, hat, and uv-protective long-sleeved shirts. Sunglasses are also strongly recommended as sunscreen around the eyes isn't fun.

1 in 3 people here will get skin cancer.

Even growing up in the UK, I was taught to leave the bed-covers turned down for a while to allow sunlight onto the sheets.

And I do believe there are also companies looking at piping uv light into people's respiratory systems to disinfect them. Whether it works or not I don't know, but I don't think your understanding of what Trump was suggesting is accurate. I don't know if you would prefer to be ignorant or wilfully misleading. Either way, you don't help your cause by misrepresenting people you don't like. If it worked, I'd certainly prefer to have a light-based treatment than take a stack-load of antibiotics or retro-virals.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

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Re: AMD vs. Intel: War Games v3.0

The AMD and Intel products are different.

AMD scale for IO and has better scale out on the desktop with Ryzen.

Intel scales vertically providing better single- and low-thread-count performance - good for games. They also focus on the very high-end compute-server stuff and seem to be a bit better on electricity consumption for laptops.

My desktop concern would be vmware - I heard it isn't great on AMD (happy to be corrected), even if your compile and transcode jobs are great. I suspect Linus doesn't have a problem with a corporate Windows SOE compliance though.

Which is better depends what you want. AMD as a fixed-desktop workstation seems sensible, though I'd have thought a stonking server in the garage and a laptop would have been the way to go. I guess if someone pays you to have their best kit... :)

(Caveat - its been a while since I looked)

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Re: AMD Dreams

True, but we're talking exponential increases.

I think we're good for a few years. I'm less annoyed with 640k barrier than the refusal of ISP's to support ipv6.

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Re: Quite an upgrade...

Did he get the 387 maths co-processor?

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Re: Quite an upgrade...

Ahhh the happy days of 80's computing when computers were different from each other.

We almost got a QL. Wait, wut? 8-bit data bus?

China to slice internet connection costs for locals as part of plan to rebound from recent unpleasantness

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Re: What the US and Europe need to do

In Oz 5G is getting attention from the telcos because the government pretty much nationalised their last-mile copper networks. 5G is the telco revenge in getting their customers back directly onto their networks, bypassing the national broadband network.

It isn't bad, but no telco appears to provide public addresses on wireless systems. I take issue with that.

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Re: Nope

That's what THEY want you to think!

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

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Re: If only!

My argument with Windows these days is not stability - those days are gone.

1. I find dealing with licensing a royal pain.

2. I don't trust big tech to act in my interests - I've seen how Apple and Google use and abuse their app store systems and I see how MS would love to do the same. If MS were willing to kick Gab from Azure, and Apple/Google kick Gab apps from the app/play stores I have no desire to support them. I've seen how Google have acted in youtube and GoogeDrive with censorship. I have seen how the big tech hosting providers act in cartel form. I'm happier running my own stuff, even if its a bit harder to do.

3. I like processing my own data. I think maintaining those skills is important.

All the vendors are trying to move to the cloud, but these are not stable platforms. If have no confidence that their actions in the Cloud would not be extended to the desktop environment.

4. I also simply do not value what MS has to offer. I see no reason to pay and pay and pay for an OS. I don't need their new features or their GUI. It is a simple commercial decision - I don't feel the need to rent what they offer.


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