* Posts by Ciaran McHale

81 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jul 2007

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Musk says Starlink will keep providing free service to Ukraine

Ciaran McHale

I'm too lazy to do internet/twitter searches to back up my numbers, but my vague recollection is as follows. Please do internet searches to confirm/refute/clarify my claims since: (a) I think my numbers are only approximately right; and (b) I'm just a random guy on the internet so what I claim should not be taken as being reliable (not because I'm lying, but because I have seen only a subset of the information available).

1. Starlink terminals costs a few thousand dollars to make, and are normally sold to customers for $500 or $600 plus a monthly subscription fee. The expectation is that, over the course of a few years, the profit made on the monthly subscription fee will pay for the loss on selling the hardware. There is precedent for this type of business model, e.g., "get a free/cheap smart phone when you sign up to our £40/month plan for a minimum of 24 months".

2. The monthly subscription fee (based on my probably out of date recollection) is usually something like $120 for a stationary installation for a family (limited number of users); $150 for an family (limited number of users) who like to roam (e.g., fit the Starlink terminal to an RV/caravan, or transport it between main home and holiday home); a few thousand dollars/month for a commercial installation that might have hundreds/thousands of users (e.g., a cruise ship that uses Starlink to provide internet access to all its passengers).

3. Recently, twitter comments revealed that, each month, about 500 of the 25,000 Starlink terminals currently in Ukraine are destroyed due to war-inflicted damage, and need to be replaced. Since those 500 terminals won't be gradually paying off the hardware-sold-at-a-loss via monthly subscriptions, the loss of those terminals is very expensive for the manufacturer. For example, if it cost $2000+ to make each of those terminals (which is my *hazy* recollection), then 500 of them costs $1 million. With this sort of expensive attrition rate, it seems reasonable for SpaceX to request that a donation to fund the cost of a Starlink terminal might be for a substantial part of the manufacturing cost rather than the sold-at-a-substantial-loss price normally charged to consumers.

4. A recent comment on twitter indicates that individuals in Ukraine who buy a Starlink terminal (rather than getting one via a donation from a large organization) pay only $60/month subscription charge. I assume the majority of these individual purchases will be used by small teams of mobile troops, so $60 is a substantial discount on the $150 normally charged for a roaming family.

5. A recent tweet from Elon indicates that at least some Starlink terminals in Ukraine are being hooked up to a network infrastructure that can supply internet to about 10,000 or 20,000 people. I *think* the tweet stated the network infrastructure might be mobile phone cell towers to supply connectivity at town scale, but my recollection of the details is hazy. (I'm *guessing* that ethernet-based LAN might be preferred for providing a military base-scale communication network but I'm not a military guy.) I'm *assuming* that this sort of use case is at the high end of what the several thousand dollars/month subscription fee is intended to cover.

6. My *assumption* is that the Ukrainian military will use a subset of Starlink terminals for town-scale or military base-scale communication, and a subset for smaller scale mobile-army-troops activities. However, rather than configuring a specific subset of Starlink terminals for one use case and another subset of Starlink terminals for a different use case, it is logistically simpler to just configure all the Starlink terminals for the most general-purpose (and hence most expensive) monthly subscription service.

7. According to recent Elon tweets, SpaceX engineers have been investing a lot of effort into hardening Starlink infrastructure to withstand hacking/jamming attacks from Russia. This represents not only the salary cost of those employees, but also an opportunity cost, since those employees could otherwise be working on profit-making projects for SpaceX. For example, if this anti-hacking/jamming work ends up delaying the maturing of Starship by a few months, then the opportunity cost is basically the profits that could have been made by launching Starship to deploy commercial satellites multiple times during a few months.

8. There have been some apparently contradictory claims about who is bearing the cost of supplying Starlink to Ukraine. These boil down to claims like "It has cost SpaceX $XXX to provide Starlink to Ukraine" and somebody else saying, "Hang on a minute, [name of organization] has provided $YYY funding for supplying Starlink to Ukraine" and then some people claim "This means Elon is lying since it really costs SpaceX only $XXX - $YYY = $VeryLittle", while another interpretation could be that it costs $XXX + $YYY to supply Starlink to Ukraine. I have no idea which of these contradictory claims about cost are true.

The take-away point is this. If you assume costs of $600 per Starlink terminal and $60/month subscription charge, then you get a relatively low cost of supplying Starlink to Ukraine. If you assume the higher manufacturing costs per Starlink terminal and the non-subsidised typical subscription-fees-depending-on-the-use-case costs plus the effort invested in preventing hacking/jamming attempts, then you get a much higher cost of supplying Starlink to Ukraine. And that just based on what I have read. It is almost certain that my knowledge of relevant information is incomplete, so treat the above with a grain of salt. At the moment, I think it is too early to confidently claim whether Elon is a good/bad guy in this current controversy.

Musky scent? Billionaire launches fragrance: Burnt Hair

Ciaran McHale

Follow-up product

This product is being sold by The Boring Company. Knowing Elon's taste in humour, I wouldn't be surprised if his next fragrance product comes from SpaceX and is called Scent of Uranus.

Update your Tesla now before the windows put your fingers in a pinch

Ciaran McHale

Re: Beauty

If you have credible sources to back up the claim you are making, then you should cite them. Otherwise, your comment risks being viewed as baseless FUD.

RSAC branded a 'super spreader event' as attendees share COVID-19 test results

Ciaran McHale

Re: The safer each individual is, the safer the whole population becomes

I live in the UK. My wife and son were visiting friends in Taiwan when the pandemic first made the news, and she got to see first hand how Taiwan responded to the threat. Then when she returned home a few weeks' later she got to compare Taiwan's tactics to tactics used in the UK. One Taiwanese newspaper article at the time mentioned that the government had (if memory serves me correctly) about 140 specific tactics to hinder the spread of the virus. The government had these tactics planned in advance due to the country's previous experience with SARS. In contrast, the UK (and many other countries) employed just a handful of tactics, which is why the per-capita COVID infection/death rate in most countries was massively higher than in Taiwan.

It has nothing to do with the types of economy in a country (if it had, then the COVID infection rate in Taiwan would have been as high as that in China).

Ciaran McHale

Re: The safer each individual is, the safer the whole population becomes

Not at all. Taiwan and China are different countries and have used different tactics to tackle the pandemic. A google search for "Taiwan COVID economy impact" yielded the following article, which provides interesting reading: https://www.economicsobservatory.com/how-has-taiwan-navigated-the-pandemic. Of particular note that is that effective measures to keep the pandemic under control actually helped the economy.

Ciaran McHale

Re: The safer each individual is, the safer the whole population becomes

You wrote that if we take extra precautions then "then we can marginally reduce the safety risk". The following example will show just how wrong you are...

Google suggests that Taiwan is about 7 times smaller than the UK (in terms of land mass) and has 2.7 times fewer people, thus Taiwan has a population density that is about 2.6 times that of the UK. Since COVID is more easily spread in a denser population, we might expect that the per-capita COVID infection/death rate in Taiwan would be higher than that in the UK.

I suggest you look at the following web page: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/taiwan/

Look at the "Total Coronavirus Deaths in Taiwan" chart in its logarithmic form. Then compare it to the same chart for the UK at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/

Taiwan is next door to China, so it was much closer to the original source of infection, yet Taiwan implemented very comprehensive preventative measures, and had only 12 deaths by 13 May 2021 (almost one and a half years since the start of the pandemic). In contrast, the UK had 128,262 deaths by the same date, which is almost 4000 times the per-capita rate of Taiwan. Unfortunately, since then Taiwan has had two significant outbreaks (both of which have been smaller than similar outbreaks in the UK), so its per-capita death rate is "only" 12.7 lower than that of the UK (despite having a higher population density).

SpaceX reportedly fires staffers behind open letter criticising Elon Musk

Ciaran McHale

Re: Careful what you ask for

I have no comment about him breaking financial rules. However, your comment about the defamation case is a bad example, for two reasons. First, he won the case, thus indicating that he did not break the law. Second, even if he lost the case, he would have been found in breach of civil law (thus facing a fine) rather than in breach of criminal law (thus possibly facing time in prison).

Ciaran McHale

Re: Careful what you ask for

That was an example. Another example might be picking your nose and wiping the snot on somebody's jacket. There are an almost limitless number of examples that might be given, and it is unreasonable to expect SpaceX management to exhaustively list all unacceptable behaviours.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Careful what you ask for

I bought shares at a split adjusted price of about $61, so even with Tesla's share price losing about 50% in the past six months, I am still up 10x.

As for the recent NHTSA announcement... I don't know if there is cause for concern because meaningful comparisons were not provided. For example, let's hypothetically assume the rate of accidents per 1000 miles in driver-assist/autonomous-driving vehicles is higher in a Tesla than in a competing brand of car that also has driver-assist/autonomous-driving capability. Is that bad? I don't know, because if the accident rate in a Tesla is less than the accident rate in unassisted vehicles, then Tesla cars would still be safer than unassisted vehicles.

It is unfortunate that NHTSA provided the data without providing meaningful comparisons, since it invites people to jump to (possibly incorrect) conclusions. You certainly seemed to have done so.

Don't bother responding. You have already displayed a lack of critical thinking ability and you posted anonymously, so I am dismissing you as a troll.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Careful what you ask for

I found that line of the letter to be bizarre and lacking critical thinking skills. It suggests that if SpaceX does not explicitly state that, for example, murder is unacceptable, then (according to the letter writers) SpaceX implicitly endorses murder. I have no idea how they expect SpaceX to write a fully comprehensive list of all the unpredictable things that Elon Musk might do and indicate what subset of those things might be acceptable or unacceptable.

The letter reminds me of an anecdote I heard from a friend who used to play SimCity. He built an airport well outside of a city, and later urban sprawl resulted in the city expanding to meet the airport. At this point, complaints were raised from those living near the airport that the airport was causing too much noise pollution and hence should be shut down.

Being an outspoken, larger-than-life character who takes on supposedly impossible projects (and often succeeds in them) and sometimes says controversial things has always been par for the course with Elon Musk. People who chose to work for him should have realised that about him, so it seems strange that they should now complain about his behaviour.

When I read Ashlee Vance's excellent, warts-and-all biography of Elon Musk a few years ago, I decided that: (1) I would not want to work in any of his companies; (2) (if I were female) I would not want to date him; and (3) he is an intelligent, determined workaholic whose companies have a better than average chance of being successful at supposedly-impossible goals so I should buy some shares in Tesla.

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail

Ciaran McHale

Re: I approve

You wrote "Maybe [some people being more inclined to make insulting remarks on the Internet is] something for the psychiatrists".

Actually, psychological experiments have been done to confirm this tendency. There is some discussion of this in the book "The Lucifer Effect How Good People Turn Evil" by Philip Zimbardo. The idea is not restricted to the Internet. Rather, people are more inclined to act in nasty ways if they feel they are anonymous. Presumably this was the inspiration for the masks of the KKK.

Tesla Autopilot accounts for 70% of driver assist crashes, says US traffic safety body

Ciaran McHale

The claim is meaningless without suitable comparisions

Some people have pointed out that "miles driven per driver-assisted crash" would be a useful comparison for different brands of driver-assist systems. However, there is another comparison that should also be made: "miles driven per crash per driver-assisted crash versus miles driven per crash for non-driver-assisted crash".

As a hypothetical example, if it turns out that Tesla's driver-assist system is more crash-prone than other brands of driver-assist systems, then that would be be embarrassing for Tesla, but if it also turns out that Tesla's driver-assist system is less crash-prone than non-driver-assist vehicles, then Tesla's system should be applauded for the increase in safety it provides (and the other brands of driver assist systems should be applauded even more).

It is frustrating that the NHTSA has released a meaningless claim. This frustrating behaviour is also to be expected, not necessarily because the NHTSA is conducting a smear campaign against Tesla, but because such meaningless claims are commonplace among humans (and the NHTSA is staffed by humans).

Why Nvidia sees a future in software and services: Recurring revenue

Ciaran McHale

Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

There can be exceptions. For example, many food companies whose products are sold in supermarkets compete on price, which has the side effect of farmers in developing countries being paid a pittance for their bananas, coffee, cocoa beans and so on, thus ensuring that those farming communities cannot escape from poverty. FairTrade was set up to compete on ethics rather than on lowest price. Likewise, "organic" certifications in various countries help products to compete on good-for-your-health grounds rather than on low price.

In this case, if the market-leading electric car manufacturer used and got away with "pay a subscription fee for various car features" tactic, then I would agree with you. However, Toyota is far from being the market leader in electric cars, and if (like me) you assume that the world is moving towards electric cars, then Toyota employing this tactic is likely to result in people being even less likely to buy Toyota electric vehicles, and the end result is likely to be that Toyota will dramatically shrink in size or go bankrupt.

Ciaran McHale

Re: turn on car features, such as driver assistance, through subscription services.

I can imagine that policy will annoy some customers enough that they will sell the car at a convenient time and then purchase a car from another company that does not have such a policy.

Now that's wafer thin: Some manufacturers had less than five days of chip supplies, says Uncle Sam

Ciaran McHale

Re: I'm confused

That's a very informative video. Thanks for the link.

Tech Bro CEO lays off 900 people in Zoom call and makes himself the victim

Ciaran McHale

Re: Glassdoor...

Unfortunately, the UK IR35 law is an ambiguous mess. I agree that a rolling contract is often disguised employment, but I don't think that is always the case. The French law to prevent disguised employment is much more clear-cut than the UK IR35 law. In France, you can be a contractor at a single client for a maximum of 2 or 3 years (I forget which). After that, the client either has to make you a permanent employee or you have to stop working with that client for a certain time period.

Ciaran McHale

Re: staying in contracting from now on.

The voting buttons appear on the bottom left in Firefox on Linux. Perhaps they appear in a different location on a mobile browser.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Glassdoor...

Perhaps that is the typical meaning. But in my case I chose to take time off so I could focus on finishing writing the documentation for some open-source software that I wanted to release in a mature state (www.config4star.org).

Ciaran McHale

Re: Glassdoor...

I don't know if I would have made more or less money if I was a permie rather than a contractor at the company. However, I explicitly wanted to be a contractor because I was developing some software (unrelated to my client's business) in my spare time, and being a contractor meant I owned the copyright to that software by default. If I was a permie, I would have had to ask for permission to own the copyright to the software. Such permission-seeking had been a nightmare in the previous company where I had been a permie.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Glassdoor...

Your experience appears to not be wide enough for you to be making generalisations. For example, I fit into neither of those two categories. I was a permie for 15 years, and after a career sabbatical I went contracting. My first contract was on a 6-month rolling basis, and it kept getting extended for several years. At that company, I was far from being the only contractor whose contract kept getting renewed.

Amazon says Elon Musk's wicked, wicked ways mean SpaceX's Starlink 2.0 should not be allowed to fly

Ciaran McHale

From what I have read on the Internet, I get the impression that some countries are more prone to employee exploitation than others, and hence can benefit more from having unions. So when you say something to the effect of, "unions were useful 40 years ago but are not so useful now", I think you should indicate which country you are referring to.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Space is BIG and satellites aren't

I don't know much about space, rockets and satellites, so I can't comment on how big is the problem you mention. However, given the context of the article, it seems you are claiming it is bad for SpaceX in particular to be causing this problem and it would be less bad if another company caused the problem instead. I don't follow the logic of that.

Trojan Source attack: Code that says one thing to humans tells your compiler something very different, warn academics

Ciaran McHale

The example given seems to be incorrect

It seems to me there is an error in the example in the paper (and reproduced in the article) claiming to show how what appears to be just a Python comment is really a comment followed by a "return" statement.

I had a look at the paper, and it explains that the "RLI" Unicode character (right-to-left isolate) will "Force treating following text as right-to-left without affecting adjacent text" until this mode is cancelled by another command or (in the case of the example code) a newline character. This right-to-left display happens not at the level of words, but rather at the level of individual characters. Thus, the line:

''' Subtract funds from bank account then RLI''' ;return

should appear in a text editor as:

''' Subtract funds from bank account then nruter; '''

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Ciaran McHale

Re: they are now the last known digits of Pi

Innumeracy affects 8 out of every 5 people.

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

Ciaran McHale

Re: There are two hard problems in Computer Science

> Shirley knowing how and when to use technical terms properly is one of the very definitions of being a Professional

My Google search failed to find that definition in an online dictionary. And don't call me Shirley.

Activist millionaires protest outside Jeff Bezos' homes to support tax rises for the rich

Ciaran McHale

Re: A useful little test

You seem to be talking about the USA, but things might be a bit different in the UK, as I now explain. In the UK, "tax evasion" refers to an ILLEGAL way to not pay tax, and "tax avoidance" is a LEGAL way to not pay tax. So, the statements "tax avoidance is completely legal" is correct, as is the statement "tax evasion is illegal".

In an effort to encourage people to save/invest, the UK government has "ISA" (individual savings accounts) which is a tax avoidance wrapper around saving/investing accounts. You can put in up to £20,000 per year into an ISA. Whatever gains you get in an ISA are completely tax free.

Clearly, ISA is a (legal) tax avoidance scheme that is ENCOURAGED by the government (rather than being a loophole they have failed to close). I have several books on my shelves on topics such as "how to reduce taxes for a small business" and "how to pass on your wealth to your kids to reduce inheritance tax". Such books provide numerous examples of (legal and even encouraged) tax avoidance.

Contributions into a pension fund are free-of-income tax, and when you reach retirement age you can take out 25% of the fund tax free (again, legal and encouraged tax avoidance), and then take out the remainder at your then tax rate. Since a person is likely to have a lower income during retirement than during their working years, the "deferred tax payment" of a pension is also a form of (partial and encouraged) tax avoidance.

I haven't bothered to read the entire thread you and Anonymous Coward are participating in, but I figured I should explain the above in case differences in laws in different countries might be partially fuelling the anger.

Some tax avoidance techniques are of the "uninended loopholes that haven't been closed yet" variety, but some other tax avoidance techniques are of the "the government ENCOURAGES you to use this to reduce taxes" variety.

Ciaran McHale

I agree that protesting outside of Bezos' home is somewhat illogical. However, since he is one of the richest people around, he is a symbol of wealth. The protestors are probably hoping to get more media attention by incorporating that symbolism into their protest. It's less about "logic" and more about "a good publicity tactic".

Ciaran McHale

Re: $1M a year — is that a lot?

I don't disagree with you. But my comment was in response to a scenario in which a person earns $10M a year. With that sort of money, it should be possible to live on a fraction of $1M and let compound growth work wonders on the other $9.xM.

Ciaran McHale

Re: $1M a year — is that a lot?

Several books including "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy" and "The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy" suggest that the majority of millionaires and billionaires are first-generation wealthy.

Ciaran McHale

Re: $1M a year — is that a lot?

"suppose you make, oh, $10M a year, every year! [...] Then lucky you, it will only take a century for you to have a billion dollars".

Wealth accumulation rarely occurs in a linear manner. Rather, the money is invested in, say, a high-interest bank account (if such things still exist), index funds, the stock market, growing your company, and so on. Compound growth on the investment over a few years/decades can do wonders.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Tax avoidance costs

"there's nothing to stop them writing a large check to the IRS each year".

Perhaps they do. And perhaps they make large donations to charity. Doing such things is compatible with them trying to change tax laws so rich people pay more taxes.

Guy who wrote women are 'soft, weak, cosseted, naive' lasted about a month at Apple until internal revolt

Ciaran McHale

Re: "I'm actually honest, self-deprecating, and funny"

The following link provides 9 different explanations about the inoffensive meaning of "Black Lives Matter": https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter

Ciaran McHale

Re: "I'm actually honest, self-deprecating, and funny"

The "Black Lives Matter" slogan was intended to mean "Black Lives Matter TOO" rather than "ONLY Black Lives Matter".

Ciaran McHale

Re: Inclusive must mean that we only include things that we like...

Your argument has a weakness due to the "what you know is all there is" psychological heuristic. You are assuming that Apple fired the guy "just because [...]", but there might have been other reasons for the firing (if, indeed, he was fired; apparently both he and Apple have declined to comment on the reason for him leaving Apple). For example, perhaps several employees reported him to HR for sexist/racist behaviour on the job.

Also, your assertion about inclusivity ignores the paradox of tolerance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance).

Elon Musk hits the brakes on taking Bitcoin for Tesla purchases

Ciaran McHale

Re: Odd that

The trend over the past few years in many countries has been towards renewal energy (solar, wind, hydro and so on). We might expect that in another few years/decades, most/all electricity will be generated via a renewable source. At that point, bitcoin mining will be eco friendly.

Preliminary report on Texas Tesla crash finds Autosteer was 'not available' along road where both passengers died

Ciaran McHale

Re: Ban it

>does it constantly tell HQ everything?? (major privacy issue!!)

I agree. But I don't see how this is worse than the privacy issues associated with owning a smartphone, using Google or Facebook (and many other websites).

Samsung aims first 512GB DDR5 DRAM chip built on High-K/Metal Gate tech at HPC, AI markets

Ciaran McHale

Re: Fully Stacked

Sod that. I want to see one of these in the next generation of Raspberry Pi. ;-)

Richard Stallman says he has returned to the Free Software Foundation board of directors and won't be resigning again

Ciaran McHale

It is impossible for any utopian vision to fully succeed across a wide population, because only a subset of the population will buy into it fully. Stallman's "free software" is a utopian vision that illustrates this. Some people bought into it fully, while others bought into only a subset of the vision, and hence there was the "open source" faction that splintered off, and later the Creative Commons faction that had an even more watered down concept of what open/free means. Unfortunately, it is common for a person who believes in one particular faction to label people in other factions as "extremists", "sell-outs" or some other disrespectful term. Unfortunately, it is also common for criticisms to focus on a perceived failings in a person's characteristics (rudeness, personal hygiene, appearance, promiscuous etc) rather than perceived flaws in the person's utopian vision.

ICYMI: A mom is accused of harassing daughter's cheerleader rivals with humiliating deepfake vids

Ciaran McHale

Might a charge of child pornography be brought against the woman?

Does a photo of a naked female (presumably above the age of consent) with a deep-fake photo of an under-the-age-of-consent teenage girl's face super-imposed upon it count as child pornography? If so, does anyone know why such a charge has not yet been brought against the woman?

Apple's M1: the fastest and bestest ever silicon = revolution? Nah, there's far more interesting stuff happening in tech that matters to everyone

Ciaran McHale

Re: Shortsighted analysis

https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-new-m1-macs-make-cutting-edge-machine-learning-workstations/

Ciaran McHale

Re: I fear that too much shiny is taking a toll on some people's attention span.

I agree that "moving data" can refer to many different use cases. But one of those use cases is moving data between the CPU and GPU. Apple silicon provides a very impressive way of dealing with that specific use case. The author of the article dismissed Apple silicon as being uninteresting because he claimed it offered no improvement for moving data, yet he completely ignored its impressive moving-data accomplishment. This suggests that (independent of the merits or otherwise of Apple silicon) the article was not well researched/written.

Ciaran McHale

Re: Wow.

The Register has a history of mocking the first few generations of Apple products in a new line. This included the iPod and iPhone. So it is unsurprising that this tend continues with Apple silicon.

Ciaran McHale

Re: I fear that too much shiny is taking a toll on some people's attention span.

One of the reasons Apple silicon is so fast is that that the RAM embedded in the SOC is shared between the CPU and GPU, and this removes the need to move/copy data between the two.

Ciaran McHale

Shortsighted analysis

If the only laptop/desktop products Apple were to make with its new silicon were the three already released, then the author of the article might have a point. But it seems likely that Apple will release desktop/workstation machines with even faster silicon and more RAM. Some people will appreciate faster webpage loading or faster games, but the big win for Apple is likely to come from niche application areas in which an Apple silicon-based computer is as fast as other computers costing, say, five times as much. Machine learning (ML) might be such a niche area: https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-new-m1-macs-make-cutting-edge-machine-learning-workstations/

Although ML is niche, it is a large and quickly growing niche. Perhaps Apple will even produce blades containing multiple SOCs for use in data centres. If Apple can compete successfully in the ML/data-centre niches, expect its stock price to rise significantly. And also expect other CPU manufacturers to start designing CPU+GPU+RAM SOCs to compete against Apple silicon. So, yes, I would say Apple Silicon has a good chance of being revolutionary.

For what it's worth, I don't own any Apple products (I prefer Linux and use a dumb phone).

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works

Ciaran McHale

Re: On speed

I think either Eclectic Man misphrased his comment or you misread it. He was talking about the square root of a 17,000-digit number, while you talked about the square root of a number to 17,000 decimal places. Or am I missing something?

Qualcomm names its Windows 10 ARM PC partners

Ciaran McHale

Re: All day x86 is already here

According to a news article (http://www.zdnet.com/article/computex-2017-always-connected-pc-sounds-great-but-well-have-to-wait/), these ARM-powered machines will: (1) have motherboards about 30% smaller than those in Intel-powered machines (due to the Snapdragon 835 being a system on a chip), so manufacturers can make smaller/slimmer devices or fit more components into a device; (2) have about 50% better battery life than comparable Intel-powered machines (because apparently "the Snapdragon 835 only draws around 3 to 5 watts") and "should last four- to five-times longer on standby."; and (3) "should perform at roughly the same level as laptops with Core m3 or fan-less implementations of Core i5". Whether or not such hype pans out in reality is anyone's guess.

I'm assuming that the Snapdragon 835 will be considerably cheaper than an Intel CPU, so this *might* result in cheaper laptops. But then again, it might just result in higher profitability for the laptop manufacturers.

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Ciaran McHale

Re: Keyboard

You can clearly see the (sadly deficient for coding) keyboard layout by making the video on the Indiegogo page full screen size and pausing at 1:18. Some symbol characters frequently used in coding are missing: "{", "}", "[", "]", "|", "<" and ">". Some Many others are in non-standard positions: "+", "-", ",", "_", ":", ";", "\", "~", "?", "." and single quote.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Ciaran McHale

Rob used a 3D printer to create a case with built-in heatsink for the PDP 11 motherboard he bought on eBay.

Ciaran McHale

The widescreen television hanging on the wall was impressively slim, but the remote control was a bit bulky.

Ciaran McHale

Friedland's prototype wireless doorbell push button was bulky, but it had amazing range.

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