* Posts by John Savard

2351 posts • joined 18 Sep 2007

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

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AMD Advantage?

Currently, Intel's 11th-gen desktop parts are still built on a 14nm process. That is less energy efficient than the 7nm process used for AMD's Ryzen chips. And, for that matter, AMD Radeon video cards are also on a TSMC 7nm process, while Nvidia's are on a Samsung 8nm process, although here the difference in energy consumption is likely slight.

Could that mean that larger AMD-based systems would be allowed into California compared to Intel-based systems?

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Re: All arguments aside

Because the free market does not have a way to monetize externalities. Government intervention is necessary, therefore, whenever externalities exist.

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To be fair, California does have this little thing running through it called the San Andreas Fault.

So I can understand why they are reluctant to have nuclear power plants built within California itself.

This would not be a problem if neighboring states without earthquake issues were not also afflicted with anti-nuclear hysteria. Federal intervention is what is required to keep America's economy and national defence running smoothly while halting carbon emissions.

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Problem Not Real

There is one thing wrong with the graph shown in that article. It shows future world energy production as flat.

In fact, one can expect that it will be exponentially increasing in the same manner as the power consumed by computers.

After all, it's not as if burning fossil fuels is the only way we can generate electricity. It's true that there are limits to how much power can be produced by hydroelectricity, geothermally, or by wind farms or solar panels. But if we use nuclear power, in an efficient manner so that not only scarce U-235, but also common isotopes such as U-238 and Th-232, are consumed as fuel, we can have all the energy we want until alternative abundant sources, such as solar power satellites or fusion power are developed.

Harassers and bullies succeed in tech because silence is encouraged

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A Simple Solution

I should think the solution is simple. Make sexual harassment a criminal offence. As if it isn't one already. Anything that makes it harder for the police to investigate criminal acts and bring their perpetrators to justice... is, then, obstruction of justice, which is also a criminal offence. Prosecute it aggressively. It should not take long for drastic changes in corporate behavior to result.

Ad tech ruined the web – and PDF files are here to save it, allegedly

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HTML can serve

How about just use HTML, but with browsers that can't handle any of the modern features like JavaScript and popups?

And I have always believed that tabs are for word processors, and do not belong in programming languages.

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

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I can explain that.

In the United States in 1920 or 1930 or thereabouts, racism against black people was basically taken for granted almost like the air you breathe. Even those who disapproved of it usually did not see much hope of a day ever arising when black people could enjoy equality.

In 1964, we had the Voting Rights Act, we had the big Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

What happened between those times?

World War II. And, after its end, the liberation of Belsen.

The horrors of the Nazi concentration camps changed public attitudes towards racism. Finally, therre was a widespread sentiment that racism was a bad thing.

So this led to progress towards equality for black people.

But now it should also be possible to understand why the failure of Jesse Jackson to immediately and unreservedly condemn Louis Farrakhan's anti-Jewish remarks caused his Presidential bid to sink without a trace.

In an oversimplified picture:

There are two kinds of white American.

The ones who are still happily racist.

Those who have given up racism.

The white Americans in the first category would never have voted for Jesse Jackson.

The white Americans in the second category might consider it - but since the reason they're no longer racist is because they reacted to the Holocaust, their sensitivity towards anti-Jewish racism is many times more intense their sensitivity to anti-black racism. So once Jesse Jackson appeared "soft" on anti-Semitism... goodbye.

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Re: This is confusing

Are you an American, Lionel?

Of course I am!

Does that mean you've decided to stop being black?

Does it look like that?

See, meathead, you can be Polish and an American at the same time!

Unfortunately, Archie Bunker was never known for his coherent reasoning, but I also fail to see why people with American nationality can't also acknowledge their ethnicity at the same time.

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Backwards

I can understand firing someone in a heartbeat for encouraging and promoting hatred.

Someone confessing what he had imbibed from his environment, and explaining how he had overcome it, however, is a positive contribution to fighting hatred.

Now Google will be seen as a hostile workplace for people of Middle Eastern origin.

Get a load of fancypants no-enemies AMD-Xilinx: 'Large majority' of third parties 'had no concerns' about pair's hookup

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Memories

Given that Intel acquired an FPGA maker, for AMD to acquire one as well would seem to preserve competition, not reduce it.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

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Obvious Question

Since the individual in question was a 14-year-old, it's not as if he would be carrying any identification other than a school ID. So it's not as if he could just have shown them his driver's license to prove he wasn't the individual in question.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban

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Twitter and Facebook banned Trump precisely because they are responsible for their choices. They gave him a lot more latitude than an ordinary user because he was President, but when he started inciting violence, they would have been responsible if they chose not to ban him.

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Re: This could really backfire on him

I don't think that they'll pick door #2, because they are responsible to their stockholders, and who knows what a Florida court might decide... but it may be that in Trump's suit, there is at least one claim that won't get immediately dismissed by virtue of door #1. After all, not just the First Amendment but also Section 803 is mentioned...

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Re: No Name

As in his latest rally, he appears to be inciting a lynch mob to attack the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashley Babbitt, indeed it looks like it will not be possible to ignore him.

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No Name

Having heard the story from other news media, I was aware that the individual in question isn't really a Florida native, but hails from New York, where his father had a thriving real-estate business.

This should not, however, be construed as me questioning your editorial judgment that the individual in question richly deserves to be ignored, with which I heartily agree. With, of course, the caveat that whatever he may deserve, the case may come when we cannot ignore him except at our peril.

Pentagon scraps $10bn JEDI winner-takes-all cloud contract

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Reflection

Comparing SQL Server from Microsoft to the serious and professional databases from Oracle and IBM, the idea that Microsoft and Amazon were competent to provide what the Pentagon needed but Oracle and IBM were not struck me as ludicrous.

But if it was clear that what the Pentagon was a buzzword-compliant cloud thingy, which Microsoft and Amazon tried to offer, while Oracle and IBM were instead trying to flog off their old-fashioned on-prem traditional database technology, they got what they deserved, right?

After that though struck me, though, another one came along. What if what Oracle and IBM were offering was something that would actually meet the operational requirements... and something using the new cloud style technology could not meet them or be made secure given the state of the fancy new cloud stuff now or in the foreseeable future?

Then it's the Pentagon that's getting what it deserves for turning up its nose at what would work from Oracle and IBM.

New mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional

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Puzzled

:I was trying to figure out how you could combine AMD's Infinity Cache with the Doordash delivery service, but now that I see the product is fictional, I've stopped worrying.

So there you are: Infinidash is an Amazon service that delivers to your door, with enhanced reliability and availability because they've abandoned Just-in-Time practices, and have real warehouses again!

Boffins boast of 'slidetronics' breakthrough enabling binary switch just two atoms thick

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Re: I have to wonder....

No, the article is very clear. There are two sheets. Each one is made up of half boron atoms and half nitrogen atoms. And the sheets can be on top of each other in two configurations; one is where the boron atoms in one are on top of nitrogen atoms in the other and vice versa, and the other is where similar atoms in the two sheets are in contact.

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One-way?

All right, they laboriously put two boron nitride sheets over each other in a way that doesn't occur in nature.

Then, they ran an electric current through it, and the sheets moved to the natural configuration.

My question would be: can they run another electric current through it to put it back in the original configuration they made? If not, this is not necessarily a discovery with the potential to be of any use. I suppose it could be claimed that this is a first step, even so, but that's not really clear.

IBM President and former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst quits

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Words

Surely he isn't entitled to a retention bonus if he quits! So if he did get it, that would be reason for IBM's stock to drop another point or so, since the firm is obviously no longer competent to write a proper contract.

Wish you could play tabletop Dungeons & Dragons but have no friends? Solasta: Crown of the Magister offers a solution

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Coincidence

Just yesterday, on another site, I was reading about a D&D-based game that had a Beholder in it; the review discussed several RPGs influenced by D&D, and one of its main points was that no one seemed to be able to capture the essence of paper D&D in an RPG; all they could make were dungeon looter games.

And here you've found the counter-example!

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

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Almost Yawned

I was going to say that it wouldn't matter if Microsoft Windows could run Android apps, if it isn't licensed for Google Play.

But then I realized that even if Google's web site for apps won't recognize a Windows 11 computer as a 'compatible device', nearly everyone with an Android app they want people to use would of course also submit it to the Microsoft Store.

So this is significant.

India tells Twitter to obey its laws — or make wielding them easier

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So I take it that the government is being sued because it told Twitter and Facebook to ban Donald Trump? Well, people are free in the United States to waste their money on lawyers however they want, I guess.

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They Can Always Block It

I take it that Twitter does not currently have any employees in India that the government of India could put in jail, otherwise it would not be resisting the government's directives. I'm not surprised that Twitter would not wish to change that under current circumstances.

Of course India can always block Twitter, but for Twitter not wishing to aid and abet the destruction of democracy in India by the BJP, which is an extremist Hindu nationalist party, is entirely reasonable.

The AN0M fake secure chat app may have been too clever for its own good

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Re: One Time Pads.

But that's not a one-time pad. The key has to be completely random, so that it cannot be predicted, even in theory. A key that is a meaningful text, even in a foreign language, does not have that characteristic. Not that a _hash_ wouldn't generate a reasonably secure cipher, even if still not a true OTP.

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Kidnapping

What worries me is that AN0M might lead to some organized crime syndicate kidnapping a programmer, so he can prepare a secure phone for them u nder their supervision.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The best time to build a semiconductor foundry is 5 years ago

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Basic Flaw

It is true that a semiconductor firm that has invested in capacity will do well, if there is demand, and other firms are not there to meet the demand, because they did not.

But if they risk investing so much as to exceed demand, they will lose money. It is we, as consumers, who benefit from capacity being plentiful.

So the futures of automakers may depend on chipmakers investing a lot; but the chipmakers themselves benefit from not investing more than can bring profits.

So the solution doesn't lie in urging chipmakers to behave in our best interests as opposed to their own or their stockholders'. They won't listen. No; those who want something, those who benefit from it, will have to be the ones who pay for it.

So the solution lies in the direction of automakers making their own chips and things like that.

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

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I consider this a non sequitur. After all, it would be libelous to claim that Apple is an organization intent on uploading private nude snaps and sex videos from people's iPhones to Facebook.

None the less, something of the sort happened recently - not because Apple wanted it to happen, but because some people repairing an iPhone on its behalf happened to engage in malfeasance on their own.

So they're only claiming that Three might not be 100% perfect at vetting their employees - and, since we haven't yet developed the technology to read people's minds, that is inevitably true.

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Now that would put a bit of a different light on it.

However, perhaps not by much. After all, while normal lease terms might indeed preclude a leaseholder from denying physical access under such circumstances, I'm sure that if one were leasing a building to the GCHQ, they would be able to obtain special terms.

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Puzzled

Why on earth would a law be enacted giving people the right to access someone else's building to build a cell phone mast?

If they want to put a cell phone mast on a building, they can always offer money to its owners. If they're not interested, that should be that.

Why would anyone think that compromising private property rights is a good idea?

Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches

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I Use It

My regular text editor is the old Programmer's File Editor, as it still works, it's simple, and I'm used to it.

But when I need Column Mode, a fancy feature it doesn't have, I use Notepad++.

I do not use most of its features, as my text editing needs are modest.

Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America

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Re: Should we rename...

The only American thing I remember it for is as a proper name. Of that Crosby fellow.

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Re: Call me paranoid....

Well, maybe a Microsoft employee accidentally treated a counterfeit copyright claim purporting to be from Reuters as real. That would be human error, in response to an attempt at hacking by human engineering. Bogus copyright claims are real enough...

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Re: Call me paranoid....

Sounds to me more like they were hacked.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

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Somebody thought of this before

Of course, though, IBM has been designing their mainframe CPUs with built-in error detection all along. And it still does, even though they're on microchips.

Apple sued in nightmare case involving teen wrongly accused of shoplifting, driver's permit used by impostor, and unreliable facial-rec tech

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Justice

Of course, Ousmane Bah should recieve compensation on the basis of strict liability. Whatever portion of that compensation cannot be paid by Apple, SIS, or the police departments and stores involved would fall on the shoulders of the impostor. And inability to pay should not be taken as an excuse. He will just have to work hard.

Cloudflare stops offering to block LGBTQ webpages

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Circumstances

Blocking all sorts of content even remotely related to sexuality is certainly something that some people will want to do; traditionally-minded families with children.

But Cloudflare isn't a provider that home users turn to for parental controls. Given its line of business, viewing blocking LGBTQ content as something that could be regarded as discrimination is appropriate.

New IETF draft reveals Egyptians invented pyramids to sharpen razor blades

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Former Soviet Union

Ah, yes. This brings back memories, as it was the book "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain" which brought the notion of sharpening razor blades by placing them within something having the shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza to the world's attention.

Chinese AI censors live-streamed Alpacas – beasts with a very NSFW and political back story

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The Last Time I Heard That Pun

...was in a poem by Ogden Nash.

Or at least in a comment about it...

The one-L Lama,

He's a priest;

The two-L llama,

He's a beast.

And I will bet

A silk pyjama

There isn't any

Three-L lllama.

...to which someone commented that one can have a fire that is a "three alarmer".

AMD promises to spend $1.6bn on 12nm, 14nm chips from GlobalFoundries

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About Time!

Given that Intel's 11th generation chips, what with AVX-512, are not bad despite being still on 14nm, it's high time that AMD stopped having to compete with one hand tied behind it's back! Which, of course, makes it all the more amazing that it forged ahead of Intel despite Global Foundries' failure to be a worthwhile supplier to AMD by neglecting to upgrade its processes.

Ex Netflix IT ops boss pocketed $500k+ in bribes before awarding millions in tech contracts

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Fines?

He should have to fully reimburse Netflix for what he stole from them before he is allowed to pay a penny of either his fines or his taxes. Otherwise, after fines of twice what he stole, he might not have enough money to reimburse the victim for what was stolen, which should be the first priority.

Who'd have thought the US senator who fist pumped Jan 6 insurrectionists would propose totally unworkable anti-Big Tech law?

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He says "woke" like it's a bad thing.

There aren't two sides to what happened on January 6th of this year. The election was not stolen. Black people got to vote because safety measures made necessary by the pandemic (no legitimate controversy there; preventing the election from becoming a superspreader event was needed to save lives) made it possible for black people to evade voter suppression (everyone has the right to vote, and the election steal was a lie; that's a fact, not an opinion).

There aren't two sides to the invasion of Poland in 1939 either.

Certainly there was a time when both the Democratic and Republican parties represented legitimate political viewpoints. Both parties are playing to their base too much, but at the moment, it's only the Republican Party which has almost completely fallen prey to its lunatic fringe.

Excluding the lunatic fringe is not a departure from objectivity; to treat their views as though they were valid would be to mislead the reader severely.

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Not Difficult

He says "woke" like it's a bad thing.

That should be enough to tell everyone what he is.

Sadly, some Americans still don't realize that.

Not that everything called "woke" is perfect, or beyond debate - but being genuinely aware of the issues facing black Americans, as they see them from their perspective, not just from the imperfect perspective that even a liberal white person can have without help is obviously not only good, but necessary.

'Chinese wall'? Who uses 'Chinese wall'? Well, IBM did, and it actually means 'firewall'

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Ethical wall

A firewall is for filtering data going in or out of a network. I remember the term "Chinese wall" being used in news stories related to IBM, but it referred to the wall between the people who read the BIOS listing to figure out what it did and the people who were writing a BIOS to do the same thing on your PC clone, so that's probably what the term "ethical wall" is for.

How do we stamp out the ransomware business model? Ban insurance payouts for one, says ex-GCHQ director

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Depressing

This is a recommendation that will, as its immediate direct effect, inflict additional problems on some of the victims of ransomware. We should focus on good solutions, like making it much easier to back up computers or like making operating systems so secure that ransomware infections can't happen.

Beloved pixel pusher Paint prepares to join Notepad for updates from Microsoft Store

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Error

Microsoft Paint was introduced with Windows 95.

What Windows 3.1 had was Paintbrush.

Ice Lake, Baby: Intel's 10nm 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable server processors to arrive at last

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Re: Yawn...

That's not fair. Intel's 10nm chips have a feature size and transistor density comparable to what the competitors are selling as 7nm! Of course, that was more important before we knew that they didn't have comparable frequencies.

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What, not 14+++?

Is this a higher frequency 10nm process than the one Intel didn't use for the i9-11900K and its brethren because 10nm was too slow? Or perhaps business users don't need the high frequencies that gamers demand, and so a slower chip that uses less electricity works for them? Oh, I see: they've upped the core count, and database can do with throughput, it's gamers that need low latency.

UK terror law reviewer calls for expanded police powers to imprison people who refuse to hand over passwords

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Eliminating Abuse

I should think it's obvious what is needed to eliminate the police falsely claiming a case involves terrorism so they can get their nice juicy powers to unlock people's smartphones! In addition to terrorism, give them the same special powers in cases involving drug trafficking, since that's also such a pressing problem. Then the police will be using their special powers in exactly the way that is intended and written in the law!

Mysterious case of Arizona state senators skipping a vote on tackling Apple and Google's app commissions

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Obvious Explanation

I'm sure that the people of Arizona would be very upset if they could no longer get new apps for their smartphones, because Apple and Google decided to stop doing business in that state. So, once the legislators realized that it would be very stupid of them to try and make such a law, even if what they were hoping to achieve with that law was popular, this happened. Bribery isn't needed.

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